When is it ok to pile on a poster? April 19, 2006 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Regarding this question. What's the rule of thumb here? Is it ok to pile on a poster and not answer his question if he's a minor? If his parents are possibly rich? If he lives in LA? If you don't like his attitude? If you're mad because you had a shitty car when you were 16, or even -- GASP -- no car at all, and this kid totally doesn't even deserve one, much less a NEW one?
posted by fishfucker to Etiquette/Policy at 3:22 PM (161 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

That post can not be real... Ok maybe it is.
posted by dial-tone at 3:25 PM on April 19, 2006


i flagged it as offensive....
posted by andrew cooke at 3:30 PM on April 19, 2006


Wow, AskMe at it's total worst. Not one of those comments actually answered the question.
posted by nixerman at 3:31 PM on April 19, 2006


sure, joshuak could've asked his question in a manner that would've avoided many of the (60% at my count) non-responses in this thread -- just by saying: "hey, I've got a XYZ car that's probably worth about $12k. Any fast, sporty cars in my price range?". Instead, he let slip that his parents largely paid for the car, and that he's underage, and he wants one that's faster, and well, cooler.

I don't see anyone running into the other car thread that was posted today and saying things like "OH GOD THAT'S GONNA BE A DEATH TRAP, WHY DO YOU EVEN NEED THAT FAST OF A CAR" or "OMG YOU'RE SPENDING $30,000 ON A CAR, MY CAR DOESN'T EVEN COST $15000!".

Sure, he might come off as a bit ungrateful, but c'mon -- do you forget what it's like to be a teenager?
posted by fishfucker at 3:32 PM on April 19, 2006


I've always been under the impression that Metafilter's not always the sweetest environment -- and that pile ons are kind of inevitable even when it's not at all warranted. Maybe it's not fair -- but there's a watchdog faculty in place that weeds out the nefarious, and the rest is, well, maybe typical.

The poster of this question didn't take the common pack reaction into consideration when he composed the question. Maybe it was hubris, maybe naivete -- but he sort of had it coming to him. Let's just say I wasn't surprised, though I was sympathetic.

To be fair to all involved, the revision to his question ("how does a 17 year old in LA make money?") was appropriate -- a necessary amendment to a poorly-asked initial question.
posted by penchant at 3:32 PM on April 19, 2006


Not one of those comments actually answered the question.
ev
well, i thought there were a few that actually tried to address his question -- and true, some of those had a bit of "well, I'd love to have what you had at your age", but i don't find that totally unreasonable if you're actually trying to help.

The people who just ran in there to cluck their tounges and not help the poster out at all, however, are just being lame.
posted by fishfucker at 3:34 PM on April 19, 2006


have you gotten your fill of self-righteousness and being above the herd yet today? aren't you grateful for metafilter? when I was your age, I had to go to the BOOKSTORE and sit around reading Dante in the original French.

you should appreciate what you have, you ungrateful fuck.
posted by kcm at 3:34 PM on April 19, 2006


Case in point.
posted by penchant at 3:36 PM on April 19, 2006


You had a bookstore KCM? We had to go to the library and we were only allowed to read dante that had been translated into latin. And to get to the library we had to cross a pit of alligators with lasers for eyes and claws covered with razorblades, and bad breath.
posted by dial-tone at 3:37 PM on April 19, 2006


I know ask mefi is not supposed to be judgemental, but that kid is going to have a rude awakening one of these days that will probably make a pile-on in the green pale in comparison.

Sometimes people think they want something but they really need something else.
posted by empath at 3:39 PM on April 19, 2006


I removed a few of the more egregious comments. I'm not sure if the thread can be salvaged from the overwhelming din caused by all the clucking tongues.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:40 PM on April 19, 2006


Thanks for calling this out, fishfucker.



....

Seriously
posted by matkline at 3:40 PM on April 19, 2006


kcm : "have you gotten your fill of self-righteousness and being above the herd yet today? aren't you grateful for metafilter? when I was your age, I had to go to the BOOKSTORE and sit around reading Dante in the original French.

you should appreciate what you have, you ungrateful fuck."


penchant : "Case in point."

Penchant, I think you missed kcm's point. Kcm was parodying all the people in the AskMe who were piling on joshuak, saying "You should just be grateful you have a car, you fuck" by turning that same style of argument on "you should just be happy you have metafilter, you fuck". Kcm is mocking them, not one of them.
posted by Bugbread at 3:42 PM on April 19, 2006


no lasers yet. we poked ourselves with sticks. now get off the patch of sidewalk adjacent to my rented domicile.
posted by kcm at 3:42 PM on April 19, 2006


I was joking -- because I knew kcm was. Such is the nature of Metafilter: even the jokes have teeth.
posted by penchant at 3:44 PM on April 19, 2006


Just wanted to add my thanks, FishFucker. That was a crappy, crappy way to treat a fellow mefier.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 3:46 PM on April 19, 2006


When someone says "Any ideas on (doing X)?" I think "Don't." can be a perfecly valid answer, personally.

Don't want any criticism? Then don't throw the door wide open when you ask for responses.
posted by beth at 3:46 PM on April 19, 2006


reading Dante in the original French

I am dying over here!
posted by cortex at 3:46 PM on April 19, 2006


The people who just ran in there to cluck their tounges and not help the poster out at all, however, are just being lame.
While this is competely true, he kind of deserved it by (perhaps unknowingly) thumbed his nose at everyone who had to work for everying they got. You can talk all you like about how he could have phrased it differently but, being 16, that would never have happened because 16 year-olds generally have no concept of anything but how hard done by they are.
posted by dg at 3:47 PM on April 19, 2006


I agree that there was a lot of noise in that thread. But I had to restrain myself from making similar comments.
posted by brain_drain at 3:48 PM on April 19, 2006


That was a crappy, crappy way to treat a fellow mefier.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 5:46 PM CST on April 19


I agree, but it was a crappy, crappy way to ask a question. joshuak will likely be a little more careful next time. Is that a good thing? I dunno, but it saves us having to wade through crotchety responses (yes, I know that my first one was, sort of).
posted by penchant at 3:49 PM on April 19, 2006


Sorry about that, I guess the dad instinct kicked in. I hope the best for joshuak in his quest for wheels.
posted by octothorpe at 3:53 PM on April 19, 2006


Metafilter: Don't hate be because I'm younger, prettier, and richer than you; hate me because you love to hate.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:55 PM on April 19, 2006


blue_beetle, I hate you for that.
posted by penchant at 3:59 PM on April 19, 2006


For god's sakes, he asked "any ideas on getting my parents to let me get a new one?" Pointing out that getting a job and possibly realizing that what he has is good enough under the circumstances seem like perfectly acceptable responses under the circumstances. Some of the responses were condescending, but joshuak opened the door wide open.
posted by gatorae at 4:00 PM on April 19, 2006


Yeesh. That kid could use a wake-up call on a number of fronts. But, yeah, the sanctity of AskMe and all. If you can't help, shut up.
posted by mediareport at 4:01 PM on April 19, 2006


I think "Don't." can be a perfecly valid answer, personally.

Sure it can, but people mainly didn't say "Don't." They gave him a lot of "When I was your age...." bs and told him to wear his seatbelt and get a job. I agree that the question could have been phrased a lot better but that doesn't mean that being condescending and bitchy to other MeFites in AskMe is suddenly okay. If you think the guy shouldn't have another car, there are many reasonable ways to say that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:01 PM on April 19, 2006


joshuak, I will trade my son's fast cool car for your slow boring one in a heartbeat. Email me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:01 PM on April 19, 2006


I hope joshuak gets a nice new car from his parents and is then horribly maimed or painfully killed in carjacking gone awry.


