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Harsh words about MeFi from other blogs
September 6, 2003 4:09 PM   Subscribe

I notice that MetaFilter has received some strong critisism over the last few days. Now while the manner of some of the critisism (in the comments at ASM and another site I won't mention) to some extent debase the point that is being made due to name calling and (dare I say it) Ad Hominem attacks on this place (what do I win for using that phrase?), in the stream of hatred, are there some underlying points that should be taken on board?
posted by chill to MetaFilter-Related at 4:09 PM (346 comments total)

MetaFilter is overwhelmingly left wing and very intolerant of anyone that isn't. If you try and put forward a point of view that does not comform to the MeFi norm you are often called a troll and hounded out, even if what you are saying is well written, lucid, and erudite. We lose people like Evanizer and MidasMulligan and in my opinion are poorer for it. Now, I know perfectly well that the blogs and collaborative sites on the opposite side of the political spectrum are just as bad, but that doesn't really excuse it.
I get the impression that there are a bunch of people just dying for sign ups to open here so they can be let in and flame away. Surely these aren't the people we should be attracting, we should be trying to attract back people like Evanizer and actually respecting their opinions. I think that the point ed made in the 9/11 thread is a valid point of view to hold, just as I think the James Lilek view is valid too. Valid in that they both contain legitimate points despite being flawed. I think it is important not to just denounce people as trolls, but to engage, debate, point out flaws in arguments, and accept criticism of your own arguments. That way this place won't be the echo chamber davidmsc complains about.
posted by chill at 4:14 PM on September 6, 2003


I wouldn't place too much importance on what a site like "A Small Victory" has to say about the level of debate on Metafilter. Come on! Look the bile, hatred, bigotry and self-righteousness the author and respondents generate. In the space of a page, we swing from religious hatred, to insinuations that the kind of people who post on Metafilter are terrorist sympathizers, to "the citizens of the world can thank America for their freedom". . . I have no doubt we do a better job than most sites in terms of engaging in debate and pointing out flaws in arguments. Just try posting a "progressive" point of view in the comments section over there and see how long you last.
posted by Jimbob at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2003


Sorry, I couldn't get past this:

No, ed. You are the sick cancer. You and the people who can't seem to understand why we haven't moved on, why we will, in all probability, not move on and why we feel it necessary to continue to stay with the anger and pain.

two minutes of hate much?
posted by Space Coyote at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2003


I think the main problem is that there are MeFi members that exemplify the worst in partisan bickering, name-calling, and overall non-debate, but I believe those members that resort to lazy name-calling and such are a tiny minority of users, but the actions of every single member are used to represent "MetaFilter" as a whole (the same could be said for any other community).

chill, when you say:
If you try and put forward a point of view that does not comform to the MeFi norm you are often called a troll and hounded out, even if what you are saying is well written, lucid, and erudite.
I would have to strongly disagree. While there may be one or two jackasses that spit out a kneejerk "troll!" when they encounter any point of view they can't agree with, well-written conservative and/or republican points of view are most certainly welcome and I would even go so far as to say I encourage them whenever possible. The problem is lazy contrarian points of view, not the well-written ones.

I never read the "who were you before/after 9/11" thread, nor did I see the criticism until now, but it sounds like everyone is so caught up with emotion and partisan politics that there's nothing of any substance being said on any website (including many MetaFilter comments).

There is a legitimate point in discussing how long someone should grieve, how much fear americans should still have, and how exactly, and how long we should continue to commemorate the 9/11 anniversay (I would even say that Ed has some good points in that respect), but personally, it's not something I'm going to discuss with 10,000 bleating strangers shouting from their soapboxes, it's too sensitive a topic and this site and other blogs do a terrible job at that kind of subtle, nuanced discussion.

And the bottom line of course, as always, is that discussion of politics on MetaFilter blows goats and I would sooner ban it entirely than stomach another Bush baaaaad! thread.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:43 PM on September 6, 2003


space coyote,
I'd say sixty minutes at least

I'd be more willing to take ethics lessons from people less angry than the "asmallvictory" gentlemen, but maybe it's just me (the "without us you'd be speaking German" thing kind of strikes me as lazy thinking). I'm sure that most of them are also convinced that Saddam is behind 9-11, so what can you do, good for them

there's plenty of warbloggers out there who don't like MetaFilter very much, and I'm not sure that it should be a reason to worry, or to take the "MeFi loves Osama" argument seriously

If you try and put forward a point of view that does not comform to the MeFi norm you are often called a troll and hounded out, even if what you are saying is well written, lucid, and erudite.
you are talking about, say, aaron's brand of MeFi conservatism, a very interesting, erudite kind indeed. but I wouldn't necessarily call other Conservatives who came here after him "lucid and erudite". they can be as shrill as anybody, and prone to straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks or simple "fuck you" tantrums.

not to mention that to hear the right-wing complaining about the left's alleged anger and bad manners is always amusing

ps if you really miss Evanizer I suggest you go back to his MeFi comments and read some of his stuff (even his Sir Walsingham material) -- the namecalling (anybody unwilling to drink Arab blood was apparently an "appeaser"), the temper tantrums ... I also see that he hasn't changed much, in the "asmallvictory" thread (a site I admit I didn't know) he calls us "a group of puerile idiots who aren't worth the monitor ink". lucid and erudite indeed, so excuse me if I don't miss him much. he's probably having a great time enjoying his Freedom Fries at LGF or something (excuse me Matt, I know we're not supposed to name them)

posted by matteo at 4:45 PM on September 6, 2003


If you try and put forward a point of view that does not comform to the MeFi norm you are often called a troll and hounded out, even if what you are saying is well written, lucid, and erudite.

Oh, bullshit. If you talk down to people, pontificate and then refuse to respond to reasoned arguments, hit-and-run then scamper away giggling, then you get called a troll and hounded, whether you're leftie, rightie, or tighty whitey.

As far as Michelle and James go, I think their feel[ing] it necessary to continue to stay with the anger and pain is infantile, but they write well enough, so let them whine on, and more power to them.

On preview, I see that others have said pretty much what I wanted to, so poop.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:50 PM on September 6, 2003


I think chill makes a good point: I can't take Lieks all by himself, but it would be fun to have him here.

About Evanizer: I got the impression he'd slipped back in under another ID, but I don't know who he is.

Maybe we should try to get a reunion going for MetaFilter's fifth birthday. Encourage everyone who ever left to come back for the day.
posted by timeistight at 4:51 PM on September 6, 2003


You are the sick cancer.

Is there a healthy cancer of which I was previously unaware? Cool.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:51 PM on September 6, 2003


And the bottom line of course, as always, is that discussion of politics on MetaFilter blows goats and I would sooner ban it entirely than stomach another Bush baaaaad! thread.
posted by mathowie at 4:43 PM PST on September 6


I'm going to get this bronzed and post it on my userpage.
posted by timeistight at 4:54 PM on September 6, 2003


I wouldn't place too much importance on what a site like "A Small Victory" has to say about the level of debate on Metafilter. Come on! Look the bile, hatred, bigotry and self-righteousness the author and respondents generate.

Michele, the writer of ASV, is a decent person who I know from experience as a decent writer. Anything she's written about comics, movies, and cartoons is a highlight in my list of great blog entries. Admittedly, though, I've had a lot of trouble enjoying her site since she pulled a Dennis Miller after 9/11.

I don't really think there can be any points taken from that specific post. While MeFi obviously tilts left and there are issues to be addressed about the tone of debates on both sides, another generic "god I hate you America-haters for saying mean things about my country" tanrum isn't going to instigate any real discussion.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:58 PM on September 6, 2003


While there may be one or two jackasses that spit out a kneejerk "troll!" when they encounter any point of view they can't agree with, well-written conservative and/or republican points of view are most certainly welcome and I would even go so far as to say I encourage them whenever possible. The problem is lazy contrarian points of view, not the well-written ones.

and that criteria should apply no matter your political beliefs. i most certainly do agree with chill that mefi shows a 'favoritisim' towards the more liberal among us vs. the conservative crowd. i refuse to name names in this thread, but a recent prime example comes to mind of somebody who began slinging mudd around in various threads unprovoked. there were minor challenges to this person which eventually settled down. but if the same kind of stuff were said by a conservative, i guarantee the posse would be out in full force.
posted by poopy at 5:00 PM on September 6, 2003


I would sooner just forget the political posts. I'm a sucker for watching a flamewar, and the less time I waste reading through reams of posts that jump from one topic to another and eventually degenerate into people posting dictionary definitions of 'liberal' and 'conservative' the better.

Even intelligent well-reasoned people don't stay that way when they don't enter into an argument with good intentions. And the Internet is completely devoid of good intentions among those who seem to care the most about politics as a sport.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:07 PM on September 6, 2003


Since when is the criticism of two pissant blogs grounds for giving a shit?
posted by mischief at 5:20 PM on September 6, 2003


And the bottom line of course, as always, is that discussion of politics on MetaFilter blows goats

Are there sites on the net that do it better?

I would sooner just forget the political posts.

Sometimes that would be refreshing, but I'm altogether afraid MetaFilter would become WebBaubleFilter and that would make make it a poorer site.

Some of the best of the web is political. Much of the best of the web that matters has political strings leading off of it, even if it's not directly political.
posted by weston at 5:33 PM on September 6, 2003


So you'd rather have political discussion that "blows goats" than no political discussion at all?
posted by timeistight at 5:37 PM on September 6, 2003


Look at this mention of Metafilter that I found on some poor old lady's weblog. I think that those doubters are just jealous of all the good we do.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:46 PM on September 6, 2003


So you'd rather have political discussion that "blows goats" than no political discussion at all?

No offense to Matt, but maybe he's saying that he'd rather have political discussion that Matt thinks blows goats than no political discussion at all.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2003


Michelle and James (along with Charles Johnson and several others) have chosen to identify themselves with a given political stance, despite Lileks favorite little biting insect (Gnat) and Michelles frequent posts about comics, music and motherhood--- the bottom line is that these are warbloggers. They're one trick ponies.

Yes, they maintained weblogs prior to 9/11, but since then the focus has shifted to all war, all grief and all revenge, all the time. Regardless of my personal feelings about collective grief, politics and war, these are niche sites. They appeal to a minority of very vocal people who take them very seriously. The concept of, "it's just a website," seems entirely foreign to both the writers and readers of both sites. These people are on a fucking crusade to save the Western world from impending destruction by brown skinned hordes and preserve "American values".

They are zealots who see everything in terms of 'us' and 'them'. There is nothing to be gained by arguing, they have no interest in what you or I may think and dissent is stifled with quick deletions and a flurry of IP bans. We may give our token conservatives a tough time, but their words are read and I have yet to see anyone banned for voicing an unpopular opinion--- Jew dogs and self amputation excepted.

I'll be more inclined to take their criticism seriously when they stop moderating every word that hits the comment section (Lileks is above interaction with mere mortals and doesn't have comments) and stop throwing out broadsides at other sites in blatant ploys to get a few more hits.
posted by cedar at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2003


check out the url, Ignatius


"metafitler"?
posted by matteo at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2003


On the other hand, I do find MeFi's posts that dig a little deeper into certain subjects than the CNN.com front page to be very informative.

I do notice a bit of a trend though, websites that aren't overtly political like slashdot have much higher numbers of posts and comments that criticize the current US administration than defend it. There's nothing wrong with this in my mind, governments should definitely be scrutinized, and it so happens that this government is trying to avoid such examination so a large degree. It's only on the overtly right-wing blogs that this doesn't occur (at least not since GW has been in office).

I'm sure some of the hardcore Democratic partisans felt like the persecuted minority when the Clinton administration was the one being watched.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:50 PM on September 6, 2003


check out the url, Ignatius

"metafitler"?


The magic of cutting and pasting. From now on, Ill leave the ad-hoc joke blogmaking to Miguel. It is noteworthy, however, that we did save that poor old lady's baby from a fire.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:02 PM on September 6, 2003


Bloggers have something bad to say about metafilter? Oh my.

As others have already mentioned Evanizer was much more interested in Evanizer than politics. Ad-Hominems all around! I completely forgot about him, and good riddance for all I care, which isn't much.

As far as the "sheep mentality" argument goes. Well, what do you consider diversity? Do you really expect the neocon party-line to be tolerated when its devoid of facts and so ideological? Or pro-Bush arguments that say little more than "respect your President" or "He knows stuff you don't." The "conservative" posters were hardly that. I havent heard a real classical conservative argument in a long time and its interesting to see how the Democrats are the ones complaining about big government and fiscial irresponsibility.

Also, many of the right-wing crusaders are childish blowhards. Hell, Insomnyuk, a self described libertarian, still attacks my weblog when he finds an unblocked net domain and has created a site mocking me. When asked what it would take to make him stop his reply was something suggesting I stop being so vocal. That's right, a free-speech lib telling me the cyberstalking and harassment is only being done because he wants to censor me.

Look at hama7's trolling, and it is trolling. Got a strong opinion, provide some links and an argument, not some one liner that you know is going to provoke a response.

SDB left because his arguments were torn to pieces by people who know the facts or have thirty seconds to spend on google.

MidusMulligan, in his best posts (which were few and far between) made a decent commentator but was mostly a defender of all things GOP. No argument as much as a knee-jerk reaction to this site.

BlueTrain claimed at one time it was his mission to change metafilter or some such and his posts are sorely lacking in credibility and are poor pieces of writing altogether.

Lastly, the American Right is extremely right and highly ideological. I think the mostly gen-x'ers that have embraced the web and blogging phenomena are highly suspect of strong ideologies and blind faith.

As far as the American Left goes, in international terms its pretty right-ish. No one is calling for the abolishment of property or turning all industry over to the people. You would plotz if you met a real leftist.
posted by skallas at 6:13 PM on September 6, 2003


Also the fact that the insane Prager piece can be put on the front page without the thread resulting in "fuck you, well fuck you too" speaks volumes about how mefi has progressed in some ways and how the lack of "crusading posters" of any political stripe makes everything more civil.

Lack of blowhards doesn't mean lack of diversity. Lack of blowhards means just that.
posted by skallas at 6:20 PM on September 6, 2003


cedar got it right in my view...i don't care what these people think, and if they want to be angry about 9/11 forever they can be...it's the being told to leave the country (see asmallvictory) or how indescribably evil the muslim religion is (see lileks) that's abhorrent.

I'm glad there are different points of view here, and we don't always do politics badly.
posted by amberglow at 6:21 PM on September 6, 2003


as far as being criticized, well, it goes with the territory of popularity. you'll have fans and critics, period.

spoken like a tried and true mefite skallas. i salute you.
posted by poopy at 6:21 PM on September 6, 2003


So you'd rather have political discussion that "blows goats" than no political discussion at all?

well, how big are the goats?
posted by quonsar at 6:23 PM on September 6, 2003


MetaFilter is overwhelmingly left wing and very intolerant of anyone that isn't.

Anyone who thinks Metafilter is left wing needs to get some perspective. Maybe it is, from a suburban, domesticated, middle class, middle-American viewpoint. But on any kind of international scale? I'd say Metafilter, if we can assign it any homogeneous character, which we can't, is about as centrist as it comes.
posted by normy at 6:35 PM on September 6, 2003


This is why I left Metafilter right after 9/11. Lileks, Sept 2003 - in a rant.

If there were a little coin slot into which I had to drop a quarter every day I called up MeFi, I'd pay, and that goes for a half-dozen other sites as well. Except mine. I'll be damned I pay for that drivel. Lileks, October 19th 2001. NOT in a rant.

I don't disagree with him.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:43 PM on September 6, 2003


skallas: "I havent heard a real classical conservative argument in a long time and its interesting to see how the Democrats are the ones complaining about big government and fiscial irresponsibility."

I was talking to my mother the other night-- a woman blacklisted from radio in the fifties with an FBI file you'd need a forklift to move, someone slightly to the left of (and a good friend of) Lillian Hellman-- and she is incapable of fathoming politics today.

States rights-- beautiful, until you need the federal judiciary to overrule a state court decision to win an election. Fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget-- great idea, until you need a few billion bucks to 'secure' our nation and fund a war. Smaller government-- works for me, unless of course you want to order federal prosecutors to examine state court records to catch judges who don't meet your federal sentencing guidelines.

I can see her point, there just isn't any wiggle room for an honest anarchist or Bolshevik. Somewhere along the line, right became left and the rules changed.


posted by cedar at 6:50 PM on September 6, 2003


I think this site too often confuses quality posters with quality expressions of ideas, among other things. Let's look at it in a very simple way:

-There are bad (mean-spirited, disrespectful, intolerant) people
-There are bad (ad hominems, straw men, fallacious) expressions of thought
-There are good (kind, patient, tolerant) people
-There are good (intelligent, logical, well-researched) expressions of thought

MeFi is full of combinations. What I've learned is that unless you are able to correctly identify a number of characteristics like these, you are doomed to incorrectly judge others.

I've also learned that most people's perceptions of others are primarily motivated by their impression of your humility and ability to act in a genuine manner. If people think that you are arrogant, pretentious, disingenuous, etc...they will give you almost no leverage to argue. No window to show that you truly understand a concept or idea.

Which brings me to specific posters here on MeFi. Some "conservative" voices are trolls. Some "conservative" voices are bitter by the shabby treatment (unfair attacks, name-calling, poor arguments) given by "liberal" posters. Some "conservative" voices don't feel that their voices will be heard here. Some "conservatives" actively argue for long periods of time on this site and have a great history.

