People die every day, and so what? July 30, 2007 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I would like to know what the standard is for obituary filter. Scores, nay hundreds, of semi-famous people die every day. Can we do a thread about each and every one of them on MetaFilter? I hope not.
posted by Meatbomb to Etiquette/Policy at 11:45 AM (109 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The standard for it getting posted is that someone found it interesting enough to post it. The standard for it remaining is that not too many people wanted it deleted. No overthinkin'.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:55 AM on July 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


I think it's time for this. Those that give a shit can "." to their heart's content. Those that don't can ignore it.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 11:56 AM on July 30, 2007


Oh, OK then.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:57 AM on July 30, 2007


.
posted by caddis at 11:58 AM on July 30, 2007


I was just about to post this callout.

We do not care that your favorite pet/pet celebrity/writer/artist/musician/guy you just heard about but isn't it sad/whatever is dead.

Obviously we aren't the only ones who are getting really sick of the deluge of ObitFilter that seems to have swept the site in the past few months. I'm not the only person I've talked to who has remarked on the almost-daily 3+ obit posts on the blue. That's not what this site is for, people. If you really care that any of these irrelevant people are dead, go light a candle in your window or some shit.

Look, we have 3 obit posts today and it's not even 5 o'clock for most people. We could easily wind up with 10 of these space-wasters on a good(bad) day at this kind of pace.

I hereby call for a moratorium on obit threads. Pun entirely intended. Let the last obituary on MetaFilter be the obituary of ObitFilter.
posted by baphomet at 12:05 PM on July 30, 2007


The trifecta today was sort of weird, but anything is going to have a spike now and then. If it gets carried away then we may need to do something about it, but I don't think we're anywhere near that yet.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:07 PM on July 30, 2007


Are they getting a lot of flags?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:15 PM on July 30, 2007


You're just jealous because when you die people will only breathe a sigh of relief and no . on Mefi or anything.

Just kidding, I'd be said if Meatbomb was gone.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:17 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would like to know what the standard is for obituary filter.

First, someone has to be dead. No exceptions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:19 PM on July 30, 2007 [8 favorites]


I think a good obit post uses the fact of someone's death as a springboard to craft a post explicating their life and works or, even better, their role in a larger topic or movement or whatnot. A single link to an obit that basically is just a plain statement that someone died is almost always a terrible post, in my opinion.
posted by Falconetti at 12:20 PM on July 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm not the only person I've talked to who has remarked on the almost-daily 3+ obit posts on the blue.

Either you're wildly exaggerating or some posts were deleted: before today, the most recent obituary I was able to find in the archives was Tammy Faye Bakker's. That means there were 240 posts (and nine days) between then and Ingmar Bergman's obituary today.

Is this really a pressing problem?
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:20 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Are they getting a lot of flags?

Nope.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:22 PM on July 30, 2007


If you do not feel compelled to add a little "." when Ingmar Bergman dies, there is something wrong with you and you should be banned.

And why was the Paris Hilton from earlier today deleted?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:25 PM on July 30, 2007


Alright, I exaggerated. Somewhat. But I still maintain that obit posts are increasing in frequency, and are usually diluted, irrelevant, and definitely not best of the web (nor important, interesting, fascinating, or any of the other things that posts on MeFi are supposed to be).
posted by baphomet at 12:26 PM on July 30, 2007


"...why was the Paris Hilton from earlier today deleted?"

Paris Hilton should always be deleted.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:32 PM on July 30, 2007


I deleted the third obit one, because that really was an excuse to post "they come in threes" which is a weird human pattern thing but makes for really weak posts.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2007


Often, the obit posts can be a chance for people to post a line or two about what the recently deceased's life and work meant to them. Sometimes, they are full of venom (see the Falwell thread). In either case, the threads are usually full of interesting links to related materials about that person's life or work. Some edification can be gleaned.

But, just flag it if you don't like it. It only takes a few milliseconds for your eyes to obey your brain's command to shift to the next post.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:35 PM on July 30, 2007


And why was the Paris Hilton from earlier today deleted?

Now that would be an obit worth celebrating.
posted by dersins at 12:36 PM on July 30, 2007


I deleted the third obit one, because that really was an excuse to post "they come in threes" which is a weird human pattern thing but makes for really weak posts.

Zindler was the first of that trio, anyways.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:36 PM on July 30, 2007


Since my browser is only capable of viewing MetaFilter, how am I going to find out the latest news, local and national? Had it not been for MetaFilter, I never would have been aware of Lindsay Lohans' shenanigans, the passing of that one dude who wrote than one book that a friend told me about, Gonzales' testimony, etc,.

