how to do an obituary February 8, 2007 1:28 PM   Subscribe

LowestCommonDenominatorFilter: In which people revel in their own ugliness. At the very least this post could be deleted and a more thoughtful person could construct a more interesting (and bother with tags--the poster probably was ina rush to be the first to post the obit) post. Then you could at trivialize another human's life within a broader framework.
posted by Burhanistan to Etiquette/Policy at 1:28 PM (147 comments total)

the poster probably was ina rush

heh. Guess I was in a rush also.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2007


That is not a shining moment for Metafilter and should be deleted.

Except for dances_with_sneetches comment, which was the funniest comment I have read on Metafilter (displacing one of mcd's pug comments).

But yeah, that thread is a blight on the site tonight, amirite?
posted by dios at 1:32 PM on February 8, 2007


The post sucks. If it's removed, other sucky posts on the same topic will rush to fill the void. I am not sure how to solve this problem honestly. I added some tags at least.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:33 PM on February 8, 2007


The woman was a gold digger, that has been tragically stricken down. Her ill-begotten estate is now the fodder for further gold digging.

If this isn't good conversation material, I don't know what is.
posted by Balisong at 1:33 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, this is real annoying:

Somebody had to post it.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:59 PM CST on February 8


No. That's not right at all. Nobody had to post it. That mentality is why Newsfilter is teh suck.
posted by dios at 1:35 PM on February 8, 2007


I agree with you, but you aren't going to get anything in this thread but more ascii titties and a bunch of people hooting about how they don't have to respect a motherfucking thing.

That thread is fucking packed to the gunwales with people whistling past the graveyard. Corny man, just corny.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:35 PM on February 8, 2007


Could you guys slip a "Yes, we know ANS has passed away" notice in the New Post page, like the tax-questions notice on the New Question page?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:38 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


*posts 10 youtube links*
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:40 PM on February 8, 2007


Personally I'd like to thank all the guys who normally post those annoying full stops for trying for a new crappy way to remember someone - the snark is always a great way to remember a human being...
posted by twine42 at 1:41 PM on February 8, 2007


The post sucks. If it's removed, other sucky posts on the same topic will rush to fill the void. I am not sure how to solve this problem honestly.

remove all the sucky posts?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:41 PM on February 8, 2007 [4 favorites]


I agree with you, but you aren't going to get anything in this thread but more ascii titties and a bunch of people hooting about how they don't have to respect a motherfucking thing.

Let me amend, also some other people agreeing with you.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:44 PM on February 8, 2007


The post sucks. If it's removed, other sucky posts on the same topic will rush to fill the void. I am not sure how to solve this problem honestly.

remove all the sucky posts?


What a novel idea.
posted by bob sarabia at 1:45 PM on February 8, 2007


Yeah, this is different from most obit posts, because she is famous for being famous (and good looking). She is the story, unlike the Ramen noodle inventor or this priest, both of whose stories are unknown to the general public.

Because Anna Nicole Smith was a pop-cultural joke, the comments on the post cannot help but be in bad taste. Does it meet the guidelines for a good post? I dunno...no one's heard of it, but only because it's breaking news. Is it interesting? I think it's lurid, not interesting (if that distinction makes sense).
posted by taliaferro at 1:45 PM on February 8, 2007


Yeah, it's a sucky post, remove it. If someone were to post something interesting about deathm, Anna or whatever, then by all means, let it stay.

But it sucks, and metafilter shouldn't do suck
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:49 PM on February 8, 2007


Ah, screw it (self redirect/derail). Death is as good as excuse as any to get out of the usual routine and get something useful done away from the internets. See you lovely people around.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:53 PM on February 8, 2007


That mentality is why Newsfilter is teh suck.

I'm pretty sure Newsfilter is both teh suck and teh blow.

nsfw, btw
posted by eyeballkid at 1:53 PM on February 8, 2007


remove all the sucky posts?

This is an ideal solution, but as jessamyn says above, she's not sure how to solve the problem. I read "problem" there to indicate people popping up here in MetaTalk to complain that their posts were deleted, not that it wouldn't be a good idea to delete them. It's a moderation decision, but I don't have any suggestions about how to keep people from complaining about their deleted posts. Anybody else?
posted by cgc373 at 1:57 PM on February 8, 2007


With big internet-news events happen, if you delete the one dumb newsfilter thread about them, another will pop up. In fact even if you don't delete them, others will pop up. Since only a small subset of people track the site enough to know about the deleted posts [how to check for them, what's likely to be there] deleting a post about a HOT NOW topic just means there will be another post on the same topic, or several.

Then you get into a situation where you're digging in your heels Aguirre-style and just being crazy and deleting everything, or you find one post that's qualititively "better" than the others and let that one stay. Then the fur really starts to fly. The "first one stays" guideline isn't always great and has sometimes resulted in a lesser post remaining where a better one would have sprung up in its absence, but it's about as objective as we can be here, which is useful for some sort of stability and reduction of MetaTalk CaterWauling.