Again, you have to be able to discern a poster and his/her intentions accurately, and individually. To lump anyone into any pile is dangerous. A great example is me, BlueTrain. I'm against the death penalty. I'm pro-choice. I'm a minority in the US. I believe that the invasion of Iraq was justified, even if it was late. I hate SUV's when used incorrectly. I voted for Bush in 2000. I will not be voting for him again under any circumstances. So what does that make me?
posted by BlueTrain at 6:56 PM on September 6, 2003


So what does that make me?

Someone who, presumably, doesn't hew to pointless party lines or outmoded and distractingly inappropriate buzzword labels like 'left' and 'right' or, god help us, 'liberal' and 'conservative'? Someone who apparently is willing to think for himself and make decisions on issues based on his own learning, experiences, and ethical sense? Someone who's cautious about -isms?

That's cool with me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:04 PM on September 6, 2003


These people are on a fucking crusade to save the Western world from impending destruction by brown skinned hordes and preserve "American values". - cedar.

What I as a gay western man in love with both liberty and equality have to fear from Islam - in it's current, militant form - is also what Lileks et al confront full on: death and destruction, explicit threats, and a record as long as your arm from groups with motive, M.O., and opportunity.

But what I have to fear from a website is nothing.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:07 PM on September 6, 2003


Bluetrain, it makes you, in reality, like the vast majority of people out there, not just on Metafilter or with Weblogs, but the whole poplulation of this planet. People who hold a diversity of opinions, and who refuse to be spoon-fed a packaged little "ideology". Unfortunately, a significant number of people out there find that hard to grasp. According to them, you're either a commie or a neo-con. You're either a terrorist or a Zionist. You're either a lazy socialist, or a nasty free-market libertarian. 99.9% of people out there know that's complete bollocks, that life experience generate individual viewpoints, but the 0.1% are so obsesed with their own "One True Way" that they think drowning out the opposition is part of the political process.
posted by Jimbob at 7:08 PM on September 6, 2003


"So what does that make me?"

Sane?
posted by cedar at 7:10 PM on September 6, 2003


if that is what passes for good argument on the right wing these day, i say fuck 'em.

Name calling, ad hominem attacks, hatred? yeah theyre all here:

I think, I’m too beat to reply to this drivel.
No, ed. You are the sick cancer.
you are the cancer on our psyche
Grow up, people
but I am free to berate you if I feel like it.
Angry? Almost two years later I’m still f*#king furious about it, if you want to know the truth.
Only a fool couldn’t help noticing what it meant: they want us all dead.

posted by carfilhiot at 7:14 PM on September 6, 2003


dash_slot: "What I as a gay western man in love with both liberty and equality have to fear from Islam - in it's current, militant form - is also what Lileks et al confront full on: death and destruction, explicit threats, and a record as long as your arm from groups with motive, M.O., and opportunity."

Where we differ is I'm not sold on the fact that Islam really is a threat to the West. Al-Quaeda, sure, dangerous as hell and by all means exterminate them as quickly as possible. But, and it's a big one, I don't believe that Al-Quaeda, Hamas, or the rest of the suicidal assholes speak for the majority of Muslims.

Radical Islamists strike me as a vocal (and bomb laden) minority while the remaining tens of millions of Muslims couldn't care less what you do. Sure, they would like you to see things their way and believe your gonna burn in hell if you don't, but that isn't really very far from the position of fundamentalist Christians.

Planes are not crashing into buildings and bombs are not going off in schools. As a gay man concerned with liberty and equality I think you have far more to worry about than Muslims. There are those, who we happen to have elected, who are using this 'threat' as an excuse to deprive you of your freedom to travel, associate and privacy.

Believe me-- Bush, Ashcroft and the evangelical brand of Christianity that drives them is no friend to a gay libertarian. Lileks and the rest are so focused on one fringe cult halfway around the world that they miss the tiny little detail that the rest of the world isn't at war and doesn't want to be.
posted by cedar at 7:26 PM on September 6, 2003


I voted for Bush in 2000. I will not be voting for him again under any circumstances. So what does that make me?
Late?



Somewhere along the line, right became left and the rules changed.

"'I hope you're all aware we're all Eisenhower Republicans,' Clinton said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. 'We're Eisenhower Republicans here, and we are fighting the Reagan Republicans. We stand for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market. Isn't that great?' "

-- Bob Woodward, "The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House"

posted by matteo at 7:28 PM on September 6, 2003


well said BlueTrain.
posted by poopy at 7:40 PM on September 6, 2003


From A Small Victory: No, ed. You are the sick cancer. You and the people who can't seem to understand why we haven't moved on, why we will, in all probability, not move on and why we feel it necessary to continue to stay with the anger and pain.

The thing that kills me about Lileks and people like the above is that their anger and pain have no sense of proportion. To them, the entire history of human suffering began and ended on Sept. 11, 2001, and it seems like nothing will ever shake these people from that position.

At some point, you'd like to believe they will be able to look beyond their own moment of horrible vulnerability and recognize that many people of the world live their entire lives in that state.
posted by rcade at 7:53 PM on September 6, 2003


Yeah, true cedar. I live in the UK tho', and I don't think our civil liberties are anywhere near at risk from Blair as yours are from Bush, and the Muslim intolerance (as opposed to the Jewish, Christian or any other intolerance) simply scares me more than any other.

I may not be entirely rational about that. Which is a good place to start.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2003


....at the same risk...
posted by dash_slot- at 7:59 PM on September 6, 2003


what cedar said--again : >

this gay western man doesn't fear muslims at all. There are fundamentalists of all stripes around, and they're just as dangerous.
posted by amberglow at 8:00 PM on September 6, 2003


also, fear isn't always justified, dash...do you know any muslims? we always fear the unknown...
posted by amberglow at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2003


off-topic and most probably covered before but can someone tell me why sometimes (on mouseover and user pages) i see userNAMES but then when i turn around i see NUMBERS? it seems to be random.

-vexed.
posted by poopy at 8:09 PM on September 6, 2003


it's a muslim plot poopy ; >

i get it too...dunno why it changes tho
posted by amberglow at 8:16 PM on September 6, 2003


Interesting how no one can really peg right and left anymore but Metafilter's detrators can easily peg a "leftist liberal website"`a mile away. I think theres a mental disconnect between whats on the web and whats on the TV and newspapers. I just posted an essay by Matt Welch regarding the true diversity that bloggers can bring to the national noosphere and how antiquated even the alternative weeklies can be.

My question to chill and people who think like him is what do they want? What's diversity to them? Is the rehash of Fox News in web form? Is it trying to make the web sound like the people from your hometown? Well, it aint gonna happen and it has nothing to do with metafilter. The web has given voice to so many that the convienant labels and methods that worked so well on TV and in the papers are failing and those who suddenly find themselves marginalized and scared scream, "Liberal bias!!" when from I can tell on the web tight-uber-right-ideological positions are rare and held by the marginalized. Suddenly, you're in the minority and you dont like it, thus lash out at the messengers. Interesting to say the least.

As hackneyed as it sounds the percieved problem here (and why a centrist site like mefi is called lefty) has a lot more to do with new media and new participants than it has to do with the changing politial landscape. Holding views that go against the party-line is nothing new, now the web exposes them. Sadly, some see this as a left-wing conspiracy when its really the voice of the people, or at least the people who are currently posting on the web.
posted by skallas at 8:24 PM on September 6, 2003


Actually, I don't think it's so much the diversity of points of view that causes friction and flamewars here, so much as the pompous, sanctimonious way of delivering them (coming from both sides of the political spectrum that gets peoples ire up.

There's plenty of people on mefi, right-wing and left, whom I've disagreed with vociferously, but whom when the conversation turns away from politics, have proven themselves to be the type of people I'd definitely enjoy downing a brewski or ten with. Others, can't seem to let their pet peeves go even for a minute.

Also, I think what irks me, and others I imagine is that sometimes folks on the opposing side of the fence can't seem to understand that your reasons for disagreeing with them may be perfectly valid and come from thought and personal experience. They simply seem to believe that the people on the other side of the fence must be crazy, stupid or evil. Or they'll imply (as in a lot of 9/11-related threads) that people have no right to their anger or grief. Trust me, nothing pisses people off quicker than telling them that their feelings are invalid.

But that's just me. I'm not as samrt or educated as some people here so I'm often justr going on gut instinct, but this is what they're telling me. Now I shall return to my 24-oz can of Bud and my excellent Shangri-La's comp.
posted by jonmc at 8:28 PM on September 6, 2003


poopy: In a thread, it's numbers. During comment preview, it's names.
posted by ook at 8:32 PM on September 6, 2003


99% of the Muslims that I have met are sane, non-hateful, and tolerant. Is my sample perfectly representative? No. Are there crazy-ass Muslims? Yes. But to say that one ought to fear Islam is to ignore the fact that it's consitituency is diverse and pluralized as is the West that feels so threatened by it. One can choose to laugh off the following (as many indeed already have), but the history and diaspara of Islam is not one of unity and monolith. Do you fear the number zero? Do you fear Mediterranean architecture? Do you fear baklava or Salman Rushdie books or the Great Library? Medaevel astronomy? Of course not.

and the Muslim intolerance (as opposed to the Jewish, Christian or any other intolerance) simply scares me more than any other.

Why? I suspect that might come from not living in a country in which your sexual identity has been only been legal for a couple months (unless I'm totally wrong about the UK, and thus a big fat jerk, which I probably am anyway). There are some very successully intolerant Christians in the US who might take issue with your statement.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:57 PM on September 6, 2003


first of all: jonmc, you're completely wrong. how the hell do people drink a 24-oz beer fast enough w/o it growing stale or warm? personally, i prefer a nice 12-oz.

oh, and ook, thanks. but i've tested that and even in preview it isn't consistent, at least over on this end.
posted by poopy at 9:01 PM on September 6, 2003


first of all: jonmc, you're completely wrong. how the hell do people drink a 24-oz beer fast enough w/o it growing stale or warm?

Amatoor.
posted by jonmc at 9:07 PM on September 6, 2003


hey jonmc, did you know that patricia arquette's character development in true romance was inspired by "past, present and future"?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2003


first of all: jonmc, you're completely wrong. how the hell do people drink a 24-oz beer fast enough w/o it growing stale or warm?

Amatoor.


In all fairness, jonmc, not all are blessed with natural ability. Fortunately, technology can aid those born less-chug-abled:


also found when image googling for "beer hat" [nsfw]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2003


Witness the countless (how many?) sniveling MetaTalk posts about 111's comments.

There is a bias against conservative/libertarian-or whatever-you want-to-call-them viewpoints which run counter to the P.C. anti-Christian, "feminist" "sophisticated" and "progressive" activist wheedling annoying idealogies practised by the socialist wannabee masses.

Please guide me to just one example of MidasMulligan's profanity or rudeness towards a single MetaFilter member.
posted by hama7 at 9:21 PM on September 6, 2003


i've always been suspicious but have been too afraid to say anything about it.... until now: there's a definite mefi biased attitude towards the so-called 'non-chuggers'. feh.
posted by poopy at 9:31 PM on September 6, 2003


There is a bias against conservative/libertarian-or whatever-you want-to-call-them viewpoints ...

nope...people just disagree with them. Most of us here want to hear different viewpoints, i think.
posted by amberglow at 9:36 PM on September 6, 2003


That's exactly the kind pretentiousness BlueTrain is talking about, hama7. It's one thing to discuss your point of view. But do you really think people will listen when you can't post a comment without talking about "socialist wannabee masses" and "annoying idealogies"?

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't gonna make it with anyone, anyhow

posted by Jimbob at 9:40 PM on September 6, 2003


Ignatius- first of all about those pics..I was young, I needed the money. But, you are right about the chugging. I promise to use my powers for good and not evil. And here I sit figuring my Shangri-La's plug would get more attention.

hama7, there's more left-wing than right-wing people here, basically by sheer luck of the draw. Midas's problem is not rudeness or profanity, so much as conescension, which is practiced by plenty of the more vociferous lefties, I'll admit to as well, but thoughtful conservatives do still get respect.

Again, I think that the more strident here are more about inning arguments or practicing intellectual one-upmanship and moral narcissism rather than actual persuasion, which means they are not to be trusted.

then I remind myself that a lot of them are college students, which means they should really be out drinking beer and chasing co-eds rather than yapping at us old farts, and then I feel a pang of sympathy for them for a moment, then it passes.

Jimbob, I was wondering when someone was gonna quote that song. Well done, brotha.
posted by jonmc at 9:41 PM on September 6, 2003


pxe2000-no, but that kinda makes sense, come to think of it.
posted by jonmc at 9:45 PM on September 6, 2003


Most of us here want to hear different viewpoints, i think

Fair enough, and I think you've said it well.

they should really be out drinking beer and chasing co-eds rather than yapping at us old farts

From one old fart to another, you're right.
posted by hama7 at 9:52 PM on September 6, 2003


This thread is unintended self-satire. It pretty much proves Lileks' and ASV's case.

I've pretty much stopped participating in political threads on MeFi because they're entirely dominated by left-wing cranks with whom it is impossible to communicate. You can't communicate with someone whose primary language is conspiracy theory or verbal abuse, or who thinks that a sarcastic comment constitutes a reasoned argument.

And yes, places like Free Republic are the same way. I don't go their either. I don't know of any forum on the web that does bipartisan (or multi-partisan) politics well.

The problem with politics on the web seems to be that bad money drives out good. Political sites, even if they are founded by reasonable people of good will, inevitably become invaded by partisan cranks who eventually drive out everyone else.

I still love the rest of MeFi, and wonderful, interesting stuff is posted every day. But the political threads are just a poisonous swamp.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:02 PM on September 6, 2003


hama7, i couldn't disagree with you more regarding political/social issues, but i just want to say that you're more than welcome (at least IMO), and metafilter is the better for it.
posted by poopy at 10:08 PM on September 6, 2003


This thread is unintended self-satire. It pretty much proves Lileks' and ASV's case.

Have you actually read this thread (leaving out the ever-vitriolic bleatings of hama7, of course)?

I'd say just the opposite is the case, and the kinds of comments we can see in Michelle's little hatefest thread look mighty unpleasant by comparison (again, leaving out the usual designed-to-start-a-fight hobbyhorse7 spew).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:12 PM on September 6, 2003


hama7, i couldn't disagree with you more regarding political/social issues, but i just want to say that you're more than welcome (at least IMO), and metafilter is the better for it.

Why is metafilter better for hama7's utterly tedious caricatures of people he disagrees with?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:29 PM on September 6, 2003


Why is metafilter better for hama7's utterly tedious caricatures of people he disagrees with?

For one, it provides and instant and constant illustration of the counterproductive approach to espousing a viewpoint likely to run counter to the "MeFi monolith." hama7 is an easy signpost to remind of the usefulness of the many conservative members who know that they can have a fruitful conversation here: Uncle Fes and Dennis Murphy come to mind.

I also think that a lot of people are confusing a preponderance with a bias. Yeah, if you post an fpp that says "reproductive choice: thumbs up or thumbs down?" the thumbs are going to mostly point up, but people aren't going to call you whatever the right-wing equivalent of a homolefty or a communist. There are exceptions, of course, including the overly liberal application of the word "neocon," and they are certainly not to be ignored. But do fee republic or little [blank] [blank]balls even have "token lefties?"
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:42 PM on September 6, 2003


cedar: But, and it's a big one,

I like big buts, and I'll tell you why.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:47 PM on September 6, 2003


off-topic and most probably covered before but can someone tell me why sometimes (on mouseover and user pages) i see userNAMES but then when i turn around i see NUMBERS? it seems to be random.

usernames on preview; numbers the rest of the time. The reasons are lost in the mists of time.
posted by timeistight at 10:50 PM on September 6, 2003


Why is metafilter better for hama7's utterly tedious caricatures of people he disagrees with?

you're absolutely correct Armitage Shanks. i propose a permanent ban on hama7's propaganda.

and surely you see how ridiculous it sounds when you say that hama7 is guilty of utterly tedious caricatures of people he disagrees with. can you think of anyone (ANYONE) else here who would fit that description?
posted by poopy at 10:51 PM on September 6, 2003


Left and right are such non-starters anyway, I'm amazed otherwise informed, reasonable poeple still think they have any validity as labels in the first place. Especially in a US context.
posted by signal at 10:58 PM on September 6, 2003


usernames on preview; numbers the rest of the time. The reasons are lost in the mists of time. -timeistight

I believe I remember Matt saying that it's an easter egg.

On further research, I could be wrong.
posted by ashbury at 11:15 PM on September 6, 2003


Why is metafilter better for hama7's utterly tedious caricatures of people he disagrees with?

