No June 8, 2007 8:28 PM   Subscribe

No. Can we have some standards and not participate in this crap? I'd also like to ask for a pre-emptive strike on any NewsFilter post about the latest missing and found dead rich white girl they're talking about now.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim to Etiquette/Policy at 8:28 PM (129 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

If you don't want to participate in the thread, ignore it.

If someone else wants to participate in it, they can.

That's how a community works. A community does not work when one person or an elitist cabal decides the standards.

Get over it.
posted by milarepa at 8:38 PM on June 8, 2007


No.
posted by puke & cry at 8:40 PM on June 8, 2007




HAU CUD U B SO INSENSATIVE I <3 parisbr>
(PS THANX MATHOWI 4 PROMOTING UR SAIT ON MYSPACE ITS GRATE)
posted by Krrrlson at 8:41 PM on June 8, 2007


suck it.
posted by Stynxno at 8:46 PM on June 8, 2007


Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Get over it.

There's no need to get down on TheOnlyCoolTim for bringing up quality issues. As a self-policing community this is our opportunity to discuss standards and whether we need them or not. You're probably right, though, about the elitist cabal aspect. Any ideas on how to open up MetaTalk to more people?

What's interesting in this case is that Stynxno is a familiar character in MetaTalk and arguably a member of the elitist cabal. Maybe he posted it just to ruffle your feathers? What if he was counting on multiple MeTa threads on it? Woah.
posted by carsonb at 8:47 PM on June 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Paris Hilton's still alive yo. But you already knew that, no?
posted by jmd82 at 8:48 PM on June 8, 2007



There's no need to get down on TheOnlyCoolTim for bringing up quality issues.


There is if he's acting like some snotty rich girl.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:51 PM on June 8, 2007


The fact that I know she's still alive, that she was in jail, that she got out, and that she's going back, as well as the fact that I know the other white girl (Kelly something? As you can see, these are issues about which I'm actively trying to not be informed.) went missing and died, are very upsetting to me. The fact that had I not known about Paris Hilton going to jail, I would have found out about it right here is also upsetting.

This is some of what has made the media of this country a useless joke.

MetaFilter should aim to not become useless too, another force dumbing down the populace.

Don't get me wrong, that the girl was killed is very sad. But it's not national news worthy of the level of coverage it's getting.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:54 PM on June 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Add a button. "Flag this post as 'Silly.'" With a sufficient number of "Silly" flags set, a Silly Critical Mass, the post is automatically hidden from view for those people that have set "Don't show me silly shit" in their account settings.

Me? I like the silly, for this reason:

Paris Hilton is not the Best of the Web all by herself.

On the other hand, Metafilter geniuses with Snark Guns set to "Kill" is indeed the Best of the Web.
posted by frogan at 8:56 PM on June 8, 2007 [8 favorites]


Oh yes, I'm aware the post could be a troll sort of thing. Still brings down the quality of the site.

Also, two and a half years here, and this is the first time I've bitched about anything site-related.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:57 PM on June 8, 2007


I like silly shit as well. I was just amused by that thing where you pick a pseudo-Victorian character and fly around over a field. Change 'Silly' to 'Useless Media Frenzy That Everyone With A Computer Already Knows About' and I'll take frogan's suggestion.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:58 PM on June 8, 2007


that's hot.
posted by Stynxno at 8:59 PM on June 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Next people will be posting brownie pa-- OH SHI
posted by boo_radley at 9:01 PM on June 8, 2007


There is no cabal.
posted by The Deej at 9:04 PM on June 8, 2007


YES.

Joey Michaels explains why.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:05 PM on June 8, 2007


As I wrote in the Meta thread directly below this one, I think that there is actually value in having this posted here.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:05 PM on June 8, 2007


Holy cats! Beaten to my own link! Well played, exlotuseater!
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:06 PM on June 8, 2007


At 222 comments, it looks like some folks are having fun. Besides, there's been at least one other attempt at posting something Paris related in the past week, and this one is at least framed well, so we can use it as the one we can all snarkily go "Um! Post this in the open thread, mkay" when the additional ones get posted. I think it's a great idea to have well-crafted newsfilter posts available -- keeps the one link CNN jive to a minimum when crap like this happens.
posted by macadamiaranch at 9:08 PM on June 8, 2007


ThePinkSuperhero bustles through the door with a loud sigh. "Is this week over yet?" she whines, and drops bags on the foyer. "I had such a long day. ...Honey?"

"Heeeyyy," Stynxno croons from the kitchen, "I made you a MetaTalk!"
posted by carsonb at 9:08 PM on June 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


There's value in discussing the issues with media coverage of Paris Hilton.

There's nothing in the linked sites that does that.

While a good discussion could follow from a post that is not up to par, it doesn't mean we should have low standards for posts. I'm sure there's some good analyses of the media coverage that could have been linked to and made a good post, rather than three ZOMG PARIS HILTON IS CRYING articles that are part of the Worst of the Web, and not an interesting kind of "Worst."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:12 PM on June 8, 2007


You know, I don't get what's so wrong with the occasional MeFi post on vapid pop culture. I'm no big fan of Paris Hilton, but I found the whole episode to be interesting as a microcosm of celebrity culture and the nature of the American justice system. And despite the fact that it's been in the news all day, MeFi was one of the few places I've seen remotely intelligent commentary about it - once I filtered through all the ZOMG THIS POST SUXX comments.
posted by lalex at 9:14 PM on June 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's never been any different, and it never will be. The majority of people (I include myself) are more engaged by drooling dumbfuckery and blowjobs and explosions than by anything more Excellently Erudite and Unhot.

