Grow a skin, people. April 4, 2007 3:18 AM   Subscribe

This is a good post, marred badly by its comments, which seem to be mostly in a vein of defensive nationalism. Odd, since a few minutes' research seems to indicate the poster is from the US, or at least was educated and is living there, and the story as described does merit the hostility of the poster.
posted by Aidan Kehoe to Etiquette/Policy at 3:18 AM (81 comments total)

This is a good post

No, it's not. It's like waving triple chocolate cake in front of dieter: it's gonna end badly and there'll be lots of bad feelings afterwards.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:48 AM on April 4, 2007


I'm sorry, I disagree. It's a dreadful FPP for Metafilter. The fact that the "story as described does merit the hostility of the poster" doesn't mean that it belongs here.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:50 AM on April 4, 2007


Plus, the whole - "This is really terrible, but I can't be bothered doing anything about it" vibe rubbed me up the wrong way from the start.
posted by seanyboy at 3:54 AM on April 4, 2007


I read the snark as dismissive, not defensive. I suspect it's dismissive because the OP demonstrates a fairly substantial lack of awareness of the rhetorical situation in which he/she is writing and the audience he/she is writing to. The "vein of defensive nationalism" is really just a parroting of the misplaced activism demonstrated by the OP. Unfortunately, the parroting by the other posters of this lack of awareness doesn't do much to point this out in a way the OP would likely understand. It would be nice if the entire metafilter community took a chill and let the best intentions of the OP's garbled (and interesting) post shine through, but that is not how things work. It is up to the OP to discern the rules of discourse in the MeFi community and craft his/her message in a way that will be effectively heard.
posted by mrmojoflying at 3:55 AM on April 4, 2007


Poster: Hey you know, America treated Native Americans real badly.
Commenters: WAAAAH WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THAT SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUTUP
posted by reklaw at 4:04 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree. This is a terrible FPP, and I am a) not the kind of person who regularly criticises FPPs and b) American.

This would be a decent blog post on someones private journal. But as a Metafilter post, it heavily editorializes and even calls for volunteers to write a frickin' Wikipedia article on the topic.

I have a fairly thick skin, and I'm a leftie. But the whole post simply reminds me of my former lefter-than-left Social Sciences University lecturer who one day started a lecture on feminism with, I kid you not "All men in this auditorium today should be ashamed of themselves" and then proceeded to lecture all men for the past misdeeds of men from hundreds of years past who had kept women down. I hated that guy. He still gets me pissed off when thinking about it. I'll be the first to agree that for years the patriarchy kept women from being all they could be, but I'll be fucked if I'm gonna let some guy tell me that I should be ashamed for something I had no hand in.

Had it been worded better, had it offered us more links than a fucking geocities page and a Wikipedia article, and had it not openly asked for people to write a Wikipedia article that the poster had searched for and couldn't find, yes, I agree, the subject matter could have made for a great FPP.

But as it stands, this FPP sucks. And this call-out is lame. And your favorite band is a piece of shit too. So there.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:07 AM on April 4, 2007


To clarify b)... I am not an American.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:09 AM on April 4, 2007


Hey you know, America treated Native Americans real badly

If the poster had actually written that instead of "White Americans are still whitewashing their past treatment of native Americans", the thread would have gone better.
posted by teleskiving at 4:09 AM on April 4, 2007


human beings are still whitewashing thier treatment of the son of God.
posted by quonsar at 4:15 AM on April 4, 2007


totally delete it and make room for YouTube videos of a duck fucking a platypus and a mute midget in a red white and blue bathing suit miming The Star Spangled Banner
posted by matteo at 4:21 AM on April 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


This is what happens when you take the material for a worthwhile post and mix it with editorializing and an agenda. Lots of potential for better or worse. As such, the post was in a quantum state between good and bad, like Schrödinger's cat. Only, the result was such that Schrödinger decided that instead of looking in on the cat, he'd just shoot the box a few times and light it on fire.
posted by Saydur at 4:32 AM on April 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


He still gets me pissed off when thinking about it. I'll be the first to agree that for years the patriarchy kept women from being all they could be, but I'll be fucked if I'm gonna let some guy tell me that I should be ashamed for something I had no hand in.

So you're saying that there is no patriarchy any more, and women are completely equal - that the bad treatment of women is 100% in the past, and therefore nothing to do with you. Right?

