Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Does he have some asshole pass from Matt?
February 17, 2005 11:23 AM   Subscribe

What freen said.

or, in his own words: Why is dios's continual rude and offensive behavior tolerated? The vast majority of his comments are caustic and intended to be insulting. His behavior is not new and surely not unnoticed. Does he have some asshole pass from Matt?

And stop the "queen" shit too--it's offensive.
posted by amberglow to Etiquette/Policy at 11:23 AM (171 comments total)

DING!
posted by Witty at 11:25 AM on February 17, 2005


DING!
posted by Witty at 11:25 AM PST on February 17


wow. that was, uh, witty.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:28 AM on February 17, 2005


yeah, dios, keep on trolling but at least drop the "queen" shit -- it's homophobic
posted by matteo at 11:30 AM on February 17, 2005


dios reminds me of the school bully who runs home crying when someone decides to smack him in the mouth instead of tolerating his horseshit. ;-P
posted by mischief at 11:33 AM on February 17, 2005


Par for the course for ideological posters. Shrug. There are some posters here that I deeply admire who reach into the Mad magazine/elementary school insult bag when it comes to their political adversaries (and yes, I've done it too, which is why I mainly stay out of political threads). That may be all dios has to contribute, but the culture here has allowed it in the past.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:34 AM on February 17, 2005


I am confused how I am trolling because I disagree with a person who is a drama queen and calls the appointment of person an indication that America = Germany.

Also, wouldn't this be better placed in the thread that already exists like 10 down?

As for the queen thing, didn't we already decide that Alex is a drama queen and that there was no homosexual slander involved in that?
posted by dios at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2005


Yeah, dios, seriously, knock it off. And quit making allusions to the dreaded Theatrical Matriarch thread.
posted by unreason at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2005


I agree that expression of conservative ideas or any defense of President Bush should not be tolerated. It makes me uncomfortable to hear the other side of a debate.

And I can't believe we're still not over the whole "drama queen" issue. Bunch of drama queens.
posted by BradNelson at 11:36 AM on February 17, 2005


As for the queen thing, didn't we already decide that Alex is a drama queen and that there was no homosexual slander involved in that?

Actually, I think we decided to close that thread down and never speak of it again!
posted by unreason at 11:37 AM on February 17, 2005


I am confused how I am trolling because I disagree with a person who is a drama queen and calls the appointment of person an indication that America = Germany.

Holy Crap. A MetaTroll.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:37 AM on February 17, 2005


Also, where do you get off making little gay references by calling people "Hon" and "Darlin"? It demeaning and would be sexual harassment in the work place. But then you come in here and whine because someone calls a hysterical person a queen?
posted by dios at 11:38 AM on February 17, 2005


dios, sweetie, you look mighty cute in them jeans.

now come on over here so i can see your tight package better.

there, that's it... wait a second, what is this, a SOCK?
posted by Hat Maui at 11:41 AM on February 17, 2005


And Dios, try to, you know, talk about the topic at hand sometimes. Just because someone who believes in position A makes some asinine statement about position A does not refute position A. Your attempts to derail a thread into the relative merits of the commentary on a given subject are useless at best, and destructive at worst.

Dios: "Hon" and "Darling" are genderless terms of endearment.
posted by Freen at 11:42 AM on February 17, 2005


dios, I'm deeply regretting backing you up in that shit yesterday. If you want to be a full time gadfly, at least try to be good at it.
posted by jonmc at 11:46 AM on February 17, 2005


because someone calls a hysterical person a queen?

it's misogynist, too. not that you'd get it.
posted by matteo at 11:46 AM on February 17, 2005


Uh, dios, don't come the innocent now, when you already admitted not two days ago that you deliberately 'troll' when you feel like it.

As the estimable BlueTrain said in the same thread - If people showed more restraint when posting an "asshole" response, there would be no need to defend/attack anyone. I believe that there are a lot of great posters here who, because of their anonymity and whatever internal conflict, decide to let loose comments they wouldn't otherwise post if they were neighbors with Matt. And for that I don't believe there is any valid defense.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:04 AM PST on February 17


Either way, amberglow, my dear ole friend, whats the standard advice to those offended by asshole posters?
posted by dash_slot- at 11:48 AM on February 17, 2005


Brad, There are people on this site who regularly voice alternative or contrarian views intelligently, cohesively, and occasionaly persuasively. Dios, however, in my experience, is not one of them.

Sure, If your only addition to a thread about Bush is " I think he's a great President" without any further explaination, you're going to get pounced on. Because very few people here believe that. If you can produce a reason argument for your belief, you will still get a few jackasses, but there are plenty of people willing to have a serious discussion here as well.

I've found that those individuals who complain loudest about "lefty-filter" are also those who add the least to political discussions, and seem the least capable of defending their positions. But maybe that's just me.
posted by Freen at 11:51 AM on February 17, 2005


Because very few people here believe that

where "here" = "Planet Earth"

posted by matteo at 11:55 AM on February 17, 2005


"didn't we already decide that Alex is a drama queen and that there was no homosexual slander involved in that?"

It's all about context, deedee, a concept about which you seem to have no clue.
posted by mischief at 11:57 AM on February 17, 2005


Surely you can see the difference between "drama queen" and "queen shtick." Well, ok, maybe you can't, but the rest of us can. "Drama queen" may well have lost all of its homophobic origins by now, but "queen" generally certainly hasn't.
posted by anapestic at 11:58 AM on February 17, 2005


If your only addition to a thread about Bush is " I think he's a great President" without any further explaination, you're going to get pounced on.

You have to be joking. Any post on bush is followed by 80 comments bashing the man, and only a very small percentage of posters back it up.

But because the conservative posters are in the minority it's there obligation to have better arguments? They're required to defend positions and let's just give all the bush one liners a free pass? Please.

I've found that those individuals who complain loudest about "lefty-filter" are also those who add the least to political discussions, and seem the least capable of defending their positions. But maybe that's just me.

It's just you. Seriously, I think most liberals here would admit mefi leans left, and in response has more lefty links. That maybe neither good nor bad, but it's the truth and has nothing to do with anyone "not defending their position".
posted by justgary at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2005


Are we really supposed to stop doing something silly like "drama queen" or whatever queen just because it might offend someone?

Give me a break. There needs to be a limit to this "I am offended by trivial thing X so please stop it" thing.
posted by xmutex at 12:04 PM on February 17, 2005


For whats it worth, my reference to Alex as a queen was that he is a drama queen. I think it is supported by his comments in that thread and his past behavior. He went straight for Godwin. I would suggest that such behavior warrants the phrase drama queen. If I confused the issue by using the shorthand "queen" then that is my mistake. I was not calling Alex gay. I was calling him a drama queen.

I see nothing wrong with calling someone a drama queen. I don't think it is necessarily related to homosexuality.
posted by dios at 12:04 PM on February 17, 2005


If I had nickle for every thread that one of you knuckleheads has strayed from the topic only talk about your distaste for Bush and/or the election, etc. I mea, we can be talkiing about puppies and someone will pipe up with some Bush comment. Happens every day. And now you're in here complaining about someone else doing it, simply because he isn't making the same tired jokes and comments you do... that he may be talking the other side? Y'all are so ridiculous.

Freen - That kind of talk ("but there are plenty of people willing to have a serious discussion here as well.") looks good on paper. But it really doesn't matter how serious a conservative is or how reasoned his argument might be, the result is often the same. These kinds of statements mean well, but they always come across to me as, "conservatives never have a reasonaed arguement because I'm going to disagree and therefore he's trolling, etc."
posted by Witty at 12:07 PM on February 17, 2005


dios: Whatever you say, someone on MetaFilter will be offended by it.

C'est la vie.
posted by xmutex at 12:07 PM on February 17, 2005


in summation--

MetaFilter: I'm offended!
posted by xmutex at 12:08 PM on February 17, 2005


If you don't like Dios using the word 'queen', how about Casu Marzu calling AlexReynolds a 'Drama Queen' or 'honey'.

