Is this what MetaFilter is for?
March 22, 2005 10:49 PM   Subscribe

I recently had an Ask MetaFilter comment deleted. The topic was Asperger syndrome, and why so many brilliant people had it. My comment went something like this:

Call it what you want.
Difficulty with mundane, linear tasks promotes lateral, creative thinking.
Poor social skills promote self-reliance.
Weakness becomes strength.


I don't agree with the deletion, but I can live with it.
The standard explanation for FPP deletion is: "This is not what MetaFilter is for."

But now you have an FPP with about sixty comments that debates how many five-year-olds you can maim or kill. Weapons are being mentioned. I understand this is supposed to be funny. I think this is not only not funny, but in extremely bad taste. Substitute "women" for "five-year-olds", and how long would this FPP last? Is this what MetaFilter is for? Matt?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium to Etiquette/Policy at 10:49 PM (119 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm sincerely sorry if anyone was offended by my thread. I don't like offending people on Metafilter and that was not my intention with this thread at all. I did think it was a joke, but I really am sorry if anyone was bothered by it. If many people feel the same way, by all means remove the thread.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:53 PM on March 22, 2005


Umm, I think it's pretty funny since you know, IT'S NOT REAL. Please, do not remove the thread, it provided my best laugh today. Thanks Arch Stanton!
posted by yodelingisfun at 10:55 PM on March 22, 2005


Well see women wouldn't be funny because depending on the women you could only take somewhere between zero and three.

Five-year-olds is funny (and yeah, kind of sick) because the numbers are so much higher. It's like asking what's the wildest thing you'd do for $10 versus what's the wildest thing you'd do for $1 Million. The stakes are just so much higher, and there are so many more interesting avenues to go down.
posted by willnot at 10:58 PM on March 22, 2005


Weapons-grade pandemonium:

Did you RTFA? The rules specifically stipulate unconsciousness, not maiming or killing. Now, Australian Rules toddler fighting is a whole different story.
posted by Hildago at 10:59 PM on March 22, 2005 [1 favorite]


If the idea of violence towards 5-year olds is offensive, just replace the kids with midgets... simple enough - adult midgets. I'm pretty sure I could handle a good truckbed full of midgets. I could do some damage anyway.
posted by Witty at 11:00 PM on March 22, 2005


I must say that as a woman I'm thinking I could take maybe 3 five year olds and no other woman, so yeah that's not as much fun at all.
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:01 PM on March 22, 2005


Yeah, with women, it might be easier. Just look behind them and yell, "Oprah!?" When they turn around, give 'em a swift knock to the back of the head.
posted by Mach3avelli at 11:05 PM on March 22, 2005


But I think WGP has a legitimate point. Change the parameters slightly and no-one would think it funny. If women / gays / schizophrenics / fat people... where inserted. And yes IT"S NOT REAL, but... *shrug*.

This is not a vote to delete, but one to ask people to take the question seriously and not get too worked up.
posted by edgeways at 11:05 PM on March 22, 2005


I would NOT lturn around for Oprah, Alton Brown however could make me swoon. .. The post in question is a JOKE. I'm an avowed animal lover (as well as liking five year olds just fine) and the kitten thing in the comments made me shoot soda out my nose. For the love of all that is good, relax!
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:10 PM on March 22, 2005


Why would spell check not catch "lturn"? This is what I get for trying to a participator. Sigh
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:12 PM on March 22, 2005


Thinkin' on your feet Mach3avelli. Nice.

What about retards? Tough call. When one of those loose cannons get to swingin' all windmill-style, it could get ugly... fast.

edgeways - Yea... let's keep changin ghe parameters just to make sure EVERYone can find offense. FUN!

(Now I'm imagining Alzheimer's patients. How many of the old blank-headed fuckers could I take out?)
posted by Witty at 11:12 PM on March 22, 2005


weapons-grade pandemonium : "I think this is not only not funny, but in extremely bad taste."

Er, well, as you said yourself in the FPP:

weapons-grade pandemonium : " Taking this seriously is more than a bit sick."