Sure, I loathe Paris Hilton with the lukewarm intensity of 20 thousand sundried poptarts, like all good citizens, but if other people want to display the degree to which they can a) be snarky b) be superior c) be suckers for the tits-and-circuses that keep us distracted from Really Important Things (or some combination of the three), then more goddamn power to 'em, the bastards.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:14 PM on June 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


I disagree with Joey Michaels; for the most part these types of posts give people here a chance to condemn celebrity culture rubbernecking while at that same time perpetuating it.

It's sort of pathetic that the FPP's sole merit is that it keeps more of the same shit from being posted, and even more pathetic that Stynxno seems to think it's worth defending by being a belligerent dick (Unless he's trying to do that patented quonsar baiting/taking the piss thing, which is something that should probably be left to the professionals.).
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:22 PM on June 8, 2007


I went and read BrandonB's linked comment:

You can ignore her if you want to.

No, I can't.

To ignore Paris Hilton this week, I would have had to cut myself off from all broadcast or periodical media and have been able to tell the future and plug my ears before I got on the train today.

It's not about erudite or important. It's about redundancy and joining into one of the worst aspects of our culture and media.

I'm going to bed now.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:22 PM on June 8, 2007


Brief overview of topics that should not be Metafilter posts based on unspoken rules and Metatalk outcry:

1. Celebrity Culture
2. Advertisements
3. Election Year Politics
4. YouTube Phenomenon
5. Non-Hipster-Idolized Deaths

There are of course, many more. Being snooty about these topics is of course what keeps Metafilter on a respectable keel. BUT, major events within these topics happen, and are okay to talk about.

Paris Hilton Events that Metafilter should not have covered:

1. The Simple Life television show
2. One Night in Paris Sex Tape controversy
3. Lindsey Lohan / Nicole Ritchie / Entourage issues
4. Numerous, numerous snooty blogs and commentary wondering why she's popular.

Paris Hilton is released from jail, but public outcry over celebrity privilege sends her back, is the best topic from the entire Hilton escapades from the last few years worth anything. Those other events? Of course not. They're just as bad as talking about Anna Nicole Smith's weight fluctuations or the latest daily talking point from Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. But every once in awhile, sometimes it's okay.

This is the best I can come up with after spending many years reading Metatalk, which is of course, just as lame as following Paris Hilton's exploits. Moderation, and chill the fuck out.
posted by Stan Chin at 9:27 PM on June 8, 2007 [9 favorites]


Somebody give Stan Chin back his star, already!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:28 PM on June 8, 2007


lol at the irony of it all. By making the MeTa threads we're still discussing Paris Hilton. Vicious cycle! You can't win! The only way you can win is to not discuss it.

I broke my promise to myself not to paricipate just to point this out.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:28 PM on June 8, 2007


No, I can't.

To ignore Paris Hilton this week, I would have had to cut myself off from all broadcast or periodical media and have been able to tell the future and plug my ears before I got on the train today.


I didn't say totally avoid, I said ignore.

Look, I hear what you're saying, this story has gotten under your skin and you're really don't want to hear one word about it, let alone the ton of media coverage. I dig that. But you can't ignore the world, right? You just gotta learn to filter some of the nasty bits out, hence the suggestion.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:34 PM on June 8, 2007


Stynxno seems to think it's worth defending by being a belligerent dick

actually, i haven't tried to defend my post at all. it is what it is and i'm fairly proud of how I constructed it. The post could have been better, there were a few links and news stories that my google fu couldn't find and would have illuminated the more interesting side of the case - say, how she appears caught in some political game, etc etc. These news articles are appearing now and I'll probably start linking them into the thread as I find them.

I will admit that I am enjoying the outrage being displayed in that thread and here. I thought my spears post was illuminating but I was mistaken.
posted by Stynxno at 9:40 PM on June 8, 2007


I disagree with you TheOnlyCoolTim. And my particular disagreement doesn't have much to do with whether I should pay Paris Hilton's existence more mind than mine or yours or even the many thousands of actually important and interesting people in the universe.

My disagreement is with the fundamental assumption behind your post and others like it: There is some kind of "we" and "we" don't like advertising or want to laugh at celebrities or read law review articles or newsfilter or political scatplay youtubes and that if "they" would only stop posting these things, "we" at MetaFilter would be what we truly are, viz., "better than that." If they continue to get away with their continuing degredation of "our" community, METAFILTER WILL BE DESTROYED.

This, while noble in a sense, is not true. You have to remember that there are a thousand smart and conscientious mefites who think that your favorite band sucks. And that it's ok to schrei gevalt about politics even though kosem finds it tedious and unenlightening, and that a few hundred jokey comments at the expense of the jailed heiress is not the lake of fire.

You will not achieve purity of "we" here, excepting a collective longing for the swift justice of the banhammer.
posted by kosem at 9:44 PM on June 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Now that I look at it, stinky's paris post looks just like his anna nicole post. I guess the paris post didn't get axed because he finally broke the will of the admins. So congrats on that.
posted by puke & cry at 9:52 PM on June 8, 2007


A community does not work when one person or an elitist cabal decides the standards.

the idea that an elitist cabal would be necessary to raise the standards above the level of paris hilton is pretty depressing
posted by pyramid termite at 9:55 PM on June 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


...on the other hand, or just to clarify: I personally loathe the "it was inevitable! what do mefites have to say about this issue" posts. As though simply because there will be a post about Paris Hiltion means that there should have been one. But lots and lots of people disagree and it's not ruining MetaFilter. Seriously. It isn't.
posted by kosem at 10:02 PM on June 8, 2007


STYNXNO I LOVED THE POST, ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:02 PM on June 8, 2007


Alvy: I disagree with Joey Michaels; for the most part these types of posts give people here a chance to condemn celebrity culture rubbernecking while at that same time perpetuating it.

