Honest question or veiled propaganda? May 15, 2007 4:48 PM   Subscribe

Something about this post sounds not like a genuine question, but like anti-drug propaganda. It's been posted anonymously, so it's been past the finely honed bullshit-meters of our hosts here, but it still strikes me that something isn't kosher. Or maybe all the pot's making me paranoid.
posted by adamrice to Etiquette/Policy at 4:48 PM (74 comments total)

"I'd rather go to math camp."
posted by ORthey at 4:55 PM on May 15, 2007


It's not very good anti-drug propaganda if everyone's first reaction is "dude, it's not the weed".

And I figure it's anonymous because it's the kind of thing that you know is really stupid but you just have to ask about.
posted by smackfu at 4:57 PM on May 15, 2007


I think it's an honest question from someone who is likely badly off in their reasoning about their situation. I don't have sufficient mojo to verify 100% (Matt could), but I've got reason to suspect it was posted by someone with an innocuous and non-trivial posting history. Between that and the fact that it doesn't read as very well honed as propoganda, I think the sign-up-and-shill theory doesn't really make sense.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:02 PM on May 15, 2007


Something about this post sounds not like a genuine question, but like anti-drug propaganda.

I thought exactly the same thing. It's the naive tone and sort of how anonymous gives a very sterotypically hysterical account of his one-time use. It reads like the AskMe version of Reefer Madness.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 5:04 PM on May 15, 2007


Yeah I thought it might be a troll as well, but I responded anyway. It could be someone trying to tease people into their pro/anti-drug corners for some purpose. But it is also plausible as a real thing. Assuming the poster is for real, they sound uptight and controlling, which is what struck me most about the tone of the post. So maybe it's real.
posted by scarabic at 5:06 PM on May 15, 2007


It reads like the AskMe version of Reefer Madness.

If it only it could have been like the musical.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:11 PM on May 15, 2007


sort of how anonymous gives a very sterotypically hysterical account of his one-time use.

But the reason things are stereotypical is that lots of people behave that way. Haven't you ever known anyone who got hysterical after a one-time drug experience? Maybe colleges are different these days. Anyway, I think it's a good idea to give AskMe posters the benefit of the doubt, especially if they've clearly already passed the Moderator Smell Test.
posted by languagehat at 5:21 PM on May 15, 2007


"Haven't you ever known anyone who got hysterical after a one-time drug experience?"

I thought that stopped happening after Webb left Dragnet.

Anyway, just saw this MeTa— yeah, it reads like a bizarro fake, and some of the advice there is hilarious. Jamjam's in there tellin' the dude he coulda been braindamaged by the pot if he had dandruff at the time. The likelyhood of that is around that of getting pregnant from a toilet seat (it COULD happen).
posted by klangklangston at 5:25 PM on May 15, 2007


What possible reason could anon have for faking this? Propaganda serves a purpose, and I can't figure out what the purpose of this would be...

A bizarre question to be sure, but I'm inclined to take it at face value. Bizarre is a frequent occurrence over on AskMe!
posted by modernnomad at 5:26 PM on May 15, 2007


Maybe we should send the OP to this thread so he/she can see what pot-induced paranoia really looks like. Seriously, though, I took it as a real question because the anxiety-related stuff sounds pretty authentic, and it's not at all implausible that one's first pot (or other consciousness-altering) experience could produce a panic attack.
posted by treepour at 5:29 PM on May 15, 2007


OK, now that I've actually read the question it sounds monumentally idiotic (ten years later??), but I'm still voting for "monumental idiot" rather than troll/fake/agitprop, and we help even idiots around here.
posted by languagehat at 5:30 PM on May 15, 2007


I think it's valid...the person became a teenager at the same time! I saw it as:

Act I: I am very clear, unconfused, and grounded in the world.

Act II: Puberty, High School, Selfhood (oh and a joint).

Act III: The world is a bit confusing, as is my place in it! My path is less certain, my footsteps less sure! It must have been that joint!
posted by freebird at 5:34 PM on May 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


A-ha! We know that it's someone with an innocuous and non-trivial posting history! Now we can narrow down the suspects and figure out who posted it.

My money's on Adam Savage. It just sounds like him.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 5:34 PM on May 15, 2007


I'm going with honest question.
posted by seanyboy at 5:34 PM on May 15, 2007


Anon. doesn't deserve to get stoned here, too. He/she obviously can't handle it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:36 PM on May 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


If it's propaganda, it's the crappiest form of propaganda ever.