That post isn't turning out as bad as it looked like it was going ot be. It's still not great, but there are at least a few people being like "geez people, this glee is unpleasant" so perhaps it will balance out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:08 PM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


remove all the sucky posts?

Easier said than done. And a lot of work for Jessamyn. In a news event like this the posts start sprouting like mushrooms. Doesn't anyone else remember the Harry Potter broom incident?
posted by vacapinta at 2:10 PM on February 8, 2007


So is it not ok for us to be in love with our own misanthropy?
posted by baphomet at 2:18 PM on February 8, 2007


Isn't it possible to just close posts in the blue to new comments without deleting them?
posted by koeselitz at 2:20 PM on February 8, 2007


I don't see this as so terrible. Yeah, it's the cheesiest of newsfilter, but it's obvious that a lot of people were interested (let's face it, the woman was famous), and like the lady said, it hasn't turned out so badly as might have been expected. To say "this post should be deleted" is to say "Matt and Jess should have to spend the next few days in eternal vigilance, removing the inevitable reposts ASAP," and I don't think anybody wishes that on them. It may not be true in an ethical/philosophical sense that "Somebody had to post it," but as sure as god made little green apples somebody was going to post it, and as well this as another. (As for the idea of a "more interesting" post: for heaven's sake, Anna Nicole Smith died, end of story. What, you want an encyclopedic post with links to every stage of her career? Better we get it out of the way with a fast one-link post and let everyone get it out of their system.)
posted by languagehat at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2007


I agree with burhanistan, dios, et al; I would love to see this nixed. But as Jess asks, what awful thing would take its place?
posted by Mister_A at 2:25 PM on February 8, 2007


It's fine, baphomet. But expect like to beget like. (Or dislike, as the case may be.)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:25 PM on February 8, 2007


The fact that celebrity deaths get posted to the blue, often multiple times, is as inevitable as their corresponding MeTa threads.
posted by ninjew at 2:26 PM on February 8, 2007


You think that's bad, you should see the digg post.
posted by mattbucher at 2:31 PM on February 8, 2007


Personally, I'm elated that this was posted, as y2karl's Iran post was starting to gather steam.

A.N.S. certainly derailed that fluff.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:32 PM on February 8, 2007


Could someone please add "Misanthrope" to the list of concepts that the internet has completely misconstrued and devalued?

I think there's some room between "Straw Man" and "Ad Hominem" on the You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means board.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:33 PM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


The "first one stays" guideline isn't always great and has sometimes resulted in a lesser post remaining where a better one would have sprung up in its absence, but it's about as objective as we can be here, which is useful for some sort of stability and reduction of MetaTalk CaterWauling.

This is one guideline that, setting aside admin implications*, seems like it deserves reconsideration. When there is a qualitatively better post soon after an initial rush post, I think there'd be little harm in providing a closing comment that links to the newer one and deleting the first. Better posts, reasonable continuity for folks invested in the first one. Seems like a win, in that sense.

*I don't set that aside lightly. Significantly more work for the admins is a big minus, unquestionably. I don't know what the practical effect would be for Matt and Jess, if they tried this.

Putting a big flashing notification that "YES WE KNOW SHE DIED PLEASE DON'T POST ABOUT IT" for these things might help. It'd have to be obnoxiously visible—red, blinking 36px text on the posting page—but it'd probably cut things down a lot, and it'd be time-sensitive enough that we wouldn't need it for more than a day or so.
posted by cortex at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2007


Can we just close it and leave it there?
posted by klangklangston at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2007


I read "problem" there to indicate people popping up here in MetaTalk to complain that their posts were deleted

This, together with people complaining about posts not being deleted, is why MetaTalk is the best of Metafilter.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2007


I have in my head an idea for a system that, on the new post page puts a list of recently-deleted front page posts, titles only. No more 'not following deleted posts' excuses.
posted by Skorgu at 2:36 PM on February 8, 2007


(on preview) ...in blinking red 36px text
posted by Skorgu at 2:37 PM on February 8, 2007


celebrity news = the most horrible thing EV4R to happen to MetaFilter & they will destroy the site faster than airborne Ebola

Flash games of Kangaroos humping penguins = Best of the Web

Whatever flickr album you can possibly link to = Best of the Web

Whatever you saw on Digg or BoingBoing last week = Even Bester of the Web
posted by matteo at 2:40 PM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


you aren't going to get anything in this thread but more ascii titties

Any chance they could be deleted at least? That kind of we-don't-even-need-to-use-words misogyny makes me feel a bit ill. But maybe it's just me, in which case ignore this.
posted by paduasoy at 2:43 PM on February 8, 2007


matteo's wounded indignance and smug self-righteousness = par for the course
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:43 PM on February 8, 2007


What you've gotta understand is that Italian is such a beautiful language that when matteo thinks in it, he doesn't even realize how shrill his harangues are.
posted by klangklangston at 2:45 PM on February 8, 2007


I think there's some room between "Straw Man" and "Ad Hominem" on the You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means board.

