Memorialize this crap elsewhere October 14, 2006 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Fine, i'll bite - 55526. First of all, I don't think some lame newsfilter post about another idiot soldier dying in a pointless war deserves to be in the blue. Quite apart from that, i DEFINITELY don't think some half-assed tribute, in the form of a PERIOD, is a worthy title for an FPP. Memorialize this crap elsewhere, I say, and stop tying up the front page with your idiot posts.
posted by casconed to MetaFilter-Related at 8:17 PM (285 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Well, I wouldn't call him an idiot, but I agree that this guy deserves an FPP any more then any of the other 2,760 guys killed over there so far, not to mention the 600,000 Iraqis.
posted by delmoi at 8:21 PM on October 14, 2006


Though this may appear a bit vitriolic, my real complaint is not about the content of the post. It's about the utter lack of descriptive content ANYWHERE within the post itself, which basically serves a click-thru to msnbc. It's a lame post, with a lamer title/link/description.
posted by casconed at 8:21 PM on October 14, 2006


And, yes, delmoi - you are right. The solider is no idiot. I apologize for tossing that in.
posted by casconed at 8:21 PM on October 14, 2006


casconed posted "another idiot soldier dying in a pointless war"

That "idiot soldier" died defending your country, leaving behind grieving family and friends.

He willingly made the ultimate Iraq so you could have a comfortable time in grad school. When did you put on the uniform, when did you defend this country?

Agree with the war or not (and I surely don't), it's reprehensible for you from the safety of your keyboard to call our fallen "idiots". It's heartless and cruel to their families, and it only reflects your immaturity and how much you've escaped having to make any hard moral choices in your own life.

So go to hell, kid. Come back when you can show compassion and respect to those who put their lives on the line for you and your country.
posted by orthogonality at 8:24 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Er, ultimate sacrifice. I was too pissed to proofread, sorry.
posted by orthogonality at 8:25 PM on October 14, 2006


As a convenience to our MeFi wankers, here's the link you want: MetaTalk. I just know some useless twat will want to post a complaint.

A rather twatish statement in and of itself.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:26 PM on October 14, 2006


I agree with the "not a good post" part. Not with your other comments. Also, fff's pre-emptive 'wankers and twats' strike was uncalled-for.
posted by iconomy at 8:27 PM on October 14, 2006


and hats off to casconed for falling into fff's crafty trap! It's MeFites like you that make it all worthwhile.

Love and kisses,

-- Todd Lokken
posted by mwhybark at 8:27 PM on October 14, 2006


metafilter: willingly making the ultimate Iraq
posted by quonsar at 8:29 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yes, one-period posts should be disallowed.

That "idiot soldier" died defending your country, leaving behind grieving family and friends.

This is very sad, but how was he defending the US, exactly?
posted by bshort at 8:30 PM on October 14, 2006


That "idiot soldier" died defending your country

I don't want to start a big thing here, but I'm pretty sure no one who died in Iraq (soldier, citizen, contractor, journalist, etc) died defending the U.S.
posted by jonson at 8:31 PM on October 14, 2006


dammit, bshort! Damn you all to hell!!!
posted by jonson at 8:31 PM on October 14, 2006


"That "idiot soldier" died defending your country, leaving behind grieving family and friends."

maybe next time he'll think about that before he jumps on a grenade.
posted by casconed at 8:32 PM on October 14, 2006


For someone who doesn't support the war, ortho, it's strange that you think that the occupation of Iraq increased the chances of someone having a good time in grad school.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:34 PM on October 14, 2006


I only regret that fff didn't link to a .mov file.
posted by crunchland at 8:34 PM on October 14, 2006


That "idiot soldier" died defending your country, leaving behind grieving family and friends.

meanwhile, lyndie england threw herself on a live Graner and look what you said about her...
posted by quonsar at 8:36 PM on October 14, 2006 [3 favorites]


casconed, you are being a turd. Stop posting drunk. Or at least learn what "idiot" means.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:40 PM on October 14, 2006


Saucy Intruder writes "For someone who doesn't support the war, ortho, it's strange that you think that the occupation of Iraq increased the chances of someone having a good time in grad school."


The all-volunteer army is why we don't have a draft. That makes grad school quite a bit more comfortable than it was in, say, 1968.

It's immaterial whether the Iraq war is or is not protecting the US; Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor joined up and swore to follow the orders of his superior officers, because he loved his country. That the war is a mistake and Petty Office Monsoor's Commander-in-Chief a fool does not and should not detract from Monsoor's willingness to serve his country and to sacrifice his life for his fellow soldiers.
posted by orthogonality at 8:42 PM on October 14, 2006


Dear Metafilter,
I don't think this will end well. Will you hold me, until I stop shaking? Please?!?
Love,
blue_beetle
posted by blue_beetle at 8:42 PM on October 14, 2006


I agree that it was a crap post (and I flagged it accordingly), but the idiot was fff, not the soldier who was either playing hero (successfully), or just doing his job.

In a way , I kind of envy Petty Officer Monsoor (and Corporal Dunham). Both instantly decided to jump on a live grenade in order to save their fellow soldiers. I can't think of anyone I've ever worked with that I would do the same thing for. They must have deeply believed in their work and their fellow soldiers. I'm happy to be alive, but it must be amazing to work with people that you are willing to die for.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:48 PM on October 14, 2006



posted by Rhomboid at 8:49 PM on October 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


yah, yah - i concede. i'm an ass for calling the soldier an idiot. i got too caught up in my own pissiness and misdirected my vitriol toward a nameless dude who had the misfortune to end up in Iraq. i do apologize, seriously, i meant no disrespect that soldier or any of the others who have died or will die in this mess.

but the post still sucks.
posted by casconed at 8:57 PM on October 14, 2006


oh, just stop it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:09 PM on October 14, 2006


casconed writes "i do apologize, seriously, i meant no disrespect that soldier or any of the others who have died or will die in this mess."

That shows maturity. Thank you.
posted by orthogonality at 9:09 PM on October 14, 2006


It's immaterial whether the Iraq war is or is not protecting the US

Well then. I apologize for bringing it up in the first place.
posted by jonson at 9:12 PM on October 14, 2006



posted by loquacious at 9:13 PM on October 14, 2006 [3 favorites]


Uh, he had a name.

Poor post? Yes.
Putting a link to MeTa in said post? Bad idea.
But, like a lot of memorial threads, other members have posted some interesting supplementary links.

And thank you, quonsar.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:13 PM on October 14, 2006


Shoot, "Poorly structured post?", rather.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:15 PM on October 14, 2006


He was protecting the US: from higher gas prices, from having to limit its own interests in favor of international agreements, from the loss of revenue as the world's largest arms seller, from having to solve its internal problems internally, etc.
posted by signal at 9:25 PM on October 14, 2006


I think we should just stipulate that this was the definitive one-link, one-character, one-life NewsFilter post and as such, can and should never be duplicated. Like Michael Monsoor throwing himself on a grenade, it's something that can only be done once, and anyone attempting the same stunt again will deserve every form of punishment and torture currently legal in the U.S. and MetaFilter.

In other words, good post, fff, but don't anybody ever try this again.
posted by wendell at 9:30 PM on October 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


That whole thing about "hating the war but not the soldiers" is such a sham.
posted by smackfu at 9:37 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't anybody ever try this again...or what? You'll waste our time and yours complaining again?

If you don't like it, don't read it. If your time is too important to be spent reading posts that you don't consider up to your standards, then certainly your time must also be too important to be spent reading posts about how bad posts are! Extend us the same courtesy.
posted by Darth Fedor at 9:41 PM on October 14, 2006


That "idiot soldier" died defending your country

How so?
posted by delmoi at 9:45 PM on October 14, 2006


Oh sorry, I should have read the whole thread before I posted I see the answer is:

It's immaterial whether the Iraq war is or is not protecting the US; Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor joined up and swore to follow the orders of his superior officers, because he loved his country.

In other words, he was defending the country because it doesn't matter if he was defending the country or not. That makes sense. Also Lyndee England is "Human Trash". Very consistent.
posted by delmoi at 9:50 PM on October 14, 2006


What wanking.
posted by smackfu at 9:52 PM on October 14, 2006


orthogonality - You should've stopped when you were ahead.
posted by bshort at 9:55 PM on October 14, 2006


"Doesn't everybody have something better to do on a saturday night," typed jefbla on Metatalk realizing it was almost midnight and he was out of alcohol.
posted by jefbla at 9:57 PM on October 14, 2006


I dispise posts lacking any content to explain their nature.

This post at least has a good claim to artistic license.

The MeTa link w/snark was tottally at odds with the art of the post. Even disrespectful, given the nature of the post.

And Jonson, get your head out of your ass. Dying to save your fellow soldiers, in combat, is to die to protect the United States. Comments like yours only drive those who do understand towards the right.
posted by Goofyy at 10:02 PM on October 14, 2006


*slips jefbla a hipflask of everclear*
posted by loquacious at 10:06 PM on October 14, 2006


I dive on this post to stop it from pissing you off.

Are you hapy now?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:14 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Dying to save your fellow soldiers, in combat, is to die to protect the United States.

No. It's dying to protect your fellow soldiers. It's very brave, and very heroic, but it's not the same thing as dying to defend the US.

This is not a defensive war we're in right now.
posted by bshort at 10:19 PM on October 14, 2006


bshort: your notions on this matter are a fine example of the rot which has brought America to the point where we have a dishonorable theif in the whitehouse and half the country doesn't seem to give a damn.
posted by Goofyy at 10:24 PM on October 14, 2006


You know those vile lunatics who attend military funerals carrying signs that say "God hate fags" and "Thank God for IEDs"?

I think it's safe to say we all have nothing but contempt for them for intruding their politics into what should be a solemn and respectful situation. There are other places and other times for that kind of political expression; it doesn't belong at a funeral.

How is it any different for y'all to intrude your politics into a thread which memorializes the heroic death of an American sailor in Iraq? How are you better than the members of the Westboro Baptist Church? Right at this particular instant I'm having a very hard time telling the difference.

Signal, do you plan to show up at his funeral with a sign saying, "He died protecting the US from higher gas prices"? No?

Have you considered how it would make his family feel if they should happen to stumble upon this discussion of the death of their son, and see some of the things that are being said here about him?

Does anyone on the sophisticated, tolerant, compassionate left in this country understand the word "decorum" any more?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:30 PM on October 14, 2006


"Does anyone on the sophisticated, tolerant, compassionate left in this country understand the word "decorum" any more?"
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:30 PM AEST on October 15

We do, but sadly we stopped giving a shit around the same time that the right stopped understanding what the definitions to words such as 'truth', 'facts' and 'reality' were*.

*circa 2000, if not earlier.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:40 PM on October 14, 2006


How is it any different for y'all to intrude your politics into a thread which memorializes the heroic death of an American sailor in Iraq?

Because this isn't a funeral this is a weblog.

FFF put up this craptacular post but somehow we're supposed to not comment on it because it's about a solider? What else should we refrain from sharing our opinions on, O great one?
posted by bshort at 10:40 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Steven C. Den Beste writes 'Have you considered how it would make his family feel if they should happen to stumble upon this discussion of the death of their son, and see some of the things that are being said here about him?'

I haven't said anything about him, except what I believe the war he was killed by is about. And I think their son's avoidable, pointless death is a much, much harsher reality for them to face than my comments.

What's this "left" your blabbering about?
posted by signal at 10:44 PM on October 14, 2006


There are other threads in which you can vent about your political beliefs regarding the Bush administration and the war.

It doesn't belong in that one, where his family may find it and read it. What you're doing is no different than pissing on his tombstone.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:46 PM on October 14, 2006


It doesn't belong in that one...