It's not like there's scads of middle-schoolers reading AskMe. There's even fewer who will be searching the archives for 'marijuana' and 'mentalhealth' once that question gets bumped off the front page.
posted by CKmtl at 5:37 PM on May 15, 2007


DEAR ASK ME: Why shouldn't I do teh drugxor>?
posted by klangklangston at 5:43 PM on May 15, 2007


As odd as it may seem, I think it's genuine. Hard as it is for those with stratospheric intelligence and worldliness to accept, there are people "out there" who possess neither and often this results in strange questions being asked. As it is "out there", so it is also "in here".
posted by dg at 5:44 PM on May 15, 2007


Shh! Don't bogart that cynicism.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:48 PM on May 15, 2007


OK, now that I've actually read the question it sounds monumentally idiotic

That's precisely what suggests it's a real person with anxiety disorder. Anxiety/panic/whatever is almost never about something realistic -- on some level you know this, and everyone else around you can see it and point it out to you, but that makes little immediate difference. And ridicule doesn't really help, either.
posted by treepour at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2007


That kid has worse problems than the joint he once smoked: he's really fucking boring.
posted by psmealey at 6:09 PM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Drugs + setting = experience.
posted by acro at 6:14 PM on May 15, 2007


Lesson learned today:

1) Do not post the downside of majiuana on Metafilter because people will ridicule you.

Previous lessons review:

2) Do not post the upside of ecstacy, meth or cocaine on Metafilter because people will ridicule you.

Conclusion: Middle America has its prejudices, which are only vaguely related to the truth of people's experiences.
posted by dydecker at 6:25 PM on May 15, 2007


dydecker, that's not really fair. The guy smoked one joint. One single joint. Ten years ago. That's not "the downside of marijuana."
posted by SoftRain at 6:32 PM on May 15, 2007


You forgot Lesson #3. Don't fucking post a video of a kid getting booted in the head by a break-dancer on the street.

67% = D+
posted by psmealey at 6:34 PM on May 15, 2007


psmealey: always enjoy your boring old boomer nostalgia, your therapy advice and your income disclosures.
posted by dydecker at 6:37 PM on May 15, 2007


It was my first taste of a mind altering substance.

Sounded to me more like a marketer than some 25-year-old that got high once at 15. Then again we're probably not the target audience for propaganda. Or are we?

It also made me think of Scientology. All those references to clarity and being clear.
posted by ml98tu at 6:39 PM on May 15, 2007


apologies psmealey: i thought it was you who posted that woodstock post. *hangs head in shame*
posted by dydecker at 6:48 PM on May 15, 2007


actually i take that back. in the thread i see you were itching to post about woodstock. well that's some warmed-over Ken Burns approved shit right there and I would much prefer breakdancing, and even breakdancing hitting a little kid in the head, to freaking Woodstock self-love again. and the don't like pot something wrong with you maaan orthodoxy is as vanilla as it comes too.
posted by dydecker at 7:03 PM on May 15, 2007


You are a very strange person, dydecker. Let us know how that works out for you.
posted by psmealey at 7:07 PM on May 15, 2007


I'll get your therapist to bill you.
posted by dydecker at 7:08 PM on May 15, 2007


Well, I'm glad that last comment made sense to you, because at least that makes one of us.
posted by psmealey at 7:10 PM on May 15, 2007


why is it so bad to be a strange person though? this is the thing. some guy who is obv. a strange person asks a genuine question on this site, and then he gets ridiculed by this weirdly stifling consensus. you seem to be a clever fellow, why not be a bit openhearted rather than "oh that's fucking boring", "your link is fucking boring". dude, I've only noticed your comments over the last few days, but it strikes me as a bunch of projection. get a perm or something. or a sports car. get through the crisis, etc.
posted by dydecker at 7:18 PM on May 15, 2007


I smoked one joint, just one, and I turned into a newt.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:27 PM on May 15, 2007


It doesn't sound like drug propaganda. It sounds like someone that believed drug propaganda. There's bound to be some people like that.
posted by mendel at 7:29 PM on May 15, 2007


I strongly suspect that I'm not the one doing the projecting here.
posted by psmealey at 7:29 PM on May 15, 2007


Is there some way to conclusively prove that Anon is bullshitting, and if not, is there a point to this MeTa?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:41 PM on May 15, 2007


"As odd as it may seem, I think it's genuine. Hard as it is for those with stratospheric intelligence and worldliness to accept, there are people "out there" who possess neither and often this results in strange questions being asked. As it is "out there", so it is also "in here"."

