pile-on against the poster October 16, 2006 11:17 AM   Subscribe

This AskMe question has quickly become a pile-on against the poster. Sure, the question has some elements of the ridiculous in it, but it's crossing the line. Two select comments: 1, 2. Also, this comment really addresses the problem we're creating by attacking the poster.
posted by Happydaz to Etiquette/Policy at 11:17 AM (199 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

NFLfan sounds like an incredible douche. Ridiculous does not begin to describe it. Trainwreck complete with screeching rail sounds and the wailing cries of folks trapped in the passenger cars.

Wowie wow wow.

Independent of which, aye, don't shit in the green.
posted by cortex at 11:28 AM on October 16, 2006


I removed those two comments and may just whack all the jokey "DO IT DUDE!" ones as well. He certainly sounds like an asshole, but that doesn't mean people can't show some restraint in telling him why the things he describes are a bad idea.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2006


someone needs to open up shop as an independant, impartial human relations askme question editor.
posted by carsonb at 11:45 AM on October 16, 2006


I, myself, would really, really like to have a child so I started out reading his question with some sympathy. But then it went downhill, fast.

The "just answer the damn question" rule is a very good rule, I think, and I support it. But when someone reveals themselves to be the sort of person who uses others and casually hurts them for no more reason than that it suits his purposes to do so, then I can understand how it's hard for people to restrain themselves from condemnation. Indeed, social condemnation can serve an important, productive purpose. It's possible that this AskMe censure he's receiving may be the only censure he's going to get. It's probably too much to hope that it will give him pause, but it might.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:49 AM on October 16, 2006


Sometimes an incredible douche is just what you need.
posted by spicynuts at 11:49 AM on October 16, 2006


...the members of this online community seem razor sharp and if inclined to do so, will be able to contribute positively.

See what you've all done? I hope you're happy, you bunch of disinclined detractors!
posted by prostyle at 11:50 AM on October 16, 2006


My first comment was pretty snide, but was also completely answering the NFLfan's question. Some of the trouble is that the question is so ridiculous, and is posed in such poor terms, that answering it at all is likely to involve making some sort of ethical statement about the worth of the dilemma as presented. That's always been acceptable in AskMe, and I'm not sure why "poor NFLfan" should get a pass with his answers.
posted by OmieWise at 11:53 AM on October 16, 2006


We all saw this one coming.
posted by LarryC at 11:56 AM on October 16, 2006


I have a hard time believing this is real. Yeah, it seems like a lot set-up for a weak punchline, but "NFLfan?" Geez.

If it's not, I'm with EB. Sometimes it's right to pile on, methinks. When you tell an asshole that he's being an asshole, I don't think you should be worried that he's going to get the wrong impression.
posted by koeselitz at 12:04 PM on October 16, 2006


the only comment that makes actual sense in the thread is the "find a surrogate mother" one. relationship questions are so, well, unanswerable, because very simply, nobody here knows a poster's situation, we only know what she/he writes in the question, possible (probable?) lies and spin and self-deception included.

the guy posted an unanswerable question.

the advice fucking sucks because it is an impossible question. and no sane person would give a shit about what strangers from the Internet advise him to do regarding things like dumping one's wife or not and having kids or not
posted by matteo at 12:07 PM on October 16, 2006


I can't believe it took this long for this thread to show up. What's wrong with you people? There was promising drama and you let it sit till 3? I only have 2 hours left at work now!
posted by dame at 12:10 PM on October 16, 2006


While AskMe generally shouldn't be a venue for people's private morality, the question poses an interesting dilemma: it basically looks at women primarily as bearers of children. If you find that idea detestable, can you honestly answer his question in the affirmative? Basically, the idea that moralizing shouldn't take place in AskMe, which I sense is the undercurrent of this post, is undermined when am answer hinges on one's morality, and any explanation will inevitably go there.
posted by graymouser at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2006


Sweet Jesus! Why do morons feel the biological imperative so strongly? Why do they even think that they're suitable for reproduction? Why do they keep breeding, and then breeding again!? WHY AREN'T THE VIOLENT BALL SPORTS PROPERLY CULLING THE HERD?

*wanders off grumbling darkly in search of strong coffee and/or drink, prepares to lobby for the mandatory use of highly radioactive footballs at all levels of play*
posted by loquacious at 12:14 PM on October 16, 2006 [6 favorites]


relationship questions are so, well, unanswerable, because very simply, nobody here knows a poster's situation, we only know what she/he writes in the question, possible (probable?) lies and spin and self-deception included.

And yet, despite the self-editing and spin, the guy still comes off as a huge flaming asshole. Imagine what a peach he must be in real life.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:24 PM on October 16, 2006


My first comment was pretty snide,

It was also the funniest thing I've seen all day so I say BIG UP!
posted by spicynuts at 12:28 PM on October 16, 2006


Basically, the idea that moralizing shouldn't take place in AskMe, which I sense is the undercurrent of this post, is undermined when am answer hinges on one's morality, and any explanation will inevitably go there.

Well, you always have the option of not answering, thus keeping your morality uncompromised!

This is far from the first question with a questionable premise. Yet the reaction to this one seems disproportionately snide and personal. I can't help but think his biggest faux pas was calling himself "NFLfan." Poor guy probably read somewhere that this was a great place to get a question answered. He clearly didn't anticipate how this crowd would dismiss him as nothing more than a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging breeder. Not our finest moment.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2006


What a catch! I especially like the term "female trouble", and the assertion in the question that the point was moot anyway, since "I just do not think my chances are good to even find ANY potential suitable woman that wants the good old-fashioned marriage w/ children."

Right. It's their fault.
posted by hoborg at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2006


I also took the fact that he didn't come back to defend himself as a sign that that either a) it's not real or b) he was embarrassed or otherwise scared off by the unanimous negative reaction to what he wrote.

Some were definitely more abrasive in their answers than others. But if this guy was scared off by the answers, I think that would have happened even if every answer were crafted as kindly as possible. If he was scared off, I think it was because 50+ members of this community that he called "razor sharp" in his question clearly didn't feel the same way about him, and/or that he was a little embarrassed that he revealed such a personal, unattractive side of himself to the internet.

Me, I'm shocked and amazed that the thread has been so civil, actually--at least that all the answerers have managed to be civil to one another, in a thread that essentially began with a guy calling all American women shallow, man-hating, gold digging wombs.
posted by lampoil at 12:32 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can't help but think his biggest faux pas was calling himself "NFLfan."

That didn't factor into my diagnosis one bit, actually. My main issue is with everything he wrote in his awful, stupid question, not his shrugworthy nick.
posted by cortex at 12:41 PM on October 16, 2006


So while I was gone Askme became a self-help site? Rad! Finally I can poll a vast array of online intellectuals for advice about my upcoming existential crisis (no, it's not in the Great Godfrey Maze).
posted by The God Complex at 12:41 PM on October 16, 2006


"I just do not think my chances are good to even find ANY potential suitable woman that wants the good old-fashioned marriage w/ children."

I think NFLfan's already had more than his fair share of good, old-fashioned marriages.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:41 PM on October 16, 2006


Well, you always have the option of not answering, thus keeping your morality uncompromised!

This is far from the first question with a questionable premise. Yet the reaction to this one seems disproportionately snide and personal. I can't help but think his biggest faux pas was calling himself "NFLfan." Poor guy probably read somewhere that this was a great place to get a question answered. He clearly didn't anticipate how this crowd would dismiss him as nothing more than a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging breeder. Not our finest moment.


Well, I didn't answer, but on the other hand I find that the poster's morality is a good case for how much morality should get tangled up in AskMe. The question is pretty misogynistic, and it seems illegitimate to me to ask that posters not inject their morality into a thread where the question is whether acting on this is appropriate. Unless you agree that, as lampoil well puts it, women are "shallow, man-hating, gold digging wombs," you can't answer the question without injecting your morality into the Green.

So I think the callout unwarranted, though of course I didn't see the deleted comments.
posted by graymouser at 12:44 PM on October 16, 2006


he was embarrassed or otherwise scared off by the unanimous negative reaction to what he wrote.

The guy's on his fourth marriage. Think he never got any negative reactions during the previous three divorces? If his story is true, I doubt he's some wilting flower that shrinks from criticism.
posted by Gamblor at 12:44 PM on October 16, 2006


(by "self-help site' I mean something that approximates "The Dr. Phil Experience™" in an online capacity).

For what it's worth, I don't think the dude should reproduce. Seems like lowering the bar.
posted by The God Complex at 12:46 PM on October 16, 2006


It's impossible to "just answer the question" when someone is so obviously, completely despicable.