And, I don't think Dios was out of line in this thread compared to others. If anyone is derailing and drawing attention to themselves, it's Alex and the 14 comments he made out of the first 57 to the thread and that he went Godwin on it in 7th comment in the thread.

In my opinion, I found them both to be irritating.
posted by Arch Stanton at 12:09 PM on February 17, 2005


Oh, sweet lord, here we go again.
posted by jonmc at 12:12 PM on February 17, 2005


Metafilter: not necessarily related to homosexuality
posted by tpl1212 at 12:13 PM on February 17, 2005


none of this would matter if dios (and Witless for that matter) weren't such flaming hypocrites.

and i do mean flaming.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:14 PM on February 17, 2005


Yeah, I think AlexReynolds and Dios were equally irritating. Which means that they have to fight it out in Thunderdome.
posted by unreason at 12:15 PM on February 17, 2005


Time to cool out a bit, dios, before you become....the Bizarro nofundy.

I'm only half kidding.
posted by dhoyt at 12:16 PM on February 17, 2005


Arch Stanton: neener, neener!
posted by casu marzu at 12:18 PM on February 17, 2005


Two men enter... (not that there's anything wrong with that)
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:19 PM on February 17, 2005


Well let's hear then Maui... hypocrites how? Or are you just tossing out some bullshit just to see yourself post? Idiot.
posted by Witty at 12:19 PM on February 17, 2005


He went straight for Godwin. I would suggest that such behavior warrants the phrase drama queen.

Dios, I think this explanation suffices about the Godwin accusation.

My only regret is not being clearer the first time around, for the benefit of yourself and the rest of the mouthbreathers.

I was not calling Alex gay. I was calling him a drama queen.

I'll admit to a handful of questionable posts (perhaps 3 or 4 genuinely problematic posts), and I don't back down from my positions without a good argument to change my mind.

But from the body of everything I've written in MeFi and AskMe, I really don't think you of all people are in any position to tell us how horrible I am.

Still, for the record, Dios, you're a rude and ignorant cock.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:21 PM on February 17, 2005


*is decimated by the cruel saber wit of nitWitty*
posted by Hat Maui at 12:27 PM on February 17, 2005


Still, for the record, Dios, you're a rude and ignorant cock.

posted by Arch Stanton at 12:28 PM on February 17, 2005


Yes, of course it leans left. Does Paris, Witty, Koeslitz, et all really contribute anything? No. When was the last time you saw a link that had anything remotely intelligent to say in favor of the administration.

It's because they don't participate. It's much easier to say " leftist cabal!" than to argue your point. Take a look at those trying to support republican policies. Do they actually have an argument? Exceptionally rarely. It's a lefty cabal because the righties rarely say anything of value. It's open registration. Anyone can participate. But it seems like the people from the right side of the aisle choose not to. Sure it's a critical environment, but if what they have to say is true, or can be reasonably argued, they stand a chance.

Witty:

Yes, they walked into a trap. Saddam is brilliant. The U.S. military is "behind the times".

I hear the band Cinderella is putting out a new record.
posted by Witty at 3:05 AM EST on July 17

...Chertoff is the second Bush cabinet nominee to be connected to the torture scandal.

But aren't we all... really, in God's way?
posted by Witty at 5:00 AM EST on January 12


I have never seen you add anything of value, nor try to justify your beliefs. Ever.

"If I had nickle for every thread that one of you knuckleheads has strayed from the topic only talk about your distaste for Bush and/or the election, etc. I mea, we can be talking about puppies and someone will pipe up with some Bush comment. Happens every day. And now you're in here complaining about someone else doing it, simply because he isn't making the same tired jokes and comments you do... that he may be talking the other side? Y'all are so ridiculous."

Stop being disingenuous. It is a thread about Politics, specifically about the Appointment of Negroponte, and Dios is trying not to talk about it. As much as is humanly possible, and attempting to make the thread about Alex's comment.

When was the last time there was a "conservative" FPP?

On Preview: Yeah Nofundy is getting kinda annoying too... Meh. You guys don't bother me much, and in fact i'm not really that interested in talking to you. I'm mostly just trying to point out precisely why Dios, Paris, and you, Witty, should be roundly ignored.
posted by Freen at 12:29 PM on February 17, 2005


I think he's a great president.
posted by loquax at 12:31 PM on February 17, 2005


I'll give you guys a dollar if you stop arguing. Please?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:31 PM on February 17, 2005


Hold out for ten, guys, he's got deep pockets.
posted by jonmc at 12:33 PM on February 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


Didn't we do this yesterday? Lemme see...yes, yes I think so. What was my line? Oh, right! Ahem...

For fuck's sake, nofundy got time off and dios 'got told' by his supporters. This is all covered. Please shut the fuck up.

Why Matt and Jess run about deleting funny comments and closing joke threads for fear of ruining the integrity of the site, while letting giant piles of crap like this stand is something I'll never understand. Yeah, let's not look like a fun, welcoming place, and instead give the impression MetaFilter is a pit assholes. Way to go.

You are all asshats.
posted by FunkyHelix at 12:34 PM on February 17, 2005


This has nothing to do with which way MeFi leans, or whether conservative views are tolerated, or anything of the sort. This thread needn't devolve into that tired discussion.

dios said right in the thread:

if you pressed me, I might admit that I like the fact he is controversial if only for the reason to watch people blow up in histrionics like Alex Reynolds.

dios, if you're still confused about why your behavior was inappropriate, read the original thread again, it's all laid out.

That said, I don't think this MeTa thread was necessary, though I agree with the sentiment.

On preview:

It's because they don't participate. It's much easier to say " leftist cabal!" than to argue your point.

It is a thread about Politics, specifically about the Appointment of Negroponte, and Dios is trying not to talk about it. As much as is humanly possible, and attempting to make the thread about Alex's comment.

Yeah Nofundy is getting kinda annoying too... Meh. You guys don't bother me much, and in fact i'm not really that interested in talking to you. I'm mostly just trying to point out precisely why Dios, Paris, and you, Witty, should be roundly ignored.


Yes, yes, and yes. I <3 Freen.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:35 PM on February 17, 2005


Witty, when I said I've never seen you add anything of value, I meant in a political thread.
posted by Freen at 12:36 PM on February 17, 2005


robocop, what makes you think anyone's going to take your offer the second time since you haven't raised it over the first?

Anyway, I'm holding out for a cookie. No, wait, a plate of cookies! Homemade!
posted by casu marzu at 12:40 PM on February 17, 2005


It sure would be nice to see come of the conservatives engage in discussion rather than name calling. Freen is right. David Dark would at times, and sometimes Paris does, but even they spend a lot of time attacking the left wing cabal and not the issue. David doesn't come around anymore. Too bad. I was hoping that perhaps some of the new members might take responsible conservative positions so we could have real discussions, but alas, we got dios instead.
posted by caddis at 12:42 PM on February 17, 2005


Lets see... A troll goes into a FPP thread and spews. Then, someone starts a new thread in MetaTalk discussing the trollish behavior. Looks like all we need is someone to post a question about it in AskMetafilter, and dios will have successfully completed the Meta Trifecta.
posted by lobstah at 12:42 PM on February 17, 2005


I want some tasty Cheese Fries. I've never had tasty cheese fries, and I think maybe, if I finally ate some tasty cheese fries, I might stop arguing. But it's only a conjecture. I can't be sure. You'll have to take your chances and get me some tasty cheese fries and find out.
posted by Freen at 12:45 PM on February 17, 2005


I'm still not clear why I need to defend Bush in order to call bullshit on hysterical anti-Bush ravings?

I don't need to defend Bush in order to note that comparisons to Nazi Germany are insane nonsense.