This is like the story about a friend, only it turns out to be you, right? ;)
posted by klangklangston at 7:43 PM on May 15, 2007


I first tried Jolt Cola when I was fifteen and my life hasn't been the same since.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:47 PM on May 15, 2007


"2) Do not post the upside of ecstacy, meth or cocaine on Metafilter because people will ridicule you."

To be fair, the upsides of ecstacy, meth and cocaine are too often portrayed as glow sticks, 16-hour jerkoff sessions and Don Johnson, respectively.
posted by klangklangston at 7:47 PM on May 15, 2007


"I first tried Jolt Cola when I was fifteen and my life hasn't been the same since."

To be fair, once I first tried pot when I was 15 and briefly thought that made me cool.

And it did.

I was awesome.

Dammit.
posted by klangklangston at 7:48 PM on May 15, 2007


This person is probably putting their therapists children through college, and for their sake I hope that is true. It sure beats institutionalization, all because you smoked that one joint at 15.

yeah, it's fake
posted by caddis at 7:54 PM on May 15, 2007


and seriously, if it isn't fake, then anon should probably be institutionalized
posted by caddis at 7:56 PM on May 15, 2007


and seriously, if it isn't fake, then anon should probably be institutionalized

Look, it sounds like this person had a panic attack the first him he or she smoked, and is still dealing with residual anxiety issues. That sort of pattern isn't uncommon for someone prone to anxiety disorders, and it doesn't make him or her a moron or worthy of institutionalization.
posted by treepour at 8:17 PM on May 15, 2007


sort of how anonymous gives a very sterotypically hysterical account of his one-time use.

But the reason things are stereotypical is that lots of people behave that way.


I guess I meant that the whole thing sounded to me like the typical hysterical hand-wringing of non-drug users with regards to what they believe will happen to drug users even on their first exposure. I meant stereotypical hysteria about drug use not stereotypical after-effects.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:39 PM on May 15, 2007


Oh come on, I don't smell a troll with that, and I went to one of the biggest stoner colleges in the country. This is the one issue where I know shit does happen and go unacknowledged, and though it probably isn't the key to unlock his downward decline, it's a valid question. I can't believe I'll never get used to the weed nazis. "It's not the weed" is SUCH a crap answer. It's an occasionally very powerful dissociative. Which I will now use.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:41 PM on May 15, 2007


I was terribly worried that I had lost my intelligence because of the joint.

Yeah if it isn't fake, then i'm nth'ing the anxiety disorder thing.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:51 PM on May 15, 2007


I wish I lived next door to you, Ambrosia.
It has been a loooong day.
posted by Dizzy at 9:00 PM on May 15, 2007


ohmygodyouguysi'msooostonedrightnow
posted by ludwig_van at 9:02 PM on May 15, 2007


ohmygodyouguysi'msooostonedrightnow

Oh noes! He's lost the ability to space!!!
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:49 PM on May 15, 2007


That kid can space just fine.
posted by Dizzy at 10:00 PM on May 15, 2007


Though I doubt the joint was laced, I just wanted to say I thought ikkyu2's comment was quite thoughtful and lovely.

And, I really hate to be nitpick, but marijuana isn't, technically speaking, a dissociative, though it can certainly make one feel dissociated in a broad sense of the term.
posted by treepour at 10:23 PM on May 15, 2007


if it's a fake, it's certainly not entertaining enough (not nearly as good as the guy who was not sure if he should defecate on his scat-loving girlfriend, for example). it just sounds like the poster, as cortex said, is badly misjudging his situation. it's clearly all in his head, but it doesn't sound clearly fake to me. lame, yes. fake, I don't think so. but then AskMefi is by now the perfect outlet to allow people badly in need of therapy, or anti-depressants, or both, to blow off a little steam.
posted by matteo at 1:59 AM on May 16, 2007



Honest question. Jesus christ: so the guy's a bit square. We aren't all so cool that we "know" what it's all about all the time. And sometimes you gotta wonder and how can you know?

Some people believe they've been abducted by aliens and had things put in their bums, others think they've suffered 'sleep paralisys', others assaulted by a witch sitting on their chest. Who's right? The one the most people get behind at any given moment?

Give him a break.
I mean, out on the mean streets they don't call it 'whacky weed' for nothing you know. Jesus.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:09 AM on May 16, 2007


Looks to me like someone just read the short story Second Person, Present Tense. While tokin'.
posted by Jakey at 3:38 AM on May 16, 2007


I think it's just a very neurotic kid who is convinced that he used to be smarter before he smoked a joint.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:47 AM on May 16, 2007


I go with sincere. I think this one is much more likely fake (either trolling or "research" for a story), since it's utterly pointless.