The best answer would be for the guy to go play in traffic and make the world a better place, if you ask me.
posted by reklaw at 12:54 PM on October 16, 2006


So while I was gone Askme became a self-help site? Rad! Finally I can poll a vast array of online intellectuals for advice about my upcoming existential crisis (no, it's not in the Great Godfrey Maze).
posted by The God Complex

*bites down on tongue so hard it skips right past bleeding and begins forming tiny gravitational singularities*
posted by loquacious at 12:59 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's impossible to "just answer the question"

Impossible? It's is absolutely, positively impossible for you to just sort of I don't know call your mother or walk the dog or something instead of taking time out of your life to trash a person that could be 4000 miles away and that you will never meet? I mean, I'm all for trashing this guy but I would never in a million years claim that's it's impossible to simply provide an answer and then walk away.
posted by spicynuts at 12:59 PM on October 16, 2006


Well, yeah, OK, point taken. But the thing is that AskMe is, you know, "made of people". There's no way that you can ever remove all the humanity from it and make it into some kind of robotic answer-machine. People are going to make moral judgements one way or another -- and I don't think that's really a bad thing.
posted by reklaw at 1:02 PM on October 16, 2006


The guy's on his fourth marriage. Think he never got any negative reactions during the previous three divorces? If his story is true, I doubt he's some wilting flower that shrinks from criticism.

or, just as logically, he's on his 4th marriage because he runs when things get complicated. he doesn't have to be a "wilting flower" to be unable to take criticism.

I can't help but think his biggest faux pas was calling himself "NFLfan."

I did not even notice that, and I was also initially ready to be sympathetic to the issue, but once I read the question, I just closed the window. I mean, his dilemma is that he wants to have kids, and then he mentions in passing after all those complaints, oh by the way, I already have a kid, but, you know, anyway, so back to my big dilemma... he just seems totally clueless.
posted by mdn at 1:06 PM on October 16, 2006


The whole question reads like something out of What not to post on AskMe. The only thing missing would be if he said he wanted to leave his fourth wife for being infertile and fat, but he's afraid she'll take his SUV in the divorce.
posted by Gamblor at 1:14 PM on October 16, 2006


The only thing missing would be if he said he wanted to leave his fourth wife for being infertile, and fat, uncircumsized and un-declawed, but he's afraid she'll take his SUV and run over his recumbant bicycle in the divorce
posted by loquacious at 1:26 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just to be clear, I looked up the guy's user account and he seems to be legit. I don't think this is some formerly banned person playing a joke on us.

reklaw: It's impossible to "just answer the question"

I don't know if that or your claim about robotic answering machines were directed at me, but I never said people should just answer the question, I said "that doesn't mean people can't show some restraint in telling him why the things he describes are a bad idea."
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:36 PM on October 16, 2006


I was the one who said something about a "just answer the damn question" rule. And there is one, isn't there? I think it's almost always a bad thing when it's otherwise.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:46 PM on October 16, 2006


Guys, my current wife is nagging me too much. Should I shoot her in the head or just stab her in the neck a few times?

JUST ANSWER MY QUESTION!
posted by callmejay at 2:02 PM on October 16, 2006


Well, he's returned, which I'm sure will whip up a whole new round of outrage.

The guy paid his $5 just like everyone else. He gets to ask his one question a week. If you can answer his question (which, by the way, is not hard to condense down to: "I have a grown son, but I want more kids; my wife cannot have kids. Should I stay with her?"), great. If you can't without resorting to personal attacks, is it asking too much to pass it by? The point of AskMe is to allow people (even *gasp* misguided people) to ask questions -- not to help others feel better by giving them a forum to extract a pound of flesh from questioners they find disagreeable.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:03 PM on October 16, 2006


callmejay : "Guys, my current wife is nagging me too much. Should I shoot her in the head or just stab her in the neck a few times?

JUST ANSWER MY QUESTION!"


"Neither."

See, that isn't so hard.
posted by Bugbread at 2:04 PM on October 16, 2006


I am going to take a day or two, re-read the responses. Then decide if I should respond, or listen to my instincts and just leave this Forum.

"Give me a break, you crazed shrews!"
posted by prostyle at 2:16 PM on October 16, 2006


By the way, I don't want my objections to appear to be broad-brush -- I realize that he did get some reasonable, civil answers to his question. I was reacting to some of the initial (deleted) responses, and some of the "douchebag" "asshole" and "should play in traffic" stuff in this thread.

People would do well to remember that those whose attitudes and behaviors seem most divergent might be the same people who can benefit from AskMe the most.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:17 PM on October 16, 2006


This debate always seems to split between thinking-type members who feel the only salient part of the question is the factual information presented, and feeling-type members who feel the emotions behind the information are likely more of an issue than the surface facts themselves.

Neither is wrong; people just have different ways of responding to other human beings. A questioner who's more on the feeling range of the scale probably appreciates the "looking behind the words" feeling responses. A questioner who's more on the thinking range of the scale probably appreciates responses that stick closer to the presented facts. So it's a good thing that we have members on all parts of the spectrum to keep all bases covered, and it's a bit pointless to ask everyone to move to one side or the other. Sometimes there may be disconnects when a thinker gets a feeling response, or vice versa, but that's part of dealing with human beings.

(This is not to say that insulting the poster is appropriate, of course.)
posted by occhiblu at 2:21 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Eh... When my friends act like douchebags, I tell 'em they're acting like douchebags. And c'mon, with the "It's because of the NFL" bullshit. I'm an NFL fan (though my team, the Lions, is trying to undermine that). He's an NFL fan and a demonstrated douchebag. A therapist won't tell him that. But any unbiased stranger?
posted by klangklangston at 2:27 PM on October 16, 2006


Just to be clear, I looked up the guy's user account and he seems to be legit. I don't think this is some formerly banned person playing a joke on us.

The nickname "NFLfan" seemed familiar to me, so I checked SportsFilter. Oddly enough there is a user there with that nick who has been a member since this Spring, but they haven't made a single comment or post. So I have no idea why I felt I had seen them before.

I have no answers, only questions.
posted by terrapin at 2:33 PM on October 16, 2006


I thought this guy did not display the coldness of the truly irredeemable, which I believe I've seen on AskMe at times, but I don't have much hope he will ever be willing to do the work it would require to come to terms with himself.
posted by jamjam at 2:37 PM on October 16, 2006


Of course, NFLfan on SportsFilter lists their "real name" as "Randy Johnson" so ....
posted by terrapin at 2:37 PM on October 16, 2006


I thought people were pretty civil, actually.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 2:42 PM on October 16, 2006


maybe sportsfilters NFLfan posted some comments but then they were deleted so dont show up on his page. What are the rules on sportsfilter on questions about childless marriages?
posted by criticalbill at 2:50 PM on October 16, 2006


That has got to be a hoax. It seems like the sort of question that is crafted just to get an angry response from people. He's on his 4th marriage. He wants to dump his barren wife. He has a son already. He has step kids. Seriously.
posted by chunking express at 2:57 PM on October 16, 2006


There are all sorts of ways to answer questions like this without saying "Hey you're an incredible asshole." People in the "I gave away my laptop and now I want it back" thread found some good ways, though the gravity of that situation was significantly less than this one since there's a "don't ruin another life!" aspect here.

There's a general guideline to not use AskMe to insult the person asking the question. If you think the person asking the question is reprehensible, either find a civil way to tell them that, or just don't answer. I always assume, in cases like these, that I'm dealing with someone from a radically different culture and try to make my answers, if I give them, be very straightforward in that "maybe you're a little dim to not see what I see quite clearly" way. I think erring on the side of being mildly condescending in your overexplanation is preferable to answering douchebaggery with douchebaggery.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:58 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think that the cacaphony of jeers and catcalls that greeted NFLfan's question is somewhat disproportionate to his crime.

I don't see what's got everyone so worked up. People leave their spouses for shitty reasons all the time. I'm sure many of you have done so yourselves.

I mean, think about it: I'm sure most of you have either (a) left a spouse for a hotter, younger piece of ass; or (b) known someone who has.

How is leaving your wife because she can't bear children any more reprehensible than the other common, shitty reasons for leaving a spouse?

I'm not saying what he's contemplating isn't shitty, but the moral opprobrium being heaped on this guy makes you sound like you're all a bunch of paragons of connubial bliss.
posted by jayder at 3:02 PM on October 16, 2006


posted by jayder I'm not saying what he's contemplating isn't shitty, but the moral opprobrium being heaped on this guy makes you sound like you're all a bunch of paragons of connubial bliss.

