Deleting MetaTalk threads? October 9, 2003 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Deleting MetaTalk threads?

Deleting blue threads, I understand and support. But deleting a metatalk thread is unexpected. Of course I'm not on the grey much. Maybe this happens all the time. This has been the first time in a very long time I've been interested in anything going on here so maybe I've just not noticed.

I would think a MetaTalk thread might be closed, but deleted too? That seems counter to what the grey is for, why it even exists. Maybe I just don't understand.

The grey is to discuss things you shouldn't discuss/don't belong on the blue. So now things in the grey are to be slashed as well?

I would prefer it not to be, but of course it is not my say. But I would like clarification, because there are other threads in the grey that have gone FAR BEYOND what I can only assume caused the demise of the affected one and survived.

(Deleted thread purposefully not mentioned so as to perhaps increase the lifespan of this question).
posted by Ynoxas to Etiquette/Policy at 12:00 PM (91 comments total)

1) Yes, this happens all the time. You should drop by more often.

2) Don't you think your point could have been made a tad more briefly? (Like in one sentence?)
posted by languagehat at 12:07 PM on October 9, 2003


You know, if I were Matt I'd delete this thread too.

People (Migs, I'm looking at you here) post crap to MeTa all the time that is of marginal utility. Some of it is going to get canned.

Also, brevity is the soul of wit
posted by bshort at 12:09 PM on October 9, 2003


Ok thanks for at least addressing the question before the insults. If it happens all the time, that's cool. I guess I just thought MeTa was more "robust" than MeFi.

My bad. I don't come to MeTa much because I hate the acerbic attitudes and constant complaining. Thanks for reinforcing that opinion guys.

I guess I'll come to the grey even less knowing that it is so heavily edited. *shrug*
posted by Ynoxas at 12:16 PM on October 9, 2003


It's not heavily edited by any means. I can only think of a couple of threads that have been deleted in recent memory, and those were of the 'shouldn't have been there in teh first place' variety.

I don't see why a stupid topic here is somehow sacred. Especially one that is simply an attack on another user, or an imaginary user in one case.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2003


*reels*
posted by Stan Chin at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2003


It NEEDs to be heavily edited. But yet it still has the capacity to entertain.

Actually, Matt meant the grey to be more of a place where bugs got worked out and egregious sins exposed and exorcised. Lately the sins have been more of a venal and petty (not to mention chatty)mode, hence the pruning.
posted by konolia at 12:24 PM on October 9, 2003


"I guess I'll come to the grey even less knowing that it is so heavily edited."

Whoa........ What's with the passive-aggressive?

The reason MetaTalk posts get deleted is that Matt prefers it to have a focus and a true utility. In the past certain users have posted repeated items which the community felt were pure clutter or, even worse, were very self-serving. The problem is that in MetaTalk things slide off the bottom of the page rather quickly. If we allow any old post, it weakens the utility. MetaFilter and MetaTalk are, by design, very different animals.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:34 PM on October 9, 2003


what i find interesting is that the "nigger trifecta" remains - three threads in a row all addressing the same issue.
posted by quonsar at 12:35 PM on October 9, 2003


If I was lord of the universe, I would have someone host Metatalk on another site so as to provide an independent forum for flamefests and bitching - and the Metatalk hosted here would exist only for bug reports.
posted by PrinceValium at 12:47 PM on October 9, 2003


More surprising is my MeTalk about the '#1 Songs' Blog remains. It was a parody of the type of post (Migs's) that was deleted today. heheh
posted by mischief at 12:49 PM on October 9, 2003


What's really upsetting is that each and every comment on both MeFi and MeTa are only impulses on a server, and mathowie could, at any moment he chooses, delete every single one of them. Can you believe it?!? The nerve of that guy, presuming to wield such control over our deathless prose! Every one - I mean EVERY SINGLE FREAKIN' ONE - of our thoughts, fleeting or measured, on-topic or off, should be PRESERVED, inviolate, as if carved in unyielding stone for the edification of future generations! My GOD, people! We need to STOP this NOW! We need to RISE UP, or that damn dictator may decide to even start deleting INDIVIDUAL COMMENTS whenever he fee
posted by yhbc at 12:53 PM on October 9, 2003