Actually, I double-checked the definition before I posted that comment to specifically ensure that the term was accurate for describing my intent. I do appreciate your concern, though.
posted by baphomet at 2:49 PM on February 8, 2007


With big internet-news events happen, if you delete the one dumb newsfilter thread about them, another will pop up. In fact even if you don't delete them, others will pop up.

Isn't this an argument in favor of deleting that first crappy thread, since you're going to have to delete the doubles anyway?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:50 PM on February 8, 2007


What do we keep this clown around for, btw?
posted by cortex at 2:57 PM on February 8, 2007


I cortex on the clown.
posted by maryh at 3:09 PM on February 8, 2007


I second cortex on the clown....
posted by maryh at 3:10 PM on February 8, 2007


It's so random that you'd point out racist dunk-tank clown, cortex. I just noticed the username this morning, reading through LarryC's apology thread. Gotta be a sockpuppet, I figured, and moved on. Random, random, random.
posted by cgc373 at 3:11 PM on February 8, 2007


Wow, who is that?

C'mon admins, make with the reveal! Our sadly fragmented community can come together in shared contempt of that asshole!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:20 PM on February 8, 2007


Yeah, he just showed up again in the ANS thread. (Why do I get the feeling that may become, as jessamyn said, a ready acronymn, on the strength it not having been a ready acronymn.)

I got curious, and poked through his history. Almost—almost—certainly a sockpuppet, but regardless one that has 14 completely shitty, useless comments to its name and nothing else.
posted by cortex at 3:20 PM on February 8, 2007


The argument being that, without knowing better, I could entertain the possibility that it's actually the primary or sole account of a genuine idiot.
posted by cortex at 3:22 PM on February 8, 2007


not just you paduasoy. ill's the word.
posted by de at 3:22 PM on February 8, 2007


"The post sucks. If it's removed, other sucky posts on the same topic will rush to fill the void."

Not a good reason for allowing posts that break the guidelines IMO. This one does doesn't it? If it is simply a matter of not wanting to play "whack-a-mole", then what you need is a technical solution. Something like a filter where admins can enter keywords/phrases/sites that are temporarily blocked from inclusion in a FPP.
posted by Manjusri at 3:27 PM on February 8, 2007


Forgive me if you interpret this as being misogynistic, but it seems to me that she didn't have a problem with getting rich and famous due to her anatomy- should being remembered for that really be considered misogynistic? It kind of seems to me like calling somebody a racist because they remember Jackie Robinson for being black. Feel free to rip me to shreds if I'm just being an asshole.
posted by baphomet at 3:32 PM on February 8, 2007


It's one thing to think of her figure. It's another to type BOOBIES in a thread about her death.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:35 PM on February 8, 2007


i think you're right-baphomet--it's not misogynistic--she used her assets and rode them to a very nice life.
posted by amberglow at 3:38 PM on February 8, 2007


And not a word about Frankie Laine.
posted by tellurian at 3:41 PM on February 8, 2007


no, no... please. on scottreynen's reasoning i'm the asshole. i look in the mirror, see the likes of gigbutt's followers and just hate myself. no empathy.
posted by de at 3:43 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eric Von Schmidt died last week
posted by staggernation at 3:46 PM on February 8, 2007


Would it do any good to list on the new post page "Here's some things that were posted in the last 3 days but we deleted them. Don't repost them."
posted by aubilenon at 3:48 PM on February 8, 2007


aubilenon's idea sounds workable to me, if there's a way to display topics without taking up too much space on the page.
posted by cgc373 at 3:50 PM on February 8, 2007


I was about to buy Jezebel on iTunes the other night, but I didn't for some reason. And the next day I heard about Frankie Lane.

This one's for you, Mr. Rhythym:

.
posted by malocchio at 3:52 PM on February 8, 2007


I was hoping I'd get a chance to read that again!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:58 PM on February 8, 2007


Wow. Careful Boo, you're gonna end up the subject of a Meta with that kind of behavior....
posted by Big_B at 3:59 PM on February 8, 2007


Purely for the sake of reference, I assure you both.
posted by boo_radley at 4:01 PM on February 8, 2007


I kinda want to post something just cuz my initials are C. C.
posted by cgc373 at 4:02 PM on February 8, 2007


(And then there's a double-D joke in there to due with the deceased. Dunno where it goes from there.)
posted by cgc373 at 4:03 PM on February 8, 2007


I think the heart of the callousness in the thread is that some people are just diverting attention from the actual subject to say, Hey, everyone, look at me! I DON'T CARE! LOOK AT ME NOT CARING AT ALL!
posted by clockzero at 4:08 PM on February 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


Purely for the sake of reference, I assure you both.