Just because we're a bunch of hypocrites doesn't mean we're wrong when we point out NFLfan's rationale for leaving his infertile fourth wife for a fifth he hopes to impregnate will not address his deeper and uglier psychological issues about intimacy, love, and commitment. We may not be saints, but at least we're willing to examine the reasons why. NFLfan isn't, won't, or can't.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:14 PM on October 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


fandango_matt: okay, good point.
posted by jayder at 3:19 PM on October 16, 2006


I re-read NFLfan's question. It could be the plot of a heart-wrenching novel. NFLfan's candid, soul-baring couple of hundred words distill a hell of a lot of truth about middle-class married life in middle age. Sad stuff. To malign the man for his mid-life crisis (which he came to us for advice on) is to show a severe compassion deficit.

The more appropriate response is, "Please stay with your wife ... sounds like you've got something great there," and leave it at that. Such an answer --- not the vicious ones --- had the best chance of "reaching" him.
posted by jayder at 3:29 PM on October 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


It could be the plot of a heart-wrenching novel. NFLfan's candid, soul-baring couple of hundred words distill a hell of a lot of truth about middle-class married life in middle age. Sad stuff. To malign the man for his mid-life crisis (which he came to us for advice on) is to show a severe compassion deficit.

Heartwrenching? For his family, sure. This is a man who nowhere mentions the word "love" for his wife (oh, excuse me, "the current spouse"), calls his own sister "the girl," refers to his stepchildren as "the burdensome step-kids," and mentions his own son as an afterthought (evidently because he's an adult and lives overseas). The only thing he's candid about (if inadvertantly so) is his extreme self-centeredness. His main concern about leaving his fourth marriage "the current situation" seems to revolve around the presumed gold-digging motives of younger women (at least those who aren't career-centered ballbreakers).

Collectively, jayder, I think we've got quite a bit of compassion here, thank you very much. But when someone speaks of considering such poor treatment of the people in his life, it ain't compassion that's called for.
posted by scody at 3:40 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I mean, think about it: I'm sure most of you have either (a) left a spouse for a hotter, younger piece of ass; or (b) known someone who has.

yes, and in just about every incident i can think of, including mine, there were other serious issues going on as well ... mine, for the record, involved living with a coke addict, who, although she had quit, wasn't working on her recovery or putting her life together or appreciating what i was doing for her

so maybe you should keep your gross generalizations to yourself

i'm sure that NFLfan probably has other issues going on in his marriage ... the problem being that he doesn't seem to want to talk about them or isn't aware of them
posted by pyramid termite at 3:42 PM on October 16, 2006


posted by jayder NFLfan's candid, soul-baring couple of hundred words distill a hell of a lot of truth about middle-class married life in middle age. Sad stuff. To malign the man for his mid-life crisis (which he came to us for advice on) is to show a severe compassion deficit.

You know, I felt the same way. I initially thought, "What an asshole," and then I felt a swell of pity for the man, his wife, and his son. But my pity was curbed when I remembered he's considering leaving his fourth wife and family to start a family with a fifth, and I quickly realized this man doesn't need answers from us, he needs a therapist to help him understand why he continues abandoning the loving relationships to which he's committed himself in favor of those he perceives as new and free of the unpleasant and sticky trappings of long-term relationships, but I'm left to wonder whether a man who repeatedly abandons relationships instead of examining and working to fix them is capable of the sort of introspection necessary to change his behavior.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:58 PM on October 16, 2006


Ya takes yr risks when you post to the Ax. It is the Hive Mind, after all, not the Hive Soul.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:59 PM on October 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


I should add that my compassion is reserved for the man's wife and son; for him, I feel a mixture of pity and contempt at both his inability to recognize his issues and his failure to address them.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:04 PM on October 16, 2006


I feel a mixture of pity and contempt at both his inability to recognize his issues and his failure to address them.

If only we were all so self-aware as fandango_matt and the rest of the negative respondents in the question. I'm happy to know that you're all absolutely in touch with your inner selves and have never had an irrational urge or felt in any way unsatisfied with your lives. I can only assume that your pity and contempt are your way of saying to us that you have recognized and delath with all your own issues.

Sometimes people don't know what they're really feeling. They displace their fears and desires into other things. Additionally, some people are bad writers and don't frame their questions very well.

Perhaps it's just that most people associate with a different player in the story than the original poster - women see themselves as the discarded spouse, single men see this guy throwing away the relationship they wish they could have. As a rapidly aging male with kids, I can feel for the guy - I'd feel pretty lost too if at 50 I had but one (estranged? distant at any rate) son and two ungrateful step-children. He seems like a semi-socially-conservative guy who, perhaps only now, is realizing how important children are to him. It's sad. But that's the tragedy of life - sometimes you don't realize until it's too late that you missed your chance.

Anyway, the thread proves that amateur psychoanalysis is worse than none at all.
posted by GuyZero at 4:22 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


He seems like a semi-socially-conservative guy who, perhaps only now, is realizing how important children are to him. It's sad. But that's the tragedy of life - sometimes you don't realize until it's too late that you missed your chance.

Well, he seems to have had and missed his chance repeatedly -- after all, he's on the fourth marriage, contemplating a fifth with some hypothetical other woman (if he can find her in the sea of gold-diggers), and even then considers that the the fifth marriage might not work out! To wit:

A younger woman is going to see my savings and will want to spend, spend, spend. Been there done that a FEW times before, and at 49 I don't want to keep replenishing the retirement if a relationship did not work out( a cold, real fact in our days of Alimony, child support, etc - been there and done that too).

So forgive me (and many others) if this simply isn't reading as someone who's had a life-changing epiphany of What Really Matters. It reads as someone who wants to keep making the same damn choices yet again in hopes that it will somehow just work out "better" the next time around, seemingly without any regard as to how his choices actually affect the other human beings in his life.
posted by scody at 4:41 PM on October 16, 2006


Middle-Aged Man's dilemma: Answer the fucking question or compromise his reputation – AskMe wants his nuts
October 16, 2106 422 FM
Middle Aged Man's dilemma: Answer the fucking question or compromise his reputation – AskMe wants his nuts

Aged [mumble, mumble, mumble]. Pointless job. Good beer. However AskMe wants my nuts – AskMe is unanimous in condemning a certain poster as a cretinous misogynist. The dilemma: I still think that I want to try to seriously answer the question before it is finally too late for us all! The naysayers are ok, but the old saying: "if you don’t have anything nice to say, take it to MetaTalk" keeps racing in my mind over and over again. Quick background: Yes there has been some "acceptance" problems with both moderators, particularly the older one, who once mocked me in l33t sp34k. Therapist knows my concerns, and is unhappy of course. (I won’t take the recommended drugs, so he won’t get his kickback.) I do have a Best Answer from before, but it’s pretty old now, and no longer excites me. More "dilemma": AskMe is great, could not ask for better. OK, the "no joking around in AskMe" rules are burdensome and I will be pining forever for that one comment I made in that one AskMe thread that one time as I lost that battle over appropriateness as I forgot to phrase my answer in the form of an answer. My concerns are:

1) Any MeFite who won't bust my balls if I answer the question seriously is likely to be much less worthy than me, and let's face it: MeFites are big on both judging and judging the judgmental; that's why I love them so!

2) I just do not think my chances are good to even find ANY potential solution that doesn’t involve immediate sterilization. Most of the zygotes I have worked with and/or just happened to follow home from the market talk the Modern Woman talk of "guys like that should have their sacks made into handbags"; "Why are all the kewl guys taken?" (exact quote from pen pal, Mark Foley); and many more lines that belong on my personal blog and/or restraining order du jour;

3) Current thread is a great one - also afraid that I would NOT be able to get along and/or have any peace if MeFites knew why I really sympathize with this guy. Current family is somewhat evolved, like myself. However, I feel like I’m denying all of the future generations by withholding any of my seed from the mix. This is why I take all gardening threads very seriously. What kind of a heartless cabal would deny a man a dirty hoe with a fat watering can?

4) If this goober breeds again, the monkey’s uncles are likely to start climbing right back up into the trees.

If I indeed decide to pursue a serious AskMe answer, I need to feel like MetaFilter will forgive me for offering a gesture of kindness to an unfrozen Neanderthal sperm farmer; or I could just forget about the whole idea and download some spunkey m0nkey pr0n.

I know that this is the "quick-and-dirty" version of this case here, but the members of this online community seem razor sharp and if inclined to do so, will be able to shave me, MetaFilter – you’re my only hope – for a smooth and shiny nutsack handbag!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2006 [3 favorites]


I'd feel pretty lost too if at 50 I had but one (estranged? distant at any rate) son and two ungrateful step-children.

yeah, but you know, people that age have to face that and not try to pretend that they're 25 years younger and that having anything they want is possible or desirable for them to have ... if what they've gotten for themselves at 49 is good, then why should they be so ready to upset the applecart to get something "better"? ... (of course, if their life isn't good, they might as well)

he seems to have a good life and a good wife ... and he's had his chance at having a kid, who doesn't seem to have turned out badly ... but it's not good enough for him?

he just needs to accept what he's done so far in his life and set his sights realistically on what he wants to do for the rest of it
posted by pyramid termite at 4:54 PM on October 16, 2006


he seems to have a good life and a good wife ... and he's had his chance at having a kid, who doesn't seem to have turned out badly ... but it's not good enough for him?

