IraqFilter, I/P, staying on topic January 26, 2004 7:30 PM   Subscribe

Re: Iraq.
Kinda playing off of what stavros was hinting at a couple of posts ago. More inside.
posted by BlueTrain to Etiquette/Policy at 7:30 PM (143 comments total)

MetaFilter is a website that serves many purposes. To some, it’s a great place to catch up on daily news. To others, it provides a constant source of weird and wacky links on the web. MeFi has some very lively discussion. MeFi is informative and frank. MeFi is many things to many people, and is still one of the best sites on the web. I think we’d all agree on that, mainly because we’re all still here, posting, lurking, and commenting.

Lately, though, with the war on Iraq, and before that the Israel vs. Palestine debacle, our attention has been focused on a very important world event. This is one of the few times in US history where the government engaged in a pre-emptive strike against a sovereign state. This shocked the world, and it shocked its citizenry. So much so that a rather large contingent of our population is polarized and extremely vocal with their viewpoints. While the freedom of speech and expression is vital for our democracy to remain intact, tact and brevity are sometimes lost. This is understandable considering the lives that are at stake and an ideological dilemma that plagues anyone who truly cares for the state of global politics.

Yet, as we sometimes forget, there is, in fact, a time and a place for everything. When I sip a latte at my local coffee shop and read the NY Times, I don’t mention to my neighbor how disgusted I am with our jobless recovery. When I go out to a nice restaurant with my girlfriend, I don’t squabble with her about how my life didn’t turn out as planned. My neighbor at the coffee shop simply want to enjoy his peace of mind, and my girlfriend wants to enjoy a nice meal and a relaxing evening. This brings me back to MetaFilter.

MetaFilter is a great, and vibrant community with much to offer. AskMeFi has brought out a wealth of information and has given us, as members, a chance to really help each other out. The MeFi front page has some great links to obscure sites and some great discussions about world events, but MeFi is only great when diversity thrives. Iraq has created a plethora of ideological and practical questions that have yet to be answered, and I agree that an occasional link to the subject is valuable and informative, however, if we continue to post Iraq-related links at our current rate, we will go a long way toward destroying the diversity that exists here and only alienate those who’d prefer not to discuss this topic on a daily basis.

MeFi, to me, is like going to the library and receiving a hands-on look into many aspects of life. There’s always something new here that I didn’t know before. I come to MeFi to see wacky links, news, and discussion. MeFi is now a mixed bag of all three. And we should maintain the diversity of topics. We should remember that MeFi is a community that filters the best and most obscure of the web. Let’s keep it that way.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:30 PM on January 26, 2004


Cerulean blue is like a gentle breeze
posted by namespan at 7:45 PM on January 26, 2004


Metafilter is like the nice, tasty, hardened toothpaste crud on the end of the tube.
posted by angry modem at 7:54 PM on January 26, 2004


...tact and brevity are sometimes lost.
I'll try to be tactful. That wasn't brief.
posted by wendell at 7:57 PM on January 26, 2004


Yet, as we sometimes forget, there is, in fact, a time and a place for everything. When I sip a latte at my local coffee shop and read the NY Times, I don’t mention to my neighbor how disgusted I am with our jobless recovery. When I go out to a nice restaurant with my girlfriend, I don’t squabble with her about how my life didn’t turn out as planned. My neighbor at the coffee shop simply want to enjoy his peace of mind, and my girlfriend wants to enjoy a nice meal and a relaxing evening. This brings me back to MetaFilter....However, if we continue to post Iraq-related links at our current rate, we will go a long way toward destroying the diversity that exists here and only alienate those who’d prefer not to discuss this topic on a daily basis.

That's nice...the coffee shop scene. And the nice restaurant with your girlfriend. Cozy. Try the steak tartare. But since you're getting all civil and urbane and all on us....we'd probably expect that you also don't try to get the people at the next table to limit the topics of their conversation, right? I mean, as THEY are sitting there reading their NY Times and sipping latte and having conversations with THEIR girlfriend and all, you don't tell THEM to shut up about Iraq because YOU are tired of hearing about it, right?

'Cause it kinda sounds like that's exactly what you and a few vocal others really sort of want to do with MetaFilter, right?

If you don't want to read or discuss Iraq, don't click on the Iraq links, and don't post in those threads. Does it really need to be any simpler than that? Or is it just too painful for some of you to understand what we've done there?

Kinda seems to me....since we're chatting so nicely about restaurants and coffee shops and latte and all these other amenities so casually....that many of you are just uncomfortable that some of us keep pointing out that the horiatiki is breeding salmonella. We know horiatiki is your favorite, but the solution ain't shutting us up. The solution is showing us that our lab tests are wrong....or making a new salad.

Bon apetit.

And I was just kidding about the steak tartare. Try a plate of dried yeast.

posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:18 PM on January 26, 2004


"To some, it’s a great place to catch up on daily news."

Ah, to some what? That is the question.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:26 PM on January 26, 2004


fold_and_mutilate, you're presenting a false dichotomy.

First, I'm not attempting to censor anti-war sentiment. I, of course, have an opinion on the subject, which I've mentioned on several occasions here, but again, I think there is a time and a place for such sentiments.

Second, this site isn't a mixture of many private conversations. In fact, it's almost the exact opposite. The style MeFi uses to present comments, and posts, makes each thread into an open forum where everyone's opinion is equally read. This is especially so when dealing with front page posts, because they exist on real estate that everyone must view if they care to frequent this site.

Finally, your extremely adverse reaction to perceived censorship is understandable, but misplaced. I don't believe that opinions concerning the war are unwelcome. I believe that they are overstated. Considering the name of the site isn't IraqFilter, I think it's reasonable to ask for moderation.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:34 PM on January 26, 2004


Could someone please gather up all of this refried ectoplasm and put it in a bucket so that I may hear a satisfying noise when I kick it?
posted by Opus Dark at 8:49 PM on January 26, 2004


Mmm...now that post up there got me thinking about raw beef. Steak tartare. Beef carpaccio. Great stuff.

f&m:we'd probably expect that you also don't try to get the people at the next table to limit the topics of their conversation, right?

f&m:many of you are just uncomfortable that some of us keep pointing out that the horiatiki is breeding salmonella

So which is it? Do i get to talk about the delicacy that is raw meat with my girlfriend or not? I mean if there are enough loud idiots blathering on about politics at the next table I'll just go eat somewhere else.
posted by vacapinta at 8:51 PM on January 26, 2004


Hear, hear! We need more John Dowells, Edward Ashburnhams, Leonora Powys, and Florence Hurlbirds in the world and less of these righteous do-gooders. Be you in a coffee shop for a latte stop or a restaurant with your debutant, I say ignore the war and step into that minuet.

Who goes out to read the paper and then complains when people talk?
posted by The God Complex at 9:00 PM on January 26, 2004


Thanks for your effort BlueTrain.
posted by timeistight at 9:03 PM on January 26, 2004


Yes, sorry, on a more serious note, thanks Bluetrain. You're just asking for moderation so, of course, you'll get attacked by extremists.

I consider myself very liberal and spend inordinate amounts of time (as does my family) engaged in social work (i wont justify any further.) But I also find solace, like many others, in culture, beauty, art, music, dance, poetry, literature, ideas, laughter....expressions of ourselves and of our humanity. I come to metafilter for many of those things.