I stand by my claim of boring though, and not because I espouse any particular Metafilter "orthodoxy" as it pertains to smoking weed. It's because of the poster's tedious obsession with mundane events like his inability to solve an arbitrary math problem and a what seems likely to be only a slight drop in class standing (as if that ever meant anything) and using those as examples of something being not quite right.

It seems much more likely that the poster was an above average (but relatively undistinguished) student and is looking for reasons/excuses as to why he's not as smart as he once considered himself to be.
posted by psmealey at 5:05 AM on May 16, 2007


out on the mean streets they don't call it 'whacky weed' for nothing

They call it 'whacky weed'? Where do you live - on the set of Diff'rent Strokes?
posted by item at 6:01 AM on May 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think this one is much more likely fake (either trolling or "research" for a story), since it's utterly pointless.

Seriously? I know eighteen people who have these sorts of "problems" to deal with, and I'm pretty far from the club scene. They are out there; they are mostly amoral despicable idiots; they get more action than Jackie Chan. Evolution is fucked up.
posted by Kwine at 7:03 AM on May 16, 2007


I have no doubt that such people are out there, kwine, and I'll even admit in my younger days I regrettably exhibited similar behaviors (and thankfully grew out of it). I just have a hunch that the point of "asking" such a question in AskMe was an attempt to plumb for a variety of responses rather than to sincerely solicit advice.
posted by psmealey at 7:10 AM on May 16, 2007


others think they've suffered 'sleep paralisys'

I have witnessed sleep paralysis. I trust you do not think it's a myth.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:35 AM on May 16, 2007


And I've been assaulted by a witch sitting on my chest.

It was awesome.
posted by LordSludge at 7:51 AM on May 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't blame the weeeeeeeed maaaaaaaaan! Maybe what you saw as a loss of concentration was really ENLIGHTENMENT.

Fucking sheesh.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:10 AM on May 16, 2007


For whatever it's worth, the thing that made me suspect the post is a fake is not how stupid the idea of it is, it's more the gee-whiz innocent tone, attempt to both sympathize with others in the same situation and evoke sympathy, and the life-destroying consequences of a single minor act.

I've seen this kind of post on other message boards a few times before, sometimes about drugs, sometimes about homosexuality, typically posted by what appears to be an evangelical trying to reach out and coax sinners from their wicked ways using something other than fire and brimstone.
posted by adamrice at 9:21 AM on May 16, 2007


Well, there are instances of a single instance of drug use turning someone gay. And then there is that story of a single instance of gay drugs turning someone used, but let's stay out of that.

Seriously, I find this a very interesting question; I believe that it is genuine, and at least deserving of the benefit of our doubt.

I just answered in the thread.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:41 AM on May 16, 2007


I don't have sufficient mojo to verify 100% (Matt could), but I've got reason to suspect it was posted by someone with an innocuous and non-trivial posting history.

cortex, may I inquire as to the basis of your suspicion? It has always been my understanding that only Matt could see/approve anon questions. Am I correct in inferring that this information is now available to you as well? Also, how come you can suspect it but not know for sure?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:03 AM on May 16, 2007


cortex cortex, natch
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:04 AM on May 16, 2007


"Also, how come you can suspect it but not know for sure?"

He's being coy.

That joint ruined your life, cortex! Just think where you could be if you weren't getting high at 15!
posted by klangklangston at 11:25 AM on May 16, 2007



"...others think they've suffered 'sleep paralisys'

I have witnessed sleep paralysis. I trust you do not think it's a myth."


No no, I believe sleep paralysis is a real condition, I was talking about sleep paralisys. A fine distinction, but an important one.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:29 AM on May 16, 2007


may I inquire as to the basis of your suspicion?

Quick, sloppy checks against IPs, is all. I don't have access to the anon papertrail that Matt is able to check in emergencies, but if there's a question of gamesmanship on an anon question I'll occasionally check the associated IP (which is bound at submission time) against an IP search tool.

It's not perfect, but it's close enough for funk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on May 16, 2007


Thanks for clarifying, cortex.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:05 PM on May 16, 2007


Haha. One joint. Classic.
posted by baphomet at 2:26 PM on May 16, 2007


sometimes about homosexuality,

I am so tempted to post the gay version of this question to AskMe. But you know what? I won't. Even though my soul just feels tarnished somehow after that one snog.
posted by Sparx at 5:13 PM on May 16, 2007


Alice in Acidland had more sex. I prefer my anti-drug propaganda heavy on the porn. That thread disappointed me in many ways.
posted by meehawl at 12:40 PM on June 5, 2007


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