Bourgeois Malaise is hardly new around these parts. (Actually, AskMe is the #1 google hit for bourgeois malaise!)

I was about to say that I thought this guy got beat up more for his post versus other posts of bourgeois malaise, but then I realized... no, pretty much everyone who makes these posts gets beat up. Too bad for civil discourse.
posted by GuyZero at 5:03 PM on October 16, 2006


posted by GuyZero the thread proves that amateur psychoanalysis is worse than none at all.

Indeed.

posted by scody It reads as someone who wants to keep making the same damn choices yet again in hopes that it will somehow just work out "better" the next time around, seemingly without any regard as to how his choices actually affect the other human beings in his life.

Bingo.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:16 PM on October 16, 2006


I was about to say that I thought this guy got beat up more for his post versus other posts of bourgeois malaise, but then I realized... no, pretty much everyone who makes these posts gets beat up. Too bad for civil discourse.

Ironically, GuyZero, the bourgeois malaise thread that you cite contains plenty of civil discourse, as have many other threads that have come up around this topic before. Too bad for overgeneralizations.
posted by scody at 5:22 PM on October 16, 2006


I had more to say, but scody took the words right out of my mouth. So let me just say:

I ♥ scody.

And It's Raining Florence Henderson too.
posted by languagehat at 5:26 PM on October 16, 2006


What does everyone have against the NFL?

I'll tell you what I don't like about it. When I was in college, I had to do a debate in a basically contentless easy-A Comm 101 class (that I was dragged into taking kicking and screaming) against this dude who was a college debater. Everyone in there was either a complete moron or totally didn't want to be there or both, except for this guy (I'll let you be the judge of where I stood). When he presented his case during the debate, he talked really really super fast, and neither me nor anyone else in the room could understand him.

So when it came time for me to do my rebuttal, I was just like, "Well, I'm not sure which arguments you presented for your side, because it looks like you tried to present all of them and I couldn't understand you because you were talking so fast. Maybe you could have done better if you did what I did-I tried to present the strongest argument for my side as clearly and concisely as I could, so I guess I'll do that again rather than rebut arguments that I don't understand and frankly am not sure exist, because as far as I know you just read the ingredients list from a can of cream of wheat. " (Seriously. I'm not sure where this came from-I remember thinking right after class that I wasn't even sure if cream of wheat came in cans) So the class loved this, but then I got a poor grade on the debate, and ultimately in the class because "I didn't engage the arguments of the opposing side."

So, yeah. Fuck those NFL people. Um...what was the question again?
posted by Kwine at 5:43 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


"What does everyone have against the NFL?"

It's not the NFL, it's their cups. Everyone's mad about the cups.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:12 PM on October 16, 2006


I like the cups. They're special 3-D cups! If you've been having a lot of trouble holding liquids with your 2-D cups...look no further.
posted by Kwine at 6:48 PM on October 16, 2006


people that age have to face that and not try to pretend that they're 25 years younger and that having anything they want is possible or desirable for them to have

So, at a certain age people have to face the fact that they can't "live" life any longer, have dreams and chase after them and things like that? Can't wait until you get to that age.
posted by melt away at 7:55 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


posted by melt away So, at a certain age people have to face the fact that they can't "live" life any longer, have dreams and chase after them and things like that?

Hey, you're free to do whatever you feel like doing at whatever age you feel like doing it. But we're also free to call you a selfish asshole, especially if you're a thrice-divorced 49-year-old man who asks us whether you should divorce your fourth wife so you can chase your dreams of marrying and impregnating a woman half your age.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:16 PM on October 16, 2006


So, at a certain age people have to face the fact that they can't "live" life any longer, have dreams and chase after them and things like that? Can't wait until you get to that age.

being 49, i AM at that age ... and yeah, sure, i could go out and find some 20 something woman to make babies with ... but it occurs to me that it might not be such a wise thing to do at my age

that isn't to say there aren't dreams i could chase after or lives i could "live" ... but you see, with maturity comes a certain amount of moderation and discretion

can't wait until you get to that age
posted by pyramid termite at 8:29 PM on October 16, 2006


All I can say is the guy gives me hives, and I've rarely been more in love with askme for recognizing how utterly hive inducing he is. I watched that question when it first got posted and thought, oh dear god, if he gets serious answers than that's it, we've jumped some kind of killer shark with idiocy inducing laser eyes. I mean, really. Ask a stupid question, a really amazingly stupid question, a sociopathically stupid question, and get a stupid answer or 30. The thing is, the answers weren't stupid; they were correct. Which gives NFLfan way too much credit, really. It's a reprehensible question, and yeah, in a perfect askme, it should perhaps have remained unanswered, but failing that, I think the responses were remarkable for restraint and tact. I couldn't have summoned either of those qualities up (all I could come up with was vasectomy suggestions, preferably without anesthetic and possibly with rusty pliers) so I abstained. I'm just heartbreakingly sorry - for his step children and his biological son.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:58 PM on October 16, 2006


And his wife! Jeez, she's the one I feel for most. I want to tell him, yes, dump her and go look for someone else, just to spare her from being married to him any more.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:09 PM on October 16, 2006


Unfortunately any asker that dares to offend the green's oh-so-PC liberal values is up for the witchunt/stoning/burning treatment. Maybe these things might go better if mathowie added a flag to the green. Then the various idiots could still get their rocks off by righteously condemning the poster without shitting all over the thread.
posted by nixerman at 9:17 PM on October 16, 2006


posted by nixerman Unfortunately any asker that dares to offend the green's oh-so-PC liberal values is up for the witchunt/stoning/burning treatment.

Okay, I'm honestly curious--how should we have answered the question? What's the non-PC, non-liberal-value answer to NFLfan's question? I'd really like to know.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:28 PM on October 16, 2006


Unfortunately any asker that dares to offend the green's oh-so-PC liberal values is up for the witchunt/stoning/burning treatment.

as opposed to what? ... the non-pc conservative values of find em, feel em, fuck em and forget em?

dude, you can't be serious ... do you mean to tell me that if pat robertson, jerry falwell and the rest of the republican right were to answer this question that they'd suggest the guy ditch his 4th wife for a 20 something hottie he can get knocked up?

this statement of yours is not only the stupidest, most drooling moronic thing i've read here in awhile, but it's indicative of a political mindset that doesn't understand any argument that can't be spelled out with alphabet blocks ...

please tell me that you've been ruled mentally incompentent to vote ...
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 PM on October 16, 2006


Interesting, nixerman: by claiming that all those responses in there -- the ones telling him to stay married and appreciate the family he's already got -- were merely products of our "oh-so-PC liberal values." So you imply that a non-PC, non-liberal perspective (read: conservative, presumably)would be to support him in dumping his wife and go looking to bring another child into the world for not-very-well-defined reasons? And here I thought you non-liberals liked to wrap yourself in the "family values" cloak, while painting us as the moral relativists. Fascinating!
posted by scody at 9:48 PM on October 16, 2006


all I could come up with was vasectomy suggestions, preferably without anesthetic and possibly with rusty pliers
Two bricks would be equally effective.

I applaud all those who provided honest, thoughtful answers. While some comments may have been deleted, I don't currnetly see anything offensive there at all. In fact, the strength of AskMe is that you can be sure of one thing - advice given is going to be honest, if not the advice you wanted to hear.
posted by dg at 9:54 PM on October 16, 2006


This isn't the first time this has happened. It's a regular occurence in the green. See [1], [2] and just about any question involving infidelity. The responses are always the same. No attempt is made to understand where the asker is coming from, the asker is refused the benefit of the doubt, and the extraordinary complexity of human emotions and relations is soundly rejected. Instead the asker is subjected to simplistic moral condemnations that accomplish nothing but making the JudgeMe'rs feel better about themselves. And, like with most mobs, it's always a race to the bottom; all it takes is a few particularly savage souls and soon you have posters swearing at the asker or questioning her very humanity. The participants in these pile-ons don't give two shits about actually helping the asker. If I had to guess, I'd say the primary motivation is revenge mixed with just a bit of sadism -- really a desire to punish you only find among children and a certain class of equally immature adults.