Because I think you may be mistaken there.
posted by reklaw at 4:32 AM on April 4, 2007


MetaFilter: Don't blame the quantum state.
posted by phaedon at 4:35 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Grow a skin?!
posted by liquorice at 4:44 AM on April 4, 2007


So you're saying that there is no patriarchy any more, and women are completely equal - that the bad treatment of women is 100% in the past, and therefore nothing to do with you. Right?

no, he's telling you to shut up and fetch him a beer
posted by pyramid termite at 4:54 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


......

(seriously, don't get petulant if responses aren't what you want them to be. people generally don't responded to accusations with huzzahs and praise)
posted by jonmc at 5:28 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Grow a skin?!"

Yeah, we're not allowed to talk about circumcision here either.
posted by The Monkey at 6:00 AM on April 4, 2007

Had it been worded better, had it offered us more links than a fucking geocities page and a Wikipedia article, and had it not openly asked for people to write a Wikipedia article that the poster had searched for and couldn't find, yes, I agree, the subject matter could have made for a great FPP.
If something’s worth reading, it is ridiculously superficial to dismiss it because of the format it’s published in. And hey, this thing happened a century and a half ago and has been mostly ignored; there is not that much out there on it. Yes, the thing should have been worded better, but an aside about a Wikipedia article is hardly inciting agression.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 6:03 AM on April 4, 2007


don't get the idea that tribes of California were better treated than others

I just assumed that the tribes of California were better treated because who could oppress them? A bunch of granola eating surfer hippies? I bet all the tribes in California just got a contact high and lots of gay sex. California! LOL! amirite?

What are we talking about? A massacre? I didn't read the links or the comments or anything.
posted by ND¢ at 6:06 AM on April 4, 2007


If something’s worth reading, it is ridiculously superficial to dismiss it because of the format it’s published in.

Ridiculously superficial? Contempt for your audience certainly effects the reception of your message.
posted by OmieWise at 6:15 AM on April 4, 2007


Yeah, grow a skin, people. A red one.
posted by Brittanie at 6:33 AM on April 4, 2007

Contempt for your audience certainly effects the reception of your message.
IDNTTWMWYTIM.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 6:47 AM on April 4, 2007


I made a weak joke in thread assuming it was soon for deletion, just because of the framing and format. It was an interesting story and I regret any dullness or derailing I may have contributed to (but hey, I have to play to my "strengths").
posted by Abiezer at 6:49 AM on April 4, 2007


Ah, so that's the kind of contempt I'm talking about.
posted by OmieWise at 6:50 AM on April 4, 2007


When provided with links that contain serious and interesting subject matter the last thing you can expect to happen is a thoughtful and reflective discussion on the blue. It happens very rarely, only about once every 90 days by my figure. The vast majority of the time Mefites, like Farkers and all the other boards on the net infested with geeks, will do as geeks do and you'll end up with something that looks like a bunch of 12 year old boys sitting at the back of the class. The blue is only good for stupid, childish geek shit and you shouldn't expect anything more from it. (And when you get something more you can be pleasantly surprised and enjoy it.)
posted by nixerman at 6:51 AM on April 4, 2007


Haven't read the comments, but just from looking at the post, I knew it wouldn't end well. Thing is, had the OP left off the second paragraph, I think things would have gone substantially better.

Paragraph breaks in FPP suck, anyway.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:51 AM on April 4, 2007


If something’s worth reading, it is ridiculously superficial to dismiss it because of the format it’s published in. And hey, this thing happened a century and a half ago and has been mostly ignored; there is not that much out there on it.

Someone forgot that MetaFilter is first and foremost about interesting links to good sites, not just a couple pages used as a springboard to tell everyone they are whitewashing their past and should do something about it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:54 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


If something’s worth reading, it is ridiculously superficial to dismiss it because of the format it’s published in

This clearly illustrates the conceptual impetus behind my life's work, which revolves around scrawling the entirety of Genesis onto every bathroom stall God directs me to.
posted by prostyle at 7:10 AM on April 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm essentially a lurker and have never been inspired to write to MetaTalk before, but I did think that the second paragraph was gratuitous and annoying. Should an FPP really be used to drum up support for writing Wikipedia articles? The actual links are interesting and suitable, but the editorial at the end seems completely out of place to me.
posted by Lame_username at 7:19 AM on April 4, 2007


That post is crap.