"host Metatalk on another site so as to provide an independent forum for flamefests and bitching"

Good idea. But how would you police that? Take this thread for instance - Ynoxas thinks he's being attacked and insulted. But I can't see any of that. Would Matt be responsible for deleting all the things Ynoxas sees as flames and bitching?
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:53 PM on October 9, 2003


One day I'll have a posse, and we'll name ourselves the "Nigger Trifecta."
posted by Stan Chin at 12:55 PM on October 9, 2003


That's kind of the point, y6. Metatalk's evil twin would live in anarchy. Get everything out of your system while you can.
posted by PrinceValium at 12:59 PM on October 9, 2003


I was a little surprised by the deletion, as the thread seemed no worse than many others of late. My guess was that m reconsidered, and asked Matt to euthanize the thread.
posted by Mid at 1:06 PM on October 9, 2003


My guess was that m reconsidered, and asked Matt to euthanize the thread.

That's my guess as well.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:11 PM on October 9, 2003


What was the thread that got the axe?
posted by bshort at 1:15 PM on October 9, 2003


It's going to be a great blow for Irony when this thread gets the axe.

(Speaking of irony -- bshort, the post in question was Miguel's. He was criticizing BlueTrain's FPP for being superfluous & trite. Miguel. Criticizing others for that. God, that man has gall.)
posted by dhoyt at 1:47 PM on October 9, 2003


I for one, have had a few of my own MetaTalk threads Clipped.


(plays best.prom.ballad.ever.)
posted by clavdivs at 2:03 PM on October 9, 2003


*laughs heartily as she drinks a beer*
posted by dabitch at 2:10 PM on October 9, 2003


It doesn't happen that often, I probably delete no more than one a week. The post by Miguel was lame and didn't serve any purpose than to whine about one user's recent post (he was realllly reaching for something to talk about). Miguel's been pushing it with a handful of weak metatalk posts lately so I wanted to cut it off and send the message that metatalk isn't here for posts like that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:24 PM on October 9, 2003


quonsar, I wondered about that too. However, the thread in question deserved to be deleted and I applaud its demise.
posted by dg at 2:51 PM on October 9, 2003


(*Applauds*)
posted by Lynsey at 3:00 PM on October 9, 2003


I applaud the applauding.
posted by bshort at 3:04 PM on October 9, 2003


But, if we take MetaTalk to some undisclsed location, wouldn't it quickly devolve into a Lord-of-the-Flies situation, with poor little Piggy sure to be maimed, killed, and eaten by his fellow Mefites? Without order and the rule of law, we are obviously no better than animals, barely able to restrain our basest urges as it is.

If the thing is done, though, I get dibs on Mig's brain.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:10 PM on October 9, 2003


Mathowie: understood and appreciated. But I guess the thrust of it was, the majority in that thread didn't approve of Miguel's calling out, and many attacked him for it.

But, if the thread is deleted, without a declaration of some sort by you, then the *why* of it being deleted is ambiguous.

The "self policing" idea only works if the person making the infraction is able to see others offer corrections. Miguel may have decided that it was deleted because people were mean to him or didn't agree with him. He may not have even seen the corrections.

Didn't long ago deleted threads have a "reason" attached to them when you viewed them? Maybe that would have helped. Maybe not.

At any rate, Mathowie's description of "once a week" does not correlate in my mind to languagehat's description of "all the time". Perhaps there is a perception problem of the frequency?

I would not consider "once a week" to be heavily edited, so I retract my above statement on the basis it was predicated on incorrect information.
posted by Ynoxas at 3:22 PM on October 9, 2003


If I was lord of the universe, I would have someone host Metatalk on another site so as to provide an independent forum for flamefests and bitching - and the Metatalk hosted here would exist only for bug reports.