That's kind of the magic of it, though. You can't condemn it without perpetuating it. You can't create a Metatalk call out without perpetuating it. Like an Interweb troll, the only way to effectively avoid perpetuating it is to ignore it.

If you are unwilling or unable to ignore it, you are, ipso facto, making it stronger.

I propose that giving into it and joining in the discussion - whether as a rubbernecker or a condemner of rubberneckers - is a valid response to the situation.

Actually, the ideal situation would have been if we'd waited for spiceynuts to start this thread patting us on the back for not posting a Paris Hilton FPP so that we could have had the exact same discussion that we're having now, except have it under the banner of "thank heavens we didn't give in to talking about it."

That would have been hot.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:13 PM on June 8, 2007


Now that I look at it, stinky's paris post looks just like his anna nicole post. I guess the paris post didn't get axed because he finally broke the will of the admins. So congrats on that.

One of the distinctions there is that Anna went and died a good two months and change before Stynxno posted that magnum opus. It was a gratuitous capstone to what had already been annoyingly heavy mefi posting on the central subject.

Whereas here, we've got a story that is still very actively boiling; we've nixed a couple incredibly lightweight posts earlier in the week (single links to four-para AP blips, that sort of thing) and I expect we'll be deleting more of the same in the days to come. A quick search when I saw Stynxno's post showed a blissfully sparse set of results for Paris on the front page. We made a call to let it stand, as probably the best post the site will ever see on the subject.

That people are reacting so strongly to its presence is not, in my opinion, an objective statement about the quality of the post or the relative acceptability of pop culture on the front page: it's a reasonably thorough and well constructed post, and we do pop culture a lot.

It's an emotional reaction, a cultural dogpile on the idea of discussing a media whore. I get that, and a lot of people don't like it, but a lot of people clearly do and I think the outcry is by and large ignoring that. Metafilter has always had its share of pop culture and gossip. This is not the dramatic failure of the system it is being made out to be. It, too, shall pass.

At least, that's my take.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:17 PM on June 8, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh what? Single link pepsi-blue youtube posts are ok, but somehow we're supposed to be "above" Pairs Hilton links? Fuck You.
posted by wfrgms at 10:34 PM on June 8, 2007


One of the distinctions there is that Anna went and died a good two months and change before Stynxno posted that magnum opus.

If timeliness is now a criterion (thank you, found missing) for postworthiness, that's ... pretty sad. Though I suppose it would explain the otherwise-enigmatic deletion of the perfectly decent Nick Ut post.
posted by enn at 10:36 PM on June 8, 2007


I was hoping my explanation in the Paris thread after Kraftmatic's "cortex doesn't care about Ut people" comment was less than enigmatic.

Timeliness is a criterion, one of several. Matt's deleted old news plenty of times in the past, and stuff that's breaking gets posted here when it's breaking all the damned time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:44 PM on June 8, 2007


I didn't see the Ut post as a "LOLPARIS joke." It was one throwaway link at the end. But I suppose I'm belaboring the point.
posted by enn at 10:55 PM on June 8, 2007


It was a worthless yet inevitable post.

What I hated was the fact that cortex stated that several earlier posts on the same subject had been erased but the one by stynxno lived because of a discussion over IRC.

On preview - "It's an emotional reaction, a cultural dogpile on the idea of discussing a media whore."

No. It was a worthless post.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:04 PM on June 8, 2007


The other two posts about paris.
posted by puke & cry at 11:16 PM on June 8, 2007


eh, one of those links should go here.
posted by puke & cry at 11:17 PM on June 8, 2007


GYOBP - this is sort of axegrindy for a fluff celeb piece -- jessamyn

Mystery lameness gets news blip released from front page after only eight minutes. -- cortex


Apparently styxno wins with a witty and complexly structured post.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:35 PM on June 8, 2007


To ignore Paris Hilton this week, I would have had to cut myself off from all broadcast or periodical media and have been able to tell the future and plug my ears before I got on the train today.

I do that every week, so I welcome PopCultureFilter. "One likes to hear what is going on, to be au fait as to the newest modes of being trifling and silly." I spend my life faking it in small talk with people about celebrities and TV shows I know nothing about -- trying to work the shared humanity angle, and to downplay the I-live-in-a-cave (with optional because-I-am-better-than-you) angle.

So posts like this -- reviews of the celebrity's whole thing -- are great. People have been telling me about Paris Hilton, I didn't really get what her deal was, but now I think I do. I imagine that thoughtful perspectives on American pop culture would be interesting to lots of non-Americans as well.
posted by Methylviolet at 12:23 AM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Outrage outrage much wailing and gnashing of teeth corruption cabal hurf durf dash it all.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:34 AM on June 9, 2007


We made a call to let it stand, as probably the best post the site will ever see on the subject.

Oh really, cortex?!?! Well, I consider that a challenge!!! Just watch!

:: begins crafting the best Paris Hilton FPP EVAR!!!!! ::

Wait... Paris went to jail? ... the hell?!
posted by The Deej at 12:54 AM on June 9, 2007


So as far as newsfilter goes, Paris Hilton makes a good post, US torture of children makes a bad post?
posted by handee at 1:51 AM on June 9, 2007


I think it was a completely worthwhile post.

If bitched about every post I wasn't interested in, you'd never hear the end of me, but I'm not a big fat fucking baby whiner. If you don't like a post, don't read it. If you don't like any of the posts, make your own. If you can't do that, change your Metafilter password to garbage, but you can't do that, because this goddamn website is trapped in 1992, so you're just fucked. Fuck you.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 1:55 AM on June 9, 2007


puke & cry... you missed one.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:00 AM on June 9, 2007


Stupid celebrity filter? Of course it is. However, there are several pretty good reasons for leaving this post:

- it actually reduces the burden on MattAmynTex. These things grow like the heads of the Hydra. Not posting a double seems to be more of a deterrent than not posting celebrity fluff.