Is that wrong?
posted by keswick at 4:03 PM on April 19, 2006


Case in point.

(okay, haha, I'm done with that.)
posted by penchant at 4:05 PM on April 19, 2006


Perhaps getting a job and making do with the car he has will help convince his parents he deserves a better car...

Also: I'm younger than the poster in question and I know better than to treat mefi that way.
posted by MadamM at 4:24 PM on April 19, 2006


Just wanted to add my thanks, FishFucker. That was a crappy, crappy way to treat a fellow mefier.

If you're assuming the post wasn't a troll, I guess that's true. Are you people signing some sort of pledge on signup now?
posted by yerfatma at 4:25 PM on April 19, 2006


That was a crappy, crappy way to treat a fellow mefier.

I don't think it is, and in fact being a bitter jealous sort given to epatering le bourgeois I think he's got worse than that coming to him, but I also think that that is beside the point of AskMe.

The point, in case, we've forgotten here, is not to enlighten, to improve, or to educate, but to answer the motherfucking question. Since "stay in your suburbs and off the intarwebs, you spoiled brat" didn't do so, I refrained from posting it. It's really not that hard — you'd be amazed.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 4:43 PM on April 19, 2006


You guys are so fucking old. On most of the internet this would be a cogently worded, practical query.

I know, I know, you like being old and crotchety and not like every other site out there. That doesn't mean you have to live on a fucking island.

Take 3 deep breaths and repeat:
I shouldn't assume that the asker has brought their life's most important issue to AskMe and judge their life and person based on that assumption.
posted by scarabic at 5:03 PM on April 19, 2006


I'd be willing to trade my last red paperclip for some sort of porsche convertible. Anyone? anyone?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:28 PM on April 19, 2006


Crap answers. If you're the first into the AskMe thread and don 't want to answer the question - take it to Metatalk - don't ruin AskMe with patronising sermons.

Though not quite sure how you'd word it: "I think this AskMe question is by a spoiled rich kid and I don't like it one bit..."
posted by meech at 5:29 PM on April 19, 2006


Was I supposed to tell him to *not* wear his seatbelt? Teenage kid wants a fast car, and I tell him something that might save his life, and I'm a jerk now for doing that?

Yes, we seatbelt evangelists are surely a menace who must be put in our place. We ruin it for everyone.
posted by beth at 5:36 PM on April 19, 2006


Yeah, I started cringing when I read the question, since I knew that the answers weren't going to be good.

However.

While the green is typically really good about this sort of thing, this question was so bad to be practically a troll. Honestly, I'm not certain it isn't a troll!
posted by gregvr at 5:42 PM on April 19, 2006


"My parents bought be a car for my 16th birthday but it's not good enough for me! How can I convince them to buy me a faster, cooler car?!?"

You really blame people smacking that little bitch down for being ungrateful? wow
posted by puke & cry at 5:52 PM on April 19, 2006


Was I supposed to tell him to *not* wear his seatbelt?

Without your helpful reminder I'm sure the thought would never have occurred to him. But why stop there? Let's make sure the kid knows he shouldn't smoke, because he might drop a cigarette while he's driving and lose control trying to pick it up. And maybe a fast car'll get him laid, so we've got to tell him not to have unprotected sex. He might think it would make a good getaway car, so be sure to point out that knocking over the 7-11 is a bad idea. And he should see a therapist. And ask a doctor.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:53 PM on April 19, 2006


I think the question could have only been worse if he were wanting a Range Rover Sport or he was somehow connected to the Bush family.

I do have to say I feel sorry for him, it's not his fault that in LA what you drive is as important as what you wear. As someone who went to one of those "luxury car dealer parking lot" high school, telling me that I was lucky to have a car did not appease me. Now I realize it's rather silly and parents were showing off for the most part.

Also my warning stands that while he may think if he tricks out his car to be as fast as an Audi TT or whatever the cool kids are driving will not turn it into a status symbol. I guarentee you most teens will care more about the badge on the front than what's underhood.
posted by geoff. at 5:55 PM on April 19, 2006


Beth: Are you freaking serious? You're answer stuck out to me above a lot of others as the kind of crap that wasn't needed there. Yeah, the tone of the question certainly rubbed be the wrong way, but your response struck me as quite a bit contrary to the nature of how answers should be on AskMe.

Even setting aside the first part of it, at least that was related directly to the question. Saying that he doesn't deserve a new car seems to me snarky and very much like it might not need to be there (at least with the wording you used, anyway) but then closing with telling him to wear his seatbelt and not drink and drive? Seriously, what the hell. Yes, those are important things. No, I don't think they belonged there. He's either not even remotely going to do the kinds of things he shouldn't be, or he IS and your somewhat bitchy response to him is in no way going to change that.

Just didn't seem to fit there, and then getting indignant here afterwards? bleh.
posted by Stunt at 5:55 PM on April 19, 2006


You know, beth, your message about seat belts is really worth evangelizing in all threads, if you think about it. We're all in cars sometimes. Picking on the hot-blooded 16 year olds doesn't reflect any majority of injury-sufferers I'm aware of. I look forward to your popping your head into all threads from now on and reminding follks - "hey! while you're enjoying all these great tourist sugegstions in NY, be sure to wear your sealtbelt anytime you're in a cab! It could save your life!"

Perhaps mathowie could just put a general exhortation to "WEAR YOUR SEATBELT" on all pages of all sites, including his personal weblog.

Hm. On second thought, no. There is a time and a place to bring up such an issue.
posted by scarabic at 5:57 PM on April 19, 2006


Did you catch that last part?
posted by scarabic at 5:58 PM on April 19, 2006


beth : "Was I supposed to tell him to *not* wear his seatbelt? Teenage kid wants a fast car, and I tell him something that might save his life, and I'm a jerk now for doing that?"

Yeah, pretty much. Run up on stage in the middle of a production of MacBeth and tell the audience to wear condoms, and you're also saving lives, but you won't get roundly cheered for it.
posted by Bugbread at 6:01 PM on April 19, 2006


Hey, I answered the question, but I also snarked. What's the ruling on that?
posted by davejay at 6:01 PM on April 19, 2006


Separate question: if someone says "what's the best way to do X", and you know enough about the subject to know that "X" is just a symptom, and "Y" is the real problem, is it inappropriate to say "hey, you need to know that X isn't your problem, Y is, and you shouldn't be doing X"?
posted by davejay at 6:04 PM on April 19, 2006


I can't spell today. sigh
posted by davejay at 6:04 PM on April 19, 2006


Beth, no one called you a jerk or a menace. People can pop into every AskMe thread and tell people to wear condoms or floss their teeth claiming to be helpful. It still doesn't mean it's contextually appropriate.

This sort of contrast is much more obvious in the "Is my friend being harassed/stalked, what should she do?" thread that turned into a discussion about perceptions of Americans and handguns. People need to be able to discuss complicated topics in AskMe without being harassed or intimidated. It's totally possible to disagree with someone or caution them about their choices without resorting to shrillness or allcaps yelling.