The real problem is that the post doesn't belong on MetaFilter.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:47 PM on October 14, 2006


Because this isn't a funeral this is a weblog.

The map is not the territory.

One supposedly hated "freedom" we're fighting to "protect" is the freedom of speech, no?

What you're doing is no different than pissing on his tombstone.

THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY.

Oh, fuck it. *goes off to soak head in noisy stuff from #55528*
posted by loquacious at 10:48 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


It doesn't belong in that one, where his family may find it and read it.

People have opinions. They have every right to share those opinions. You're trying to shout people down because you don't like what they're saying.

Tough shit. Get some perspective and a clue, while you're at it.
posted by bshort at 10:49 PM on October 14, 2006


...it doesn't belong at a funeral.

How is it any different for y'all to intrude your politics into a thread which memorializes the heroic death of an American sailor in Iraq?


I don't know, maybe because his family didn't rent out metafilter for the day? I think people might be a little annoyed if someone decided to hold a funeral in the middle of your office space one random day. Why should the people doing it expect everyone else to go along and not complain or discuss.

Look, if it was up to me, that guy wouldn't even be there and wouldn't be dead, so why is it my responsibility to deal with the emotional fallout?

Complaining about comments in the resulting MeTa thread is even more ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 10:54 PM on October 14, 2006


*falls on Metatalk shit grenade*
posted by Falconetti at 10:56 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Would it be "no different than pissing on his tombstone" to point out that The Tree of Life is Self-Pruning?
posted by signal at 11:00 PM on October 14, 2006


People have opinions. They have every right to share those opinions. You're trying to shout people down because you don't like what they're saying.

Tough shit. Get some perspective and a clue, while you're at it.


That is exactly what the members of the Westboro Baptist Church say when people complain about their presence at funerals.

How are you any different than they are?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:03 PM on October 14, 2006


That is exactly what the members of the Westboro Baptist Church say when people complain about their presence at funerals.

No it's not.
posted by delmoi at 11:05 PM on October 14, 2006


That is exactly what the members of the Westboro Baptist Church say when people complain about their presence at funerals.

Yes, they're pointing out, like I am, that as an American, I enjoy Constitutionally-protected free speech.

The First Amendment is a harsh mistress, ain't it?
posted by bshort at 11:06 PM on October 14, 2006


That "idiot soldier" died defending your country Halliburton's quarterly profit, leaving behind grieving family and friends.

There. Fixed that for ya.
posted by brain cloud at 11:06 PM on October 14, 2006


but more seriously, there is a difference between a funeral which is a special event for the family and friends of the dead, and a thread. You can't just declare "funeral!" and be free of criticism, just because a thread is about a dead person.

I'm struck by the insistence by people on the right that expressing opinions they disagree with is somehow improper. Hearing it makes them uncomfortable, and because anything that makes them feel uncomfortable must, by definition be wrong.

Couldn't possibly be the realization that they're wrong about something. Cognitive dissonance and all that.
posted by delmoi at 11:08 PM on October 14, 2006


Again, this was covered before.

Although the '.' period has become a way of responding respectfully to a FPP for which one can simply find no words, to start such a thread in that manner does not lend respect to whatever the link is. Nor is any singular word.

If you're going to post a FPP, please make it descriptive without being overbearing, caustic, vociferous, troublesome, discommodious, exasperating, ostentatious, antagonistic, unpolished, antiquated, spellcheckerless, inflammable, disrespectful to endangered species, overtly commercial, vindictive, pitiful, collegiate, pomegranite, or loudenberry.

And please, for God's sake, use protection.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:09 PM on October 14, 2006 [3 favorites]


Dying to save your fellow soldiers, in combat, is to die to protect the United States

you're funny
posted by jonson at 11:16 PM on October 14, 2006


Signal, do you plan to show up at his funeral with a sign saying, "He died protecting the US from higher gas prices"?

What a complete red herring, Steven. signal didn't even show up in that memorial thread; s/he posted the "gas prices" comment here. Please stop conflating the two as if they're the same thing; they're not. Your "HOW DARE YOU??" reaction to comments in this thread is completely inappropriate.
posted by mediareport at 11:33 PM on October 14, 2006


In the MeFi culture, '.' does lend respect to this particular link subject. It was also artistic. And it was in part as a response to the idiocy of one-word FPPs. And it was, of course, a bit of a prank as well.

Also, I was really struck by the selflessness of the soldier and wanted us to have a chance to read his story and memorialize his honour.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:36 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


It was also artistic.

No, it was stupid. And really, you started off a crap post by begging someone to call it out here. Lose-lose for everyone.
posted by bardic at 12:01 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


I move to fork this MeTa into two branches, 1A for discussion of war, suicide/sacrifice, and their respective goodbadness, and 2A for discussion of posting FPPs which consist of a single character without explanation, and its goodbadness.

I think we can be on track to bring both forks up to version 1.1 alpha, and we may consider which to deprecate once we've completed half of the version 1.5 milestones.
posted by Bugbread at 12:53 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk: I move to fork.
posted by loquacious at 12:57 AM on October 15, 2006


Thank you Falconetti, you saved my life.
posted by Joeforking at 1:26 AM on October 15, 2006


casconed, stop being an ass. Apologize again to Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor who's boots you are not worthy to lick, and to fff for criticizing a fine and creative post.
posted by caddis at 1:39 AM on October 15, 2006


And it was, of course, a bit of a prank as well.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:36 AM EST on October 15

This has been an hilarious prank.
posted by Ohdemah at 2:25 AM on October 15, 2006


.

See, one can use the wonders of HTML to augment a dot. And anyway, 'twas a pretty shitty post, not that it matters now.
posted by gsb at 3:47 AM on October 15, 2006


I'm not posting anymore links to 16th century love poetry until some serious action is taken on the part of the administrators.


THAT IS ALL.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:51 AM on October 15, 2006


FEEL THE FORCE OF MY SANCTIONS.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:52 AM on October 15, 2006


I'm not posting anymore links to 16th century love poetry until some serious action is taken on the part of the administrators.

Something about a black day on metafilter and a Black Patch on Lucasta.

except Lovelace was 17th century so it doesn't even work but it's 7 AM on a Sunday and God himself isn't up to stop me making the joke
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 4:03 AM on October 15, 2006


Ye Tale Of Ye Deepe Throate ?

Get with the embargo pst - ya blackleg !

THE POSTERS UNITED - WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED !
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:37 AM on October 15, 2006


That whole thing about "hating the war but not the soldiers" is such a sham.

Well, when I was a soldier in Vietnam, I hated that war, and I wasn't alone. Also, most of my civilian friends hated that war, too, but they were still my friends. I doubt that this war is different for the soldiers serving there - some of them hate it, and some of their friends do, too. So I assume smackfu is not talking about me, or my friends, or the soldiers in Iraq who don't like that war, or their friends.

If he is, I offer him a heartfelt "Go fuck yourself, you pinhead"
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:05 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


it was a bad post with some lame axe-grinding "more inside" text. There are all sorts of ways someone could have made a decent post about Iraq, casualties, obits or anything else in this vein and this was not one of them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:12 AM on October 15, 2006


That the war is a mistake and Petty Office Monsoor's Commander-in-Chief a fool does not and should not detract from Monsoor's willingness to serve his country and to sacrifice his life for his fellow soldiers.

Well said.

And it was, of course, a bit of a prank as well.
Also, I was really struck by the selflessness of the soldier and wanted us to have a chance to read his story and memorialize his honour.


And you don't see that those two things don't go together? I always knew you were a cranky bastard (not a complaint—I like cranky bastards), but I thought you were smarter than that. If you were making a post to honer the death of someone you genuinely cared about, would you do it in the form of a "prank"?
posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM on October 15, 2006


It was a good deed but a crap post, and structuring it that way seems designed as a passive-aggressive way to bring dishonour and discord into this man's place of memory.

If every good person who dies in Iraq as a result of this war gets a dot then the front page will have to make room for at least 600,000 dots. That's about .6 of a square metre, or around 6.5 square feet. I just don't have a screen that large. Please refrain. Words are better.
posted by meehawl at 6:35 AM on October 15, 2006


"It doesn't belong in that one, where his family may find it and read it. What you're doing is no different than pissing on his tombstone."

If they do, Matt'll sidebar it and we'll give 'em the ol' "Welcome to MeFi. Sorry 'bout your kid."

But go ahhhhhn, Steven, since I'm sure your hand is over your heart, with a bold flag flapping behind you, as a single tear dribbles down your cheek. How noble, how brave, to defend that selfless soldier with straw men and false analogies. Truly, sir, you're earning your stripes as a fighting keyboarder.
posted by klangklangston at 6:40 AM on October 15, 2006


Metafilter": something better to do on a saturday night
posted by Surfurrus at 6:47 AM on October 15, 2006


I like the ironic twist that these callouts take- drawing attention to the debatably weak FPP, and people like me who wouldn't have read it now check it out. Thanks!
posted by starman at 6:48 AM on October 15, 2006


What you're doing is no different than pissing on his tombstone.

or spurting on his blue dress.
posted by quonsar at 7:55 AM on October 15, 2006


It was a lamely-formatted lame-ass post, nobody forced Monsoor to join the damn Navy in the first place (he was not a soldier), the U.S. is still wrong to conquer and rip off other countries, and America should find another way to help people attend grad school.

And no, I won't be "commemorating the sacrifice" of anybody who joined the U.S. military since Bush & Co. started beating their war drums: if you don't want to get killed not enlisting would help.
posted by davy at 8:11 AM on October 15, 2006 [2 favorites]


So you'll actually feel something for the people who were in the military before 9/11? How about after-9/11-but-before-it-was-obvious-we-were-going-to-invade-Iraq? You going to grant a little window for those people?
posted by Cyrano at 8:34 AM on October 15, 2006


Man, Casconed threw himself on a live grenade for the good of the community. His reputation will never recover from this post, but Metafilter is a better place for his sacrifice.

.
posted by LarryC at 8:49 AM on October 15, 2006


To those that call it a lame post, I shall have to assume you feel every obit post is lame. Which is fair enough, they probably are.

To those that think memorializing this guy by using a dot for the FPP is disrespectful: don't be stupid. Please.

To those that think the pranking part is disrespectful: get over it. It would not have mattered a great deal how I presented the FPP, some whining asswipe would have had a beef. Yanking their chains with a direct link to MeTa was at least supposed to get their spew into the grey, instead of contanimating the blue.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Cyrano: no, no and no. I'm against using the taxpayers' money to enable testosterone-driven acts of suicide and murder; wrap 'em in the flag and they're still stupid psychos. Whether there's a war on at any given time or not is immaterial -- they're joining the Armed Forces not the Boy Scouts. If you don't want to get run over don't play in traffic.
posted by davy at 9:03 AM on October 15, 2006


Stephen C. Den Beste: Yes, exactly. We should definitely think about the feelings of the kid's parents.

The Glorious Right (the Right is always right!) in this country demonstrated exactly how to show respect with the sophistication and warmth with which they handled Cindy Sheehan. Oh -- and at the risk of earning the ire of 3/4 of MeFi for invoking the world's largest attention whore -- don't forget the respect with which Ann Coulter shows respect for widows. Truly, a model to us inconsiderate Lefties.
posted by JMOZ at 9:09 AM on October 15, 2006 [2 favorites]


To those that think the pranking part is disrespectful: get over it.

It may or may not be disrespectful, but it sure was dumb.

It would not have mattered a great deal how I presented the FPP, some whining asswipe would have had a beef.

Well, you sure didn't take the chance to find out, did you? "I know the guys in this bar are going to hate me anyway, so I'll go in wearing a ballet tutu and screech show tunes at the top of my voice!" [Note: hypothetical bar is not gay bar.]
posted by languagehat at 9:12 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


It would not have mattered a great deal how I presented the FPP, some whining asswipe would have had a beef.