- unlike the usual mere celebrity bacchanal, this story actually has some interesting elements of the Sheriff's possible corruption, Paris's breakdown perhaps leading to personal growth, etc. (yes, a bit weak, but ...)

What I don't like is the misogynistic link which finishes it.
posted by caddis at 4:44 AM on June 9, 2007


another force dumbing down the populace

cart <-- horse
posted by quonsar at 4:53 AM on June 9, 2007


It's like junk food for your brain! Only you don't have the right to choose whether or not you have some! By the time you've read the headline, it's already in your system.

Fuck you, Internet, fuck you with my bloated, diabetic corpse. Metaphorically speaking.
posted by Eideteker at 5:18 AM on June 9, 2007


Having precisely zero interest in Paris Hilton, I stayed away from that post, both links and comments. One of the very best things about living in Japan is that I very rarely (actually, never, come to think of it) have to hear anything about Paris Hilton, or see images of Paris Hilton. I like that just fine. And I think it would be better if "news" about her or whatever didn't ever appear in MetaFilter. But, hey, nobody has to click on the links or read the comments if they don't want to. I didn't.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:24 AM on June 9, 2007


it's a reasonably thorough and well constructed post

No, not really. Ortho's deleted post on children getting tortured was thorough and well-constructed. This is just Googled garbage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:49 AM on June 9, 2007


What Blazecock said. I'm actually kind of surprised no one who's complained about the deletion has done a simple re-post of at least the 1st and 2nd links in ortho's post. That interview with Ron Suskind has some amazing stuff in it, and it deserves to be on the front page. I'm off to work, but I'll put something together later if no one else does.
posted by mediareport at 6:22 AM on June 9, 2007


There is no "site-quality" that I can tell. MetaFilter is completely amorphous, it has "good" days and "bad" days and days when not much of anything at all happens. When everyone else is the world is talking about something, we almost always weigh in on the blue at some point. People can stamp their feet and holler "NO NO NO NO!!" all they want, but they are really conveniently forgetting whatever junk post totally made their day last week. Or whatever junk post they themselves tossed onto the blue just for fun.
posted by hermitosis at 6:31 AM on June 9, 2007


But, hey, nobody has to click on the links or read the comments if they don't want to.

Since when did this feature start?
posted by The Deej at 6:50 AM on June 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Maybe we could combine the two, have Paris Hilton going to prison for torturing children? Just an idea, admins feel free to ignore if this would be too unrealistic to implement, LOL.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:54 AM on June 9, 2007


arguably a member of the elitist cabal.

he hangs out with me, how elitist could he be?
posted by jonmc at 6:55 AM on June 9, 2007


'ay, you, don' fuck wid Stynxno, he's wid jonmc.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:09 AM on June 9, 2007


I deeply resent that no mention has been made of my contribution to this post, seeing as how I wrote the copy so stynxno could provide the links, thus rendering to the internet this valuable footnote to the saga of Paris Hilton and showbiz rubbernecking in general. Stynxno, my lawyers will be in touch.
posted by brownpau at 7:37 AM on June 9, 2007


What I hated was the fact that cortex stated that several earlier posts on the same subject had been erased but the one by stynxno lived because of a discussion over IRC.

That's a curious reading. It actually lived despite some post-discovery hollering in IRC.

I maintain that there's a powerful overreaction to the topic of Paris here. A lot of folks seem to want to literally forbid the topic from the front page: no post would be acceptable, and any concession to anyone who wants to discuss it is somehow a violation of the fundamental Metafilter ethos. Trying to look at this objectively, I just can't see that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 AM on June 9, 2007


cortex, that's because the Paris Hiltons of the world are a virus propagated by attention; positive or negative. The only way to win the game is to deny them publicity in every way shape and form.
posted by Eideteker at 7:42 AM on June 9, 2007


What I really despise is how the media -- including MeFi/Ta -- keeps going on and on asking

"Why do we care about Paris Hilton so much?"

The short answer is: We fucking DON'T.

The short solution is: Quit talking about her already, ffs.

The problem then resolves itself.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:08 AM on June 9, 2007


"TONIGHT ON CHANNEL 6 INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS: Why don't we care about Paris Hilton, what is it about her lifestyle that engenders such disinterest? We present a 4 hour special edition of our program investigating every facet of her life, her rise to stardom, and her run in with the law. TONIGHT ON CHANNEL 6 INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS!"
posted by blue_beetle at 8:19 AM on June 9, 2007


caddis, help me understand what's misogynistic about that linked video. I can understand people thinking it's in poor taste, but I don't see what's inherently misogynistic.

Hypothetically, if all this were happening to Kevin Federline, and there was movie footage of his character in being graphically killed, would it be misandric?
posted by BeerFilter at 9:02 AM on June 9, 2007


"Would it be misandric to link to it in the hypothetical Blue post?" I meant to say.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:04 AM on June 9, 2007


I deeply resent that no mention has been made of my contribution to this post, seeing as how I wrote the copy so stynxno could provide the links, thus rendering to the internet this valuable footnote to the saga of Paris Hilton and showbiz rubbernecking in general. Stynxno, my lawyers will be in touch.

THE GLORY SHALL BE MINE.

THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE CELEBRITY POSTER.

tis all true. he provided the copy and a couple of the links - i just made it linktacular
posted by Stynxno at 9:10 AM on June 9, 2007


It was a worthless post an Stynxno is pretty much admitting to trollery.
posted by LarryC at 9:20 AM on June 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Why do we care about Paris Hilton so much?"

The short answer is: We fucking DON'T.