Yeah -- anyone up for registering http://www.trollfilter.com?
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:32 PM on October 9, 2003


"Miguel may have decided that it was deleted because people were mean to him or didn't agree with him. He may not have even seen the corrections."

Trust me. Miguel knows exactly why it was deleted. There is a history here that you've missed. Not your fault. But we're way beyond the point where MetaTalk regulars like Miguel, God bless him, would have any doubts about this.

As to others being able to learn from the thread if it had been left alone - That's something we've talked about a lot in the past. The consensus has been that cleaning out the poo (as judged by Matt) is more important, *and* this isn't really a lesson anyone else needs to learn. The problem has, for the most part, always bee very specific.

I understand how this may sound obtuse if you're not a regular in MeTa, but sometimes it's jungle rules around here.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:34 PM on October 9, 2003


Didn't long ago deleted threads have a "reason" attached to them when you viewed them? Maybe that would have helped. Maybe not.


Deleted threads from the blue still live a shade's life over on lofi.mefi. I don't think lofi was meant to be a graveyard, as much as an alternate templet mathowie was playing with. These days people have learned to watch lofi for "bonus content" and on that page we see the 'reason for deletion' notices. Meta has nothing like lofi to contain deleted posts - once they're gone, they're gone, let it go.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:38 PM on October 9, 2003


At any rate, Mathowie's description of "once a week" does not correlate in my mind to languagehat's description of "all the time".

It most certainly does. I was responding to this:
"Deleting blue threads, I understand and support. But deleting a metatalk thread is unexpected. Of course I'm not on the grey much. Maybe this happens all the time."
In that context, "all the time" doesn't mean "every five minutes," it means "regularly enough that you shouldn't be surprised by it." Which you shouldn't. And you shouldn't be complaining about people being mean to you; if you think bshort and I were being insulting, you really don't spend any time on MetaTalk (and probably shouldn't, if you're that thin-skinned).
posted by languagehat at 3:49 PM on October 9, 2003


Aw, be nice to the guy. He's asking honest questions. Not everyone knows all the rules in this alligator-infested swamp of ours.
posted by konolia at 4:06 PM on October 9, 2003


if you think bshort and I were being insulting, you really don't spend any time on MetaTalk (and probably shouldn't, if you're that thin-skinned).

I think its called etiquette and ynoxas has every right to expect that. I think the best response was y6y6y6's

Ynoxas was asking a sincere question about the mechanics of Metatalk. Metatalk should be open to every metafilter member who wants to contribute not just those who come here regularly and are part of the insider culture.
posted by vacapinta at 4:31 PM on October 9, 2003


But, if we take MetaTalk to some undisclsed location, wouldn't it quickly devolve into a Lord-of-the-Flies situation, with poor little Piggy sure to be maimed, killed, and eaten by his fellow Mefites?
Sounds fine to me. *sharpens axe*
posted by dg at 4:35 PM on October 9, 2003


If the thing is done, though, I get dibs on Mig's brain.
I call dibs on the rest of him then--he should be nicely marinated by now ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:45 PM on October 9, 2003


"I think the best response was y6y6y6's"

The new "polite" y6y6y6 is really annoying me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:45 PM on October 9, 2003


But, if we take MetaTalk to some undisclsed location, wouldn't it quickly devolve into a Lord-of-the-Flies situation, with poor little Piggy sure to be maimed, killed, and eaten by his fellow Mefites?

Sucks to your assmar.
posted by Samsonov14 at 5:00 PM on October 9, 2003


It happens from time to time, and it's disappointing every time it does.
posted by rushmc at 5:05 PM on October 9, 2003


Every so often, mathowie tears the subscription cards out of my magazine. It happens from time to time, and it thins out my magazine so that anyone reading the magazine can focus on actual content.
posted by ed at 5:22 PM on October 9, 2003


wouldn't it quickly devolve into a Lord-of-the-Flies situation, with poor little Piggy sure to be maimed, killed, and eaten by his fellow Mefites?

ehe, and how exactly is this different from metatalk at present?
posted by carfilhiot at 5:29 PM on October 9, 2003


Metatalk's evil twin would live in anarchy.