I don't come here to try and save the world. I don't understand why thats so condemnable.
posted by vacapinta at 9:14 PM on January 26, 2004


You know what I find irritating day after day? People who pretend to speak for Matt or pretend to speak for the community in oh so moderate tones and then act like jerks in the threads just a day or two later. A person like that can not be taken seriously.
posted by y2karl at 9:21 PM on January 26, 2004


oh christ ... and those of us who care about things like the unjust war in iraq - are supposed to keep our keyboards quiet because, like the rest of america, the war and reasons we went to war are now an embarrassment and what we really need to talk about is the newest ipod doo-dad, the media's treatment of given candidate today, or some crusty friedman thread ...

i for one beg to differ - if human rights watch had come out today and said the war in iraq was just - i'd like to see the post and the ensuing discussion... or had kay come out with the smoking gun: saddam's nuclear bomb cheney told us all about ... again, a post and a discussion would have been welcomed.

'cause we know a few who have had wetdreams about posting just such a thing ... too bad for them.
posted by specialk420 at 9:30 PM on January 26, 2004


A person like that can not be taken seriously.

Just another reason I (usually) don't take the Blue seriously anymore. (Oh, that and knee-jerk reactions that'de give a lesser person a bloody nose)
posted by jmd82 at 9:33 PM on January 26, 2004

When I sip a latte at my local coffee shop and read the NY Times
Coffee shops serve more than latte, and you can read other newspapers besides NYT. Yet, you describe this activity as though it were routine. At least IraqOpera changes from one day to the next. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:33 PM on January 26, 2004


I'm sorry, I just have to get off my chest that I don't think I laughed any harder in the last few months than I did just now reading quonsar's dismissal of what was obviously an impassioned, well-thought-out and detailed opinion by going CHOO! CHOO! and utterly destroying it in about ten seconds of effort. It's sadistic and I apologize, but god damn if I didn't laugh my ass off from being caught off guard like that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:37 PM on January 26, 2004


Like grains of sand in an hourglass...for these are The Days Of Our War.
posted by y2karl at 9:39 PM on January 26, 2004


Oops, that was for At least IraqOpera changes from one day to the next. ;-P and it should have been Like sands through the hourglass, so are The Days Of Our War... No verbatim memory here.
posted by y2karl at 9:45 PM on January 26, 2004


This is a well-written and impassioned plea, Bluetrain, but it misses the point about why this stuff is happening.

You see, our government - forgive me if you don't live in the U.S. and haven't heard about it, or if it doesn't affect you - our government is currently full of liars, criminals and pardoned felons who think it's okay to use our military as freelance mercenaries representing corporate power interests, whether it's good for the safetey of our citizenry or not.

Our government also wields fear. It seems to be the only way they know how to get things done.

They also - while claiming to be against "Big Government" - enjoy enacting laws which make it possible for the government to look at things like our library records. They would very much like to control our reproductive organs, and how much we use them, too.

Some of us take this very seriously, and think it's important to examine what's going on right now. That's why these posts are happening. Don't take them personally, they're not about you.
posted by interrobang at 10:29 PM on January 26, 2004


Some of us take this very seriously, and think it's important to examine what's going on right now. That's why these posts are happening.

Some of us take this very seriously, think its important to examine what's going on right now, and come up with completely different opinions than yours.

Try a pro bush post. See what happens, see how quickly it turns into a flame fest. But why? You shouldn't take it personally.

It happens on both sides.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 11:00 PM on January 26, 2004


Try a pro bush post. See what happens, see how quickly it turns into a flame fest. But why? You shouldn't take it personally.

Go ahead and do it, Dennis Murphy. I'll read both the link and the thread. I'm not the one complaining about the content on this website.
posted by interrobang at 11:04 PM on January 26, 2004


dennis - thanks for staying in character and adding clarity to the discussion at hand ...
posted by specialk420 at 11:32 PM on January 26, 2004


I think Blue is right on. I find the info on Iraq-threads to be highly interesting. I've also come to the point of ignoring them because there's so MANY of them. Keep the site full of variety and don't clutter up the front page with more than one iraq/politics/israel post a day, OK? Maybe that's being done now - who knows, I've become so depressed with the blue I just skip right to MeTa and AskMe.

Specialk420: You're totally missing the point. Blue isn't suggesting that we stop posting iraq or politics related stuff. He's suggesting we keep it to a level where there's quality instead of quantity. You want to post smoking gun stuff? Fine. But I'll be ignoring it if it's the 30th Iraq post of the week.

Y2Karl: Maybe when you stop making posts that are half a page of copy/pasted text and make some effort to make your FPPs understandable or easy to discern what's going on, perhaps then you'll have a legitimate bone to pick in posts like this.

On preview: I agree with Specialk, Dennis, you're derailing the thread.
posted by Happydaz at 1:02 AM on January 27, 2004




we'd probably expect that you also don't try to get the people at the nexttable to limit the topics of their conversation, right?

No, but I would tell the asshole, ranting at that top of his lungs in an attempt to get everyone's attention that he needs to "Shut the hell up" so I can enjoy my coffee and paper.

And that is the difference...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:58 AM on January 27, 2004


As much as i agree with BlueTrain and admire his well thought out and eloquently phrased post, i have to step back and point out a couple of things that come to my mind. First i, probably not unlike others here, actually come to MeFi before hitting news sources when "something happens". i do this because i can usually count on seeing intelligent discourse from both sides of the fence as well as humorous asides that bring brief, flickering moments of joy to my life. If there is a site that is better than Metafilter at doing this, i am unaware of it [read as: never was invited to join ;]

i value this discourse as a rare commodity because it's seems so unusual that so many people, some of whom seem to be experts in their fields, regularly contribute opinions. And despite the obvious, the friction between differing views can be uniquely useful to someone who truly wants to see both sides of an issue.

That being said, i post rarely and usually only when i feel i have something to say that might contribute to a thread. i joined MeFi because i loved the wacky links, i stayed because i can't find a better source for information that doesn't typically devolve into "you suck", "no YOU suck!"

Perhaps there is some magic that Matt can perform that will give us sub-MeFi forums such as IraqFilter.metafilter.com and FlavorOfTheDay.metafilter.com, but until, and even if that day comes, i will still be here, reading this shit, bickering and all.
posted by quin at 2:35 AM on January 27, 2004


Y2Karl: Maybe when you stop making posts that are half a page of copy/pasted text and make some effort to make your FPPs understandable or easy to discern what's going on, perhaps then you'll have a legitimate bone to pick in posts like this.

Um, you mean like War in Iraq: Not a Humanitarian Intervention
Human Rights Watch finds the post fact rationale for the invasion wanting
?

I don't think it gets much simpler than that. Sort of like AWOL Bush: Debunked? Hardly! Am I not right, Steve? You understood that one, didn't you?
posted by y2karl at 3:19 AM on January 27, 2004


I've become so depressed with the blue I just skip right to MeTa and AskMe.

Me, too, and I've been considering dropping MetaTalk, too.
posted by timeistight at 3:25 AM on January 27, 2004


This is one of the few times in US history where the government engaged in a pre-emptive strike against a sovereign state.

Twelve years and seventeen violated resolutions is anything but "pre-emptive", but I digress.

Everything you need to know about posting is right there on the posting page, or in the posting guidelines. It couldn't be any simpler than that.
posted by hama7 at 6:26 AM on January 27, 2004


"self-policing since 1999"

As I see it, this is the crux of the matter right here. MetaFilter, as a social hub, has gone the route of having flexible rules, with flexible guidelines. We choose to shame people into behaving properly, and when that doesn't work, well......until they cross the line and Matt closes their account, we have to deal with them.