Yes we do. We always want to know what the alpha males are doing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:05 AM on June 9, 2007


It was a worthless post an Stynxno is pretty much admitting to trollery.

That's pretty much all he does, yeah.

I will admit that I am enjoying the outrage being displayed in that thread and here.

I guess him and cortex can chat about in irc.
posted by puke & cry at 10:30 AM on June 9, 2007


"I guess him and cortex can chat about in irc."

Sums it up really. You know, at least if we did have a cabal it wouldn't be so fucking arbitrary.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:53 AM on June 9, 2007


This whole philosophy of DONT LOOK AT THE ATTENTION WHORE AND HE/SHE WILL VANISH is totally dumb, specifically because it doesn't work. It didn't work on bullies in grade school when you were told to ignore them, and it doesn't work on celebrities who just grow more and more desperate to turn heads the second their fame wanes.

Ann Coulter is not going anywhere. You can choose not to look at her, but she is doing just fine without you. So is Paris (sort of). You know who else didn't just go away when the world tried to pretend he was sure to burn out or get overthrown? Yeah. That's right.

These people are lifetime self-enthusiasts. Some will redeem themselves in the public eye like Tammy Faye, others will flame out spectacularly like Anna Nicole or Mike Tyson. But if your response is simply to avert your eyes AT ALL COSTS, at least acknowledge that it's out of personal aversion and has no effect on anything other than what you choose to allow into your brain-- but don't do it in a thread that you should then obviously be avoiding for just that reason, or the vanity echoes make my head hurt.
posted by hermitosis at 11:20 AM on June 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


For christ's sake, I delete shit that the IRC folks post on a regular basis. One of these days I'll probably get k-lined for it. The claim that this post got a free pass because I hang out on #mefi is shadowboxing. I've been schoolmarming them about hijinx since I started hanging out there, and that was a solid two years back now.

If you dislike our reasoning for leaving the post up, I can respect that. It's an imperfect situation on any account. But please don't start painting this as some inside job conspiracy theory; anybody else could have posted that post that way at that time and gotten essentially the same evaluation. If anything, Stynxno being the author hurt it a little bit because I know him and can tell there's a little glint in his eye. We decided to leave the damn thing up based on the situation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:35 AM on June 9, 2007


Ah, the culture snobs are reacting to Paris mentions like salt to slugs, I get it.

What THEY don't get is that the hoohah about Paris is really not about Paris at all. Paris is simply a character-a live character with a real life, but still-a character. In a morality tale that is being written as we speak. We are interested because People Like Stories. People like to see the high and mighty brought down. They like to see heroes glorified and goats get what is coming to them. They watch to see who gets redemption and who gets the morgue.

My theory about why this is all so very interesting right now is that Real Life and The Story are colliding pretty hard right now. Just like when Princess Di died and so much of the world went into a tearful tailspin.

We take this stuff too seriously, and we don't take it seriously enough.
posted by konolia at 12:01 PM on June 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


konolia, I don't WANT to be exposed to Paris's hoohah.
posted by cgc373 at 12:24 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Considering the history of "the cabal" and mathowie, the belief that I got a free pass because I know cortex is LOL. Really. REALLY.


REALLY.
posted by Stynxno at 1:11 PM on June 9, 2007

If anything, Stynxno being the author hurt it a little bit because I know him and can tell there's a little glint in his eye. We decided to leave the damn thing up based on the situation .
posted by y2karl at 1:16 PM on June 9, 2007


Christopher Walken would make such an awesome moderator.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:46 PM on June 9, 2007


Paris Hilton's still alive yo.

.


posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:11 PM on June 9, 2007


She was dragged, sreaming, back to jail from the interior of her multi-million dollar mansion. Apparently, she's now in a penitentiary psych ward.

This is fascinating stuff. But once again, terrorists keep breaking into people's houses and forcing them to go into and then contribute to threads they just can't stand.

I love America. I really do.
posted by bardic at 2:17 PM on June 9, 2007


I maintain that there's a powerful overreaction to the topic of Paris here. A lot of folks seem to want to literally forbid the topic from the front page: no post would be acceptable, and any concession to anyone who wants to discuss it is somehow a violation of the fundamental Metafilter ethos.

That's not how I feel and it's not what I argued. I admit that I don't like celebrity posts.

The main problem I have is that it's a crap post and the only reason it was allowed to remain—and this was stated by two of the administrators—was because they'd have to keep deleting Paris Hilton posts if they didn't allow one to remain.

Is this the best post you'd see on the topic, as cortex claims? Not by a long shot.

How about a link giving information on the typical sentencing in these situations? How about, instead of linking to the news story, linking to the thoughtful commentary out there that surely exists on whether Hilton is being treated fairly or not? How about some background on the jail's wing that accommodates celebrities? How about a link to an informed summary of Hilton's legal troubles? How about a substantial biographical link? A history of the Hilton family? Links on prisoners being released from jail for illness? Links on the judge or the sheriff or home arrest?

No, instead we get links to three clips from her TV series and a link to the E! page on it, a link to her imdb entry and a link to her official web site, a link to a livejournal that doesn't say much and which links to celebrity gossip sources, a link to the official page of the jail, a link to the MSNBC story, and a clip from a movie she appeared in.

In other words, the bare-bones news story, a bunch of celebrity fluff, and a few lazyass completely useless links in a transparent attempt to give the post some credibility.

Finally, Stynxno's as much as admitted that he was motivated, at least partly, by his anticipation of the outrage his post would provoke.

So here's a crappily constructed and basically contentless trolling post of a type the admins discourage—a post which the admins admit is bad both in the general and in the particular, yet allow only because they're tired of deleting all the previous attempts to post on this story.