Most people aren't taking it seriously, but apparently you are.

edgeways : "Change the parameters slightly and no-one would think it funny."

So don't change the parameters. Me shooting a friend with a paintball gun is fun. Changing the parameters slightly (say, paintball gun to assault rifle), and it's not longer fun. Anything can suck if you change it to something bad.
posted by Bugbread at 11:14 PM on March 22, 2005


The asperger's thread had half a dozen stupid jokey comments which I lumped your little haiku into. They didn't have anything to do with actually answering the person's question about famous people having the affliction.

That has little to do with a silly link on metafilter to some jokey forum posting.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:15 PM on March 22, 2005


How about assholes?
Could we substitute ignorant Mathowie assholes for children?
It's just a joke.
Relax.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:20 PM on March 22, 2005


Ohhhhhh shit.
*stops changing channels*
posted by underer at 11:26 PM on March 22, 2005 [1 favorite]


dude
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:28 PM on March 22, 2005


Okay, not going to bed for another 30 minutes now.
posted by furiousthought at 11:29 PM on March 22, 2005


I think we're seeing the bit about "poor social skills" coming to life.
posted by clevershark at 11:34 PM on March 22, 2005


Oooo... here's one. How many tummy-bloated naked Ethiopians could you fend off? Strap a tupperware bowl full of porridge to the top of your head, then open the gates and have at it. The helicopter toss could come in handy here.
posted by Witty at 11:38 PM on March 22, 2005


Today, I had a turkey sandwich. It was imitation swiss and prepackaged turkey, but it was a turkey sandwich. It didn't agree with me, but I can live with it. But now you have prepackaged turkey sandwiches in various places, and expiration dates are being mentioned. I don't think it's funny.
posted by angry modem at 11:39 PM on March 22, 2005


Good drunken debate from a few nights ago.

The question: How many ignorant Mathowie assholes could you take on at once?

The specifics:

- You are in an enclosed area, roughly the size of a basketball court. There are no foreign objects.
- You are not allowed to touch a wall.
- When you are knocked unconscious, you lose. When they are all knocked unconscious, they lose. Once an ignorant Mathowie asshole is knocked unconscious, that asshole is "out."
- I (or someone else intent on seeing to it you fail) get to choose the assholes from a pool that is twice the size of your magic number. The pool will have no discernable abnormalities in terms of functioning. They are all healthy orifices.
- The assholes receive one day of training from hand-to-hand combat experts who will train them specifically to team up to take down one adult. You will receive one hour of "counter-tactics" training.
- There is no protective padding for any combatant other than the standard-issue cup.
* The assholes are motivated enough to not get scared, regardless of the bloodshed. Even the very last one will give it his/her best to take you down.

I set my magic number at 30, but upon reflection, I think I could take on a few more. How many could you take on?

posted by underer at 11:43 PM on March 22, 2005


Against Asshole Mathowies, I would whine like Seth about the rules until they gave up.
posted by Mach3avelli at 11:49 PM on March 22, 2005


angry modem you sir "get the web" ... bravo!
posted by Dreamghost at 11:49 PM on March 22, 2005


bugbread's got the point - anything can be offensive if you change it to make it offensive.

Good comedy is about sailing so close to the wind that it makes you suck air in through your teeth /without/ crossing that line. This didn't. It was funny as hell, and if I wasn't already mandated not to go within a hundred yards of our local primary school, I'd be down there at lunchtime to try my luck...
posted by benzo8 at 12:40 AM on March 23, 2005


The link includes the phrase "wholescale slaughter."

And see, that's just funny.
posted by nixerman at 12:50 AM on March 23, 2005


yodelingisfun:
This is what I get for trying to a participator
For trying to what a participator? Has the participator in question had a day's training?

And yeah, definitely keep the post, great fun. And yes, it'd still be fun if it was about women/gays/fat people/amputees too, as long as there was some simple method by which the numbers would get big enough that still allowed for lots of creativity.
posted by fvw at 12:52 AM on March 23, 2005


Witty >Oooo... here's one. How many tummy-bloated naked Ethiopians could you fend off? Strap a tupperware bowl full of porridge to the top of your head, then open the gates and have at it. The helicopter toss could come in handy here.