I view MetaFilter as an amorphous blob that changes size, viewpoint, filters, desires and so on as the winds blow. Right now it's Iraq and Bush politics that is the driving engine; it was Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, 9/11, gun control, fat people before that. Who knows what it will be next (coughitsalwayspoliticscough). The thing is that until that "self" disappears in "self-policing" nothing is going to change here. Or I should say that the changes that will happen will be minimal and often unseen, gradually changing until one day we will start saying insertyourownword-Filter as well as NewsFilter or IraqFilter.

So, as I see it, until there are mediators on the site, something that we all know is never go to happen, we have to deal with MeFi exactly the way it is. Part of that is having people like BlueTrain and Stavros ask for fewer Iraq posts as well as those like fold and mutilate who aggressively stand against that sort of moderation. Opinions will sway back and forth, people will get upset and yada yada yada.

I guess what I'm saying is that until we get badge-carrying moderators, calls for moderation of Iraq/Politics/Israel/Palestine etc, will be like pissing against the wind, but those very calls for moderation are an integral part of our "self-policing", so they can't stop. Slowly, slowly, perhaps views will change and people will refrain from posting their newsfilter posts. Or perhaps not.
posted by ashbury at 6:26 AM on January 27, 2004


newsfilter has slowly destroyed everything good about Metafilter. - S. Chin
posted by hama7 at 6:33 AM on January 27, 2004


or some crusty friedman thread

Who is Crusty Friedman?
posted by staggernation at 7:06 AM on January 27, 2004


KInky Friedman's brother the gutterpunk.
posted by jonmc at 7:11 AM on January 27, 2004


don't read posts that you don't want to read.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:29 AM on January 27, 2004



Twelve years and seventeen violated resolutions is anything but "pre-emptive", but I digress.


heh. you'd better not digress, if this is the sort of argument you're gonna use. "pre-emptive" means it didn't follow an attack -- Iraq never attaqed, unless you believe Saddam is 9-11's mastermind (there's about five or six actual analysts -- like Laurie Mylroie -- who really argue that, all of them basically insane, but help yourself). you didn't even take the trouble to stage a Tonkin-like non-existent casus belli, this time.
I'm also happy that you talk about resolutions -- I thought the UN was just a useless bunch of darker-skinned people who hate America. Glad to see you take them seriously now.

posted by matteo at 8:02 AM on January 27, 2004


Iraq never attaqed

Uh, yes it did. Just ask Iran and the Kurds, for starters. When Mr. Rat-Hole got his derriere handed to him twelve years ago, he promised to clean up his act, which he summarily proceeded not to do, no thanks to the U.N., who have shown that they do absolutely nothing extremely well.
posted by hama7 at 8:13 AM on January 27, 2004


don't read posts that you don't want to read.

Yes. Start skipping those AmericanPoliticsFilter posts. Skip them every day til the point where MeFi has dwindled to 2-3 "Best of the Web" links and the rest a glut of NYT/WaPo op-eds about Bush despite pleas to the contrary from the site-op himself.

I suppose after that, The Disgruntled should then move on to some other website because sticking around and arguing for moderation is frankly not worthwhile. Dissent is bad, right? No one should raise their voice when they see something change for the worse. We should "love it or leave it", right?

I'm with timeistight & Stan Chin. MeFi has sucked royally for a few years now and the obstinate news-posting folks who need desperately for the world to hear them (even in the wrong forum), bear the responsbility, yet are too addled by their own angry, lynch-mob mentality to see what damage they're doing.

Sound like a familiar scenario?
posted by dhoyt at 8:29 AM on January 27, 2004

yet are too addled by their own angry, lynch-mob mentality
Yup, sounds like the 'familiar' right-wing tactic of using character attacks instead of reason to argue their point.
posted by mischief at 8:38 AM on January 27, 2004


Having never remotely identified with, associated with, or voted for any "right-wing" element in my life, I guess I wouldn't know. ;-P
posted by dhoyt at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2004


MeFi has sucked royally for a few years now

I disagree.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:02 AM on January 27, 2004


It's uncanny how the people who constantly defend these actions are the same group of 12 or so people who feel like MeFi is their own personal axe-grinding blog. This small contingent thinks that MeFi exists so that they can bash us over our heads in every threads with their political ethos.

We all know who this group of 12 or so people is: amberglow, matteo, specialk420, y2karl, nofundy, mischief, a few others. These same people are the ones who post the same things ad nauseum to such an extent that there have been no less than 10 recent MeTa threads asking them to stop it.

I submit that if this identifiable group of people were to be absent from MeFi for 2 weeks or so, we would all notice a SIGNIFICANT change (for the better) in the quality of posts, content, and level of discourse.


I applaud Blue's post. I can only hope that eventually it encourages Matt to do something. He has tried before to discourage such posts, but he has been reserved in his policing. Obviously a handful of people will not abide by self-policing, so I hope Matt will finally make an affirmative and decisive step. Tell this contigent of shills to go to PoliticsFilter or IndyMedia if they feel it necessary to discuss their political objections. It clearly doesn't belong here and it is ruining MeFi and the level of discourse here.


I know eventually someone will commment about my lack of links posted, but see... I come here to read about the best of the web. I don't come here to grind my axe because I realize that this isn't the place. And because this group of a few refuse to follow decorum, it is the reason that myself and a few others have become more active in MeTa to try plead for a cessation of this crap. It is impossible to ignore because the crap has overtaken the good stuff.




(BTW, y2karl, how many times do you want to link to your "debunked?" link? I think I have seen that in at least 5 different threads from you, and it has never been within the scope of the discussion.)
posted by Seth at 9:12 AM on January 27, 2004


FWIW, I agree 100% with BlueTrain. I think specialk420 unwittingly hit the nail on the head:

if human rights watch had come out today and said the war in iraq was just - i'd like to see the post and the ensuing discussion... or had kay come out with the smoking gun: saddam's nuclear bomb cheney told us all about ... again, a post and a discussion would have been welcomed.

I'd welcome them as well. The problem is, the vast majority of IraqFilter/CampaignFilter/NewsFilter posts are nowhere near this significant. You can count me among those who have pretty much stopped reading the blue entirely.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:15 AM on January 27, 2004


oh christ ... and those of us who care about things like the unjust war in iraq - are supposed to keep our keyboards quiet because, like the rest of america, the war and reasons we went to war are now an embarrassment and what we really need to talk about is the newest ipod doo-dad, the media's treatment of given candidate today, or some crusty friedman thread ...

Yes, that's exactly why we're sick of talking about the war here, because we are all secret Bush apologists embarrassed by the truth. It has nothing to do with not wanting to tread the same ground over and over and over again ad nauseum, or with the fact that some of us find other things in life just as interesting (maybe even moreso!) as constant, endless, repetitive discourse on foreign policy.

It really is beyond your comprehension that someone might possibly have opinions on what makes a good MeFi post which are not politically motivated, isn't it?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:23 AM on January 27, 2004


Um, Seth, I don't recall ever commenting in an IraqOpera thread, and I certainly have never posted one. I usually skip 'em. In fact, I usually skip over most NewsFilter threads. I will however defend someone else's interpretation of the 'rules' that such posts are appropriate.

So, that original 'group of 12' of whom you could only name 6 has already diminished to 5. Mayhaps you know not about which you write. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:32 AM on January 27, 2004


d: that was the point.
posted by mischief at 9:36 AM on January 27, 2004


Tell this contigent of shills to go to PoliticsFilter or IndyMedia if they feel it necessary to discuss their political objections. It clearly doesn't belong here and it is ruining MeFi and the level of discourse here.

I submit that if this identifiable group of people were to be absent from MeFi for 2 weeks or so, we would all notice a SIGNIFICANT change (for the better) in the quality of posts, content, and level of discourse.