On preview, bugbread, right.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:08 PM on April 19, 2006


davejay, snark + answer usually stays, but in some threads like this one it can be a tough call. It's fine to suggest there may be another problem other than the one the poster is worried about, happens all the time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:10 PM on April 19, 2006


Hey, I saw "I am a teenager and I want a faster car" as in some ways roughly equivalent to "I would like to run with scissors". A safety message when someone suggested a situation that spelled DANGER to me seemed not inappropriate.

Now I know better. If I see an AskMe that says "I want to get something really clean, so I'm going to mix ammonia and bleach to make a really good cleaner. Is using a scrubby sponge or a handi-wipe a better choice for my cleaning task?" I'll keep my big mouth shut, lest I be chastised for going outside the bounds of the question.
posted by beth at 6:17 PM on April 19, 2006


Hey, the kid is driving a Legacy wagon, 2002. That is not a cool ride. I should know, because I drive a Legacy wagon, but mine is six years older. But at least mine's not gold. So he wants a different car, you would want one too. If you were sixteen and your parents helped you buy a car (he put $3000 on it), you'd opt for something other than a wagon if you could. His parents probably picked it out especially because it is so uncool. The only other people I see driving Legacy wagons other than myself are old ladies.

On the plus side, it's great for going camping, getting groceries, driving in the rain or snow, putting large items from the hardware store in the back, taking the dogs for a ride, tying luggage on top. Hell, I even tied a canoe up there. Finally, it's great for merging down to one lane in construction. I just pick out the nicest looking car, and start slowly merging just in front of them. It's always great to see the guy in the Lexus flipping out as I pull in. Because as you know, a scrape in his paint is a huge deal, whereas a scrape in my paint, well, it's just another scrape now, isn't it?
posted by Roger Dodger at 6:17 PM on April 19, 2006


Now I know better. If I see an AskMe that says "I want to get something really clean, so I'm going to mix ammonia and bleach to make a really good cleaner. Is using a scrubby sponge or a handi-wipe a better choice for my cleaning task?" I'll keep my big mouth shut, lest I be chastised for going outside the bounds of the question.

well, that would be the really defensive way to take it. all he said was that he wanted a faster car. all anyone is saying is that screaming at him about seatbelts doesn't answer his question. you can take the moral superiority angle of "seatbelts are safe, so mentioning them is ALWAYS appropriate," if you want, but that's not how the site works. If he'd said "I want to know how to drive really quickly, and I'm not all that interested in safety," and you'd made a big deal out of seatbelts, then no one would have deleted your comment (unless it was insulting or something). the problem is that when a teenager says "I want a faster car," he's not saying "I want to run with scissors" as he's saying "I'm a teenager." there's no reason to think that he isn't already perfectly aware of seatbelt safety, and especially no reason to think that his desire for a faster car is anything other than typical teenager behavior. yes, some teenagers die by driving too quickly without a seatbelt, but it wasn't because they thought seatbelts were useless. It's because they already knew and chose to ignore the warnings. your comment wasn't nearly as heroic as you're imagining, here.
posted by shmegegge at 6:30 PM on April 19, 2006


kcm, cortex, bugbread, dialtone. . .

Dante's Divine Comedy was NOT written in French!

These were the books that established Italian as a serious lanaguage of philosphy and debate, they were written in Dante's regional dialect of Italian!

Sorry for all the !, but really, if we're going to snark the stupid whiny teenager we should at least maintain the moral high ground by getting OUR facts right, right?
posted by tiamat at 6:34 PM on April 19, 2006


Heroic? Good god I am not that delusional. Common sense is all. Last I checked that wasn't so terrible a thing to utter. But oh well. Lesson learned.

And no, I do not run around everywhere screaming about seatbelts, all the time, for no reason. I made one comment. I can't even remember the last time I talked about seatbelts with anyone, anywhere, online or off.

When I referred to myself as a "seatbelt evangelist" it was in jest. Perhaps I should have tagged it clearly as such.
posted by beth at 6:35 PM on April 19, 2006


tiamat: it is possible that "Dante in the original French" was a joke.
posted by scody at 6:38 PM on April 19, 2006


And I note with amusement that a comment with the following remains in the thread:

"I think maybe you should save up for a WAAAHmbulance."
posted by beth at 6:39 PM on April 19, 2006


We aren't ever going to be a website that is friendly to spoiled children. I suggest we don't try to be.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:43 PM on April 19, 2006


Obviously you're going to continue this debate in bad faith, beth, based on your bleach/ammonia crack, so let me be the first to drop the bullshit and just say: you're being a jerk.
posted by scarabic at 6:48 PM on April 19, 2006


While AskMe probably isn't the place for it, isn't it a civic (if asshole-ish) duty to "self-police" our fellow younger humans about important moral and ethical issues like this?

If someone had uttered those words to me with that wording in person I'd probably be so stunned I'd want to flip a coin to decide if I was going to laugh or cry.
posted by loquacious at 6:49 PM on April 19, 2006


yeah, I really should have gone with "the original pre-Renaissance Gaelic" instead of French. my bad.
posted by kcm at 6:50 PM on April 19, 2006


what is the logical fallacy anyway? "False analogy?"

NOT inserting a seat belt warning into any discussion of cars with a 16 year old is akin to not warning someone about to mix ammonia and bleach.

= false analogy

Why not go all the way and present a really asinine counter-example, like: "I'm a 16 year old who just found a nuclear bomb and am wondering whether to press the detonation button with my index or middle finger...?"

Clearly, you'd be excoriated here for NOT advising this youngster to step away. Oh, so clearly.
posted by scarabic at 6:51 PM on April 19, 2006


Fortunately, loquacious, all we have to decide here is whether AskMe is the place for it.
posted by scarabic at 6:53 PM on April 19, 2006


Metafilter: the overwhelming din caused by all the clucking tongues.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:55 PM on April 19, 2006


OK, since I'd rather not start a new pony request thread, I'll sneak it in here - I want an AJAX-fueled Web-2.1-compliant anonymous feed of text entered into the comment entry boxes that is deleted or not posted.
posted by kcm at 6:58 PM on April 19, 2006


let me be the first to drop the bullshit and just say: you're being a jerk.

And clearly the person who suggested the waaaahmbulance wasn't.

Anyway, I'm done if you guys are done excoriating me. I think it's really an issue of differeing thresholds. Teenager + fast car tripped my threshold to trigger a safety message, and clearly y'all don't agree. That's fine.

We need more organ donors anyway, I guess.
posted by beth at 7:00 PM on April 19, 2006


from a quick google, a '94 legacy wagon is capable of 112mph; presumably an '02 model is faster if anything.
unless he wants to take his car to the track, 112 is plenty fast enough.
posted by juv3nal at 7:15 PM on April 19, 2006


The top speed of the car is fine. Its the acceleration that's ass. I know: I drive the Forester, which is basically the same car, and it has absolutely no fun in it whatsoever. None. It's just a big box that slowly goes faster when you stomp on the pedal.

On the other hand, I expect it to run for approximately as long as this planet has oil. Of course, that won't be very long, given how freakin' gas-hungry it is. I am very disappointed with the mileage that car gets.

Anyone who doesn't wear a seatbelt should be excluded from emergency medical care when the shit hits the fan. Of all the things one can do to protect oneself from injury, putting on the seatbelt must surely rank up there as the quickest, easiest, and most effective.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:26 PM on April 19, 2006


juv3nal, yes. BUT, it's worth noting that what a teenager calls "fast" might just mean "better pickup," or "better handling" or even just "with a spoiler and lights under the carriage."
posted by shmegegge at 7:27 PM on April 19, 2006


tiamat,

Yes, I know Dante's Inferno is in Italian. I didn't notice it said "French" when I quoted it, but it was a joke anyway.

beth,

Your ammonia example pointed out to me that, while I still think the seatbelt comment was out of place, the reasoning I gave above was incorrect.