That's really living up to your avatar, how about a little extra Wit on this one:

>Oooo... here's one. How many Witless People Who Think They Are Witty could you fend off? Strap a few copies of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" to the top of your head, then open the gates and have at it. The soggy biscuit game could come in handy here.

And really, the original thread is just harmless. Less thought crime, please.
posted by gsb at 1:46 AM on March 23, 2005


wpa: The difference here is the difference between AskMe and MeFi. I don't necessarily agree with the comment deletion myself, but I can see how it could be construed as chatty and non-productive by a fast-moving admin. But the MeFi FPP in question is exactly what Metafilter is for: linking to interesting stuff on the interweb. It may be offensive, it may be unfunny, and it's certainly not genius, but it's certainly a passable FPP.
posted by Plutor at 3:30 AM on March 23, 2005


w-g p: Matt also deleted my "tsunami jokes" AskMe. So, you are in good company. ;-P

heheh
posted by mischief at 4:24 AM on March 23, 2005


What people are forgetting is that in many cases the kids are going to win, because people are picking a number that's too high. So really we're talking about a large number of hypothetical scenarios, many of which involve kids beating down an adult. So at least those are OK, right?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:30 AM on March 23, 2005


Posting a long MeTa that only purports to get to its reason for existence at the end of the post is disingenuous. You don't care about the five-year-old thread, which you joined in. You're upset because your other post got deleted, and now you have an excuse to complain about it.
posted by anapestic at 5:14 AM on March 23, 2005


i'd like to comment here, but i've started receiving private email about how me not having children, and admitting in public that it seems a good idea not to do so, means that i shouldn't comment on issues involving children, because i just don't understand.

so, what's red and mushy and cries in a corner?
posted by andrew cooke at 5:17 AM on March 23, 2005


mathowie takes himself and his cute little website far too seriously.
posted by quonsar at 5:41 AM on March 23, 2005


i blame the in-group against him.
posted by quonsar at 5:42 AM on March 23, 2005


free weapons-grade pandemonium!
posted by quonsar at 5:42 AM on March 23, 2005


i shouldn't comment on issues involving children, because i just don't understand.
And I get told that I shouldn't make baby jokes because I do have kids and should know better. As if either having or not having personally added to the misery of the human race makes any difference to how much we understand about anything.

So, what is red and mushy and sits in a corner?
posted by dg at 6:03 AM on March 23, 2005


So, ...if women / gays / schizophrenics / fat people... where inserted... it wouldn't be funny.

Right. Because 5-year olds can't vote. If they could, they'd be up in arms about this, and then there'd be a lawsuit, and then a constitutional amendment.

Christ, we're running out of groups that are safe to make fun of. For the love of god, at least leave us the children. What kind of world would this be if we couldn't make fun of the children?
posted by caution live frogs at 6:04 AM on March 23, 2005


Could we substitute ignorant Mathowie assholes for children?

yes, but I have it on good authority that Mathowie is, like, 7 feet tall and works out. I'd rather fight five-year-olds any day of the week -- they're so much smaller
posted by matteo at 6:08 AM on March 23, 2005


Man. Someone has his panties in a twist.

Okay, let's substitute women. But, in the spirit of the thread, let's make them specially trained women who can also take their shirts off. How many can you fend off?

Yeah, still funny. Not as funny as 5-year-old killing machines, but still funny.

Absurdity is funny. Oddball comparisons/competitions are funny. Your asperger's poem was lame. But thanks for posting it here for posterity.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 6:10 AM on March 23, 2005


andrew cooke: Seriously? People have a lot of time on their hands.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 6:12 AM on March 23, 2005


Change the parameters slightly and no-one would think it funny. If women / gays / schizophrenics / fat people... where inserted.

One difference is that everyone discussing this was a five-year-old once.