Anyways, it's just unfortunate that it happens so consistently. You take the good with the bad. But mathowie really ought to consider a flag. It'd probably save a lot of time for everybody.
posted by nixerman at 10:33 PM on October 16, 2006


Y'know, nixer, I totally respect your opinion and totally disagree. I understand where you're coming from, but I think that a lot of the "JudgeMe" on this comes from very rational appraisals of the situation. While in general too much judgment can come across on AskMe, I don't think this is the case you want to stand on— unlike arguments stretching from compulsion, arguments from social convention don't have to stand on atomic principle.
In general, it can be bad to encourage a mob of righteousness while still realizing that that the independent judgement of AskMe answerers is that NFLfan is a douchebag.
A cogent argument for why he isn't should be able to stand up in the thread, and would rightly be counted as a minority voice from this community (not arguing for pure majoritarianism, just a recognition that occassionally "social democracy" works).
posted by klangklangston at 10:42 PM on October 16, 2006


The participants in these pile-ons don't give two shits about actually helping the asker.

there are some questions that are so repugnant that the asker doesn't really deserve the help they want, at least with goals that are ill-considered and unconcerned with other people's feelings ... even bleeding heart liberals know that

i did manage to keep my reply to him civil and helpful, even if it was the equivalent of "forget about it"

if you're really concerned with giving "two shits about actually helping the asker", it seems to me that you'd be giving him some advice ... or are you just using this as an excuse to bash those that did?

in any case, we're not some kind of magical oracle that will give a person help with any and every fool thing they take it in their heads to ask us ... we are thinking, feeling people and we have every right to question the premises and morality of someone whose goals are dubious ... i get the feeling that he didn't want honest feedback, he wanted someone to pat him on the back and say, "hey, you're ok, man, go for it"

come to think of it, it's kind of funny how his attitute of "you didn't give me what i wanted, so maybe i should bail on this board" matches up with what he's considering doing with his wife
posted by pyramid termite at 11:04 PM on October 16, 2006


all I could come up with was vasectomy suggestions, preferably without anesthetic and possibly with rusty pliers
Two bricks would be equally effective.


Two bricks would be my choice. It's a method that doesn't hurt at all, unless you get your thumbs in the way.

NFLfan deserves all the answers he got. I thought people responded in such a way that, if he doesn't now, as a result of the responses, realise that the problem is him, then he's beyond hope.
posted by essexjan at 12:16 AM on October 17, 2006


I think these kinds of questions cannot be answered outside a moral context, of some sort, simply because they do involve the asker's and answerers' senses of right and wrong. We are asked, "Should I do this or that?" The decision isn't about what MP3 player to buy or where to go on vacation or how to clean your hardwood floor. These linds of questions and answers, if serious, affect other people and change lives.

Based on the information given by the OP, the answers are legit -- just not the answers he would like to hear. I'd be willing to bet that 99% of therapists, counselors, ministers, what-have-you would say variations of the same thing, although most would sugar-coat it to a greater or lesser degree.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:23 AM on October 17, 2006


Okay, I'm honestly curious--how should we have answered the question? What's the non-PC, non-liberal-value answer to NFLfan's question? I'd really like to know.

You seem to have missed this, nixerman, so I'm reposting it for you. Have you got an answer, or are you just pissing on "liberals" as per usual?
posted by languagehat at 6:38 AM on October 17, 2006


While some comments may have been deleted, I don't currnetly see anything offensive there at all.

Well, a number of comments were deleted, so I'm not sure a full pat on the back is warranted just because the current page appears civil. Also, this recent comment could probably use some cleanup: "Only with actual blood relatives can you acquire children who you can be absolutely certain hate your guts because you're a jerk, rather than because they don't share DNA with you. How about you leave this family now, because you're bad news all round, then not try to reproduce?"
posted by pardonyou? at 6:46 AM on October 17, 2006


Also, I see NFLfan is back, and has decided to come in with arms swinging. I would suggest either forcing him over here, or closing the AskMe thread (or, for that matter, closing both threads). This horse ain't just dead, it's already been made into glue.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:50 AM on October 17, 2006


Well, he's back.

And I have to say, I'm just utterly shocked to discover that he's one of the Five Dollars Buys Me a Shitload of Entitlement people who fails to recognize that MeFi is a community, not a service provider. And also that he thinks we're the ones trolling.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:51 AM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


nixerman, what benefit of the doubt would you have extended to this poster? I suspect that while there are folks who used their answers in that thread to "feel better about themselves," you've used yours in this thread for the same purpose. In neither place have you demonstrated the kind of subtle and nuanced understanding of human interactions and motivations that you laud. In short, in this case I think you're a fraud.
posted by OmieWise at 6:53 AM on October 17, 2006


Awesome. He's going to "expose the degenerates." This is going to rock. Someone go get L-hat.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:58 AM on October 17, 2006


CunningLinguist writes "Someone go get L-hat."

Are you kidding me? He is languagehat. It's been obvious to me from the beginning, all you have to do is read the clues: NFLfan couldn't hide his erudition behind that parade of poorly considered personal details. I'm telling you, and you can trust me on this one, NFLfan==languagehat. The only remaining question is whether it's all planned, or part of a regrettable psychotic break brought about by one too many forays into one too many obscure languages.
posted by OmieWise at 7:11 AM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


His attitude now is like, "OOOooooo, it's ON!"

Very immature. Huge trainwreck in progress.
posted by agregoli at 7:20 AM on October 17, 2006


I am back and am going to dig in and fight like a wolverine cornered for his life.

badgerbadgerbadgerbadger

Seriously, put this fool out of his misery and close the thread... maybe he'll start a sitewide callout in the grey, then we can have a right proper flame out. You can't bleed out in the green, that's just not cool.
posted by prostyle at 7:24 AM on October 17, 2006


Oh, let me get a dig in here that yes I am stuck on that part of myself that yes, I am the kind of man that should be trying to raise children - the man that can afford the best education available and the best secure home to grow up raising children.

I doubt raising any more children will help him to grow up.
posted by hugsnkisses at 7:26 AM on October 17, 2006


"Negative naysayers"? I never knew I could laugh so hard and yet type at the same time.

Dude, you remind me of a friend of mine who was in the very worst relationship I have ever personally witnessed (to name just a few of their problems, she was regularly being raped and slapped around, had cheated on him, and resented the little daughter he had from a previous relationship). She complained non-stop for years on end about this relationship to everyone who would listen, and then bitched because all of those who cared about her were losing patience and sympathy and basically just kept telling her to leave the tool and get counselling. We "didn't understand what love was". We were a bunch of losers who "couldn't even get into a relationship" and "how dare we give her advice". She "was not the problem".

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. And none who will suffer so much as those who insist on endlessly ramming their heads against the same stone wall.

You asked us for our advice, and we made an honest, concerted effort to suggest various options and to be realistic about the risks and drawbacks of each. No, we're not impressed with you, but how good do you feel about the prospect of leaving and hurting your current wife? I'm sure that thread wasn't pleasant reading for you, and there's nothing all that unreasonable about your being angry or irritated, but if somewhere underneath that you can't acknowledge that it was honest advice offered in good faith, then you need to get some help from a professional counsellor.
posted by orange swan at 7:26 AM on October 17, 2006


Well, it's a car crash in the making. I feel an odd mix of sympathy and revulsion towards the guy. He certainly comes across as shallow and superficial, but those aren't crimes. And if you strip off some of the apparent personality traits that are pushing everyone's buttons, the core of his dilemma (or, I should say, "Dilemma") is one that may not be all that unusual. It certainly isn't something that should be verboten on AskMe.

Oh, well. I still hope jessamyn or Matt come in and close both posts. I don't see anything positive resulting from keeping these discussions going.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:27 AM on October 17, 2006


the best secure home to grow up raising children.

How can that be, given his past record and future plans in that department?
posted by agregoli at 7:29 AM on October 17, 2006


I can only hope that Karma gets you good and your offspring causes you similar grief.

I can't wait to see what Karma has in store for us because we try to help strangers on the internet.
posted by orange swan at 7:32 AM on October 17, 2006


Age: 49. Great job. Yes, great job, six figures. Financially secure. Not filthy rich, but if I devoted my remaining time and set out the goal to BECOME filthy rich, there is no doubt in my mind that I could do that if so inclined. Oh, let me get a dig in here that yes I am stuck on that part of myself that yes, I am the kind of man that should be trying to raise children - the man that can afford the best education available and the best secure home to grow up raising children.

Yes great current spouse. Yes she knows about all of this and actually understands. Yes, 2 ungrateful step-children that have continually taken advantage of me and my kindness for the past 8 years.


he goes on, but ... god ... this makes me sorry i even tried to be nice to him ... egotistical, narcissistic and immature ... and if his spouse is ok with this ...

oh, hell, why doesn't he just get a second "wife" and have her move in with them?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:45 AM on October 17, 2006


From Orange Swan:


You asked us for our advice, and we made an honest, concerted effort to suggest various options and to be realistic about the risks and drawbacks of each

You did NOT make an honest, concerted effort with suggestions.