MeFi has sucked royally for a few years now and the obstinate news-posting folks who need desperately for the world to hear them (even in the wrong forum), bear the responsbility, yet are too addled by their own angry, lynch-mob mentality to see what damage they're doing.

Um, now who has the lynch mob mentality?
posted by y2karl at 10:03 AM on January 27, 2004


I submit that if this identifiable group of people were to be absent from MeFi for 2 weeks or so, we would all notice a SIGNIFICANT change (for the better) in the quality of posts, content, and level of discourse.

And I submit that this is very flawed logic. You accuse the Mefi 6 5 12 of axe-grinding in posts. Fine. But you cannot be asserting that because they post as they do that all posts, comments, and discourse suffer from it? If this is your intention, kindly show me how y2karl's recent post has materially hurt participation in Flash Friday. (This should be fun).
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:05 AM on January 27, 2004


Um, now who has the lynch mob mentality?

Yes, the 4-5 people here chiming in to agree with BlueTrain comprise a "lynch mob". Please.

FWIW, I don't condone much of what Seth said, or the tone he used. I was only speaking for myself.

I've yet to hear a compelling arguement for why we should turn our backs on MeFi's original "Best of the Web" credo to make way for a flood of NY Times/WaPo AmericanForeignPolicyFilter stuff in the blue, despite Matt's misgivings. The discussions are either preaching to the choir, or bringing out the worst in us. So why should we use MeFi as a platform for this when there are plenty of other venues?

Karl? Anyone?
posted by dhoyt at 10:25 AM on January 27, 2004


if human rights watch had come out today and said the war in iraq was just - i'd like to see the post and the ensuing discussion... or had kay come out with the smoking gun: saddam's nuclear bomb cheney told us all about ... again, a post and a discussion would have been welcomed.

Well, at least those would have been good examples of something NEW.
posted by Witty at 10:32 AM on January 27, 2004


Count me as one of those who reads the blue a lot less these days. It's about signal-to-noise ratio. "Just skip the posts you don't like" becomes "wade through huge quantities of inflammatory childish posturing".

Worse than that, there's a strong negative feedback loop, where righteous shrieking about good vs. evil drives away those interested in other subjects or other ways of discussing politics, so they post less, so the volume of shrieking increases.

If I really wanted to read the latest mainstream political news, I'd go to cnn.com. And inside the threads, political discourse on MeFi is mostly indistinguishable from talk radio in tone and level of intelligence. MeFi was intended to be the Best of the Web; increasingly it's just another version of LGF.
posted by fuzz at 10:55 AM on January 27, 2004


I've yet to hear a compelling arguement for why we should turn our backs on MeFi's original "Best of the Web" credo to make way for a flood of NY Times/WaPo AmericanForeignPolicyFilter stuff in the blue, despite Matt's misgivings.

no one is arguing for that, only that there is room for both.

MeFi was intended to be the Best of the Web; increasingly it's just another version of LGF.

screw you, too.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:56 AM on January 27, 2004


screw you, too.

Thanks for proving my point.
posted by fuzz at 11:05 AM on January 27, 2004


comparing someone to LGF is about as low as you can go. you might as well have said my taste in music sucks.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:07 AM on January 27, 2004


this place would be so much better if all of you would just go away.
posted by crunchland at 11:07 AM on January 27, 2004


MeFi was intended to be the Best of the Web; increasingly it's just another version of LGF.

screw you, too.


If you look closely, you can actually see the ouroboros biting its own tail here.
posted by Skot at 11:09 AM on January 27, 2004


I'm with timeistight & Stan Chin. MeFi has sucked royally for a few years now

i'm with mcsweetie. don't take this the wrong way, but, if you are so unhappy, go away. some of us like this place. i'm tired of hearing this bullshit. you don't like the site, go away. nobody needs, or asked for an explanation of your absence. if you are unhappy, and cannot effect the changes you desire, then go the fuck away and stop belching your whining vomitus all over the floor. you won't be the first, you won't be the last.
posted by quonsar at 11:21 AM on January 27, 2004


Everyone who posts on this site bears some responsibility for its tone. The fact that this forum can't even have a civil conversation about having a civil conversation is a bad sign. (I must be the millionth person to realize that the Internet IS just like a highway, because your car gives you the same feelings of semi-anonymity, and transience. Nobody could sustain this kind of vocal hostility on a crowded subway train, or in an elevator).
posted by coelecanth at 11:22 AM on January 27, 2004


Reviewing my last few posts just now I see one post with one link from the New York Times magazine alone--If the Bomb Is So Easy to Make, Why Don't More Nations Have It? on January 7.

Since then I have linked to FindLaw; The New York Times and The Brookings Institution; Parameters -- The Magazine of the US Army War College; the American Dialect Society; then a Gene Wolfe multi-link cornucopia; The American Prospect; another multi-link about the movie The Spook Who Sat By The Door with one NYT review as lead link; the Centauromachies etc. super duper ultra multi-link extravaganza and, lastly, Human Rights Watch.

I would submit that this is not exactly your flood of NY Times/WaPo AmericanForeignPolicyFilter stuff.
posted by y2karl at 11:23 AM on January 27, 2004


I understand your point, BlueTrain, and defend your right to make it, but I don't believe in fiddling while Rome burns so I have to disagree with it.

Keep the site full of variety

No one is stopping anyone from posting as many Flash kitten widget posts as they want to make. Therefore the composition of the front page reflects the interests and preferences of those who post to the front page. Rather than complain about it as a mere reader of front page posts, perhaps it would be better to post links that you prefer to adjust the mix more to your liking?
posted by rushmc at 11:32 AM on January 27, 2004


go away… go away… go the fuck away…

Okay; you've convinced me, quonsar.
posted by timeistight at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2004


I really liked that spook post too.

oh and what rushmc said.
posted by dabitch at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2004


then go the fuck away and stop belching your whining vomitus all over the floor.

Quonsar you've just crystallized the exact "Love or Leave It" attitude you've decried so much in the past. Don't you realize how unfair that is?

I also find saying "don't take this the wrong way" and following it with "go the fuck away" to be more of a comment on your own interpersonal relationship problems with people than with my superficial complaints about the site. Get ahold of yourself. I didn't deserve that kind of volatility for voicing an opinion.
posted by dhoyt at 11:35 AM on January 27, 2004


I think I'm gonna go around to all the blogs I quit reading because they were boring or becoming dreadful; and I'm gonna post in the comments of those blogs informing them that I used to read but I don't anymore. And then, I'm going to tell the blogger just what kinda a piece a shit his blog has become, because he doesn't cater to my desires, and his other readers/commentors don't agree with me enough, and because when he's interested in posting about x it makes it harder for me to enjoy his posts about y.

This should be fun.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:40 AM on January 27, 2004


Wulfgar,
Your two analogs are fatally distinguishable.

The blog belongs to the writer of the blog. It is the forum for HIM to voice HIS opinion. The writer of the blog created it to allow him to grind his axe for whatever reason he wants.

THIS IS NOT YOUR BLOG. This is Metafilter. This site doesn't exist for people to treat it like their own private blog.

Your analogy fails.



I second fuzz's comments, as I think he hit it on the head. The signal-to-noise ratio has been overwhelmed. And I still contend that it is predominatly done by the same identifiable group of people. I named a few off the top of my head, but I am sure that most all readers can identfiy the rest.
posted by Seth at 11:48 AM on January 27, 2004


Now let's all grab our pitchforks and torches and march on Frankenstein's castle! Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit....
posted by y2karl at 11:50 AM on January 27, 2004



*starts mopping thread's floor, cleaning up the vomitus*

posted by matteo at 11:53 AM on January 27, 2004


Wulfgar,
Your two analogs are fatally distinguishable.