Paris Hilton died?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:37 PM on July 30, 2007


the deluge of ObitFilter that seems to have swept the site in the past few months

Equaled only by the (meta)deluge of MeTa threads whining about deluges.

These tides I tell you, each a distant but ever-closing earthquake of heavy cavalry, united in snarling determination to overrun the creaking defenses of a jaded MeFi user base. They'll be here any day now. And then, you lazy, self-satisfied, hypercrits, yeah, then you'll have no more MetaFilter. Just a victorious battalion of chainmail-clad savages, with their obit, kos, huffpo and SLYT FPPs, barbecuing the heads of our once-noble posters (the ones who knew what MetaFilter was for) and pissing on the ashes of the once great blue. You make me sick.
posted by kosem at 12:39 PM on July 30, 2007


sorry, but I hardly think that the community should have to choose between Bergman and Tom Snyder just because a few people don't like "ObitFilter." What's so wrong about taking a moment to recognize or reflect upon the life of a person who's made an impact on the world? If you aren't interested, how about...I dunno, not reading it?
posted by SassHat at 12:39 PM on July 30, 2007


Why post any obitfilter stuff at all? Death is but a door. Time is but a window.
I'll be back.
posted by Plutor at 12:40 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Trifecta!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:41 PM on July 30, 2007


The flag is placed so the union blue is at the head and over the left shoulder of the body. Do not lower the flag into the grave. After Taps is played, the flag is folded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:48 PM on July 30, 2007


Looking for other semi-famous dead people, this popped up. Apparently necrophilia is not illegal in Wisconsin. When she was alive she was cute, way out of these three guys' league.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:50 PM on July 30, 2007


*donates to taliban*
posted by quonsar at 12:50 PM on July 30, 2007


"they come in threes"
I'm so baffled by this particular mysticism, because in fact they come in an unending stream which can be partitioned into equal segments of any length you choose, or for that matter consecutive primes or perfect squares. If you could show they left a nonzero remainder mod 3, that would be worth mentioning.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:54 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


They're all dead, Dave.
Everybody's dead, Dave.
Everybody is dead, Dave.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm so baffled by this particular mysticism, because in fact they come in an unending stream which can be partitioned into equal segments...

I think its obvious that its a psychological observation rather than a mathematical one. Still, the answer might be more of the form:

1. Events follow a power-law distribution
2. Three is the lowest number which people recognize as a "cluster"

Throw in a bit of confirmation bias, a whispered urban legend and, there you have it: Deaths come in threes.
posted by vacapinta at 1:05 PM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


In the end, we'll all be meatbombs.
posted by gwint at 1:09 PM on July 30, 2007


My life is ObitFilter.
posted by ColdChef at 1:10 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dave's not here, man.
posted by trondant at 1:11 PM on July 30, 2007


Yeah, I just don't get how it can be remotely interesting to keep "finding" threes when, if you don't have a group of three yet, you can always just wait for another one to come along.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:16 PM on July 30, 2007


In fact, the extent to which it's even meta-interesting has already been completely exhausted for me here.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:17 PM on July 30, 2007


It's like playing poker if "any three cards" was a winning hand.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:18 PM on July 30, 2007


nor important, interesting, fascinating, or any of the other things that posts on MeFi are supposed to be

Someday I will visit this idealised version of MetaFilter where every post is well researched, thought-provoking, completely new to everyone and initiates polite and intelligent discussion. For now, though, I'll stick with what we have going on here. Including ObitFilter, PoliticsFilter and YoutubeFilter.

Flag it and move on. If you're truly a part of the majority, the post will get removed.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:26 PM on July 30, 2007


My life is ObitFilter.
posted by ColdChef at 3:10 PM on July 30


So, I just this weekend finally listened to the podcast where you're interviewed (and that interview fucking ruled), and I was really jazzed by the provision in your will about emailing Matt and Jessamyn. That was hilarious and pretty sensible at the same time.
posted by COBRA! at 1:28 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


The first two stories on the radio this morning (I switched off of NPR just out of curiosity to see if the normal news was talking about Gonzales) were the deaths of Snyder and Bergman. And Bill Walsh is a pretty darn big deal too. Today was an unusual day. These threads don't happen that often.