Maybe some, but I doubt it would have attached nearly as much attention if you'd just used a straightforward format.
posted by delmoi at 9:21 AM on October 15, 2006


I understand the most important use of the word decorum.

Dulce et decorum est pro patra mori.

Does Stephen den Beste?
posted by Justinian at 9:30 AM on October 15, 2006


delmoi writes 'doubt it would have attached nearly as much attention if you'd just used a straightforward format.'

You are so missing the attention-whoring-point, here, delmoi.
posted by signal at 9:31 AM on October 15, 2006


The "." FPP is a double.
posted by Mitheral at 9:46 AM on October 15, 2006


Note: hypothetical bar is not gay bar.

not that there's anything wrong with that
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:46 AM on October 15, 2006


Man, Casconed threw himself on a live grenade for the good of the community. His reputation will never recover from this post, but Metafilter is a better place for his sacrifice.

Wake up man! Casconed didn't die for Metafilter. He died for snark!
posted by Stauf at 9:51 AM on October 15, 2006


Anybody who doesn't understand that noting the unusually heroic and selfless combat death of a Navy Seal will be met with contempt and mockery here ...

While the death of a countercultural icon (like, say, Hunter Thompson) will be met with a parade of dots and paroxysms of bereaved eloquence by hundreds of MeFites...

... doesn't belong on Metafilter.

I think five fresh fish should be permanently banned for being so out of step with the rest of us. Seriously, FFF, get with the program.
posted by jayder at 9:58 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Anybody who doesn't understand that noting the unusually heroic and selfless combat death of a Navy Seal will be met with contempt and mockery here ...

While the death of a countercultural icon (like, say, Hunter Thompson) ...


Sorrow at the passing of both these men is not somehow diametrically opposed, despite what somne would have you believe.
posted by jonmc at 10:02 AM on October 15, 2006


fff, I call bullshit on your three points.

1. There have been great obit posts, and it's nonsense to say that there would not have been better ways to memorialize this guy, if that's what you were actually trying to do. Give it a bit of effort if you really give a shit about the deceased.

2. Using the dot as the complete and total content of a front page post is a lot different than including it as a comment, has been done before, and is guaranteed to get a reaction.

3. And yes, it totally matters how you present a post. Having a more inside comment that basically says "and fuck you if you don't like it" takes an otherwise super-meh post and turns it into an axe-grinder.

It was a Super Chip-on-shoulder post and you've been around long enough to know that this is exactly how it would all go. Calling it a prank yourself seems to indicate that while you wanted people to take you seriously, you didn't seem to be doind them the same courtesy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:02 AM on October 15, 2006 [3 favorites]


Anybody who doesn't understand that noting the unusually heroic and selfless combat death of a Navy Seal will be met with contempt and mockery here ...


You're so off on this, I dont know where to begin. I have a lot of respect for this man as I do and have always had for men and women in the military. And yet I consider myself far on the Left. I know that must skew your black and white world-view.

That said, I object to the "pranking" part. That the post and this Metatalk thread are less about the soldier than about FFF.

And yet people in here complaining about this are somehow painted as being disrespectful. As if we should respect any memorial even if FFF had decided to pull his pants down and moon metafilter but, you know, as a memorial.

Thats essentially what he did. If you cant understand that, my friend, you havent been on metafilter long enough. Certainly not long enough to tell me and many people in this thread whether we belong here.
posted by vacapinta at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Superlative point, jayder.

Languagehat, you know just as well as I do that it was inevitable that someone would have themselves a good cry about not only the format of the post, but that it was an Iraqi soldier's obit. It's just the reality of MeFi these days.

Pretty lame deletion there, Jess, especially as it appears the reason you deleted it is that four hours later I've used the word "prank" to describe it in this thread. Horse, barn, door, m'lass. A better reason for deleting it would be that the local asshats who'll never be in a war have once again turned a thread into an argument about how they'd behave in a war.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:14 AM on October 15, 2006


1. There have been great obit posts, and it's nonsense to say that there would not have been better ways to memorialize this guy, if that's what you were actually trying to do. Give it a bit of effort if you really give a shit about the deceased.

In all honesty, Jess, fuck you. By far the biggest reason I used the dot is that I felt words were inadequate. Go apeshit all you want on my first post in the thread, but the FPP itself was perfectly sincere.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:18 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish you are now an asshat. Crap link (no, not the guy's heroic act), crap post (does it occur to you that not only members/insiders read the front page and have a clue what a fullstop might mean?) and disingenuous tenacity in the washup -- unless of course you're getting worked up to suicide by handectomy?
posted by peacay at 10:23 AM on October 15, 2006


five fresh fish : "Languagehat, you know just as well as I do that it was inevitable that someone would have themselves a good cry about not only the format of the post, but that it was an Iraqi soldier's obit. It's just the reality of MeFi these days."

Well, I know it too, but the question is how many people would have how big a cry about the format of the post. I agree that it would happen no matter what, but I certainly doubt there would be as much gnashing of teeth as there is now if you hadn't intentionally baited folks as well.

five fresh fish : "A better reason for deleting it would be that the local asshats who'll never be in a war have once again turned a thread into an argument about how they'd behave in a war."

A few people were saying "I wouldn't have jumped, I would have tossed the grenade out the window", but for the most part, weren't the arguments by people who'll never be in a war arguing about how they wouldn't be in a war in the first place? (That's a non-rhetorical question, because I've read this whole grey thread, but stopped reading the blue thread pretty early on).

five fresh fish : "By far the biggest reason I used the dot is that I felt words were inadequate."

Then who wrote this:
"This is perhaps one of the most heroic things I've ever read. Short story short: Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor throws himself over a grenade to protect his buddies, when he could just as easily have jumped out the door (saving himself but sacrificing them).

Michael A. Monsoor, and others who have acted selflessly in the war, I am humbled, thankful, and hold you in highest honour."
posted by Bugbread at 10:26 AM on October 15, 2006


To those that think the pranking part is disrespectful: get over it.

Bullshit.

It's disrespectful to the subject of the post, and to anyone who made a sincere comment in response to it.
What a shitty, manipulative prankway to make some petty asshole point.
I'm embarrassed to have commented in it, and I'm glad it's deleted.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:27 AM on October 15, 2006


Wait, I take that last part back. You didn't say "there are no words", but "words are inadequate", so my question was wrong. Sorry.
posted by Bugbread at 10:27 AM on October 15, 2006


What's that smell? Is someone firing up a flameout?
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 10:27 AM on October 15, 2006


people here take themselves so seriously.

except for fishpants, that is.

five fresh fish you are now an asshat.

sweet, level up dude!
posted by dflemingdotorg at 10:27 AM on October 15, 2006


Steven C. Den Beste writes 'Have you considered how it would make his family feel if they should happen to stumble upon this discussion of the death of their son, and see some of the things that are being said here about him?'

I hate to interupt this potential flame-out, but perhaps The Department of Misinformation should have thought about how the family of this guy feels after having read the follow-ups to the Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch stories.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop, I would imagine.
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:37 AM on October 15, 2006


dear metafilter

please don't come to my funeral

thanks, pt
posted by pyramid termite at 10:55 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


NEWS: SOLDIERS DIE IN WAR.

In other great posts coming soon, Pope Catholic, bears shit in woods, etc.
posted by reklaw at 10:56 AM on October 15, 2006


five fresh fish you are now an asshat.

I have to agree. Telling jessamyn, who works unbelievably hard for the good of this site, "fuck you" because she disagrees with you about your stupid post is really low. I hope you get some fresh air and come back a better man, or at least less of an asshat.
posted by languagehat at 10:58 AM on October 15, 2006


Fffish flame out? Hardly.

the question is how many people would have how big a cry about the format of the post

Really? If size matters, then I guess you're right.

suicide by handectomy

If this is a euphemism for "handjob," I might have to agree with you. At this point is is all wankery, that's fersure. Just remember, it's all fun and games until someone gets it in the eye.

That's a non-rhetorical question

In all honesty, I didn't read the posts by the "oooh, I'd have been a lot smarter" folks very closely. After one or two of them it becomes pretty obvious the participants are engaged in handectomies.

[whatever]

I really don't give a flying fuck that someone might not like the format of the FPP. The guy is a hero in my books and deserved a memorializing post that was nearly context-free: what he did was beyond the machinations of your Presidency, the horrors that are being perpetrated in Iraq, and the tender feelings of a bunch of MeFi prats. The FPP was exactly perfect.

I invite everyone who wishes to have a hissy fit to just go full out on me for including the MeTa link. I am perfectly comfortable with that. Have fun with it: MeFi could use a fun injection these days.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:58 AM on October 15, 2006


jessamyn, who works unbelievably hard for the good of this site

As far as I've noticed, the site was doing a lot better before jessamyn came along and started hypermoderating everything.
posted by reklaw at 11:06 AM on October 15, 2006


five fresh fish : "Really? If size matters, then I guess you're right."

Well, in my opinion, yes, it does.

I mean, when you think about it: any site will have dicks (that's not directed at you, I'm talking generalities), and any site will have trolls, and any site will have pedants (that's kinda directed at me), and any site will have idiots. What makes a good site is that it has few of them, or at least few comments by them. What makes a bad site is that it has a lot of them, or at least a lot of comments by them. If you do something that you know will increase the number of comments that you dislike, then you're making the site worse for yourself. If you're an absolutist, then size won't matter, but if you're an absolutist, then all sites probably suck and the internet is best avoided.

five fresh fish : "If this is a euphemism for 'handjob,' I might have to agree with you."

I think it's in reference to a great old flameout where someone said they'd cut off their own hand. I don't remember the details to well, but I suspect it was the Son of Minya flameout. So the "working yourself up to suicide by handectomy" means "working yourself into a spectacular flameout".

five fresh fish : "The FPP was exactly perfect."

I suspect (and this is just a suspicion, because there's no way to test) that there might have been a phrasing which, although still resulting in wailing and gnashing of teeth, would have resulted in less, which would be perfecter than the actual post, which, I think, by definition means that the FPP as-is would not be exactly perfect.
posted by Bugbread at 11:07 AM on October 15, 2006


reklaw : "As far as I've noticed, the site was doing a lot better before jessamyn came along and started hypermoderating everything."

I feel the opposite. There have been more complaints about moderation, but better removal of trolling comments and the like, exceeding the moderation complaints.

That is, Jessamyn's moderation has been like a medicine that tastes bad (that is, results in complaints in the grey) but makes you feel less sick (that is, removes a lot of shit in the green and occassionally blue). Sure, before you had the medicine, you didn't have an icky taste in your mouth, but you did have a throbbing headache, nausea, and chills.
posted by Bugbread at 11:10 AM on October 15, 2006


The guy is a hero in my books and deserved more than to be used as a grinding stone for your axe.

Also: Reklaw, maybe it's time to change that skipping record. "Jessamyn's Ruining MetaFilter" was a shitty song the first time you played it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:14 AM on October 15, 2006


Telling jessamyn, who works unbelievably hard for the good of this site, "fuck you" because she disagrees with you about your stupid post is really low.

No, I'm telling her "fuck you" because she impugns my motive for the FPP. The MSNBC article is, in its first half, a poignant and worthy bit of story: this guy's selfless actions are more than just "best of the web." It's the best of being human: the ability to make sacrifice for the good of others. It was worth sharing.

If she'd stuck to calling me a shithead for including the MeTa link, I'd roll with it.

The only thing that should have been in that thread were dots. All the rest of the bullshit should have been here in the grey.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:15 AM on October 15, 2006


Oddly enough, saying basically that "Jessamyn is like that icky taste in your mouth after you take some foul-tasting medicine," is actually a compliment here.