You forgot his exclamation point! It defines him. He put it there for a reason, to show how in! your! face! he is.
posted by Mick at 11:55 AM on January 27, 2004


I don't want anyone to leave, myself, so, c'mon everybody, sing! '''Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit....'
posted by y2karl at 12:00 PM on January 27, 2004


rushmc:No one is stopping anyone from posting as many Flash kitten widget posts as they want to make. Therefore the composition of the front page reflects the interests and preferences of those who post to the front page. Rather than complain about it as a mere reader of front page posts, perhaps it would be better to post links that you prefer to adjust the mix more to your liking?

That sounds reasonable except that the composition of the front page also reflects what people feel is appropriate for the front page in a sort of self-feeding loop. If I see nothing but news posts, I will be more reluctant to post that Flash kitten post (conversely, if the front page is nothing but flash posts, news posts seem unwelcome)

The front page sets the tone for the site and, in addition to your call for delivering more non-news posts (agreed), I think it is reasonable for Bluetrain to also ask the news posters to ease the throttle a bit.
posted by vacapinta at 12:03 PM on January 27, 2004


y2karl - I stand corrected - it appears you have been posting about more than just Iraq. Perhaps I should read the blue more often.

Seth I wish you would stop being so vindictive that it derails arguments. Whenever you support something I agree with, I want to back away about 20 paces because you're so bitter and hateful about it.

And quonsar, I wish you could reply to posts without saying fuck you. I really hope you don't have everyday conversations the same way you do in Metafilter.

And Metafilter, I love you despite not reading the blue much. I've only been here two years, but I don't think MeFi sucks, it just needs the constant love we provide in MeTa threads. With that said: Can we keep the site a best of the web, which just happens to include Iraq stuff? Please?
posted by Happydaz at 12:06 PM on January 27, 2004


The analogy may be loose, but it hardly fails, Seth. Look at the several folks who've posted here to tell the whole Mefi world that they never read MetaFilter anymore ... but happily go out of thier way to point it out to us in MetaTalk, and then tell us all what is wrong with MetaFilter ... that they don't read ... so one wonders how they know.

And I'm sure that you didn't miss the irony of this:

THIS IS NOT YOUR BLOG. This is Metafilter.

as you're quite fervently telling us all what is and isn't proper for MetaFilter. It's a community blog, and if you don't like my posts, on this community blog, then don't fricken read them. But please don't tell me how my posts are ruining MetaFilter, if its not my blog to ruin.

To be honest, I think Blue Train has a good point, but that point gets lost by the foolish who only focus on one aspect of what happens in the Blue, and then self-rightiously claim that they know exactly where MetaFilter is going, and what it needs to be to keep them happy.
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:18 PM on January 27, 2004


i'm tired of hearing this bullshit. you don't like the site, go away
...
ermmm.
[words fail me]
posted by seanyboy at 12:20 PM on January 27, 2004


...ease the throttle a bit

Which I do--as noted above. Look--this was going to be posted. It's important and noteworthy and Iwanted to do it right. Rather than put up some half-assed article, I went to the source. I can't help but feel that some of the anger this time is that a respected organization--Human Rights Watch--did not consider the invasion of Iraq a humanitarian intervention. It refutes, logically and in detail, the but... but... Saddam Hussein was a mass murderer! rationale for the invasion. So, was it anger over the post or the content, then? From the comments, I would say it depends.
posted by y2karl at 12:21 PM on January 27, 2004


Didn't we figure out only a month ago (maybe two) that there are maybe two or three Iraq posts every day? That's hardly enough to make it impossible to "wade through" the front page for the "good" posts unless you're easily distracted.

I second fuzz's comments, as I think he hit it on the head. The signal-to-noise ratio has been overwhelmed. And I still contend that it is predominatly done by the same identifiable group of people. I named a few off the top of my head, but I am sure that most all readers can identfiy the rest.

You're consistently one of the most fatiguing entities on this site for a myriad of undesirable reasons. You've never bothered to find anything "interesting" to post on the page (not once), yet you continue to pursue your axe-grinding to no end, despite the fact that the majority of your comments are politically-motivated harping that anyone who protests Bush's policies in post-war Iraq are misguided (despite your vaunted claims to be of an indistinguishable political shade). You're also high-handed. I'm sure other reasons are immediately distinguishable by other readers.

-----

It's a strange time in the landscape of American politics, to be sure, and it only makes sense that a certain level of discourse is going to take place. Perhaps there is too much, on occasion, but this sort of micro-moderation (only one a day, not two, etc.) isn't worth implementing.

No, but I would tell the asshole, ranting at that top of his lungs in an attempt to get everyone's attention that he needs to "Shut the hell up" so I can enjoy my coffee and paper.

Pot, thine black kettle awaits. Posts to the front page are analogous to quiet conversations around a coffee shop that could listen to or choose not to, since you can easily (very easily) ignore two or three posts a day. Personally, I'd rather listen to Karl (or someone else) speak about politics in the coffee shop than watch you reading Garfield or listen someone else's exhiliration over the latest tech-invent du jour, but some people are fine with that. Somehow, though, I find it in myself to ignore most of that.
posted by The God Complex at 12:25 PM on January 27, 2004


I think I've decided that I'm never going to take anyone who uses the term "best of the web" seriously again, whether or not I agree with them.

I understand it's used to describe Metafilter, but everyone give it a rest already. In the last week that goddamn term has become more overplayed than Hey Ya.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:27 PM on January 27, 2004


I forgot I wanted to address this comment by vacapinta:
But I also find solace, like many others, in culture, beauty, art, music, dance, poetry, literature, ideas, laughter....expressions of ourselves and of our humanity. I come to metafilter for many of those things.

I don't come here to try and save the world. I don't understand why thats so condemnable.


Not wanting to talk about Iraq on MetaFilter isn't condemnable, but telling everyone else not to might be. This is, after all, a community weblog, not a hub for all things beautiful.
posted by The God Complex at 12:30 PM on January 27, 2004


TGC, I would posit that posts to the blue are doorways into rooms in which anybody who CHOOSES to enter can participate in the discussion ... without bothering anybody else in another room. Yes?
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:33 PM on January 27, 2004


y2karl: I don't think the issue is so much your post, but the plethora of Iraq / Election / Iraq / Election posts which get posted onto the blue. Politics has a place on Metafilter, but for the last couple of weeks there seems to have been little else. This is frustrating for myself, and other people.

With regard to not liking it, and going elsewhere. For me, Metafilter is a little virtual home. I don't want to move. Plus, this is a community space, and there will be differences / disagreements. MetaTalk is the place to air these disagreements. I'd hope that as a member of this community that if I (and others) felt the community was not going in the direction we wanted, we'd be listened to. I'm not asking for a vote or anything here, but excessive newsposts upset a significant percentage of the MeFi population, and this fact should be regarded with respect.

Another minor point. If everybody who posted to the blue posted news articles which were interesting to them, then the site would die. In the last twenty four hours, two news stories have come out (Office Golden Globe & Tuition Fees vote (UK)) which I'd loved to have posted. I don't think that there's anybody here that would say it would be right to post either of these stories anywhere except to my personal blog / or to a site which catered specifically to these subjects.
posted by seanyboy at 12:39 PM on January 27, 2004


MetaFilter: This is not your blog.

Links to Flash sites are what bore me. Can we limit those, too? Maybe we should set up a subject area limit. Celebrity couples could have a 12 posts per day limit. Iraq could have a 2 posts per day limit. Priorities people!

For the record, I support the Metafilter 12. Free the Metafilter 12!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:45 PM on January 27, 2004


TGC, I would posit that posts to the blue are doorways into rooms in which anybody who CHOOSES to enter can participate in the discussion ... without bothering anybody else in another room. Yes?

Yes, especially since none of the endless baiting and flamewars errupt on the front page--unless they're the result of some sort of wager.. (sorry, I couldn't resist!).
posted by The God Complex at 12:46 PM on January 27, 2004


I couldn’t include all of my thoughts in my original statement, so there are a few points that I wanted to address further.

interrobang said: Some of us take this very seriously, and think it's important to examine what's going on right now. That's why these posts are happening.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe that these events are extremely important to our future and I have also contributed to these threads. I think that to censor this subject would be naïve and would only further an agenda cultivating ignorance. However, the large volume of these posts causes an extreme amount of exposure to these events, and again, since this site’s objective is to filter the entire Web for the best, I submit that perhaps less posts that are greater in content and variety maintain MeFi as a diverse site.

rushmc said: Rather than complain about it as a mere reader of front page posts , perhaps it would be better to post links that you prefer to adjust the mix more to your liking?

I wish I could post to the front page more often, but my web-surfing skills are limited and my time on the web is spent researching or checking a sports score. I’m not a surfer, per se. I read and comment on this site. If you look through my posting history, many of my comments are multiple paragraphs and, depending on your perspective, mildly well-thought out. I enjoy this site and show my appreciation by engaging in dialogue. My contribution is my insight. Honestly, I think that posting to the front page is undervalued, because I know that I don’t have the time and patience to comb the web and find the best.

y2karl said: So, was it anger over the post or the content, then?

I wasn’t directly thinking about your post when I brought this to MeTa. It’s a trend that has existed for quite some time and I finally sat down and wrote something about it. Despite our little “thing” we apparently have going here, I can safely say that you were not on my mind at the time.

The God Complex said: Perhaps there is too much, on occasion, but this sort of micro-moderation (only one a day, not two, etc.) isn't worth implementing.

Which is precisely why I never mentioned it. The point of my post was not to somehow force Matt’s hand or frighten posters into not posting Iraq-related links. Moderation is the key, and with a community such as ours, or any community in general, unwritten acts of decency and decorum are necessary. My post was simply to others understand my perspective, as one citizen of this community. What the community does afterward is beyond my control.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:33 PM on January 27, 2004


I would posit that posts to the blue are doorways into rooms in which anybody who CHOOSES to enter can participate in the discussion ... without bothering anybody else in another room. Yes?

Yes.

I enjoy this site and show my appreciation by engaging in dialogue.

And I think that's perfectly valid and appropriate. I didn't address my comment to you or anyone else specifically, but to those who seem to feel that other people who DO post to the front page somehow owe it to them to post according to their taste and preferences, which is patently ridiculous. There is a mechanism for changing the mix on the front page, and it seems to me that those who are unhappy with the current mix should use the mechanism to make it more to their liking. If they are too busy, or can't find links, or what-have-you, then it seems very presumptuous to me to try to tell those who DO take the time how to do it.

Not everyone has to (or probably should) post to the front page, but if you choose not to, for Pete's sake, don't try to tell others what they should post. (Again, not YOU specifically, BlueTrain, but anyone who is making this argument.)

The front page sets the tone for the site

I'm going to have to disagree with you here, vacapinta. That would probably be true if membership sign-ups were open and we had a steady stream of newcomers trying to figure out what Metafilter was all about, but anyone here has been here for at least a year, and I can't see how a few extra war-related posts today would cause anyone to forget that it was perfectly fine to post something about the carnivorous cave birds of Waikiki tomorrow.
posted by rushmc at 2:19 PM on January 27, 2004


MetaFilter: The nice, tasty, hardened toothpaste crud on the end of the tube.
MetaFilter: Pot, thine black kettle awaits.
MetaFilter: Refried ectoplasm
MetaFilter: You're totally missing the point.
MetaFilter: Start saying insertyourownword-Filter
MetaFilter: Has sucked royally for a few years now
MetaFilter: I disagree
MetaFilter: Another minor point...
MetaFilter: Screw you, too.

MetaFilter: CHOO! CHOO!

Well, got some taglines out of this, at least.
posted by y2karl at 2:22 PM on January 27, 2004


In all the years I've been reading I have never been that bothered by an increase of posts on one subject or another. I skim or skip ones that don't seem to add much to what has gone before. I have been guilty of what I consider poor posts in my sparse posting history, but I have tried to come at things from a different angle.

Novelty and whether or not a good discussion might erupt are what guide me. There have been many times that I have sat on that "preview your post" and decided, instead, to post it to my own site in the context of a larger essay. I'm not sure but it seems that some users want to write that essay on Metafilter, but it comes out in spurts of posts with numerous lists and selected quotes. Maybe not having another outlet causes some to feel like they have to retread certain arguments or continually build up a mountain of evidence to illustrate to the rest of us the full depth of their position. I'm not sure if that's entirely a bad thing. Having people post passionately gives the place an energetic feel that can't be found on any news site.
posted by john at 2:44 PM on January 27, 2004


Didn't we figure out only a month ago (maybe two) that there are maybe two or three Iraq posts every day? I don't think absolute numbers matter. It's the proportion and quality. The vast majority of IraqFilter and AmericanPoliticsFilter are completely bloody boring. They are rarely interesting, novel news, they're mostly a case of "Oooh, the minor political penalty kick we made yesterday was stopped by the goalie, let's try and make the point again". Now discussing messy wars and political dishonesty is often important, but if you want it to work, make sure it's good.

But that's fine. Maybe the people posting these crappy, low-quality threads just have forgotten what a good Metafilter link looks like. I've made this challenge before in the past, but I'll do it again - anyone who has a problem with the relative quantity of CrapFilter posts compared to CoolFilter can spend 2 days digging up something really fucking good to post and flood the IraqFilter right off the front page.

Mad props to Hama7, who despite his heart of cold black stone at least follows the rules to the letter and doesn't pollute the front page with the crap we know he would be capable of if he wanted to. Notice that every Hama7 front page post is of above average quality: something you probably haven't seen before.

And I agree with that Seanyboy - I've never felt the need to pollute Metafilter with local news of interest to me. I didn't post anything about Mark Lathams's ascendancy to the leadership of the Australian Labor Party. Why should there be twice-daily posts about spiritless Democratic Party candidates in the US? "This is a US-centric website" doesn't cut it, I'm afraid, if, at the end of the day, they aren't quality links.

Metafilter: Our guarantee of quality and freshness.
posted by Jimbob at 3:01 PM on January 27, 2004


having people like BlueTrain and Stavros ask for fewer Iraq posts

Actually, I was just thinking we might need to start pre-emptively thinking about throttling back a bit on the American election posts, but I was perhaps unclear. The Iraq thing (in the sense of limiting the number of Iraq-centric posts, but of course the other one, too) is a lost cause, I reckon.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:09 PM on January 27, 2004


Hama7, who despite his heart of cold black stone

That's not just a stone, you know.