It's not that it's Paris Hilton. It's that THIS WAS A CRAP POST LEFT UNDELETED FOR A CRAP REASON.

But, hey, it's not as if these are capital crimes or that MetaFilter is doomed. And I personally like the three admins and stynxno. But I don't like this delusion that this was a post that shouldn't have been deleted. And good discussion can't excuse a bad post because there's no rule against good discussion following from a good post.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:03 PM on June 9, 2007


Yes. Keep deleting them until the End of Time if you know what is good for your soul.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:15 PM on June 9, 2007


There are currently 61,973 "best of the web" FPP's on mefi.

If mefi was truly about being "best of the web," there'd be about seven.

"Best of the Web" is our motivating fiction. Nothing more. Same as people saying "It's about the post, not the discussion." Again, demonstrably not true, but we say it to keep a standard in place that the site rarely achieves.
posted by bardic at 3:16 PM on June 9, 2007


Finally, Stynxno's as much as admitted that he was motivated, at least partly, by his anticipation of the outrage his post would provoke.

Read what I wrote again. I said I enjoyed what's being displayed. I had no idea the how upsetting some girl in California would be to some people.

Bad post? Try again. Worse stuff is posted everyday yet is allowed to stay. And plenty of good discussion can come from a crap post - metafilter is built on the discussion from crap posts.

It's funny how a celebrity can turn so many people here into parodies of paris_paramus.
posted by Stynxno at 3:27 PM on June 9, 2007




" some girl in California "

I wish they all could be
I'm glad they are not all California girls
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:37 PM on June 9, 2007


Best (I can come up with at the moment) of the Web!!!!
posted by The Deej at 3:45 PM on June 9, 2007


Is this the best post you'd see on the topic, as cortex claims? Not by a long shot.

It's not the best post on the topic that we could, in some theoretical happy place, see, no. Nor did I say it was.

It is probably the best post we are likely to actually see any time soon. You feel it's an objectively crap post, I disagree. I think the objection is mostly sourced in an intractable dislike for Paris-as-topic, even if that is not your specific objection.

It's impossible to test this in the short term, or in completely controlled circumstances regardless, but I'd wager that a similarly constructed post about a similar topic that had nothing to do with someone constantly on TV lately would probably get a dozen favorites and a healthy discussion. It wouldn't be the best post the site had ever seen, and I probably wouldn't be much more interested in or fond of it than I am of this one, but it wouldn't be a shitstorm.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:58 PM on June 9, 2007


Mostly what Ethereal Bligh said, except I'll point out I think this one is extra-unworthy simply because of the fact that we've seen it everywhere else and it's become a stupid media glut. If there was a post similar to the one under discussion but about something no one's heard about, you know, at least people are hearing about something new.

And to illustrate my point and respond to Brandon, emphasis mine:

Look, I hear what you're saying, this story has gotten under your skin and you're really don't want to hear one word about it, let alone the ton of media coverage. I dig that. But you can't ignore the world, right? You just gotta learn to filter some of the nasty bits out, hence the suggestion.

What domain are we on?

So that's why I think we should have some standards lest we become Digg and then the YouTube comments section. A lot of the talk focused on Paris, while I gave the example of news items about dead missing white girls who have already saturated the media as another post I wouldn't like. We should offer something more than I can find on CNN and Fox News. Now I'm done with this thread.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:59 PM on June 9, 2007


I guess it is preferable to another post about Iraq.

This is the cost of newsfilter. Once we have lowered the bar from "best of the web" to "whatever the hell anyone wants to talk about" there isn't much room for judging anything.

Did you guys hear about Rosie and Trump? I am working up an FPP about it. Please don't steal my idea before I can post.
posted by LarryC at 4:20 PM on June 9, 2007


"Did you guys hear about Rosie and Trump?"

They finally did the nasty? It's about fucking time, after all that dancing around like wildfowl in mating season.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:42 PM on June 9, 2007


What domain are we on?

The one that has multiple posts, which you can choose to read or not read.

and Ethereal Bligh, there's nothing stopping you from posting links to all that interesting info.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:51 PM on June 9, 2007


"...after all that dancing around like wildfowl in mating season."

A good post on the dancing of wildfowl in mating season would be welcome, actually.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:52 PM on June 9, 2007


I had no idea the how upsetting some girl in California would be to some people.

Bullshit. The post was disingenuous, your smirking non-defense is disingenuous, and cortex has been scammed.
posted by languagehat at 5:11 PM on June 9, 2007


I was really hoping she would flash her vajayjay at the cameras for old time's sake though.
posted by bardic at 5:25 PM on June 9, 2007


Now, that would have made the post worthwhile.
posted by languagehat at 5:26 PM on June 9, 2007


Dammit, bardic and languagehat, I already said I don't wanna see that kind of thing! Close your vajayjays, people! This is a fambly website!
posted by cgc373 at 5:29 PM on June 9, 2007


MetaFilter: A good post on the dancing of wildfowl in mating season would be welcome, actually.
posted by cgc373 at 5:36 PM on June 9, 2007


Close your vajayjays, people!

well, i looked at www.meatfilter.com and you'll never believe where i ended up ... (it's safe)
posted by pyramid termite at 5:44 PM on June 9, 2007


cgc373: So get out there and make one, baby! C'mon! Put one over the plate!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:47 PM on June 9, 2007


You just gotta learn to filter some of the nasty bits out, hence the suggestion.
...
What domain are we on? So that's why I think we should have some standards lest we become Digg and then the YouTube comments section.

Damn straight. Everything one could possibly care to know about PH is available everywhere else on the web. We don't need that shit cluttering up our front page here.

I would really like to see the moderators drag this place up to a higher standard, kicking and screaming all the way I'm sure, but for the good of the community nonetheless.