MetaFilter is better for hama7's generally excellent posts to the front page.
posted by homunculus at 11:41 PM on September 6, 2003


hama7 has eased up on the tendency to post worthless flamebait fpps like this, but his cheerleading the same behaviors in 111 leaves me to wonder whether people like them really do tihnk that some day we'll all realize the folly of our ways, stop being [gay | pro choice | anti-prohibitionist] and fall in line with the moral majority, and all it will take is being called a few more names, or to be lumped in with an evil enough group of people. (terrorist-hugging democrat was a favourite invective for a while)

My only advice to reasonable, level-headed but conservative people would be to know how to reject acceptance by these types of wing-nuts and hate-spewers.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:59 PM on September 6, 2003


We should not care what other sites are saying about the site. Metafilter isn't intolerant. A lot of the sites that complain about Metafilter the most are. Which is why I do not bother reading them. If Metafilter was anywhere near as intolerant of conservative viewpoints as many of those sites are of liberal viewpoints, I wouldn't read it. I have quite a few views that fall into either category myself.

And most of the complaints seem to paint the site with a nice broad brush that ignores the fact that a lot of the site's active membership doesn't even participate in the political threads, those threads tend to be full of the same individuals over and over again. And some of the active members are fairly conservative, although they are not foaming-at-the-mouth about it, which seems to make them invisible.

Some of the discussed members such as Evanizer were ignored by me, but not because of political beliefs so much as the way they treated those they disagreed with and the way that they behaved on the site. The comment that made me start ignoring his posts was about prison rape.

I ignore anything hama7 has to say in MetaTalk/political threads because he goes into some sort of mode where he begins ranting about communists and socialists and...whatever else. I look at his threads about art/culture and usually they are quite good. I ignore 111 because of the belittling of other members, whether he is a troll or simply way too fond of mirrors does not matter to me.

Several other members of the site have similar religious and political convictions that make equally little sense to me, but I do not ignore them. Funny that.
posted by bargle at 12:27 AM on September 7, 2003


It's my fault. Sorry.

One day between that and his barb. Ahh, he still cares. (wipes away Single Manly Tear)
posted by NortonDC at 2:26 AM on September 7, 2003


Shit, 73 comments to wade through [pours coffee].

I don't think I should have used the term left wing. On reflection I would concede that left wing is such a vague term as to be rendered meaningless. I am considered left wing, but left wing in terms of the current UK political climate, or the suburban, domesticated, middle class life that surrounds me (thank you normy). My political views are too complex to be conveniently compartmentalized, so why should I attempt to do that to MetaFilter?
But, I stand by my view that MetaFilter is intolerant, or at least that there are a minority that make it appear intolerant...
chill - If you try and put forward a point of view that does not comform to the MeFi norm you are often called a troll and hounded out, even if what you are saying is well written, lucid, and erudite.
stavros - Oh, bullshit. If you talk down to people, pontificate and then refuse to respond to reasoned arguments, hit-and-run then scamper away giggling, then you get called a troll and hounded, whether you're leftie, rightie, or tighty whitey.
That is a perfect description of a troll, but in the couple of years that I have been coming to MetaFilter there have been numerous people that don't fit that description (in my opinion) that are called trolls or pounced upon because of their beliefs. They try and stand up to their beliefs, but are just shouted down constantly and eventually they pack up and leave, or refuse to engage in any discussion that touches on politics. I think that is a shame. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way trying to defend the kind of opinions that I talking about, the truth is they often make me wince. This comment from 111 shocked me, it's a view point that I just can't get my head around, it seems to me to be lacking logic. But I found it interesting that he holds that view, and it inspired me to dig out my copy of this book that I've been meaning to read in ages, but put it off for ages because it seems so daunting.
The response to 111 in that thread I found disappointing. To me it read "Oh just shut up and go away". And you know what, 111 didn't just run away giggling, he returned to attempt to clarify his view. Of course, you may believe that the fact he doesn't have an email address is in some the equivalent of running away, I however don't.
skallas - My question to chill and people who think like him is what do they want? What's diversity to them? Is the rehash of Fox News in web form? Is it trying to make the web sound like the people from your hometown?
What I would like is reasoned intelligent discussion that anyone can take part in regardless of your political view point. It's been said by mathowie and often repeated by others that "MetaFilter doesn't do politics well" and that is to a large extent true, but I am convinced it is not just an issue of site design (although I'd love to see an ignore list), more to do with...
jonmc - Actually, I don't think it's so much the diversity of points of view that causes friction and flamewars here, so much as the pompous, sanctimonious way of delivering them (coming from both sides of the political spectrum that gets peoples ire up.
...that is something I agree whole heartedly with. In fact I seem to recall at least one metatalk thread complaining about "intellectual masturbation" here (that phrase is the new Ad Hominem folks). One site I participate in much more than MetaFilter, that actually does politics as well as a web site can, is believe it or not the DVD Forums in the UK. Now, it does politics better partly because of the design/style of the site (it has ignore lists and decent moderators that can take the heat of arguments before they self destruct), but it also works better because there because there is such a huge diversity of opinion. Every view point is present and as a result there is some kind of balance that ultimately gives everyone an equal voice. I think it would be healthy if we had that breadth of opinion here.
posted by chill at 2:39 AM on September 7, 2003


Have you actually read this thread (leaving out the ever-vitriolic bleatings of hama7, of course)?

I wonder why when the wonderchicken crows for the death of multiple United States citizens nobody calls him a "troll"? Certainly he has never been called out on his near constant condescension and partisan vitriol, not to mention almost constant patronising rudeness, namecalling, pedantic foot-stomping?

Sometimes I find myself thinking about starting MetaTalk threads wondering if the wonderchicken really "believes this stuff or is he just having us on", but then I just meander off on some tangent about sock monkeys or something equally frightfully interesting.
posted by hama7 at 5:19 AM on September 7, 2003


hama7: can you give us an example where "the wonderchicken crows for the death of multiple United States citizens"?

I think the reason people like stavros and persist in labeling you and 111 as trolls is the way in which the three of you respond to critics and those trying to engage you on an issue.

You run about screaming about how bad the communists are and broadly labeling anyone left of the wall street journal as commie pinko socialists, but then when people call you out on these assertions you run away, mumbling about how everyone knows these things.

111 is very similar in his tactics, yet seems to not only have a thing about communists, but also gays. And when it comes to being called out, 111 is even worse. He rarely responds to requests for supporting evidence/documentation and is more prone to saying profoundly offensive things in the first place.

Stavros, in stark contrast, appears to usually support his comments with funny, well-written responses. Yes, he can be offensive, but he seems to have an interest in actual conversation, as opposed to your typical troll who is content to run into a discussion, yell something patently offensive, and then run away when people try to have an intelligent discussion about it.

In short, it's not the initial comment that makes someone a troll, it's the followup.
posted by bshort at 6:45 AM on September 7, 2003


I dare the "vast monolithic MeFi left" to read this thread, particularly the various posts by stavros grinding his well-worn axe over hama7's purported crimes against humanity, and not feel as though Chill's first followup post doesn't at least appear to be true... Then again, perhaps these type of "You're wrong! No, you're wrong!" things aren't typical of the "vast monolithic MeFi left," perhaps they're just indicative of stavros' inability to just shut up?

Apropos of the original post: I know Lileks' name solely because he appears to be part of that crowd of self-important, self-referential bloggers who seem to feel that their little politico-circle-jerk is somehow important out in "real life." I took this opportunity to read some of his archives to see whether he's a decent writer (most of the crowd referred to above aren't terribly good writers), or why I should pay any attention to his criticism of MetaFilter. My conclusions are (a) he's a pale, imitation Garrison Keillor at a Midwestern paper, who also happens to have a blog that (shock! surprise!) is very conservative and with a psychologically unhealthy fixation on the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center; and (b) someone remind me why I should give a shit what someone that doesn't "live" here thinks about what the topics we choose to discuss, or how we choose to comment on it?

The other site consists of nothing more than just-better-than-average, just-short-of-rant writing from someone who fancies themselves important. Lileks gets a few points in my estimation simply for actually being a writer; this one's nothing more than your garden variety, SDB crank with a Blogger account and a juvenile hatred of all things "other." Wow, that makes for fascinating reading... Oh, and she doesn't like MetaFilter? Good for her. Then don't read it. Of course, following my own advice, I'll be spared from ever finding out what torrents of bile she spews back on MetaFilter in the pages of her oh-so-important blog.
posted by JollyWanker at 7:15 AM on September 7, 2003


can you give us an example where "the wonderchicken crows for the death of multiple United States citizens"?

*inwardly salutes "blinkered scum"*
posted by hama7 at 7:35 AM on September 7, 2003


The fact that people on Metafilter take issues such as this seriously and are able to be introspective and self-critical is one of the many reasons that keeps me here. Sure, a majority of posts tend to be left of center, but at the end of the day, so what? It's not an exclusive site (well, now that new accounts are shut off, maybe a little exclusive), there are lots of conservative people around. If you want to see the site change, then change it. Post well-thought out opinions, argue against the things with which you disagree; but the operative word is "argue" -- don't namecall, don't throw up strawmen, don't engage in the same exact behaviour that you seem to find so offensive about the site. Fight the power.

At the end of the day, it's just a website. A damn good website with far more great people and opinions than wankers. I challenge you to ignore your own advice of "love it or leave it."
posted by lazywhinerkid at 8:25 AM on September 7, 2003


*inwardly salutes "blinkered scum"*

hama7, it's almost remarkable how badly you misread stavros's comment there. He's not hoping for bloodshed, he's lamenting the Bush administration's pursuit of policies that will make it much more likely.

I say almost remarkable, of course, because apparently it isn't really all that remarkable at all -- in that case, as in this thread, you see exactly what it is you're looking for in every comment. Some of the ideology you object to can be found here, yes. But there have been some genuinely thoughtful contributions to this thread -- contributions that make this thread, and this site in general, wholly unlike Lileks or ASV -- and you seem not to have wanted to see them, not to mention acknowledge them.
posted by mattpfeff at 8:28 AM on September 7, 2003


people aren't going to call you whatever the right-wing equivalent of a homolefty or a communist.

Right. 'Cause being labeled a "Neocon" is any different. Who the hell cares about name-calling on a website? If all responses I received began with the equivalent of "Jane, you ignorant slut," it wouldn't phase me in the least. What a large group of MeFites don't get and won't ever get is that it's frustrating to have a viewpoint that is treated as invalid. My political perspective has changed a fair amout due to this site, which puts the total at 1 as far as I can tell.

A large number of you (and yes, it's you in particular I'm talking to if you read the above and scoffed in any way) are incredibly self-satisfied and smug. Like I (almost) told a co-worker this week: It's easy to be the smartest person in the world if you never accept anything someone else says.

Lastly, the American Right is extremely right and highly ideological. I think the mostly gen-x'ers that have embraced the web and blogging phenomena are highly suspect of strong ideologies and blind faith.

Two things: so's the American Left. Anyone who identifies themself as part of a side (and inherently against the other side) seems pretty partisan to me.

As for your second supposition, I would consider if that percentage of "gen-x'ers" represent a majority of the group. I am reminded of Milo and Binkley recruiting for their cause on a college campus in Bloom County: "Look Jack. Midget commies."
posted by yerfatma at 8:30 AM on September 7, 2003


Metafilter : that crowd of self-important, self-referential bloggers who seem to feel that their little politico-circle-jerk is somehow important out in "real life."
posted by crunchland at 9:58 AM on September 7, 2003


Up until now, I thought hama7 was an academic, meaning someone who looked at information dispassionately and tried to honestly divine the meaning therein.

I am finally disabused of that notion with his total misreading of what StWC said in the comment quoted above. I doubt very much that he'll attempt to see it from another perspective, and admit that there's been a possible misunderstanding on his part.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:26 AM on September 7, 2003


I could give a crap about left or right. I just can't stand dumbasses.

People start off with varied sets of axioms, and go from there. I may disagree profoundly with the bedrock of your beliefs, but if you can conduct yourself in a civil manner, and construct a reasonable argument or discussion, you have my respect. I may not agree with you, but I'll read what you have to say, think about it, and, if I have something intelligent to say back to you, reply in kind.

On the other hand, shut the fuck up, you whiny little bitches. If you want to contribute like a grown-up, come on down and do so. If the best you've got is to take cheap shots on your little blog, or even throw your line in and troll for attention here, I've got not time for you.

On preview: hama7 totally fails the reading comprehension portion of this unit.
posted by majcher at 10:28 AM on September 7, 2003


Fuck you, George, and the people [i.e., the american electorate] who put you into the driver's seat.

Maybe if terrifyingly large numbers of American soldiers are actually killed in this little game, doubtful as it seems, it might make the blinkered scum that run your nation a little more hesitant to do it again.


…which I think it's safe to assume would be a good thing, according to stavros.

While I think "crows for the death" is a little hyperbolic, you can hardly call hama7's interpretation miscomprehension.
posted by timeistight at 11:30 AM on September 7, 2003


No, timeistight, it is not safe to assume that, and doing so is an outright smear on stavros, for whom I have some respect but no particular love. Your assumptions do not make stavros guilty of trolling or of wishing death on vast groups.
posted by NortonDC at 12:05 PM on September 7, 2003


and the people [i.e., Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Rehnquist, O'Connor] who put you into the driver's seat.
is more precise
posted by matteo at 12:17 PM on September 7, 2003


oh, and of course falsely accusing someone of treason is a classic McCarthyte tactic -- since hamasheaven considers a McCarthy comparison as a compliment, I think we can all be happy with that, right?

posted by matteo at 12:21 PM on September 7, 2003


hama7, got any other examples? Because like others above have pointed out, you are tragically, intentionally (i think) misreading what Stavros said.

This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about above: you're making wild, inflammatory statements, and then when called upon to back them up, you can't. At least in this case you make a cursory effort, although you've failed miserably.
posted by bshort at 12:56 PM on September 7, 2003


yerfatma:
Two things: so's the American Left. Anyone who identifies themself as part of a side (and inherently against the other side) seems pretty partisan to me.

I completely and utterly disagree. The right is built on a group of highly ideological positions usually based on authority.

1. Anti-abortion assumes the soul, god, jebus, and that clump of cells is the equivalant of a human child. Being completely against this in all cases is extremely ideological while abortionists take a softer view that respects the autonomy of the individual and dismissed the religious sophistry.

2. Lassiez-faire types, voodoo economics, etc. This is a highly ideological position in which regulation is dismissed as uneeded yet history has shown us that no regulation means trusts and monopolies and high barriers to entry, among other anti-competitive behavoirs.

3. Paying off the faith based to do social services. This assumes that a religious organization is better at delivering social services than a secular one. highly ideological and has something to do with the fallacy of the invisible hand of god.

4. The ends justify the means, highly indeological. If a war based on lies does some good, thus the lies are acceptable. See Iraq.

5. Bigotry. Mainly minorities and homosexuals. Highly ideological position about the inferiority of the races and "deviant" harmful bahevaoir. No wonder so many gay and minority groups are democrats.

6. Crime and punishment. War on drugs, rave act, etc mostly the doings of the right.

The moderate position along with the American left position is more of a "live and let live" while the right is definitely on an authoritarian kick that has little tolerance because an ideologue has little need for tolerance when she knows she's right and everyone else is wrong.

The far-left ideologues are communists and real socialists, and like ive posted earlier show me the mefi conspiracy to fill the front page with attacks on private ownership of property or public ownership of ALL industry. Cause it aint there.
posted by skallas at 1:05 PM on September 7, 2003


i hope this answers your question chill.

*walks back to drawing board. scribbles 'bite me'.
posted by poopy at 1:22 PM on September 7, 2003


methinks you mefi haters have us confused with fark.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:22 PM on September 7, 2003

now that new accounts are shut off, maybe a little exclusive
Make that highly exclusive! MeFi excludes all but the most vigilant of lurkers, and then browbeats all but the thickest of libertarian skins; forget about being downright right. Then again as skallas indicates, except for their position on economics, the primary ideals of today's conservatives are based in hate, non-tolerance and adherence to primitive superstition.
posted by mischief at 2:37 PM on September 7, 2003


Metafilter: Meeting all your browbeating needs since 1999.

Then again as skallas indicates, except for their position on economics, the primary ideals of today's conservatives are based in hate, non-tolerance and adherence to primitive superstition.

Well, that's one way of putting it.

I think one of the problems here is the presumption of average-ness that most people have about their views. They assume that their way of looking at the world is shared by most people, if only those people would stop and think for a second. Because, after all, no one is going to believe in something that they view as obviously illogical.

This means that those MeFites who would fall to the far right on the political thinking scale actually view themselves as centrists, and they run around screaming about how MeFi is populated with socialists and commies, because most members are to their left. The truth, though, is that MeFi is pretty centrist overall.

(I seem to remember a recent informal poll that measured political views on only two axes, but which showed this to be approximately true.

Of course, I supposed you could argue that the members of the MeFi Red Brigade also view themselves as centrists, but I'm really relying on this poll that I can't find to back up my argument here.)


And, like someone above said, if you don't like the "left-leaning" tendencies of MeFi, change it. Craft FPPs that are well-written and researched, just be prepared for the torches and nooses to come out if you post links to sites like newsmax or chronwatch.
posted by bshort at 3:08 PM on September 7, 2003


>Then again as skallas indicates, except for their position on economics, the primary ideals of today's conservatives are based in hate, non-tolerance and adherence to primitive superstition.

Spin it anyway you want, but I think its pretty obvious the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Yeah, I'll argue that the American right is so far right that its a ideological nightmare and its no coincidence big religion is so entrenched in the GOP, or as you call it 'primitive superstition.'

I was replying to the idea that centrist and near-left views are "just as ideological." I call bullshit on that. As a wise person once said there are two parties in the US: the far-right and the right. Now the far-right wonders why it can't post Prager op-eds without being called on for being illogical and intolerant.