I think, on an objectionability scale of 1-10, with 10 being RustyBottoms, this is a -2.
posted by ibmcginty at 1:36 PM on July 30, 2007


irrelevant people are dead

Are you calling Ingmar Bergman irrelevant? OK, tough guy, outside NOW! I challenge you to a game of chess!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:37 PM on July 30, 2007


Death like spent balloons deposited in leafless trees,
Whose splash of withered color on a winter's day reminds of celebrations past,
Will come in threes, we've often heard our elders say,
And find the patterns in the searching.

The evidence is all around: detritus from a weary breeze,
Or six feet underground. We catch our lives on wayward limbs,
Exhale, and rest at last in peace to know
That in the final count we all will number in the least.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:47 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Considering what a black-eye (har har) the Tammy Faye thread turned out to be, I wouldn't be sad to see the threads go. The more frequently they come, the less special they feel and the less respectful people are inclined to be. After all, your favorite dead celeb sucks.
posted by hermitosis at 1:57 PM on July 30, 2007


I read the obit threads for the dots.
posted by found missing at 1:59 PM on July 30, 2007




my feeling is this:

every single time a newspaper is linked to on the front page, we can do an obitfilter, to a maximum of one obitfilter per post which links to a newspaper.
posted by shmegegge at 2:11 PM on July 30, 2007


James Brown is Dead

And then some.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:12 PM on July 30, 2007


corollary:

the implied recursion where obits that link to newspapers would thereby allow further obits is perfectly valid.

corollary the second:

this includes news television websites, as well, such as cnn.
posted by shmegegge at 2:12 PM on July 30, 2007


Hi, this is ND¢'s mom. I'm writing to tell everyone that ND¢ just succumbed to a fatal case of metafiltosis, and passed at 8 this morning. If you are wondering why I am writing under his name, he gave the password just in case anything bad ever happened, and it's just as well omg.
posted by ND¢ at 2:13 PM on July 30, 2007


ND¢'s mom (may he rest in fitful peace, ma'am) brings up a damned good point. If you haven't registered your "$username's next of kin" death account yet, please do so soon. If not for your sake, then for the sake of those you love.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:24 PM on July 30, 2007


Well, when I die, I expect an obit thread. One where people who hate my guts will pretend they liked me.
posted by jonmc at 2:30 PM on July 30, 2007


It's like playing poker if "any three cards" was a winning hand.

I win!
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:34 PM on July 30, 2007




posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:46 PM on July 30, 2007


Sorry, jonmc, all obit posts for MetaFilter members must be made at MetaChat, unless there is empirical proof that the person was better known outside the Metaverse. Minimum requirement: the Neilsen ratings for "Mythbusters"... if you've never reached that many people, you don't get to die on the Blue. Woz, yes. adamgreenfield, maybe not. mathowie, just barely (the NY Times piece put you over). cortex, no way. (I, personally, expect my obit to be at MonkeyFilter, in 'blogstop' format) Exception: if you blog your death and put in on the Projects page (although we'd prefer it on YouTube).

And ND¢'s mom, we'll need to see a Death Certificate.

(BTW, jonmc, there already are plenty of people who hate your guts but pretend they like you.)
posted by wendell at 3:05 PM on July 30, 2007


This is one of the things I like about Metafilter: not every post is directed solely towards college-aged hipsters. There's something for everyone.

Tom Snyder is a hell of a lot more relevant to me than every musician on earth combined, yet I'm not going to bitch about music posts just because I can't hear music.
posted by watsondog at 3:07 PM on July 30, 2007


Can't say it's a concern for me.
I had no idea who Tom Snyder was, but he's obviously a well-known figure in the US, so I see why a thread was posted.
For an artist of Bergman's stature my preference would be to hold off a while and post the best of the obituaries, retrospectives and reminiscences that will no doubt appear in the days following such a significant person's death.
posted by Abiezer at 3:21 PM on July 30, 2007


I really don't like the obit posts that much, but I am certainly not against folks making good ones. I think the mods got it right today with what was cut and what was retained.
posted by caddis at 3:25 PM on July 30, 2007


Apropos of nothing (or everything).
posted by Burhanistan at 2:41 PM on July 30


That made waking up this morning worthwhile.
posted by Nabubrush at 3:59 PM on July 30, 2007


Now that the original question has been addressed, can someone please explain to me why people post periods in obit threads? WTF?!?!?
posted by mkultra at 4:03 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm dying, Dave
I can feel it
I can feel it
There is no doubt about it
Dave
Dave
Daisy
Daisy, give me your answ-
posted by spiderwire at 4:11 PM on July 30, 2007


They came in threes on November 22, 1963.
posted by wilko at 4:15 PM on July 30, 2007


Agree with Caddis. And Baphomet, were you using the royal "we" up there, or are you actually pretending to speak for many, instead of just yourself?
posted by evilcolonel at 4:16 PM on July 30, 2007


Somebody had a bowl of grumpies with a side of prunes and lemon juice for breakfast...
posted by matty at 4:18 PM on July 30, 2007


Guys, check this out:

o-bitch-uary!!!!