It's a more universal category & more like 'making fun our yourself' than joking about a group to which you don't, have never & will never belong, and possibly "can't understand", at least in theory.
posted by mdn at 6:33 AM on March 23, 2005


And yes, it'd still be fun if it was about women/gays/fat people/amputees too

I don't think it would be fun if it was about amputees. Depending on the kind of amputee it could potentially be too easy to really be fun. I mean, kick the crutch from under a guy who has only one leg, and that's about all there is to it.

Anyway, I was curious to see what happened to the McCain thread from yesterday (seems to have disappeared from MeFi), but whatever... it's not like there isn't going to be a whole new bunch of political threads today.
posted by clevershark at 6:39 AM on March 23, 2005


I don't know why, but this reminds me of a certain Monty Python sketch. Though I was pulling for Nigel Incubator-Jones to win, it was not to be.

Think about the twits.
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:40 AM on March 23, 2005


As a father (ahem!), I think it is harmless speculation along the lines of "who would win a fight - Superman or He-Man" or instead of five year olds, insert "vicious, rabies infected bunnies who still look normal" (which I think is more in line with the tone of the rules." If you ever witnessed such a battle, it would probably be pretty horrifying.

Seriously, most of the scenarios would likely involve the adult being swarmed and eaten alive.
posted by Quartermass at 6:40 AM on March 23, 2005


weapons-grade pandemonium: Just to set the record straight: Your first comment in the Asperger's thread was the one where you made fun of the spelling errors in the question. You came across as an asshole in that thread and here you come across as a self-aggrandzing whiner.
posted by mlis at 6:48 AM on March 23, 2005


I wouldn't support this.

I do, however, agree with MLIS.
posted by rocketman at 6:50 AM on March 23, 2005


We need a new MetaTalk category.


posted by mcwetboy at 7:09 AM on March 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


a baby chewing razor blades, of course.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:35 AM on March 23, 2005


hehehe. What is blue and shakes in the corner?
posted by sciurus at 7:41 AM on March 23, 2005


What is blue and doesn't shake at all?

Infant crib death.
posted by dios at 7:46 AM on March 23, 2005


You're confusing two parts of Metafilter with different purposes. You had two posts in that AskMe thread, neither of which was particularly useful. That, of course, has nothing to do with the currently discussed FPP which is sort of funny.
posted by jessamyn at 7:46 AM on March 23, 2005


If those five-year-olds had a chance, they'd kill you and everyone you care about!
posted by clevershark at 7:59 AM on March 23, 2005



posted by greasy_skillet at 8:02 AM on March 23, 2005


I thought five-year old threads were archived and closed to comments. Did you guys break MeFi again?
posted by breezeway at 8:26 AM on March 23, 2005


Thank you for calling my attention to that excellent FPP. That was the best thing posted yesterday.
posted by smackfu at 8:29 AM on March 23, 2005


AskMe's different than MeFi, dumbass. I'd say from previous deletions that it should be pretty obvious that jokes and pointless comments are frowned upon. Your stupid haiku has nothing to do with a thread about killing 5-year-olds.

Also, Arch, did you have that apology ready in case someone MeTa'd you? Christ, man. Fuck apologies. Especially for people who make weak analogies to their own comments.
posted by graventy at 8:29 AM on March 23, 2005


What is blue and shakes in the corner?

A baby in a plastic bag.

What is green and sits in the corner?

The same baby three weeks later.
posted by sciurus at 8:38 AM on March 23, 2005


mcwetboy wins. And that thread about zombies5 year olds is hilarious.
posted by loquacious at 8:41 AM on March 23, 2005


It wasn't even a haiku, really.

the haiku follows
strict form and usually should
be about nature

see? that's not really a haiku, either. but it's closer.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2005


i'd like to comment here, but i've started receiving private email about how me not having children, and admitting in public that it seems a good idea not to do so, means that i shouldn't comment on issues involving children, because i just don't understand.

If you had kids, you'd understand that it wouldn't take very many five year olds to obliterate an adult. But that's the sort of lesson you can probably get through life without.

On the more serious issue, I have kids, and I find it a bit galling when people who don't have kids act like they're experts on child rearing: the theory and the practice are miles apart, and you don't know until you've experienced it.