I don't support what Bush does, but I don't worry about it either because the situation isn't a big deal. So why do I need to support his moves to tell people to quit be melodramatic about every decision made?

dios said right in the thread:

if you pressed me, I might admit that I like the fact he is controversial if only for the reason to watch people blow up in histrionics like Alex Reynolds.


As I said, I don't really care who the person is. If the guy is vanilla, then the issue is equally unimportant. That the guy is controversial at least gives the entertainment value of watching people like Alex blow a gasket over it.

Again, what is exactly inconsistent or incorrect about arguing that people shouldn't be so melodramatic about an appointment?

On preview:
It sure would be nice to see come of the conservatives engage in discussion rather than name calling.

See my attempt at explaining why it not suprising or improper for Bush to appoint such a person of that mindset because of his mandate. I attempted to make an argument there; look where it got me.
posted by dios at 12:45 PM on February 17, 2005


When was the last time you saw a link that had anything remotely intelligent to say in favor of the administration. It's because they don't participate. It's much easier to say " leftist cabal!" than to argue your point.

Do you really need links to newspaper reports and scholarly articles to back up the point that the U.S. has not, in fact, become Nazi Germany? Is that seriously what you're asking for? I suggest that you will find sufficient evidence merely by looking your the window.
posted by casu marzu at 12:46 PM on February 17, 2005


I miss MidasMulligan. He knew how to argue.... I'm sorry I never got a chance to tangle with him.... I would've enjoyed it, and probably learned something.
posted by Freen at 12:46 PM on February 17, 2005


There really are, it turns out, good reasons why people say that you ought not to discuss religion are politics in polite society. Politics is an inherently inflammatory topic, and that thread is a great example of how such discussions generally go: overreaction at every possible opportunity.

I don't think it was a good post to begin with. It's hardly best of the web, and it was never going to be any better than a flamewar: that's what political discussion at MeFi (or any place where the participants have widely divergent viewpoints, however left or right of center the median viewpoint may be) always is.

I also don't think that this was a particularly well advised call out. Complaining about bad behavior in a political thread deserves a hearty "Duh!" Also, it seems to be a bit of payback for the (equally bad or maybe worse) thread that dios started not very long ago. And while I might generally agree with amberglow's general take on dios, I don't see the point in either feeding the troll or in remarking on what's pretty clearly the expected behavior around these parts.
posted by anapestic at 12:48 PM on February 17, 2005


Enough tension. I say what we need is a sock hop, or perhaps a potato sack race, even.
posted by jonmc at 12:48 PM on February 17, 2005


Freen - I'm not required to participate and offer arguements for the right, in order for me to have an opinion of how I observe what usually happens around here. My occasional sarcastic comment in a political thread doesn't come close to cancelling out the thousands coming from the left.

You say the right never makes an FPP. Can you blame them? Do you really want to see that? Paris contributes plenty, by the way. Sure, he goe wild once in a while, but he often has plenty to say from the right. You just don't agree, ever. And that's fine, but that doesn't make him a troll or worthless.

Hat Maui - That's what I thought.

David Dark would at times, and sometimes Paris does, but even they spend a lot of time attacking the left wing cabal and not the issue.

You (and others) act as if this is unique to the right around here. That's what I don't understand... the blind eye, seeing only what you want to see.

...new members might take responsible conservative positions

Seriously, can you give me an example of what you consider, in your opinion, a "responsible conservative position"?
posted by Witty at 12:48 PM on February 17, 2005


How is it that this thread has over 50 comments, and yet even with him commenting four times, it has yet to become about jonmc?

Weird.
posted by soyjoy at 12:49 PM on February 17, 2005


I could close all the windows and fart, if you want, soyjoy. That'd get everybody riled.
posted by jonmc at 12:53 PM on February 17, 2005


*smacks everyone upside the head*

*hands out popsicles*
posted by sciurus at 12:55 PM on February 17, 2005


Ban'em all. Let God sort'em out.
posted by graventy at 12:58 PM on February 17, 2005


See my attempt at explaining why it not surprising or improper for Bush to appoint such a person of that mindset because of his mandate. I attempted to make an argument there; look where it got me.

You don't see what you are doing. The issue is whether this man is qualified to be head of intelligence with all of the dark aspects in his background. You failed to address that. I don't think anybody would argue that Bush should nominate leftists. The argument is that he has nominated a bunch of people who will be nothing but yes men (and women) and/or have disturbing lapses in their backgrounds. Beyond that argument you spent a lot of time arguing over alexreynold's comment, a complete digression from the issue at hand, more fun for you I am sure, but a digression nevertheless.
posted by caddis at 12:58 PM on February 17, 2005


Hat Maui - That's what I thought.

again with the witsaber.

listen, if we're all ridiculous idiots because we call a torture sponsor a torture sponsor and won't let you little green foot(trolls) turn a discussion of negroponte into some kind of referendum on mefi's leftist leanings, then what's that make you?

the bitches of ridiculous idiots, that's what.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:02 PM on February 17, 2005


You (and others) act as if this is unique to the right around here. That's what I don't understand... the blind eye, seeing only what you want to see.

True, it happens on the left as well. My theory as to why conservatives here keep falling back to it is that even when they start off on a principled argument someone on the left will take some sort of unfair swipe at them, or the fascist right etc. They get defensive and retaliate. In the next thread they just skip principal and start swiping.
posted by caddis at 1:03 PM on February 17, 2005


Witty: My personal responsible "Conservative" position. Free Trade. I'm all about free trade. I am also a huge "Liberal". And I mean Huge.
posted by Freen at 1:03 PM on February 17, 2005


Make that "principle." Righties never like to skip their principal.
posted by caddis at 1:04 PM on February 17, 2005


How huge are you?
posted by caddis at 1:05 PM on February 17, 2005


The argument is that he has nominated a bunch of people who will be nothing but yes men

Which was my point! He has the right to appoint "yes" men as he was the victor with a mandate. Why should he appoint "no" men? You may not think that is a valid argument, but who gives you the right to label me a troll because you think my argument is weak?
posted by dios at 1:07 PM on February 17, 2005


No, dios, read up on Negroponte, more than a "yes" man. More like a "Yeah for Deathsquads" type of fellow. Despite his denials. Not what we need in the age of Abu Graib.

Quick! Now everyone, back to the Negroponte Thread.

Caddis: One word: Wookie.
posted by Freen at 1:11 PM on February 17, 2005


When was the last time there was a "conservative" FPP?

I've noticed recent MeFite jenleigh has posted some conversative-bent FPPs (mostly cobbled from partisan blogs I'd guess, but then, so are the liberal-bent FPPs) and they've gotten responses like: "jenleigh you're an idiot", "This FPP is still pretty worthless" and "Jenleigh, you have some serious ethical shortcomings. Cheerleading war is a despicable thing to do. Your faith in the good deeds of the empire is either sinister and arrogant on your part, or pathetically naive.", as well as a handful of predictably mean-spirited cheapshots courtesy of matteo.

Why's anyone surprised Midas, aaron, evanizer, and the rest of them decided they didn't like being shit on anymore?

My theory as to why conservatives here keep falling back to it is that even when they start off on a principled argument someone on the left will take some sort of unfair swipe at them, or the fascist right etc. They get defensive and retaliate. In the next thread they just skip principal and start swiping.

Spot on.
Do any of you honestly think you'd be making cogent, thick-skinned commentary over at LGF if you knew everything you said would be prejudged, cartoonishly stereotyped and ultimately laughed out of the park?
posted by dhoyt at 1:15 PM on February 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


As I said, I don't really care who the person is. If the guy is vanilla, then the issue is equally unimportant. That the guy is controversial at least gives the entertainment value of watching people like Alex blow a gasket over it.