LOL!
posted by ORthey at 4:20 PM on July 30, 2007


may jonmc rest in peace. was a pretty swell guy.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:21 PM on July 30, 2007


Lots of famous people are dying lately--it happens in waves usually (like the Diana/Versace/Teresa thing--they clump, i think).
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on July 30, 2007


I am also sick of posts about living people/
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:49 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am sick of posts.

Can't we just stoping posting all these god damned posts?

I mean, WTF, people? They take up VALUABLE FRONT PAGE REAL ESTATE!
posted by dersins at 5:16 PM on July 30, 2007


and they're such a strain on the server! ; >
posted by amberglow at 5:18 PM on July 30, 2007


I like it when they come in threes.
posted by found missing at 5:20 PM on July 30, 2007


Oh, sorry. I meant to post that in the porn thread.
posted by found missing at 5:21 PM on July 30, 2007


No problem. La petite mort qualifies here, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:23 PM on July 30, 2007


Double. First use of '.'?
posted by tellurian at 5:42 PM on July 30, 2007


OK, now all you folks who love me can pretend to hate me. I want to leave confusion in my wake.
posted by jonmc at 5:56 PM on July 30, 2007


Wake? More like a tide, you enormous jagg-off!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:58 PM on July 30, 2007


hey, don't say that about jonmc, he was a wonderful man. a bit reticent, though. you never knew what he was thinking. i loved him nonetheless.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:18 PM on July 30, 2007


WHY DO YOU CARE?????

People who admired (or despised) the deceased get to make a comment.

People not as interested in the deceased get to see it; for lesser known deaths, they may not otherwise have heard of the death, or the deceased. And frankly, obits/retrospectives of lives are interesting, even (some times especially so) if they're persons previously unknown to me.

People who don't give a damn can note it and read (or post) a thread they find more interesting?

I get no milage out of pop music threads, but plenty of people seem to love them. So I don't read 'em, and am glad those who like that stuff can have it. I sure as hell don't suggest my tastes whould be ecvrryone's.

DO YOU GO TO THE BASKINS ROBBINS AND COMPLAIN THAT 31 FLAVORS ARE TOO DAMN MUCH?

Does the availability to other customers of Butter Pecan somehow diminish your enjoyment of the Rocky Road or Vanilla?

I never fails to amaze me, the number of people here who stridently demand that "I don't care for X, so no one should be able to post X!" So what? We all have our preferences, what makes yours the rule all should live by?
posted by orthogonality at 6:24 PM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Because, there is a war going on. We shouldn't be wasting our time talking about dead people.
posted by found missing at 6:26 PM on July 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


Here lies jonmc
A champion of mediocrity
A music thread shall never pass
That I won't miss that fabulous ass
So raise a beer and fairtheewell
To Mefi's proudest ne'erdowell
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:27 PM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


jonmc is dead? About fucking time.
posted by yhbc at 6:31 PM on July 30, 2007


jonmc dyed his hair?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:35 PM on July 30, 2007


And Baphomet, were you using the royal "we" up there, or are you actually pretending to speak for many, instead of just yourself?

I was summarizing the opinions of those I've spoken to who agree with me.

To the "Why do you care, flag it and move on" crowd: yeah, that's exactly what I did. Notice that I didn't go and shit in any of those threads...I just, you know, flagged them and moved on. But since this is the place where we go to talk about MetaFilter, well, here I am!

If you aren't interested, how about...I dunno, not reading it?

Kind of hard to know what the thread is about before I read the description, don't you think? I didn't read any of them. Nor did I shit in the threads. I just noticed 3 obit posts before noon here and wandered over to MeTa thinking, "I wonder if anybody else thinks its annoying that everybody seems to feel the need to announce when their pet semi-celebrity dies."

So telling me to flag it and move on is kind of like me telling you to tell me to flag it and move on. Tell me to flag it and move on, I say!

Oh wait, that's what you were doing anyway?