Don't be an ass. You can still link to a deleted thread. See?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:09 PM on February 8, 2007


Part of boo_radley's point was visibility, though, jessamyn. Was the cut-n-paste really out of line?
posted by cgc373 at 4:14 PM on February 8, 2007


some people are just diverting attention from the actual subject to say, Hey, everyone, look at me! I DON'T CARE! LOOK AT ME NOT CARING AT ALL!

That would be the 'misanthropists'... the internet's equivalent of people at parties who are all "No way man, don't you dare take my picture!" and then, after you get the film developed and check your photos, find them sneaking into the background of every shot.

They're so fucking complex, man.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:20 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


What a class act.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:20 PM on February 8, 2007


Part of boo_radley's point was visibility, though, jessamyn. Was the cut-n-paste really out of line?

Having a point make a text-dump cool?
posted by cortex at 4:24 PM on February 8, 2007


Earlier today, I read this story. A two-year-old is beaten unconscious by her father and left outside in the cold. It seemed important to me that people take notice of this, perhaps pausing for a moment to consider that child: alone and crying, stumbling weakly in the dark, then collapsing to die. I thought about posting it on MeFi, but I realized it really wasn't what MeFi is about.

Then I saw the thread on Anna Nicole Smith. And saw that Jessamyn, rather than deleting it, corrected the original post. Jesus Christ, people.

Me for another timeout. See you in a few months.
posted by joaquim at 4:25 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


There were many discussions here and elsewhere about Anna Nicole Smith while she was alive. In most of them, the noise was predictable and puerile, and in most of them, real issues were discussed by those who chose to discuss them: inheritance battles, body image, lechery, celebrity and family. The list goes on.

It makes sense that when such a written- and thought-about person dies, a news-/obit-filter thread is posted. And it follows that the noise will be about the same in proportion and tenor as it was while she lived.

Those who thought her significant beyond her bust or her boom gave her death some thought and posted thoughtfully. There weren't many, but it's not a funeral, where decorum is expected; it's a Meffy post, where decorum is welcome, but sometimes surprising.

I have my reasons for being struck by her passing, and I'm ashamed that they have less to do with her dignity than they do with my satisfaction at being alive and surrounded by loved ones.

It's not surprising that folks want to joke about her death, nor is it surprising that someone wants to delete it all. There are some good thoughts on that thread, but if they're gone in an hour, they're still good thoughts, and it's good they went through some minds.

Mortality is tough. I find it hard to hate jokes. Those two thoughts coexist in a big mess sometimes. It's no surprise.
posted by breezeway at 4:28 PM on February 8, 2007


I guess my participation in the thread—and my amusement at mathowie's use of my curt closing comment—blinds me to its offenses, cortex.

Still, I like aubilenon's idea better. Maybe it could be automated, showing recently-deleted posts on the posting page?
posted by cgc373 at 4:34 PM on February 8, 2007


baphomet: Forgive me if you interpret this as being misogynistic, but it seems to me that she didn't have a problem with getting rich and famous due to her anatomy- should being remembered for that really be considered misogynistic?

I hadn't heard of the woman, but have looked her up on Wikipedia and see she did film and television work as well as modelling. I just don't think that she - or most people in her circumstances - would think that their success was wholly due to their breast size. Posting (.)(.) seems to me to say "Yup, that's all you were" - kind of putting the woman in her place if she dared to think she had any talent, determination or even just a pretty face.
posted by paduasoy at 4:41 PM on February 8, 2007


Oh, I'm not too offended by the thread or the text dump, cgc373. It just seems, at the same time, a very silly, indefensible stunt to bother trying to defend.
posted by cortex at 4:43 PM on February 8, 2007


Was the cut-n-paste really out of line?

Was calling boo_radley an ass really that much of an insult?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:45 PM on February 8, 2007


Posting (.)(.) seems to me to say "Yup, that's all you were" - kind of putting the woman in her place if she dared to think she had any talent, determination or even just a pretty face.

I'm not sure it's that simple, though—she marketed, in a very self-motivated way, her body. So (.)(.) isn't exactly nuanced praise, but it can easily be read not so much as a putting-in-place as an acknowledgement: "Yes, Anna Nicole, we will remember your work fondly."
posted by cortex at 4:46 PM on February 8, 2007


Was calling boo_radley an ass really that much of an insult?

Nah. I don't even know what I'm doing here. Talking to hear myself talk? No worries, jessamyn, cortex, boo_radley, anybody else. It is my bedtime, even though I'm on PST. Woke up last night at midnight and blathered through 'til now.
posted by cgc373 at 4:52 PM on February 8, 2007


Add a required field to enter a new link to the Blue, in which the poster must type "Metafilter is well aware that Anna Nichole Smith has died."