Having experienced forum anarchy first hand, even an evil overlord would be preferable. Actually this is kinda appropriate, as I'm part of a community that just upped and moved wholesale from an effective anarchy to a moderated community entirely to escape a pair of rampant trolls.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:24 PM on October 9, 2003


Metatalk gone wild!

look at this fellow...oh my.....
here is miguels'alligator motive
posted by clavdivs at 6:27 PM on October 9, 2003


On balance, Matt was right to delete it. It was a paltry complaint, more motivated by what I saw as BlueTrain's inconsistency than by the post itself. In reality, one's criticism shouldn't be set against one's front page posts - they're two different kettles of fish. But it's human to expect those who are always ready to criticize other posters to be a shining example when they post themselves. But silly, I agree.

On reflection, my complaint about BlueTrain's post should have stayed in the thread, since it wasn't that disruptive.

Finally, for the record, I think Matt's light-handed policy for deleting MeTa threads works well.

I'm all done with whining for the next year or so, I promise.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:30 PM on October 9, 2003


* tweaks Miguel's nose, deliberately misspells "portugese" *
posted by yhbc at 8:49 PM on October 9, 2003


"I'm all done with whining"

That's what the blog is for good boy.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:54 PM on October 9, 2003


good boy?!

good boy?!

Please, dear God, bring back the old rude y6, pronto! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:02 PM on October 9, 2003


"bring back the old rude y6"

Let's give it a bit. I want to see this play out. This is new. Whole new context.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:17 PM on October 9, 2003


(long cultural rant a-coming, please excuse)

Ah, you've found it's effective, have you? Well, it's only effective because people here know you as being very direct and unadorned. Besides, your politeness actually has the effect of making your ideas clearer and more to the point. Really polite people go on and on and nobody has the foggiest. Americans, by nature, are very suspicious of politeness, equating it with phoniness and hypocrisy. They lack the (essentially European) ability to disregard its formal appearance and go straight to the nugget. So you tend to get much more flak if you're polite, as it unfairly seems dishonest to most.

Politeness has to come from the heart; it's not a strategy. You have to worry about other people's feelings; have the weakness to want to be liked by them; be unsure about your own opinions and reactions; harbour the very unlikely and probably utopian conviction that, in the final analysis, everyone can agree to disagree and still respect eachother. In short, be an un-American wimp.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:57 PM on October 9, 2003


Miguel, I think it's very rude to call y6 "unadorned". I'm sure he's just as adorned as the next guy.
posted by taz at 10:30 PM on October 9, 2003


"So you tend to get much more flak if you're polite, as it unfairly seems dishonest to most."

Overly defensive. And not true. Right?

In all sincerity, and as someone who has been watching you critically since day one, please believe me when I say that you don't do MetaTalk well. People are taking you to task for something that has nothing to do with presentation. I understand what you are saying. You can take this in whatever way you want, but I mean it sincerely. You rub this place the wrong way.

But so what?

I once spent a few hours sitting with other MeFi members. Old timers by now. We talked about you a great deal. Everyone here has a love/hate relationship with you. You force the issue and leave us little choice. You are a solid part of the community here. But I don't think you are capable of fitting in. A seeming contradiction? Well, that's what we're stuck with. I don't think you can change. That's fine. Such is life. Such is MetaFilter.

You've been asked to change in every way possible. And in a much nicer manner than any other thorn I can remember. This has to say something. Buck up little camper.

"In short, be an un-American wimp."

Most Americans are whimps, and have no trouble with it. Don't buy into the hype. We're more Gore than Bush. Everyone on this side of the pond knows that.