It's sorta sweet in a way. (The compliment, that is; not that icky taste. That's sweet in a cloying sorta way.)
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:19 AM on October 15, 2006


The only thing that should have been in that thread were dots. All the rest of the bullshit should have been here in the grey.
posted by five fresh fish


Thanks for clarifying what we should and should not comment in a thread.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:20 AM on October 15, 2006


Also: Reklaw, maybe it's time to change that skipping record. "Jessamyn's Ruining MetaFilter" was a shitty song the first time you played it.

?

Point me to one place where I've ever said that before. Go on, I'll wait.
posted by reklaw at 11:23 AM on October 15, 2006


I’m done fighting the dots. You won. Let’s all communicate only in dots. Post dots, reply in dots. They seem to capture all the information we need.
posted by found missing at 11:26 AM on October 15, 2006


I am with FFF on this. I think his motives were pure on posting this and the conjecture to the contrary is insulting. I can understand the anger. As for pranks, I don't really see it as prank so much as creative expression. You can disagree, fine. However, the level of malice toward FFF on this stinks. However, next time I recommend leaving the axe grinding until the little "twat" comes along.

The real shame remains with those who impugned Monsoor's character. If anyone gives MeFi a bad name it's these punks.
posted by caddis at 11:33 AM on October 15, 2006


five fresh fish : "The only thing that should have been in that thread were dots. All the rest of the bullshit should have been here in the grey."

That's not the way the grey/blue split is supposed to work.

Criticisms of the link (or, I guess, linker) should go in the grey. So if someone said "This is a weak-ass post", that belongs in the grey. If someone said "This is single link newsfilter", that belongs in the grey. If someone said "A single dot is not good enough for the front page", that belongs in the grey.

But if someone had a problem with the guy actually killing himself, or the war, or what-have-you, that is, if they were disagreeing with something in the link, not about the post, then it belongs in the blue. The grey is for Meta stuff - discussion about the post, as opposed to discussion about the stuff linked to in the post.

So about half the bullshit should have been in the grey, and about half should have been in the blue. There's no rule that you have to agree with what's linked to in a post or shut up. The rule is that if your disagreement is with the post itself, then you have to shut up or take it to the grey.

leftcoastbob : "Oddly enough, saying basically that 'Jessamyn is like that icky taste in your mouth after you take some foul-tasting medicine,' is actually a compliment here. "

I struggled with the phrasing there. I wanted to make it clear that what was the icky taste in the mouth wasn't Jess's moderation, but the disagreements that resulted from it. So far I've only disagreed with one of Jess's moderations (to my knowledge), so for me, at least, the moderation itself isn't an icky taste.

found missing : "Let’s all communicate only in dots. Post dots, reply in dots. They seem to capture all the information we need."

Nono, not just dots, dots and dashes.

.. - .----. ... .- .-.. .-.. .- -... --- ..- - - .... . -- --- .-. ... . -.-. --- -.. . .-.-.-
posted by Bugbread at 11:34 AM on October 15, 2006


The only thing that should have been in that thread were dots.

Ah.. I'm starting to get it now. It was supposed to be a thread "." only filled with more "."

Now that would have meta. Too bad we're not all on your same page.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 11:34 AM on October 15, 2006


"To those that think the pranking part is disrespectful: get over it. It would not have mattered a great deal how I presented the FPP, some whining asswipe would have had a beef. Yanking their chains with a direct link to MeTa was at least supposed to get their spew into the grey, instead of contanimating the blue."

Aww, bullshit. You're going with a pre-emptive doctrine here? Just as retarded as when Bush promotes it.

Live up to your fucking post, FFF— It was an axegrind. It was a troll. It was rightly deleted. You are not more important than this community, and this soldier's death was not any more important than the roughly 600,000 other people who have died.

And just because you're feeling all insomnia_lj doesn't mean that you shouldn't shut the fuck up on this one.
posted by klangklangston at 11:40 AM on October 15, 2006


>Also: Reklaw, maybe it's time to change that skipping record. "Jessamyn's Ruining MetaFilter" was a shitty song the first time you played it.

>>Point me to one place where I've ever said that before. Go on, I'll wait.


I'm sorry, I must be thinking of the other reklaw who's started 3 of his 7 MeTas making pointed complaints regarding the rise of overmoderation.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:41 AM on October 15, 2006


Dot dash dot dash don't crash don't crash...
posted by klangklangston at 11:41 AM on October 15, 2006


Oh, here's a specific one if you really want. The comment below it seems to confirm that I'm not just imagining things, too.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:43 AM on October 15, 2006


There have been far too many metatalk comments lately with the words "Fuck you" in them. I thought we were supposedly the place for intelligent discussion on the internet? Time outs for everybody!
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:44 AM on October 15, 2006


..-. .. ...- . / ..-. .-. . ... .... / ..-. .. ... .... / .. ... / .. -. -.. . . -.. / .-- . .- .-. .. -. --. / .... .. ... / .- ... ... / ..-. --- .-. / .- / .... .- - / --- -. / - .... .. ... / --- -. .
posted by found missing at 11:46 AM on October 15, 2006


klangklangston : "You are not more important than this community, and this soldier's death was not any more important than the roughly 600,000 other people who have died. "

I don't think the argument was that his death is more important, just more notable and selfless. I'm not saying that it was a good choice, or that the selflessness was for a good cause, or whathaveyou, but just that a person jumping on a grenade is more selfless than accidentally stepping on a land mine or getting shot by a sniper or whathaveyou.

I'm not saying this as an argument in support of the post/link, but because I don't think fresh five fish was saying that the death was more important, and there are enough issues to discuss about this without using straw men.

And if he did say this death was more important, I apologize, and please disregard this comment.
posted by Bugbread at 11:48 AM on October 15, 2006




Nobody said nothin 'bout no dashes.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 11:52 AM on October 15, 2006


A dash is used henceforth when someone dies after a prolonged illness. Or died while crawling away from an accident.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:55 AM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


shnoz-gobblin : "Nobody said nothin 'bout no dashes."

You totally missed my administrative decision:

bugbread : "Nono, not just dots, dots and dashes."

Next time, make sure to read all corporate memos first thing in the morning.
posted by Bugbread at 11:56 AM on October 15, 2006


As far as I've noticed, the site was doing a lot better before jessamyn came along and started hypermoderating everything

oh, come now! look at it this way: jessamyn throws herself on fpp grenades to save our lives and defend the united states of metafilter. she's actually very sweet. and she frees up mathowie to write paradigm-shattering paeans to the pony express intercontinental railroad telegraph telephone radio television internet. when she's not locked in the garage, that is.
posted by quonsar at 11:56 AM on October 15, 2006


reklaw writes "the site was doing a lot better before jessamyn came along and started hypermoderating everything."

Hyper moderating? Are you reading the same site as everyone else?
posted by Mitheral at 11:57 AM on October 15, 2006


I think it's pretty obvious he's not even reading his own comments.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:59 AM on October 15, 2006


Oh, here's a specific one if you really want.

Well, sure, I've made the point before that Mefi is over-moderated. But that's not what you said. You said I was running around with some kind of vendetta against jessamyn. Not true.
posted by reklaw at 11:59 AM on October 15, 2006


I think his motives were pure on posting this and the conjecture to the contrary is insulting. I can understand the anger. As for pranks, I don't really see it as prank so much as creative expression

I realize this is a long thread, but try to keep up. The poster himself said it was a prank; nobody "conjectured" it. And now he's going all red in the face and hyperventilating and claiming his sad attempt to combine tragedy and comedy in a single dot was "perfect" and we all failed him by not obediently posting nothing but dots. There's fish in there, and they ain't fresh.
posted by languagehat at 12:31 PM on October 15, 2006


The only thing that should have been in that thread were dots.

And there would have been a significantly higher chance of that actually happening if you'd simply put what you wrote in comment #1 as the post and didn't try to make a unique little snowflake post that's not like any of the others, and didn't practically dare half of the readers to crap in your thread by thumbing your nose at them with a preemptive metatalk bullshit link.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:32 PM on October 15, 2006


.... . .-. --- .. -.-. .- .-.. .-.. -.-- / ..-. .- .-.. .-.. ... / --- -. / -- . - .- ..-. .. .-.. - . .-. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / --. .-. . -. .- -.. . / --..-- / / .-. . ... ..- .-.. - .. -. --. / .. -. / -. . .-- / ... ..- -... .--. .- .-. / -- . -- --- .-. .. .- .-.. / ..-. .--. .--. / .- -. -.. / - .... . -. / -. . .-- / ... ..- -... ... ..- -... .--. .- .-. / -.-. .- .-.. .-.. --- ..- - / --..-- / / --- -. .-.. -.-- / - .... .. ... / - .. -- . / .-- .. - .... / -- --- .-. . / .- -. .. -- .- - . -.. / --. .. ..-. ... / .. - / ... / .. -. / - .... . / .-- .. .-.. .-.. / ..--.. /
posted by Kwine at 12:33 PM on October 15, 2006


I was interpreting his "prank" comment to refer to making the totality of the front page comment a ".", not the whole post itself being a prank. That is, his phrasing was a prank, not the post itself.
posted by Bugbread at 12:34 PM on October 15, 2006


There's fish in there, and they ain't fresh.

how long have those fish been in quonsar's pants, anyway?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:35 PM on October 15, 2006


pyramid termite : "how long have those fish been in quonsar's pants, anyway?"

Long enough that, unfortunately, his little meme starts to be starting to take hold. I was hoping everyone would continue to ignore it as we have so successfully until recently.
posted by Bugbread at 12:37 PM on October 15, 2006


Between the post-pregnancy post and the NSFW post, I'm surprised no one here has tried to make a connection between the period post and menstruation today.
posted by DenOfSizer at 12:46 PM on October 15, 2006


I thought about it last night, DenOfSizer, and I also tried to make an ASCII stick figure throwing itself onto a dot, and then I got distracted by a shiny thing and forgot about it entirely.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:03 PM on October 15, 2006


If she'd stuck to calling me a shithead for including the MeTa link

I didn't call anyone a shithead. If mathowie woke up before me on weekends, you could have said "fuck you" to him instead, it's not like there was much of a judgment call on this one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:28 PM on October 15, 2006


I'm against using the taxpayers' money to enable testosterone-driven acts of suicide and murder; wrap 'em in the flag and they're still stupid psychos. Whether there's a war on at any given time or not is immaterial -- they're joining the Armed Forces not the Boy Scouts. If you don't want to get run over don't play in traffic.

Ooh. Can I please buy a ticket for Mr. Davy's Wild Ride where there's ever been a signifigant time in recorded history where there weren't armies? The same people who would defend "A fine and private place" are the same ones you're decrying. They don't get to choose where they go. Nor should they.

and this soldier's death was not any more important than the roughly 600,000 other people who have died.

It was to the people who knew him. And your lack of empathy for this one death really calls into question how much you really care about the 600,000 others. You can't muster some feelings for one person who, in this story, was made to be more than a statistic, but we're supposed to think you really care about the rest of the people who have died?
posted by Cyrano at 1:32 PM on October 15, 2006


I realize this is a long thread, but try to keep up. The poster himself said it was a prank; nobody "conjectured" it. And now he's going all red in the face and hyperventilating and claiming his sad attempt to combine tragedy and comedy in a single dot was "perfect" and we all failed him by not obediently posting nothing but dots. There's fish in there, and they ain't fresh.

Prank or creative expression or knowing full-well that some little turds would have trouble dealing with an elegant and simple sign of respect for a man who did the right thing in a war filled with wrong things.

And what's with this bit about red and hyperventilating? For a guy who tries to pose as somehow more right and rational, you sure do love your hyperbole and unfounded conjecture.