Otherwise, one might as well read Fark, LGF, Digg, or one of the other shithole aggregators.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:58 PM on June 9, 2007


well, i looked at www.meatfilter.com and you'll never believe where i ended up ... (it's safe)

"Living on Live Food"?!?
Those sick fucks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:00 PM on June 9, 2007


All this thread needs now is some Sanjaya.
posted by konolia at 6:12 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


...and Ethereal Bligh, there's nothing stopping you from posting links to all that interesting info.

Well, yeah, here's where my disinterest in Paris Hilton comes into play.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:19 PM on June 9, 2007


Christopher Walken would make such an awesome moderator.

At least the otters would be pleased.
posted by y2karl at 6:22 PM on June 9, 2007


MORE COWBELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by The Deej at 6:33 PM on June 9, 2007


"My theory about why this is all so very interesting right now is that Real Life and The Story are colliding pretty hard right now."

I think konolia pretty much got it right there. In fact that comment justified this thread.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:38 PM on June 9, 2007


The notion that this site collects 'the best of the web' is a joke.

So, this kind of snark fest is acceptable because it is an occasion for community or some such nonsense but quality content like a cum eating monkey video is deleted.

WTF people?

I know it's a lot more work for the moderators, but a return to the deleting of newsfilter posts would be welcome over here.

Basically, what Ethereal Bligh said, but I think he could have shown a bit more passion and used some stronger language in denouncing garbage of this magnitude.
posted by BigSky at 8:11 PM on June 9, 2007


The magic of Metafilter is not the stories posted to the front page; it is what the community does with them via commentary. Popular stories like this one bring on a variety of perspectives and some pretty neat insight on how people interact with and drive the popular culture. With Paris Hilton in particular, I'm fascinated by the fact that those who hate her actually seem to need her somehow. I mean, I have zero problem with avoiding stories I'm not interested in, even if the media is drowning in them. How funny is it that people would express their distaste/boredom/dislike of a topic by investing time in thinking about it and then feeding its popularity by making a post about it?

And I'll say again: 'best of the web' refers to the people and conversations here much more than the topics themselves. Many a crap-seeming FPP has been redeemed by a quality of conversation that is lacking elsewhere.
posted by troybob at 9:43 PM on June 9, 2007


“Basically, what Ethereal Bligh said, but I think he could have shown a bit more passion and used some stronger language in denouncing garbage of this magnitude.”

My experience here has taught me that it's worth speaking up against specific things or trends you think are not good for MetaFilter because when you do so, you're usually one of a number of voices and it is the case that groups of complaining people are heard. But one's own individual voice doesn't count for much by itself, and thus loud outrage and extreme rhetoric usually doesn't help and can often hurt both by driving others away from a willingness to speak up for the same viewpoint, and also by creating a negative impression in the minds of the decision makers.

And with that in mind, it also becomes obvious that allowing yourself to invest enough emotional energy into something such that you're basically foaming at the mouth means that you will often be frustrated, often be angry, and more people will dislike you and you'll dislike more people.

Pretty much the only thing I've consistently complained against is NewsFilter and it's in that context I've learned these lessons. Like some other people, I'll continue to mildly complain now and again about NewsFilter because I think keeping up an awareness against it in a low-key fashion helps keep it at bay. But, aside from occasional complaints such as in the case of this Hilton post, I have great confidence in the competence and general thoughtfulness of matthowie, jessamyn, and cortex. I don't worry much that the sky is about to fall down.

I flagged the Hilton post. Then I complained in-thread when I read (in the thread!) that the post was staying because of the capitulation "strategy". I complained with a sharp tone because I commented pretty much at the same moment as I learned, and was annoyed, about it. Then I left it alone, not participating in this thread until tonight. And my comment here wasn't as fire-breathing as you wished it were. But the fire-breathing really doesn't help. Most of us will still be intemperate in a comment from time to time because we're writing while we're upset; but deliberately allowing yourself to be intemperate because you think it will help be persuasive, or because the subject demands it, really is demonstrably not very productive.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:44 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


See, I thought the story fell one-hundred-percent into the "Mefi populism" groove. Rich, famous person gets what's coming. So yeah, it's newsfilter, but so was the 9/11 thread. I still don't see the problem.

Nor her vajayjay.
posted by bardic at 9:50 PM on June 9, 2007


also, how could one not love a story that has brought the word 'vapid' to common usage in trailer parks coast-to-coast?
posted by troybob at 10:08 PM on June 9, 2007


“And I'll say again: 'best of the web' refers to the people and conversations here much more than the topics themselves. Many a crap-seeming FPP has been redeemed by a quality of conversation that is lacking elsewhere.”

The conversation and community are what lifts MetaFilter above the rest, that's true. But quality posts are a tether, or perhaps some more appropriate metaphor, that ensure/allow that the MetaFilter community can be good at what it's good at.

A good menu and good ingredients are important for a good restaurant, but the real magic happens in the kitchen. It's the people in the kitchen that make all the difference between those restaurants with both good menus and good ingredients. It's the people in the kitchen that raise a particular restaurant into the rarefied heights of greatness. Without those talented folks in the kitchen, such a restaurant will be only mediocre.

However, a bad menu and bad ingredients are not salvageable by even the most talented kitchen. A bad menu and bad ingredients can mean something much worse than mediocre, even with a talented kitchen staff. More ominously, a bad menu and bad ingredients will drive away talented kitchen staff and fail to attrack talented replacements.

The mefi community and discussion is the kitchen staff in this analogy. The links and posts are the ingredients and the menu. If we don't maintain the quality of links and posts, then the value that the thoughtful community and its quality discussion bring to the site will be stymied.