When the next Event of Urgent Triviality strikes, adjust the required sentence. 1 week after the sentence was last changed, blank it. If the 'required text' field in settings is blank, don't show the entry field.
posted by Malor at 4:58 PM on February 8, 2007


See, the problem with both this post and the original ANS post is, that the silent majority (to coin a phrase) who basically feel - "who gives a flying fuck?" don't bother posting that sentiment because hey, who gives a flying fuck?

And so we have miles of comments along the lines of "You moderators should do xyz because my eyes were offended by having to read that post" along with the original post now containing miles of "She was stupid" vs. "dead people aren't funny" comments.

Who Fucking Cares?

It's been said before: If you don't like it, and it's not overtly offensive, don't click it and don't read it. The moderators do a fine job of eliminating the worst posts, you're not always going to agree with them, get the fuck over it.

And now I'm part of the whole stupid argument so fuck me too.
posted by serazin at 5:04 PM on February 8, 2007 [5 favorites]


That's a kind of evil genius right there, Malor.
posted by cortex at 5:05 PM on February 8, 2007


Well, it's not like Anna Nicole Smith didn't have crazier life than pretty much anybody else. I mean, playmate of the year, actress, married a freakily rich old guy, son of old guy sues Anna Nicole, she has a reality tv show, her case ends up before the Supreme frickin' Court, her 20-year-old son dies three days after she gave birth to a daughter, she dies before hitting 40. She did a whole lot more than pretty much anybody else. I mean, Lifetime is going to have to do a whole miniseries. And who is Hollywood going to get to play the part in the epic movie sure to be made? It's too bad Brando's dead.
posted by Kattullus at 5:25 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't post in the original thread, because I didn't quite have anything to say. I'd actually been thinking about Anna Nicole Smith lately, because there's a Kanye West song with a little spoken interlude by a woman who's got the white trash gone wealthy vibe, and in the video they make it an obvious parody of "ANS", if you will. And when I saw this, I was hoping it was a joke, an Onion thing. Her death bothered me and I wasn't entirely sure why. Even though there's a massive chunk of snide comments in the post, they brought out the slightly defensive people who could summarize the situation enough that I kind of figured out why I felt the way I did, about who she was and all that. A lot of the longer comments, the ones that tried to say why we shouldn't just be pointing fun, I really appreciated them. And I don't think I could've gotten the discourse anywhere else. Either my smart friends wouldn't care and just make an offhand joke because they hadn't thought about it, or the pop culture people would kind of weird me out, because she wasn't that huge of a personality, anyway.

In closing, I like Metafilter.
posted by redsparkler at 5:37 PM on February 8, 2007


I didn't expect her obit thread to be full of thoughtful well reasoned discourse about her life and works, but I was surprised at the about of vitriol and just plane tastelessness. I mean, she wasn't some paragon of virtue that deserved to be placed on a pedestal (remembering the overweight drunken/ stoned TV show she did a couple of years ago) but some of the comments seemed out of line, even for MeFi level snark.

I knew the moment I looked at the TV and saw the headlines, that there would be a thread, and sure enough. I don't begrudge it's existence because, let's face it, it's a news story that is going to be talked about. What I didn't like was the amount of bad spiritedness I saw in the comments.

(Though the FPP itself could have been much better. I mean, how about a little background for people who may not have heard of her. How about some history of her recent trials and tribulations, rushing to be the first to post shouldn't rule out some background material.)
posted by quin at 5:55 PM on February 8, 2007


"even for MeFi level snark"

ahhh, thus the problem, we always underestimate the ability of folks here to be tasteless, unkind, and thoughtless shits.
posted by HuronBob at 6:03 PM on February 8, 2007


It's still not great, but there are at least a few people being like "geez people, this glee is unpleasant" so perhaps it will balance out.

I would like to state for the record that I don't believe that's a sign of a thread improving. This is just my opinion, but i don't think righteous indignation contributes any better to a thread than the snarky gallows humor. further, i believe threads don't improve when people start getting in a fuss and bother over who's the more depraved and/or insensitive.
posted by shmegegge at 6:06 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Delete. Ban. Sack.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:20 PM on February 8, 2007


Delete. Ball. Sack. (not remotely safe for work)
posted by ColdChef at 6:56 PM on February 8, 2007


ahhh, thus the problem, we always underestimate the ability of folks here to be tasteless, unkind, and thoughtless shits.

like dragging in a dead corpse of a grade c celebrity so everyone HAS to make respectful and meaningful comments about it, ignoring the morbidity and vicariousness of it all

at least the snarky people will admit they're rubbernecking ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:58 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nibbles, chew through my ball sack.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:29 PM on February 8, 2007


Looking at all the anger and vitriol everyone is flinging everyones way in this thread and the obit thread, I propose the following epitaph on Anna's tombstone.