Upon reflection, I'd say there are two main types of safety advice: informative, and reinforcement (to keep my terms neutral). I think the first type is valuable in AskMe, but, to stop being neutral, consider the second to be basically nagging or lecturing.

So with the bleach example, the safety information you're giving the asker is information that, from context, it appears highly likely the asker doesn't know. In that kind of case, I would be surprised if anyone was bothered by the advice being given.

In the seatbelt case, you're telling a 16 year old about the value of seatbelts. I heard more about seat belts and drunk driving at age 16 than I think I've ever heard since. True, lots of 16 year olds die in accidents because they didn't wear seatbelts, but I would be absolutely astounded if even one of them didn't know about seatbelts and their safety value.

So when you told a 16 year old to wear his seatbelt, it didn't come out as informing him of some important safety information that he was unaware of, but as lecturing someone in an AskMe thread.

If, however, this were not a 16 year old in LA, but a fresh imigrant from Elbonia, who wrote: "I am having been come to America a week ago, and have been introduced to these wondrous horseless carriages which the Americans are driving. I too wish to buy a horseless magicwagon and drive it like the lightening, but am wondering what type of magicwagon to buy", and you advised Mr. Elbonia to wear a seatbelt, nobody (well, ok, this is MeFi, there will always be someone. But if not nobody, almost nobody) would fault you for it.
posted by Bugbread at 7:38 PM on April 19, 2006


shmegegge : "it's worth noting that what a teenager calls 'fast' might just mean 'better pickup,' or 'better handling' or even just 'with a spoiler and lights under the carriage.'"

Hehe. As an elementary school, "fast" meant "having stripes". Fast shoes, fast socks.
posted by Bugbread at 7:39 PM on April 19, 2006


As an elementary school student, I meant.
posted by Bugbread at 7:40 PM on April 19, 2006


Look, I was not unsympathetic to his plight (the local high school down the street looks like a new car lot, and that's the students, NOT the teachers) but again, sometimes you gotta address the real need. AT that age, need and want don't even stand in the same room.

How many of us have seen news stories of young people -in cars their parents bought them-dying horribly in crashes within weeks or months of the purchase? Live fast, die young, leave a shredded crispy corpse?

My high school boyfriend drove a station wagon. The epitome of uncool. Didn't hurt him with the ladies none.
posted by konolia at 8:00 PM on April 19, 2006


I think it's really an issue of differeing thresholds. Teenager + fast car tripped my threshold to trigger a safety message

I hope you extend me the same patience when I exhibit age-based discrimination toward *older* drivers. You want to make the issue about whether or not teenagers + cars = trouble. You seem to think this is an entirely reasonable position, and anyone who doesn't get that is just stubborn. Aside from how aged and authoritarian this makes you sound, do you want to back up your position at all? Or do you just want to keep on re-stating your association between young drivers and accidents, without any backup?

It's perfectly honorably, by the way, to say "this is my association, but since I'm not willing to defend it I will withold from asserting it" in places like, oh, say, other peoples' AskMe threads.
posted by scarabic at 8:02 PM on April 19, 2006


St. Beth-

Get over yourself, your answer stunk. That is informative, not reinforcement. I just saw a serious of hyperdefensive and disingenuous posts in a row and that signaled to me, this person needs to be insulted.
posted by Falconetti at 8:03 PM on April 19, 2006


Look, you don't know what he needs. You just think you do. It's Ask Me. He wanted to know how to make his car faster or how to get a faster car for around 12,000. If you can answer the question, you should. Otherwise you shouldn't.
posted by Roger Dodger at 8:05 PM on April 19, 2006


I wanted to mention that my senior year in high school I didn't even have a car...or a license...because my fast car couldn't outrun police radios.

But I didn't.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:23 PM on April 19, 2006


"girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money" is not just a bad song lyric, it is pretty true of 16 year-old girls, if memory serves. I can sort of understand why a boy of that age would want a better, faster car than he has, but it doesnlt change the fact that some spoiled brat is whining about how the free car that his parents gave him is not cool enough. This might be fine in some places, but this is a community notorious for speaking its (often uncharitable and crotchety) mind, regardless of the feelings of the poster. What else did he expect?

We aren't ever going to be a website that is friendly to spoiled children. I suggest we don't try to be.
Excellent suggestion - I propose we implement this enhancement immediately.
posted by dg at 8:28 PM on April 19, 2006


brain_drain : "I had to restrain myself from making similar comments."

Ethereal Bligh : "I wanted to...But I didn't."

AskMe needs a whole lot more of this.
posted by Bugbread at 8:34 PM on April 19, 2006


(Er, sorry, those were two independent comments. EB's is not related to brain_drain's)
posted by Bugbread at 8:35 PM on April 19, 2006


"If you can answer the question, you should. Otherwise you shouldn't."

Seems like that ought to be in big bold letters somewhere.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:36 PM on April 19, 2006


Meh. The kid is vulgar, fersure. That doesn't excuse the thread, though: responding to his vulgarity is, itself, vulgar.

On the other hand, we get exactly this sort of idiot society in which we live, when we don't deal out the clue-by-four to those people who are taking it directions that are vulgar.

Catch-22.

I think we've struck a very nice balance between clue-by-fouring the kid, and clue-by-fouring ourselves. It'll be interesting to see what happens next time.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 PM on April 19, 2006


How many of us have seen news stories of young people -in cars their parents bought them-dying horribly in crashes within weeks or months of the purchase?

I drove a beat up 8 year old tercel in high school. I once had it at a 100 mph. I was stupid and could have easily killed myself or someone else. It's not the car, it's how you drive it. Sure, I've seen stories of kids dying in expensive parent bought cars. I've also seen stories of kids dying in 100 dollar cars they paid for themselves. If you're claiming parent bought expensive cars leads to more accidents, I doubt you could find any statistics to back you up.

My high school boyfriend drove a station wagon. The epitome of uncool. Didn't hurt him with the ladies none.

If you compare it to how many ladies he would have 'dated' if he had driven a porsche, it sure as hell hurt him.
posted by justgary at 9:11 PM on April 19, 2006


I think it comes down to the fact that people like to hear themselves speak.

As evidenced by how many anecdotes joshuak's question prompted (both antagonistic and supportive), and as evidenced by how long this discussion has been going on. It's not a bad thing, but I'm pretty sure that a delineated clarification of the etiquette of Metafilter hasn't been established, or at least agreed upon -- and won't be.

(And yeah, probably evidenced by the fact that I am posting this here comment.)
posted by penchant at 9:23 PM on April 19, 2006


well, I think that maybe I took the opportunity to be snarky (because I was a bit out of sorts) in posting this, and didn't accurately describe what I think the issue is here. I'll try again.

People, I'm not saying, "hey, this attitude is acceptable. hey, this is the right outlook on life".

I'm saying "hey, this user asked a question AND because of some personal details he provided to explicate his situation, he got a whole bunch of people giving him crap instead of answers".

Now, forget for a second that you think you can improve this kid's life by lecturing about how lucky he is, and how he should be thankful for what he's got, and how spoiled he is. Why? Because that shit didn't work on you when you were younger, and because, come on, we're all a pretty priveleged group, by and large. we're really not the people to be giving out lectures (no, don't email me telling me how poor you are. I don't care. I'm too busy daydreaming about what kind of car I'm going to buy next. Also: porn.).