I thought I was being rather calm about it. Still, troll away, dios.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:16 PM on February 17, 2005


,< ??to don't think that this was a particularly well advised call out. complaining about bad behavior in a political thread deserves a hearty duh! also, it seems to be a bit of payback for the (equally bad or maybe worse) thread that dios started not very long ago. and while i might generally agree with amberglow's general take dios, i don't see the point in either feeding the troll or in remarking what's pretty clearly the expected behavior around these parts./i>
Just because you don't care to participate in political threads nor care much for them does not mean it's ok to derail and troll and insult and offend in them. And this is what MetaTalk is for--if someone had called this shit out earlier, that thread might not have devolved and been derailed the way it was.
posted by amberglow at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2005


Calmer than you are, Dude.
posted by xmutex at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2005


oop--sorry
posted by amberglow at 1:21 PM on February 17, 2005


Here's a little amateur psychology for you all:

Accusing someone of putting up strawmen and backing up their arguments poorly will result in:

- Them giving up (maybe) if they're a troll.
- Them digging in for a virtual food-fight if they're a troll.
- Them re-asserting the validity of their arguments if they're serious.

Soooooo... how can I put this simply? Accusing people of putting up strawmen has a 66% chance of leading to what you don't want.

Just my observation.
posted by shepd at 1:22 PM on February 17, 2005


Calmer than you are, Dude.

I think I'll go pour some White Russians. On the house.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:26 PM on February 17, 2005


MeFi
posted by caddis at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2005


if someone had called this shit out earlier

This particular shit or shit like this? Surely you're not suggesting that this is the first time this sort of thing has been called out?

In fact, you complained about yesterday's call out and now you've turned around and made the exact same call out. You may believe that two wrongs make a right, but I think they just make a wrong that's twice as loud.
posted by anapestic at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2005


I don't need to defend Bush in order to note that comparisons to Nazi Germany are insane nonsense.

dios, this attempt at a self-defense is complete and utter horseshit. You made some rediculous comments based on your own assumptions. That you assume any comparison of the rise of fascist Germany and the Bush administration to be "insane nonsense" is not justification for you proceeding to comment as if your assumption is fact. If you believe it to be silly, then argue so, (and I know a guy named David Niewart who will bury you with facts if you choose to do so). Simply put, you're relying on some kind of common knowledge or agreement that isn't as common as you'd like to think.

Normally, I ignore that shit. It's sloppy thinking on your part, but no big deal. When you use the same reliance on common knowledge (sloppy thinking) to personally attack and/or denigrate another member, then you're just being a dick, and not a very smart dick at that. "Gee, I thought we all laughed at Alex, and agreed that he's a twat." No sir, we didn't agree, you assumed, and concluded that henceforth you could cry "Drama Queen" any time he commented. That, sir, is being a raging asshole, and very worthy of this callout.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2005


Dhoyt: No one is stopping anyone from posting, or from presenting their justifications here. Sure you may get insulted. That happens. But insults are not tantamount to limiting your ability to speak. There is no oppression going on here. Frankly, I looked through Jenleigh's threads, and for the most part, they weren't that bad. Sure, there were some people who insulted her. See, She had some good links, with decent content, that backed up her positions. She got a little beat up, but I read all of those threads with interest, and I await further threads from her with anticipation.

Shepd: i'd say there is a 66% chance of it leading to something i do want, which is for trolls to shut up, or for someone to attempt to re-assert the validity of their arguments, perhaps with a little bit more information, you know fleshing out the straw man a bit so that maybe it becomes an actual valid piece of argumentation.
posted by Freen at 1:30 PM on February 17, 2005


I thought I was being rather calm about it.

Here's the text of what you refer to as "being rather calm":

I believe that it, along with other factual activities of this administration, taken in whole, is remarkably congruent in some significant respects with the path taken by late 1920s Germany towards fascist rule.

If that's what you call being calm, I think you might need more than one white russian (I'll take a glass of wine, myself). Furthermore, I fail to see how this is not a complete digression from the issue at hand, which -- correct me if I'm wrong -- had something to do with a cabinet appointment (still subject to Congressional approval), something which happens all of the time in our government.
posted by casu marzu at 1:30 PM on February 17, 2005


I think I'll go pour some White Russians. On the house.

Won't that make the floor all sticky? Pour 'em down the throat where they can do some good.
posted by jonmc at 1:31 PM on February 17, 2005


as well as a handful of predictably mean-spirited cheapshots courtesy of matteo.

yeah, simply pointing out that somebody's lazily and blindly recycling LGF and InstaPundit here is a cheap shot. yeah, right.
but again, I'm proud to be part of your blacklist.


Why's anyone surprised Midas, aaron, evanizer, and the rest of them decided they didn't like being shit on anymore?

they're welcome back anytime, DenBeste too*, I'd love to see them try to defend torture as official US policy with something more than "we won, suck on this you commies" (aka the SteveatLinnwood method) or "Islam bad, 9-11, you're aiding the enemy blah blah blah" (Paris, you and others, dhoyt). after all, I'm always eager to have new people providing fish to be shot in the proverbial barrel

* not to mention, DenBeste could further enlighten us on his famous "the only real women are the strippers, because they're the only ones who don't ingore me" theory
posted by matteo at 1:32 PM on February 17, 2005


I disagree that people with a conservative viewpoint offer nothing to this site; sadly, many of the more conservative-leaning members seem to wig out for long periods and add nothing.

But some don't. Midas was a good example. I think kablam is as well (although I don't see him around that much). As MeFi's leftist tendencies become better known, more trolls will arrive, and I would think newer conservatives would have a hard time being accepted around here. But look at loquax; he did it (IMHO) through rational discourse. Like Seth used to, a long, long time ago.

On preview: dhoyt nailed some salient points above.
posted by cosmonik at 1:33 PM on February 17, 2005


dhoyt: "Do any of you honestly think you'd be making cogent, thick-skinned commentary over at LGF if you knew everything you said would be prejudged, cartoonishly stereotyped and ultimately laughed out of the park?"

I've tried, and I was banned. A distinctly different situation here at Mefi.
posted by Freen at 1:33 PM on February 17, 2005


ignore me, not "ingore" me

my bad

but 'ingore' sounds funny, too.

posted by matteo at 1:35 PM on February 17, 2005


blindly recycling LGF and InstaPundit

Which is so.totally.different then the Kos/Atrios/NYT/Guardian links that are lazily reposted here daily which you've never had the guts to likewise condemn.

Asparagirl, konolia, now jenleigh....I'm seeing at pattern here w/r/t your vicious comments toward women who don't agree with you.

I've tried, and I was banned.

Oy. What exactly happened?
posted by dhoyt at 1:40 PM on February 17, 2005


If that's what you call being calm, I think you might need more than one white russian (I'll take a glass of wine, myself).

The tone of the bit you quoted was fully calm. You may not agree with the conclusion, and you might not like the line of reasoning, but it's hardly a rant.
posted by anapestic at 1:40 PM on February 17, 2005


I fail to see how this is not a complete digression from the issue at hand

1. Basically, the man being discussed has done some evil shit. That's factual.

2. We're going to appoint him. That's pretty much a given, with our Congress as it is.

3. I'm using induction based on historical precedent to suggest that our country seems to be progressing on a slope down to fascist rule, when we use more and more thugs to run various departments and policies with an increasingly authoritarian, reactionary vibe.

4. Therefore, it bothers me that we're going to appoint this guy. I am expressing my opinion that this is a bad idea.

All four points relate to the FPP. That's it: there were no so-called "histrionics", no "queen schtick" or whatever you want to call it, "honey".
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:42 PM on February 17, 2005


I miss MidasMulligan. He knew how to argue....

Bullshit, he knew how to troll, bellow and belittle--that's not argument.
posted by y2karl at 1:45 PM on February 17, 2005


Well, It was a thread about Joseph Wilson/Valerie Plame affair, and I corrected someone who indicated that Plame was a low level CIA employee, who probably hadn't been working for quite some time and thus outing her wouldn't have been breaking any laws because she hadn't been working for over 5 years, or something like that. I linked to some article indicating that she was the undercover director of operations for nuclear nonproliferation in the middle east, and then I was banned and my comment deleted.

