Shrill cries of "tasteless!" August 10, 2006 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Hello, JudgeMe! A guy asks about copyright infringement, and everyone jumps all over him. It may be tasteless to you...
posted by frogan to Etiquette/Policy at 8:49 PM (52 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

but you think it's funny as hell?
posted by bob sarabia at 8:56 PM on August 10, 2006


but you think it's funny as hell?

Everything can be funny, given the right set of circumstances. Or have you never heard the one about Helen Keller falling into a well and breaking three fingers calling for help?

But the point is ... getting shrill cries of "tasteless!" wasn't the point of the exercise in the first place. Suddenly AskMe was filled with delicate Southern belles with the vapors, I do declare.
posted by frogan at 9:02 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


hey, another avenue to point out how tasteless that is.

It is tasteless to equate someone standing up to a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square to preventing construction of an LNG processing plant.
posted by boo_radley at 9:03 PM on August 10, 2006


He asked "should I tell my dad it's a no-go?" People there are responding, "yes, you should, because it is tasteless to use that image for such a purpose."
posted by Rhomboid at 9:04 PM on August 10, 2006


I see nothing objectionable in that thread. His dad wants to use the image as propaganda. If the responses indicate that many people will be offended by the image — that it may actually have the opposite of his desired effect — that's a helpful and constructive answer to his question.
posted by cribcage at 9:10 PM on August 10, 2006


I do actually think it's kinda funny. In that distasteful kind of way. But yeah, I don't see anything wrong with that thread. Actually, now that I look at it, the asker didn't see anything wrong either and actually found it helpful.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:16 PM on August 10, 2006



reproduced with the kind permission of the people's republic of China
posted by strawberryviagra at 9:16 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I love the taste of copyright infringement in the morning. It tastes like liquefied natural gas.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:26 PM on August 10, 2006


strawberryviagra: awesome. I want my cheap natural gas!
posted by mr_roboto at 9:31 PM on August 10, 2006


He asked "should I tell my dad it's a no-go?"

I think it's pretty clear that the no-go referred to the legality, not the morality of the use.
posted by frogan at 9:48 PM on August 10, 2006



posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:54 PM on August 10, 2006


But the point is ... getting shrill cries of "tasteless!" wasn't the point of the exercise in the first place. Suddenly AskMe was filled with delicate Southern belles with the vapors, I do declare.

Or it could be that you're an outlier case for this particular litmus test, and you're miscasting a strong and consistent spontaneous reaction as some sort of uppity delicacy when it's actually a bunch of folks discussing the elephant standing in the middle of the goddam room.

I mean, I agree with you in general, but the tastelessness of the comparison is germane to the poster's situation even if he didn't think to consider it in his query—and the poster in fact validated that in a thankful response.

It's not the vapors, it's a spit take.
posted by cortex at 9:54 PM on August 10, 2006


Is it funny? To me, absolutely. But I am fully aware that my sense of humor is scatalogical, overly permissive, and socially unacceptable. granted's dad was hypothetically going to use the image in a context where his message had to be socially acceptable, and needed to be informed of the perils involved. The End.
posted by Ryvar at 10:16 PM on August 10, 2006


These giggles, they vibrate?
posted by Balisong at 10:45 PM on August 10, 2006


whoopsidaisy

Too on the nose?
posted by dong_resin at 11:17 PM on August 10, 2006 [2 favorites]


Suddenly AskMe was filled with delicate Southern belles with the vapors, I do declare.

Suddenly? Where've you been?
posted by mediareport at 11:25 PM on August 10, 2006



posted by delmoi at 11:46 PM on August 10, 2006


Speaking of taste: is that Kent State?
posted by Cranberry at 12:15 AM on August 11, 2006


Yes.
posted by delmoi at 12:34 AM on August 11, 2006


Well I think both images in this thread are incredibly tasteless.
The AskMefi? Try some graphite to untwist your undies.
posted by peacay at 12:40 AM on August 11, 2006



I think it's pretty clear that the no-go referred to the legality, not the morality of the use.


I think it's pretty clear granted can speak for herself.
posted by juv3nal at 12:59 AM on August 11, 2006


Have you never heard the one about Helen Keller falling into a well and breaking three fingers calling for help?

Uh. Hm. Is this something I would need to know ESL to understand?
posted by Plutor at 3:20 AM on August 11, 2006


Actually, I don't think that the use of the photograph is tasteless at all.

The Chinese dude standing up to the tanks is just an updated version of the David and Goliath story. I think that it's a damn good analogy for the OP's dad to come up with. Way to go, Dad.