Pray tell, what do you call the anti-homosexual agenda other than bigotry? Should I come up with some cutesy PC term as not to offend the far-righties? How about heterosexually challenged?

Also, what bshort just said.
posted by skallas at 3:24 PM on September 7, 2003


skallas, don't worry about it. We get it: you're right and everyone else is wrong and there's never any reason to engage in self-reflection. Left-leaning ideologies have never blinded anyone to evil.
posted by yerfatma at 3:36 PM on September 7, 2003


skallas, don't worry about it. We get it: you're right and everyone else is wrong and there's never any reason to engage in self-reflection. Left-leaning ideologies have never blinded anyone to evil.


yerfatma: get all shrill on skallas if you want to, but that's not what he's saying and he makes some excellent points.

You know, you could maybe respond to his points with a reasoned argument rather than just painting him with a broad red brush.

Of course extreme left views have been held by some who have done evil deeds, extremists on both poles have done some horrible horrible things, but that doesn't mean that everyone who is centrist or liberal is going to go all Pol Pot and start massacring their neighbors.

Back on the topic:
What would you call the anti-homosexual agenda? How would you defend it?

Do you believe the American conservative agenda is intolerant?
posted by bshort at 3:52 PM on September 7, 2003


You know what this means: Right Wing Posting Marathon!

Oh yeah!
posted by Stan Chin at 3:53 PM on September 7, 2003


So I'm wrong to assume that stavros would think making "the blinkered scum that run your nation a little more hesitant to do it again" would be a good thing? He thinks it would be a bad thing for them to be hestitant? I'm obviously very confused.
posted by timeistight at 4:07 PM on September 7, 2003


Goes with the territory.

I think the point is that the cost of making the blinkered scum more hesitant, is rather high, in human terms. Better that they had become more heistant without the human sacrifice, but, if they are insistent on slaughter, then at least there is hope that they could learn from it.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:19 PM on September 7, 2003


i don't think stav was openly advocating that the deaths of innocents would be a good thing. however, some conservatives have argued that the liberals would like nothing more than to see the current administration's plans go awry at the cost of casualties. hyperbole? yeah, but with some truth. personally, i've secretly wished that something devastating would happen on our 'war on terror' to prove i was right all along. sadly, 'something devastating' would most likely result in loss of life. i'm not proud of these feelings.
posted by poopy at 4:20 PM on September 7, 2003


> We get it: you're right and everyone else is wrong and there's never any reason to engage in self-reflection. Left-leaning ideologies have never blinded anyone to evil.

Oh please, we're talking about metafilter and the American Left here. How many Pol Pot apologists do we have posting FPPs and shouting all the conservatives down? Yeah, I thought so.
posted by skallas at 4:27 PM on September 7, 2003


If the people I'm supposed to be more accomodating towards are going to compare me to Pol Pot because I think George Bush is a bad president I'm not going to be too keen on it.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:33 PM on September 7, 2003


This thread blows goats.
posted by timeistight at 4:33 PM on September 7, 2003


bshort, because I'm suggesting one viewpoint is favored over the other I'm shrill and unreasonable? I'm going to take a pass on defending the indefensible if you don't mind: I don't think an "anti-homosexual agenda" is something worth defending. I also don't see it as an inherent part of a "conservative" philosophy. Nor do I think that anti-abortionism nor religious fervour (as skallas suggested) is required for one to hold conservative views. That's my particular perspective and I realize it's not yours, but trying to make homophobia part and parcel of conservatism is no way to start an open dialogue.
posted by yerfatma at 4:35 PM on September 7, 2003


To sum up: Metafilter is politically centrist; it's just that skallas is the center.
posted by boaz at 4:37 PM on September 7, 2003


>I don't think an "anti-homosexual agenda" is something worth defending. I also don't see it as an inherent part of a "conservative" philosophy. Nor do I think that anti-abortionism nor religious fervour

Nice way to side-step the issue. The 'true conservative' argument is about as convincing as the 'true christian' argument. Sorry but the sum actions of the members of each group speaks volumes.

So I'll ask again who are these raging leftists that keep the poor conservatives from forming a voice here, and please show me examples of communism and socialism. Show me the Pol Pot and Mao apoligists who rave and rant here.

I think the problem here is that when certain people say conservative or 'the right' it really means ultra-right. The second problem is the myth of a uber-lefty mefi. This is a centrist site and centrists along with their near right and near left associates have no tolerance for intolerance and the rest of the baggage of the far-right. No wonder so many of the token "conservatives" are actually blowhard loudmouth ultra-conservatives who after x amount of posts that have been torn to shreds run off-site and bad mouth a community of people who really don't have that much in common. There's no cabal, there's no meetings on how to handle conservatives, and Matt doesnt sneak in people from the World Socialist Organization in the middle of the night to fight the conservative menace.

Ultra-righties are marginalized in general not just on the web or on mefi, get used to it. Blaming mefi for changing social attitudes is a pathetic straw-man, yet it keeps creeping up. Perhaps some of you are better off with old media like the papers and TV which pander to the ultra-conservatives. Sorry cousin, but the city life aint for you.
posted by skallas at 5:10 PM on September 7, 2003


And I suppose in this world you describe, there was also a very close election between Nader and Gore, but Bush's presence as an ultra-right 'spoiler candidate' siphoned off enough Gore votes to hand the presidency to Nader, right?
posted by boaz at 5:36 PM on September 7, 2003


I feel it's important for the openness of discourse on this site that I plan to seek advances in medical technology that will allow skallas to have my baby.

That is all.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:42 PM on September 7, 2003


Nice way to side-step the issue. The 'true conservative' argument is about as convincing as the 'true christian' argument. Sorry but the sum actions of the members of each group speaks volumes.

Nice way to bash people for a viewpoint which they do not, in fact, hold. What exactly are you criticizing? A nebulous conservative gestalt typified by Fox News and Pat Robertson? I don't think yerfatma falls into that category. You want to argue that he/she is atypical of people who self-identify as "conservative?" OK, but I don't think nomenclature is the issue here — the issue is that those of us who don't support Bush, the war, bigotry, defense-of-marriage laws, or any of the other nice easy straw men are lumped in with those who do simply because we support minimalist government, lower taxes, civil liberties, etc.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:57 PM on September 7, 2003


poopy: "personally, i've secretly wished that something devastating would happen on our 'war on terror' to prove i was right all along. sadly, 'something devastating' would most likely result in loss of life. i'm not proud of these feelings."

Thanks for being honest and I don't think your alone in this. As I listen to the emperor speak at this very moment, I'm struck by the fact that he's slick, he's manipulative and unless something dramatic happens to prove him wrong we're going to follow him indefinitely.

No weapons, not good enough. No Iraqi terrorist connection, not good enough. I'm beginning to believe that facts are not enough for the American voter and we require bloodshed on a massive scale, thoroughly covered by the media, to capture our attention for more than a fleeting moment.

Ongoing deaths in Iraq and economic suffering in countless American families does not seem to be enough for the American populace to wake the fuck up. Bush remains incredibly popular... as much as it pains me to say this, I fear that it will take an event on the same scale as 9/11 to make us (as a people, you know, the American people and we're really the only ones that count, just ask our leaders if you don't believe me) see that broad military intervention in the affairs of other nations is not a substitute for diplomacy and that persistent attacks on the Bill of Rights is not a subsitute for security.
posted by cedar at 5:57 PM on September 7, 2003


Could someone please quickly tell me how to correctly interpret what cedar just wrote so it stops making me sick to my stomach?
posted by timeistight at 6:06 PM on September 7, 2003


bshort, because I'm suggesting one viewpoint is favored over the other I'm shrill and unreasonable?

No, it's not the viewpoint that makes you shrill, it's the way in which you state your viewpoint. Or, more precisely, it's the way that you start straw-manning skallas.

Like skallas said: where are these stalin/mao/pol pot apologists? Who's claiming that soviet russia is preferable to anything? How is being a democrat at all similar to being a communist?
posted by bshort at 6:14 PM on September 7, 2003


I just woke up.

It really doesn't surprise me that hama7 would misinterpret that months-old comment of mine on the eve of war (I recall him referring to it at least once before as 'beyond the pale' if I remember correctly - he must have bookmarked it and kept it to pull out and brandish triumphantly later, which is a little disconcerting if true). I'm not certain at this stage if he's merely a dumbass, as some have suggested (and worryingly enthusiastic to publicly proclaim and demonstrate that dumbness) or wilfully misinterpreting what people say, in order to satisfy some sort of shit-disturbing contrarian streak.

But since neither of those possible explanations for the ridiculous nonsense that he tends to write about matters political is interesting to me in the least, I haven't been - contrary to what JollyWanker says -'grinding [my] well-worn axe over hama7's purported crimes against humanity'. Far from it. I almost completely ignore hama7, and have done so for a long time. Perhaps JW has me confused with someone else who enjoys taking hama7 to task. There are those who do.

But I am concerned that it would appear that someone else - timeistight in this case - also misinterpreted what I wrote, so perhaps my phrasing wasn't abundantly clear, and if so, I apologize. Everyone else who responded in this thread to hama7's attempt at smearing me - and thanks for doing so while I was in the land of nod - understood, though, so I'm not sure why that might be. I will endeavour in future, even when I'm posting through a red cloud of anger, as I was when I made that comment that hama7 so wilfully misunderstood, to express myself with greater clarity.

Let me make it clearer - I have no great love for soldiers. Their job is to kill and to die, as I understand it, even if that killing and dying is in the newspeak names of 'peacekeeping' or 'protecting the homeland.' Regardless, I saw no need before this misadventure in Iraq began for hundreds of American ones to die, and thousands of civilians and soldiers on the Iraqi side to die as well, either before the war began (when my hama7-linked comment originated) or now, after the fact.

My comment was meant to express, concisely but perhaps a little confusingly for some, my fervent wish that there would be few deaths, no deaths, that the senseless and useless war that the Bushites were embarking on would not happen, but that if it did, an evetuality which at that point finally seemed inevitable and to which I was resigned as the bombs started to fall, that the inevitable casualties would be of such a number that Bush and co, and the American public, would think again about endorsing such murderous folly in the future. And not do it.

That that could be construed as somehow 'crow[ing] for the death of multiple United States citizens' shows me that I was right to ignore hama7, and that he is either a) just plain stupid, b) willing to accuse someone of revelling in death in order to try and make himself look right, c) so blinkered by his ideology that he doesn't make any attempt to understand someone he perceives as his adversary, or d) some combination of the three.

He can point out a single despairing and angry comment of mine while ignoring a multitude of his own nastinesses, as recently as this very thread. This is why I started ignoring him (and others of his kind, of whatever political bent), and will try and continue to do so, except when attacked directly.

So kiss my shiny metal ass, hama7, and have a nice day.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:15 PM on September 7, 2003


So I'll ask again who are these raging leftists that keep the poor conservatives from forming a voice here

Hmmm... Regardless of politics, someone seems to be raging...

Oh please, ...
Nice way to side-step the issue.
get used to it.
Sorry cousin, but the city life aint for you.

Wow, you kiss your mother with that mouth, kid?

It ain't that anyone's "stopping anyone from forming a voice," maybe it's just that people don't like being bullied with a torrent of the above everytime they deviate from the skallas 5-point plan, so they find more pleasant abodes. And belive it or not, not everyone who's ever been offended by certain folks is an "ultra rightie" just like not only liberals are offended by 111 and hama 7. It would help if we kept things "civil and intelligent" as someone says, because
as someone else once said, "it's just a website".
posted by jonmc at 6:15 PM on September 7, 2003


where are these stalin/mao/pol pot apologists?

Who is straw-manning what now? My point, which was made in a silly manner, was that hewing to the left side of the line does not ensure you'll never be wrong. It was not that there's a MeFi member out there somewhere who wants to shoot other members based entirely on what browser they use. Sorry I sent this off on a useless tangent. Well, maybe it was a useless tangent to begin with.
posted by yerfatma at 6:23 PM on September 7, 2003


timeistight: "Could someone please quickly tell me how to correctly interpret what cedar just wrote so it stops making me sick to my stomach?"

What part of it is unclear? I'll be happy to explain my reasoning myself.
posted by cedar at 6:25 PM on September 7, 2003


jonmc, what are you saying there? That skallas should wash his mouth out for sarcasm? he hasnt been offensive or obscene,

Oh please, ...
Nice way to side-step the issue.
get used to it.
Sorry cousin, but the city life aint for you.


and not even dismissive. I agree that he occasionally sounds a little arrogant, but that's his style, and is tempered with cogent argument.

More than you could say for some of the posters in this thread...
posted by dash_slot- at 6:26 PM on September 7, 2003


I think Lileks is a talented writer who, even before 9/11, exhibited somewhat middlebrow populist conservative views (my local paper used to reprint his columns every now and then). The Bleat isn't really a blog, as such. It's more of a daily column. He just seems to exemplify a kind of lazy political thinking based mostly on "common sense" (meaning, conventional wisdom). It's the kind of stuff that allows most of his readers to pat themselves on the back without stretching too hard.
posted by xian at 6:35 PM on September 7, 2003


Who is straw-manning what now?

Well, I'd say you did it to yourself. By linking to pictures of stalin, mao, etc. you seemed to be implying something about skallas and his relationship to the pantheon of communist leaders.

If you meant it in jest, then my bad, as I didn't catch the sarcasm.

Although I have to say your use of the pauly shore picture was particularly inspired.
posted by bshort at 6:37 PM on September 7, 2003


It's the kind of stuff that allows most of his readers to pat themselves on the back without stretching too hard.

much like ourselves.
posted by poopy at 6:38 PM on September 7, 2003


and not even dismissive. I agree that he occasionally sounds a little arrogant, but that's his style,

I think he's gone past arrogant and into belligerent, didactic, sanctomonious. Plus I'm really, really sick of reading any thread even remotely related to religion and without fucking fail he pops up with his "you religious people are all deluded fools! I am so much smarter and morally superior to you."

You hate religion. We get it, already. Go have a sandwich. Or wait, your a college kid, right? Go to a keg party and chase a coed around, fer chrissake.

Maybe people who don't have such strong would like to have a civil discussion about it, without you butting in giving the same screed polluting the air. It's also a short step from hating religion to hating religious people and people sense that, and I got no time for hate, no matter what direction it comes from. You've been giving off this "If I ran the world, you wouldn't exist" aura lately and it's really off-putting.

Plus not everyone who disagrees with you is "ultra-right" or "delusional" and I don't think anybody enjoys being berated. You wanna disagree, fine. Be a bit civil about it. Relax.

It's just a website.
posted by jonmc at 6:43 PM on September 7, 2003


> Go have a sandwich. Or wait, your a college kid, right?

Whose being dismissing now? No need to make it personal, I enjoy expressing the atheist POV. You seem to have an emotional issue with that. Last I checked contributing to mefi wasn't limited to whether or not jonmc is having a hissy fit or approves of your POV.

>"you religious people are all deluded fools! I am so much smarter and morally superior to you."

That is how jonmc sees my posts, it certainly isn't a direct quote. If you have a beef with me, email me, and stop derailing this thread. I add information to the religious threads you just complain. I fail to see how your contributions are superior, in fact they're truly dismissive because they're so subjective. "I dont like him, I dont like her." jonmc, maybe youre better off in IRC or someplace where you can play the "online friends" game. Mefi tends to be more serious ESPECIALLY in the political and religious threads you tend to bitch about.

Back on topic:

Yes, I certainly see this "leftist callout" being just more righty bullyism, except they're calling everyone else bullies because certain POVs get challenged. Last I checked the overall atmosphere here is not very different than other community sites like slashdot, K5, plastic, etc. Further proof that mefi is centrist and that the ultra-righties keep making this leftist strawman. Have any of the "left-wing conspiracy" crowd ever met a communist or a socialist? If you think mefi caters to that crowd you are sadly mistaken and any post about the abolishment of private ownership of property et al would be taken to task just as quick as a "deregulate everything!" post.
posted by skallas at 7:01 PM on September 7, 2003


I swear to god, the next time I see the word straw-man on the internet...
posted by Jimbob at 7:04 PM on September 7, 2003


Straw Man
posted by PrinceValium at 7:09 PM on September 7, 2003


When I lived in Edinburgh for while, I used to date a socialist girl that I met while she was handing out 'Marxist Weekly' magazines on Princes Street, but that was only 'cause she was soooo good lookin'.

We didn't talk much about politics. Actually, we didn't talk much at all. It was nice.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 PM on September 7, 2003


Jimbob, i've been thinking the very same thing. it's the new expressway to shut up an opponent, because, well, 'it's a fucking strawman you stupid fuck!'.
posted by poopy at 7:16 PM on September 7, 2003


jonmc, maybe youre better off in IRC or someplace where you can play the "online friends" game. Mefi tends to be more serious ESPECIALLY in the political and religious threads you tend to bitch about.

Now who's getting personal? "I don't like your style, so perhaps you'd be happier with your own kind." Gee, thanks, junior, I'll toddle off to the bingo room while you forge the New Order. Now, who's trying to marginalize people. Plus, you also seem to love digging up the same old gripe in threads which have absolutely zip to do with religion.