All I did was point out more information about the case at hand. One comment, Bannination.
posted by Freen at 1:46 PM on February 17, 2005


Yeah, he wasn't too kind to you though, y2karl. Perhaps i have only read some of his better contributions....
posted by Freen at 1:48 PM on February 17, 2005


All four points relate to the FPP. That's it: there were no so-called "histrionics", no "queen schtick" or whatever you want to call it, "honey".

See, you were doing so well with the logic and then you go and get all bent out of shape. Caddis, who said that your argument was a digression, is not the one who used the term "queen schtick." I think it must be possible to be impassioned and still use dispassionate discourse, at least some of the time.
posted by anapestic at 1:49 PM on February 17, 2005


I'm seeing at pattern here w/r/t your vicious comments toward women who don't agree with you.


keep going, it's funny!
posted by matteo at 1:53 PM on February 17, 2005


I hear we may get cookies out of it.
posted by Freen at 1:53 PM on February 17, 2005


Just a note before I leave work:

We've had this argument before. Even I'm fucking bored with it. Learn new tricks, all of you.
posted by jonmc at 2:00 PM on February 17, 2005


*pours a big vat of of organic yoghurt over jon's head*

new trick!
posted by matteo at 2:01 PM on February 17, 2005


MetaFilter: Old dogs; no new tricks.
posted by cosmonik at 2:02 PM on February 17, 2005


AlexReynolds: ok, so I'm with you on 1, 2, and 4 (both in principle, and in that they relate to the FPP).

However, I'm afraid that you're way off base with 3. There's a whole host of economic and socio-political differences between the contemporary U.S. and 1920's Germany that make what you're suggesting unlikely. There are a lot more parallels between the present-day U.S. and the McCarthy era U.S. And we all know how that ended up. Basically, I don't see how 3 has anything to do with the FPP whatsoever; and furthermore, by bringing it up, you distract attention to the real issues presented by 1, 2, and 4.

I do regard 3 as histrionics, regardless of tone of voice. And furthermore, when people get all earnest and het up and unable to see the humor on that topic (or any topic, for that matter), I get all... warm... inside. And then I can't control the teasing, and the tickling... and then... umm, never mind.
posted by casu marzu at 2:03 PM on February 17, 2005


Casu Marzu: Stop thinking about my wookiee.
posted by Freen at 2:04 PM on February 17, 2005


This thread is closed to new comments








Come on, it's worth a try...
posted by freebird at 2:06 PM on February 17, 2005


Amen, casu marzu. There's been plenty of authoritarian dictators which Bush has been closer too - it's a sliding scale, really - but people go for the one with the most press.

As others have said, the 'USA now = Germany then' argument detracts from all the new, unique ways America is fucked up, ways the Reich couldn't imagine. And it makes whoever said it look like they have no idea what they're talking about.
posted by cosmonik at 2:09 PM on February 17, 2005


Damn, haven't you all had your damned money shot yet?

The US is the US, its not Nazi Germany. Stop making stupid comparisons.
posted by fenriq at 2:18 PM on February 17, 2005


...detracts from all the new, unique ways America is fucked up, ways the Reich couldn't imagine.

Such as so-called Friendly Fascism, to name one example.

And it makes whoever said it look like they have no idea what they're talking about.

Not always. The comparison is valid on some levels, and not direct on others. On the whole, the country does seem to meet increasing parts of the definition of classic Fascism.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:21 PM on February 17, 2005


The US is the US, its not Nazi Germany. Stop making stupid comparisons.

That's an equivocation, founded on a meaningless tautology. That the US has political and social similarities to pre-Nazi/Nazi Germany is NOT equal to the US is (or is not) Nazi Germany. Obviously, it isn't. But that does not establish anywhere, even remotely in the vicinity of a fact, that comparisons are "stupid".
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2005


On the whole, the country does seem to meet increasing parts of the definition of classic Fascism.

I would dispute this claim. I doubt that the electorate would go along with what 20th century fascist regimes got away with.

Still, I have more sympathy for this argument than many other MeFites do, probably because I'm gay, and gay Americans certainly perceive (argue about the accuracy if you will: the perception is very widespread) that the current administration intends to thrive by continuing to deny us our liberties. I'm not sure the people who don't feel that they're the ones under attack can entirely sympathize with this point of view.
posted by anapestic at 2:27 PM on February 17, 2005


Oh GOD I can't stop myself:

definition of classic Fascism

What the hell is this definition? Don't link to a list of Bad Things The Writer Thinks Indicitave of Fascism. Tell me what fascism actually is, if you're going to spend this much time arguing about it.

Or don't, and stop dragging it around. This word is a cenotaph. This word is a torn and beaten flag waved by so many armies you can't tell the heraldry beneath the blood and mud it's been dragged through. This word means nothing anymore, just call them Meanie-Heads - it's signifies more.
posted by freebird at 2:28 PM on February 17, 2005


When was the last time you saw a link that had anything remotely intelligent to say in favor of the administration.

It would be a train wreck, trolling comments left and right. But postroad can post the same link time after time and it's gonna get 100 agreeing comments.

It's because they don't participate. It's much easier to say " leftist cabal!" than to argue your point. Take a look at those trying to support republican policies. Do they actually have an argument? Exceptionally rarely. It's a lefty cabal because the righties rarely say anything of value. It's open registration. Anyone can participate.

Yes, anyone can participate, but anyone conservative who comes to metafilter and views the threads would probably run. People, for the most part, enjoy discussing with like minded people. So you can open up registration all you want, the new liberal members will still far outnumber conservatives.

If you enter a thread and disagree with a lefty point of view you're going to have to answer 10 follow up posts from people who disagree with you. Why would anyone want to?

I think you mean well, but this is about numbers. There are FAR more liberals here than conservatives. That's not going to ever change, and those facts are going completely over your head.
posted by justgary at 2:28 PM on February 17, 2005


What the hell is this definition? Don't link to a list of Bad Things The Writer Thinks Indicitave of Fascism. Tell me what fascism actually is, if you're going to spend this much time arguing about it.

Surely you can use google yourself. Check out the wikipedia entry.
posted by anapestic at 2:32 PM on February 17, 2005



posted by dhoyt at 2:34 PM on February 17, 2005


Tell me what fascism actually is, if you're going to spend this much time arguing about it.

Off the top of my head, here are some details of how things ran under Mussolini that line up with varying degrees to the situation in the US:

• state/corporate collusion (agriculture, military contractors, etc.)
• authoritarian rule
• distrust to outright oppression of individualism (Churchill, et al.)
• non-state-union busting
• state determines individual reality (e.g. "That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality.")
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:38 PM on February 17, 2005


Justgary: I have entered a thread where I disagreed with just about everyone, I wrote a bunch of replies in my defense, people had really good points, I changed my mind.

"Yes, anyone can participate, but anyone conservative who comes to Metafilter and views the threads would probably run."

In my humble experience, trying to debate conservatives on conservative websites results in getting banned. Very quickly. On the other hand, here you won't be banned. Your statements will be examined, dissected, critiqued, and most likely ridiculed, especially if they are without merit. When i talk to some of my family members, and argue with them about politics, I'm in the distinct minority. However, I present salient points. Usually we have a productive discussion. Sometimes we don't, mostly because my dad will storm off, refusing to listen to what I have to say.

I think it is about numbers, everyone likes to preach to the choir, but it is also about, i think in some way, that alot of conservative viewpoints are simply indefensible in this sort of atmosphere. I think this administration is indefensible. And as someone said earlier today, it's very difficult to reason someone out of something they didn't reason themselves into. I don't think opposition to gay marriage is a rational position. I think it is much more of an emotional position. It's much more difficult to argue for an emotional position. I think it may be almost impossible. I feel similarly about support for the war in Iraq. Similarly, Creationism is indefensible in a scientific atmosphere. Perhaps I'm wrong.

