Shoutout to felix September 22, 2005 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I just want to give a shout out to felix betachat -- who as the sole defender of an unpopular opinion remains levelheaded and cogent, engages with the discussion, and never gets shouty.

Felix, I disagree with just about everything you say, but you're a class act.
posted by ook to Etiquette/Policy at 8:14 AM (131 comments total)

I disagree with his standpoint, and therefore he's a troll.
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:22 AM on September 22, 2005


Articulate and calm he was.
posted by mds35 at 8:36 AM on September 22, 2005


Ah... he so rationally ushers us into our Orwellian future, it's like being handed a mint at the door into hell. Moreover, an Israeli telling Brits to shut up and get used to living in a warzone does have a certain poetic justice to it, historically and all.
posted by scarabic at 8:37 AM on September 22, 2005


I love seeing a cogent response from someone with whom I disagree. Kudos indeed.
posted by frykitty at 8:45 AM on September 22, 2005


Yeah, 'cause starting yr post with 'boo-fucking-hoo' is soooo level-headed.
posted by item at 8:46 AM on September 22, 2005


Literate response? yeah. Cogent? no.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:53 AM on September 22, 2005


Care to elaborate sonofsamiam?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:56 AM on September 22, 2005


scarabic: "until June, I lived in Chicago"
posted by NinjaPirate at 9:00 AM on September 22, 2005


Well, I thought it would be obvious from the definitions of the words. I think felix did a good job of expressing his arguments, but I don't find them convincing (cogent) in the least. Just my opinion, though, as always.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:01 AM on September 22, 2005


2 things: he's not israeli. He's an american rabbi (or training to be one), iirc, who is currently staying in israel for reaons I'm not aware of. I may not be recalling correctly, though.

b) he's generally the voice of reason in some heated discussions. Not because he's right all the time, but precisely because he discusses the merits of his point calmly and impersonally. He's one of the people in this community I respect the most, although I kind of disagree with him, here.

I, personally, think his argument is caught between appreciating effective anti-terrorism activity and failing to see ineffective anti-terrorism activity. Does the article writer have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement? Yes. Is he completely wrong? I don't think so, but felix betachat seems to and he's making his points intelligently without insulting anyone.

I think people here are mistaking a casual tone of voice for derision. (boo fucking hoo, for example.) Just because he doesn't write every comment like a term paper doesn't mean he isn't defending himself civilly and intelligently. You can still be intelligent if you're wrong, btw.
posted by shmegegge at 9:05 AM on September 22, 2005


Why? (Obviously, I can read what you wrote just as plainly as you can write them; their meaning, however, is lost in your contempt for his ideas)
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:11 AM on September 22, 2005


what scarabic said. the fact that one is happy to live under Israeli-like security measures does not mean the rest of us cannot be appalled at the cheerful surrender of precious civil rights
posted by matteo at 9:14 AM on September 22, 2005


Even so...I'm as liberal as an elite gay spotted owl abortionist, but I'd much prefer arguing with Christopher Hitchens than with Ann Coulter. Both of them are hurting America, but CH does it with some degree of style and decorum*. I think that's what we're talking about here. If you are so appalled by a user's beliefs that you can't respect the general civility with which they express them, then why contribute to a thread that is only making them meta-famous?





*Then again, it could just be his accent.
posted by mds35 at 9:20 AM on September 22, 2005


Here's the thing matteo:

Do you remember after 9/11 how racial profiling was the order of the day? Not only in airports, but all forms of transportation and even entry into certain non-transit related buildings. Add on top of that how the US government has indefinitely arrested without trial people who aren't necessarily even terrorists?

yeah, see, THAT'S what having civil liberties taken away looks like.

now, I don't agree with felix totally. I think he draws the line too far on the side of security. BUT, imagine if what I described above hadn't happened. Imagine that instead, nothing was done. No one was stopped, searched, or whatever because just about any criterion for suspicious activity can be dismissed as inconclusive by its own merits or construed to be profiling of some kind. Obviously, this leaves the same vulnerabilities that existed before for the terrorists to continue to use.

So that's obviously no good. Well, how much additional security do you implement, then, as an officer? If you specifically try to stop what the terrorists have already used (in England, rucksacks and bulky clothing on trains) then the terrorists won't use that method again and you're wasting your time. But if you don't, then they keep doing what works and people die. So you err on the side that, while it may be ineffective at STOPPING the terrorists, at least keeps them from doing the same damn thing over and over again.

That's all these cops were trying to do. It happened to involve detaining him. It seems to have involved the possible permanent confiscation of his shit, too. That's fucked up, but there are non-terrorism related instances of that here, too.

Remember when Valve studios had the Half-Life 2 source code stolen? Some fan of theirs was actually trying to help them find the guy who did it, and for his effort the FBI confiscated every computer he and his roommates owned. He never got them back, even to this day, despite the fact that the real thief has been caught. Show me a government that DOESN'T behave that way. It sucks, but it's the way of things, and has been for a while.