Why hasn't it been deleted?
posted by dios at 7:29 AM on April 4, 2007


Obviously all white Americans need to be arrested, tried, and jailed for this crime. Maybe then one of them will have the free time to write the Wikipedia article.
posted by rocket88 at 7:32 AM on April 4, 2007


Why hasn't it been deleted? --dios

Someone forgot that MetaFilter is first and foremost about interesting links to good sites, not just a couple pages used as a springboard to tell everyone they are whitewashing their past and should do something about it. --mathowie

Yeah, really. I'm confused here.
posted by Bugg at 7:40 AM on April 4, 2007


Clearly, these were the Pomo Indians that he was looking for.
posted by klangklangston at 7:44 AM on April 4, 2007


Oh, and I'm one-thirtysecond Cherokee, so I can say what I want to about this.
posted by klangklangston at 7:44 AM on April 4, 2007


flag early, flag often.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:48 AM on April 4, 2007


I removed the post. Phrasing matters.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:53 AM on April 4, 2007


If the poster had actually written that instead of "White Americans are still whitewashing their past treatment of native Americans", the thread would have gone better.

The poster's error was in capitalization. It's not well-known, but TheirPastTreatmentOfNativeAmericans is actually a fence in Missouri that's been standing since the mid 1800s. People still come by to whitewash it from time to time in honor of Tom. I'm not sure why the poster writes that it's white Americans. Since the end of Jim Crow, whitewashing the fence has been open to all races.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:59 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm part Sioux, so I can say that post was heap big buffalo pie in Chief Mathowie's wigwam.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:14 AM on April 4, 2007


White Americans are still whitewashing their past treatment of native Americans

Well there's yer problem right there. Blanket statement racist opening.

Another "sins of the fathers" post. You do realize when you say things like "white Americans" you're addressing actual human beings with a variety of views and opinions and not some cartoon-ish stereotype no? And you do follow that these people you refer to in the present tense have not perpetrated a massacre?
posted by scheptech at 8:16 AM on April 4, 2007


I still prefer it immensely to this. Little-known but fascinating historical incident versus surmises based on surmises from someone with a Ph.D—Pomos all the way.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 8:17 AM on April 4, 2007


jessamyn's whitewashing the past!
posted by kirkaracha at 8:37 AM on April 4, 2007


Advocacy - common enthusiasm, sir - is the worst of the web.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:41 AM on April 4, 2007


I haven't read that Ehrenreich article, so I can't speak to its quality, but it is on the internet.

So it's got that going for it.


Which is nice.
posted by Partial Law at 8:41 AM on April 4, 2007


Who are these white people, Edgar and Johnny Winters? I trace my motherfuckers to Olduvai Gorge. Blue eyes and freckles disqualify me for a hyphen and it's still okay bait me with a relic of a racist past? You know, there used to be signs all over that said, "Whites Only."

I'm descended from immigrants who were themselves immigrants all down the millenia; I'm pinkish beige, with little tan freckles, and inside I'm red, just like anyone. Just like the blood that's soaked into American soil many generations over, so that the grandchildren of the bleeding might be more free. Whether they be in brown, tan, ochre, pink, beige, olive, ebony, or albino flesh, those American wounds bled for nothing if we reject the freedoms our ancestors earned for us and choose instead to embrace the racist shackles they bled to free us from. We've earned our diversity the hard way, and it's as senseless and shameful to label a man Black or Red or Yellow as it is to label him White. Senseless, shameful, racist, and above all, a step backwards.
posted by breezeway at 8:41 AM on April 4, 2007


I think I'm clearly in the "This got deleted to make room for more YouTube links?" camp. Not that such a camp or caucus exists, but it should. It could have been written better, sure, but so could almost every comment in that thread. Or a two word YouTube link.
posted by trinarian at 8:42 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


breezeway, I'm shocked.

It's 'Johnny & Edgar Winter. No 's'
posted by jonmc at 8:42 AM on April 4, 2007


I musta been thinking of this guy, jonmc.
posted by breezeway at 8:50 AM on April 4, 2007


Poster: Hey you know, America treated Native Americans real badly.
Commenters: WAAAAH WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THAT SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUTUP


Oh, please. I'm all for discussing America's treatment of Native Americans (and have in fact done so right there in the blue), and would love to see a good post on the subject. This wasn't it, and man do I hate people justifying crap posts (or boring speeches or abusive behavior or whatever damn uncivilized thing) because This Subject Is Important!!!