I must assume you are not implying my intention was to make a tragic or comedic FPP. At absolutely no point have I felt that Monsoor's actions were tragic or comedic, nor that my FPP expressed same.

Why are you suddenly engaging in low-brow argumentative distortions and falsehoods instead of focusing on the content and form of the FPP under discussion? Maybe it's you who needs to get some fresh air.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:37 PM on October 15, 2006


Cyrano's last comment reminds me of an old joke:

A: If I ever take over the world, I'm going to kill all the Jews and one really cute puppy.

B: Aww, why kill a puppy?

A: See? Told ya' no one cares about the Jews.
posted by JMOZ at 1:37 PM on October 15, 2006


Oh, and from a pragmatic point of view- what would MeFi look like if everyone posted a thread with a "." for the title every time they were speechless? It's one thing to include it as a comment within a thread and another to be the thread itself.
posted by JMOZ at 1:38 PM on October 15, 2006


I didn't call anyone a shithead.

No. Instead of a simple and direct insult, you engaged in a bit of character assassination with this tasty bit of slagging: better ways to memorialize this guy, if that's what you were actually trying to do. Give it a bit of effort if you really give a shit about the deceased.

If mathowie had awoke before you, I rather doubt he'd have posted a crap response like that.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:43 PM on October 15, 2006


five fresh fish: After the shitstorm that this thread has become, is your skin really that thin that you're going to get all sore and pouty because of Jessamyn's implied insult?

When I was young, my family had a kitten that would swat at our other cat. Our older cat was very patient, but eventually, he'd get fed up and swat pack. The evil little kitten would cry to us as though he were blameless. Do you mind if I call you Pepe from now on?
posted by JMOZ at 1:46 PM on October 15, 2006


pack -> back
posted by JMOZ at 1:46 PM on October 15, 2006


I'm against knee-jerk jingoism and mawkish sentimentality over military deaths as much as the next left-wing, snarky MeFite, but it seems like a pretty big judgment call on jessamyn's part to delete the post. I thought the post was fine, and reading sinister motives into FFF's phrasing of the post is an all-too-common violation of the principle of charity.

(That having been said, I don't know if she's paid or volunteer, but I damned sure wouldn't want to have jessamyn's job.)
posted by jayder at 1:56 PM on October 15, 2006


jayder : "reading sinister motives into FFF's phrasing of the post is an all-too-common violation of the principle of charity."

I don't think it's so much that she read into it that it was a prank, but that FFF said himself that it was a prank.
posted by Bugbread at 2:02 PM on October 15, 2006


Whether or not a period as a post is appropriate, and whether or not this guy's particular death was heroic, the post was just awful material for MeFi. I can't believe you're spending this much time and energy arguing otherwise, fff.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:04 PM on October 15, 2006


Yeah, fff reaps what he sows. Here, fff, this is for your late lamented thread:

.
posted by languagehat at 2:05 PM on October 15, 2006


lh, it all depends upon the meaning of the word prank, doesn't it?
posted by caddis at 2:08 PM on October 15, 2006


;
posted by signal at 2:09 PM on October 15, 2006


I was in a band a long time ago. The lead singer was kind of a dick sometimes, and got on the rest of the band's nerves. But the guy owned the PA system, and provided us a place to rehearse.

MeFi feels like that from time to time.
posted by landis at 2:17 PM on October 15, 2006


I support the war, but not the troops.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:19 PM on October 15, 2006


That is, he was a dick because he refused to do songs the rest of the band wanted to, and his ownership of the PA and rehearsal space gave inordinate weight to his vote.
posted by landis at 2:20 PM on October 15, 2006


Yes, the single-period FPP was awful. Arguing that the story was too important for that to matter is arguing that your own personal politcal or moral judgment is (no matter how much I or others might agree with it) is more important than the health or useability of the website. Which is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

I've seen newsgroups destroyed because people felt some things were just too darn important to worry about such things as netiquette or on-topicness. We don't need that happening to MeFi as well.
posted by Justinian at 2:21 PM on October 15, 2006


If mathowie had awoke before you, I rather doubt he'd have posted a crap response like that.

I don't think you've been paying too much attention, then.

Crap post, deserving of deletion and ridicule, and almost certainly more ridicule than you have yet endured. Try to keep the intensity down for a few minutes, though, because I don't like blackened hot dogs. Once they're done, go nuts.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:22 PM on October 15, 2006


I support the war, but not the troops.

Congratulations, fandango_matt. Once again you've managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and redeem a totally worthless thread.
posted by nixerman at 2:22 PM on October 15, 2006


"It was to the people who knew him."

I didn't know him. Did you?

"And your lack of empathy for this one death really calls into question how much you really care about the 600,000 others. You can't muster some feelings for one person who, in this story, was made to be more than a statistic, but we're supposed to think you really care about the rest of the people who have died?"

And your lack of empathy for the 599,999 others really calls into question how much you care about the civilians being killed. Or the Australians killed at Gallipoli. Or any other irrelevant rhetorical charge (I handily avoided the Holocaust).

The basic bullshit fallacy here is that if you don't care about any one death, you don't care about any deaths. But hey, I'm arguing against the logic that makes all 9/11 victims into heroes, and that argues our resources are better spent keeping hair gel off planes than making different policy decisions, so what do I know?

"Why are you suddenly engaging in low-brow argumentative distortions and falsehoods instead of focusing on the content and form of the FPP under discussion? Maybe it's you who needs to get some fresh air."

Instead of focusing on the content and the form? The content and the form sucked and now you're throwing a tantrum about it. That's where we are, FFF. How much more do you want that rehashed?
posted by klangklangston at 2:23 PM on October 15, 2006


You know who else was a dick? Hitler.
posted by found missing at 2:24 PM on October 15, 2006


this is so lol

the thing about how we're all westboro for thinking this guy was a jerk for being in iraq is the bestest
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:26 PM on October 15, 2006



posted by edgeways at 2:32 PM on October 15, 2006


One thing made the deleted thread worthwhile ...

Jscalzi's witticisms, concerning the claimed equivalency between the courage exercised in a vigorous game of Lazertag or paintball in suburban U.S.A., on the one hand, and throwing oneself on a live grenade in Iraq, on the other.
posted by jayder at 2:33 PM on October 15, 2006


I used "prank" in agreement with wendell, who said "I think we should just stipulate that this was the definitive one-link, one-character, one-life NewsFilter post and as such, can and should never be duplicated."

I don't expect to ever make a single-character FPP again, and I can't imagine there are many people who ever would. It's not like I've Immanentized the eschaton.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:41 PM on October 15, 2006


That is, he was a dick because he refused to do songs the rest of the band wanted to...

He vetoed your 15 minute Found-Sound Keyboard Collage, didn't he?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:42 PM on October 15, 2006


While we're quoting old poetry:

IV.

These fought, in any case,
and some believing,
pro domo, in any case ..

Some quick to arm,
some for adventure,
some from fear of weakness,
some from fear of censure,
some for love of slaughter, in imagination,
learning later ...

some in fear, learning love of slaughter;
Died some pro patria,
non "dulce" non "et decor" ..

walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men's lies, then unbelieving
came home, home to a lie,
home to many deceits,
home to old lies and new infamy;

usury age-old and age-thick
and liars in public places.


Ezra Pound, 1920

As for this thread, I still disagree with the substance and style of Fishy's FPP but on further reflection I disagree also with its deletion; it was at least as pointful as Fideaux' dildeaux and even fully SFW. Shall we now get over it?
posted by davy at 2:44 PM on October 15, 2006


He vetoed your 15 minute Found-Sound Keyboard Collage, didn't he?

No, but we sure got tired of finding songs to fit his limited vocal range.

(And it was only ten minutes . . . ;)
posted by landis at 2:53 PM on October 15, 2006


Thank you all. I can't recall a more unexpectedly excellent thread, or one in which posters have revealed more about themselves than this one.
posted by jamjam at 2:53 PM on October 15, 2006


Sure, Pound could write a powerful poem, if you can get over the fact that he only used his dots for punctuation.
posted by found missing at 2:55 PM on October 15, 2006


.



..






...



..








.

Ezra Pound, 1920
posted by Bugbread at 2:59 PM on October 15, 2006


his little meme starts to be starting to take hold. I was hoping everyone would continue to ignore it as we have so successfully until recently.

have i mentioned lately that i just like to say smock?
smock smock smock!
posted by quonsar at 3:10 PM on October 15, 2006


The content and the form sucked and now you're throwing a tantrum about it. That's where we are, FFF. How much more do you want that rehashed?

It is a past event. It is unlikely to be repeated by myself or anyone else. It's a dead parrot, mate. The rest of this is just sketch comedy for a slow Sunday afternoon when I don't want to do anything productive.

It must be my writing style that is projecting an image of high energy into this thread. I'm being accused of tantruming now? Honest to god, I am sacked out on a waterbed, listening to JJ Cale picking his guitar, full from lunch, and thinking about naps. The next lower energy state for me is to become comatose.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:12 PM on October 15, 2006


That's a lot of laconic "fuck you"s then.
posted by klangklangston at 3:15 PM on October 15, 2006


I smell another wacky prank in the works, this is just the "Get their guard down" phase.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:20 PM on October 15, 2006



posted by LarryC at 3:22 PM on October 15, 2006


fff: You were coming across as super high energy at the start, probably due to the "In all honesty, Jess, fuck you...Go apeshit...I really don't give a flying fuck...bunch of MeFi prats...All the rest of the bullshit...some little turds...a crap response like that..." stuff, but somewhere around here you seem to have shifted into energy-saving mode.
posted by Bugbread at 3:24 PM on October 15, 2006


FFF - Seriously, what bug crawled up your ass that's making you act like such a jerk?
posted by bshort at 3:39 PM on October 15, 2006


FFF, I speak for all Americans when I say, with as much sincerity as you pulled together for that shitty FPP, stay the fuck in Canada you flaming nitwit.

("Sincere" "prank"? Dude, you knew your were wrong by the time of the first comment in that thread, and yet you valiantly defend your honor here in the gray. Thing is, it's your intelligence that really needs the help. Dipshit. The guy's a hero no matter what happens here. You piddling on his memory is in really bad taste.)
posted by bardic at 3:47 PM on October 15, 2006


What's the penalty for making a crank FPP?
posted by fandango_matt at 3:47 PM on October 15, 2006


Considering how many people got annoyed at the use of Rosa Parks to sell a car, I can't imagine how upset this guy's parents would be to find out his death is being used to point out the foibles of Metafilter commenters.
posted by Bugbread at 3:49 PM on October 15, 2006


This is perhaps one of the most heroic things I've ever read. Short story short: Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor throws himself over a grenade to protect his buddies, when he could just as easily have jumped out the door (saving himself but sacrificing them).

Michael A. Monsoor, and others who have acted selflessly in the war, I am humbled, thankful, and hold you in highest honour.


How exactly is that "piddling on his memory"?

The more I read back over the FPP and attendant comments, and everything in this thread, I wonder why fff is the whipping boy. I know that many here (myself included) have certain notions of what MeFi is and the proper construction of a FPP, but I look at where all this started and then at how its ended up, and I have to shake my head.
posted by landis at 4:03 PM on October 15, 2006


It's not like I've Immanentized the eschaton.
posted by five fresh fish


I can see why you think that "." says it all. Perhaps you're right and we all should have posted nothing but "."
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:07 PM on October 15, 2006


He linked to Meta in the very first comment. He wanted it to be a circus. He wanted to make his little point about what he thinks mefites and Americans are like. He's a dick on every level.
posted by bardic at 4:18 PM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


The way I understand this, the "prank" portion of fff's post was the link to metatalk, not the linked story. To pull the FPP because of its "prankiness" is heavy-handed.