No, we're not impressed with you,


I am not here to impress - just asked a question. Over HALF the responses were NOT answers, just jibberish just like your post above. Oh, I am not impressed with you either. Stay in Canada and eat more ice and snow.

but how good do you feel about the prospect of leaving and hurting your current wife?

If you HAD read all pertinent info, you would have seen that all of this has been discussed.

I'm sure that thread wasn't pleasant reading for you,

And yes you did your part of making sure it remained unpleasant - good work and may Karma catch up with you.

but if somewhere underneath that you can't acknowledge that it was honest advice offered in good faith, then you need to get some help from a professional counsellor.

Again, if you think you and others gave me all of this great breakthrough advice in good faith, it is YOU who needs your so-called 'councelling'. I already know where I am at and what the urges are - like I said I just asked a question IN GOOD FAITH but all I got was b.s. May this Forum die.
posted by NFLfan at 7:47 AM on October 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


His wife "understands." That just makes me sad. How sad to live with a man who considers you weak and wants to move on to yet another wife because you can't make more babies.

did he lurk at ALL before posting his question? I have a strong feeling that he is totally unfamiliar with this community and the span of mores that exists here.
posted by pinky at 7:48 AM on October 17, 2006


Oh, I am not impressed with you either. Stay in Canada and eat more ice and snow.

This is the best you can do? Dear God. I'm laughing so hard I'm bet I'm going to have killer abs by the end of the day.
posted by orange swan at 7:55 AM on October 17, 2006


Stay in Canada and eat more ice and snow.

May this Forum die.

To the Moon!
posted by prostyle at 7:55 AM on October 17, 2006


I am not here to impress

well, you're not impressing anyone with this temper tantrum

when are you going to accept the good life you have for what it is? ... i'm your age, and i don't have things quite as good as you seem to ... unlike you, i'm actually going to have to change some things to make it better and there are certain hard tasks ahead of me to do so

if i were you, i'd learn to accept the life i have, do what i can to improve the negatives, and be grateful for the things i did have ... and i certainly wouldn't waste my time on a web forum trying to justify my life to web strangers

2/3rds of your life has been lived ... accept it, deal with it and move on
posted by pyramid termite at 8:00 AM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


and most important of all, learn to CHERISH it and be grateful for it
posted by pyramid termite at 8:01 AM on October 17, 2006


I'm dreadfully sorry, but: Metafilter: Stay in Canada and eat more ice and snow
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:04 AM on October 17, 2006


and watch out where the huskies go
posted by pyramid termite at 8:11 AM on October 17, 2006


May this Forum die.

All hail Caesar!

(NFLfan, what precious little goodwill you had left before this morning is long gone.)

("Ice and snow"? Really? That's what you were able to come up with?)
posted by pardonyou? at 8:14 AM on October 17, 2006


Pyramid termite, you're the man and the adult NFLfan only imagines he is.
posted by orange swan at 8:15 AM on October 17, 2006


Christ, these marshmallow skewers are disgusting. How long have they been down here?

*helps languagehat clean tines*

posted by cortex at 8:23 AM on October 17, 2006


My god this dude is 49 years old. You figure you would be mature by then.
posted by chunking express at 8:33 AM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


We did JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION...you just weren't enamored of the answers given. Here's the Cliff Notes version of your question, plus the overwhelming consensus of "The Forum" (and instead of "negative naysayers" I've always much perferred the term, "nattering naboobs of negativity":

1) and 2) Marriagable women of childbearing age [22-35, most conventionally] are shallow, money grubbing, career-oriented manhaters....will I be able to find one who will look past the age difference, my subpar looks, and my poor track record with marriages and bitter statements about children, stepchildren, and adoptees and marry me?
HIVE ANSWER: NO

3) My "current spouse" is loving, fantastic, understanding. Should I leave her in order to gamble with whether or not I can have a wife #5 of childbearing age?
HIVE ANSWER: NO

4) Adoption is the sux0r!
HIVE ANSWER: WTF??

Note: I don't think the answers given or the reasons given for them have anything to do with where one lies on the political/"PC" spectrum. [And isn't flinging around the term "P.C." sooo Clinton-era?]
posted by availablelight at 8:34 AM on October 17, 2006


*runs in, breathless*
*looks around for languagehat*

I've got the marshmallows and sticks! Who's got graham crackers and chocolate? I don't want all of us to be stuck EATING ICE AND SNOW.
posted by scody at 8:50 AM on October 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


[sucks on ice cube from freezer and sulks]
posted by orange swan at 8:53 AM on October 17, 2006


NFLFan just go away. The green is not mature enough to handle questions like yours and now you're beginning to sound shrill. Call it a day and chalk up another lesson learned.
posted by nixerman at 9:01 AM on October 17, 2006


Chocolate here. Crackers?
posted by dame at 9:03 AM on October 17, 2006


LOL, I'm so done with this this actual question...if taking offense to blatant misogyny makes me an ultra-PC lib, well, tough shit. I've been called worse...in fact my entire gender has been called much worse in these two threads alone.

Oh, and availablelight, you're right. See, right now, it's not PC to be PC. It's only PC to be un-PC. I myself look forward to the days when it's PC to be not-not-PC. They must be coming soon. Because every dickhead who criticizes someone for being PC somehow thinks he's the first, coolest pioneer to boldly stand up for his first amendment rights, when really the whole PC/not-PC thing got old sometime during the heyday of Murphy Brown. It's kind of like the people who say "What's ironic about the song 'Ironic' is that the things she's singing about aren't ironic at all!" like they just thought of it. These days the only people who care about being PC, or even bring up the term PC, are the people who think they're cool for not being PC.

But all that doesn't matter. What I REALLY care about now, and NEED to know, is WHY does he keep capitalizing "Forum?" Why? It makes no sense. I'm so confused about this.
posted by lampoil at 9:06 AM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]



posted by fandango_matt at 9:09 AM on October 17, 2006


I dunno. He thinks this is Penthouse Forum?
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 9:10 AM on October 17, 2006


Toronto:



Hey, wait a minute! Where's the ice and snow!?! I've been lied to!

(Although, to be fair orange swan, it does look pretty crappy out there).
posted by pardonyou? at 9:12 AM on October 17, 2006


The green is not mature enough to handle questions like yours and now you're beginning to sound shrill.

Oh my god, I just snorted liquid marshmallow through my nose.
posted by scody at 9:13 AM on October 17, 2006


"The green is not mature enough to handle questions like yours..."

Oh, bullshit. I look at those answers and among them I see examples of great emotional maturity.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:13 AM on October 17, 2006


WHY does he keep capitalizing "Forum?"

It's the space after the opening parens( only) that freaks me out.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:15 AM on October 17, 2006


Your maturity is awesome, nixerman. Could you help me out with one thing, though? I just can't seem to locate your deep and mature and awesome answer to the question either here or in the green. Which surprises me, because I'd assumed it would have been marked as a best answer, being so mature and awesome. Could you link to it please, and let me learn from your maturity and sheer awesomness? TIA!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:21 AM on October 17, 2006


I don't think that leaving your spouse because you want children and he/she does not or can not is prima facie unacceptable. Furthermore, I don't think that leaving your post-menopausal wife because you want to have children is necessarily misogynist and heartless. I can imagine good, loving people finding themselves at this point.

But this desire can reveal someone as heartless and misogynist and a strong argument can be made that NFLfan is an example of this.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:21 AM on October 17, 2006


I look at those answers and among them I see examples of great emotional maturity.

Absolutely. Nixerman, please go and read this response, for example, and come back here and and tell us all with a straight face that a tantrum-throwing 49-year-old out trolling for wife #5 and whose sole evidence that he should be raising children is that he has a six-figure salary is more mature than the person who posted that answer.

Go on. We'll wait. I mean, it hasn't escaped anyone's notice how you dodged our repeated questions to explain exactly what you think the superior, non-PC advice to NFLfan should be, but I'm confident you won't want to continue making yourself appear like such an ass.
posted by scody at 9:22 AM on October 17, 2006


My three cents worth: 1. Oh my god, this is going the Way of the Portobello (Precedent,) isn't it? 2. WHOSE SOCK PUPPET IS HE? 3. What he really wants is for someone to link him to a mail order bride site, right?