Besides, while I have made some IRL friends here (hi, y'all), that's not why I come here either. I come here to learn about cool stuff on the web and in the real world, read good writing and hear good debate. Debate, not browbeating.

That is how jonmc sees my posts, it certainly isn't a direct quote.

The message is clear enough. There was a thread(unfortuantely it's fucked at the moment) where you said words to the effect of "No one here wants to hear your little homilies.." to bunnyfire, when she brought up the subject of God. which is doubly offensive: firstly for for presuming to speak for all of us and secondly just for it's sheer intolerance.

Have any of the "left-wing conspiracy" crowd ever met a communist or a socialist?

Althgough, I don't espouse the "left-wing conspiracy" view, I actually have. I was at a small anti-war rally in Union Square back in March and the crew from ANSWER(an avowedly Marxist/Stalinist organization) were all over everything shoving pamphlets in people's faces. although they seemed to be mostly Cadillac Commie college kids from what I saw. Now at a time when the anti-war movement needs every bit of support it can get, I think it's a tactical mistake to let folks like that take the lead since all they'll due is alienate more culturally mainstream observers.

But of course, that makes me an evil right winger, even though I voted for Clinton twice and am planning on voting for Dean, and have led labor organizing fights that landed my ass in court, with no help from my fellow workers. Never let facts get in the way of putting everything you don't like int an easy pigeonhole.
posted by jonmc at 7:41 PM on September 7, 2003


For some reason, while reading this thread, I kept thinking of Log Cabin Republicans.

Maybe I'll go have a sandwich. Skallas, would you like me to make one for you too?
posted by konolia at 7:45 PM on September 7, 2003


...the crew from ANSWER(an avowedly Marxist/Stalinist organization)...

They're communist? I think you must be thinking of some other group....
posted by bshort at 7:55 PM on September 7, 2003


"Basically, A.N.S.W.E.R. is dominated by the IAC, which is largely a front for the Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist group that has been around since the 1950s,'' said Stephen Zunes, chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. [more]

Also--everything jonmc has said. Nice to see someone cut through the posturing.
posted by dhoyt at 8:11 PM on September 7, 2003


And the bottom line of course, as always, is that discussion of politics on MetaFilter blows goats and I would sooner ban it entirely than stomach another Bush baaaaad! thread.

If this were true, you'd have banned them, since "Bush is baaaad" threads are everywhere on this site, still.

Seriously, why not ban em? You'd lose all the members and lurkers coming here for a left-wing political discussion message board, all the "troll" members looking to pick fights with the left-wing majority, and MeFi might actually go back to being about interesting stuff on the web.

Remember that?
posted by tirade at 8:14 PM on September 7, 2003


Crikey bunnyfire you're so popular today!

[jonmc]
read good writing and hear good debate. Debate, not browbeating.
If you havent realised by now, indulging in devisive threads like this one is not going to get you good debate, everyone is set in their ways and are VERY unlikely to change based on what you can post in a thread.

funnily though there are a lot of good political discussions on mefi, most of it is when reactionaries dont participate! you may think, that's dumb, but it's not, because mefi is more social talk, like talking to your friends and my friends tend to have similar viewpoints to me, i'm sure yours do to.

my advice, if you feel you are getting shouted down, go find a more conservative place to discuss politics, for one you'll feel much better, and for two we'll feel better.

"argument is the worst part of conversation" - j swift
posted by carfilhiot at 8:20 PM on September 7, 2003


MeFi might actually go back to being about interesting stuff on the web.

Remember that?


I think you'll find that even during the first few months of Metafilter, when mathowie was the basically only person posting and nobody at all was commenting, there were some links (by him, obviously) to political stuff. Not much discussion, of course, though. That would've been a bit scary.

everyone is set in their ways and are VERY unlikely to change based on what you can post in a thread

This reminds me of something I've brought up before - there are some people, myself included, who discuss (and yes, argue) things not to convert others to our way of thinking, but just hone our own ideas by talking about them, and understand both ourselves and those we disagree with a bit better. It surprised me a while back when I learned how many people 'discuss to win'.

(Of course, when attacked, I tend to carpet-bomb the fuck out of someone in response - that's the way I was brought up. But I've never thought of discussion, or argument about ideas and stuff, as adversarial, in and of itself. FWIW.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:28 PM on September 7, 2003


jonmc is very accurate with his description of skallas, IMHO. Specifically:

I think he's gone past arrogant and into belligerent, didactic, sanctomonious. Plus I'm really, really sick of reading any thread even remotely related to religion and without fucking fail he pops up with his "you religious people are all deluded fools! I am so much smarter and morally superior to you."

Examples are easy to find:

While the religious approach to knowledge is direct communion with a diety, complete subjectivity, giving in blindly to authority, thus any raving prophet is just as accurate as the next.

Seems to me that you hear a raving prophet and ASSUME that religious folk accept their word as truth.

No need for any dieties here, its most likely a purely human driven event. Though, don't let reason get in the way of bullshit and sophistry.

Ah yes...religious thought is now compared to bullshit and sophistry. Real tolerant.

Atheism is a strong position to take and many people don't react kindly to strong opinions, mainly because they've never evaluated their own beliefs like so many atheists and agnostics have.

Assumption: religious folk are blindly religious while atheists and agnostics have searched meaningfully and discovered their lack of faith.

With religion, ethics are decisions made for you and the reasoning on how they got there is either non-existant or revealed through some kind of hocus-pocus communion/prophesy/divination.

Religious ethics being compared to the term "hocus-pocus". Real tolerant, again.

Like the classic, "God made the big bang happen. Its all in the bible" BS rationalization.

Because every Christian says that and because you can't believe it, it's simply BS, right?

Instead of praying or giving your dollar to Rome, give a shit about your environment, get involved in politics, volunteer your time, etc. You might find that getting your hands dirty now and again is a lot more dramatic and fulfilling than clasping them together every Sunday.

My parents found religion to be rather enlightening and participated in many charitable events through their temple. I profoundly respect my family for giving time to those who needed it, like community children and those less-fortunate overseas. My mother still donates time and money to a temple that has recently built a hospital dedicated to women in a 3rd world nation. She believes in God. That's her perogative. And she finds it quite fulfilling.

You are completely intolerant to those who believe in God. You'd rather argue with them about God's existence than work with them to find a solution to the world's problems. You claim that Christians are full of Bible BS rationalizations, but you are no better than the evangelists who preach the word of God. You have no more proof than them. You have only your word, as do they. You are, in my eyes, tactless and completely devoid of respect for others' faith.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:30 PM on September 7, 2003


Nice research job, Blue Train.

I'm agreeing with Blue Train. I'm scared. Hold me.

You'd rather argue with them about God's existence than work with them to find a solution to the world's problems.

But then he wouldn't be able to show how superior he is to us poor deluded rabble. Which if you ask me is what's driving his little anti-religion jihad.

15 years from now he'll be a born-again. I'll betcha a beer. Provided I'm not dead, homeless or in prison by then.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 PM on September 7, 2003


BlueTrain, you missed my personal favorite: "Simply put, if you have faith - you're part of the problem."

I'd call that quote "inspired", but the irony would be too much to bear.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:45 PM on September 7, 2003


there are some people, myself included, who discuss (and yes, argue) things not to convert others to our way of thinking, but just hone our own ideas by talking about them, and understand both ourselves and those we disagree with a bit better.
Absolutely. Some people seem to have trouble telling the difference between a discussion and an argument. While winning an argument is usually pretty worthless, winning a discussion is simply impossible. Why that is so hard for people to understand, I will never know.
posted by dg at 8:52 PM on September 7, 2003


It surprised me a while back when I learned how many people 'discuss to win'.

yes but how can you ever tell whose 'won' in the end? you can't.

like you say, this is a good forum for refining ideas, but generally you'll only 'refine' an idea by discussing it with a like minded person, ie one who you respect. over many 'refinements' you may change your point of view in a big way, but it's impossible to do that in one huge step.

"it is a luxury to be understood" - ralph emerson
posted by carfilhiot at 8:54 PM on September 7, 2003


Girls, girls, you're both pretty.
posted by majcher at 8:55 PM on September 7, 2003


on preview what majcher said. geez majcher, just as i'm working it out in my head you come along and derail the thread!
posted by carfilhiot at 9:08 PM on September 7, 2003


To sum up: Metafilter is politically centrist; it's just that skallas is the center.


posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:14 PM on September 7, 2003 [1 favorite]


where the hell am I, steve-a-rino?
posted by jonmc at 9:20 PM on September 7, 2003


generally you'll only 'refine' an idea by discussing it with a like minded person

I would disagree, and add that that just ain't no fun, but each to their own, as they say. It's all good.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:31 PM on September 7, 2003


>15 years from now he'll be a born-again. I'll betcha a beer

I love how the larger issue of mefi being centrist and the so called conservative bashing has turned into "lets go through skallas's posting history." Interesting how you guys didn't contribute in those threads yet have the time to pull them out when I say something on metalk that you dont like. I say this. You say "well he has a lousy personality" thus ignoring the arguments and going way off topic, which in many ways in the essence of the problem of the political threads. This is a great example of attacking the messenger and jonmc style of turning all things personal while completely and utterly ignoring chill's post.

If this is how you guys stay on topic and show us through example how its done its no wonder there are so many complaints.

Dont like my POV, you can argue with me in the thread. Bringing up my posting history in metalk where really it has no place is a low blow and shows how sad the level of discourse can get here. Anything to get the goat of the guy you don't like, eh? In the end all I'm seeing is a couple desperete guys unable to cope with whats more or less a mainstream atheist viewpoint while remaining completely off topic.

Back on topic:

As far as the mefi left goes, okay lets drop pol pot and communism. Where are all the crazed Greenpeace guys and Peta supporters shouting down the mild-mannered and abused conservatives? Yeah, no where. This place is moderate and centrist and those who believe otherwise are too far on either side of the political spectrum to see the forest from the trees.
posted by skallas at 9:36 PM on September 7, 2003


With regard to the compass image that Steve above inlined - mathowie said
It's reductionist in that people can be dismissed and organized based on some goofy set of questions. You don't need to listen to anything I have to say because my score is either too high or too low for you. People are more complex than that, and I'd hate to see others dismiss people based solely on some goofy number.
in that thread and I tend to agree with him.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:42 PM on September 7, 2003



I love how the larger issue of mefi being centrist and the so called conservative bashing has turned into "lets go through skallas's posting history."


Maybe it has something to do with the fact that your posting history does seem to involve a high degree of contempt that's not limited to a treatment of ideas. You don't just say: "This idea doesn't make sense to me because <reason>." You have a strong tendency to say things like "Anyone who believes ______ is stupid or crazy." There's a world of difference, and that's what people are noticing here. And you're getting your posting history thrown back in your face because you're refusing to admit that some introspection might be in order here.

This isn't to say that you don't contribute a lot of good stuff here. It's to suggest you might look at your tone and how you tend to frame arguments.

This place is moderate and centrist and those who believe otherwise are too far on either side of the political spectrum to see the forest from the trees.

Care to comment on the graph S@L posted? Looks distinctly left/non-authoritarian weighted to me....
posted by weston at 10:02 PM on September 7, 2003


Dont like my POV, you can argue with me in the thread. Bringing up my posting history in metalk where really it has no place is a low blow

I thought that's what MeTa was for.

But wait, just the other day you said: Jesus, jonmc take it to metatalk already. You don't need to derail this thread because your feelings are hurt.

Are you feeling confused? It's ok. NTM you couldn't hurt my feelings if you tried, junior.

Where are all the crazed Greenpeace guys and Peta supporters shouting down the mild-mannered and abused conservatives?

Well, when it comes to matters of religion, the stuff we dug up from your posting history was meant to show just that. That obnoxious, abusive posting exists outside of politics.

In the end all I'm seeing is a couple desperete guys unable to cope with whats more or less a mainstream atheist viewpoint while remaining completely off topic.

I can cope with it just fine. My live-in girlfriend, my best friend, and several other close friends are self-proclaimed atheists. Non of them, have evr been as vehemently hostile toward religious people as you've been. Quite the contrary, most of them could care less about others belief. But you seem to be incredibly hateful towards anyone who publicly mentions any religious belief. As far as I'm concerned, oftentimes you've croosed the line into bigotry and I have every right in the world to call you on that if that's what I believe.

Interesting how you guys didn't contribute in those threads...

Could that have been because the overweening hostility of your comments alienated a lot of people from particating out of feel they'd end up on the recieving end of one of your diatribes? That has a chilling effect on conversation, which is what MeTa was created to address.
posted by jonmc at 10:03 PM on September 7, 2003


ok, stop picking on skallas...I'm gonna stop this car right now and smack all of you.
I'm someone who was on the other side of some of those quotes of his, and i wouldn't stoop to going thru his history to make a point...it's kinda shitty in my opinion.

everyone has a "thing"...skallas's is religion...we all have at least one topic that gets us going. (jon, you have one too--we all do)

and skallas is right--as a whole most of us are very centrist.
posted by amberglow at 10:08 PM on September 7, 2003


(jon, you have one too--we all do)

I have several, but I am aware of them and keep that in mind when speaking on the topic. And I'm not "picking" on him. I hate bullies more any human possibly could, but if this thread is any indication, I'm not the only one who feels his style of posting of late* has been getting in the way of things here.

*There was a time when I simply considered him a resaonable guy whom i sometimes disagreed with. But nowadays all we see of him is bile, it seems
posted by jonmc at 10:14 PM on September 7, 2003


...but I am aware of them and keep that in mind when speaking on the topic.

ok, so you're more advanced than some of us. : >
We get heated about stuff, whether it's because we care deeply, or, more likely i think, because of personal experiences related to the "thing" (or both).
posted by amberglow at 10:30 PM on September 7, 2003


jonmc: Now I know why your an athiest, religion would take away from your self-worship.

You've got plenty of room for improvement there. Posting that crap in the blue is way out of line, no matter what the provocation.
posted by NortonDC at 11:10 PM on September 7, 2003


I think, though, that the point of this whole thread is really a reminder that there really is a better way than letting your contempt for the things that get you going all hang out when posting. I'm picking on skallas a bit because it's just not good for the dialogue from any standpoint for you to come off with "You're stupid and/or crazy if you don't agree." If, in a discussion, I'm *that* wrong, you should be able to nuke me logically, empirically, and rhetorically and not even have to call attention to it, and if I don't acknowledge it even when you've done that, everyone will know I'm stupid or crazy or a troll, without your say so.

I'd like to believe we all know this, too, I think. Why we don't actually behave that way could probably provide grist for a few sociology or psych theses.

Let the theses flinging begin!
posted by weston at 11:21 PM on September 7, 2003


MetaFilter: Let the theses flinging begin!

OK, weston, I had to clean both my monitor screen AND my chair after that one...
posted by wendell at 11:43 PM on September 7, 2003


You quonsared? Eww....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:46 PM on September 7, 2003


Care to comment on the graph S@L posted?

In other words, such data would tell us nothing about the political position of a particular population; it would only tell us about the type of person who volunteered to have their result recorded.

cue cute comment about the silent majority
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:18 AM on September 8, 2003


Take it to Metafilter. (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 1:40 AM on September 8, 2003


I see that we're exhuming again that funny graph's corpse, so it's probably a good idea to remember that it was very US-centric, and the US political spectrum tends to be a little, ahem, different. you know, we can have opinions about it being "better" or "worse", but it certainly is different -- those who have actually visited other countries know that outside of the US there's generally not much discussion on creationism, the death penalty (unless you go to Nigeria, China, Iran, etc) is illegal and anathema in the general political discourse, a public health care system actually exists, is generally popular (despite all the obvious flaws of such large, complex and delicate systems) and is not considered a symptom of the victory of Communism, terrorist attacks at abortion clinics are virtually unheard of (until, maybe, abortion becomes legal in Ireland, but this is just speculation on my part), the Confederate flag is considered quite scary, etc

so, that nice graph has credibility as long as you think (and it's perfectly legitimate of course) that Jesse Helms, Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, Lauch Faircloth, Trent Lott, the late Strom Thurmond are simply "conservatives". but please remember that outside of the US, politicians with their views are considered much, much more right-wing (and progressive politicians don't need to execute brain-damaged criminals in order to prove that they're "tough" enough to lead)

on a sidenote, I'm always amazed to see how some Americans consider my views as being somewhat boderline Communistic, simply because I'm pro-choice, I'm in favor of at least some basic form of regulation of the sale and possession of firearms, I think it's a tragic mistake to destroy the UN's credibilty, I'm positive it's not a good idea to attack a country preemptively based on shaky evidence, I'm against corporate welfare and handouts to tax-evading corporations in exchange for political donations, I think the power to put soldier's lives in danger should not be taken lightly by any leader, I don't think deficit spending is good for any economy, etcetera.
pretty mainstream views, believe me, outside of the US (and, God forbid, in Manhattan and probably the Commonwealth of Massachusetts). so please remember what we talk about when we talk about "political center" -- in the rest of the industrialized world, the center is somewhere else

posted by matteo at 2:00 AM on September 8, 2003


Skallas, instead of getting all huffy, go reread some of your threads on the religion topic. Some of what has been said here could come under the category of constructive criticism if it had been said in a slightly different fashion. Sometimes, especially in the heat of an argument, we all can be a bit too vehement. And surely you don't want people to pigeonhole you as the rigid flaming atheist, do you? Do you really want Miguel to be able to post a Skallas quote regenerator?
posted by konolia at 3:49 AM on September 8, 2003


Well, I've watched this thread develop over the weekend so I guess I should put forward my bit.