Jessamyn writes: ". . . it's not like there was much of a judgment call on this one." It seems to me that every deletion of a FPP is a judgment call; else just write a script to automatically delete anything containing certain keywords.

Now I must get back to formulating the perfect Dawkins FPP.
posted by landis at 4:21 PM on October 15, 2006


He wanted to make his little point about what he thinks mefites and Americans are like.

Well, we certainly showed him.
posted by landis at 4:23 PM on October 15, 2006


Well, I thought it was funny.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:26 PM on October 15, 2006


It's a bit late to bring up in this thread, but about the sacrifice of Michael Monsoor:

Monsoor is a very common name in Iraq, and Michael joined the Navy in March 2001, before 9/11 and when the war was only a gleam of bloodlust in the eyes of Bush and a few of the NeoCons. A brief search failed to disclose to me if he was of Arab or Persian descent (his father's name is George), but this manchild (a term I choose in order to emphasize his innocence, not to condescend to him or belttle him in any way) may have had a level of inner turmoil rare even for a combat soldier in this disgraceful, misbegotten and disastrous war.
posted by jamjam at 4:36 PM on October 15, 2006


davy : "And no, I won't be 'commemorating the sacrifice' of anybody who joined the U.S. military since Bush & Co. started beating their war drums"

jamjam : "Michael joined the Navy in March 2001, before 9/11 and when the war was only a gleam of bloodlust in the eyes of Bush and a few of the NeoCons"
posted by Bugbread at 4:53 PM on October 15, 2006


Hey, don't go bringing your facts around here, man.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:00 PM on October 15, 2006


bardic, I did not want the blue thread to be a circus. And it certainly started off on the right foot. The only reason I'm not overly disappointed about its deletion is that it was derailed by silliness about paintballing.

The grey always turns into a circus. Not a day goes by when there isn't some hellhole thread where everyone and their aunty has their panties in a knot over some pissant little thing.

This thread, f'rinstance. Of course it's bad to make one-link—one-character posts [note the plural]. In fact, that's why it hardly ever happens!! Pretty cool, huh?

We all know there's no need for discussion. It's not an actual problem. No one is over-using it and no one is likely to use it again. The only thing there is to do, really, is host a circus in this thread.

Bardic, I have absolutely no idea how you come up with "wanted to make his little point about what he thinks mefites and Americans are like." Mentioniing Americans strikes me as quite bizarre. I have literally no idea how you conceived it.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:15 PM on October 15, 2006



posted by pyramid termite at 5:24 PM on October 15, 2006


landis: no the "prank" part was using the dot.

Like the first time someone did pixel art using post-it notes. A creative "breaking" of the "rules." You don't waste dozens of pads of post-it notes to make a silly picture! You don't put post-it notes over the entire window! You don't make a one-char—one-link post!

Basically, you can only do it once. If everyone were to do it, it would become utterly stupid.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:26 PM on October 15, 2006


jamjam, that's interesting info. Too bad it couldn't have made it into the blue thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:27 PM on October 15, 2006


Or, even if everyone didn't do it.
posted by found missing at 5:27 PM on October 15, 2006


Well, then . . . don't be so darned pranky, you pranker!

(And thanks for the clarification).
posted by landis at 5:32 PM on October 15, 2006


landis wrote: "It seems to me that every deletion of a FPP is a judgment call; else just write a script to automatically delete anything containing certain keywords."

An excellent idea: this post would have been caught by the script that deleted all posts containing punctuation.
posted by jacalata at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2006


If anyone were to do it, it would already be utterly stupid.
posted by signal at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2006


"Basically, you can only do it once. If everyone were to do it, it would become utterly stupid."

So... because it's been done before, it's utterly stupid?

Hey, here's a clue— Might there be a reason for rules and might flouting them to prove a point, especially when there are many better ways to prove said point, be a waste of time and legitimately engender the annoyance of the rest of the folks who share the resource?

All of this comes down to your bleating "NO! I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE" over and over again.

You shat on the blue, and all of your "Maybe it stinks for a reason" doesn't surmount the very simple complaint that you shat in the blue. All it does is make the rest of us think you're some kinda spaz that needs to be kept away from where the big kids play.
posted by klangklangston at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2006


(Or, for a more ethical statement: It fails the 'do unto others' test.)
posted by klangklangston at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2006


"The guy's a hero no matter what happens here."

Monsoor? No, he was a homocidal/suicidal psycho. He had no business being part of an occupation force in the first place (regardless of when he signed up), and if one reads the damn news article one finds he being a sniper training Iraqis to do likewise when someone understandably through a grenade into their snipers' nest. To cut & paste:

Updated: 9:32 a.m. ET Oct. 14, 2006

CORONADO, Calif. - A Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade Iraqi insurgents tossed into their sniper hideout, fellow members of the elite force said.


So he was in a hideout in another country teaching participants in a U.S.-instigated civil war to shoot down their fellow Iraqis from hiding when somebody frags their cowards' nest. I call his "job" murder -- worse than murder, teaching others to murder -- and his death is a kind of justice. If he'd stayed home and gone to grad school he'd most likely be alive today, and so would those Iraqis whose deaths he's responsible for. He's no hero, he's a dead criminal, regardless of how he landed on that grenade. He got what he deserved.

(And no, I'm not just saying this to piss people off; don't project your neurosis onto me.)
posted by davy at 7:57 PM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


I dream of a future in which Iraqis will be able to argue until the pigs come home over whether or not a hamza ^ constitutes a decent post on Al-Mefti. May this sacrifice not be in vain.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:02 PM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


So why are you saying it, davy?

Not angry, nor am I projecting. Just curious.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:10 PM on October 15, 2006


That's pretty fucked up, Davy. By the current judicial will in the US, he was not a criminal. Had he elected to refuse to go to Iraq, I guarantee that he'd have been court martialed. And thus, he would have been a criminal.

And calling him a coward is definitely trying to piss people off. It's a value judgment made with the full knowledge of the reaction it's going to get, despite your protestations.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:14 PM on October 15, 2006


Monsoor? No, he was a homocidal/suicidal psycho.

You are an embarrassment to humanity.
posted by caddis at 8:20 PM on October 15, 2006


No, he was a homocidal/suicidal psycho.

Say, how is Paris doing in Iraq?
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 8:23 PM on October 15, 2006


Say, how is Paris doing in Iraq?
posted by shnoz-gobblin

Wha? Paris Hilton, or Paris-city?

Sorry, I'm dense.
posted by Yeomans at 8:27 PM on October 15, 2006


.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 8:30 PM on October 15, 2006


Oh, shit. Sorry.
posted by Yeomans at 8:33 PM on October 15, 2006


fff: A creative "breaking" of the "rules." ... Basically, you can only do it once. If everyone were to do it, it would become utterly stupid.

That's right. You're a brave artist whose snowflake has been misunderstood, totally and completely different from every adolescent convinced that his rebellion is creative and interesting.

davy: don't project your neurosis onto me

Wouldn't think of it. You're doing fine on your own.
posted by cribcage at 8:48 PM on October 15, 2006


davy writes "he was a homocidal/suicidal psycho"

Well someone has to thin out the gay handgrenade population.
posted by peacay at 9:03 PM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


shnoz-goblin: sorry, wtf was that about PP, again?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:11 PM on October 15, 2006


So volunteering to serve in a criminal gang (the U.S. Navy) whose stated purpose is to kill and maybe die in the service of a bunch of corporate goons is perfectly okay, and training others to gun down their fellow humans in cold blood from hiding is even admirable, but calling someone a who does those things a murderer makes me "an embarrassment to humanity." I see. So you're fine with the idea of somebody drawing a bead on your head with a scoped rifle from a tree house, huh? Or is such conduct only praiseworthy when it's somebody else who's getting killed?
posted by davy at 9:13 PM on October 15, 2006


It's not murder if the president says it's okay, davy.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:18 PM on October 15, 2006


You could just say that I'm pining for him.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 9:20 PM on October 15, 2006


oh, off touring the fjords, then. that's a relief.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:31 PM on October 15, 2006


"By the current judicial will in the US, [Monsoor the sniper-tutor] was not a criminal."

"By the current judicial will in the US," George W. Bush is the twice-elected President of the so-called Unted States of America and Commander-In-Chief of its Armed Forces, the same Gee Dubya who confessed in public that he hallucinated Almighty G_d telling him to "smite" Iraq. Okay, I see. Maybe you should try drinking bottled water for while. (Or do I mean 'bottled water'?)

I say there's something wrong with "the current judicial will in the US", and that Americans who encourage and train Iraqis to gun down their own people are as culpable as SS guards at Auschwitz. It would have better if he'd gone to grad school.
posted by davy at 9:33 PM on October 15, 2006


And jamjam, nobody who hides in a treehouse to gun people down can be called "innocent." If Monsoor was innocent then so was Charlie Manson, who was never even accused of killing anybody with his own two hands nor did anybody pay him to teach others to.
posted by davy at 9:44 PM on October 15, 2006


*invokes godwin*
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 PM on October 15, 2006


Sometimes, my mind boggles at just how far divorced from reality someone can get and still mange to breath on his own.
posted by dg at 9:51 PM on October 15, 2006


(heh...mangy-breath)
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:58 PM on October 15, 2006


Dude, he volunteered before 9/11. Never in their wildest dreams could anyone who volunteered when he did have imagined that they would have to serve in an invasion force of dubious morality.

He was sent and he had to go. Don't be an ass.

And whether he hid in a treehouse, an outhouse or a doghouse is absolutely irrelevant. It's cover. Calling a person who fights from cover a criminal or coward is just plain stupid.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:59 PM on October 15, 2006


To be fair dg, have you seen any photos of davy not hooked up to any breathing apparatus?

I lied in the previous comment, I'm absolutely furious and disgusted with your comments and attitude, davy.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:01 PM on October 15, 2006


What's your hatsize davy? fried fresh fish left one on the couch when he left the thread. I bet it'd fit you.
posted by peacay at 10:02 PM on October 15, 2006


...and so did five fresh fish, unfried.
posted by peacay at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2006


Yeah dg, I wonder that too. Only in a peculiarly twisted psychotic fantasy could a sniper be called "innocent."

And solid, Monsoor did not HAVE to go. He could have refused. He might have had to do some time, but his hands would have been clean. Besides, voluntarily joining a criminal enterprise makes one more criminal than if s/he were drafted; did Monsoor think he was joining a group whose business was to bring peace and joy? The lesson here is simple: if you don't want to kill and die don't join the military -- that's what they give them deadly weapons for you know.

So calling someone who "fights from cover" a coward is "just plain stupid", but someone who knowingly flies a plane into a building is a coward, eh? D00d, whatever drugs you're on please pass 'em here: I'd pay good money to get that "divorced from reality." In what I know as reality lying in wait to kill somebody is hard to call anything but first-degree murder.
posted by davy at 10:25 PM on October 15, 2006


If it's wrong for somebody to do it to you then it's wrong for you to do it to him. If you disagree then you're confusing "wrong" with "inconvenient."
posted by davy at 10:37 PM on October 15, 2006


And solid, Monsoor did not HAVE to go. He could have refused. He might have had to do some time, but his hands would have been clean.

As I said, then he would have been a criminal in fact, and not in your fanciful definition of what a criminal is.

Besides, voluntarily joining a criminal enterprise makes one more criminal than if s/he were drafted

And, pray tell, in what ways were the US armed forces a criminal enterprise in early 2001?

but someone who knowingly flies a plane into a building is a coward, eh?

Trying to see where I wrote or implied that. Trying to see where I talked about planes flying into buildings at all. Not seeing it. You're the one on drugs, clearly, because you're not seeing things that are plain as day and seeing things that don't exist.