What we should think about, simply, is: is it ok in askme to NOT address the question as stated BECAUSE of who is asking it or their intent.

my answer to that is no. Some people have different opinions -- some people, clearly, think the content of the question matters (we've deleted questions about "illegal activity" before, or by people who seemed like they were going to use the answers to break the law), some people think you should answer the question if you've got an answer no matter what, and some people believe that it's reasonable to provide an answer and maybe a little bit of advice, because, hey they've been there, and some people think that they should tell this kid he should be goddamned glad he's got what he has because boo hoo hoo that car was better than the one I had when I was 16, and I didn't even get a car when I was 16, and I bet you were the kid who had the hypercolor t-shirt and I couldn't afford hypercolor t-shirts and you didn't invite me to your pool party but you invited my best friend because it was sixth grade and she got breasts before everybody else and after that she really didn't hang out with me anymore and that kinda fucked up my whole junior high experience because I went into it with no friends, and do you even know what that's like? Being the fat kid in junior high? It is not a fucking piece of cake, hell I had kids throw eggs at me when I was in junior high -- and they fucking forced us to square dance! SQUARE DANCE! jesus, what kind of cruel torture is that? they told us it was required by law, but that was bullshit because some of the guys in coach capello's group got to wrestle instead and square dancing was hell, you want to know why? because fat kids sweat. They sweat real fucking bad, especially when they're nervous, and then, you know, you're trying to wipe your hands on your pants, anything, so you're not getting fucking perspiration all over the girls that you have to do si do with, and then, then the most popular one in your fucking class, and why -- why does she have to be in your square, but she's in your square -- but she's in your square and she says "WHAT? GIRLS DON'T HAVE COOTIES. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WIPE YOUR HANDS OFF. GOOOOD." I mean, fuck, all you were trying to do was just get through the day, damn it, just quietly, just trying to make it to 3:00 so you could ride the goddamn bus for two hours and maybe read your book a little and then get home and logon to a couple BBSes and see if there were any new posts and play a little Tradewars, but NO, now you've got to wonder where that story is going for the rest of the fucking day, and you're not even in high school yet and this shit is going to go on for the rest of your life.

i hope that settles it.*

*Seriously -- i think it's unacceptable to berate a poster because you don't approve of the way they live. Hey, let's go to that question about "gay bars" and tell that dude that god hates fags. Or why don't we tell the guy who's got a bump on his dick that he shouldn't be sleeping with whores. Or maybe those jerks who are getting a divorce should be told that MARRIAGE IS FOREVER AND YOU HAVE TO STICK IT OUT. This kid is only "asking for it", because he seems like (or happens to be) the type of person that many people on this board don't like -- but I don't think that makes it ok to give this user shit instead of answers.
posted by fishfucker at 9:37 PM on April 19, 2006


That was the most awsome fat kid square dance rant I have ever seen. I shall enshrine it upon my wall.
posted by supercrayon at 9:47 PM on April 19, 2006


MetaFilter: the most awesome fat kid square dance rant I have ever seen.
posted by cgc373 at 10:25 PM on April 19, 2006


"While AskMe probably isn't the place for it, isn't it a civic (if asshole-ish) duty to "self-police" our fellow younger humans about important moral and ethical issues like this?"

Actually it's the kind of comments in here that keep me coming back to read MeTa and AskMe. Keeps it interesting. (That and square dance rants.)

And more importantly someday that kid is going to blurt out something like that in a live situation (you know, out there in reality), and the audience may not be kind. Perhaps a bit of a wake up call was needed. As a college freshman I overheard a senior whine about the fact that her father had given her an American made car. I had no idea such people existed until then - and I still have no idea how she could be ignorant of how bad that sounded. When I was a grad student (at another school) and heard someone make the same kind of comment in a classroom (discussion on media use - the short version: "but everyone owns a VCR") some of us grad students jumped into the conversation and it became a good teaching session. Where the older ones (and the professor) said, in a nice way, "get a clue to reality, kid - not everyone has money."

Frankly I think it's unkind not to remove the blinders. Or at least to let someone know that their question can be read in a way they haven't realized.
posted by batgrlHG at 10:32 PM on April 19, 2006


(Damn, I just had a nasty flashback and it's all fishfucker's fault. You see....I actually DID have to take square dancing classes in high school. Everyone did. It was Kansas, what can I say. Argh...)
posted by batgrlHG at 10:36 PM on April 19, 2006


more importantly someday that kid is going to blurt out something like that in a live situation (you know, out there in reality), and the audience may not be kind

That day came and went - we just hastened it. Yay us!

The belief that someday the WORLD will smack this kid in the face with our values is again, a pretty navel-facing one. We believe our values are inevitable. This kid will HAVE to face them someday. What arrogance!

I think it's unkind not to remove the blinders

physician, heal thyself!
posted by scarabic at 10:48 PM on April 19, 2006


When I was a teenager, I drove my mother's green AMC Pacer.

Yeah, that one.

I had more sex in that car than any other since. Just a data point -- it's not your car that's a sex machine, it's you, baby.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:48 PM on April 19, 2006


When I was a teenager ... I had more sex ... than ... since.

Yeah, you and all the rest of us!
posted by scarabic at 10:55 PM on April 19, 2006


I also was made to square dance, Michigan...
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:17 PM on April 19, 2006


"You want to make the issue about whether or not teenagers + cars = trouble. You seem to think this is an entirely reasonable position, and anyone who doesn't get that is just stubborn. Aside from how aged and authoritarian this makes you sound, do you want to back up your position at all? "

I guess MeTa is the place to derail, so I'll just point out that insurance companies have a number of very intelligent people that make lots of money determining that teenagers are a much higher risk for them, and they charge accordingly.

AskMe is confusing. It's difficult to see what's going to be deleted. Funny or useless comments stay or go according to whim (or, to be fair, more likely subjective rating). The most confusing comment is the one that doesn't *directly* answer the question but still provides good information. Do you delete or not?
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 11:25 PM on April 19, 2006


That was a crappy, crappy way to treat a fellow mefier.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 5:46 PM CST on April 19


Yes, I agree.
posted by Radio7 at 11:28 PM on April 19, 2006


Yeah, you and all the rest of us!

OK, yeah, good point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:40 PM on April 19, 2006


wow, i got over 140 comments in just over 9 hours! and maybe 15 helpful ones!
in retrospect I probably should have just said, "how can I make some money in LA without driving 45 minutes to get paid $7 an hour?"
Also, I understand what you're all saying because I hate every kid with a nicer car than me. Watch super sweet 16 and you'll think I'm dirt poor.
But before you give someone so much crap, consider what it's like to be them, to pass 100 cars on your 45 minute drive to school that cost more than a house.

I hate high school. I just want to graduate, go to college, and get a job so I can yell at arrogant teens and say "when I was your age...!"
posted by joshuak at 11:51 PM on April 19, 2006


If it's your personality, write a song about your car, and about environmental impact. If that's not your cup of tea, perhaps a letter to your parents, expressing gratitude and then showing your maturity by showing your innate understanding of environmental and economic issues persuading them to trade your current car in is something that could work.

Um, wat?
posted by delmoi at 11:55 PM on April 19, 2006


go beth!