Don't be so defensive. Live and learn. Or not. MetaFilter goes on.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:34 PM on October 9, 2003


Heehee, taz - that's confirmation that women, bless their socks, have the dirtiest minds. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:34 PM on October 9, 2003


i think those of us that came into the theater after the show had already started may feel differently, y6...miguel's always been a part of this.
posted by amberglow at 10:47 PM on October 9, 2003


Well, that extra "H" in whimps certainly convinced me.

No, seriously, y6, I think MetaFilter's greatest quality is that it somehow finds a place for those who don't fit in. This applies just as much to you as it does to me.

i honestly think I've changed - a lot - by posting much less; by cutting down dramatically on the chattiness; by eschewing my natural tendency to discuss the community relationship; by refraining from commenting on every thread; by trying to be briefer and more to the point; by listening to you lot and apologizing whenever I go overboard.

You must understand, however, that I'm almost 50, I'm a sociable bon vivant who adores life; banter; words; fun. I'm bookish, so I don't really use - much less rely on - the Internet. Also, I'm a foreigner; I'm an Orthodox Jew and I'm politically conservative. And yet MetaFilter - its users, bless'em - have brought me much knowledge, fraternity, damn good links and, above all, an example of honesty and frankness.

By the book, I'd hardly fit in. But people here - and I don't distinguish between those who can't stand me (as they ask me to change, rather than just reject me outright) and those who are like-minded - have made an effort to accommodate everybody, including me.

We should all be thankful. Nobody's easy here - well, I can't think of anyone, except perhaps Matt. Plep put it best of all in one of his comments: "Live and let live."

That's probably an even better formulation of "We're all in this together". With the stress on the this, of course, but also on the all.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:53 PM on October 9, 2003


True. All true.

Yet the thread in question remains deleted. For a reason. That's the point.

But at the end of the day I don't care one way or the other. The Internet is a big place. Fly to Vegas next month and we'll break bread, with caviar and pricey vodkas, at Red Square. On me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:09 PM on October 9, 2003


*books flight before the inevitable "Get a room you two" comment*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:15 PM on October 9, 2003


Miguel, once again I must admire you, for I am yet again learning more about you than anyone else in the room. Whether people are tossing you roses or insults, somehow we're always talking about you. And you are helping us talk about you, by talking more about you.

"Politeness has to come from the heart; it's not a strategy."

You'll forgive me if I note that this sounds a bit naive, and rather unlike the person you seem to be from what I read of you. Machiavelli comes to mind. Not that you're trying to be another Niccolo, it's just that saying Americans are the only one to "use" politeness strikes me a bit strange.

However, as usual I am amused by this continuing drama.
Drinks for the room, barkeep, I'm sure Miguel will continue to hold forth, so we might as well fortify ourselves...
posted by batgrlHG at 11:30 PM on October 9, 2003


I think MetaFilter's greatest quality is that it somehow finds a place for those who don't fit in.

And for those of us who really don't fit in anywhere, MetaFilter is a more comfortable enjoyable interesting place to not fit in than almost anywhere else on the Interaweb...
posted by wendell at 1:59 AM on October 10, 2003


yeah but miguel, what was the purpose of your metatalk thread that got deleted? it was just the most completely pointless post i've ever seen in my whole entire life. i was 100% astonished to see it. you were just whining about some other guy making a post that wasn't 100% brilliant. i don't get it at all. it got deleted, ynoxas, because it was utterly utterly devoid of usefulness or merit or any reason for it being there except for miguel to whine and draw attention to himself whining. not because it was heated or vituperative. those things are good.
posted by mokey at 5:01 AM on October 10, 2003


Tie for most outrageous (and blatantly false) general statement of the day:

Americans, by nature, are very suspicious of politeness, equating it with phoniness and hypocrisy.

and

Everyone here has a love/hate relationship with you.
posted by rushmc at 5:35 AM on October 10, 2003


Illigitimi non carborundum.
posted by plep at 6:14 AM on October 10, 2003


the whole of the internet is utterly pointless , is it not ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:15 AM on October 10, 2003


Technically the internet may not even exist. Chances are, it's all part of a deception by incredibly clever artificial intelligences who like to play with their food.
posted by walrus at 6:27 AM on October 10, 2003


Hmm. Can't say I expected where this would go. I am glad I got the answers I did, as I had mistakenly thought MeTa was an unedited forum. Regarding my skin and the thickness thereof, I wasn't harmed or insulted, but I was a little surprised that the first two responses felt the need to chastise me for length. If you are at all familiar with most of my posts, I tend to run long. It's just the way I am. I'm more interested in completeness than a cool "zinger".

