There's been an awful lot of Obits lately. November 17, 2006 12:21 PM   Subscribe

I don't mean to be insensitive, but can can we give ObituaryFilter a rest?
posted by icosahedral to Etiquette/Policy at 12:21 PM (92 comments total)

I doubt it!
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:24 PM on November 17, 2006


Why?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2006


The Can Can - RIP 1890.
posted by icosahedral at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2006


I would believe everyone lived forever if not for these posts.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2006 [3 favorites]


Matt could make DeathFilter, and instead of a comment box it would just be a button with a period on it.
posted by smackfu at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2006 [9 favorites]


.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2006


Of all the problems this place could have, this ranks just above "too much uptime".
posted by dflemingdotorg at 12:28 PM on November 17, 2006


Actually, it's the part of newsfilter I really like. For every celebrity I would have heard about in the mainstream, there's the weird people who only I (and other MeFiers) seem to know about.

And those people I didn't know about before, it's a perfect time for a well put together retrospective/FPP that catches me up on that bit of trivia that will make me reign supreme at pub quiz/inspire a novel/whatever else we're supposed to do with all the cool stuff I learn here.
posted by Gucky at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why do you want to? I looked at your links and the only one I thought was truly weak was the single-link Jack Palance one. An obit that is an opportunity to introduce an interesting person we might not have heard about seems cool; so does a thoughtful post that talks about the person's cultural impact.

Of course, I'm pretty new here, so I'm probably wrong. But I'm thinking about joining the "don't like it? don't read it" faction. Where should I send my dues, and how long will it take to get my membership card?
posted by not that girl at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2006


Coincidentally, I had a dream last night that both Matt and Jessamyn died on the same day, and the entire group was in a state of chaos because there was no one to delete any posts.

Really.

I have weird dreams when I'm running on kid-induced sleep deprivation.
posted by dw at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2006


instead of a comment box it would just be a button with a period on it.

That wouldn't really serve the purpose of the obit posts. For instance, yesterday's about Milton Friedman was not about each contributing our own "grieving periods." It was about convincing people to commit mass suicide and go picket at heaven's doors to prevent him from entering.
posted by micayetoca at 12:38 PM on November 17, 2006


I sez no.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:40 PM on November 17, 2006


What don't you like about it? Non-interesting responses, or just a depressing topic, or you feel left out because you don't know any of the recently deceased referents?
posted by scheptech at 12:44 PM on November 17, 2006


icosahedral, if you can craft a definition of death related threads that anyone can read and judge their pending post against, and it's so clear and concise that no one would second guess it and wonder why their death related thread was removed, then, well, we'd ignore it and post them anyway.

But it would be a challenging exercise, wouldn't it?
posted by timeistight at 12:44 PM on November 17, 2006


All these famous and semi-famous and non-famous people dying and I gotta see a front page post about each one and then I gotta click on it and read comments when I should be outside enjoying life and making friends and hugging people goddamn you MetaFilter!!!!11!11
posted by NationalKato at 12:45 PM on November 17, 2006


.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:45 PM on November 17, 2006


The reason it irks me is because I seem to have an opposite reaction to Gucky's -- it's the most static of newsfilter posts that you can have. The threads themselves just fall into a thread full of periods, or they become an MSNBC retrospective. With a death post, there's *never* going to be new content. Therefore - aside from the fact itself that person X has died - how does that consititute bestOfTheWeb(tm)?
posted by icosahedral at 12:49 PM on November 17, 2006


I was going to point to the Joseph Cornell thread as an example of an obit post with a great example of new and interesting content, but, of course, that wasn't an obit post at all, he'd been dead for 35 years.

But surely there are obit posts that do have those sorts of memories?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:55 PM on November 17, 2006


Seriously, icosahedral, if you'd been reading MetaTalk as closely as you should, you have seen mathowie hold up one of the very posts you're complaining about as a shiny example of a great post and call me a control freak (but not, at least yet, a douchebag) for saying it was nasty newsfilter.