Personally, I applauded when you mentioned the seat belt reminder (well you and 50 others). I do think it IS our responsibility to remind younger human beings especially children (which is what a teenager is) how to be in the world.

Nuthin' wrong with being a responsible, albeit boring, adult.

Plus it keeps the thread hopping
posted by zia at 11:57 PM on April 19, 2006


"Nuthin' wrong with being a responsible, albeit boring, adult. "

You don't know beth very well, do you?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:01 AM on April 20, 2006


Should I titter or giggle here?
posted by trondant at 12:31 AM on April 20, 2006


"The belief that someday the WORLD will smack this kid in the face with our values is again, a pretty navel-facing one. We believe our values are inevitable. This kid will HAVE to face them someday. What arrogance!"

Uh, so it's good to assume that everyone else has the money for expensive cars? To assume that we all have an equal standard of living and there aren't any less fortunate? I thought I was making a point about assumptions, not about values.
Guess I was vague about that.

The weird thing, joshuak, is that so much of what goes on in high school really doesn't change much with age or surroundings...
posted by batgrlHG at 1:24 AM on April 20, 2006


Good luck getting a sexier car joshuak. My parents bought me a brand new '83 Nissan Pulsar when i turned 16, and I was pretty embarrassed about it too. It was a little girlie car with pop up headlights (pretty cutting edge for 1983) and it was red. Those were the only two things that made it a "sports car". I heard the same "you ungrateful little fuck!" comments from people when I complained about it.
posted by Devils Slide at 2:27 AM on April 20, 2006


"If you can answer the question, you should. Otherwise you shouldn't."
posted by raedyn at 2:54 AM on April 20, 2006


But before you give someone so much crap, consider what it's like to be them, to pass 100 cars on your 45 minute drive to school that cost more than a house.

Hey Josh, while I feel your pain to a certain degree, think about it this way: many of the people in here WALKED TO SCHOOL. And they walked past those very same cars. So while it might suck that your friends and contemporaries drive fancy schmancy super expensive cars, try thinking about the folks who don't GET cars handed to them at 16 before you try on the "Oh, woe is me, it sucks to be me" drama. Yes, high school sucks. Some people have it better than others. Make the best of it, and trust me when I say this: those people who would be your friends because of the car you drive? You won't ever see them again after you graduate. And you'll be SO HAPPY about that fact.
posted by antifuse at 3:16 AM on April 20, 2006


fff, you might be less disappointed in the Forester's gas mileage if you didn't "stomp on the pedal" so much, eh? It's got 50HP more than my '73 V8 Chevy Nova had.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:16 AM on April 20, 2006


Joshuak - damn, I was hoping you'd flame out in a blaze of spoilt brat glory there ;-)

For what it's worth, I drove a Fiat Panda when I was 17. It had a 750cc engine, top speed was about 65 mph, cost about £100. Fucking loved that car.

I suggest you sell the fancy gold car, get a Panda and spend the remainder on booze and drugs. Get your priorities straight! (And remember to wear a seatbelt when driving on booze and drugs.)
posted by jack_mo at 3:56 AM on April 20, 2006


"girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money" is not just a bad song lyric, it is pretty true of 16 year-old girls, if memory serves

dg, I must protest. I think you were hanging around with (or wanting to "date") the wrong bunch of 16 year old girls. I'll consider your comment to be the companion to the frequently heard complaint of my adolesence, that being "16 year old guys only want to go out with ditzhead blondes, instead of me, who is, like, not shallow, and refuses to pretend to be stupid."
posted by jokeefe at 4:40 AM on April 20, 2006


I'm late to the thread, but I want to state for the record that I was justified in shitting in it because that kid is a total fucking horse cock and now I hope that high-school thugs are beating the shit out of him every week because he drives a grannymobile. And because he's a whiny ladyboy.

I don't take umbrage with the fact that he had a nice car given to him at a young age. I despise him because he feels entitled to a nicer car despite having one that's more than adequate. Self-centered douchebag...
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:08 AM on April 20, 2006


But before you give someone so much crap, consider what it's like to be them, to pass 100 cars on your 45 minute drive to school that cost more than a house.

You seriously think people are going to feel sorry for you for that?
posted by Reggie Knoble at 5:11 AM on April 20, 2006


Hey antifuse, while I feel your pain to a certain degree, there are people out there who don't have access to the internet! Or food and clean water! Oh noes!

Same goes for batgrlHG: before accusing someone else of taking their own situation for granted, look at your own situation and remember that you are doing better than the majority of the rest of the human race.

So just answer the question without projecting your own moral outrage on the person asking it. Generally it's not a great idea to tell people (no matter what their age) to just be happy with what they have as other people are worse off.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:21 AM on April 20, 2006


Look, you don't know what he needs. You just think you do. It's Ask Me. He wanted to know how to make his car faster or how to get a faster car for around 12,000. If you can answer the question, you should. Otherwise you shouldn't.
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:05 PM EST on April 19


Beaten to the punch by raedyn, but it deserves being highlighted again. I don't care how passionately you feel about seatbelts and/or spoiled kids and/or fast cars, AskMe isn't the place for it. Answer the question or shut up.

And joshuak, you sound like you've got a pretty good head on your shoulders for a spoiled teenager. Ignore the haters (especially Mayor Curley, who seems to be cruising for a timeout), and I hope you get a cooler car whether you deserve it or not, just to piss off the self-righteous among us.
posted by languagehat at 6:32 AM on April 20, 2006


Also, jess somehow missed this comment by beth when she was deleting irrelevant asshole comments.
posted by languagehat at 6:38 AM on April 20, 2006


Slimepuppy: this is true, you're right. Some people don't have internet or clean water. And I could have made those same points to Josh, and they would have been equally valid. The difference between Josh and myself, is that I'm not pissing and moaning and trying to get sympathy from teh internets because my water isn't Brita'd enough, or because my net connection is too slow. Josh is. I don't see how it makes it any more valid for Josh to complain about his (basically) free car just because there are people in the world without internet.
posted by antifuse at 7:09 AM on April 20, 2006


"Also, I understand what you're all saying because I hate every kid with a nicer car than me. Watch super sweet 16 and you'll think I'm dirt poor.
But before you give someone so much crap, consider what it's like to be them, to pass 100 cars on your 45 minute drive to school that cost more than a house."

Oh, shut the fuck up. I can't say that in AskMe, but I can say it here, you entitled little shitball. You know what? I went to a school like yours and my family was (and is) dirt fucking poor. I rode the motherfucking bus. This bullshit about Super Sweet 16? That's a tv show, moron. There will always be people richer than you, and it sucks to be poor. But you know what? It builds character, you mewling little shit.
Right now you have no fucking perspective and a lot of want based on getting things easily. But grow the fuck up. You have no idea how fucking priveledged you are, and how lucky you are to be where you are. And I don't care if this comes across as the old man yelling to you about the Depression or some shit because if you're half the ass that you come across as every little bit of ass-whuppin' you have to take will be good for you. You've got it good and you're whining that you don't have it better. I can only hope that you're able to look back at some point and realize what a shallow motherfucker you were.
posted by klangklangston at 7:32 AM on April 20, 2006


I would just like to request that people named Josh refrain from causing angry debates because it really fucks with my head.
posted by cortex at 7:44 AM on April 20, 2006


(Prepare to get done in— my name's Josh too...)
posted by klangklangston at 7:55 AM on April 20, 2006


"girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money" is not just a bad song lyric, it is pretty true of 16 year-old girls, if memory serves.