Anna Nicole Smith: Dead, but still causing massive eruptions on Metafilter.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:34 PM on February 8, 2007


I guess my point is, arguing over something has its time and place on Metafilter, but arguing over what some dickwad said on the internet about a dead B-grade celebrity really rams home the message imparted in this JPG.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:37 PM on February 8, 2007


+1 Ruthless deletion of crappy obit threads until someone posts something moderately decent.
posted by edgeways at 7:49 PM on February 8, 2007


Who's Nibbles?
posted by bob sarabia at 8:04 PM on February 8, 2007


"RIK NIK NIK" SAID RIKI TIKI TAVI!
posted by quonsar at 8:04 PM on February 8, 2007


The racist dunk-tank clown is an NYC meetup joke. We went to the fair: there was a racist dunk-tank clown who was funny if you were really drunk. So that's where it came from and it is surely a sock of someone who was there. Thus, the joke is funny to like twenty of us, which may be a good reason to delete it or not, but that's where it's from. (In case, you know, you wondered.)
posted by dame at 8:13 PM on February 8, 2007


Some shit is just inevitable and it isn't even worth the MetaTalk thread to bitch about it. I knew it would be there before I went, and when I saw it I knew this would be here. Because some MetaTalk threads are inevitable and they aren't even worth bitching about in the thread. Me, I just like to see my little name in yellow print. nanojath nanojath nanojath!
posted by nanojath at 8:13 PM on February 8, 2007


Who's Nibbles?
posted by bob sarabia


Principal Skinner tried to enlist Nibbles' aid in freeing himself from a sack used to hold dodge balls that revolting students had tied him up in.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 PM on February 8, 2007


"Delete. Ball. Sack. (not remotely safe for work)

My new theory is that Anna Nicole Smith died laughing after seeing that picture.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:16 PM on February 8, 2007


With that, Matt or Jessamyn, feel free to lock up this thread and call it a day...
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 PM on February 8, 2007


This MetaTalk thread now has more than 1/3 the comments of the ANS post.

Instead of putting a big red banner on the blue (!), or playing whack-a-mole, let's just add the tags:

badpost
shouldnotbeonmetafilter
pleasedonotpostthisshit
posted by conch soup at 8:22 PM on February 8, 2007


WTF? Why does Effigy2000 have a little star next to his name?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:25 PM on February 8, 2007


He won the Wii.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:26 PM on February 8, 2007


Principal Skinner tried to enlist Nibbles' aid in freeing himself from a sack used to hold dodge balls that revolting students had tied him up in.

Ah ok. I think I've seen that episode.
posted by bob sarabia at 8:30 PM on February 8, 2007


Can I answer any more questions? No? Ok, time for bed.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:34 PM on February 8, 2007


And would someone please ask keswick to smile more? I would, but I think he'd slit my throat.
posted by maryh at 9:09 PM on February 8, 2007


He's not even in this thread, wtf?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 PM on February 8, 2007


C'mon, it's keswick, not Rorshach.
posted by klangklangston at 9:24 PM on February 8, 2007


I think we should all look at pictures of a young, naked Anna Nicole Smith and masturbate like mad.

It's what she would've wanted.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:38 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


(He has a couple of nasty derails in the original thread, alvy.)
posted by maryh at 9:57 PM on February 8, 2007


Damn, that ballsack sure has been making the rounds. They're like the plastic man of nuts.
posted by IronLizard at 10:07 PM on February 8, 2007


Who's Nibbles?

Nibbles was a little ASCII snake that wanted desperately to be a lightcycle from Tron.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:56 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


quin writes "I mean, how about a little background for people who may not have heard of her. How about some history of her recent trials and tribulations, rushing to be the first to post shouldn't rule out some background material."

Between fashion model, playboy model, actress, old man's comfort and supreme court litigant I'm having a hard time imagining the person who wouldn't know who she is and yet still reads Metafilter.
posted by Mitheral at 11:23 PM on February 8, 2007


Fair enough, but I could swear I saw someone in the thread that was complaining that they hadn't hear of her, and I know that, at times, MeFi can be a bit America-centric. I just was hoping that the poster of her thread could have put a bit more work into it.

I mean, it's not like she didn't have a lot of relevant issues going on. I'm not at all against single link FPPs, but here we have a poster seems was being willfully ignorant of a lot of things going on in her life. And if we want to discuss her death, some of these things may have been appropriate to comment on.

A lot of MeFi is going to write her off as a single, simple, big boobed joke, but the fact is that there is an interesting (if not tragic) story here. And the original poster's rush to get the 'ooh, she died' thread into the blue diminishes the value of what could have been a really worthwhile FPP.
posted by quin at 12:09 AM on February 9, 2007


I think an awful lot of people on here are just taking the whole thing a little too seriously. Sure, there are some insensitive comments in that thread, and it's hardly an example of the best that Metafilter has to offer... but at the same time, clearly it's something that many members of the community genuinely want to discuss, there are hundreds of comments... it should stay, IMHO.
posted by MythMaker at 12:19 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


He won the Wii.