So you lost this one before you even started.
posted by timeistight at 12:56 PM on November 17, 2006




how does that consititute bestOfTheWeb(tm)?
posted by icosahedral


As Gucky stated, sometimes the author or the FPP includes links to webpages that introduce, enlighten, or clarify.
posted by NationalKato at 12:59 PM on November 17, 2006


tell you what, icosahedral ... when you bite the big one, we'll keep quiet about it
posted by pyramid termite at 1:02 PM on November 17, 2006


Why do these famous people keep dying all the time? I can hardly keep up!
In my home town they at least have the decency to die in alphabetical order.
posted by Floydd at 1:03 PM on November 17, 2006


Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony by Shel Silverstein

There was a girl named Abigail
Who was taking a drive
Through the country
With her parents
When she spied a beautiful sad-eyed
Grey and white pony.
And next to it was a sign
That said,
FOR SALE--CHEAP
"Oh," said Abigail,
"May I have that pony?
May I please?"
And her parents said,
"No you may not."
And Abigail said,
"But I MUST have that pony."
And her parents said,
"Well, you can't have that pony,
But you can have a nice butter pecan
Ice cream cone when we get home."
And Abigail said,
"I don't want a butter pecan
Ice cream cone,
I WANT THAT PONY--
I MUST HAVE THAT PONY."
And her parents said,
"Be quiet and stopp nagging--
You're not going to get that pony."
And Abigail began to cry and said,
"If I don't get that pony, I'll die."
And her parents said, "You won't die.
No child has ever died yet from not getting a pony."
And Abigail felt so bad
That when they got home she went to bed,
And she couldn't eat,
And she couldn't sleep,
And her heart was broken,
And she DID die--
All because of a pony
That her parents wouldn't buy.
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:06 PM on November 17, 2006


ObituaryFilter: RIP, icosahedral.

You suck.
posted by cillit bang at 1:06 PM on November 17, 2006


I could go either way.
posted by OmieWise at 1:08 PM on November 17, 2006


I had a dream last night that both Matt and Jessamyn died on the same day

Weird but true: I had a dream last night that I was in an IRC channel and someone revealed that davy was dios' sockpuppet.

Really, it was crazily lucid and precise (if nonsensical). It's not innaccurate to actually post it as a reconstructed chatlog:
< @$%#> so it turns out that dios
< @$%#> was behind davy all along
< cortex> ...
< @$%#> seriously, go check the askme tabs
Don't ask. It was weird dream city last night.
posted by cortex at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2006


"A CAD HOLE SIR" is an anagram of icosahedral. Just saying... and just teasing.

Like any post, if you don't like it, don't click it.
posted by terrapin at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2006


Humans have a distinct need to mourn the dead. Public mourning is good for society. Don't like 'em? Don't click 'em.
posted by ColdChef at 1:11 PM on November 17, 2006


Of all the problems this place could have, this ranks just above "too much uptime".

Dead on.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:12 PM on November 17, 2006


icosahedral's War Against Death, Day One: A MetaFilter Special Investigative Report
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:12 PM on November 17, 2006


we really need graphics back up.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:13 PM on November 17, 2006


cillit bang's just upset because he kept clicking on that link but it didn't take him anywhere.
posted by NationalKato at 1:15 PM on November 17, 2006


You suck

No, YOU suck, sir. OOOOOOO BURN!

ObituaryFilter: RIP, cillit bang. We shall miss your snarky ways.

.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:19 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


*hurriedly writes obitfilter thread for this thread*

.
posted by drleary at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2006


It's not that posts that are the problem. It's the dots that get in the way of real discussion.

Maybe people should favorite the post instead. It is a much better way of showing a list of names.
posted by smackfu at 1:33 PM on November 17, 2006


Maybe we should have a spot on the sidebar in the grey where everyone can post what they don't want on MetaFilter. That way the grey won't be taken up by bitching about what other members post.

All of it gets jammed together--the I-hate-newsfilter crowd cheek and jowl by the I-am-tired-of-obits crowd who are in the same sidebar with the gif group.

It could work. And you know what? I would never, ever click on that sidebar and be subjected to you douchebags whining about anything ever again.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:35 PM on November 17, 2006


We've got to keep it, if only so that I can keep fantasizing about what my obitfilter thread will look like.

I'm hoping for lots of ASCII art.
posted by COBRA! at 1:35 PM on November 17, 2006


I agree with icosahedral. I know for a fact that people (I'm looking at you, Friedman) are dying just to get onto Metafilter.
posted by found missing at 1:37 PM on November 17, 2006


Not since Matt opened up sign-ups.
posted by smackfu at 1:47 PM on November 17, 2006


&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp•&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
posted by emelenjr at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2006


Gah.
posted by emelenjr at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2006


I think it's unavoidable, and it's not necesarily a bad thing. Often times we are reminded of how amazing someone is by reading about their death. I think there's nothing wrong with obiturary posts, if the FPP is well done. If it's one link to CNN, it should be deleted for the same reasons any one-link-to CNN post should be deleted. It has nothing to do with the subject of these posts, and everything to do with the execution (pardon the morbid pun).
posted by piratebowling at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2006


RIP Anal sex only rule above the fold on home page.
posted by Mister_A at 1:53 PM on November 17, 2006


"...can we give ObituaryFilter a rest?"