I know it's kinda evil, but I can't stop watching!
posted by DenOfSizer at 9:22 AM on October 17, 2006


a tantrum-throwing 49-year-old out trolling for wife #5

Sorry, that should be "a tantrum-throwing 49-year-old who is seriously considering going out trolling for wife #5." Just didn't want to distract you with a hair's worth of inaccuracy there, nixerman, from what is sure to be your insightful, nuanced, and mature-beyond-your-years response.
posted by scody at 9:25 AM on October 17, 2006


I'm afraid all I have is Wheat Thins, which I personally happen to be addicted to, but I'll be glad to take some marshmallows and chocolates if you gals are sharing. Now let the self-immolation begin!
posted by languagehat at 9:27 AM on October 17, 2006


Well, we really should send some to Canada too. Especially orange swan.
posted by dame at 9:36 AM on October 17, 2006



posted by fandango_matt at 9:41 AM on October 17, 2006


I feel sorry that I attempted to contribute to an answer for what I thought was an earnest but misguided man. This is sad.
posted by jennyjenny at 9:45 AM on October 17, 2006


I don't think that leaving your post-menopausal wife because you want to have children is necessarily misogynist and heartless. I can imagine good, loving people finding themselves at this point.

For the record, I agree with this. It was his assumptions and generalizations about younger women that struck me as mysogynistic, not the fact that he's considering leaving his wife.
posted by lampoil at 9:50 AM on October 17, 2006


Metafilter: Stay in Canada and eat more ice and snow.
posted by klangklangston at 9:53 AM on October 17, 2006


I’ve been called a greasy thug too, and it never stops hurting.
posted by Otis at 10:09 AM on October 17, 2006


nixerman=NFLfan??!?
posted by OmieWise at 10:09 AM on October 17, 2006


Hey, wait a minute! Where's the ice and snow!?! I've been lied to!

OMG! There's going to be a famine in Toronto! Oh God, where's Bob Geldof when Canadians need him??

*wrings hands, weeps*
posted by essexjan at 10:09 AM on October 17, 2006


Tears Are Not Enough, essexjan.

Hey, if there's going to be a Bob Geldof campaign to save Canadians from their snow and ice drought, can I be the poster girl?
posted by orange swan at 10:19 AM on October 17, 2006


Metafilter: Look through the thread and make sure that nobody has already posted your tagline.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:20 AM on October 17, 2006


Kwine : "When he presented his case during the debate, he talked really really super fast, and neither me nor anyone else in the room could understand him."

Just so you don't think he was just batshit insane or anything, that's actually a style of debate called Policy (or Cross-Examination) Debate. Where he fucked up is that it's a style of debate meant to be used against other people in a formal Policy Debate.

If it helps to understand, it's like going into a boxing match and having your opponent kick you in the head. It isn't necessarily the case that the guy has a lousy fighting style; it may be a very good fighting style, but it's a kickboxing style, and the guy shouldn't be using it in a boxing match.
posted by Bugbread at 10:28 AM on October 17, 2006


I feel sorry that I attempted to contribute to an answer for what I thought was an earnest but misguided man. This is sad.

Yup. I was willing to stick up for the guy but then he went and attacked... Canada??? NFLFan, you're not going to get anywhere attacking Canadians. Plus... lame. That was one lame insult. If you're going to flame out, bring your A-game. "Go eat some ice"? Woah. We're reeling up here. Ouch.

But, please continue to contribue to both threads NFLFan. Please post detailed rebuttals of the advice you disagree with. And once you're in the zone, please post more sexist and jingoistic insults. Becuase maybe we can get something useful out of this thread yet.
posted by GuyZero at 10:32 AM on October 17, 2006


The yellow snow tastes like banana pudding pops.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:41 AM on October 17, 2006


Man, the 1% are seriously riled up today.
posted by spicynuts at 10:55 AM on October 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


Damn, I was totally going to go to the Y this afternoon, now it's too late.

And to top it off, we're all out of ice and snow today....so hungry.
posted by chococat at 10:56 AM on October 17, 2006


The green is not mature enough to handle questions like yours

ROFL ! *wipes tears from eyes*
Thanks, nixerman, I needed a belly laugh.

NFLfan [apologies for getting your name wrong in the green]:
it is YOU who needs your so-called 'councelling'. I already know where I am at and what the urges are


and my urges ain't broke so they don't need fixing! I'm perfect just as I am, and my relationships are happy-happy-joy-joy! "Counseling" is a BS answer!

With that kind of attitude, good luck raising a happy, well-adjusted kid (thank God I had mom to pattern myself after) , or going to your grave anything but an angry, bitter, isolated old man.

My dad refused therapy too, for years. Mom's death was the first thing that made him really examine himself. People who wait until it's TOO LATE before they grow up deserve the hells they live in.

*throws banana wrapped in foil on the coals for baking*
*sends Express Delivery of ice, snow, and s'mores to orange swan and chococat*
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:06 AM on October 17, 2006


If you're going to flame out, bring your A-game.

No, it's been too long, I'm wiling to settle for a second-division flameout. Go, NFLfan, go!
posted by languagehat at 11:16 AM on October 17, 2006


That would be AFLfan.
posted by OmieWise at 11:20 AM on October 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


Just so you don't think he was just batshit insane or anything, that's actually a style of debate called Policy (or Cross-Examination) Debate. Where he fucked up is that it's a style of debate meant to be used against other people in a formal Policy Debate.

I'm confused about how that relates to the guy talking really, really fast? It sounds like Kwine knew he was in a Cross-Ex debate and so did his opponent. The guy just talked so fast that Kevin couldn't understand him.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:02 PM on October 17, 2006


All my friends on the high-school debate team were taught to speak so quickly that normal humans could not understand them. It seemed to be expected in that debate realm.
posted by occhiblu at 12:03 PM on October 17, 2006


During my brief yet illustrious reign as a policy debate second-place trophy winner, my partner and I took great pride in the fact that we spoke at normal speeds, while our opponents talked really fast during their speeches but couldn't answer any of our cross examination questions.
posted by footnote at 12:16 PM on October 17, 2006


Wow. LH, you're getting your flameout, in spades.

Here in Vancouver, we often have ice and snow shortages, and as a result we are all dependant on regular shipments from back East. It's sad, really, but we try to be strong.

So where the s'mores at? I'm starving.
posted by jokeefe at 12:16 PM on October 17, 2006


That's richly bizarre. Never encountered anything of the sort in any of my debate competitions. It must be an American thing.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:17 PM on October 17, 2006


No, it's been too long, I'm wiling to settle for a second-division flameout.

HEY EVERYONE I'M LEAVING METAFILTER FOREVER, NOW DIE!
posted by Krrrlson at 12:17 PM on October 17, 2006


Ok, I'm back.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:18 PM on October 17, 2006


jacquilynne : "I'm confused about how that relates to the guy talking really, really fast?"

It mentions in the Wikipedia link that Policy Debate / Cross-Examination Debate is characterized by extremely fast speaking.

When I entered high school, I considered joining debate club, and went to see one of their debate meetings, but everyone was talking so fast in the debate that I had no idea what they were saying. I decided not to join the debate club. One of the members later pointed out that they also did Lincoln/Douglas debating, which was regular speed, but I'd already made up my mind not to join at that point.

I wasn't sure if it was just something at my school, but when I googled it, it seems that the super-machinegun-talk is a characteristic of Policy / Cross-Examination Debate in general, not just at my school.
posted by Bugbread at 12:22 PM on October 17, 2006


jacquilynne : "Never encountered anything of the sort in any of my debate competitions. It must be an American thing."

It may well be. My knowledge comes from my own school (in the US), and googling on the net (which has lots of US stuff).
posted by Bugbread at 12:23 PM on October 17, 2006


Please stop derailing this flameout with an earnest discussion of debate techniques. Thanks.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:40 PM on October 17, 2006


Please stop derailing this flameout with an earnest discussion of debate techniques. Thanks.

Yeah. My marshmallow is barely melted.
posted by jokeefe at 12:42 PM on October 17, 2006


Multiple marrages, multiple kids and everything is everyone elses fault.
Personally I think the situation is more sad then anthing else. Fellow is not going to end up in a happy place, and an annoymnious "Forum" is not the best place for such issues.

yeah, could be a sockpuppet sendup.
posted by edgeways at 12:45 PM on October 17, 2006


Youjustcan'tkeepupwithmyhyperspeeddebatingskillsyoumotherfuckerI'llcutoffmyhandgoddamnitbecauseI'marealman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Bugbread at 12:57 PM on October 17, 2006


I'm actually feeling sorry for the guy. The green can be a very harsh place to get beat down.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:24 PM on October 17, 2006


I like how NFLfan said he was going to fight like a wolverine, but instead he's turned into Kitty Pryde and vanished.

Maybe his mutant power is the ability to marry women just long enough to discover that he wants to marry another woman.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2006


MetaFilter: "WHY AREN'T THE VIOLENT BALL SPORTS PROPERLY CULLING THE HERD?"