But the responses have been interesting. Especially the Hallmark Moment between y6^3 and miguel (BTW, I like the new y6 too). And batgrlHG is the only one who "gets it".

Miguels ability to deflect and outright sidestep criticism and be incredibly insulting but tempered with a knowing european lightness of "I'm kidding, a little, but not really" is breathtaking. His contempt for Americans, and most MeFites, is obvious, but he somehow still demands a court of adoring subjects and enjoys celebrity status here. I can't say I'm not a little bit jealous. He has apologized for more than most members would ever be allowed to commit.

I think things may very well be interesting in the grey. I just don't think I have the time or devotion to commit to it. This is already draining.

But thank you for the blue and the grey matt. Thank you for letting all of us come into your home, insult your guests, and piss on your floor. We don't say that often enough.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:53 AM on October 10, 2003


I don't really use - much less rely on - the Internet

Then... then... how did you get here? *looks around in terror*

If you are at all familiar with most of my posts, I tend to run long.

Ynoxas, no offense, but I imagine hardly anyone but you is familiar with most of your posts. When people see a ridiculously long post, they don't go check out the poster's history and say "Oh, that's just Ynoxas being Ynoxas," they bitch about it. That's how we keep the front page from being taken over by ridiculously long posts. Nobody's asking you to be concise, just to put one paragraph on the front page and the rest inside. Here, check out this earlier MeTa thread on the same subject. And I totally agree with you about Miguel's breathtaking "ability to deflect and outright sidestep criticism and be incredibly insulting but tempered with a knowing european lightness." Well put.
posted by languagehat at 8:33 AM on October 10, 2003


Americans, by nature, are very suspicious of politeness, equating it with phoniness and hypocrisy.

No, if anything, you might be too charitable in your gross generalization, Miguel. Some Americans actually equate politeness with weakness. I've been told more than once, "Never apologize. People will think you're weak." No kidding. Of course, one person who told me that was a salesman, so consider the source.

Well, it's only effective because people here know you as being very direct and unadorned.

Frankly, I'm enjoying y63's new incarnation, as I perceived the former as the kind of affected, fashionable rude persona that is currently so ubiquitous . . . similar to angry modem and Dark Messiah. I thought it was unoriginal and the novelty had worn off.

But that's just my opinion, though -- obviously the opinion of a weak, polite person.

Now fuck off, the lot o' youse.
posted by Shane at 8:46 AM on October 10, 2003


Everyone here has a love/hate relationship with you.

Not me. I regard La Cardoso with untempered loathing.
posted by sennoma at 8:51 AM on October 10, 2003


"I thought it was unoriginal and the novelty had worn off."

Exactly. And it was mainly driven by the "old MeFi" where idiots were constantly walking through the place. It's no fun to scream at people who stick around and make themselves at home.

Plus it's nice to get the ego boost of having people actually listen and take me seriously.

"All told, thanks y6y6y6. You've given me some things to think about."

My first impulse is to throw up. But then it starts to grow on me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:20 AM on October 10, 2003


As long as we're all changing personas, I think I want to be the 14-year old girl.

OMG! Teh new y6y6y6 is SUPER HUNKELICIOUS!!!

*giggle*
posted by yhbc at 9:44 AM on October 10, 2003


I think 'portugeese' is a funnier misspelling. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:50 AM on October 10, 2003


But Senn, don't you love to hate him?
posted by anapestic at 10:05 AM on October 10, 2003


Americans, by nature, are very suspicious of politeness, equating it with phoniness and hypocrisy.