First off the increasingly tedious line 'MeFi doesn't do politics well.' Well, no shit Sherlock. Very few places, either virtual or real, do politics 'well'. politicians don't do politics well! It all gets very heated, folks get emotional because they care passionately about what they believe in and it is very rare to have a political discussion in any forum which remains totally calm and level-headed, unless the participants have similar views to start with. Even then, the People's Front of Judea hate the Judean People's Front more than anyone else.

Same for religion really. The family rule of no politics or religion at the dining table (especially at family gatherings/holidays) is enforced for a very good reason - to attempt to keep the peace.

Secondly, what matteo says about the US political spectrum. The idea that MeFi, US-based but international in membership, is dominated by left-wingers is a complete & utter joke. Some people really need to look over the back fence a little more. It also does a great disservice to the vast, vast majority of us who don't wear their politics on their sleeves here.

Anyways, sites or people who are right-wing accusing others of being left-wing? So what? It's ridiculous enough that in the US the word 'liberal' now means left-wing without people who are partisan in one direction giving a monkey's about people who are partisan in another direction accusing them of being - quel horreur!! - partisan.

Thirdly, the beating that skallas has received in this thread - a little harsh IMHO - just goes to show that it's not just the right-wingers who get a good going over round these parts. Hey, maybe people who over-step a mark here are the ones who get pulled back, no matter what their political stripes? Well who'd've thought..?

Has skallas now earned the right to skip thru various MeFi & MeTa threads as well as other websites complaining about the mean treatment and how MeFi is a bunch of idiots in an echo chamber &c..? Probably not.

To sum up: It's a website. One of the smarter websites on the web [just have a good look round and tell me it isn't] which relies on posters with a wide-range of experience & viewpoints to provide links & discussion on anything from boobies to ancient japanese art.

Enjoy it for all its quirkiness and if it all gets too heated, go have a nice cup of tea or a brisk walk. You'd miss it terribly if it went away for good...
posted by i_cola at 6:03 AM on September 8, 2003


This discussion was supposed to be about how we're all a bunch of exclusionary leftists, but instead we're combing through skallas' posting history looking for nuggets of corn. Have we narrowed the cause of MetaFilter's unfair leftist bias down to one person, or is this just an opportunity for jonmc and a few others to nurse a grudge?
posted by rcade at 6:05 AM on September 8, 2003


Hear, hear...
posted by y2karl at 6:19 AM on September 8, 2003


I don't see what the fuss is all about. I think mefi does political discussions pretty well compared to what else is out there. head and shoulders better, in fact. the only place that I know of that does it better is SpinSanity (even though their comment system is down at the moment). I think the reason why liberal voices are so loud nowadays has to do with a certain texan who isn't too keen on this whole leadership thing.

though I really would like to see more conservatives viewpoints here. what good is it to bring up a point and just get a bunch of YEAH MAN's? the brillian thing about mefi and the reason why I've stuck by it so long is that you can post a thought or argument and get lots of criticism and opposing viewpoints that may never even have crossed your mind. for example, I don't remember the thread but it was about anti-globalization or something and MidasMulligan made the point that a lot of these alleged tax shelter abusing companies consider themselves to be global companies instead of just american companies, which had never occurred to me before. so I was able to redefine what I think and come to a more sound conclusion.

anyways, the people who seem to bitch about it the most are either conservatives or the too-cool-for-politics types that can't be bothered to get involved. I hear all the time from right wing talking points machines that liberal arguments don't hold up under scrutiny. well, if thats true, you guys should have no trouble slaughtering people in discussions. so whats the deal?
posted by mcsweetie at 6:22 AM on September 8, 2003


Hey, I'm done. I made my point, the fact that others chimed in just shows that I'm not the only one who's seen it and that it's gotten in the way of things.

If it makes him think a bit before posting inflammatory statements, than thats a good thing.
posted by jonmc at 6:22 AM on September 8, 2003


^note of self-congratulation.
posted by y2karl at 6:45 AM on September 8, 2003


^snarky holier-than-thou old man on the mountain wisdom.
posted by jonmc at 6:55 AM on September 8, 2003


No. just commenting on your preening after yet another topic ignoring, over the top ad hominem attack--which seems to be your specialty of late.
posted by y2karl at 7:02 AM on September 8, 2003


Jeez, I see all the posters on this thread - especially this thread - as mates. In real life, most of my mates fall out occasionally, but then make up. (Admittedly, they are mostly of the female persuasion, if that makes a difference.)

It's harder to reconcile if you don't bump into each other in the neighbourhood: much more effort seeems necessary to swallow, smile, and let it go on the internet. I really hope that spats like this can be allowed to fade - without a car chasr through other threads, guns a-blazin' and tyres a-squealing. This ain't The Sweeney, y'know.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:28 AM on September 8, 2003


I didn't think jonmc was at all out of line, y2karl. MetaTalk is generally so tangential anyway, and had already wandered far from its original topic, and jonmc is totally right about skallas and his offensively contemptuous attitide towards others who think differently than he does. I suppose we could have a gray page thread about it, but I suspect that would make skallas complain even more about people picking on him.
posted by orange swan at 7:36 AM on September 8, 2003


Everyone has personal tics that get in the way of their own arguments, jonmc. You've been riding one for years: the belief that you're the voice of the common man and your opponents are all self-important, intellectual snobs who are trying to condescend to you.

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9

Personally, I find that shtick tiresome -- those college boys think they're better than us Cutters; we'll show them!

So I guess I should follow you from thread to thread, the way you're shadowing Skallas, on the chance that antagonizing you personally might make you think a bit before relying on that hoary old crutch.
posted by rcade at 7:38 AM on September 8, 2003


matteo: One of the things that threw me for a loop when I first got to Italy was the propensity to hurl fascisti & communisti as epithets against the opposing view/party, whereas the States tends to sneer using capital letters, like Liberal/Left/Democrat or Neo-con/Right/Republican. Fascist & Communistic have big, scary, frighten-your-kids-with-the-dictator-cum-boogeyman type connatations in English (or at least they used to for me).

Occasionally, I idly muse over possible results of MeFi's spellchecker suddenly replacing every Sneering Capitalised Label-Cum-Epithet with Fascist or Communist. Would everyone be so quick to label?

/ramble

posted by romakimmy at 7:41 AM on September 8, 2003


Well, apparently evanizer and davidmsc wrote Michele of ASV to tell her about this MeTa thread, to which Michele has once again created a post telling the people she's never meet who all obviosuly hate her to fuck off. Bravo.

Join us on other right-leaning message boards tomorrow, when other former Mefites write about how they have so much trouble feeling welcome here because no one listens to their suggestions that you should leave the country if you don't like it. Inony tastes good with the morning coffee.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:56 AM on September 8, 2003


Point taken, rcade, but in a good portion of those threads I think my accusations of condescension were pretty accurate. Plus people have called me on that crutch and for the most part, I've backed off it.

Plus I take a break once in a while and am perfectly happy to hang out in a thread about music or sandwiches and just talk about cool stuff I like. Believe it or not, I find that a lot more fun than arguing. Plus, I've had vociferous disagrements with plenty of people here and then we've turned around and been perfectly convivial over other topics, which is as it should be.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on September 8, 2003


Irony, too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:11 AM on September 8, 2003


Jeez, I see all the posters on this thread - especially this thread - as mates. In real life, most of my mates fall out occasionally, but then make up.

i was just thinking something along those lines. if everyone in this thread could just chill out with some pizza, beer and video games, it would be all good. The fact that we are here means we are more peers than not. Jonmc drinks while providing snack food. you can't remain mad at someone who does that. Fact is, i'd buy just about anyone from MF a drink, or eats, if we crossed paths.

i argue god, politics and culture with friends, no variety of viewpoints is boring.
posted by th3ph17 at 8:24 AM on September 8, 2003


Eats too? I'll see you in the spring...
posted by i_cola at 8:37 AM on September 8, 2003


Can I place my order now? Just to beat the rush.
posted by yerfatma at 8:48 AM on September 8, 2003


I think it's funny that evanizer still reads metafilter. You can never leave, Evan.
posted by crunchland at 9:02 AM on September 8, 2003


matteo: Reading your list of beliefs above I'm struck by how similar they are to my own – although we'd probably disagree on who was destroying the UN's credibility and what constituted an exception to the rule against preemptive attacks. Give that, is it only my paranoia that makes me feel increasingly at odds with the majority here? Or is it something else?
posted by timeistight at 9:05 AM on September 8, 2003


It's probably that queen snake hiding in the corner. Either that or the gully cat over there...
posted by i_cola at 9:34 AM on September 8, 2003


I'll second that: I too was struck by how much I agree with you matteo. I read Civil Disobedience in high school and I've always felt Throeau's citation "That government is best which governs least" summed up my philosophy. I don't see the current administration as matching my viewpoint. PJ O'Rourke explains it better than I ever could.
posted by yerfatma at 9:38 AM on September 8, 2003


We lose people like Evanizer and MidasMulligan and in my opinion are poorer for it

~eyes misting up~

There are many respectable, respected, conservative voices here on MetaFilter who somehow don't fly into adolescent tantrum (either here, or...taking the road less courageous.... off-site) or even adolescent stalking behavior when encountering disagreement.

Then there are others. Even so, it is easy to miss the "ideas" of people like evanizer and MidasMulligan, and others (most of whom represent the right-wing at its worst) who run away on their periodic, huffy hiatuses (and who produced and continue to produce some of the most infantile, knee-jerk, "Terrorist!/Troll!/Communist!/America-Love-It-Or-Leave-It/Let's Roll!", ad-hominen nonsense found on MetaFilter. Ah, the irony of their offsite whining....)

That's right. One misses them. It's that emotion hunters must have when they find that the barrel into which they shoot has been emptied of fish.

I suspect the kitchen that is MetaFilter becomes just a wee bit too hot for most, if not all of these folks. When their positions or their behaviors are repeatedly exposed for what they are, you can count on another hiatus...complete with pitiable, offsite, behind-the-back lamentation from the hiatus-ing and their friends.

~chuckle~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:55 AM on September 8, 2003


When their positions or their behaviors are repeatedly exposed for what they are


amen.
posted by clavdivs at 10:07 AM on September 8, 2003


i'd buy just about anyone from MF a drink, or eats, if we crossed paths.*


*for the remainder of this document, "crossed paths" will mean, specifically, if you are in the modesto, ca area, or if i am in your home town and make arrangements to hang out. "drink" will be defined as a cheap beer, or, if i like you, an under $10 US cocktail. Water, juice or coffee also available. I will not buy you a soda. "eats" will be determined by my financial state at the time, but could range from a $1 taco to a fairly good $10 sandwhich or other entree. this offer is open only to metafilter members in good standing. if in the past i have insulted you or ridiculed your poltical or religious beliefs, i may buy you 2 drinks, and you shouldn't take it personally. offer expires december 31st, 2005. best when combined with other offers. Offer only available to local MF members on a limited basis, or if you drive to lunch on a day when i don't have the good [A/C, cd player, sunroof, legally registered] car.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:23 AM on September 8, 2003


Why no soda? I like soda.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:27 AM on September 8, 2003


As one of the mefi "conservatives", I suppose hooting about the left-slant here is akin to wishing there were more on our side of the argument once in a while. The one thing I do try to propose to the left, though, is to avoid knee-jerk characterizations and try to see the other side. Often as not, we're not discussing matters of Truth and Falsehood here, we're discussing points of view. Not much of this is cut and dried, right or wrong kinds of stuff. Not all conservatives hold the same views, any more than all liberals. It's not a contest, people. You win nothing when you beat up someone, right or left, to the point they depart. No one stays in a hot kitchen. There are a great many people who do not see things your way - could they all be completely wrong? Could they all be pure evil? No, surely not, anymore than those who espouse the opposite are. They - we - believe what we believe for a reason, with greater or lesser rationality behind it.

I do occasionally take a hiatus, usually when the tone of my posts begins to cause people to not post something nice when the want to (sorry, i_cola). But I do try to refrain fom the pitiable off-blue lamentations.
posted by UncleFes at 10:47 AM on September 8, 2003


I've always wondered about this:

The family rule of no politics or religion at the dining table (especially at family gatherings/holidays) is enforced for a very good reason - to attempt to keep the peace.

I think those of us who didn't have that family rule are far more comfortable with politics/religion threads and see them (actually, see all topics) as totally normal and expected, and that none of the politics or religious threads posted will ever be quite ok to those that had the rule... i also associate that rule with people who drank milk with dinner, but i'm weird
posted by amberglow at 11:08 AM on September 8, 2003


XQUZYPHYR, How dare you write that! Your opinions differ greatly from my own!

seriously though, i don't know. i'll make an exception, but only for something different like Jamaican champagne-cola or a nice indie sort of root beer.
posted by th3ph17 at 11:18 AM on September 8, 2003


Well, apparently evanizer and davidmsc wrote Michele of ASV to tell her about this MeTa thread

Where did this piece of info come from? Just curious.
posted by dhoyt at 11:30 AM on September 8, 2003


they left comments on the site?
posted by crunchland at 11:44 AM on September 8, 2003


Michele's comments section.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:45 AM on September 8, 2003


Please stop trolling for me skallas, it's ever so tempting. And stop moderating threads, it's getting annoying. It really isn't necessary to post a 4,000 word treatise every time someone rubs you the wrong way.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:11 PM on September 8, 2003


Are we still allowed to post long diatribes if someone rubs us the right way? Otherwise my career as an author of Golden Girls slash is in the toilet.

I would hope 7Up Gold qualifies for the soda exemption if one could find somewhere serving it.
posted by yerfatma at 12:14 PM on September 8, 2003


Oops, I hadn't scrolled all the way down.
posted by dhoyt at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2003


Evanizer was the guy who showed me the back door into Mefi, 2 years or so ago. I'll always be grateful for that. However, he took agin' me for some reason lost to me and wishes that he hadn't done so (I think we only latterly realised that our politics and attitudes didn't fit well together).

I have to point out the inconsistencies where I find them, and on ASV are 2 comments from him, pertinent to this conversation:

I cannot, under any circumstances, look at Metafilter again....Posted by: Evan Izer at September 5, 2003 02:20 AM

http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/3514...Honestly, parts of this thread read like a parody....Posted by: Evan Izer at September 7, 2003 08:09 PM

What's wrong with this picture?

I posted this comment to ASV also, and see no reason not to, nor to post it here, in the spirit of honset debate. This is not a TJH cross-posting; it's seeing as I find. It's a shame Ev has lost that sense of fairness and fun he once showed me.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:25 PM on September 8, 2003


What's wrong with this picture?

I don't know, ask Sir Walsingham

This is not a TJH cross-posting
You're probably right, I hope Matt agrees with you, otherwise...
any last words?
posted by matteo at 12:32 PM on September 8, 2003


I can no longer look at MetaFilter either.

I'm typing this with my eyes closed.
posted by timeistight at 12:33 PM on September 8, 2003


I can no longer look at MetaFilter either

Shit, I never pay attention to anything alyone else says.

Dean in 2004!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:39 PM on September 8, 2003


stupid alyone.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:39 PM on September 8, 2003


I!Mm tippIngh thius withh mi iyes cllozedx tooo2..,
posted by i_cola at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2003


Could they all be pure evil?
posted by y2karl at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2003


Evanizer was the guy who showed me the back door

...as it were.
posted by dhoyt at 12:57 PM on September 8, 2003


Metafilter: I Can No Longer Look at Metafilter
posted by dhoyt at 1:01 PM on September 8, 2003



posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:05 PM on September 8, 2003


That's a lousy thing to due to such a poor, simpleminded creature, steve.

To say nothing of the dog.

it was just too easy.
posted by jonmc at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2003


What's wrong with this picture?

Cut the guy some slack. He's a recovering addict.
posted by crunchland at 1:19 PM on September 8, 2003


HUH? Don't go there, crunchie. Just don't.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:28 PM on September 8, 2003


mefi addict.
posted by crunchland at 1:57 PM on September 8, 2003


uh, ok. thanks for the clarification. Me too...
posted by dash_slot- at 2:11 PM on September 8, 2003


Bush is on MeFi? what's his username?


posted by matteo at 2:19 PM on September 8, 2003


what's his username?

fold_and_mutilate
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:22 PM on September 8, 2003


What the hell is going on? I thought this thread was all about insomnyuk.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:24 PM on September 8, 2003


what's his username?

fold_and_mutilate


If only. All politics aside, who wouldn't welcome an administration with a sense of humor?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:39 PM on September 8, 2003


Note to self: on MeTa threads about MetaFilter politics, wait about 200 comments for it to get fun.

As for S_a_L's pic: That's not a cardboard cutout of W., that was actually taken at one of the recent fundraisers... for $2K, they provided both the Pres and the dog.

who wouldn't welcome an administration with a sense of humor?
That's why I'm voting Gallagher for Governor and hoping he uses it as a stepping-stone... (Hey, nobody said anything about a GOOD sense of humor).
posted by wendell at 3:26 PM on September 8, 2003


Difference between right and left: conservatives are not afraid to be described as conservatives, right wings, neocons etc. Communists, lefties and useful idiots in general spend their lives explaining away their "centrist" views. I can sometimes excuse the truly liberal and the naively uninformed, but not hypocritical socialists.