In peace?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:53 PM on November 17, 2006


anotherpanacea - I work in distance learning test administration and I was making copies of an exam for a course on children's literature and one of the identification questions was on this snippet:

And she couldn't eat,
And she couldn't sleep,
And her heart was broken,
And she DID die


and I thought, huh, that's some pretty serious children's literature. And now I know how it ends, and why she died! THANK YOU!
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:54 PM on November 17, 2006


I remember when we had this discussion shortly after Douglas Adams died.

I'm willing to make a compromise, no more obit threads, as long as we get an obit thread thread here on the m-talk where we just post periods, but if anyone posts something other than a period, baldur-like, we will have obit threads for every single death ever.

Deal?
posted by drezdn at 1:58 PM on November 17, 2006


No, you deal. I dealt last time.
Just don't give me the ace of holes again.
posted by Floydd at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2006


Ever day, Metatalk seems more and more like the summer version of the local primetime news, with a variety of talking heads waxing semi-eloquently about some new Threat to our Safety, nevermind the fact that every threat mentioned has actually shown no statistical increase, and, subsequently, there is absolutely nothing different about this day than any other if you ignore those caterwauls sounding from the street corners: the end is extremely fucking nigh! I urge you to ignore these urban sirens, or you may find yourself at your keyboard day after day, wailing ineffectively against your own golden-aged projections, filled with an existential cocktaile of dread and longing.

Brigands, all.
posted by The God Complex at 2:01 PM on November 17, 2006


(Excuse the extra 'e': I missed my nap)
posted by The God Complex at 2:02 PM on November 17, 2006


I thought you were just going olde school.
posted by Mister_A at 2:07 PM on November 17, 2006


I would believe everyone lived forever if not for these posts.

Exactly. Sometimes I have to visit Dead or Alive? to see if so-and-so is still kicking.

BTW -- today -- RIP, Bo Schembechler.
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on November 17, 2006


I'm pretty sure if we stopped Obituraryfilter, the world would take on the aspects of an old Lionel Barrymore movie.
posted by crunchland at 2:23 PM on November 17, 2006


I don't mean to be insensitive, but can people just stop making stupid pointless MetaTalk posts?
posted by languagehat at 2:36 PM on November 17, 2006


I wish we'd all bookmark the front page of the NY Times, and get our headline news there. But it's not bloody likely.
posted by tula at 2:39 PM on November 17, 2006


But languagehat, if people stop making stupid pointless MetaTalk posts, you'll never get a decent flameout!
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:56 PM on November 17, 2006


Sure, but it won't stop people from dying.
posted by The Deej at 3:02 PM on November 17, 2006


.

ObitFilter was so young too--it's a shame. ; >
posted by amberglow at 3:04 PM on November 17, 2006


*weeps, throws self on coffin*
posted by jonmc at 3:14 PM on November 17, 2006


Don't hate the playa, hate the game!

More seriously though, how about just banning the single dot comments? That would be easy enough to filter out, and would require people to make an actual comment, thereby adding actual content.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:19 PM on November 17, 2006


Wait until you see who's dying this weekend! And next month! You're gonna want to see those FPPs believe you me!

Also, there is a greasemonkey script to make complaints like this into ceiling cat images.
posted by mattbucher at 3:24 PM on November 17, 2006


I agree, obituary posts can be great — and I agree, the dots suck worse than the New York Giants' jump shot.
posted by cribcage at 3:26 PM on November 17, 2006


Look, you can't stop people from making a certain kind of front page post. You can only choose not to make them yourself. Get that through your good-looking yet thick skulls.
posted by crunchland at 3:27 PM on November 17, 2006


The worst thing about the dots is the people who post a dot AND ALSO FUCKING WRITE SOMETHING IN THE COMMENT! (emphasis added).
posted by Mister_A at 3:30 PM on November 17, 2006


There goes my clean sheet. Thanks icosahedral.