Everyone here has a love/hate relationship with you.

Not me. I regard La Cardoso with untempered loathing.
posted by sennoma at 8:51 AM PST on October 10


Now sennoma has exactly the kind of non-phony/hypocritical directness Miguel admires in Americans!
posted by Shane at 10:26 AM on October 10, 2003


"Ynoxas, no offense, but I imagine hardly anyone but you is familiar with most of your posts"

Which is definitely not a bad thing, as it means you aren't overposting and overcommenting, to the point where everyone thinks "wow, this person is living on MeFi/MetaTalk and must never sleep."

"And batgrlHG is the only one who "gets it"."

Well, I dunno about that - I've just spent many a gathering at which someone who felt themselves "the life of the party" monopolized conversation. I've learned to find entertainment in others' reactions to this. I'm never disappointed.

"No, if anything, you might be too charitable in your gross generalization, Miguel. Some Americans actually equate politeness with weakness. I've been told more than once, "Never apologize. People will think you're weak.""

People who think polite = weak really do not get it. You can get away with more snarky commentary by being polite than by being rude. If you're overtly rude than people take you to task, get offended, and feel the need to get into lengthy conversations about what's wrong with you/how to solve the problem. If you're polite you can be just as snarky, but if you say it with a wide eyed innocent look no one thinks you've meant it. "Why, she can't possibly have meant to infer that I was a lying weasel! I must be misunderstanding her!" As a southern girl I was brought up with this understanding. Not to say that politeness can't be genuine, and isn't something I practice on a daily basis (how much is brainwashing, I can never tell, I'm often automatically polite to people who are rude to me). But if you think that people can't be just as cutting with a sweet smile and saying please and thank you, oh honey, let me take y'all to a pleasant little tea party or bbq down south. They could scourge you verbally and if you weren't sharp you'd think everyone was being nice as pie.

And I don't think Americans have a corner on this market.
posted by batgrlHG at 10:33 AM on October 10, 2003


For example, you now really can't tell if I have, in my two previous comments, inferred that Miguel is a Machiavellian, lying weasel or if I was merely making social commentary. (It was the second of the two, btw, but you only have my word for that.)

And while I've rambling, has anyone noticed that in the fast food industry "have a nice day" often means "fuck you, you rude customer"?
posted by batgrlHG at 10:39 AM on October 10, 2003


And I don't think Americans have a corner on this market.

Ooops! Good catch. I totally forgot about the French.
/complete sarcasm

Good observations, batgrl. But does this mean you missed all the passive-aggressive slights (of which I'm not proud) in my previous couple comments? ;-)
posted by Shane at 11:15 AM on October 10, 2003


"But does this mean you missed all the passive-aggressive slights (of which I'm not proud) in my previous couple comments?"

Not at all, it was nicely done, but I wanted to get in on the fun and your introduction of the topic of politeness opened the door! Many thanks!

Note: Because Shane is being polite we are unable to tell if he is indeed calling Miguel weak because he presents the apology=polite=weak as being said by a salesman. And then he calls himself weak and polite - ah, joking tone and self disparagement (these are always good, they throw people) - Shane must be polite and thus not saying anything mean about Miguel. Right? Or is Shane being just as snarky in the disguise of politeness? Hmmm...
posted by batgrlHG at 11:42 AM on October 10, 2003


For the record, I don't buy the 'politeness = weakness' thing. Otherwise, batgrl, we need you as MeFi official translator/commentator!
batgrlHG:

"Miguell slings a vicious barely-disguised personal attack while languagehat counters with a double-entendre couched in a criticism but ...

"What's this!? It's sennoma jumping into the fray with a brilliant 'Fuck you, you odious waste of bandwidth'!!

"It's outta the park, folks!!

"...and where is Shane? Oh, he's injured on the sidelines, tossing out nothing but a pitiful slight in the form of misspelling 'Miguell' with two 'lls'.