The discussion arguably raises MeFi above the rest. But it's the quality of the posts that are indispensable. Without quality posts, MeFi could sink below merely mediocre and plumb the depths of truly bad. And what value still existed in discussion will shortly follow. Again, the high quality of posts is the indispensable element in this formula.

Note: Your argument and my rebuttal both rely upon an assumption that may well be false: that the majority of people who come to MetaFilter come for the discussion or that they even read much of the discussion. If that's not true, then the only thing that matters is the quality of the posts.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:09 PM on June 9, 2007


Ethereal Bligh,

Believe me, I understand where you're coming from. My comment was just a slightly humorous way of saying me too. I dislike the newsfilter posts but I know that there has to be a please the masses tilt to making decisions that over rides any stated policy. There isn't going to be any change, by now people expect that they can come here and discuss the very latest nonsense, and so, they can. And I also agree that the moderators do an excellent job. It's not a perfect fit with my biases, but that's an unreasonable standard. I'm grateful they're here and doing it.

Still, I do feel very strongly that if Paris Hilton news is fit material for a front page post then damnit, video of a monkey licking fresh spooge from his fingers after riding some convenient hussy sho nuff makes the grade.

After all, everybody wants to know what the alpha males are up to, ask Brandon Blatcher.
posted by BigSky at 10:16 PM on June 9, 2007


You're equating Paris Hilton new with real life Monkey spooge licking?

Well.

There is a difference, you know.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:53 AM on June 10, 2007


You guys know there were at least two deleted threads about this already. The mods decided to let this one stay. There has always been newsfilter on this site, and there has never been that strong of a drive to eradicate it.
posted by Paris Hilton at 7:23 AM on June 10, 2007


The post was disingenuous, your smirking non-defense is disingenuous, and cortex has been scammed.

Bravo.
posted by LarryC at 7:30 AM on June 10, 2007


You're equating Paris Hilton new with real life Monkey spooge licking?

Well.

There is a difference, you know.


yeah, the monkey wasn't faking his orgasm
posted by pyramid termite at 8:33 AM on June 10, 2007


That people are reacting so strongly to its presence is not, in my opinion, an objective statement about the quality of the post or the relative acceptability of pop culture on the front page: it's a reasonably thorough and well constructed post, and we do pop culture a lot.

Maybe this thread is an indication that you should do less pop culture.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:07 AM on June 10, 2007


In fact, maybe that should be the subject for a MeTa thread: "Does MeFi have too much pop culture on the front page? Should admins be more aggressive at weeding out newsfilter?"
posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 AM on June 10, 2007


eh, what about the situations where any decision is pretty much a bad one?

one of the reasons i like MeFi so much is because of the very careful administration. call me naive but i honestly believe mathowie, jessamyn and cortex do carefully balance risk vs. reward in difficult situations like these sorts of threads (and the 9/11 one), and try to do what's best for the site as a community going forward. to trot out a very rickety cliche: you're never going to please everyone all the time, and there will always be a vocal minority who screams, cries and bitches (much like paris getting hauled off in the police cruiser?) to try to draw attention to whatever it is they don't like.

as a not-very-good example: roadbikereview used to be a MUCH more awesome site that i spent a lot of time in. but that was back when it was mostly run by a couple of passionate guys and before it got all corporate and had to lay down a bunch of hard-and-fast rules about language, off-topic discussions, and what could and couldn't be said about product, et cetera. once that happened, the rules lawyers took over, and the place became a vanilla whitebread pit of suck.

and, honestly, i see that on occasion it's judiciously okay to let stuff like this live, because if nothing else, it provides a sort of pressure release valve for those who truly enjoy (as I do) the sight of the MeFi collective Snark Weaponry humming along at full power.

it was, yes, pretty much a crap post about a shitty subject, but it was allowed to survive because the alternatives weren't any better. life sure isn't fair, is it?
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:47 AM on June 10, 2007


on occasion it's judiciously okay to let stuff like this live, because if nothing else, it provides a sort of pressure release valve for those who truly enjoy (as I do) the sight of the MeFi collective Snark Weaponry humming along at full power.

I agree, somewhat, conflictedly, but my view is that unless the first post is truly crappy (say, a link to the CNN front page), it should be the one to stay. To keep deleting "unworthy" posts until some lame-ass pretense at a "better" one comes along makes no sense: for one thing, it mistakes the whole nature of NewsFilter, whose only point is to allow MeFites to discuss the latest Shock Outrage, and for another, it provides an incentive for people like Stynxno to come along and "construct" a "worthy" pile of useless links and then say "suck it" to anyone who complains. It's like taking junk food and "plating" it with a "drizzle" of junk-food sauce on "fine china"—we all need our occasional dose of junk food, but why not be upfront about it and just scarf it down unashamedly, straight from the bag? This pretense of "fine posting" about trashy subjects is just ridiculous.
posted by languagehat at 10:40 AM on June 10, 2007


“In fact, maybe that should be the subject for a MeTa thread: ‘Does MeFi have too much pop culture on the front page? Should admins be more aggressive at weeding out newsfilter?’”

Yeah, well, you're welcome to jump into that snakepit if you wish, five fresh fish. Me, I'm keeping my distance. I've noticed that someone could post to MetaTalk complaining about death and taxes and they'd likely get thoroughly flamed for it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:45 AM on June 10, 2007


So, you're in favour of even more malnutrition and crowding in this world, EB? You think those roads pay for themselves?

:D
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:10 AM on June 10, 2007


Man, I go away for a weekend, and look what I miss. At least I know that carsonb was thinking of me.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:08 PM on June 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's like taking junk food and "plating" it with a "drizzle" of junk-food sauce

Gorgeous. Although, in fairness, special foam is better than special sauce.
posted by kosem at 8:46 AM on June 11, 2007


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