NFLfan writes "I am not here to impress"

Your plan is working.
posted by Mitheral at 1:35 PM on October 17, 2006


going to fight like a wolverine
WOLVERINES!!!!!
Maybe he just wants a son who will avenge him should he ever be captured by invading Russians and detained at the old drive-in.
posted by jrossi4r at 2:01 PM on October 17, 2006


The essence of a good flame out is the sheer pointlessness. Hitting triple digits in the green and the gray would make this one of the greats, I reckon. If the scroll bar is not reduced to a speck on the right-hand edge of your screen, then it wasn't a good flame out. If no borderline dadaistic insults to one or more nationalities are made, then it wasn't a great flame out.

What makes this one a classic, however, is the declarations of war upon the "Forum." Picture NFLfan with his print out of the AskMe thread, picking over the responses. Picture the yellow highlighter in his hand and the orange one at his side - orange for the "positive contributions", yellow for the degenerates in need of exposure. And picture him returning to his computer every quarter-hour, printing new pages as the pile-on continues.

It has become apparent that he had his mind all but made up before he made the post. He sought not advice, but agreement and justification. Not a lick of this has been worth anyone's effort or consternation. A single post would have sufficed.

"Dude, that's pretty fucked up."

So let's see if we can't squeeze another eighty or so posts out of it. This membership is the best $5 I ever spent.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:06 PM on October 17, 2006


And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.


From "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", by T.S. Eliot.
posted by orange swan at 3:08 PM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I was going to say, y'all were more optimistic than I was. It looked like a lost cause from go. To be fair, though, he did mark a decent Best.

I have nothing more constructive to offer, outside of the fact that I'm well-stocked with Criollo. Snooty s'mores, anyone?
posted by moira at 3:29 PM on October 17, 2006


Gee, maybe I should go back and say, "Sure! Leave her! I'm sure you won't have any trouble at all finding wife #5, impregnating her, and having the resulting child STILL grow up to hate your ass!"

Wife #4 sounds like a saint to me.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:29 PM on October 17, 2006


His wife "understands." That just makes me sad. How sad to live with a man who considers you weak and wants to move on to yet another wife because you can't make more babies.

Or perhaps she's secretly hoping to be rid of him by his own accord, leaving her with the house and the alimony and free to remarry.
posted by jokeefe at 4:39 PM on October 17, 2006


Further, I have to say that he makes the wussiest Wolverine I've ever seen. A few feeble swipes of his claws and then... nothing. *contemplates lukewarm marshmallow, puts stick away*
posted by jokeefe at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2006


I was also looking forward to finding out who the degenerates were. This is a burning question which needs to be addressed.

Seriously, there are some fantastic, reasoned, thoughtful meditations of life and aging and how to find contentment in that thread, for which I thank all the individual posters. NFLfan might not have learned anything, but I certainly have.
posted by jokeefe at 4:43 PM on October 17, 2006


NFLfan will be back, I am sure. He said he was going to respond to every comment, and he strikes me as a man whose word is strong as oak.
posted by jayder at 4:58 PM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm just shocked that nixerman has declined to come back and enlighten us. But I guess he figures there's no talking to a mob when it's so dangerously hopped up on ice and snow.
posted by scody at 5:34 PM on October 17, 2006


Give it a rest, scody.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 5:53 PM on October 17, 2006


I'm sorry, but anyone who sticks his neck out as an apologist for a guy looking for justification to leave a longer trail of destroyed relationships behind him by repeatedly insulting the many people who answered NFLfan's question in good faith -- some with really heartfelt stories of the kind of lifelong pain and difficulty his propsed actions can cause -- by so smugly dismissing them as "immature" liberal shills is going to tempt me for one last poke with my marshmallow stick. Given the scale of bad behavior that we're talking about, I'll be more than happy to cop to that.
posted by scody at 6:10 PM on October 17, 2006


He tempted you? By not answering a rhetorical question? I think you're just frustrated he didn't provide you another opportunity to practice your indignance.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:23 PM on October 17, 2006


Scody is quite justified in criticizing Nixerman, IIHAA. On the whole people did post the best possible answers to such a question. He claimed they weren't mature. Well then, let him show us what he means by mature.
posted by orange swan at 7:09 PM on October 17, 2006


I haven't said anything about the justness of criticizing nixerman. I think it was tedious of scody to chime in with the same sarcastic shit she's already posted just because it remained unanswered nine hours later. But that has no correlation to how I feel about the comments of nixerman or NFLfan.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:41 PM on October 17, 2006


I kept holding my breath for his post saying that he was actually thrice widowed. That would have made me feel guilty. This doesn't, but whoever posted Prufrock made me pee a little.
posted by crabintheocean at 8:37 PM on October 17, 2006


Prufrock comes down from the mountain as a bull.
Looking for a young wife. Less sullen, now,
in assumed virility, snorting and pawing at potential admirers
posed in dioramas along the Boulevard.

He muscles his way into the club, getting by on bad lighting
and passable enhancements, apparently.
I seriously doubt the bouncer recognizes his name,
let alone his particular species of allusion.

We laugh as the sad old man flexes his haunches,
flicks his tail. Tossing his massive head from side to side
(and still with a noticeable bald spot, despite his disguise),
Prufrock chases supermodel wannabes around the bar.

Pamplona via the AARP, Annie jokes.
Transecting the available via bull, I reply. And as Annie
chews that one over, I add, and spare me the aging rock stars
in their black leather pants. Annie spits up her drink.

Then in walks Humbert Humbert, dressed as a swan.
Claims he's police. Makes the young ladies show their IDs.
Trolling for Leda via Lolita, I think,
but I keep that one to myself.

He never does get around to us, though,
and neither does Prufrock. So we're honestly relieved
when they stumble out drunk, together, an hour or so later.
Sparing us the cock and bull.

Two overeducated goddesses alone with our martinis
and the bartender that calls us "Ma'am."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:27 PM on October 17, 2006 [22 favorites]


What is that, IRFH??
posted by granted at 9:52 PM on October 17, 2006


Meaning: who wrote it?
posted by granted at 9:52 PM on October 17, 2006


!!! holy shit. Eliot's Prufrock, then Prufrock and Humbert (yours, Its Raining Florence Henderson?). Sublime. My brother will also pee himself.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 9:57 PM on October 17, 2006


Yeah, it's original. It's not new, but it seemed eerily appropriate tonight.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:07 PM on October 17, 2006


well, then irfh, it was worth it for that
posted by pyramid termite at 10:17 PM on October 17, 2006


fabulous.
posted by granted at 10:39 PM on October 17, 2006


well, then irfh, it was worth it for that

Seconded. That was truly awesome, irfh.
posted by jokeefe at 10:45 PM on October 17, 2006


And when somebody sits down to compose AskMe: The Opera, can you write the libretto?
posted by jokeefe at 10:46 PM on October 17, 2006


Thank you!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:58 PM on October 17, 2006


Does "alimony" really still exist? I thought there were divorce settlements and child support payments, and that was it.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:06 PM on October 17, 2006


Oh, Flo! That was splendorous!
posted by taz at 12:43 AM on October 18, 2006


Does "alimony" really still exist?

Yes.

Man Fights To Stop Paying Alimony After Ex-Wife Becomes Man
posted by Otis at 5:25 AM on October 18, 2006


Does "alimony" really still exist?

it doesn't in my state and some others ... it really depends on where you live
posted by pyramid termite at 5:39 AM on October 18, 2006


Then in walks Humbert Humbert, dressed as a swan.

Hoo boy.
posted by orange swan at 6:07 AM on October 18, 2006


Give it a rest, If I Had An Anus. nixerman deserves scody's scorn, and scody doesn't deserve yours.
posted by languagehat at 6:18 AM on October 18, 2006


If "give it a rest" is an example of scorn, then apparently I deserve yours.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:44 AM on October 18, 2006


Give it a rest, languagehat. nixerman doesn't deserve scody's scorn, scody deserves IIHAA's, IIHAA doesn't deserve yours, and—

okay, I'm honestly just enjoying the chaining.
posted by cortex at 6:58 AM on October 18, 2006


I think you've unintentionally left out a "doesn't" there. You don't want to the lumped in with us bad people, do you.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:07 AM on October 18, 2006


And I've left out a "be" and a "?"
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:07 AM on October 18, 2006


Rest period is now over. Everyone must now stop resting, especially cortex.
posted by Kwine at 5:19 PM on October 18, 2006


Back off man. I just did thirty minutes on my recumbent stationary. On level TEN.

I DON'T DESERVE YOUR SCORN.
posted by cortex at 6:34 PM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


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