As for comparing the tank picture with one of someone dead (Kent State) or setting themselves on fire...there is no comparison. Period.

And I have read plenty of threads asking for info on how to bypass various DRM crap on DVD's, CD's and the like. So when did everyone here become spokepeople for the RIAA and MPAA and the like. I bet almost everyone here on MeFi has some kind of illegally transferred songs or videos. In fact, I could have sworn there was a thread on things like DVD Decrypter in the last week or so.

And since a few folks edited some classic photos to put their quips on them and then posted the pics, I suspect that that's illegal too. Quick, somebody call the cops!!!

As for truly tasteless, well it would take me a week to cite all those MeFi threads.

So ignore the cracks from the peanut gallery. It was just the late night silly season IMHO.

Now excuse me while I go decrypt and edit a few DVD's.
posted by bim at 4:57 AM on August 11, 2006


Oh wow, the flaming monk picture definitely crossed the line from tasteless to laugh-out-loud-funny-tasteless. For me, anyway.

What was the point of this thread again?
posted by scottreynen at 5:25 AM on August 11, 2006


Wow, it's awesome to think how ten years from now or so we'll all be cracking jokes about the picture of the guy falling out of the World Trade Center.

[/stick]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:18 AM on August 11, 2006


It was fine, I didn't think most of the responders were like "OMG TASTELESS!!" they were just trying to let the OP know in that reality-testing way, that this might not be a good idea for additional reasons, and many of them answered the "could I get sued" question at the same time. This is really the low end of pestiness of the JudgeMe questions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:23 AM on August 11, 2006


And I have read plenty of threads asking for info on how to bypass various DRM crap on DVD's, CD's and the like. So when did everyone here become spokepeople for the RIAA and MPAA and the like. I bet almost everyone here on MeFi has some kind of illegally transferred songs or videos. In fact, I could have sworn there was a thread on things like DVD Decrypter in the last week or so.

And since a few folks edited some classic photos to put their quips on them and then posted the pics, I suspect that that's illegal too. Quick, somebody call the cops!!!
posted by bim at 4:57 AM PST on August 11


I think you fail to see the difference between "that's copyright infringement" and "that copyright infringment and I care." Most of us, I'd bet, have no problem with infringement as long as the offender isn't doing so for commercial purposes.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:29 AM on August 11, 2006


Thanks for chiming in and clearing everything up for me Optimus. What would I do without you!?!?!?
posted by bim at 6:58 AM on August 11, 2006


Be a pain in the ass anyway?
posted by cortex at 7:00 AM on August 11, 2006


The Chinese dude standing up to the tanks is just an updated version of the David and Goliath story.

Well, not really. David beat Goliath, whereas the Chinese government massacred somewhere between 200 and 3000 protestors.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:07 AM on August 11, 2006


sorry hit post too soon
I think that it's a damn good analogy for the OP's dad to come up with.

Only if he wants to imply that the LNG company will machine-gun all the protestors.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:09 AM on August 11, 2006


"I think it's pretty clear that the no-go referred to the legality, not the morality of the use."

And it's both illegal and tasteless. Did you read the responses?
posted by klangklangston at 7:34 AM on August 11, 2006


The Chinese dude standing up to the tanks is just an updated version of the David and Goliath story.

Well, not really. David beat Goliath...


Well, yes really. Regardless of outcome, it's the Just standing up to the Unjust despite being overwhelmingly overpowered. I've seen plenty political cartoons make the same claim.
posted by yeti at 7:39 AM on August 11, 2006


Ho boy I missed dong_resin.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:41 AM on August 11, 2006


Apropos of probably nothing - there's a famous Patriotic Song in China about the completion of a natural gas line to Beijing. It's a real toe-tapper.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:15 AM on August 11, 2006


Not that I care either way whether the image gets used, but in defense of granted's father, I don't think people are giving him enough credit for having considered the ramifications of his analogy. The point of their protest against building an LNG plant in a densely populated area is that it is, indeed, a matter of life and death for those living there, and that the very real risk to the lives of everyone in the vicinity is being forced on them against their will by their own government and the powerful, soul-less corporation. The image isn't intended to suggest that the protestors' lives are in danger merely for protesting (although it's certainly not unheard of for strong-arm tactics to be used in such instances right here in America, too). The image is intended to convey a threat to life and liberty, however, not just the uneven odds of the conflict.