Now arguing against these brainwashed fanatics becomes pointless, because they belabor the same points ad infinitum (they ask for proofs that Hollywood was full of communists; you list three or four books and, before even reading them, they'll say "no, gimme the exact reference!!"), they frequently try to speak for you (you say you have reservations against X, they'll say you hate X; you say you admire Y, they'll insist that you're trolling) and, to put it simply, they're more often than not very ignorant. They have a middling, Chomskyfied knowledge of history, mistake economic policies (which can change) for moral values and seem to be fond of everything that's harmful to civilization.

Leftists are fueled by ignorance or simply by envy, an overriding mediocrity, a lack of skills which turns itself against those persons and countries that spouse noble, constructive, democratic, capitalist, meritocratic values. They are miserable whiners who love company and resent success; their own brand of free speech applies only if you subscribe to their immoral beliefs.
posted by 111 at 3:32 PM on September 8, 2003


Now arguing against these brainwashed fanatics becomes pointless,

Got irony?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:40 PM on September 8, 2003


"......only if you subscribe to their immoral beliefs"

Oh please. "Immoral beliefs"??? Wrapping rabbits tightly in duct tape and then fucking them in the ass is not an "immoral belief". Try to be a little more tolerant of others.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:46 PM on September 8, 2003


Now arguing against these brainwashed fanatics becomes pointless,

Got irony?

Sure, just check out who are the ones that try to silence people by calling them trolls, rednecks etc etc...
posted by 111 at 3:48 PM on September 8, 2003


MetaMath: y6 > 1
posted by wendell at 3:50 PM on September 8, 2003


Sure, just check out who are the ones that try to silence people by calling them trolls, rednecks etc etc...

and what is to be said of those that try to silence people by calling them communists, useful idiots, naively uninformed, hypocritical socialists, brainwashed fanatics, very ignorant, harmful to civilization, miserable whiners, and immoral?

and come on, even someone with blinders as dark as you has to concede that was a pretty righteous troll you just made. you'll just look even lamer by denying it.
posted by mcsweetie at 3:53 PM on September 8, 2003


they ask for proofs that Hollywood was full of communists;

it's a very cute conversation you're having with your straw men and inner demons there, and I'm sorry to interrupt -- but really are you still discussing Joe McCarthy in 2003 with people under 85?

also, I must ask for security reasons: found any Khmer Rouge under your bed recently?

at least another patriotic Conservative besegied by the Soviet hordes here, Steve "fuck you if you don't agree with me" at Linwood, managed to post a pretty funny pic. oneoneone, don't get all hama7-ish on our collective asses, try to grow a sense of humor
posted by matteo at 4:02 PM on September 8, 2003


Sucked 'em in again, eh 111?
posted by timeistight at 4:07 PM on September 8, 2003


"Now arguing against these brainwashed fanatics becomes pointless,"

Yet another strawman. Look, we are having a productive discussion here. Try to keep up.

Yes, I'll concede that men, and women, with long toes tend to be great leaders of industry. And we can both agree that garlic should play no roll in the reconstruction of Canada. But positing that the length of your prehensile toes gives you an advantage in political or social discourse here is silly. I don't buy it, and I doubt that even your fans here do either.

President Bush has a shortened windpipe. Would you say that this makes him "fond of everything that's harmful to civilization"??? No, of course not. So why should we extrapolate from that to generalizations about the Left?

At the end of WW II the majority of Americans were shorter than 5' 10". And no one, even conservative stalwarts like restaurateur Alice Waters, thought less of them. Likewise, in the late 60s advances in social science helped us understand why cats had short fur in relation to bears.

I'm sure you can see where this leads us. Ohio State University is no more a hotbed of liberalism that a bag of cats with short windpipes. And calling me names just won't make it so.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:09 PM on September 8, 2003


matteo: fuck off.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:10 PM on September 8, 2003


And we can both agree that garlic should play no roll in the reconstruction of Canada.

*you* may agree.
posted by timeistight at 4:12 PM on September 8, 2003


they ask for proofs that Hollywood was full of communists; you list three or four books and, before even reading them, they'll say "no, gimme the exact reference!!"

Wow, you really have a chip on your shoulder.

If I recall correctly, you said something like "McCarthy was/is widely regarded as a great american", I asked for one example, and you belched up a stack of books about how Hollywood was supposedly communist. Which, you'll notice, was not my original request. You could always save a little face by providing a mainstream example (i.e. not chronwatch) of anyone even speaking highly of McCarthy...

Also, you wonder why people that share a political viewpoint that is different from yours defend themselves when you trot out terms like "Communists, lefties and useful idiots"? Please.

What if I called you a Hitler-loving facist? Would you take it? Or would you maybe try and point out how I'm wrong?

Leftists are fueled by ignorance or simply by envy, an overriding mediocrity, a lack of skills which turns itself against those persons and countries that spouse noble, constructive, democratic, capitalist, meritocratic values. They are miserable whiners who love company and resent success; their own brand of free speech applies only if you subscribe to their immoral beliefs.

You couldn't be more wrong. On so many things.
posted by bshort at 4:16 PM on September 8, 2003


Welcome To The International Festival Of Bi-Partian Imbecility.

Drugs to the left. Hookers to the right.
posted by jonmc at 4:26 PM on September 8, 2003


Sucked 'em in again, eh 111?

unfortunately, it's a lose-lose situation. in a large enough community, sad whoppers (and insults) like 111's won't remain unanswered as they should. somebody will try to respond, you might as well try to make it funny (somebody will usually try to egg the offender to a nuclear meltdown and possibly banishable offenses, ot least try to make him write something so appalling as to be Googled/bookmarked and used later as proof of the intellectual level and manners of some of our beloved Conservatives, somebody else will just try to make fun of him, other will sit back and enjoy the marginally amusing rants of MeFi's own Ann Coulter).
It's a Monday night after all

111, the WSJ, not exactly a Communist publication, destroyed Joe McCarthy and his (very few, sorry to disappoint you) fans a few weeks ago, excommunicating Coulter and dismantling her high opinion of the late Senator. and this from the cheerful writers of the famous "lucky duckies" column

But these are small matters: I'm much more worried about Steve Linnwood's Tourette syndrome

posted by matteo at 4:27 PM on September 8, 2003


Drugs to the left. Hookers to the right.
Here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you...
posted by dash_slot- at 4:28 PM on September 8, 2003


Facism. I'm against it.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:30 PM on September 8, 2003


bshort - You feed 111 more than anyone here. 111 isn't the problem. Clueless boobs like you are the problem.

You know he's trolling. You know he doesn't belive in any of it. And yet you continue to engage him. What???? A troll in a discussion forum said something inflammatory and then refused to address specific facts??? Stop the fucking presses!!!! What??? A troll dodged your questions and distorted the truth??? Well I'm shocked!!!!

If it wasn't for little troll whores like you, the Internet would suck much less.

Ha ha. Just kidding. But you won't be able to resist replying defensively will you? See? Dude, you need help. Get some counseling.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:36 PM on September 8, 2003


. .
posted by romakimmy at 4:36 PM on September 8, 2003


The temptation to respond in kind to the wankers and berks who make such uninformed provocations is high. Just when you think they've risen to the level of middle schoolers in the playground, able to be amusing and self-deprecating, they show us all how easy it is for us to slip back, despite our best efforts.

It's sad, but it is a salutary lesson. We can only pity them that are so un-self aware, that they point out the ad hominems of their opponents, and almost in the same breath, make one of their own.

You kiss your mother with that mouth? Ya eat with that mouth? Garbage mouth!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:39 PM on September 8, 2003


A reasoned response to this mess will be forthcoming at my blog.
posted by ed at 4:40 PM on September 8, 2003


Thank God. Here I am standing along the side of the road thinking, "Maybe those cars won't crash after all." And then someone drives a flaming church picnic bus into the middle of it all. Whew.

Know what'd be a good feature request? A light switch. Once a thread reaches, well, this point, we could just throw the switch and the CSS would switch everything to #000; only the truly fucking insane would continue to rave in a darkened room.

I dunno how many that would be. Probably more than 10. Counting me.
posted by yerfatma at 4:49 PM on September 8, 2003


LOOK OUT, GEORGE!


posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:52 PM on September 8, 2003


[this is not good]
posted by dg at 4:59 PM on September 8, 2003


Pink Eye Is Not Just a Child's Infection
posted by poopy at 5:00 PM on September 8, 2003


I can't believe some of you are still playing 111's game. He's Lucy Van Pelt with a football and you're Charlie Brown. Why do you care what some John Birch Society-channeling doofus thinks of your political beliefs -- especially one who thinks so little of his own opinions that he offers them with total anonymity?
posted by rcade at 5:01 PM on September 8, 2003


Bloody bastard strawman. And anyone who doesn't speak latin as their native tongue should chill out on that ad hominem crap as well. Or at least bloody well italicise it. Speak the Queen's english and stop pretenting to be so goddamn academic.
posted by Jimbob at 5:03 PM on September 8, 2003


I'm gonna tell all you fascists, you may be surprised
People all over this world are getting organized
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose

Race hatred cannot stop us, this one thing I know
Poll tax and Jim Crow and greed have got to go
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose

All you fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You're bound to lose, you fascists
Are bound to lose

People of every color marching side by side
Marching across these fields where a million fascists died
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose

All you fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You're bound to lose, you fascists
Are bound to lose

I'm going into this battle, take my union gun
Gonna end this world of slavery before this war is won
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose

All you fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You're bound to lose, you fascists
Are bound to lose

I said, all you fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
You're bound to lose, you fascists
Are bound to lose
posted by matteo at 5:17 PM on September 8, 2003


Thanks for the colourful pics, Jimbob. The mormon link was more useful tho' - my usage of the term ad hominem was imprecise, I admit, in that I adopted it from current mefi meaning - ie, 'to attack the opponent, and not address the argument'.

As for attempting to be academic - you are mistaken. I was not trying to do that: none of my academic friends use terms like 'wanker' & 'berk' - they leave those terms to we members of the underclass. Very few of us would admit to using the Queen's english, for fear of gettin' a smack in the marf.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:17 PM on September 8, 2003


A reasoned response to this mess will be forthcoming at my blog.

So, will you be using a shot-gun or a semi-auto?
posted by jonmc at 5:19 PM on September 8, 2003


Oh gawd, someone took me seriously! Wanker ;)
posted by Jimbob at 5:20 PM on September 8, 2003


If raping rabbits isn't immoral I don't know what is.
posted by konolia at 5:21 PM on September 8, 2003


Regardless of all that has happened in this thread, and all the feelings that have been hurt--

You should still totally check out this powder blue zoot suit I found on eBay.
posted by dhoyt at 5:30 PM on September 8, 2003


Spiffy duds, dhoyt. When will you be puttin' your stable of fly bitches out on the street, daddy mack?
posted by jonmc at 5:46 PM on September 8, 2003


A reasoned response to this mess will be forthcoming at my blog.

This oughta be good.

*checks The Plight*

Come on, ed! Post that puppy!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:22 PM on September 8, 2003


also, I must ask for security reasons: found any Khmer Rouge under your bed recently?

none here.

and dont worry george, the woofen wouldnt hurt you.
posted by clavdivs at 6:35 PM on September 8, 2003


i love that puppy : >
posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on September 8, 2003


In their eyes, YOU ARE THE SAVAGE.
posted by poopy at 6:53 PM on September 8, 2003


All right steve......
posted by clavdivs at 7:29 PM on September 8, 2003


So, will you be using a shot-gun or a semi-auto?

I think he's going to take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Snyder at 8:02 PM on September 8, 2003


You do remember what happened next...
posted by y2karl at 9:14 PM on September 8, 2003


But y2karl, why does the Aliens jpg hyperlink to a picture of a happy jumping dog on a beach?
posted by jonson at 9:53 PM on September 8, 2003


Leftists are fueled by ignorance or simply by envy, an overriding mediocrity, a lack of skills which turns itself against those persons and countries that spouse noble, constructive, democratic, capitalist, meritocratic values. They are miserable whiners who love company and resent success; their own brand of free speech applies only if you subscribe to their immoral beliefs

It's been a long time indeed since I've read something like this, and genuinely laughed at it. Not said something in response, or fumed in silence, or tried to cover rage with laughter. Honestly chuckled.

It was fun, and we should all try it more often.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:54 PM on September 8, 2003


/resents success
posted by dhoyt at 10:20 PM on September 8, 2003


dhoyt: That suit fucking rules.
posted by nath at 12:31 AM on September 9, 2003


yup, that about sums it up for me.
posted by johnnyboy at 3:50 AM on September 9, 2003


Has anyone located the black-box, its the only way we'll ever make sense of exactly what occured in this thread.
posted by johnnyboy at 3:52 AM on September 9, 2003



posted by yhbc at 6:04 AM on September 9, 2003


I thought we decided to make Matt ban the img tag, dammit.
posted by crunchland at 6:53 AM on September 9, 2003


ed: A reasoned response to this mess will be forthcoming at my blog.

stwc: This oughta be good.

Nope. Sorry. Not good. Among other things, ed takes the opportunity to make the totally unfounded and childish supposition that Michele of asmallvictory.net is somehow "hiding" her last name (Catalano) because she's embarassed that it implies that she's not a true Aryan: Perhaps this represents an implacable fear that some Republican admirer might notice that her surname doesn't have, shall we say, pure Teutonic roots. To respect Ms. Catalano's Little White Lie...

Of course, this kind of churlish behavior seems to be a habit of ed's, having already extrapolated from James Lileks' simple statement that he chooses not to forget 9/11, that Lileks is really just an "Angry White Male" using 9/11 as an "excuse" to "make a comeback". The fact that ed has no evidence whatsoever to back up his hypotheses is apparently of no moment to him; he seems to have a unique ability to characterize those with whom he disagrees (on non-racial topics) as fixated on their racial identity. What a prick.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:13 AM on September 9, 2003


the inevitable casualties would be of such a number that Bush and co, and the American public, would think again about endorsing such murderous folly in the future

Which is to say that you crowed for multiple deaths of Americans in order to terrify and intimidate, thereby preventing Americans from defending themselves in the future. Thanks, but in case you didn't notice, that's exactly what you said in the thread. Got it the first time.

In a typical never-ending quest for mediocrity, amorality, and concession, Americans defending not only themselves but people and countries around the world singlehandedly is termed "folly".

~yawn~
posted by hama7 at 7:19 AM on September 9, 2003


ed,
Though on balance I agree with much of what you said, that "Teutonic roots" nonsense is pretty lame. The Sec. of State and National Security Advisor can hardly be described as having "Teutonic roots" yet have done quite well in a Republican administration.

Also, if your "aware that Michelle's last name is 'Catalano', " why diminish your case with a condescending and insulting nickname? Your not doing those of us who would agree with you on larger matters of policy any favors with this gibberish.
posted by cedar at 7:47 AM on September 9, 2003


Singlehandedly? I thought it was a coalition.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:48 AM on September 9, 2003


Okay, so ed called Michele a race-hiding Wigglebottom and Michele previously called Ed a sick cancer. Now who wants ice cream?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:57 AM on September 9, 2003


Okay, so ed called Michele a race-hiding Wigglebottom and Michele previously called Ed a sick cancer. Now who wants ice cream?

Push-up or fudgsicle?
posted by ed at 8:13 AM on September 9, 2003


Okay, so ed called Michele a race-hiding Wigglebottom and Michele previously called Ed a sick cancer. Now who wants ice cream?

Right. As if they're equal, and cancel each other out. Never mind that one's a statement of opinion (and a metaphor, to boot), while the other purports to be an insinuation that the person harbors beliefs of racial superiority/inferiority.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:28 AM on September 9, 2003


Now who wants ice cream?

I like vanilla, but really anything you have is fine. I'm not prejudiced…
posted by timeistight at 8:37 AM on September 9, 2003


that's exactly what you said in the thread

Well, no, it's not. It's your version of what stav said. You're better off arguing general issues, hama7, because everyone can see stav's words, and then they can see your words, and the way you're twisting them to support your case is utterly transparent. I'd suggest you give up on this one before you dig yourself in deeper.
posted by soyjoy at 9:10 AM on September 9, 2003


Pinko.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:17 AM on September 9, 2003


No, hama7, judging an event to be inevitable is not the same as wishing for it. Nor is judging a bad event to be inevitable and hoping something good comes of it the same as judging the event to be good.

But you knew that, didn't you?

or, what soyjoy said.
posted by NortonDC at 9:19 AM on September 9, 2003


Oof. I seriously regret checking out ed's blog, especially the bit about Michele's last name.

Not cool. At all.
posted by dhoyt at 9:27 AM on September 9, 2003


Can I just say, now that this thread is anticlimaxing, that it's spelled CRITICISM. That's been bothering me for days.
posted by crunchland at 9:37 AM on September 9, 2003


Oh, fuck this. Delete my membership, Matt. Delete my domain. Hell, delete the Internet for all I care. Can none of you nincompoops understand satire when it bites you on the ass? Did you all seriously think I believe in this Teutonic tomfoolery when I used the name "Wigglebottoms" fercryingoutloud (not sexism, you morons; but the moon -- i.e., the anti-intellectual reaction you get when you come waltzing over to ASV or LGF or some other hate-inducing anti-idiotarian acronym)? Good christ, political correctness has come full circle. I guess I've overestimated people and failed to communicate on just about every level.