At least contrary viewpoints aren't banned. That's the point. I people aren't posting because they are in the minority, they are self-censoring, it isn't the Mefi lefty cabal that is responsible.
posted by Freen at 2:47 PM on February 17, 2005


Dhoyt: What is the picture?
posted by Freen at 2:48 PM on February 17, 2005


That's the picture that dhoyt uses in his advertisement on militarystuds.com. I think he should rethink the hat, though.
posted by anapestic at 2:53 PM on February 17, 2005


It's the guy who played Fred in "Drop Dead Fred". Still is a complete non sequiter
posted by Freen at 2:55 PM on February 17, 2005


From Wikipedia:
"The word fascism has come to mean any system of government resembling Mussolini's"

I'll skip the whole argument about what the word might have meant before it "came to mean" this, and just point out that if you're saying the US resembles Italy under Mussolini you should just say that, and if not you should consider using another word that means what you mean. Most people use fascism to simply mean "totalitarianism" or just "oppressive nationalism", and I don't think as it's currently used it really expresses much other than disapproval.

BTW - the picture is Vyvian from The Young Ones, sheesh! Kids these days...you remember him - he ran around calling everyone fascists....hardly a non sequitur.
posted by freebird at 3:02 PM on February 17, 2005


While I agree that there is a regrettable tendency nowadays to use the term "fascism" loosely, I think it's clear that Alex was using it correctly. You may not agree with his conclusions, but I don't think you can accurately accuse him of contributing to the demise of precise language.
posted by anapestic at 3:04 PM on February 17, 2005


Rick from The Young ones. Sheesh! Kids these days.
posted by devon at 3:05 PM on February 17, 2005


freen: you never caught The Young Ones?

Rik Mayall's character (above) was the perennial Angry Student: preening, insecure, shrill, dopey and quick to label a 'fascist' anyone who disagreed with him. I didn't post it in response to anyone in particular. I just always think of Rik whenever anyone throws the 'F' word around.

anapestic: funny

the picture is Vyvian from The Young Ones,

Vyv was actually the degenerate Sid Vicious-wannabe.
posted by dhoyt at 3:05 PM on February 17, 2005


Freebird: I dig. Thanks.
posted by Freen at 3:05 PM on February 17, 2005


anapestic: funny

But I really don't think that hat does anything for you.
posted by anapestic at 3:07 PM on February 17, 2005


Vyv was actually the degenerate Sid Vicious-wannabe.

dammit dammit dammit.

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's being a snarky pedant and WRONG.

about the Young Ones that is. I'll stand by my snarky pedantry about Fascism. Seems to me y'all want to compare the US to Nazi Germany, and according to your own definition, that's not quite the same as calling it Fascism - unless you consider what happened in Germany the same as what happened in Italy.

Also, even if one IS using the word the "right" way, if 80% of the people out there use it "wrong", are you really communicating what you'd like? I think the word has been reduced in common usage to an epithet. If you want to talk about uncommon usage it means a lot more than "similar to Mussolini" and I think it's even less the word you want.

posted by freebird at 3:13 PM on February 17, 2005


"Young Ones" AND Drop Dead Fred
posted by Freen at 3:18 PM on February 17, 2005


But I really don't think that hat does anything for you.

Er, right. You were congratulated for your joke. If there's something else you're trying to express, my email is in my profile.
posted by dhoyt at 3:21 PM on February 17, 2005


Also, even if one IS using the word the "right" way, if 80% of the people out there use it "wrong", are you really communicating what you'd like?

I think Alex was communicating exactly what he wanted to communicate. It's not his fault that you assumed that he was using it incorrectly. The Third Reich is widely considered by historians to have been a fascist government, even though the term originated elsewhere. You are perhaps familiar with the loss of individual freedoms and the extreme nationalism.
posted by anapestic at 3:23 PM on February 17, 2005


Anyone with the surname reynolds is instantly correct and should be trusted at all times.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:31 PM on February 17, 2005


even RJ?
posted by matteo at 3:35 PM on February 17, 2005


I had always assumed that his user name referred to his unfortunate aluminum foil fetish.
posted by anapestic at 3:37 PM on February 17, 2005


While I agree that there is a regrettable tendency nowadays to use the term "fascism" loosely, I think it's clear that Alex was using it correctly.

If you agree that most people use it "wrong", it matters not whether Alex and I use it "right", and still less what I thought about how Alex used it - note I never said he used it wrong. My point is that the majority of people use the word almost meaninglessly, so the word is useless for normal discussion.
posted by freebird at 3:38 PM on February 17, 2005


MetaFilter: Old dogs; no new tricks, but the same crap.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:41 PM on February 17, 2005


If you agree that most people use it "wrong", it matters not whether Alex and I use it "right", and still less what I thought about how Alex used it - note I never said he used it wrong.

What I disagree with most strongly is your gratuitous use of scare quotes. To the issue at hand, however, I would argue that any reasonable interpretation of what you first said on the subject would find a strong implication that Alex was using "fascism" in an inexact manner, though you did not, in fact, come right out and say so. I will be happy to go into mind numbing detail about how what you said carried that implication if you feel that such an exegesis is either necessary or helpful.

A word is not useless where people either know what it means or take the trouble to learn. Some of us are weary of abandoning perfectly good words because the linguistic hoi polloi misuse them
posted by anapestic at 3:47 PM on February 17, 2005


First: Freen is rocking it. Pretty much completely agreed.

Second: "If you agree that most people use it "wrong", it matters not whether Alex and I use it "right", and still less what I thought about how Alex used it"

This is only true if you agree that most people use it wrong overall and most people use it wrong in Mefi. From what I've seen, most Mefi people use the word "fascist" relatively correctly, meaning that there's certainly nothing wrong with using the word here.

Most people don't know the difference between evolution and natural selection, but I wouldn't get one someone's case on a biology board for using one of the terms correctly.
posted by Bugbread at 3:48 PM on February 17, 2005


Merciful heavens. I'm so overwrought that I neglected to put the period at the end of my sentence. What a world, what a world.
posted by anapestic at 3:49 PM on February 17, 2005


even RJ?

That's not his real name.
I've never seen an erroneous comment from him though.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:49 PM on February 17, 2005


Wow. Another thread to discover after work!
posted by ParisParamus at 3:56 PM on February 17, 2005


Some of us are weary of abandoning perfectly good words because the linguistic hoi polloi misuse them

Hah HAH! How I got on this side of that argument I'll never know, but I blame Languagehat. I'm all for keeping words, and am usually on the opposite side of this argument, so this is pretty funny. If you've seen any of my previous posts about the latin roots of the word and its benign-if-little-known meanings, you might think so too.

I simply disagree, based on the countless noisy threads about fascism, that the majority of people on Metafilter really have a precise and accurate concept of Fascism in mind when they use the word. So for me, it's not a good word to use here. But there's no accounting for taste.

If you find that bringing "fascism" into a discussion results in rich and enjoyable conversation, please do so and please accept my apology for suggesting it doesn't.
posted by freebird at 4:13 PM on February 17, 2005


sarge, I meant the cigarette-making one, not the MeFi one
posted by matteo at 4:15 PM on February 17, 2005


*pours a big vat of of organic yoghurt over jon's head*

I'M MELTING!!!!
posted by jonmc at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2005


see jon? new trick.

the majority of people on Metafilter really have a precise and accurate concept of Fascism in mind when they use the word

bah. so many signs:

- jingoism
- nationalism
- the tight relationship between industrialisation and militarisation
- the balooning military budget
- the warmongering
- the accusations hurled against a group (example: international banking cartels, communists, Jews, more recently Muslims) that is considered responsible for most of the Nation's problems
- the strong insistence that the perceived enemy is morally decadent and evil
- the strong authoritarian streak (even in personal issues like, say, sexual orientation)
- the very strong anti-birth control stance
- the macho rhetoric
- the hate for a free press, that is immediately accused of backstabbing and sabotaging the Leader's righteous policies in favor of the elites

need I go on?
posted by matteo at 4:24 PM on February 17, 2005


Since you quote me, is that actually supposed to be a "precise and accurate concept of Fascism"?