Obviously, there is a difference of scale, here, but that's pretty much the point, isn't it? You use analogy for it's shock value, and you almost always compare upwards. It's why we have the Godwin phenomenon, in the first place. Which is really the best argument against the use of the image: not that it's inherently tasteless to invoke the specters of heroes past when fighting real dangers against seemingly impossible odds, but that using such loaded images risks making you more enemies than friends.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2006


And it's both illegal and tasteless. Did you read the responses?

Umm, did you, jackass? Because you'll notice the first thing I said was that it's infringement. In other words, I answered the question. Without getting all hoity-toity.
posted by frogan at 9:57 AM on August 11, 2006


The constant use of those loaded images can start to deaden the effect of them.
posted by raedyn at 9:59 AM on August 11, 2006



posted by Joeforking at 12:23 PM on August 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


This really had the potential to be the best photoshop image dump *ever*. But, no. Seriously, answer the questions and keep your worldview to yourself. I assfuck kittens and rub baby shit all over my walls, I don't need you to judge me, just answer my god damn questions.

First question: Where can I get a box full of kittens without people thinking I'm one of those medical research places?
posted by absalom at 1:46 PM on August 11, 2006


LPG = liquid petrol gas, what they call natural gas in the UK, right?
posted by delmoi at 5:03 PM on August 11, 2006


This is the link provided by the original poster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lng

The section that struck me as particularly relevant was this one:
"In addition to accidents, terrorism experts are concerned that intentional sabotage could lead to unprecedented releases, resulting in massive fires and other damaging effects. The latter may include detonations (producing large blast waves) and deflagration-to-detonation transition phenomena. As the Department of Energy notes in its December 2004 report (Sandia National Labs, SAND2004-6258), the available testing data on LNG spills are based on releases of very small size in comparison to releases expected from intentional attacks. Despite intense local opposition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a site permit for an LNG terminal in Fall River, Massachusetts in a densely populated harbor area."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:30 PM on August 11, 2006


Metafilter: some sort of uppity delicacy
posted by spaltavian at 7:48 PM on August 11, 2006


Delmoi: Yeah - Liquefied Petroleum Gas - I just kinda automatically translated it and didn't notice till later.
posted by Joeforking at 8:22 PM on August 11, 2006


Wow, I came dangerously close to posting that picture of the naked Vietnamese kid running from the napalm attack... edited a la dong_resin/delmoi. My morals got in the way of that, thank god. That out-offends the burning monk picture by an order of magnitude.
posted by brundlefly at 11:28 PM on August 11, 2006


the naked Vietnamese kid running from the napalm attack

You mean Kim Phuc?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 11:56 PM on August 11, 2006


Holy cow. Thanks for that, AC. Didn't know the background on that. Glad to see she's OK.
posted by brundlefly at 2:04 AM on August 12, 2006


Holy buckets, I didn't even know this was here. I doubt anyone's still reading, but for posterity's sake, I think it's really sweet that you posted this, frogan. I did appreciate the reality check regarding how the photo might be received, but I was a little taken aback by the vehemence of it - hence the slightly passive-aggressive aside about my dad being old and half-blind and depressed, you jerks!.

On the other hand, I've been reading this site for a long time and expect bluntness. I'd rather get brutal honesty here than total backlash from the very people my dad's trying to convert. I think a problem with much activism is loss of perspective - promoting your issues with the urgency you see them rather than taking into account the way the average person sees them (a la PETA). IRFH explained my dad's perspective perfectly. To my dad, the two situations (Tank Man vs. Chinese Government and Ventura County citizens vs. LNG) are totally analogous. To most other people, not only are they not analogous, but to even presume to make the analogy is tacky and tasteless.

So that explains my dad's point of view. I have no excuse except my internet-numbed sense of decency, I guess.

To be honest I'm more appalled that everyone thinks I'm a guy!! Apparently my words don't exude the feminine charm I thought they did. Maybe it's time to try a new brand of mascara.
posted by granted at 1:27 AM on August 14, 2006


Some folks seem to have picked up on the gender, granted—but the visible trend around here is male, and the traditional singular gender-unspecified pronoun in American English is he/him/his, so when the hammer falls it falls thataway. Don't take it as a slight against your femalality.
posted by cortex at 6:36 AM on August 14, 2006


I thought you were hot, granted. Don't worry.

*winks*

*gets slapped by granted*
posted by brundlefly at 12:54 AM on August 15, 2006


*slaps brundlefly for good measure*
posted by raedyn at 8:44 AM on August 15, 2006


Ow!
posted by brundlefly at 2:10 AM on August 16, 2006


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