If this is what all the boys thought, perhaps that explains why I had no dates in high school.
posted by JanetLand at 8:12 AM on April 20, 2006


I hope joshuak gets his nice car so he doesn't become an embittered, bile-spewing old scold.
posted by Marnie at 8:16 AM on April 20, 2006


So a 16 year old is self centered, shallow, unable to see other points of view and pre-occupied with superficial things. And this is news to you all, requiring mile long threads berating this kid? And then more mile long threads berating each other in a self centered, shallow, unable to see other points of view and pre-occupied with superficial things kind of way?
posted by bluesky43 at 8:17 AM on April 20, 2006


Nice work, Curley and klangston. I'm sure your insightful comments have set this kid straight.
posted by brain_drain at 8:27 AM on April 20, 2006


dg- some of us girls liked guys in bands instead. (and it was always instead)
posted by small_ruminant at 8:49 AM on April 20, 2006


new tag for AskMe

AskMetaFilter -- I was justified in shitting in it because that kid is a total fucking horse cock
posted by matteo at 8:53 AM on April 20, 2006


I removed a few of the more egregious comments. I'm not sure if the thread can be salvaged from the overwhelming din caused by all the clucking tongues.

So that's the new barometer for allowing doughbaggery in an AskMe thread - if a lot of people do it?

Of course it was almost all worth it for this sublime response from the original poster: I understand what you're all saying because I hate every kid with a nicer car than me.
posted by phearlez at 8:57 AM on April 20, 2006


doughbaggery?
posted by cortex at 9:03 AM on April 20, 2006


Oh phearlez, that is sublime!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:18 AM on April 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


lol, jack_mo, I cannot even imagine that Fiat Pandas ever reached LA! I just can't picture one driving on of those big American twentyfour-lane highways. It would be awesome though.
posted by funambulist at 9:38 AM on April 20, 2006


But before you give someone so much crap, consider what it's like to be them, to pass 100 cars on your 45 minute drive to school that cost more than a house.

I am astounded you could be so ... unaware of what's being said, that you could spew such an asinine reply to us.

I feel embarassed for you.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:43 AM on April 20, 2006


I drove a '89 Buick Century when I lived at home. Paint was peeling off the top and hood, mileage was crap, you'd brake and sometimes the car would accelerate (doesn't make sense, but it happened). Oh, it was a crapheap. But I loved that car. It carried so much shit in it, it had backwards facing seats and I could a lot of people in there, my dog could have a party in the back while I drove in the front.

I'm not yet five years older than you, and I'm with Curley and klangklangston. You're a spoiled brat.

Look, if you really think getting laid is tied to your car (and I have never personally observed this phenomenon), why not become the anti-prep indie kid in your school? You know, all cool and socially aware. You prize your practical crapheap over the superfast penismobile, you can take it offroading, you argue the scraped paint and shit give it "character", you've given it an insulting, loving name like "Shitbox". Go wear band t-shirts and ripped pants. Learn to play the guitar. You will not only not have to spend ridiculous amounts of money feeding your petty materialism, but you will give off at least the appearance of having depth, as opposed to the whining twat you are now. Chicks dig the appearance of depth. The chicks worth dating dig real depth, but given that you're interested in the ones whose sexual attraction is tied to your car that probably isn't much of a concern to you.
posted by schroedinger at 9:46 AM on April 20, 2006


I feel embarassed for you

heh.
the kid asked a question about cars, fff, if he needs life lessons I'm sure he won't ask you anyway.
judging strangers on the Internets is so easy -- really. I mean, totally easy.
posted by matteo at 10:04 AM on April 20, 2006


I'm going to decline to state my opinion about this whole affair.

However, I will add another data point - squaredancing class in HS - Vancouver, Canada.

Also, being dragged to squaredancing meetups by my mother when I was in elementary school. The experience took the sting of uncoolness out of not having wheels in HS.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:07 AM on April 20, 2006


inured me to the sting of uncoolness, that is
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:08 AM on April 20, 2006


Judge away, matteo. We all do.

Also: squaredancing, north-central BC. Ugh.

Come to think of it, I think we did squaredancing every damn year between grades 6 and 10.

Which, y'know, is pretty odd given the paucity of ranches and abundance of loggers up there. You'd think they'd teach us... oh, I dunno, the Lumberjack Song skit instead.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 AM on April 20, 2006


For those who can't help themselves, does picking on this kid somehow make you feel better about yourselves? For the record, he never mentioned one work about picking up girls. He has a job (in the summer, $7/hour, I'll bet you are all jealous). He wants another car because he thinks his is slow and boring. He chipped in on the car he has now, but his father picked it out for him. Any other information you think you may have you either made up yourself or somebody else here did. So lay off.
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:40 AM on April 20, 2006


"Same goes for batgrlHG: before accusing someone else of taking their own situation for granted, look at your own situation and remember that you are doing better than the majority of the rest of the human race."

Yes, I guess reading my actual comment (short version: others will be put off by his words, reading them as being cluelessness to how well off he is) would be too difficult - because I was very unkind and made all sorts of personal attacks? No wait - ha! You're trying to get me to make this about ME and not joshuak - where I immediately get all self righteous and assure you that I spend quite a lot of time in self criticism (hair shirt, daily flogging), value the breaks I've had, pull out my own poor me stories ("We ate cold gravel for breakfast! And were grateful! I drove a cardboard box!"), etc. etc. Nice try!
*golf clap*

" I drove a Fiat Panda when I was 17"

I honest and truly thought that was a fictional car when I first read that. Who says MeTa isn't educational?
posted by batgrlHG at 10:42 AM on April 20, 2006


(See joshuak? Everything's still high school out here. We all just look older, not act it. Yeah, I know, kinda disappointing.)
posted by batgrlHG at 10:45 AM on April 20, 2006


why not become the anti-prep indie kid in your school? You know, all cool and socially aware. You prize your practical crapheap over the superfast penismobile, you can take it offroading, you argue the scraped paint and shit give it "character", you've given it an insulting, loving name like "Shitbox". Go wear band t-shirts and ripped pants. Learn to play the guitar. You will not only not have to spend ridiculous amounts of money feeding your petty materialism, but you will give off at least the appearance of having depth, as opposed to the whining twat you are now. Chicks dig the appearance of depth.

This would have so worked for me. (Not only that, but this worked for me until I was almost thirty. But that's another story.)

My one contribution to this thread will be to note that I went to high school in the richest postal code in Canada; to this day I tend to obfuscate where I grew up, because I immediately have to follow that information with "But my parents weren't rich, honest", because they weren't (my father was unemployed from the time I was 12 on, there were three mortgages on the house which my parents also not able to afford to pay the property taxes on, my mom drove a '72 Vega for years, and so on). Faced with a peer group that also recieved cars on their 16th birthdays, spent holidays in Hawaii or skiing in Europe or in Mexico or whatever, who complained bitterly about the inadequacy of their Christmas presents, and who, if female, ran a competition each year to see how long they could go without wearing the same outfit twice (prize usually awarded around November), I decided to Rise Above It All and be all non-materialistic and hippie-like. But it wasn't until I started going to an adult-education facility downtown, where I fled to finish off my Grade 12 after sickening of said high school, that I finally had my world view normalized a little from "poor kid in rich school" to "regular kid amongst other regular kids." It was the change in context which made my relative privilege visible to me; I could stop feeling resentful (even if I refused to admit it) of the other teenagers with which I was surrounded and acknowledge that I was lucky to grow up in an area where there were a wealth of educated professionals, who worked hard to set up alternative programs for their kids, and that I benefited enormously from that.