I mean, I guess it is if you think that pretty much every nation ever has been more-or-less fascist for at least some of its history...in which case, I stand by my claim that the word is practically meaninglesss.
posted by freebird at 4:32 PM on February 17, 2005


Well, I think what comes into play is that people tend to take things personally-"He's saying America is like Nazi Germany? I'm an American, he's calling me a Nazi!" and then rational discussion goes out the window. So whatever points that need to be made get lost and nothing constructive happens.

But as far as having constructive, intelligent conservative content on Mefi goes? I say great. IF Stone, one of the leftiest lefties in leftland said before his death (and I'm probably mangling this quote) "What this country needs is an alliance between progressives and genuine conservatives, not the nuts, religious fanatics, and crypto-facsists selling themselves as such." Food for thought.

And people like loquax, krrlson and midas in their less bellicose moments, and the lamented MIA unclefes all qualify as genuine conservatives in my opinion.
posted by jonmc at 4:37 PM on February 17, 2005


"America is exhibiting signs of becoming fascist" is a far cry from "America = Nazi Germany".

matteo, every one of those signs you listed can apply to Communist China and post-Soviet Russia (except, perhaps, your seventh point may not apply to Russia). That doesn't mean people need to run down the street shouting "oh noes!!!1! The red tide! America is bcoming teh comminist!"

So, America becoming more authoritarian? Sure. But deal with the actuality of the situation. To blow it out of all proportion and then criticise a fabricated extreme (such as 'Amerinazism') is losing the plot.

dhoyt summoned up my feelings about this thread perfectly with that Rik shot.
posted by cosmonik at 4:41 PM on February 17, 2005


The thing I find oddest about any Godwinizations (besides the unspoken assumption that nothing, ever, anywhere, can be like Nazi Germany; that it happened in a vacuum; and that some sort of diety or aliens have cast a forcefield over the earth making it physically impossible for a similar situation to occur) is the inability for people to tell the difference between present tense and future tense. The minute anyone says "America is becoming like Nazi Germany", or, even better, "America is starting to resemble Germany before the rise of the Nazis", the counterarguments inevitably seem to be of the ilk, "America is not Nazi Germany", or "Where are the concentration camps?" or the like.

You don't see that statement as much in other discussions. "We need to provide assistance to people affected by the tsunami, or starvation might be rampant." "Well, then, we don't need to provide assistance, because they've all starved to death."
posted by Bugbread at 4:49 PM on February 17, 2005


cosmonik:
yes, 'communist' china also looks fascist to many folk, including me. The close alliance between industry, commerce and government - indistinguishable in China, by all accounts, is key.

The primacy of the group over the individual is clearly a major facet of fascist ideology, and America is still an individualist nation, at this point (though minority rights are apparently under threat, and the extension of inalienable rights to new claimants is crushed, specifically homosexual rights). Military adventures abroad were popular amongst the original Axis (3rd Reich, Mussolini's Italy, pre-WWII Japan), especially on trumped up national security issues.

In the UK, fascist has never been synonymous with Nazi. Nazism is a subset of fascism.

When fascism returns to the West, as it will I suspect, I hope we never reach a consensus that Republicanism (GOP-style) is accepted as a subset of fascism, but believe me - many here in the UK are watching, fasci-nated by the developments in the states. And not in a good way.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:56 PM on February 17, 2005


In other words, I expect to see fascism reborn, but hope and pray it doesn't occur in the world's only superpower (it just seems most likely to be there, sadly). That would be some scary shit.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:09 PM on February 17, 2005


bugbread - you seriously don't see the harm in specifying 'Nazi germany' (or even 'fascism') as opposed to a general increase in 'authoritarianism'? Because as you yourself said, with some sarcasm, nothing short of a deity or otherwise could make it happen again. Why? Because it's already happened. Whatever happens in the future may share features with it and other socio-political systems, but it won't 'be' it. At a stretch, it may - just may - 'most likely resemble' national socialism, at some point in the far future, but for now the USA is just like any other formative authoritarian system we've seen. It confounds the issue to persist in linking the two.
posted by cosmonik at 5:10 PM on February 17, 2005


The thing I find oddest about any Godwinizations (besides the unspoken assumption that nothing, ever, anywhere, can be like Nazi Germany; that it happened in a vacuum; and that some sort of diety or aliens have cast a forcefield over the earth making it physically impossible for a similar situation to occur) is the inability for people to tell the difference between present tense and future tense. The minute anyone says "America is becoming like Nazi Germany", or, even better, "America is starting to resemble Germany before the rise of the Nazis", the counterarguments inevitably seem to be of the ilk, "America is not Nazi Germany", or "Where are the concentration camps?" or the like.


I think that's what I said. However, logical precision doesn't look good in an argument, and its easier to play the victim if someone is "calling you a Nazi". It is my sincere wish that "Godwinization" would die, and Godwin would never again be mentioned as if he carries some deified weight in these discussions. Its rational to discuss the rise of authoritarianism in America. It's not rational to whine about hurt feelings in the face of America's OBVIOUS nobility.

on preview: cosmonik, you keep equivocating. Writing of America in terms of the rise of European fascism is not a flaw or grounds for dismissal. It is expressing an idea within historical terms understandable by all.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:15 PM on February 17, 2005


Wulfgar!, if only it were that simple.

I understand the value of contextualising what is happening now in terms of what has happened in the past. Unfortunately, it's the same one historical example that, I believe, holds no specific similarities to the present. The characteristics America is beginning to exhibit that are similar to the Third Reich are equally similar to many, many other authoritarian systems, but for whatever reason people use that one example to the exclusion of all others, which actually detracts from the value of historical examples.

One can pick a dozen system America is 'starting to resemble', all horrific. Why limit yourself to one, again and again, when there's no unique characteristics binding the two?
posted by cosmonik at 5:26 PM on February 17, 2005


I blame Languagehat.

Me too.

I simply disagree, based on the countless noisy threads about fascism, that the majority of people on Metafilter really have a precise and accurate concept of Fascism in mind when they use the word. So for me, it's not a good word to use here.

I agree with this.
posted by languagehat at 5:32 PM on February 17, 2005


Damnit, LaHat, I thought we were trading!
posted by freebird at 5:38 PM on February 17, 2005


all horrific

That would be the very point in the Nazi-BushAmerica analogy. Expecting one, horrified by the actions of the US govt., not to use it is rather unrealistic. Discounting it because of overuse or muddy thinking is what I find unacceptable.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:50 PM on February 17, 2005


I'll give you guys a dollar if you stop arguing. Please?
Seriously. I'm not joking. I will give you cash American. Someday, you'll be short of coffee money or Dollar Menu change and you'll rue the day. Please don't rue it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:35 PM on February 17, 2005


The characteristics America is beginning to exhibit that are similar to the Third Reich are equally similar to many, many other authoritarian systems, but for whatever reason people use that one example to the exclusion of all others, which actually detracts from the value of historical examples.

One can pick a dozen system America is 'starting to resemble', all horrific. Why limit yourself to one, again and again, when there's no unique characteristics binding the two?


Quite honestly, I think it's because it's what's most familiar to people. It's the same kind of reason teachers use apples or bicycles in their examples, not SONET switches. But I do think that it's important to avoid Hitler comparisons when talking with someone who disagrees, as, no matter how accurate your statement itself is, the mere mention of Hitler casts you in the light of "being a loonie".
posted by Bugbread at 6:42 PM on February 17, 2005


This is nice. Lovely discourse there, kids. Very thoughtful.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:10 PM on February 17, 2005


Cosmonik: "America is exhibiting signs of becoming fascist" is a far cry from "America = Nazi Germany".