So some of the rights you think are being stolen aren't rights you ever had.
posted by shmegegge at 9:28 AM on September 22, 2005


SiezeTheDay: I've made some comments in the thread. I wouldn't say I have "contempt" for his ideas. There are far more contemptible ideas tossed around here sometimes, and I'm not shy about my feelings. Have I been acting rude? Sorry if I have, I've got the worst fever I've had in years.

I think he is a good guy who is just taking the wrong attitude towards the role of government and I think that if he spends some more time reflecting on it, he will change his mind. My opinion again. I'm not pissed at him or anything.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:31 AM on September 22, 2005


I agree. I was raised to think that it's okay to disagree, but not to be disagreeable about it. Felix is navigating that nicely, even though he's way outnumbered.
posted by Vidiot at 9:39 AM on September 22, 2005


now, I don't agree with felix totally. I think he draws the line too far on the side of security

I don't care, more power to him -- he chose to live in Israel and he doesn't seem to mind. I do have a problem with the argument that Western countries should become more like Israel. that's all. it's just funny that he's attacking Brits for their unwillingness to be anally probed at random by those nice, Scotland Yard cops.
posted by matteo at 9:45 AM on September 22, 2005


Felix is proof that that there's a difference between expressing right-wing beliefs, and being a right-wing troll.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:49 AM on September 22, 2005


Well said, mr. Tacos.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:55 AM on September 22, 2005


scarabic and matteo, are you guys incapable of appreciating a good hearty discussion with those you disagree with? Must you insert your disagreement with his views here?

Felix seems like the perfect type of level-headed user (more level-headed than most left-wing posters here) that can contribute thoughtful discussion here. I don't care if he's advocating the eating of babies, at least he's a gentleman about it and talking things out point by point without any namecalling.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:00 AM on September 22, 2005


Damn, is this thread pretty much a big old needle stuck into the windbags that are some member's complaints about the echo chamber effect?

Good.
posted by fenriq at 10:08 AM on September 22, 2005


He's going to the U of C div school, I believe as a PhD student—this would not make him a rabbi-in-training.

Ah... he so rationally ushers us into our Orwellian future,

Unfortunate that he himself mentioned Orwell, since it makes pointing out that the above is an incredible overreaction less immediately plausible.
posted by kenko at 10:10 AM on September 22, 2005


Hello?


Hello?


Hello?


Hello?
posted by mds35 at 10:11 AM on September 22, 2005


nuts. font size tags? no?
posted by mds35 at 10:12 AM on September 22, 2005


I agree with mathowie.
posted by timeistight at 10:17 AM on September 22, 2005


What...the heck...happened? Is Metafilthy bugging out on me, or were there really 46 deleted posts above mds35's "Hello? Hello? Hello?" post?
posted by Bugbread at 10:20 AM on September 22, 2005


shmegegge writes "Does the article writer have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement? Yes."

OK... how about you, for what is really no good reason, find yourself arrested, have some possessions seized by the police with no guarantee whatsoever that they will be returned, have some bullshit charge brought against you by the police when you're done nothing but cooperate, etc.

Would the fact that you're a little upset at being dispossessed of goods and freedom (god knows what'll happen as a result of the charges) constitute "having an overdeveloped sense of entitlement"? "N***** please".
posted by clevershark at 10:21 AM on September 22, 2005


I agree, felix has done a great job in that thread of presenting his arguments and remaining respectful. His positions are well-thoughtout and he articulates them nicely. I find his reasoning to be more convincing than some of the reactionary [this is bad] that is also present in the thread.
posted by OmieWise at 10:24 AM on September 22, 2005


fenriq writes "Damn, is this thread pretty much a big old needle stuck into the windbags that are some member's complaints about the echo chamber effect?

"Good."


Nope. It's the opposite: some good news that the echo chamber may go away/is going away. Yeah, some members like to bitch about things and don't want them to change, because then they'd have nothing to bitch about. But some of us bitch about stuff that we do want to change, and this kind of post, instead of being a needles in our bag, is more like a big warm fuzzy hug.
posted by Bugbread at 10:24 AM on September 22, 2005


Is felix actualy 'right wing'? There are plenty of 'security democrats' you know.
posted by delmoi at 10:30 AM on September 22, 2005


I agree that Felix was doing an honourable job of arguing instead of fighting.

I am confused by one thing...
Felix is proof that that there's a difference between expressing right-wing beliefs, and being a right-wing troll.
I thought that the left wing, not the right wing, advocated public safety over individual rights? Is this different in the US?
posted by thejimp at 10:36 AM on September 22, 2005


Beat me to it, delmoi.
posted by thejimp at 10:37 AM on September 22, 2005


Ever since the New Deal, largely yes.
posted by mystyk at 10:38 AM on September 22, 2005


"N***** please".