Thank you for noticing, Jimbob, and thank you for making a good point about the MetaFilter demographics. Much appreciated.
posted by hama7 at 3:35 PM on January 27, 2004


Hama7, I need more arrowheads. Give your heart to me, will ya'?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:40 PM on January 27, 2004


go away… go away… go the fuck away…

You've convinced me too, oh master of understatement and tolerance. Just circle the wagons a little closer and you can all continue this endless circle jerk without skipping a beat.
posted by MrBaliHai at 3:48 PM on January 27, 2004


Excitement ran high as Faeroe islanders went to the polls after the collapse of the coalition between the Folkaflokkurin, the Tjodveldisflokkurin, the Midflokkurin and the Sjalvstyrisflokkurin; both the Sambandsflokkurin and the Javnadarflokkurin were confident of improving their representation in the 32-member Lagting.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:49 PM on January 27, 2004



posted by hama7 at 3:51 PM on January 27, 2004


I for one would love to see more othercountry-centric posts--tell me about that Hutton thing or Latham, or something that's online (and/or in the news) in your country...if it's interesting and on the web, you can bet most of us haven't seen it before (speaking as a semi-provincial american). I don't know why more people outside the us and canada don't post that kind of stuff more often, or at all.

And Seth honey, you flatter me (yet again)--someday, maybe, if i practice real hard, and wish upon a star, I'll make posts as good as the other people you mention in your little tirade. Maybe you'll try making a post one day? (and someone can flatter you in the same way you do us?)

on preview: see? tell me about this Tjodvelisflokkurin--Is it tasty? evil? can i vote for it in the primaries? ; > (really tho)
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on January 27, 2004


I have to say coming in here because there were 93 posts all of a sudden and not finding a corpse is like being stuck in traffic for hours only to find a minor fender-bender at the end of it.

I want blood.
posted by yerfatma at 4:05 PM on January 27, 2004


Y2karl, left one off your list.
Metafilter: This is, after all, a community weblog, not a hub for all things beautiful.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:33 PM on January 27, 2004


Isn't it funny how there's already a site specifically for war discussion which never gets used? By anyone? Especially the people who claim to care about it the most? Why is that?
posted by darukaru at 7:17 PM on January 27, 2004


Maybe because it's not open anymore--look at the damn date: December 31. 2003.
posted by y2karl at 7:32 PM on January 27, 2004


Hear, hear! We need more John Dowells, Edward Ashburnhams, Leonora Powys, and Florence Hurlbirds in the world...

I don't wanna hear about your relatives.

Seriously, who the hell are these people? if you're gonna namedrop, don't be all ostentatious and shit.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 PM on January 27, 2004


The vast majority of IraqFilter and AmericanPoliticsFilter are completely bloody boring.

You forgot to use your "opinion" tag.

And Miguel, you could at least provide us with some links. (Also, I'm curious as to whether the ascendency of the Javnadarflokkurin bodes ill for every human being on earth?)
posted by rushmc at 7:36 PM on January 27, 2004


Seriously, who the hell are these people? if you're gonna namedrop, don't be all ostentatious and shit.

For the rest of us, there is Google.

The Good Soldier

It is an obscure reference--I mean, c'mon, Miguel, Ford Madox Ford?
Why not Gustav Meyrink?
posted by y2karl at 7:45 PM on January 27, 2004


You forgot to use your "opinion" tag.

Come on now, do you really think every link on the minute details of war or politics is equally interesting and relevant? I've seen the same topics hashed over in minute details week after week.
posted by Jimbob at 7:45 PM on January 27, 2004


this place sure is a big shittin' grin! :-)
posted by quonsar at 7:46 PM on January 27, 2004


And Miguel, you could at least provide us with some links. (Also, I'm curious as to whether the ascendency of the Javnadarflokkurin bodes ill for every human being on earth?)

I'm very worried, rush - as the only information I have was what I provided (scroll down to last sentence.). No doubt like you, I was much encouraged by the results last year but the way things are going right now... well, it looks like it's going to be a hard, cold, lonely winter. I fear we disregard BlueTrain's sage recommendations at our peril.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:47 PM on January 27, 2004


Hama7, thank you.

*reaches for copper chisel, and chipping slate*
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:59 PM on January 27, 2004


THIS IS NOT YOUR BLOG. This is Metafilter. This site doesn't exist for people to treat it like their own private blog.

Actually, I've always wondered -- wouldn't you treat it quite a bit like your own blog, except just the stuff you find most interesting? Because interesting stuff is (presumably) what you post on your own blog... just the most interesting stuff goes in Metafilter.

The underlying problem may be that different people find different stuff interesting...

Well, that and some posters here have a single-note bent that'd make Phillip Glass jealous, but...
posted by namespan at 8:16 PM on January 27, 2004


I guess if I am going to be accused of posting IraqOpera, I should start doing so. Anyone know where I can find some links?
;-P
posted by mischief at 8:27 PM on January 27, 2004


namespan - I can see that all of you hateful ideologues have a thing against posts involving fish. But do you have to rub it in ? :

"This site doesn't exist for people to treat it like their own private blog."
posted by troutfishing at 8:34 PM on January 27, 2004


I swear to allah I live in the same town as a Beauregard Shagnasty. I'll scan the phone book if you don't believe me.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:36 PM on January 27, 2004


It is an obscure reference--I mean, c'mon, Miguel, Ford Madox Ford?
Why not Gustav Meyrink?


I'm not Miguel ;)

It's a towering work of British Modernism! Well, a good one, at least, dealing with the rich upper class of British society and their refusal to admit the presence of WW1, lest it sully the good time being had by all. I was just poking fun.
posted by The God Complex at 8:41 PM on January 27, 2004


Ah, TGC... one of the books I most enjoy rereading is Romance (specially to start me writing) and it has one of the best opening lines ever. I transcribe it here exactly as it appears on my copy:

"To yesterday and to today I say my polite "vaya usted con Dios." What are these days to me? But that far-off day of my romance, when from between the blue-and-white bales in Don Ramon's darkened store-room, at Kingston, I saw the door open before the figure of an old man with the tired, long white face, that day I am not likely to forget. I remember the chilly smell of the typical West Indian store, the indescribable smell of damp gloom, of locos, of pimento, of olive oil, of new sugar, of new rum; the glassy double sheen of Ramon's great spectacles, the piercing eyes in the mahogany face while the tap, tap, tap of a cane on the flags went on behind the inner door; the click of the latch; the stream of light."

Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Hueffer, Romance, Second Impression, Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1903, page 1.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:59 PM on January 27, 2004


mcsweetie: I call. Lay those cards on the table.
posted by trondant at 9:36 PM on January 27, 2004


HRM well apparently he's moved to the nearby town of chattanooga. I don't have a chattanooga phone book, but I was able to locate him via yahoo! people search.

I remember one time a friend of mine called him and actually had a conversation with the guy. he had to hang up though because shagnasty tried to sell him pills!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:56 PM on January 27, 2004


Come on now, do you really think every link on the minute details of war or politics is equally interesting and relevant?

By no means. But that's not what you said. You said "vast majority" and "completely bloody boring," neither of which I agree with. But I can certainly imagine Metafilter readers who would agree with such an assessment, and they are certainly entitled to their opinion.
posted by rushmc at 10:22 PM on January 27, 2004


Well, Miguel and The God Complex, both of you are vaster than empires and I am more slow--you are far, far better read than I. My head is bowed.
posted by y2karl at 10:37 PM on January 27, 2004


"To yesterday's threads and to today's retreads I say my nightly "vaya usted con brio." What are these scraps to me? But that far-off day of my discovery, when from between the blue-and-white mails in Don Haughey's hearkened store-room, at dial-up, I saw the figure of a fresh-dead young Kaycee, round angelic face, that day I am not likely to forget. I remember the sterile smell of the typical postmodern asylum, the indescribable smell of ascii grief, of frozen pathos, of false libretto, of palmolive oil, of refined sugar, of chewing gum; the classy double sheen of Haughey's cheap spectacles, the bloodshot eyes in the balsa burl face while the tap, tap, tap of an untrimmed fingernail on the keys went on behind the screen; the click of the mouse; the stream of light."
posted by Opus Dark at 10:57 PM on January 27, 2004


Well, The Good Soldier is actually entitled The Good Soldier: a Tale of Passion, moving it even closer to your Ford Madox's tale of romance. Perhaps I'll check that out sometime this summer when I have a little more free reading time; as of now, I'm a little busy reading Hamlet (again), Highsmith's Strangers on a Train, and Melville's short (and late!) novella Billy Budd for my classes, and Murakami's After The Quake during whatever spare reading time I have. This of course, interspersed by random and overextended bouts of laziness and movie-watching ;) I'm always open for suggestions of potential reading materials, however, even if I have a dozen or so sitting on my shelf to be read.