But child rearing per se is distinct from general issues affecting children. Everyone should have an informed opinion on those issues since all of us used to be children. Except for the ones who never grew up, of course.
posted by anapestic at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2005


It wasn't even a haiku, really.

I think the original comment may well have been closer to a haiku. I think it was paraphrased for this post to look more serious and less haikuish.

Cognoscenti will, of course, note that a true haiku should contain a reference to a season and need not follow the 5-7-5 pattern, but the masses accept anything with three lines and a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern as a haiku.
posted by anapestic at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2005


I vote funny. But then the laughter of children is like fingernails on a chalkboard to my ears.

What's more offensive: that we (collectively) have hostility toward children (maybe), or that we're forbidden to joke about it?

And anyway, I see this as more of a physics and body dynamic question. How many labradors could you take on? How many ping pong balls could you have fall on you without loosing consciousness? You know, that's something that Capt. Kangaroo and Mr. Moose used to smoke up and speculate about for hours.
posted by squirrel at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2005


sure, anapestic, i recognise that. in the particular example that caused the email i can see how they took my comments in that light even though i intended them to be seen as comments from the child's side. it wasn't a big deal, really, and even if you don't have kids it's clear that being a parent is a hard job.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:20 AM on March 23, 2005


i can see how they took my comments in that light

Well, the other part of it is that most parents are convinced that parenting is THE HARDEST AND MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD and anyone who isn't blessed with their particular wonderful children can have no clue about anything and OH MY GOD HOW CAN YOU THINK ABOUT HARMING A HAIR ON THE HEAD OF MY PRECIOUS FIVE-YEAR-OLD. Read what Mimi Smartypants has to say about adoptive parents (she is one) sometime. The same thing applies to all parents. I mean, I can't imagine my life without my children, and I think they're pretty cool, but I also recognize that billions of other people have felt the exact same way before, and that the entire animal kingdom manages to procreate pretty well without so much drama. Now is where I would normally say "don't get me started," but it is apparently too late.
posted by anapestic at 9:34 AM on March 23, 2005


I suppose wgp wouldn't think speculating about a rottweiler vs. a rottweiler's weight in chihuahuas was funny, either.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:37 AM on March 23, 2005

What's more offensive: that we (collectively) have hostility toward children (maybe), or that we're forbidden to joke about it?
Personally, I think Door Number One falls apart at the parenthetical maybe. I'm good enough with kids, and generally get enough of an amused kick out of interacting with them, that I'm seriously contemplating a career shift to work with the little terrors (perhaps as a trainer in Grown-up Takedown classes!), and what makes the thought experiment here funny is the absurdity of it. Generally, people don't have hostility towards children (individually, some do, of course); protective instincts that, at the least, amount to not randomly beating up kindergarteners, are pretty much natural to have.

So there's some twofold absurdity going on in the idea--the most obvious one is of course little kids acting with focused bloodthirsty intent. ("Listen! Understand! Those five year olds are out there! They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear! And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are knocked out!") The less-obvious fold of absurdity is that the vast majority of nominally-well-adjusted grownups don't have it in them to wade into a field of little children and start inflicting hurt.

What really baffles me here is that the pandemonium isn't just run of the mill, but actually weapons grade. That usually means purified and refined. I'd thought more highly of pandemonium before now.
posted by Drastic at 9:38 AM on March 23, 2005



posted by furtive at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2005


What's fourteen inches long, has a purple head and makes women scream in the night?




Crib death.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:17 AM on March 23, 2005


Five-year-old monsters,
Ripping at me with their teeth:
Chuck E. Cheese™ Nightmares!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:41 AM on March 23, 2005


Is this where we post our haiku? I have one that fits this thread, by an old friend of mine:

Shut up, you asshole
Who the hell do you think you
are? Aristotle?
posted by goatdog at 10:53 AM on March 23, 2005


Hippopotamus.
Hippopotamus -- in space!
Hippopotamus.
posted by gleuschk at 11:13 AM on March 23, 2005 [2 favorites]


Change "In space!" to "in Spring!" or "in Fall!" and you've got yourself a damn fine Haiku with surprisingly lively imagery and portent.