Or what Effigy2000 said.

Also:
Paragraph breaks in FPP suck, anyway.
posted by languagehat at 8:50 AM on April 4, 2007


People need to remember this simple rule about MeFi: it's about the links, first and foremost. Then comes the conversation. You can't sacrifice the quality of the former and expect the quality of the latter to be any better.
posted by antifuse at 8:57 AM on April 4, 2007


This population was deleted for the following reason: we wanted your continent-- and killing you was fun!
posted by jamjam at 9:10 AM on April 4, 2007


And you do follow that these people you refer to in the present tense have not perpetrated a massacre?

Speak for yourself, hippy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2007


This wasn't it, and man do I hate people justifying crap posts (or boring speeches or abusive behavior or whatever damn uncivilized thing) because This Subject Is Important!!!

Did you actually read the links? The links were interesting, comprehensive, and heartbreaking. On the quality of the links alone that was easily one of the best posts of the week. The only thing that was crap was the blue's response. The mature response would be to overlook the poster's misguided phrasing (though it's easy to see why somebody would get really upset over an actual massacre, this isn't some bullshit political issue) to appreciate what truly really is best of the web. And then you have the blue's response which is just disgraceful. But this whole discussion really isn't about quality anyways. It's just another self-policing action immature assholes attempt to justify their asshole behavior by blaming others for 'making them' behave like assholes. These little performances are useful I suppose since it encourages assholes to act out on the blue which drives away new posters and adults alike.
posted by nixerman at 9:20 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's just another self-policing action immature assholes attempt to justify their asshole behavior by blaming others for 'making them' behave like assholes.

Minor note: phrasing matters AND people who shit in threads just because they're "going to be deleted" make everyone look like a bunch of hurf durf sophmoric lol pathos assclowns.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:24 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a bunch of hurf durf sophmoric lol pathos assclowns

sorry
posted by antifuse at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Earlier today I was confronted with a group of proctologist jesters who were demanding remuneration for the previous day's performance, and my manservant, a gentleman named Richard who is in his second year of college, asked what he should do. I responded "hurf durf sophmoric lol pathos assclowns." Weird.
posted by ND¢ at 9:36 AM on April 4, 2007


Wait, is Rick short for Richard? Maybe my manservant's name is Frederick. Adjust accordingly.
posted by ND¢ at 9:38 AM on April 4, 2007


First three Google results for '"bloody island" massacre' are the first three links in the OP, in that order. Seventh result is wikipedia's account of the massacre, within the article "Bloody Island". (Just one paragraph, though.)
posted by ormondsacker at 9:38 AM on April 4, 2007


the poster's misguided phrasing

I believe you mean editorializing. The poster's point of view came through loud and clear in the very first sentence. It was instantly apparent that the post was going to be hurfdurf bait. Which is completely lame, because I find the subject interesting. However when the poster's knee is jerking so badly it affects their "phrasing", I don't even bother clicking the links. I'm quite capable of reaching my own conclusions, thank you.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:03 AM on April 4, 2007


One could have the bestest, most brilliantest links in the world, but if they're wrapped in shit rhetoric and empty provocation, it's a crap FPP.

I still prefer it immensely to this
posted by Aidan Kehoe

Duh, really?

totally delete it and make room for YouTube videos of a duck fucking a platypus and a mute midget in a red white and blue bathing suit miming The Star Spangled Banner
posted by matteo


Y'know matteo, the way it's supposed to work is we beg you to pick up your torch and resume posting dense and interesting FPPs. Then you play a little hard to get, and we stroke your lil a ego a bit more, and then you relent. You running around MeTa wearing a sandwich board that reads "Ask Me About My Recent Lack of FPPs" is embarrassing and really takes all the sport out of it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:13 AM on April 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


YOU KNOW WHAT INDIANS DID TO THIER GAYS, DON'T YOU?
posted by quonsar at 10:14 AM on April 4, 2007


D'oh, speaking of embarassing...
*Slinks off into the darkness, leaving a shiny trail of broken anchor tags behind him like a slug*

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:16 AM on April 4, 2007


Don't worry, it's back.
posted by OmieWise at 10:17 AM on April 4, 2007


Wow, that FPP is the bee's knees AND taught me how to love again!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:34 AM on April 4, 2007


it's back.