Well, Miguel and The God Complex, both of you are vaster than empires and I am more slow--you are far, far better read than I. My head is bowed.

Oh, what cruel knaveries are these? Me thinks the Karl doth protest too much. I don't think a lot of people have heard of The Good Soldier, it being something of a forgotten classic for reasons beyond my grasp. It is a wonderfully ironic story, though, and the criticisms of early 20th century British socialites are similar to those explored by Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway; of course, a lot of the work explored by British Modernists treads over similar ground (not that there's anything wrong with that).

If you really want a good book to read, I've got a great one for you: Sylvia Townsend Warner's Mr. Fortune's Maggot. I can't for the life of me understand why Warner isn't more read than she is. I've heard it's because she was predominantly a writer of short stories, and therefore not as much of a rarity as a female novelist (such as Woolf) and subsequently doesn't have the number of quality criticism she deserves. At any rate, it's a fantastic novel that deals very much in issues still pertinent today and also happens to be a lot easier to read than a lot of other Modernist work.
posted by The God Complex at 11:01 PM on January 27, 2004


this thread has sucked royally for two days.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:24 AM on January 28, 2004


I hope royally is suitably impressed by our stamina.
posted by Opus Dark at 1:30 AM on January 28, 2004


Tell royally I'll meet him in Don Haughey's hearkened store-room after school.
posted by taz at 2:23 AM on January 28, 2004


You can have royally.

If the thread can suck for two days, I know who I'm taking to the prom.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:45 AM on January 28, 2004


1. chrome.
2. trailer hitch.
3. ???
4. profit!!!!
posted by quonsar at 3:34 AM on January 28, 2004


That's all very well, but the question still stands: how can I loosen a *really* stubborn nut that's holding my old bathroom faucet to the sink?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:01 AM on January 28, 2004


Offer him a beer.
posted by mischief at 6:56 AM on January 28, 2004


you are far, far better read than I. My head is bowed.

It could be worse. I read The Good Soldier two years ago and didn't recognize any of the names cited above. Sigh.
posted by rushmc at 7:09 AM on January 28, 2004


My head is bowed.

sucked royally for two days

*really* stubborn nut


Only on MetaFilter, can we combine Iraq, English Literature and double-entendres worthy of Benny Hill into a single thread. I salute you (with one hand).
posted by wendell at 8:56 AM on January 28, 2004


So, just out of curiosity...how does a two-handed salute go?
posted by trondant at 9:38 AM on January 28, 2004


rushmc: Me too. Edward Ashburnham rang a bell, but I didn't bother investigating. It was a great book, though, I remember that!

Also, I'm curious as to whether the ascendency of the Javnadarflokkurin bodes ill for every human being on earth?

Why, just go to their website and you'll find out all you need to know! Any group that has the motto "Tath gótha samfelagith" is OK with me.
Actually, according to this, they're Social Democrats, which probably means all they want to do is raise taxes.
posted by languagehat at 10:12 AM on January 28, 2004


I wish people would stop posting comments that tell other people to stop posting comments!

STOP IT you guys.. oh... oops.... never mind...
posted by jasper411 at 12:30 PM on January 28, 2004


Wow, I have been on MeFi for two years today. Thanks Matt, et al.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:15 PM on January 28, 2004


I missed out on most of this thread, so I'll just have to do with this gratuitious cut-and-pasting

seth, January 23, 2004 : "It is plain silly to think that people who post their opinions here are paid workers for the Illuminati or whatever conspiracy people want to allege. You guys sound like the wacko Noam Chomsky suggesting that people can't or don't think on their own, but rather go to some place to acquire their opinions in order to post them on Metafilter......

Metafilter doesn't do politics well, unless it is lefty ass-patting. Dissent isn't well accepted, and those that dare to disagree are ostracized as wackos."


seth, January 26, 2004 "It's uncanny how the people who constantly defend these actions are the same group of 12 or so people who feel like MeFi is their own personal axe-grinding blog. This small contingent thinks that MeFi exists so that they can bash us over our heads in every threads with their political ethos.

We all know who this group of 12 or so people is: amberglow, matteo, specialk420, y2karl, nofundy, mischief, a few others. These same people are the ones who post the same things ad nauseum"


Well then, it's a liberal conspiracy. Whip out your tin foil hats, everyone.

disclaimer : I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the communist party....
posted by troutfishing at 9:23 PM on January 28, 2004


Wow, I have been on MeFi for two years today. Thanks Matt, et al.

Two years! Sincere congratulations from an old adversary, Blue Train. Despite our differences, I have to say that my MeFi experience (and not only mine) has been a little better and a lot more fun thanks to your contributions. Thanks for your particular ability to look at each situation afresh, without prejudicing your own viewpoints.

*And that's about it! You bastard! Back to the usual hatred!*
;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:07 PM on January 28, 2004


I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with poopy-panted fart lickers party....
posted by homunculus at 10:19 PM on January 28, 2004


It has been an interesting ride, Miguel. And as it stands, I don't think I'm ready to step out, just yet. Here's to two more years of bickering, name-calling, and making up in our own little way. Cheers.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:15 AM on January 29, 2004


After stewing about quonsar telling me to fuck off for the last couple of days, I've reluctantly concluded that he and mischief are right: if a whole bunch of people here want to constantly go at each other hammer and tong over America's cookie-cutter politicians, endless election campaigns and inevitable wars, who am I to tell them to stop?

The response to a post about a trailing candidate changing his manager (for God's sake) indicates to me that the appetite for this stuff is nearly boundless, so rave on, political junkies! I won't criticize you again.
posted by timeistight at 12:48 PM on January 29, 2004


I don't care for the election stuff myself--but then I don't have any interest in the Applefilter stuff either. These are stressful times. It sometimes ends up in here not unlike people yelling at each other from their cars on the highway--but safer: the gun owners present can't pull a pistol out from their glove compartment and shoot us when they lose it.
posted by y2karl at 2:07 PM on January 29, 2004


Damn, ti(gh)t, you consistently presented some of the hardest arguments to crack. Now what am I gonna do?
posted by mischief at 3:10 PM on January 29, 2004


y2karl, I know where you live ...


*makes evil Laura Bush eyes*
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:42 PM on January 29, 2004



After stewing about quonsar telling me to fuck off


WAH! WAH!
posted by quonsar at 4:06 PM on January 29, 2004


*sips latte, pinky extended*
posted by quonsar at 4:07 PM on January 29, 2004


*makes evil Laura Bush eyes*

makes *evil Wesley Clark eyes* to bounce bad juju back onto Wulfgar
posted by y2karl at 7:40 PM on January 29, 2004


My lighter fluid is too thick for my mother-in-law.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:19 PM on January 29, 2004


WAH! WAH!

A devastating put-down! I'm mortally wounded – I retire in disgrace.
posted by timeistight at 8:45 PM on January 29, 2004


Gosh, quonsar, you're such a valuable member of the community.
posted by Snyder at 9:53 AM on January 30, 2004


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