Ponderous. Ponderous! Just play the record. Just start the goddamn record, ok? That's the letter 2 and the numeral U. These guys are from England and who gives a shit!? Fuck Snuggles!
posted by loquacious at 11:27 AM on March 23, 2005


Mayor Curley, I made that joke and others like it until I had a kid. Don't get me wrong, I understand where jokes come from and all. I think you're funny and I respect your contribution.

It doesn't make sense to try to think of every possible person who might get offended before you make a joke. I don't do it, and I probably offend people all the time.

My baby girl died in her crib. No joke.

I'm not trolling for an apology; like I said, it's a joke I've made before. You can understand why I'd never make it again, though. I thought of sending you an email, but I'd rather say this here. Your joke hurt so fucking much, that's all.

I've been reading Metafilter for years, and nothing I've read here made me cry before. It's been years since my daughter died. It's been years since I stopped crying over her.

I feel stupid posting this, like the kid who bursts out crying in class because he can't tie his shoes or something.

I guess, just, can it with the crib death jokes, okay? Sorry to rain on a fun thread. As you were.
posted by breezeway at 11:31 AM on March 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


Beating 5 year olds to death with their own dismembered arms is still in play. Carry on.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:38 AM on March 23, 2005


Beating Five Year Olds
Protect My Groin With a Cup
They Win if I Fall
posted by Megafly at 11:50 AM on March 23, 2005


MetaFilter is for failing to sense sarcasm and then being a complete pompous ass about it.
posted by scarabic at 11:56 AM on March 23, 2005


Spit in a hanky.
Threaten to wash their faces.
That's it - game over!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:56 AM on March 23, 2005


My two cents: I think the whole thread is kind of funny, kind of sick, but what bothers me is that it's CHATFILTER. Why hasn't it been deleted?
posted by Specklet at 12:07 PM on March 23, 2005


MetaFilter is for failing to sense sarcasm and then being a complete pompous ass about it.

Not me.
posted by Witty at 12:17 PM on March 23, 2005


Chatfilter is specifically discouraged in AskMe, not so much in the blue.
posted by anapestic at 12:20 PM on March 23, 2005


free weapons-grade pandemonium!

No! Fission then re-enrich him!
posted by scarabic at 12:25 PM on March 23, 2005


I thought it was hilarious. And it never occured to me to substitute "5 year olds" with "women". Issues, maybe?
posted by adampsyche at 12:46 PM on March 23, 2005


"How many five year-olds do you think you could..."

⟨Jokester finds himself in Cambodia in May of 1975. Automatic-rifle wielding children come marching toward him. They execute and dismember him.⟩

Hahaha! That just cracks me up.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:50 PM on March 23, 2005



posted by mosch at 1:09 PM on March 23, 2005


mathowie takes himself and his cute little website far too seriously.
posted by quonsar at 5:41 AM PST on March 23


quonsar, what is about Matt that really bugs you? You can tell us all - we're friends! Feel free to rant, to be irrational, to nitpick, to not put yourself in his shoes, to not appreciate the fact that there aren't any equivalent Metafilterish places on the web - whatever will help you get over your problem and focus on the rest of your life.
posted by WestCoaster at 1:24 PM on March 23, 2005


whatever will help you get over your problem and focus on the rest of your life

There's a false premise in that statement.
posted by anapestic at 1:27 PM on March 23, 2005


quonsar, what is about Matt that really bugs you?

can't read, huh?
posted by quonsar at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2005


to not put yourself in his shoes,

i would walk a mile in mathowie's shoes.
cuz then i'd be a mile away from him. and i'd have his shoes.
posted by quonsar at 1:47 PM on March 23, 2005


quonsar believes that Metafilter et al should have no limits. No deletions, etc.