*sits on hands, fidgets*

Hey, some football guy died today too, anybody got a link?
posted by baphomet at 6:37 PM on July 30, 2007


Meatbomb, three MeTa posts in one month is a bit much, doncha think?
posted by mediareport at 6:57 PM on July 30, 2007


I had no idea jonmc worked in a tool & die shop!
posted by Kwine at 7:19 PM on July 30, 2007


No problem. La petite mort qualifies here, too.

So, wait...we're going to have a post to Metafilter every time one of those happens? Wow.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:23 PM on July 30, 2007


.
.
.

*lights cigarette*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:29 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


jonmc is dead? About fucking time.

Hmm. Maybe we could just write preemptive obituaries for everyone and then never have another obit thread ever again. It could be a wiki.
posted by spiderwire at 7:31 PM on July 30, 2007


spiderwire is dead and gone
he's fertilizer for the lawn
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:33 PM on July 30, 2007


.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:49 PM on July 30, 2007


The Brady Bunch set just got bombed!
It's Raining Fl--



...Agh! I can't make myself do it.
posted by spiderwire at 8:27 PM on July 30, 2007


It's Raining Florence Henderson
No longer's in the world of men
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:27 PM on July 30, 2007


Note that I say "sehn", not "sun". And it's "MEH-fie".
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:28 PM on July 30, 2007


It's Raining Florence Henderson has slipped the mortal coil.
A poet none shall e'er surpass,
A gentleman of taste and class,
On MetaFilter's hairy ass,
He was a throbbing boil.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:37 PM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I deleted the third obit one, because that really was an excuse to post "they come in threes" which is a weird human pattern thing but makes for really weak posts.

♪♬Have you ever wondered why
Celebrities always die in threes? ♬♪
posted by Many bubbles at 9:12 PM on July 30, 2007


And I'd post more of that but I can't remember the next bit or find the lyrics anywhere.
posted by Many bubbles at 9:14 PM on July 30, 2007


your favorite death sucks.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:20 PM on July 30, 2007


Teddy sniffing glue, he was 12 years old
Fell from the roof on East Two-nine
Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug
On 26 reds and a bottle of wine
Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old
He looked like 65 when he died
He was a friend of mine.

It always happens in threes.
posted by Sailormom at 9:57 PM on July 30, 2007


I never fails to amaze me, the number of people here who stridently demand that "I don't care for X, so no one should be able to post X!" So what? We all have our preferences, what makes yours the rule all should live by?

I don't know if you are talking to me, brother, but if so where do you sense the stridency? I'm just askin', sheesh.

Meatbomb, three MeTa posts in one month is a bit much, doncha think?

If you don't like it, why not just flag it and move on? Are you worried these posts are taking up valuable real estate? Is there some limit on the number of posts that can fit on the server? People like different things, and I like talking about MetaFilter. But no worries anyways, my MetaTalk posts come in threes and I am now done.

If it wasn't for this post, we wouldn't have found out that fucking jon "let's all just talk some more about me" mc had died.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:26 PM on July 30, 2007


The Brady Bunch set just got bombed!
It's Raining Fl--
...Agh! I can't make myself do it.


spiderwire you just made me laugh harder than i have in like a year. good work!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 10:56 PM on July 30, 2007


*is tempted to fake his own death to see if it gets obitfiltered*
posted by tehloki at 11:53 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm just waiting for someone to post a link to Antonioni's obituary so this thread will flare up again.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:06 AM on July 31, 2007


Eh, not a big deal. Don't even bother flagging them. It's not a big enough issue to even be worth the effort, it's just a side effect of metafilter's "community blog" aspect.
posted by voltairemodern at 5:24 AM on July 31, 2007


Here you go Johnny
posted by smackfu at 6:19 AM on July 31, 2007


Death to ObitFilter!
posted by Poolio at 7:09 AM on July 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


When jonmc dies, we can all post an "I" to his Memory.
posted by y2karl at 8:38 AM on July 31, 2007


I'll not say anything specific about obituary posts themselves in general, but I will say that I'm sick and fucking tired of wading through a sea of dots when trying to read actual insightful things that people have to say about the departed.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:28 AM on July 31, 2007


Poor scroll wheel finger.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 AM on July 31, 2007


This reminds me of the recent question, "What other parts of Metafilter would you like to see, and what color would they be?" (badly paraphrasing)

I'd like to see ObitFilter. And it had better be as black as my soul.
posted by adipocere at 4:06 PM on July 31, 2007


It could have a polkadotted background so we wouldn't have to scroll through ten bandwagons of stupid "."s.
posted by Sallyfur at 12:26 AM on August 2, 2007


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