Well to hell with this. I resign from this electronic charnelhouse. Clearly, the monkeys have taken over the asylum. And there's not a whole lot I can do to contribute. Better for a man to recognize his limitations than to carry on.
posted by ed at 10:11 AM on September 9, 2003


You forgot your ball.
posted by ook at 10:26 AM on September 9, 2003


Wow, we're right back to the beginning:

MetaFilter is overwhelmingly left wing and very intolerant of anyone that isn't.

Except now we're driving away liberal members instead of conservative ones. Neat.
posted by rocketman at 10:36 AM on September 9, 2003


Can I just say, now that this thread is anticlimaxing, that it's spelled CRITICISM. That's been bothering me for days.

Yeah, but not nearly as much as 'obsesives' on the side bar of the FP, to be sure.
posted by dgaicun at 10:46 AM on September 9, 2003


this thread really had it all, huh?

(and ed, reconsider--some of us got it. It was a case of raised expectations. And given the way the thread went, no one could expect any other reaction--see the whole skallas thing)
posted by amberglow at 10:57 AM on September 9, 2003


I guess I've overestimated people and failed to communicate on just about every level.

Sorry, we didn't live up to your expectations. Here's a complimentary t-shirt and a copy of our home game.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on September 9, 2003


Metafilter: the electronic charnelhouse

ed, I want to say please don't go, but that's a bit pointless. Take a break instead, safe in the knowledge that the head honcho round these parts finds it difficult to delete a/c's that are not in breach of regs (as I would say applies to you), and that if after the break, you don't want to post anymore - then don't. If you do, you are still a member.

Sleep on it, as we used to say. A little time may make all the difference to a little misunderstanding - hell, I should know.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:58 AM on September 9, 2003


Don't go all Angry, White and Male on us, ed; wouldn't want to become the ironic guy here, y'know.
posted by boaz at 11:13 AM on September 9, 2003


Yes, ed, you poor poor misunderstood genius.

Your breathtakingly rendered "satire" is not the problem--obviously the problem lies with the runaway nincompoopery of the populace. It lies with MeFi readers (especially the devilish White Male ones) and myriad boogeymen and traffic tickets and clouds and vengeful squirrels and evil Italian female webmasters.

But rest assured, it lies not with you, O Persecuted One.
posted by dhoyt at 11:32 AM on September 9, 2003


Ed. Heed the plight of evanizer. You can go, but you can't leave.
posted by crunchland at 11:54 AM on September 9, 2003


To echo dhoyt, I, too, am sorry I was so stupid that I failed to recognize your clever gift of satire, ed (amberglow is obviously far smarter than I am in this respect). I don't know how I could have made that mistake -- I should have realized that the dead serious tone of your post was simply a sly facade over biting social commentary. And really, after all, what's more ripe for satire than 9/11 and Michele Cantalo's last name? Come on, everyone knows you're a "fun guy." Jonathan Swift has nothing on you, ed.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:57 AM on September 9, 2003


And really, after all, what's more ripe for satire than 9/11 and Michele Cantalo's last name?

A few thousand deaths in France?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:10 PM on September 9, 2003


Lordy, I feel stupid now. After all, making fun of someones name is clearly a form of satire that any dimwitted angry white male should have been able to figure out and a closer reading would have revealed you as the genius that you are. Foolish me not to let the utter lack of humor in your words clue me in that it was witty satire.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass.
posted by cedar at 12:36 PM on September 9, 2003


NONE OF YOU ARE GETTING ANY FUCKING ICE CREAM.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:44 PM on September 9, 2003


Better for a man to recognize his limitations than to carry on.

Wait a minute ... I thought your post was about our limitations. I'm not following this at all.
posted by rcade at 1:07 PM on September 9, 2003


Ed. Heed the plight of evanizer. You can go, but you can't leave.

I thought that was the plight of don henley.
posted by GeekAnimator at 2:56 PM on September 9, 2003


I thought your post was about our limitations.

Don't worry about them. According to some email I just got, they can fix that with a pill. Or a cream. Or a suppository. Or hand exercises.
posted by yerfatma at 3:23 PM on September 9, 2003


This thread gives me head spins.

But they're NICE head spins.
posted by orange swan at 6:22 PM on September 9, 2003




Is this thread over, now?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:03 PM on September 9, 2003


It should be "anyone who isn't."
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:08 PM on September 9, 2003


fucking cops, with their big heads and their pointy guns.
posted by poopy at 7:33 PM on September 9, 2003


I would like to point out that I did NOT e-mail Michele and "inform" her of this thread, nor did I reference it in her comments.
posted by davidmsc at 9:27 PM on September 9, 2003


fin
posted by dhoyt at 10:27 PM on September 9, 2003


Look sir, droids!
posted by bargle at 10:40 PM on September 9, 2003


Well, I didn't get to see ed's post before he pulled it, but c'est la vie. I still loves ya, ed, and Michelle Whatserface and Lileks are still big poopyheads.

And them's fightin' words!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:26 PM on September 9, 2003


nice hat, steve
posted by matteo at 3:20 AM on September 10, 2003


I want that poster.
posted by konolia at 4:11 AM on September 10, 2003


I simply loved the design on his blouse.
posted by johnnyboy at 5:08 AM on September 10, 2003


I've set the ed link that dhoyt posted as the wallpaper on my computer. Of course I'll soon find myself ranting and be forced to take it down.
posted by orange swan at 6:58 AM on September 10, 2003


Insomnyuk: Please stop trolling for me skallas, it's ever so tempting.

You run the skallaswatch page, constatly post links to it on my weblog (with such mature subject lines like 'skallas is gay'), yet when I criticize you I'm "trolling" yet you can criticize me all you want on and off site? Grow up.
posted by skallas at 7:59 AM on September 10, 2003


Look sir, droids!

hey now, thats my line that i use when i want to use someone elses line.
posted by clavdivs at 8:17 AM on September 10, 2003


This little one's not worth the effort. Come, let me get you something.
posted by rocketman at 8:19 AM on September 10, 2003


One thing you can definitely say about this thread--more than once--
Wow: is that the crappiest photoshop job you've ever seen, or what?

posted by y2karl at 9:16 AM on September 10, 2003


One thing you can definitely say about this thread --and many others--
Wow: what the hell is with the random screen grab from the movie Aliens?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:13 AM on September 10, 2003


Not random--pertinent: I think he's going to take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure, was a reference to a line from Aliens
--you do remember that after that line was spoken, the Queen (pictured above) stowed away on the shuttle to cause further havoc.
posted by y2karl at 10:58 AM on September 10, 2003


One thing you can definitely say about this thread:

We'll never make it to 400.
posted by soyjoy at 11:03 AM on September 10, 2003


You run the skallaswatch page

That's twice in this thread that you've brought the skallaswatch page to our attention, skallas. Thanks, I was previously completely unaware of its existence. Is insomnyuk paying you to shill for him?
posted by jonson at 11:09 AM on September 10, 2003


Is the Skallas Watch page down? After Skallas helpfully informed us/me of its existence, I went looking for it and the link from insomnyuk's page doesn't appear to be working.
posted by orange swan at 12:32 PM on September 10, 2003

"Since when is the criticism of two pissant blogs grounds for giving a shit?" –mischief
Well put! Amen!

Sex, politics, religion, is there anything else to discuss? Wait, we all agree on sex, right [can I use that word anymore?]?

The fact that Michele Catalano and James Lileks even mention MeFi is odd. Just looking for ducks to shoot? Slow day? Why should they care soooo much?

Here's an A list [scroll down to names mentioned] from someone who has something to say about both of them, plus a few others. Of course it's nonsense, but what fun!

They have fun, we have fun. What's the big deal-yo?
posted by alicesshoe at 12:36 PM on September 10, 2003


I hate to interrupt your definitely-not-a-running-petty-grudge here y2karl, but are you asking for permission from the hosting sites before inlining those images? Inlining images from other hosts without permission is widely considered bandwidth theft. At best, it's somewhat gauche; at worst, the site owner could quite easily decide to make you look like an asshat.
posted by boaz at 1:05 PM on September 10, 2003


Sweet mother of crap. alicesshoe, that's the funniest goddamn thing I've read in weeks.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:03 PM on September 10, 2003


Oh, dear... Well, I stand corrected.
posted by y2karl at 2:15 PM on September 10, 2003


Well, since it's your first offense...
posted by boaz at 3:20 PM on September 10, 2003


y2karl, what's with the putting all your vituperative grudge text into title tags? Is it easier for you to pretend you're not saying ugly, mean spirited things if you bracket your ugliness with the words "title"? also, just to be clear, is boaz one of your grudges?
posted by jonson at 3:42 PM on September 10, 2003


yeah, y2karl, take your grudges to where they belong- your user page.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:32 PM on September 10, 2003


Well, since it's your first offense...

Um, all I got was a frame & a little red x in the upper left corner.
But thanks for letting me off this time!

yeah, y2karl, take your grudges to where they belong- your user page.

God, if only character assassin boy would do that....
posted by y2karl at 6:56 PM on September 10, 2003


Well, I'm convinced Karl; no sane person would ever think that you hold grudges now. Nothing like some insane, paranoid free association (in a title attribute no less) to convince everyone what a benvolent, forgiving kinda guy you are.

Anyway, I'm going to sleep. I expect 1500 words of personal abuse bright and early in the morning; don't disappoint me.

And remember kids, when you steal bandwidth, we all pay the price.
posted by boaz at 8:36 PM on September 10, 2003


I duno Karl, do they have internet access?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:05 PM on September 10, 2003



posted by angry modem at 9:13 PM on September 10, 2003


Okay, 3514 has scrolled, it's all over, nothing to see here folks, let the medics do their work, everybody can go home now.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:44 PM on September 10, 2003


"Slow day? Why should they care soooo much?"

because MeFi is so much bigger and gets lots more traffic than their warblogs?
posted by matteo at 3:00 AM on September 11, 2003


Aww... can't we all just have a good laugh at all of this?
posted by nath at 3:35 AM on September 11, 2003


What I wrote in the title tag in question: Why didn't you single out yhbc and Ignatius J Reilly, Mr. Pompous and Self-Righteous Hypocrite? They WERE about the crappiest photoshops ever you seen, or what...

Second things first--S@L's second contribution, in concept and execution, is about the crappiest photoshop I've ever seen. His first is not entirely charmless, I will grant that.

Three people in this thread alone linked images from sites not their own. Looking here or on the blue, one could conclude that unrepentant bandwidth thieves are the rule here, not the exception--hence my accusation of pomposity, self-righteousness and hypocrisy on boaz's part in singling me out alone. That is hardly free association.

With images linked directly or indirectly--the putative theft happens when people click on this thread. Which won't occur more than a few more times for another day or two. Big Fucking Deal--if that's theft, it's hardly a Class A felony. Indeed, merely linking to an image alone, on another site, without permission is considered bandwidth theft by most standards: which makes boaz a bandwidth thief, too--albeit a fairly incompetent one from the examples provided here.

Is it easier for you to pretend you're not saying ugly, mean spirited things if you bracket your ugliness with the words "title"?

If Pompous and Self-Righteous Hypocrite is such mean-spirited, ridiculous, over the top, vituperative grudgetext, ugliness, et cetera, you'd think it would be so incredibly worse than the normal everyday rudeness hereabouts. Oh, r-i-g-h-t...

You got to wonder what someone who does that thinks he's fooling.

God, you'd think people here were a 12 year old Luddites who'd never seen a computer! I think we all know what a title tag is and I think we all can read. You've got to wonder about people who will grasp at the flimsiest of straws in attacking someone think they're fooling.

Grudge is defined as a resentment strong enough to justify retaliation. I assumed that, before I read the dictionary, the definition would involve some history, a consistent pattern. Several examples of such was provided by rcade above when he chastised jonmc for hounding skallas from thread to thread. Now, that's a long held resentment.

Ignatius J Reilly, yhbc and angry modem all linked images here but boaz was completely unbothered by their doing so. Hmmm...
You might think he had a grudge against me.
posted by y2karl at 3:55 AM on September 11, 2003


It's funny you've gotten you nose this far out of joint, Karl, because when I posted the original comment on it, I assumed that I was doing you a favor. After all, you'd think someone, especially such a serial image inliner as yourself, might want to know that their linking behavior was somewhat frowned upon and could be used against them by vengeful webmasters. I mean, really, Karl, if someone told you your fly is down, would you go around the room looking for other open flies and, upon finding them, berate the person who told you as a self-righteous hypocrite with a grudge? Would you then feel justified making a comparison of their face to a gaping anus? Or are you only this much of a twit in cyberspace?

Oh, And if you really hadn't realized you have a running, petty grudge against S@L, you probably should thank me for cluing you into that too.
posted by boaz at 6:27 AM on September 11, 2003


Karl, it's a good thing you never repeatedly live up to those stereotypes about holding grudges or lastworditis--else you might feel real silly!
posted by dhoyt at 7:01 AM on September 11, 2003


nath, your comment (and the title tags) are possibly the funniest thing I've ever read on Metafilter, honestly. Man, that's not only just about my favorite Simpson's quote, but PERFECTLY applied here. Thanks!

And y2karl, just so we're clear, it's Faze, hama7. crunchland, me, boaz, dhoyt & S@L. Is that the full list, or are there more out there, just waiting for another devastating title tag assault?

On preview, it's a shame I'll never know, because as you've proven time & time again, you're far too mature to have to post a response when you feel someone has taken you to task for rude behavior or your wildly over the top reactions. Just kidding! Looking forward to it.
posted by jonson at 7:30 AM on September 11, 2003


MetaFilter is overwhelmingly left wing and very intolerant of anyone that isn't.

i most certainly do agree with chill that mefi shows a 'favoritisim' towards the more liberal among us vs. the conservative crowd

MeFi obviously tilts left

I guess this must be true... but y'all conservatives may be heartened to know that this arab-american lefty who lives in berkeley and goes to burning man frequently feels a complete and utter lack of left-wing sensibility here.

I would generally characterize people here as politically dormant. They come for the virtual bubble wrap, and the gladiator matches.
posted by scarabic at 5:05 PM on September 11, 2003


jonson: Thanks, dude... it just seemed so appropriate. Good to know I wasn't the only one that thought the idea hilarious.
posted by nath at 1:48 AM on September 12, 2003


For the record:

I had forgotten boaz and I had extremely harsh words in the past.

There's always a history...
posted by y2karl at 8:15 AM on September 12, 2003


Always have to get the last word in, eh?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:25 PM on September 12, 2003


I'm confused now, Karl; how can the ridiculous, over-the-top way you responded here be due to a history that you didn't remember until afterwards? Are you positing something like Pavlovian response or repressed memories?
posted by boaz at 2:54 PM on September 12, 2003


It's Pavlovian, trust me.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:17 AM on September 13, 2003


You know, boaz, if you had an email, I would have written you from the start. I'm not going to go on with this, it's pointless. Nobody wants to read this.

And you, jonson, are a man of your word:

I'm going to try and let it drop as he has done, it's clearly doing little more than irritating the bystanders.

I don't say anything about you or to you. I stay out of your threads. I don't describe what you write as negatively as possible, I don't make moral judgements of you. I leave you alone. You can not do the same.
posted by y2karl at 8:21 PM on September 13, 2003


Always have to get the last word in, eh?
posted by jonson at 11:42 PM on September 13, 2003


Yes, that is a failing of mine. As it is a failing of yours--obviously.

I hope you take clavdivs's comment to heart.

And start keeping your word. Then it might be worth something.
posted by y2karl at 7:45 AM on September 14, 2003


Well, the link didn't work but you know what I meant--

The Social Psychology of Character Assassination
posted by y2karl at 7:56 AM on September 14, 2003


Yes, that is a failing of mine. As it is a failing of yours--obviously.

Actually if you'll look at any series of comments we've had back and forth, you've had the last word in every single one. Including this one (I say in advance, knowing with 100% certainty that you will come back here and put in one more comment slamming me, as you are physically incapable of not doing so). Everything you've ever accused others of, from having to have the last word, to being victims of their own desire to spin a conversation, to general meanspiritedness is, in fact, a comment that you could well take to heart. Your hypocrisy is remarkable.
posted by jonson at 10:20 AM on September 14, 2003


Well jonson, since we're talking social psychology already, you should really know that the term for what you're recognizing here is Projection:
A defense mechanism in which the individual attributes to other people impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept. It is especially likely to occur when the person lacks insight into his own impulses and traits.
Anyhoo Karl, I can see you're not coming back, so let me just say it's been loads of fun. It's not often I get berated in such a hilariously inept fashion, and I was hoping I could drag a little more of it out of you. However, I can see now that that was a base instinct on my part, and I hope you can forgive me my little bit of weekend fun. Have a nice day.
posted by boaz at 11:58 AM on September 14, 2003


Oh, he'll be back. And fyi Karl, writing insults about someone in your Title Tags doesn't make you less of a bad guy. At least have the strenght of character to put your taunts in plain view.
posted by jonson at 12:44 PM on September 14, 2003


jonson, why do you hate y2karl so much?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:46 PM on September 14, 2003


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