That's what you get for building your FPP on top of an Indian burial ground.
posted by ND¢ at 10:50 AM on April 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


matteo : "totally delete it and make room for YouTube videos of a duck fucking a platypus and a mute midget in a red white and blue bathing suit miming The Star Spangled Banner"

I agree, except that you probably meant that sarcastically, but I agree with the statement sincerely.

languagehat : "man do I hate people justifying crap posts"

nixerman : "Did you actually read the links? The links were interesting, comprehensive, and heartbreaking."

Yes. Unlike the post which contained those links, which was crap. A post doesn't just consist of URLs, but all whose words around those URLs.

So, bad post, bad responses to post.
posted by Bugbread at 10:53 AM on April 4, 2007


What bugbread said. I thoroughly approve of the replacement post.

Also, "pathos assclowns" is yet another superb band name!
posted by languagehat at 12:10 PM on April 4, 2007


The original poster seems to have confused MeFi's "New Post" page with this one.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:11 PM on April 4, 2007


don't you fucking hate how the people that drop these turds on the front page just fucking disappear afterward with never a word to explain what on earth they were thinking?

it's like they wipe their hands together and go "My job is done!" and then fly off to some other website to inspire people (through nothing but the impressive force of their own nobility and idealism!) to write their wikipedia articles for them.
posted by shmegegge at 3:22 PM on April 4, 2007


*whitewashes hands*
posted by Kwine at 4:18 PM on April 4, 2007


OMG. When did we all get so uptight and that we must hold this guy accountable for the craftsmanship of his post? And punish him accordingly? Do we really care? Can't we get the point and let go of the fact that the OP isn't an expert metafilter poster? It's making me so f*cking paranoid that I find myself rereading my dumb comments forty times, just to make sure that I won't get tarred/feathered/flamed/grilled/banned/metashittalked/_________< ---- some horrible internet humiliation that i haven't thought of. br>
IANA/Writer/Editor/Wordsmith/Lawyer/Doctor/Politician/Asshat/Fill-in-the-______/[ist]
posted by iamkimiam at 4:40 PM on April 4, 2007


OMG. When did we all get so uptight and that we must hold this guy accountable for the craftsmanship of his post?

Day 1.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:42 PM on April 4, 2007


iamkimiam, you read things over forty times, and that was the final result? Maybe if you went for fifty you'd catch that malformed line break tag.

*IANA good person*
posted by Kwine at 4:47 PM on April 4, 2007


I am SO glad you brought that up Kwine...the line break tag is DRIVING ME BATSHIT! How do I make an arrow, without MeFi automatically trying to "close it" after hitting post?!

Sidenote: I reread 40 times, because I'm paranoid about the sensitivities of others as a result of all this nitpicking. Apparently there will ALWAYS be something I miss. Now, my response to all this is to not give a shit. Therefore, moving forward, I will only reread 20 more times and unintentionally piss off twice as many people.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:20 PM on April 4, 2007


iamkimiam writes "OMG. When did we all get so uptight and that we must hold this guy accountable for the craftsmanship of his post? And punish him accordingly?"

I've been reading MetaFilter since sometime in 2000, and as far back as I can remember, it's always been that way, so I guess the answer is "We all got that way sometime in the last century".
posted by Bugbread at 5:48 PM on April 4, 2007


lol. ok, good to know. There's definitely a learning curve on effective asking/posting...which I have learned little subtleties about in the few (not-so-expertly-crafted) OPs I've made.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:56 PM on April 4, 2007


iamkimiam I'm paranoid about the sensitivities of others as a result of all this nitpicking

Calling out a racist/inflammatory FPP is hardly nitpicking.
posted by jeblis at 6:09 PM on April 4, 2007


1 down, 39 to go!

Speaking of, I've been nitpicking all over the green, blue, and grey, desperately trying to figure out what FPP means. Flaming Poopy Post? For Personal Promotion? Fucking Petty Posting? I give up. Somebody tell me.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:11 PM on April 4, 2007


FPP = F.P.P.
posted by jeblis at 10:16 PM on April 4, 2007


Lots of abbreviations unofficially explained here.
posted by jeblis at 10:23 PM on April 4, 2007


How do I make an arrow, without MeFi automatically trying to "close it" after hitting post?!

&lt;----- will do it.
posted by antifuse at 2:36 AM on April 5, 2007


awesome. and awesome. Thanks!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:27 AM on April 5, 2007


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