No. It's one or the other, but not both.
posted by yerfatma at 10:38 AM on September 22, 2005


bugbread, that's pretty much what I meant. That the complaint that MeFi is nothing but a Lefty echo chamber that cannot and will not stand for contrary viewpoints has been deflated by Felix.
posted by fenriq at 10:39 AM on September 22, 2005


fenriq: let's call him "Token."
posted by mds35 at 10:45 AM on September 22, 2005


I thought that the left wing, not the right wing, advocated public safety over individual rights? Is this different in the US?

Well, that gets complicated. "left" and "right" are pretty meaningless terms, really. But if they basically mean "anti-bush" and "pro-bush" respectively. Then the right-wingers are definitely down on civil liberties these days.

Felix may or may not be 'anti-bush' but still be afraid of the terrorists.
posted by delmoi at 10:45 AM on September 22, 2005


MetaFilter: It's Like Being Handed a Mint At The Gates of Hell.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:50 AM on September 22, 2005


Where did I refuse to accept that he's got his POV and I've got mine, Matt? I don't agree with his, but it holds water unto itself. In fact, I posted a qualified agreement with his POV in the thread.
posted by scarabic at 10:57 AM on September 22, 2005


I'm guessing (and it's just a guess) that matt focused on you and matteo because this thread is praise for felix's posting style, and you and matteo brought in counterarguments against the contents of his post. That is, it came across that you were unable to separate your disagreement with what he said from your opinion of how he said it.

I'm not saying it's true that you're unable to separate them, just guessing that it seemed to matt that you were unable to. I am, however, curious why you posted stuff in reference to what he said, as opposed to how he said it, in the grey, since the blue is all about the discussion of the issue at hand, and this post is not.
posted by Bugbread at 11:11 AM on September 22, 2005


Felix may or may not be 'anti-bush' but still be afraid of the terrorists.

Wow, what a concept.
posted by jonmc at 11:31 AM on September 22, 2005


A distinction that has been purposefully blurred by Bush himself.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:35 AM on September 22, 2005


If you specifically try to stop what the terrorists have already used (in England, rucksacks and bulky clothing on trains) then the terrorists won't use that method again and you're wasting your time. But if you don't, then they keep doing what works and people die. So you err on the side that, while it may be ineffective at STOPPING the terrorists, at least keeps them from doing the same damn thing over and over again.

You know, there is a third option. Don't do anything that's ultimately ineffective. Don't you see that's the entire game here? Terrorism works because it isn't overtly criminal until the act is committed. It's secretive and ultimately mundane by design in the hopes that police react exactly how they've been reacting by destroying everything that freedom once meant. If you destroy what you were defending, there's no point anymore, and, though it certainly has been overstated before, I think this is a pretty good example of "the terrorists winning."
posted by odinsdream at 11:35 AM on September 22, 2005


Also, I find it stunning we're actually praising people for not being shrill and batshitinsane with their posts.
posted by odinsdream at 11:36 AM on September 22, 2005


odinsdream writes "It's secretive and ultimately mundane by design in the hopes that police react exactly how they've been reacting by destroying everything that freedom once meant."

I dunno. I've heard this argument before (that the goal of terrorists is to destroy freedom), but I've not seen very much compelling evidence that that's really their goal.
posted by Bugbread at 11:38 AM on September 22, 2005


I don't care if he's advocating the eating of babies, at least he's a gentleman about it and talking things out point by point without any namecalling.

So, Matt, this is no longer an appropriate forum for those of us who DO care if somebody's advocating the eating of babies, regardless of their civility. Good to know.

/resumes self-imposed exile at a somewhat farther distance
posted by wendell at 11:49 AM on September 22, 2005


Betachat by name, better chat by nature. And it's interesting that his level-headedness was catching in that thread - many of the folk disagreeing with Felix's position took his points on board and countered them, most without squealing in the manner that has become the norm here. Perhaps Felix could be paid a small stipend to gently exert an influence in all shouty political threads.
posted by jack_mo at 11:50 AM on September 22, 2005


Careless civility costs lives.
posted by funambulist at 12:25 PM on September 22, 2005


scarabic, what bugbread said, to the T
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:40 PM on September 22, 2005


So, Matt, this is no longer an appropriate forum for those of us who DO care if somebody's advocating the eating of babies, regardless of their civility.

Write one controversial proposal and you never hear the end of it.
posted by Jonathan Swift at 1:06 PM on September 22, 2005


Now, was that joke worth five bucks?
posted by SweetJesus at 1:08 PM on September 22, 2005


Sweet Jesus -- exactly! LOL -- perfect.
posted by undule at 1:37 PM on September 22, 2005


SweetJesus writes "Now, was that joke worth five bucks?"

Jonathan Swift is dead, so I imagine that money doesn't mean too much to him. What's he going to do, buy an iPod to listen to in his grave? Death lasts for eternity, and iPods can only go for 13 hours before running out of battery charge.
posted by Bugbread at 1:40 PM on September 22, 2005


How does he fancy we can sit
To hear his out-of-fashion'd wit?
But he takes up with younger folks,
Who for his wine will bear his jokes.

Faith, he must make his stories shorter,
Or change his comrades once a quarter;
In half the time, he talks them round;
There must another set be found.
posted by Jonathan Swift at 1:42 PM on September 22, 2005


I guess it was...
posted by SweetJesus at 1:43 PM on September 22, 2005


Must you insert your disagreement with his views here?

so it's like, take it to "MeFi"?


I don't care if he's advocating the eating of babies, at least he's a gentleman about it


please re-read carefully what you wrote.
if you really think that, the fact that you run this place scares me shitless. really. and I think you're a great guy. but still.
posted by matteo at 2:15 PM on September 22, 2005


and by the way, when somebody posts a "let's pray user X" thread on MeTa, does it means that if we don't agree with the ass-kissing of said user we should take it to the blue, or something?
posted by matteo at 2:16 PM on September 22, 2005


If you took that comment literally, maybe we should all pause and reflect.
posted by yerfatma at 2:17 PM on September 22, 2005


Fuck, matteo: Unclench.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:24 PM on September 22, 2005


So, matteo, are you saying that you shouldn't be civil to people you disagree with? Or that we shouldn't appreciate it when people who disagree with you do it in a civil way? Or are you just taking a principled stand against eating babies?
posted by fuzz at 2:45 PM on September 22, 2005


Sometimes there's no call to be civil. When people seriously float loathsome (to me) ideas, I'm not going to pull any punches.

Not that that necessarily has any bearing on this, but civility is overrated. And underrated.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:50 PM on September 22, 2005


Write one controversial proposal and you never hear the end of it.
posted by Jonathan Swift at 1:06 PM PST on September 22


I thought it rather modest, myself.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:52 PM on September 22, 2005


matteo writes "and by the way, when somebody posts a 'let's pray user X' thread on MeTa, does it means that if we don't agree with the ass-kissing of said user we should take it to the blue, or something?"

Well, I dunno. People were praising felix for writing levelheadedly. If you disagree that he was writing levelheadedly, or if you agree with the fact that he was levelheaded but you think that's a bad thing, you should probably argue against it here. If you agree that it's a good thing that he wrote levelheadedly, but you disagree with the contents of what he wrote, you should probably respond in the place where people are discussing what he wrote.

Like, if somebody writes here in the grey "In the thread about frisbee incineration on the blue, people like matteo and bugbread don't capitalize the first letter in their user names, and that rocks", I would think someone who thinks it sucks that we don't capitalize our user names would post within the grey, and people who don't really care about whether we capitalize our names but hate what we say about frisbee incineration itself would post within that thread in the blue.

So, to clarify:
Do you disagree that it's a good thing that felix was being levelheaded or nonshouty?
Or, so you agree that he was levelheaded and nonshouty, but think it would be better for him to be unlevelheaded or shouty?
posted by Bugbread at 2:55 PM on September 22, 2005


Whoops. "Or, so you agree" should be "Or, do you agree". Not a freudian slip, but a slip of finger.
posted by Bugbread at 2:55 PM on September 22, 2005


References to Swift generally and A Modest Proposal specifically are common enough to make it a good sock puppet for someone to have. Besides, $5 isn't all that much money to spend on a joke. What's the going rate on a rubber chicken?
posted by anapestic at 2:59 PM on September 22, 2005


$8 or so, plus shipping.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:21 PM on September 22, 2005


are you saying that you shouldn't be civil to people you disagree with?

please link the comment where I was uncivil to mr Felix BooFuckingHoo Chat. I'm curious.
I'm just surprsied that we're suddendly supposed to be this club where old British ladies meet for tea and scones.
posted by matteo at 3:27 PM on September 22, 2005


matteo writes "I'm just surprsied that we're suddendly supposed to be this club where old British ladies meet for tea and scones."

We always were, but so many people have been jackasses (myself included) that not a lot of folks realize it.
posted by Bugbread at 3:29 PM on September 22, 2005


if you really think that, the fact that you run this place scares me shitless. really.

I'm still waiting to hear a civil, cogent and compelling argument against it. It's meat in surplus that almost inevitably goes bad, after all.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:32 PM on September 22, 2005




Larry, it's Felix the one who wrote "BooFuckingHoo" in the blue thread everybody here is so crazy about.
*woosh*

We always were,

member since: November 18, 2004
posted by matteo at 3:51 PM on September 22, 2005


People didn't feel the need to be particularly polite in this thread despite the fact that the author wasn't insulting individual members on a personal level until late in the thread. Not that I would call it 'civil', but obviously civility has limits.
posted by delmoi at 3:51 PM on September 22, 2005


yeah, why was it deleted? it was a good contribution from a much-needed new Conservative user, I thought we needed to break the horrible liberal echo chamber
posted by matteo at 3:55 PM on September 22, 2005


The link was interesting for me, but a person with a wrong-headed view -- like felix betachat -- makes it an order of magnitude better. Life would be really boring and suicidal if everyone said ditto. And it was/is civil. Call it a dialectic or hybrid vigour, I think this post is right.
posted by gsb at 4:03 PM on September 22, 2005


Matteo: I do realize that, but he didn't make it part of someone's name. That seems uncivil.
posted by LarryC at 4:08 PM on September 22, 2005


matteo writes "member since: November 18, 2004"

Reader since: somewhere around March, 2000.

But if it makes you happy:

" 'Y'all always were', and then I joined, and it became 'we always were'."
posted by Bugbread at 4:12 PM on September 22, 2005


matteo writes "it was a good contribution from a much-needed new Conservative user, I thought we needed to break the horrible liberal echo chamber"

If you consider PrincessLara's post an indicator of the type of new Conservative user that is much-needed, we have very different ideas of "much-needed". We need good new conservative posters, not bad new conservative posters.
posted by Bugbread at 4:15 PM on September 22, 2005


i really think that it's the ideas expressed, and not how they're expressed. Cheerleading for invasive measures more suited to repressive and totalitarian societies than free ones by authority figures is an absolutely abhorrent idea to many of us. It really doesn't matter if that idea is expressed clearly or eloquently.

I like that he doesn't insult others, but you don't compliment people for doing what they should all along--or hold them up as an example. The fact that so many here who cheerlead for restrictions on civil liberties are insulting and assholes, and Felix isn't, is very sad. It reminds me of some of the reaction to Bush's "I take responsibility" moment recently--he's the president--it's his job to take responsibility.
posted by amberglow at 4:36 PM on September 22, 2005


Isn't the bar set pretty low here? I mean, people have discussions without name calling all the time. SpecialK defends an unpopular position in this thread for example, and the conversation generates more light than heat.
posted by euphorb at 4:39 PM on September 22, 2005


yup--what euphorb said.

Everyday there are hundreds of discussions without namecalling/insults/assholishness, yet one instance of someone advocating an unpopular viewpoint without being an ass is remarkable???
posted by amberglow at 4:47 PM on September 22, 2005


i really think that it's the ideas expressed, and not how they're expressed.

I totally agree with everything you say, asshole! LOL!@
posted by yerfatma at 4:51 PM on September 22, 2005


Yeah! Ban the fuc...

Oh. Wait.

/extinguishes pitchfork
posted by blag at 4:51 PM on September 22, 2005


Eh, I'm letting flippancy get the best of me. Allow me to restate in better terms:

matteo writes "I'm just surprsied that we're suddendly supposed to be this club where old British ladies meet for tea and scones."

We're not, and I don't think anyone is arguing that we are. However, we are supposed to be a site where levelheadedness and nonshoutiness is used in disagreements over serious issues, and I believe that, in Matt's opinion (and I'm only guessing here), the site is always supposed to have handled serious disagreements that way. I know Matt's opinion is not sacrosanct, and that there is a valid argument for saying that what Metafilter "is" is separate from what Matt wants it to be, but when the word "supposed to be" is brought up, he's really the only person who can provide an answer to that. If my guess about Matt's opinion is wrong, then we were not supposed to have been a site where levelheadedness and nonshoutiness is used in disagreements over serious issues, and I apologize for being incorrect.

amberglow writes "you don't compliment people for doing what they should all along--or hold them up as an example."

I disagree. I think that we shouldn't have to, but given that people frequently aren't doing what they should, some people would like to thank those that do. In a similar way, we shouldn't have to thank people for posting great links (that's the whole site's raison de etre, after all), but we do. And it's also an attempt to reinforce behavior. If everyone was civil all the time, we wouldn't have threads like this, because it would be the norm, as well as being expected behavior, so praise wouldn't really be necessary for behavior reinforcement (witness the fact that we don't praise people for writing html correctly or conjugating verbs correctly). Unfortunately, it is expected behavior, but not the norm, so people want to thank other folks for doing something that is expected but seldom delivered, and reinforce in others that this is what they should be doing.

Note that I don't think felix is the only person on Mefi doing the right thing. Euphorb points out that it happens in other places as well. I may be just hopeful, then, in thinking that this is not just a post thanking felix, but implicitly a post also thanking other folks who behave well, and it was just luck of the draw that felix was the person chosen for the shoutout.
posted by Bugbread at 4:56 PM on September 22, 2005


Where has bugbread ever been an ass?
posted by Kwantsar at 4:56 PM on September 22, 2005


I think matteo's last comment was a joke.

2. jonathan swift's five dollars were EXCELLENTLY SPENT.

3. what's wrong with eating babies?

4. odinsdream:

You know, there is a third option. Don't do anything that's ultimately ineffective. ...If you destroy what you were defending, there's no point anymore, and, though it certainly has been overstated before, I think this is a pretty good example of "the terrorists winning."

personally, i think this is the kind of argument that sounds excellent, but isn't really a practical solution to anything. Like I was saying above, the method of guarding against what the terrorists have already done won't catch them trying the same thing twice because they're not that dumb, unfortunately. It will, however, make them stop trying that method and figure out something else. So it's saving lives in that respect. Can you imagine the public reaction if no one was bothering to protect the trains in england or check backpacks at all?! there'd be riots.

lastly, you're describing a situation where police detained a suspect, then released him when they understood that he was innocent. that's... what police do. yes, he didn't get his stuff back, but that's also what police do, unfortunately. I don't think the entire incident is innocent, but I think this hysteria is over rights you only thought you had.

that's it, though. I'm leaving this discussion out of this thred from now on.
posted by shmegegge at 4:56 PM on September 22, 2005


amberglow writes "Everyday there are hundreds of discussions without namecalling/insults/assholishness, yet one instance of someone advocating an unpopular viewpoint without being an ass is remarkable???"

In general, no. In regards to a political disagreement? In my experience, yes. Not a lone and unheard of exception, but enough to be noteworthy.
posted by Bugbread at 4:58 PM on September 22, 2005


Kwantsar writes "Where has bugbread ever been an ass?"

Off the top of my head, the naxosaxur photo thread: parts of the Alex Reynolds flameout (I was vacillating something crazy between non-ass and big-ass in that thread), the "bluetooth headphones" post...there were a lot more that I can't remember immediately, but those are the ones that stick out due to either being an enormous ass or being a repeated ass.
posted by Bugbread at 5:01 PM on September 22, 2005



2. jonathan swift's five dollars were EXCELLENTLY SPENT.


You guys can send me your extra money if you're done lighting cigars with it or rolling around in it, and you can't figure out what else to do with those cash dollars.

I'll help you out on that end - no need to thank me.
posted by SweetJesus at 5:10 PM on September 22, 2005


Oh damn, does this mean we don't get to lynch felix too? Poop. How can you be a liberal if you don't lynch anybody?

As far as Mr. Betachat's views go, they're already adequately addressed in the Blue thread this sprang from; here we're supposed to be applauding his civility, not deriding his politics (however awful they are).

On the other hand, if this whole site is a US liberal political blog, why is there a Daily Kos?
posted by davy at 6:31 PM on September 22, 2005


bugbread, which Alex Reynolds flameout?
posted by davy at 6:33 PM on September 22, 2005


I mean, people have discussions without name calling all the time.
On MeFi? Yeah, right.
posted by dg at 6:38 PM on September 22, 2005


I agree with mds35.

And we should definitely institute an admissions quota on those if we want Metafilter to remain an elite chatroom for rabid liberals.
posted by davy at 6:41 PM on September 22, 2005


you and matteo brought in counterarguments against the contents of his post. That is, it came across that you were unable to separate your disagreement with what he said

I didn't bring in any counterarguments. I acknowledged his rationality in stating an opinion I disagree with. I thought that was actually the entire point of this thread. In fact, if you disagree with him and still admit his rationality, you're saying more. Anyway...
posted by scarabic at 6:46 PM on September 22, 2005


...unless I'm supposed to just be complimentary and STFU
posted by scarabic at 6:48 PM on September 22, 2005


"...unless I'm supposed to just be complimentary and STFU"

Well scarabic, I won't say you have to be complimentary; you're welcome to charge what the market will bear.

Seriously, I don't think you have to compliment Mr. Betachat, especially since I don't give a damn whether felix b. or anybody is "civil" and "cogent" or not. There are plenty of "civil" and "cogent" liberals and/or idiots around here; it's not what I do Metafilter for.

Has felix betachat made any prejudiced cracks about hillbillies and/or rednecks around here? I don't have time at the moment to check.
posted by davy at 6:57 PM on September 22, 2005


I don't care if he's advocating the eating of babies, at least he's a gentleman about it

I was going to tagline this, but it's too important. This is exactly the right thing to say, and exactly the right policy to have.

The only place it falls down is that it is a policy inconsistently pursued, in terms of administration here.

Interesting to see such vocal opposition to such a fundamental principle of democracy here, from those who style themselves as its anti-Bushite defenders.

With regards to felix betachat, I didn't bother reading the thread in question. We've driven away smart conservatives like the oft-mentioned-in-this-context UncleFes and Evanizer and others, and I suppose felix betachat will probably give up sometime too, after he gets threatened with violence by amberglow or told to go fuck a donkey or something of the kind that gets to him.

And we should definitely institute an admissions quota on those if we want Metafilter to remain an elite chatroom for rabid liberals.

Snark aside : we should make an attempt to engage others with as much wit and intelligence as we are able to bring to bear, and actively expect that others do the same. There's nobody here -- even some of the people in this thread who would shut down anyone they disagree with -- who wants a complete absence of opposing views.

And if they do, well, you know, the hell with 'em.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:03 PM on September 22, 2005


"[W]e should make an attempt to engage others with as much wit and intelligence as we are able to bring to bear, and actively expect that others do the same."

Of course this does not apply to hillbillies, rednecks, people who live in "manufactured housing" or presumed-white people from (U.S.) "red" states, regardless of who they are, what they say or how they say it. "We" don't have to be "sensitive" and "multicultural" with those people.
posted by davy at 7:38 PM on September 22, 2005


...after he gets threatened with violence by amberglow or told to go fuck a donkey or something of the kind that gets to him. ...

So, i guess that was an example of engaging others with as much wit and intelligence as we are able to bring to bear, and actively expect that others do the same ??? Nice modeling of behavior there, buddy. And my only threat of violence here was to one member, who has baited me for months, if not years. I think my record here stands up as a model of overwhelmingly civil behavior--in the face of many many many personal attacks and insults. Go be an ass elsewhere, please--especially in a thread complimenting another member FOR NOT BEING AN ASS.
posted by amberglow at 7:42 PM on September 22, 2005


davy : "bugbread, which Alex Reynolds flameout?"

The one that got deleted. There's an offsite copy somewhere. You can probably google it easily with "dhoyt Alex Reynolds drama queen" and skipping any results that are at *.metafilter.com itself.
posted by Bugbread at 7:51 PM on September 22, 2005


I think my record here stands up as a model of overwhelmingly civil behavior--in the face of many many many personal attacks and insults.

amberglow, as someone who holds a fair amount of respect and admiration for you, I'd like you to take the following as it is intended: a respectful point of order.

you overestimate just how civil your behavior can be. There certainly are times when you are the model of civility. There are also times when you are not. words like "overwhelmingly civil" simply don't apply, unfortunately, to more than 2 or 3 people on this site, imo. felix is one. i'm not sure you are. no offense. (also, since I know for a fact that I am NOT, no matter how much I try to be, one of those people, please understand that I'm not trying to condescend to you. more like a crab in a barrel thing.)
posted by shmegegge at 7:56 PM on September 22, 2005


i think the A_R flameout is on turnbothknobs.
posted by shmegegge at 7:57 PM on September 22, 2005


which is understandably taking a break from massive bandwidth bills. so forget i said anything.
posted by shmegegge at 8:03 PM on September 22, 2005


I advocate the fucking of donkeys, for you in particular.
What is uncivil about that?

You guys are killing me.

And a me too on Mr. betachat.
posted by Methylviolet at 8:20 PM on September 22, 2005


So, i guess that was an example of engaging others with as much wit and intelligence as we are able to bring to bear

I never claimed to have much of either wit or intelligence. We use the tools we are given. I thought given the context of things you've said in this thread and elsewhere that it was pretty funny, but then, sadly, I usually find my own sallies amusing.

Go be an ass elsewhere, please--especially in a thread complimenting another member FOR NOT BEING AN ASS.

I think my record here stands up as a model of overwhelmingly civil behavior

*sings* One of these things is not like the other/one of these things does not belong

Settle down, amberglow. Hell, like you, I've got no problem with threatening violence. I've probably even done it before here, in Internet Tough Guy mode. But me, I've never pretended that I'm something other than the violence-threatening type. See what I'm gettin' at?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:55 PM on September 22, 2005


Well, I guess I have to be the contrarian here. FB said what amounted to "well, I've been stopped and asked for ID a few times, so why is this guy complaining when he merely got arrested, had stuff confiscated and was charged?"

Sure, one can make that point with civility. Marie Antoinette herself didn't raise her tone of voice or resort to insult when, upon being informed that the people had no bread, she merely wondered aloud why they didn't eat cake instead, I'm sure.
posted by clevershark at 8:56 PM on September 22, 2005


"I think matteo's last comment was a joke."

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've thought the same.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:57 PM on September 22, 2005


Of course this does not apply to hillbillies, rednecks, people who live in "manufactured housing" or presumed-white people from (U.S.) "red" states, regardless of who they are, what they say or how they say it. "We" don't have to be "sensitive" and "multicultural" with those people.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, davy, at least as a response to what I said. I recognize that it's sarcastic, but beyond that I'm adrift. Perhaps you could spell it out for me a bit.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:03 PM on September 22, 2005


Wait. It's wrong to eat babies?
posted by exlotuseater at 9:09 PM on September 22, 2005


bugbread, which Alex Reynolds flameout?
posted by davy at 6:33 PM PST on September 22 [!]


i think the A_R flameout is on turnbothknobs.
posted by shmegegge at 7:57 PM PST on September 22 [!]