In what I know as reality lying in wait to kill somebody is hard to call anything but first-degree murder.

It's clear you don't know reality.

I'm done with you. Have fun in Bizarro World, idiot.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:41 PM on October 15, 2006


Since solid-one-love is done with me s/he won't see this, but the U.S. Armed Forces was always a criminal enterprise. That it might have done some nice things is immaterial; John Gotti always had sweet old ladies saying how helpful and kind he was. To understand this point you'll have to grasp a higher definition of "right" than "what the President says." E.g., U.S. Presidents until Lincoln always defended slavery -- which at the time was certainly legal. But hey, I'm glad s-o-l is done with me: people who think saying "lying in wait to kill somebody is murder" is somehow "Bizarro" are not the kind of people I want paying attention to me anyway.

I'm too tired now to type out a comprehensive course on Ethics, so I'll point to Wikipedia and totter off to brush my remaining teeth.
posted by davy at 11:05 PM on October 15, 2006


I thought about going to the trouble that solid-one-love did, but decided it wasn't worth it.

davy, you are a fucking idiot. Go away.
posted by dg at 11:16 PM on October 15, 2006


Before I go away (to bed, to sleep, I've been doing that for years):

I see in dg's profile the line "Occupation: Government (education & training)", so it's only natural he'd disgree with my comments herein. But s-o-l lists himself as a publisher and editor and says he's in Vancouver, BC, Canada, so I wonder why he got so involved in this topic; has he never heard of "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight"? Had the U.S.' warmongering editors and publishers had their way in 1844 U.S. snipers would have been in Vancouver lying in wait to gun down Canadians in the name of "Manifest Destiny" (i.e. God). And by his lights it would have been perfectly okay for some U.S. "troop" to gun down Canadians while hiding in a tree because somebody who refused an order to do so would have been called a criminal by the murderous thieves out to rip off Canada. Golly!
posted by davy at 11:52 PM on October 15, 2006


I don't have a dog in this fight, but dg lives, as he has as far back as I can remember, in Queensland, Australia, and that is what his profile says.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:10 AM on October 16, 2006



posted by fandango_matt at 12:58 AM on October 16, 2006


I agree with Davy, somewhat. To say that someone's right—not, say, wrong-despite-pursuing-what-looked-like-good—for doing what Monsoor was doing, the someone (Monsoor) would have to pass exactly the ethical test that Davy is defending.

So, yeah, it's 'good' that there are folks willing to go and (likely) kill and (maybe) die when and where a leader whom we get to re-certify or replace every four years tells them to.

And, yeah, it's wrong wrong wrong to have *anyone* gunning down *anyone*, certis paribus. (i.e., I'm not talking about the guy who's trying to kill you or mug you or whatever; I'm talking about the ethical smell-test Davy invokes here and here.)

…And, "criminal" because Monsoor was apparently doing things that violate universal-looking moral laws (or moral dictums, or moral standards, or a couple other ones that're further down yet in my coffee cup). Really. Not "criminal" like the legislature gets to produce vis-a-vis bills and statutes. It looks like everyone is in violent disagreement about this—moral laws vs. social mores (which translate from individuals' values to voting preferences to a legislative consensus and executive endorsement to legal statutes to Army/Navy/etc. policy to s-o-l's definition of criminal behavior), I mean.
posted by Yeomans at 4:38 AM on October 16, 2006


"So calling someone who "fights from cover" a coward is "just plain stupid", but someone who knowingly flies a plane into a building is a coward, eh?"

Ow, ow, my straw man hurts.
posted by klangklangston at 5:56 AM on October 16, 2006


davy: I'm curious, do you consider anyone who's signed up for the Armed Forced evil and a murderer? At the risk of invoking Godwin, what about wars like WW1&2 where it's pretty clear our involvement helped to stop a known evil? Is your moral repugnance any less mitigated for the soldiers in cases like this?
posted by jmd82 at 6:03 AM on October 16, 2006


davy : "Besides, voluntarily joining a criminal enterprise"

This word "criminal", I don't think it means what you think it means.

davy : "someone who knowingly flies a plane into a building is a coward, eh?"

They are? Doesn't seem very cowardly to me.

Yeomans : "And, 'criminal' because Monsoor was apparently doing things that violate universal-looking moral laws"

That's just playing with terminology. The word "criminal" applies to actual laws, not moral laws, or laws of physics, or the law of the wild, or the law of the jungle. We have plenty of good words (unethical, immoral, evil) without needing to resorting to redefining other words. Doing that is just zebra.
posted by Bugbread at 6:56 AM on October 16, 2006


bugbread writes "The word 'criminal' applies to actual laws, not moral laws"

But then by that definition there would be no such thing as criminals in a state-genocide situation, would there be?
posted by clevershark at 7:22 AM on October 16, 2006


But then by that definition there would be no such thing as criminals in a state-genocide situation, would there be?

Isn't that what International Law is for?
posted by jmd82 at 7:28 AM on October 16, 2006


Hasn't the United States opted out of International Law concerning such issues? Oh, right: it's Internationally Legal if the U.S. does it, but if it's done to the U.S. then it's "Bad terrorist! Bad!"
posted by davy at 8:00 AM on October 16, 2006


clevershark : "But then by that definition there would be no such thing as criminals in a state-genocide situation, would there be?"

I'm pretty sure that would violate the Hague or Geneva conventions (don't really know which is which), so they'd still be criminals.

Awkward thing about laws and criminality is that their scope is basically decided by courts. So, for example, it's illegal for a Japanese citizen in Amsterdam to smoke pot, because the criminality of pot smoking is held by Japanese courts to apply to Japanese everywhere, not just in Japan itself. Likewise, international law courts have held that the Hague and Geneva conventions apply even to countries that aren't signatories. So even if your non-Hague, non-Geneva convention signing banana republic decides to get its genocide on, it's still probably a criminal act. (I say "probably" because IANAL).
posted by Bugbread at 8:01 AM on October 16, 2006


"Doing that is just zebra."

A criminal is just a somebody who's flaunting some principle, standard, or contract (incl. legal contracts, social, moral/ethical, etc.) that they're somehow a party to. So, for example, criminal stupidity doesn't mean that the perpetrator was literally violating a law that was laid out in a bill and signed into law. It's simply that legal standards are the normal substance for the label, 'criminal', because legal actions and legal concepts are so pervasive in Western cultural discourse.

Monsoor is a party to moral standards that (I think) all humans share in common—standards which, as davy points out, Monsoor was flaunting.

Again, I'm not saying that no one should kill anyone, nor that Monsoor was in some kind of absolute wrong—I won't even pretend to know enough about the circumstances surrounding the incident to hazard a guess one way or the other. But there is something to Davy's question above, about whether you'd object to someone painting a dot on your forehead through their rifle scope. I'll take that a step further and submit that (again, without any added factors, just the behavior I'm on about here with my moral-laws spiel) any of us would object to someone lining up a shot upon some other person—no matter whether or not we had ever shook their hand or met their eyes.

Cauliflower. Rutabaga.

Oh, and muskrat!!
posted by Yeomans at 8:04 AM on October 16, 2006


davy : "Hasn't the United States opted out of International Law concerning such issues?"

Sorry, missed that on preview. Still, as mentioned above, apparently when it comes to determining criminality, it doesn't matter if you're a signatory or not.

Out of curiosity, which laws do you think the military has always violated just by existing?
posted by Bugbread at 8:07 AM on October 16, 2006


As for where dg lives and whose government he works for, Australia is a charter member of the Coalition of the Willing; Howard's right up there with Blair. Nonethless, I confess to missing that part.

And bugbread, where I say "criminal" do feel free to say "evildoer" or whatever term you need to hear. And since you know so much about foreign laws, isn't it against the law of Iraq for someone to lie in wait to gun somebody down? If one Sunni Kurd hid in a tree to shoot another Sunni Kurd would he not be criminally liable (at least in theory)? Or have whoever administers criminal law over there officially declared open season on all humans?
posted by davy at 8:10 AM on October 16, 2006


Yeomans : "It's simply that legal standards are the normal substance for the label, 'criminal', because legal actions and legal concepts are so pervasive in Western cultural discourse."

That makes sense. I'm the anti-languagehat, so I'm very much a prescriptivist when it comes to language. It colors my views, so when I see someone write "it's a criminal enterprise" I think they mean an enterprise for commiting some codified laws. Sometimes I need to be jolted out of the rut of prescriptivism, and your comment did that. So please disregard my whole bit about "criminality" above.

And, languagehat, know that one day us prescriptivists will win. Not for a billion years, perhaps, but we've got a secret plan: the head of the International Prescriptivist Collective has been cryogenically frozen and launched into space. In a billion years, he'll be thawed out and revived. He'll probably only last a few minutes in the crippling cold (we didn't have enough to put thermal insulation into the rocket), but since the rest of humanity will surely have ceased to exist by that point, for 5 wonderful minutes we prescriptivists will have won!
posted by Bugbread at 8:17 AM on October 16, 2006


five fresh fish, is this the thread you were hoping to achieve in the blue? Because it still sucks.
posted by Roger Dodger at 8:18 AM on October 16, 2006


davy : "And since you know so much about foreign laws, isn't it against the law of Iraq for someone to lie in wait to gun somebody down?"

I don't know much about foreign laws, but, yeah, it's probably against the law there. I know that wasn't an actual question but a rhetorical aimed at making some point, but since we're both in agreement there, I don't really know what point you were getting at.

My issue wasn't with calling this guy a criminal, but with the whole US army as always having been a criminal organization. I'm dropping the "criminal" issue, because I realize it was used figuratively, not literally, but on the odd chance that you were using it literally, I don't think the laws of Iraq would provide a good foundation for finding the existence of the US army to be illegal, because I doubt they have laws against the existence of the US military, and I'm under the impression that the US army existed before Iraq as a nation came into existence anyway. Certainly, I doubt it would have been illegal during the British colonial period.
posted by Bugbread at 8:24 AM on October 16, 2006


Actually, a prescriptivist definitional question about "criminality" that I'm a little curious about: when using "criminal" to mean "breaking codified laws", how is the scope determined? That is, we would all agree that, for example, gambling is not illegal in Nevada. However, if some country somewhere just decided that "gambling, everywhere in the world, is against the laws of this country", we wouldn't therefore say that gambling is illegal in Nevada, would we? Is it just based on the position of the speaker and listener, or on the enforceability of the law, or do we ignore application of the law outside of the national territory of the country (and how would that affect the extraterritoriality of laws against Japanese nationals smoking pot in Amsterdam?)?
posted by Bugbread at 8:46 AM on October 16, 2006


FFF: Basically, you can only do it once. If everyone were to do it, it would become utterly stupid.

Well then, as you're not the first to do it (already pointed out upthread, but seemingly ignored), doesn't that make YOUR post utterly stupid?

And I have to say, I'm quite enjoying this thread. The original post was dumb (artistic or not, you frankly admit that you're "breaking" the "rules", so hush about your thread being deleted already), but it's generated some good late afternoon entertainment on my part.
posted by antifuse at 8:57 AM on October 16, 2006


solid-one-love writes 'Dude, he volunteered before 9/11. Never in their wildest dreams could anyone who volunteered when he did have imagined that they would have to serve in an invasion force of dubious morality.'

Absolutely, unless he knows how to read, of course.
posted by signal at 9:02 AM on October 16, 2006


Actually, davy's comments bring up an interesting question.

fff said, "...this guy's selfless actions are more than just "best of the web." It's the best of being human: the ability to make sacrifice for the good of others. It was worth sharing."

Many others agreed with this saying that he was a hero because he sacrificed himself for his comrades.