Which is all well and good, but if I post a question to AskMe, I don't want it filled with a bunch of stupid haikus. Or pointless injokes.
I like injokes in MeTa, or MeFi, but not AskMe. AskMe's where we get work done. MeFi's where we play. MeTa's where we go crying home to mommy.
posted by graventy at 2:24 PM on March 23, 2005


MeTa's where we go crying home to mommy.
Neat technique for taking on a five year old.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:33 PM on March 23, 2005


CHATFILTER. Why hasn't it been deleted?
It's not every thread and maybe as MF is a discussion site.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:41 PM on March 23, 2005


I understand this is supposed to be funny. I think this is not only not funny, but in extremely bad taste. Substitute "women" for "five-year-olds"...

Dude, you're such a drama queen..
posted by c13 at 2:54 PM on March 23, 2005


What's truly offensive is the idea that women and five-year-olds are interchangeable. Rarely have I felt so outraged.
posted by anapestic at 2:56 PM on March 23, 2005


What about five year old women? Think of that...
posted by c13 at 3:03 PM on March 23, 2005



posted by AlexReynolds at 3:57 PM on March 23, 2005


I know I've seen that photoshoped with something else on it in the past...
posted by jmd82 at 4:39 PM on March 23, 2005


That's beautiful.
posted by jonmc at 5:37 PM on March 23, 2005


I'm not sure if you're just being sly, jmb, but here's something else.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 5:43 PM on March 23, 2005


If I was mayor curly I would probably feel like a total jerkoff right now. Don't let it get too deep Mayor: I've done that before without realizing it.

Anyways back to this.... mess of a thread. What was the point again?
posted by Dean Keaton at 1:37 AM on March 24, 2005


i was wondering if anyone was going to comment on mayor curley's joke and breezeway's response. i was thinking about them both last night, and again this morning.

if i were a friend of breezeways i'd be trying to help them however i could. and if i were breezeway i'd have written a much angrier reply. i would have posted something in bold italics screaming about the assholiness of it all and then kicked the monitor off the table and gone out for a long walk.

because that's what you do when life is shit. shit happens. and you get angry about it. we all hurt in different ways, but i suspect we've all been brought to tears at one time or another through things we've read, or heard, or seen.

on the other hand, it was the best joke in the thread. made me laugh out loud. it's a fucked up world where that happens, but there you go - life is complicated. and, even if i were breezeway, and even if i'd posted something much worse than they did, i don't think i would, on reflection, want any particular topic banned, or anyone "punished" for what happened. i'd want to be able to express my anger, and perhaps hate mayor curley every time he posts for a month or two, but, it's a personal thing. not something that mefi needs to take a stand over.

shit happens. bad shit and funny shit. sometimes at the same time.

which is why i didn't post anything yesterday. i couldn't think of a way to both approve of what breezeway was feeling without also condemning mayor curley. because i don't think either was wrong. just unlucky.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:48 AM on March 24, 2005


Just happening back on this thread now. I'd prefer to respond to breezeway through email, but s/he doesn't list it. So I will state here that I am sincerely, deeply sorry that I upset you.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:19 AM on March 24, 2005


Mayor Curley writes "Just happening back on this thread now. I'd prefer to respond to breezeway through email, but s/he doesn't list it. So I will state here that I am sincerely, deeply sorry that I upset you."


A good argument for why there should be emails in all the profiles.

This is one of the things that I honestly have the most trouble with in life, making comments that to me have no particular emotional baggage, but which mean something very different to someone who hears them. There is no protection for it, except the kind of sincere apology that Mayor Curley was classy enough to give.
posted by OmieWise at 7:31 AM on March 24, 2005


"...making comments that to me have no particular emotional baggage..."

The joke wouldn't be funny if it didn't have emotional baggage. It's intended to be offensive. It was. Mission accomplished.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:43 AM on March 24, 2005


So, by that logic, those who are most offended would be laughing the hardest, right?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:17 AM on March 24, 2005


those who are most offended would be laughing the hardest, right? - weapons-grade pandemonium

Well sometimes, yes. Someimes those with the most emotional investment that 'should' be the most offened are the ones making the jokes. Sometimes.
posted by raedyn at 9:26 AM on March 24, 2005


It took a long time for me to realize that the things people say, aren't necessarily directed at me. Even when they are aimed right this way.