Which was explicitly said right here.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:27 PM on February 17, 2005


AlexReynolds: huh? That says "I guess this is where we drop any pretense of being the good guys and basically admit we're becoming Nazi Germany: The Sequel."

I'm basically saying the opposite. Or am I missing something in your point?

Also; even if it was explicitly said there, what is your point exactly? That something I said was said by you elsewhere? We may, in fact, agree on some things.

PinkStainlessTail: that thread is a clusterfuck. VP_Admin back to replace nofundy. Maybe we could alternate bans on them, because if they ever get together...wait, can the same person login to two accounts simultaneously?
posted by cosmonik at 7:32 PM on February 17, 2005


Conservatives speak up about proto-fascist America.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:39 PM on February 17, 2005


That something I said was said by you elsewhere? We may, in fact, agree on some things.

I just want to make sure the record is clear about what I have and have not said on the subject. Many, including you, have drawn incorrect conclusions about my knowledge of the subject.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:43 PM on February 17, 2005


AlexReynolds, I'm fairly certain I didn't mention you, nor your knowledge on the subject. I'm trying not to paint any groups here with a broad brush, since there's a whole range of opinions here that can't be neatly divided into 'tick' or 'cross'.

What is your link to the old Mefi thread supposed to show, other than that conservatives are similarly confused about the issue?
posted by cosmonik at 7:52 PM on February 17, 2005


Conservatives speak up about proto-fascist America.

That's kind of what I was getting at with my IF Stone quote upthread, alex. A smart move would be to make some kind of alliance with tthese folks to combat a common enemy is what I'm getting at.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 PM on February 17, 2005


So... we edited and closed a thread full of harmless in-jokes but this obvious troll (amply masturbated to by matteo and others) is allowed to stay and give off its lovely scent? Nice. Real nice.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:17 PM on February 17, 2005


So... we edited and closed a thread full of harmless in-jokes but this obvious troll (amply masturbated to by matteo and others) is allowed to stay and give off its lovely scent? Nice. Real nice.

We? You make it sound like the users made that decision.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:23 PM on February 17, 2005


So... we edited and closed a thread full of harmless in-jokes but this obvious troll (amply masturbated to by matteo and others) is allowed to stay and give off its lovely scent? Nice. Real nice.

Thanks for stopping by.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:29 PM on February 17, 2005


What is your link to the old Mefi thread supposed to show, other than that conservatives are similarly confused about the issue?

Um, that there is no "confusion"?
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:30 PM on February 17, 2005


Damn. IF Stone is one of my heroes. Thanks, jon.
posted by Vidiot at 8:31 PM on February 17, 2005


By the way, I'd take conservative thought more seriously in MeFi if it were more often responsibly articulated. I'm not interested in an echo chamber here -- I'm more interested in a friendly, reasoned, rational debate. However, most of the self-proclaimed conservatives around this joint act like asshats a good deal of the time.

If your arguments are ridiculous, well, then you shouldn't get too surprised or bent out of shape when people ridicule you.

However, if you construct a thoughtful position, defend it honestly, and show a willingness to engage in debate while not resorting to straw men or name-calling, then you'll have a good thread. (And yes, I know that goes for both sides of the aisle; there are leftie jerks on here too.)
posted by Vidiot at 8:38 PM on February 17, 2005


man, this thread got boring. Definitions of political outlooks are all well and good, but arn't we supposed to be talking about how much Dios is a wanker?

To me, it wouldn't be so bad if he hadn't gotten a guy banned for a week the other day for whining about being rude.

And, btw. DailyKos is just as bad as LGF/Freepland. I got banned there and I'm a huge bush-hater. (and I was even a Dean supporter). Some of the stuff they posted was ridiculous though (Like delighting of the outing of gay republicans) and I called 'em on it.
posted by delmoi at 8:44 PM on February 17, 2005


"'I simply disagree, based on the countless noisy threads about fascism, that the majority of people on Metafilter really have a precise and accurate concept of Fascism in mind when they use the word. So for me, it's not a good word to use here.'

I agree with this."


Ok, I'll trade if LH won't. If people widely use a word and they understand each other, then it's not a "meaningless" word. A descriptivist position negates your use of the term "accurate" and I can't imagine where you got the idea that all words, to be useful, have to have "precise" meanings.

"Fascist" may well be an unwise word to use here or elsewhere because it's needlessly provocative.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:52 PM on February 17, 2005


If people widely use a word and they understand each other, then it's not a "meaningless" word.

Not "meaningless", "practically meaningless" - in the literal sense. I would argue that "nice" and "evil" are widely understood, but have little bearing in a discussion about political philosophy. They convey nearly zero information in that context, being so general and so subjective. My point is: if it is in fact true that most people, when they use the word fascist, mean a concept so vague it applies to nearly every government ever, then it is a bad word to use for all but the most base rabble rousing (where it is in fact very useful).

Now, you can argue that this is *not* true on Metafilter, which is a seperate discussion - though my personal view is that much of the above, and other threads, support this hypothesis.

Nowhere have I suggested words must have "precise" meanings. I have suggested that, in some contexts using an overly vague word isn't very useful, and that politico-historical discussions are one of those contexts and "fascism" is one of those words. Again, I think the discussion above bears this out.
posted by freebird at 9:36 PM on February 17, 2005


bad comma, bad!
posted by freebird at 9:37 PM on February 17, 2005


I would suggest that anyone who wishes to use the word "fascist" in an argument consider the origins of the word. It is not unrelated to "fasten" and "fast" in implying "firm, tight connection."

In the USA, we tend to focus on the negative aspects of fascism, which include conformity and the oppressive dominance of a mainstream majority. But idealistic proponents of fascism would argue (and I'm not agreeing with them) that a society is stronger if them move together as one.

Frankly, if you're a minor west European nation who's afraid of being invaded by one or more of your neighbors, it's not such a bad idea to "stick together." You can practically see how the idea took off there after WWI. Not long ago, Europe was as unstable as the Midesast if not worse off.

But USians have the flip side of the problem. There is no one force in the world to threaten to conquer us, challenge us as a whole, yet the world presents a myriad of various partial challenges, and each of those represents one opportunity to jump ship and go over to the "other side"
So, in a fantastically repetitive leap of historical repetition, we've decided that it's best to present one front, one fast togetherness, one fastened union, than to champion and celebrate the democratic multiplicity we routinely celebrate within bounds. Sunnis? Shiaa? Let them bury their differences. We have. We're fastened. We're strong. We're one. We're fascists.

/rant
posted by scarabic at 11:56 PM on February 17, 2005


Scarabic: yes, thank you.

It's a word with a much more complex and interesting meaning than it normally gets used with in contexts like this - which I why I argue *against* using it in contexts like this. No-one here is going to argue *for* fascism, but lots of people think "united we stand, divided we fall" sounds great - and that is arguably the core meaning of the "fascis" symbol the word derives from.

Some would argue that since almost no-one uses the word that way, it doesn't mean that anymore. I've come to - not so much agree with that, but agree that if the people I'm talking with don't use it that way, it's (usually) silly to insist on doing so if the goal is real dialogue. The "usually" of course being the case where the people concerned are actually interested in that type of discussion, and MetaFilter may fall into that category at times.

Anyhow, nice to know others are out there digging and scratching at these wonderful subtle ideas, not just ranting about how the US is or isn't Headed For Kristallnacht.
posted by freebird at 12:29 AM on February 18, 2005


That's an equivocation, founded on a meaningless tautology.

Now that's the Metafilter I know and love!

Also: I miss UncleFes. Here, at least.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:56 AM on February 18, 2005


« Older Something is deeply wrong with...  |  Are there, or should there be,... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments