Leave the Turd World countries out of this... November 5, 2005 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Overkill is a bitch.
posted by Captaintripps to Etiquette/Policy at 1:50 PM (57 comments total)

This had the potential to create some dialog, some good dialog. I perceive this as flying off the handle. Understand the anger, but don't think it was particularly appropriate.
posted by Captaintripps at 1:52 PM on November 5, 2005


if you think that was bad, you should check this guy's posting history. class
posted by selfnoise at 1:55 PM on November 5, 2005


That's definitely a few degrees above, selfnoise.
posted by Captaintripps at 1:56 PM on November 5, 2005


What was the result of the discussion about users who advocate assassinating people?

Do zagszman's comments advocating murder actually add anything useful to the discussion? Where's the line?

Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
posted by sequential at 2:19 PM on November 5, 2005


Holy crap! The guy feels passionately about something and speaks his mind.

Let's not have any more of that around here.
posted by cedar at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2005


The Overkill link just goes the first comment, in Safari. Was it deleted?
posted by smackfu at 2:26 PM on November 5, 2005


Cedar- there's a certain habit on Mefi that involves immediately calling someone a fucking moron in your first comment/response in the thread. I think that's not really productive.

He should be able to be passionate about the issue. But immediately insulting someone, even if they said something stupid, is probably going to deep-six any potential dialog of value.
posted by selfnoise at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2005


Selfnoise, granted, it's not particularly productive but he is far from unique in this.

I too would like to stand up for the worthy causes of civil discourse and the tradition of debating principles rather than personalities, but it just ain't gonna happen.

This was a pretty minor transgression and not worth a MeTa thread.
posted by cedar at 2:41 PM on November 5, 2005


cedar, I have no problem with speaking passionately and (get ready to roll over me for my own ethnic viewpoint) as in my experience as a Jew participating in and overhearing comments about my ethnicity, I'm there with him. I can definitely see why he interpreted it the way he did.

I'm not calling out Goedel. At least not in the traditional MetaFilter sense. But I see an opportunity wasted. At first blush, I didn't even get why he went off on Dand. Then the information about his roots kicked in and I got it. After that, Dand's background kicked in. Easily resolvable.

I don't see a reason for acrimony. Dand could have been much clearer about where he was coming from and in response Goedel could have been, too. Where's the problem with that?
posted by Captaintripps at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2005


I grant you that cedar, but whether you disagree with it, discussion has to start somewhere. I don't see why this wasn't as good a time as any.
posted by Captaintripps at 2:45 PM on November 5, 2005


we need to keep that zags guy around here. I think it's actually ann coulter.
posted by puke & cry at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2005


"Opportunity wasted" callout. Interesting.
posted by scarabic at 2:52 PM on November 5, 2005


That really came out of the blue. There was so much vitriol it made my eyes water.

Is there a word for 'providing support for your opponents position (even if it's wrong) in a debate'?

Or was it that the first poster was posing a rhetorical trap like 'you always disagree with everything I say' kinda thing? Was he aware of it or was it accidental?

Inquiring minds want to know!
posted by Mr T at 2:52 PM on November 5, 2005


Captaintripps: I don't see a reason for acrimony. Dand could have been much clearer about where he was coming from and in response Goedel could have been, too. Where's the problem with that?

It would be great, just the opposite of a problem, but people don't work like that. In my expierience MetaFilter doesn't work like that.

The thread was fine. Once I got past this little squabble and actually read the thing, I found it both informative and entertaining. I just don't see the point of dragging a couple of guys into MeTa because they don't like each other or are rude.
posted by cedar at 2:58 PM on November 5, 2005


That really came out of the blue.

No it didn't. Imagine dand saying Jews are all greedy usurers who want to rule the world. Would you expect a Jew to have a civil response? Now dand comes along to say Nigerians are all squabbling tribals who don't respect human life. How exactly do you expect an actual Nigerian to react? I'm just glad there was one around to call him on his bullshit (especially after he pulled his "I've been in Nigeria so I know!" act). This is why we need as much diversity as possible, so people don't get away with prejudiced bullshit.
posted by languagehat at 3:08 PM on November 5, 2005


Yeah, Dand certainly made a shit of himself when he could have actually had a lot of credibility and made his point more effectively. That's the lost opportunity. The rest of the thread rolls along fine as far as I can tell, at least no more or less bumpy than average. No callout required.

This is the type of occasion where you just write an email to Dand and say "Dude, you were such an overinflamed asshole in that thread that now I don't care what your opinion is. Slack harder."
posted by scarabic at 3:08 PM on November 5, 2005


If you read down this issue was being dealt within the thread, so I don't think we need this call out. Now Zagszman, on the other hand, is a tool.
posted by LarryC at 3:49 PM on November 5, 2005


I eventually saw what had angered Goedel about Dand's comment, but it definitely took me longer to figure that out because of all the anger/vitriol.

Maybe that says bad things about me, dunno.
posted by afroblanca at 3:49 PM on November 5, 2005


Didn't this happen already once? I seem to recall - though can't find the thread - that this Goedel character, in attempting to argue with Ethereal Bligh, let loose with a flurry of what may or may not have been an indigenous Nigerian language. This was supposed to indicate that Goedel knew everything there is to know about Nigeria.
Then EB put the smack-down on Goedel by posting an intelligent, extensively supported (with very reliable sources) rebuttal.

Does anyone else remember this? Or am I confusing it with something else?
posted by Dr. Wu at 3:54 PM on November 5, 2005


Sho' 'nuff.
posted by Gator at 4:00 PM on November 5, 2005


posted by Goedel Eni ti o mo nkankan rara, ko ye ko ma shi enure lati je ki gbobgo aye mo kpe olodo lo je. Kani pe o di enure mu, eniyan mi ti le ma ro kpe o ni ogbon diye lori.

Why yes, Greedo, as a matter of fact I was just going to see your boss. Tell Jabba I've got his money.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:13 PM on November 5, 2005


That's the one, Gator. Thankee.
This Goedel sounds like a one-trick pony (and a strange trick [spouting in a language that may be a Nigerian one] at that).
posted by Dr. Wu at 4:20 PM on November 5, 2005


Whoa. I partially withdraw my defense of Goedel based on the thread Gator linked to.

This remark shows why you are a complete and utter idiot... Pick up a history book or two before providing yet more evidence of your imbecility and ignorance to the world...

I guess Goedel is at least as big a dick as dand, even if he had some excuse for his dickitude in this particular case. Sigh.

By the way, the language is Yoruba, but I'm not clear on why Goedel thinks you can't know anything about Africa, or even Nigeria, unless you can translate Yoruba.
posted by languagehat at 4:34 PM on November 5, 2005


Let's all e-mail him in mispelled capital letters.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:41 PM on November 5, 2005


fandango_matt wins this thread.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:47 PM on November 5, 2005


Whoa, Goedel needs to calm.
I'd like to note that I don't mean to justify his vitriol, particularly if it's always going to take the form of

[insult]
[poor refutation of statistical fact based on I know better]
[vitriol]
[something in a language I don't know]
[period].

Of course, it's hard to be calm when you feel like you're being insulted, and particularly hard when it feels like your entire people are being insulted. Now, it's clear that attack wasn't there in the HIV thread. I also think it's clear that it was there in the Paris thread.

Bah. Why can't we all just get along?

(By the way, I'm glad that no-one's informed the mefi thread of this meta. I think the argument's over, and the thread is almost proceeding nicely, if I'd just shut up in it.

On preview: whups! No it ain't.)
posted by metaculpa at 5:13 PM on November 5, 2005


NIGERIAN PRIDE
posted by delmoi at 5:17 PM on November 5, 2005


First of all, whoa, I totally mixed up dand and Goedel and meant to say that Goedel had been the shit.

I'm not clear on why Goedel thinks you can't know anything about Africa, or even Nigeria, unless you can translate Yoruba.

Yeah that's over the top. I've lived on the other side of the world as an expat and while there is of course a huge divide, that doesn't mean you have no experiences to draw on and no room to comment. At first, Goedel's challenge was "ever been there, huh!?" then it was all about how being an expat doesn't qualify you to comment at all. Well, dand's second comment was framed in terms of something he did have direct experience with: trying to get people of different "tribal"/ethnic identifications to work on a crew together without hurting each other. He may have generalized from there, but it seems that Goedel considers him just as ignorant and stupid as any other asshole who's never even been to the continent of Africa. That's bogus. No single member is going to own a monopoly on commenting on MetaFilter about any single country. If you've been there and have something to share, it's not going to be invalid just because someone has a chip on his shoulder and some absolutist claim on the Truth of the Matter.
posted by scarabic at 5:30 PM on November 5, 2005


The thing to do would have been to counter with what Goedel thinks is the truth about Nigerians, eg: they are a tolerant and loving people with a huge emphasis on hospitality toward strangers. Attacking someone for speaking, without response to what they say, is textbook ad hominem.

But then, what the fuck do I know about Latin?

meus virga est amplus meus brain est ingens meus tergum foramen est angustus, motherfucker!
posted by scarabic at 5:34 PM on November 5, 2005


I guess Goedel is at least as big a dick as dand
posted by languagehat at 4:34 PM PST on November 5


For an educated man, LH, you sure do quickly resort to vulgarity.

Why is that?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:34 PM on November 5, 2005


Actualy, with respect to Goedel's first comment, there was no insult, there was a major Muslim riot in Abuja a year or two ago during the mis-world pageant. There were also some major Christian/Muslim Riots going on earlier in the year. This is completly analagous with the situation in France.

If Goedel forgot about this, he's not much of a Nigeria Expert.
posted by delmoi at 5:35 PM on November 5, 2005


[Not] On preview:
I see you're not alone.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:36 PM on November 5, 2005


Also, DOWN WITH THE YORUBA!
posted by delmoi at 5:37 PM on November 5, 2005


If this Goedel is the same Goedel from Monkeyfilter, Mr. Languagehat is not far off the mark.
posted by Rothko at 5:37 PM on November 5, 2005


I'm sure there are millions of people living in Nigeria that know less about Nigeria than somebody in another country studying it would. But languagehat's sermonising about what is best for Metafilter has already been discredited so what's the point.

Who cares if you're keepin' it real from Nigeria and hit the jackpot when a Nigeria thread appeared? Fuck off and learn some manners.
posted by fire&wings at 5:47 PM on November 5, 2005


"For an educated man, LH, you sure do quickly resort to vulgarity."

Vulgarity is sometimes the most concise type of language with which to convey a particular concept, of course.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:57 PM on November 5, 2005


Who cares if you're keeping' it real from Nigeria and hit the jackpot when a Nigeria thread appeared? Fuck off and learn some manners.

What a ridiculous moral equivalence. Someone insults your entire race and you expect them to 'keep it civil'?
posted by delmoi at 6:15 PM on November 5, 2005


mr_crash_davis;
Concision is, of course, irrelevant.

There is no shortage of screen space, nor thread limits - we don't need to distill our responses down to the lowest common denominator. LH, like other articulate mefites, chooses when and where to be respectful, or deliberately crass. Me too. I side with the members who have recently requested that we attempt to disagree with each other without resorting to insults and personal attacks. When I'm calling people a dick, I like them to be able to see me winking. I think I spelt that right... ;)
posted by dash_slot- at 6:25 PM on November 5, 2005


Nigerian is a race?
posted by Carbolic at 6:34 PM on November 5, 2005


My completely uneducated guess is that, like so many places in the world, it is an abitrary national boundary drawn around and through various tribal (read: ethnic and/or loose political associaton) groups.

Perhaps someone from there could educate me (in a language I'd understand).
posted by scarabic at 7:10 PM on November 5, 2005


I dunno, dash_slot- languagehat's offhand use of the word "dick" seems as personal/insulting or less than your tsk-tsking and then sermonizing about him in the second and third person, respectively. What word would make you happy? "Knave?"
posted by scarabic at 7:12 PM on November 5, 2005


languagehat: I disagree. Your analogy is flawed. (God I really don't want to defend DanD) He was saying in part that Nigerians have a hard time getting along with others. What's his Butt came out all angry and contentious. In your scenario it would be like:

Comment: Jews are usurious.
Comment: No I'm not faggot, I'm a Jew and just look at my website, I only charge 50% daily interest! Eudfhh owvorf wikkal slaiban!
posted by Mr T at 7:21 PM on November 5, 2005


scarabic:
whats wrong with just describing the disapproved-of behaviour? Why up the ante, and therefore potentially inflame the opposition, with any name calling at all?

Isn't that what usually gets us all into ashitfest here, when 250+ comments downhill, we all go 'oh, yeah, maybe I shoulda not called you a dick'?

No biggie. Just remembering the wedge, and its thinness.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:46 PM on November 5, 2005


Nigerian is a race? Yoruba is a race, and all Yoruba live in Nigeria. Therefore, if you insult Nigerians as a group, you insult his race.

That said, he was being a little ridiculous, especially with the Yoruba text.
posted by delmoi at 8:01 PM on November 5, 2005


Delmoi: I'm probably going to regret this but could you give us the gist of the translation. "You don't want to know, just B.S." is an acceptable answer.
posted by Mr T at 8:20 PM on November 5, 2005


Delmoi: I'm probably going to regret this but could you give us the gist of the translation. "You don't want to know, just B.S." is an acceptable answer.

Nope, I never learned my father's native language, and even I did I still wouldn't be able to translate, because he speaks Igbo.

I don't even know any Yoruba.
posted by delmoi at 8:46 PM on November 5, 2005


I'm just here for the continental breakfast.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:52 PM on November 5, 2005


Someone insults your entire race and you expect them to 'keep it civil'?

Why not? Someone once insulted my entire species, and I still managed to restrain my urge to throw feces at them.
posted by sfenders at 8:58 PM on November 5, 2005


A little more detail about my life. My dad immigrated from Nigeria in the late 1970's, and my mom is white. My parents divorced when I was three or so, and according to my mom he never spoke Igbo around me (it still seems weird to type it that way, it's pronounced 'ebo'). My dad moved to Dallas shortly after the divorce.

And on top of that, my dad is a total dick, and was especially so when we (me and my sister) were kids, so me and my sister never had much interest in Igbo culture. My dad knows tons of Nigerians in the DFW area (and in Ames, as well. You'd really be surprised how many Nigerians there are running around in the U.S.). I've had lots of experience with them, and they are (of course) fine, normal people. No bloody tribalism at all. Nigerians of all stripes get along just fine, and I've never heard any of them complain about any other tribes, although often they'll speak in Igbo, which (as I said) I can't understand at all.

Even though I don't know much the culture (or other Nigerian cultures) it does piss me off when Nigeria is characterized as nothing more then some third-world spam haven or whatever, or when people talk about "Africa" as a single country full of stone-age barbarians or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2005


delmoi writes "...it does piss me off when Nigeria is characterized as nothing more then some third-world spam haven or whatever, or when people talk about 'Africa' as a single country full of stone-age barbarians or whatever."

Well it's easy to miss Africa, all tucked away up there.
posted by clevershark at 10:48 PM on November 5, 2005


"There is no shortage of screen space, nor thread limits - we don't need to distill our responses down to the lowest common denominator."
Ah, the Etherial Bligh argument.

Delmoi: I spent about 15 hours on a hot train with an Igbo-speaking Nigerian, and while we got along great, he had all sorts of wildly bizarre things to say about the Yoruba ("You can trust me, I'm not Yoruba. It's lucky that you can smell them coming, otherwise they'd steal everything from you.")
posted by klangklangston at 7:47 AM on November 6, 2005


For an educated man, LH, you sure do quickly resort to vulgarity.
Why is that?


I like vulgarity. In its place, of course, and reasonable people can differ about its place. In this case, I thought "being a dick" was an excellent summary of Goedel's behavior. Using a long paraphrase in proper English would have made me feel all Victorian.

As for the Yoruba, I started looking stuff up in my tiny Yoruba dictionary; I think it starts off talking about "people who don't know," but I gave up pretty quickly: tiny dictionary + short words + lots of homonyms = frustrating research experience.
posted by languagehat at 8:06 AM on November 6, 2005


As someone who's been spoken to in a Goedel-like fashion by some of the very Mefites now finding fault with the way he speaks to people, I say "Practice what you preach, assholes".

We'll get to who Goedel insults and why he does so later, after y'all absorb the first point.
posted by davy at 8:40 AM on November 6, 2005


Goedel certainly comes off as a blowhard sometimes. That doesn't win you very many friends, or arguments. However, after getting pissed at his arrogance the other day I looked-up his user page and then his website: Foreign Dispatches. It's really quite good. I think there is hope for the guy, especially if he could bring some of that goodness from Foreign Dispatches over here and lay-off the arrogance.
posted by caddis at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2005


You're right, and thanks for pointing that out. I would have expected him to oppose the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but he thinks it was necessary and backs his opinion up sensibly; I don't agree with him, but it was a pleasure to read the post. And he defends ABBA—now, that takes balls. I hope he'll calm down and start writing here the way he does on his blog; I'll look forward to what he has to say.
posted by languagehat at 2:29 PM on November 6, 2005


He's pretty much a jerk everywhere he shows up at. As you can tell from our incident, we recognized each other as long-time Crooked Timber commenters. If you think I'm bad about sounding pompous and authoritative on every subject, you should read this guy. And he's belligerent at the drop of a hat, not just when it involves Nigeria.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:32 PM on November 6, 2005


I can't believe that anyone here is tired of Goedel. His rhetoric is world-class.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:51 PM on November 6, 2005


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