Is that like take the piss?
posted by dreamsign at 1:21 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just was hoping that the poster of her thread could have put a bit more work into it.

Please, it's Anna Nicole Smith, not some multifaceted genius who can only be appreciated by a rounded, link-filled portrait. I'm not saying she was a horrible person or that she deserved all the snark, but the snark was going to happen no matter how the post was framed, and in fact there might well have been more if it had been a solemn post treating her as if she were Spinoza or something. She died, it was going to get posted, it got posted, people talked about it. Big deal. This whole thread is pretty silly.
posted by languagehat at 7:27 AM on February 9, 2007


This whole thread is pretty silly.

More or less, but only because most of people have never had a glimpse into death that might unlock them out of their own personal matrices and cause them to reflect more.

Anyways, I already asked for this thread to be sealed after I explained the ball sack joke from "The Simpsons". Move along, please.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:54 AM on February 9, 2007


Hey baphomet, my inner Stalin thinks you like to poo.
posted by davy at 8:11 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


And what's this "Least Common Denominator" crap about anyway? I almost never watch TV, if it weren't for the occasional Google News headline or Metafilter post I'd never know who Anna Nicole Smith was. May I join the I'm So Superior Club now?
posted by davy at 8:19 AM on February 9, 2007


Am I right to believe that you're making the pedantic implication that "least" is somehow more correct than "lowest" in that fixed phrase?
posted by cortex at 8:23 AM on February 9, 2007


Some of those comments are truly disgusting. Their only value is it lets you know who exactly the biggest asshole on MeFi is, and perhaps that's the point of this childish joke pissing contest.
posted by agregoli at 8:44 AM on February 9, 2007


Some Moral Superiority is clearly annoying. Its only value is that we get to watch you display your understanding of the No Bounce No Play Rule.
posted by davy at 8:48 AM on February 9, 2007


Damn, that ballsack sure has been making the rounds. They're like the plastic man of nuts.

Or like Plastic Man's nuts.
posted by nanojath at 8:52 AM on February 9, 2007


She died, it was going to get posted,

That's my problem here, not the crude jokes (hell, I love crude jokes). By posting this, we are pursuing the lowest common denominator. What else will come of such a post? Your correct that its absolutely predictable, and that is why it is depressing. It really shouldn't be a fait accompli that we have posts which are crappy and really can't even aspire to anything more than that.
posted by dios at 9:37 AM on February 9, 2007


C'mon, it's keswick, not Rorshach.

Indeed. More like Horshack, amirite?!?

He's also a misanthrope, maryh. No need to worry.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:42 AM on February 9, 2007


What's the point of this MetaTalk post? To point out that the ANS thread is not worthy of an FPP because it's just not interesting or newsworthy enough? Or is it to shame those how displayed snark on that thread? Or is it a device to help the MeTa poster feel morally superior to those who snarked?

This is a crappy MeTa post, in my opinion.

There. I've just criticized a MetaTalk poster who was criticizing a MeFi post not only for its original content, but the content that was posted into the thread as well.

I believe that I have just meta'd myself out.
posted by psmealey at 9:49 AM on February 9, 2007


I think the point, dios, is not that we say crappy inevitable post, fantastic! It is that the inevitable This, Sir, is NOT the Best of the Web MetaTalk follow-up does nothing but adds another vector of the same old noise: insipid, for-whom-the-bell-tolls- oh-the-humanity "respect for the dead," High Sanctimony of either the "who cares about some skank" or "she was a Human Being" variety, and pointless and mostly unfunny snark (and yeah, yeah, nanojath pleads guilty yerhonor). And this is also pointless. And this and this and this and this. Ad infinitum, ad nauseum. It is hard to ignore such rampant mediocrity.
posted by nanojath at 9:51 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Does it meet the guidelines for a good post? I dunno...no one's heard of it, but only because it's breaking news.

This assumes that MeFites read MeFi before any other news source in their surfing.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:56 AM on February 9, 2007


With that, Matt or Jessamyn, feel free to lock up this thread and call it a day...

Anyways, I already asked for this thread to be sealed after I explained the ball sack joke from "The Simpsons". Move along, please.

Sorry, just to be clear -- since you started the thread you also arbitrarily get to decide when its over? I think not.
posted by modernnomad at 9:58 AM on February 9, 2007


Sorry, just to be clear -- since you started the thread you also arbitrarily get to decide when its over? I think not.
posted by modernnomad


Ok, pilgrim. Do you have any wisdom to bestow then?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:58 AM on February 9, 2007


When I die, my memorial service is going to consist entirely of a dramatic reading of these two threads. They say pretty much all that need be said, for good and for ill, about the human condition.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:35 AM on February 9, 2007


Ok, pilgrim. Do you have any wisdom to bestow then?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:58 PM CST on February 9


Well with due respect, someone whose vast majority of their comment history consists of stupid youtube noise link dumps, you might not be the best person to gage the relative value of commentary in MetaTalk.
posted by dios at 11:39 AM on February 9, 2007


When I die, my memorial service is going to consist entirely of a dramatic reading of these two threads. They say pretty much all that need be said, for good and for ill, about the human condition.