"But lookout! Here comes johnson and y2karl!!"
posted by Shane at 11:58 AM on October 10, 2003


"MeFi official translator/commentator!"

Yes please. But I nominate Shane.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:07 PM on October 10, 2003


You rub this place the wrong way.

No, he rubs *you* the wrong way. I'm a part of "this place" and I tremendously enjoy most of MC's contributions and think he's the best thing about MetaFilter.

I wish you would find something else to obsess about.
posted by timeistight at 12:15 PM on October 10, 2003


Yes. Actually, Miguel was a major factor in me wanting to get an account on MeFi (blame him). As madamjujujive has said, he puts in far more than he gets back. More power to his organ.
posted by plep at 12:19 PM on October 10, 2003


More power to his organ.

Indeed.
posted by languagehat at 12:47 PM on October 10, 2003


Politeness definitely isn't weakness. If one resorts to rudeness to make one's point, then one is simply displaying one's own complete lack of power, security, and leverage.

The truly powerful can afford to be polite. They have nothing to lose by it. Unchecked aggression, on the other hand, is the tool of incompetents and children.
posted by webmutant at 12:54 PM on October 10, 2003


"MeFi official translator/commentator!"

No no, I'm definitely passing on that job.

"I wish you would find something else to obsess about."

Why is it obsessing when Miguel is pleased for us to discuss him, his life and his feelings in MetaTalk? And in fact encourges us to do this? We're merely having a polite little discussion here on the topic at hand.
posted by batgrlHG at 2:21 PM on October 10, 2003


My god. I haven't visited for a few days and nothing changes. It's like watching reruns of Cheers over and over. The Shelly Long episodes. Featuring Coach. Pre-Fraser.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:19 PM on October 10, 2003


His contempt for Americans, and most MeFites, is obvious

Obvious? What the heck are you talking about???
posted by konolia at 3:22 PM on October 10, 2003


Let's give it a bit. I want to see this play out. This is new. Whole new context.

Isn't it strange how flaming affects the flamer more than the flamee?
posted by carfilhiot at 3:42 PM on October 10, 2003


Unchecked aggression, on the other hand, is the tool of incompetents and children.

aren't you being a bit aggressive there?
posted by carfilhiot at 3:44 PM on October 10, 2003


Why is it obsessing when Miguel is pleased for us to discuss him, his life and his feelings in MetaTalk? And in fact encourges us to do this? We're merely having a polite little discussion here on the topic at hand.
-Whoa! ...and a good shot by batgrl as she deftly and concisely (yet subtly) points out Miguel's tendency toward...
Ehh, nevermind...
":-)"
posted by Shane at 5:57 PM on October 10, 2003


You rub this place the wrong way.

No, he rubs *you* the wrong way.



right way, wrong way, all i know is i got a place that needs rubbing.
posted by quonsar at 7:34 PM on October 10, 2003


Few people realize this, but "gondola, gondola, gondola" is actually the sound emitted when Fred Flintstone winds his feet up in mid-air preparatory to a quick run off-camera.

I'm just sayin'.
posted by yhbc at 8:28 PM on October 10, 2003


As to others being able to learn from the thread if it had been left alone - That's something we've talked about a lot in the past. The consensus has been that cleaning out the poo (as judged by Matt) is more important, *and* this isn't really a lesson anyone else needs to learn.

But... but... I was finally gonna learn if that old Blue Train thread was where WHAT. THE. FUCK. MATT? came from.

Was it? Or not?

*cries*
posted by soyjoy at 11:01 PM on October 10, 2003


This is it, soyjoy. Now blow your nose, and wipe the tears off that pretty face of yours.
posted by taz at 12:52 AM on October 11, 2003


Oops. Blue Train, Irontom, who can keep 'em straight? Well, thanks anyway, taz. Do I get to save any face on the basis of Blue Train having the first (non-Irontom) comment in the thread? I hope so, cause I just got my face dry, and I've re-applied the mascara.
posted by soyjoy at 7:06 PM on October 12, 2003


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