EB, I think you're being unfair: Mayor Curley clearly directed his joke towards readers who haven't lost a child. His aim was true, though, and he got me.

I didn't notice dios' upthread telling of the same joke, because it wasn't told well. Mayor Curley got every detail. It's funny because it's true. Only it's true.

I appreciate the apology, Mayor. You're smart and funny. Keep leaving best-of-threads in your wake. Thanks to you other guys for keeping this small and kind.

She's like the little smiling face that you find on a roll of film, that you never knew was there. She just pops up and reminds me that she was here. Life is easier when she stays a smile.

I guess, thanks for listening, is all. And responding. Thanks a lot.
posted by breezeway at 10:16 AM on March 24, 2005



posted by breezeway at 10:17 AM on March 24, 2005


Breezway. I'm sorry for your loss. I know you were not fishing for sympathy but as a father I can empathize and my heart goes out to you. Take care.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:44 AM on March 24, 2005


"Mayor Curley clearly directed his joke towards readers who haven't lost a child. His aim was true, though, and he got me."

His aim was true?

Yeah, obviously when people make outrageous jokes like that one they aren't aiming at the people who would actually be most hurt by it. (Except that the case of racist and sexist jokes and the like might disprove this theory.) But the joke is still "outrageous"—that's why it's a joke. It's intended to provoke. There's a theory that humor is inherently aggressive.

I don't know if all humor is inherently aggressive, but I'm certain that there's a variety of humor that is aggressive and, basically, mean-spirited. People that pride themselves on being boorishly "funny" are not so proud of their humor as they are of their provocations. They like upsetting people. Do they intend to deeply, deeply hurt people? No, usually no more than the teasing older sibling means to truly and deeply upset the younger. When they do, they feel kinda bad about it. But that's only because they prefer to indulge themselves in aggression in that sweet spot where there's plausible deniability.

Is this some huge social injustice that deserves scrutiny and derision? Not really. But I enjoy the schadenfreude when it backfires.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:39 PM on March 24, 2005


the rules are diffrent on askme and me.
posted by delmoi at 3:43 PM on March 24, 2005


Mayor Curley:
Please change the punch line to:
The dickhead who thinks dead kids are funny.
To any audience.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:18 PM on March 24, 2005


People that pride themselves on being boorishly "funny" are not so proud of their humor as they are of their provocations.

Ethereal Bligh:

Why are you being passive-aggressive? What's frustrating you? Talk to me, Gorgeous.


weapons-grade pandemonium:

I don't get it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:31 PM on March 24, 2005


"Why are you being passive-aggressive? What's frustrating you? Talk to me, Gorgeous."

Sweetheart, I'm not being passive-aggressive. Sometimes people speak in generalities because, you know, the point they're making is general.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:56 PM on March 24, 2005


I'm not going to jump on ethereal bligh but I have the impression she has an older sibling.
posted by Dean Keaton at 11:15 PM on March 24, 2005


holy. crap. what a mess.
posted by Muffpub at 1:03 AM on March 25, 2005


Ethereal Bligh writes "'How many five year-olds do you think you could...'

"Jokester finds himself in Cambodia in May of 1975. Automatic-rifle wielding children come marching toward him. They execute and dismember him.?

"Hahaha! That just cracks me up."


Now that made me laugh!


breezeway writes "She's like the little smiling face that you find on a roll of film, that you never knew was there. She just pops up and reminds me that she was here. Life is easier when she stays a smile."

And that poignant image will stay with me. "Life is easier when she stays a smile." Thanks breezeway.
posted by orthogonality at 1:24 AM on March 25, 2005


omg, seriously this is the most bittersweet thread i've ever read. I can't stop crying...then laughing out loud...then crying. Too much pain/jocularity floating around all at once. It makes me hurt, but feels good, sorta cathartic.
posted by schyler523 at 1:37 AM on March 25, 2005


*hugs breezeway if that's ok.
posted by schyler523 at 1:39 AM on March 25, 2005


"I'm not going to jump on ethereal bligh but I have the impression she has an older sibling."

Nope on two counts.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:09 AM on March 25, 2005


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