I was going to say the same thing about when I run out of song ideas for my album-in-a-month.
posted by cortex at 11:40 AM on February 9, 2007


Nah, dios. Burhanistan only started doing those YouTube things a week or two ago. Most contributions are on par with MetaFilter/MetaTalk contributions in general, as far as I can tell.
posted by cgc373 at 11:41 AM on February 9, 2007


Burhanistan only started doing those YouTube things a week or two ago. Most contributions are on par with MetaFilter/MetaTalk contributions in general, as far as I can tell.
posted by cgc373 at 1:41 PM CST on February 9


If that is the case, then I stand corrected. My comment was informed by the fact that he only entered my Mefi-consciousness in the last "week or two ago" and that is all I have noticed out of him.
posted by dios at 11:47 AM on February 9, 2007


Ok, pilgrim. Do you have any wisdom to bestow then?


No wisdom, but can I offer you something in dismissive remark?

My take on the incessant whining on MeTa about what should and shouldn't consitute "best of web" is simply, "if you don't like the look of the post, don't read it." I don't always agree with how the moderators do things; they can be pretty inconsistent. But do I get my panties in a twist about it? No. There's enough good stuff in the blue that it ain't hard to not click on an obit about a C-list celebrity.
posted by modernnomad at 11:50 AM on February 9, 2007


only because most of people have never had a glimpse into death that might unlock them out of their own personal matrices and cause them to reflect more.

maybe they have and they just don't feel like baring their souls about it for the world to see every time the death of a famous or semi-famous person is announced here

it's not like people are going to log in here and say to us ... "OMG, people DEI, that is teh SUXOR, when did this start, we're PWNED??!!"
posted by pyramid termite at 1:03 PM on February 9, 2007


Two things: First, the ANS thread was great. I like obit threads, no matter how dubious the person was who died. They remind us to attack life, because it's going to kill us anyway. Reverence for the dead is a matter of values, and we're not here to impress each other with our piety. Say what you feel, and live with how that reflects on you.

And to all the haters, I give you this.
posted by mullingitover at 3:14 PM on February 9, 2007


Metafilter: remind us to attack life, because it's going to kill us anyway.

: >
posted by amberglow at 4:51 PM on February 9, 2007


"C'mon, it's keswick, not Rorshach.

Indeed. More like Horshack, amirite?!?"


Why not both?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:05 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]



"Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach...."

posted by keswick at 5:18 PM on February 9, 2007


I just checked back into that thread. Let's just say it's not getting any better.
posted by bob sarabia at 5:45 PM on February 9, 2007


It is that the inevitable This, Sir, is NOT the Best of the Web MetaTalk follow-up does nothing but adds another vector of the same old noise: insipid, for-whom-the-bell-tolls- oh-the-humanity "respect for the dead," High Sanctimony of either the "who cares about some skank" or "she was a Human Being" variety, and pointless and mostly unfunny snark

True; it should have been deleted. But just so it's clear, it's the practice of having obit threads in the first place that puts MeFi in this boat. It falls afoul of just about every "principal" that is supposedly espoused here -- about newsfilter, about links versus comment. It's a sentimentality-fest with occasional good linkage in the thread.

Under the circumstances, what are mettamyn supposed to do, hold a private referendum on whether so-and-so deserves an obit thread? Then it becomes a kind of person valuation and I'm not surprised that they won't enter into it.
posted by dreamsign at 7:42 PM on February 9, 2007


or principle, even
posted by dreamsign at 7:43 PM on February 9, 2007


wow, mettamyn - I have to remember that one.

I don't mind that someone posted the obit - it's inevitable that something like it will show up. What's not inevitable, however, is the immaturity - what HuronBob called "the ability of folks here to be tasteless, unkind, and thoughtless shits". I haven't been an active member on here long enough to really judge, but there seems to be a higher number of Beavis and Butthead - like responses on the site than there used to be. I don't know what can be done about them, but it's good that MeTa is here to at least note them - not that the giggly boys that post 'OMG boobies' even visit MeTa...
posted by rmm at 11:12 PM on February 9, 2007


Spinoza? I was thinking more along the lines of B.F. Skinner.
posted by raysmj at 8:22 PM on February 10, 2007


And now that thread has become a hate feud betwixt two users. Good times, good times.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 PM on February 10, 2007


What's not inevitable, however, is the immaturity - what HuronBob called "the ability of folks here to be tasteless, unkind, and thoughtless shits".

Honestly, I think the tendency of some MeFites to paint a starlet as some kind of paragon of virtue that drives others to snark far more than they would have otherwise.
posted by dreamsign at 2:21 AM on February 13, 2007


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