I'm inclined to think that Josh is reasonably intelligent, and will sort this out in time. With luck, he will also get a change in context that will widen his understanding.

On the other hand, I walked to school uphill both ways and there were no video games or anything and we had to hit each other with sticks for fun and dope was expensive and hard to find and I had to wear jeans with flares and geez kids these days etcetera.
posted by jokeefe at 10:49 AM on April 20, 2006


And goddam, I had to square-dance too! Was this some sort of Canadian physical education hazing thing! Gah, how I hated it! You had to TOUCH the other kids, oh god, how gross. I mean, really.

Especially that girl in Grade 8 who went a little crazy and refused to bathe or change her clothes for two months. She disappeared around Thanksgiving, and I have often wondered what became of her.

Oh yeah, and I think piling on a 16 year old kid is distasteful. Anyway, moving on.
posted by jokeefe at 10:53 AM on April 20, 2006


One more, then I'll shut up, really: It seems that a lot of us here on Metafilter have unresolved issues from our adolescence.
posted by jokeefe at 10:55 AM on April 20, 2006


Issues? From adolescence? On the internet?
posted by Shutter at 11:02 AM on April 20, 2006


doughbaggery?


Duh.
posted by Stauf at 11:39 AM on April 20, 2006


[I love jokeefe]

On the other hand, I walked to school uphill both ways

ha, and you thought you had it bad? I walked to school uphill both ways in clogs! while carrying a sack full of coal on my back! and I had to work in the minefield after school! and I was an orphan so no parents to buy me anything!

No, actually, sorry, I had a moment of confusion there. It's just the pseudo-dickensian spirit floating over this thread, it got hold of me.
posted by funambulist at 11:52 AM on April 20, 2006


datapoint:
I'm a Canadian prairie girl born and bred. I did not take square dancing at any point in my educational career.

/anecdotal
posted by raedyn at 12:12 PM on April 20, 2006


I grew up in Colorado and Wyoming, so not only did I have to take square dancing in school, my grandparents were champion square dancers (plus my grandfather was a fiddler and caller).

Also, we had to square dance uphill.
posted by scody at 12:30 PM on April 20, 2006


I had to take square dancing in gym during my middle school (grades 6-8) years, in central New Jersey. Few things are more awkward than being totally socially inept, and then getting paired up with the girl you secretly have a crush on.
posted by Godbert at 12:55 PM on April 20, 2006


I squaredanced while churning my own butter in the snow. And instead of shoes I had to wear dead roadkill strapped to my feet.

Also since I drove a gold buick in highschool, my sympathies are with Josh. Having a gold car sucks the balls.
posted by supercrayon at 12:59 PM on April 20, 2006


I'd just like to remind the self-righteous that his primary question was:
any ideas on getting my parents to let me get a new one?
If he was my kid, his best shot at getting a new one would be to be grateful for the dorkmobile I bought him, and to take very, very good care of it.

They were a bit rude and confrontational about it, but the STFU crowd basically said the same thing.
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:17 PM on April 20, 2006


He just needs his ride pimped, is all.
posted by antifreez_ at 2:35 PM on April 20, 2006


Popping back in to say, yeah, his original question was indeed "any ideas on getting my parents to let me get a new one?", and one idea might be that getting your parents to let me get a new one is a selfish and foolish undertaking.
posted by davejay at 5:43 PM on April 20, 2006


Square dancing in California.............check
0 cars owned in high school.............check
Only dated guys who were sex Gods but drove shitboxes.......check
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:59 PM on April 20, 2006


joshuak: "I hate high school. I just want to graduate, go to college, and get a job so I can yell at arrogant teens and say "when I was your age...!""

whoa whoa whoa, way to get on the 'do it myself' train but slow down..

I grew up in the Detroit area, and went one of the most expensive high schools (not the one from 8 Mile) in the state. This means I saw a LOT of pre-production, very expensive, constantly changing cars.

If you learn ONE thing from your first car experience, it's how to make the most of what you have. Some of the best times in my life were fucking around in my $700 1988 Dodge Omni with my friends who just happened to either/both be in my situation or not give a shit. I had Cheech and Chong tassles, a giant 4x4 sticker on it, and near 13 pine tree air fresheners. You can't have that kind of fun when you're nearing 30 and your job doesn't involve selling coffee.

People will never respect you if you're competing with them to be better - you're competition, and you're boring. People will respect someone that fun guy with the oddball gold Subie, because you're different and you're doing your thing.
posted by kcm at 4:59 PM on April 20, 2006


Let's put it this way: when your car dies, people will hold a funeral for that fugly-ass gold shitbox that you all sat around in getting high and tearing up golf courses in. when the bimbo bitch when the Bentley GT crashes it and gets a 6-series convertible, people will continue to call her a bitch.

Make your fucking car worth a funeral.
posted by kcm at 5:07 PM on April 20, 2006


One more, then I'll shut up, really: It seems that a lot of us here on Metafilter have unresolved issues from our adolescence.

A-fucking-men.

He's 16 years old, folks. At that age cars, clothes, and record collections matter. I'm sure all of you were incredibly seasoned and mature and had already learned to separate the wheat from the chaff at that age.
posted by Devils Slide at 5:07 PM on April 20, 2006


I cannot even imagine that Fiat Pandas ever reached LA!

More's the pity. If America had cars that did 400 miles on a tank of petrol it wouldn't be starting wars over oil. Oh yes.

Sorry, I'm sozzled. Sozzled enough to be seriously considering bidding on the mint condition Fiat Panda 750 I just found on eBay: Excellent condition, has only covered 28,500 miles from new! No rust or damaged body work. One previous owner (70 year old lady). Stored in carpeted and heated garage for most of its life! It even has a CD player - raw luxury.

Wonder how long you can get away with driving without insurance or tax. Probably can't ask that on AskMetaFilter, eh?
posted by jack_mo at 5:15 PM on April 20, 2006


The "rule of thumb" here, and everywhere else, states that you shouldn't beat your wife with a stick that's wider than your thumb.

Hope this helps.
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:40 PM on April 20, 2006


That "rule of thumb" is an urban legend. T'ain't true.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 AM on April 21, 2006


Well hell, let the beatings commence then.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:00 AM on April 21, 2006


*hands 2x4 to ikkyu2 and fff*
Cheerio!
posted by raedyn at 9:12 AM on April 21, 2006


i've never bothered to stop beating my wife, so the stick i've using has been grandfathered in from the 70s.

and it's a motherfuckin' doozy.
posted by fishfucker at 11:42 AM on April 21, 2006


The only car I drove in high school was my mom's Caravan.
posted by danb at 7:31 PM on April 22, 2006


I haven't read this all yet, likely won't bother reading it all.

Forgive me for being sentimental, but, honestly, I found Beth's preaching of the seatbelt was warm and appropriate.

She could have said "Please, get a Vette and go out and kill yourself, you spoiled little shit".

Telling someone to wear a seatbelt is not mean, not ever.

As for the rest of the fun, um, he had it coming once or twice. Everyone else chiming in to say the same thing was boring. My mind boggles at the very idea of being given a car at 16. But I can't imagine staying in highschool to graduate, either, nor staying with one's parents all that time.
posted by Goofyy at 12:09 AM on May 10, 2006


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