Hypocrites.
posted by Rothko at 9:18 PM on September 22, 2005


Alex: Did you just learn how to spell that word? You're like a fifth-grader who just learned "fuck."

(I'd take a look at that thread that's cited as so good, but it crashes my browser for some reason...)
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 PM on September 22, 2005


I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, davy, at least as a response to what I said. I recognize that it's sarcastic, but beyond that I'm adrift. Perhaps you could spell it out for me a bit.

ditto.
posted by shmegegge at 9:26 PM on September 22, 2005


...posted by klangklangston at 9:26 PM PST on September 22 [!]

Hypocrite.
posted by Rothko at 9:28 PM on September 22, 2005


dear alex,

i presume that you're calling me a hypocrite because of one or both of two reasons:

1. i said i wouldn't address you again in that other unfortunate thread.

or

2. you find my behavior on mefi no better than your own.

I would just like to point out that all I did here was point and say "over there." it implied no judgement whatsoever. As far as the first of the two possibilities: I only said I wouldn't address you again in that thread, and I kept my promise. I didn't even adress you, here, just because I have no interest or intention of antagonizing you. I just gave directions (bad ones at that.)

for the second: eh, probably. i'm working on it.
posted by shmegegge at 9:30 PM on September 22, 2005


Shmegegge: He's calling you a hypocrite because he has a limited vocabulary and is delighting in increasing his word power. He saw "hypocrite" in Reader's Digest and now he just has to try it out at every opportunity.
Kind of like when elementary schoolers learn to shout "Penis!"
posted by klangklangston at 9:53 PM on September 22, 2005


Or, in other words, don't assume logic and reason behind posts that bear the name Rothko. It'll only make you weep.
posted by klangklangston at 9:55 PM on September 22, 2005


klang,

eh, I'm really just hoping that, whatever his reason, we can put it behind us.
posted by shmegegge at 10:00 PM on September 22, 2005


felix's responses to bevets when bevets first reared his head are some of the most intelligent, articulate, and patient arguments I've ever seen on a message board. This comment in particular blew me away. That thread made me suspect he might be one of the best commenters on Metafilter, but I haven't seen much of him since then. I'm glad his posting style continues to capture attention. He's a model of rational discourse.
posted by painquale at 10:22 PM on September 22, 2005


I remember emailing felix directly after reading his comments to thank him for elevating the level of discourse in that discussion. that was awesome.
posted by shmegegge at 11:12 PM on September 22, 2005


Wow. Well that was not what I expected.
posted by ook at 11:58 PM on September 22, 2005


Hell, like you, I've got no problem with threatening violence. I've probably even done it before here, in Internet Tough Guy mode. But me, I've never pretended that I'm something other than the violence-threatening type. See what I'm gettin' at?

Funny how this thread is where you bring up my one and only instance of it, huh? Why is that? And especially why if you've done exactly the same? See what i'm getting at?
posted by amberglow at 5:35 AM on September 23, 2005


what's wrong with eating babies?

Well, okay, I can see how someone could make a good, honest argument, without resorting to name-calling, maybe even one that might result in some thoughtful discussion and some enthusiastic praise on metatalk for such a rational baby-eating argument, for advocating the eating your own babies. I mean, if they're your babies, who's going to stop you? It's not like the cute little baby is going to be able to stand up for itself, or even be able to dial 911, or run away, or anything. So why not eat it? They're said to be quite tasty. Yes, I'm sure that line of thought could lead to some thoughtful discussion that might advance our collective understanding of morality.

But eating other people's babies without their consent, that's just wrong.
posted by sfenders at 6:04 AM on September 23, 2005


Hippocrates.
posted by Bugbread at 6:29 AM on September 23, 2005


Why is that?

Comedy, my friend. Comedy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:39 AM on September 23, 2005


Hippo Crates.
posted by selfnoise at 6:39 AM on September 23, 2005




Hippocampus.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:54 AM on September 23, 2005


Hippo*

Did you get that thing I sent you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:58 AM on September 23, 2005


I really wish they'd focus less on Potamus. One-note what?
posted by darukaru at 7:31 AM on September 23, 2005


painquale is dead on - It surprises me that more people don't remember who posts what when but felix has been on my "boffins" list ever since he shot bevets down with incredible ease and was extremely polite whilst doing so.

Other residents of the "boffins" list shall remain nameless as will those on the "funny" list and the "enormous fucking twat" list. There are a couple of new categories opening soon which are "those sadly missed" and "people I used to respect who have sadly become caricatures".

Although I am sure everyone can guess the top 5 on the EFT list quite easily.
posted by longbaugh at 7:41 AM on September 23, 2005


EFT?
posted by klangklangston at 7:46 AM on September 23, 2005


(enormous fucking twat)
posted by longbaugh at 8:00 AM on September 23, 2005


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