My question is: Do you actually feel that this is heroic because he sacrificed himself for the good of others, or do you feel that this is heroic because he sacrificed himself for the good of Americans? If there were an article in Al Jazeera about an Iraqi stepping in front of an American grenade to save his comrades, would you post that with a "." saying that it was "the best of being human?"
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:04 AM on October 16, 2006


To be subject to some law, contract, or statute (whether legal, social, moral, or etc.), a somebody just has to be a party to it. So, in the West—or even as members of the human race, I guess—part of the social contract obliges us to not rob banks or mug people or randomly stab people we pass on the street. And in Amsterdam, a Japanese national still couldn't smoke pot. And on Mars, oak trees still can't grow to the sky. Not that the trees arrive at their behavior by a conscious choice. I hope. :-)
posted by Yeomans at 9:04 AM on October 16, 2006


Oh, and I was responding to bugbread's response.
posted by Yeomans at 9:10 AM on October 16, 2006


"So, for example, criminal stupidity doesn't mean that the perpetrator was literally violating a law that was laid out in a bill and signed into law. It's simply that legal standards are the normal substance for the label, 'criminal', because legal actions and legal concepts are so pervasive in Western cultural discourse."

No, it means that they're using "criminal" as an imprecise metaphor. So stupid it should be criminal, for example.
posted by klangklangston at 9:12 AM on October 16, 2006


A literal definition of 'criminal' just requires that some party to a mutual agreement, dictum, or standard is—explicitly, or implicitly, as by association (being a human being, or being a Japanese national, whatever)—is flaunting an element of that agreement.

And by 'mutual', I don't mean that two soldiers trying to annihilate one another must both be signatories to the same agreement nor be members of the same army (and so share the same rules of engagement). In this 'rules of engagement' example/tangent, an American soldier would just have to observe the American military's r.o.e., the (pacifist) Japanese soldier his military's r.o.e., etc. Each would be a "member" of the group bound to his respective military service branch's "contract" terms.
posted by Yeomans at 9:32 AM on October 16, 2006


Sometimes I need to be jolted out of the rut of prescriptivism, and your comment did that.

Aha! My nemesis is succumbing! The descriptivist tide is unstoppable!
posted by languagehat at 9:52 AM on October 16, 2006


"...is flauntingflouting an element of that agreement"
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:53 AM on October 16, 2006


leftcoastbob : "Do you actually feel that this is heroic because he sacrificed himself for the good of others, or do you feel that this is heroic because he sacrificed himself for the good of Americans?"

I'm not a big rah-rah supporter of the guy, but I do see some heroism in his act, because it was to save the lives of others. I'd feel the same about any other person from any other country jumping on a grenade, though. This may be why I'm not as moved as some others here, though: to them it's the double-heroism of Sacrificing for Friends and Sacrificing for America. For me, it's only half of that, so it's heroic, but not "oh my god what a hero" level, just "Wow. I sure as hell wouldn't take a bullet for a friend" regular level impression.

Yeomans : "To be subject to some law, contract, or statute (whether legal, social, moral, or etc.), a somebody just has to be a party to it."

What do you mean by "party to it"? (I'm not making a counterargument, just unclear what you mean). You mention being "bound to...contract terms", but what do you mean by "bound"? I'm getting the impression that it comes down to enforceability: a party is bound by a contract if it's likely that they could get punished if their actions were discovered, there were sufficient evidence, etc. Am I reading you wrong?
posted by Bugbread at 9:59 AM on October 16, 2006


languagehat : "The descriptivist tide is unstoppable!"

Three words:

Rocket
Cryogenic
Revival
posted by Bugbread at 10:00 AM on October 16, 2006


Is this what you mean Bugbread? Are they getting back together?
posted by Mister_A at 11:02 AM on October 16, 2006


Brer bugbread, while I was busy with other things (you know I do other things besides "troll" Metafilter), signal fortuitously answered your question too more succintly than I would have. I would deem quite a few of those U.S. "military history events" to be "criminal" as I use the word, "criminality" being a subset of the concept "justice" (also rendered as "fairness"), which it itself a subset of "ethics" which is then subsumed in the overarching category "morality". I.e., whether you agree to my use of the term "criminal" note that I include "hiding in a bush to shoot someone in the head" to be Just Plain Wrong. So shall we set aside our semantic quibbles about "jurisdiction" and agree that if someone were to "open fire on you from cover" you would probably be very upset (if not very dead), and that you, understanding the "Golden Rule", would probably be unlikely to do such a thing yourself (or at least unlikely to claim it was "good" if you did do it)? Assuming that we've established a basis for mutual understanding, surely you understand what I object to, that I say it's Just Plain Wrong for someone to snipe down one's fellow human for the purpose of, oh, furthering a criminal enterprise like, oh, the conquest and robbery of the people of Iraq -- and it's in a way even worse to teach and encourage Iraqis to "put a red dot" on one another to serve Halliburton et al.

So what it boils down to is "I don't fucking care what people say about that shit, it just Ain't Right." And this includes people who join the largest, most powerful, and currently most active military force in the known world: "If you don't think they're going to want you to kill and die, why in the fuck do you think they train you to use deadly weapons? What do you think the purpose of the Armed Forces is anyway, fuckwit?"

As for falling on a grenade to save your buddies (if that is in fact what happened; does anybody doubt that somebody might be lying in this long isnad stretching to an MSNBC article?), yes, that itself is a noble act of self-sacrifice, tantamount to pushing a baby carriage with a baby in it out of the way of a speeding car even if one gets smushed by said speeding car oneself. However, the problem with this Monsoor story is that, by joining up and then trying so hard to get into the SEALs, Monsoor himself performed actions tantamount to rolling an occupied baby carriage into the damn street to begin with. Because he should not have been where he was doing what he was in the first place his nobility is somewhat moot, that is to say self-serving bullshit trumpeted by those seeking to get others to reinforce their criminal enterprises (and pay for them too).
posted by davy at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2006


Much depends on one's scope for the event. In the broader context of unwarranted American aggression against an independent nation, yes, Monsoor is part of the problem. In the narrower context of what he did that day, Monsoor is a hero: he saved the lives of those around him.

I honestly don't know if a similar story, but involving Nazis, would have impressed me so. I'm certain Nazi soldiers did heroic things even as their military leader was engaged in the purest evil; but would I be able to overlook the greater atrocities for the smaller do-good moments?
posted by five fresh fish at 2:11 PM on October 16, 2006


that itself is a noble act of self-sacrifice, tantamount to pushing a baby carriage with a baby in it out of the way of a speeding car even if one gets smushed by said speeding car oneself. However, the problem with this Monsoor story is that, by joining up and then trying so hard to get into the SEALs, Monsoor himself performed actions tantamount to rolling an occupied baby carriage into the damn street to begin with. Because he should not have been where he was doing what he was in the first place his nobility is somewhat moot

OK, that is better - consider my humanity comment above retracted. Nevertheless, I still don't agree that joining the military is inherently criminal, unethical, or whatever. (and I have no interest in debating it on the off chance that you desire to respond, let's just note our differences and leave it at that)
posted by caddis at 2:40 PM on October 16, 2006


Actually, after sleeping on it, I feel I should apologise to davy for my comment way up there. Not that I necessarily take back the sentiment, but the way I expressed it was out of line. So, sorry, davy.

A couple of points though:

Yes, I work for a government. No, I don't work for the Australian Government, I work for a state government. In Australia defense (which, of course, includes offense in this context) is a responsibility of the Australian Government. To suggest that I am somehow responsible for the situation in Iraq or that I am bound to support it because of my employment is akin to suggesting that someone who worked for GM was responsible for the design of the Pinto. If you want to hurl accusations around, at least be accurate.

You may find it easier to communicate with people if, when you use words to mean something different to the generally accepted meaning, you explain that up-front. I see your reasoning for the way you use the word criminal and that puts your other comments into context somewhat, but you can't expect people to read your mind and know what you mean.

I assume that you exercise your obligation to vote at elections, by the way and that you are not one of those who refuse to take part in the democratic process, then bitch about the result.
posted by dg at 3:22 PM on October 16, 2006


pinto : Ford
posted by found missing at 3:30 PM on October 16, 2006


but, that was you friggin point, weren't it?
posted by found missing at 3:32 PM on October 16, 2006


If you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I would have to say I prefer blueberry pancakes to pecan pancakes. However, the idea of mixing the two does not appeal to me at all. I often wonder what this means.
posted by Pacheco at 3:45 PM on October 16, 2006


it means you should never get a job at ihop
posted by pyramid termite at 3:50 PM on October 16, 2006


Okay dg, I was being, uh, inexpertly hyperbolous. Or something to do with "getting carried away by the sound of hearing myself talk," so to speak (or type). For that I apologize.

And dammit caddis, I was about to start using "Proudly embarrassing humanity since 1963!" as my Usenet .Sig. Oh well. And no, I'm too tired of typing to keep arguing this issue -- I'm probably even less persuadable than you anyway.

In fact, in general, let's all agree to disagree about this stuff where applicable. I've learned to live with my occasional gift for getting carried away and/or making an ass of myself in the service of my ideals, or just from stupidity, but it can be very tiring.
posted by davy at 3:52 PM on October 16, 2006


Pecan pancakes? What an intriguing idea. I shall have to make them next weekend, find out how good they are.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:53 PM on October 16, 2006


As long as we're handing out apologies, I think I owe you one, fff. While I still think your dot was a bad idea, I eventually realized that I had done a similar thing myself, using an odd format for my post in order to make it stand out from the crowd. Mind you, I didn't dare people to drag me to MetaTalk or anything, but I was aware I was being flagrantly unconventional, and someone (our beloved quonsar, I see) did mention "snarking on the inventive formatting." So it ill becomes me to rag on you for inventive formatting. I hope you enjoy your pecan pancakes.
posted by languagehat at 5:08 PM on October 16, 2006


"...O Lord, kumbaya!"
posted by davy at 5:16 PM on October 16, 2006


That post was also made three years ago, languagehat. IMO there's been a sea-change in MeFi and MeTa. There is a whole lot more ado about nothing these days. One-off events are inflated into the new-millenia version of The Red Menace.

There are some fundamental social problems in MeFi that really deserve our attention. Instead, we focus on trivialities and imagined offenses. Bah.

Anyway, apo easily accepted. This is the grey.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:47 PM on October 16, 2006


There is a whole lot more ado about nothing these days.
Ain't that the truth.
posted by dg at 5:58 PM on October 16, 2006


There are some fundamental social problems in MeFi that really deserve our attention.

Yeah, well, good luck with that one. There are boogeymen to be vanquished!
posted by darukaru at 6:05 PM on October 16, 2006


ooga booga
posted by quonsar at 7:17 PM on October 16, 2006


"There are some fundamental social problems in MeFi that really deserve our attention. Instead, we focus on trivialities and imagined offenses. Bah."

And there are people dying in Iraq. Instead, we focus on how to best immortalize them on a weblog.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 PM on October 16, 2006


davy : "Brer bugbread, while I was busy with other things (you know I do other things besides 'troll' Metafilter), signal fortuitously answered your question too more succintly than I would have."

Which question? I've asked plenty, and rescinded a few, and signal's comment doesn't jump out as being related to the questions that I can remember asking, but it may be one I forgot.

davy : "So shall we set aside our semantic quibbles about 'jurisdiction'"

I actually already set those aside, and apologized for being all prescriptivist. My final semantic quibbles weren't directed at you, they were just idle curiosity about how the term is used prescriptively instead of descriptively.

davy : "surely you understand what I object to, that I say it's Just Plain Wrong for someone to snipe down one's fellow human for the purpose of, oh, furthering a criminal enterprise like, oh, the conquest and robbery of the people of Iraq"

Yeah, we were never in disagreement there.
posted by Bugbread at 12:52 PM on October 17, 2006


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