P.S. I stand by my post. It was worth it for this comment alone.

RIP IMG

posted by Otis at 3:42 PM on November 17, 2006


posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:26 PM GMT

I read that as

posted by These Penises Are Alarmed at 8:26 PM GMT

which is a way better username.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:52 PM on November 17, 2006


Nevermind the ObituaryFilter, has anyone outside America ever heard of Bo Schembechler?
Also Armored Wankball (©Fark, I think) is not football.
posted by Joeforking at 4:27 PM on November 17, 2006


Nevermind the ObituaryFilter, has anyone outside America ever heard of Bo Schembechler?
Also Armored Wankball (©Fark, I think) is not football.


Oh, what are ya gonna do, come over here and HOOLIGAN us to death?
posted by evilcolonel at 4:39 PM on November 17, 2006


has anyone outside America ever heard of Bo Schembechler?

Ah, an opportunity to learn something new on MetaFilter! ;)
posted by ericb at 5:03 PM on November 17, 2006


"I read that as

posted by These Penises Are Alarmed at 8:26 PM GMT

which is a way better username."


I can't afford a penis alarm, so I just bought The Club.

For members only.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:08 PM on November 17, 2006


Speaking of learning new things, I now know that there are people who dream about MetaFilter. Imagine that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:11 PM on November 17, 2006


Fuck. Jack Palance died? I didn't know. Thanks for this MetaTalk post, otherwise I'd never have known.
posted by rocketman at 7:34 PM on November 17, 2006


Weird but true: I had a dream last night that I was in an IRC channel...

.
posted by y2karl at 8:02 PM on November 17, 2006


I had no idea icosahedral was so... prolife.
posted by shmegegge at 8:05 PM on November 17, 2006


With a death post, there's *never* going to be new content. Therefore - aside from the fact itself that person X has died - how does that consititute bestOfTheWeb(tm)?

I don't follow. Must the best of the web only ever be new? To whom must it be new? Death is nothing new, surely, but each life lived is potentially the best of the web and if not exactly new then certainly unique.

Skip on down to the Sharper Image posts, no need to linger on Death too long. Especially in MetaTalk. Here there be monsters already.
posted by carsonb at 8:15 PM on November 17, 2006


The worst thing about the dots is the people who post a dot AND ALSO FUCKING WRITE SOMETHING IN THE COMMENT! (deemphasis mine)

When people do a moment of silence in meatspace, they've been talking just before and eventually start talking again when it's over. Don't let things on the internet bug you so much, asshole

.
posted by carsonb at 8:20 PM on November 17, 2006


I do mean to be insensitive, get over yourself you giant baby. Don't click on it if you don't like it. The fuck?
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:47 PM on November 17, 2006


If you don't go to other peoples' funerals, they won't go to yours.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:28 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]




Ruth Brown just died, so get ready for another one.
posted by fixedgear at 2:17 AM on November 18, 2006


I don't follow. Must the best of the web only ever be new? To whom must it be new? Death is nothing new, surely, but each life lived is potentially the best of the web and if not exactly new then certainly unique.

The reason I skip them is that they're normally posted shortly after someone's death. Unless the poster has been working on them in advance, they tend to be the first 5 links they found on Google. Very rarely do we get "You know that person who died last week? Here's a really cool page about them."
posted by cillit bang at 7:11 AM on November 18, 2006


I got a piece of spam the other day with the headline "Don Delillo died". I immediately raced to ... MeFi to see if it was true.
posted by dobbs at 7:29 AM on November 18, 2006


Really, how did you expect this post to go?
posted by spicynuts at 8:50 AM on November 18, 2006


belly-up?
posted by matteo at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2006


Feet first.
posted by fixedgear at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2006


D.O.A.
posted by crunchland at 10:41 AM on November 18, 2006


Wow - Jesus, okay. So I kicked a hornet's nest. Message heard loud and clear.
posted by icosahedral at 10:46 AM on November 18, 2006


RIP ObituaryFilterFilter.
posted by kindall at 12:46 PM on November 18, 2006


.
posted by cgc373 at 1:39 PM on November 18, 2006


Why do people post things I'm not interested in?
posted by Ynoxas at 2:12 PM on November 18, 2006


¿
posted by signal at 10:07 PM on November 18, 2006


Guess not. Can we get a trifecta here?
posted by tellurian at 5:32 AM on November 28, 2006


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