I can has NO Gnostic Novelist plz? August 26, 2007 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Could we perhaps gently show Gnostic Novelist where the door is? I would link to some of the more egregious of his baby-smearing-doodoo-all-over-threads, but it's probably simpler just to look at his posting history.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy to Etiquette/Policy at 2:48 PM (204 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

And for the straw that broke the camel's back, go here.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:50 PM on August 26, 2007


Maybe the mods have more information here that I don't have (long history of deleted comments, etc), but none of those things seems particularly banworthy to me. I certainly don't agree with most of it, but it's not like s/he's attacking a user or even intentionally trolling, I think.

What exactly do you want Gnostic banned for?
posted by mosessis at 2:56 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


So, he's a conservative, Christian vegetarian? There's a mix you don't see everyday.
posted by oddman at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mildly offensive, but I'm not seeing anything truly ban-worthy. Have some more examples?
posted by ColdChef at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's obnoxious, but it's not as if he goes on for long winded screeds of tortured logic, derailing threads as he drags the whole thing down in a firey shitstorm. He just jumps in, shoots off something that has a 90% chance of being absolute shit*, then moves on. I don't even notice him anymore, hardly.

But, that 10% of the time isn't bad, and he doesn't usually turn threads into stinkpots all about himself, so what's the harm? Consider him like that really obnoxious uncle.


(* and a 0% chance any evidence will be presented)
posted by absalom at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Does the camel have Avian Bone Syndrome? It's a stupid, Rush-esque comment, but not really offensive.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's constant. He contributes nothing of value; he just shits on threads.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2007


I'm not seeing it.
posted by puke & cry at 2:59 PM on August 26, 2007


Eh, so he's a bit of a contrarian. So what?
posted by orthogonality at 3:00 PM on August 26, 2007


There is a bit of backstory, but this is an odd outlet. It's weird to talk about a specific member here like this and I'd prefer to do it over email. If anyone wants to know, feel free to email me, but yeah, we've given timeouts and warning emails to this user in the past and are hoping they turn it around and be less abrasive on the site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:02 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know...I really hate to call people out myself, and I strive to always read Metafilter with a grain of salt and a thick skin. But this fucking guy, Gnostic Novelist, is a FUCKING PRICK and needs a FUCKING ASS KICKING.
posted by vito90 at 3:05 PM on August 26, 2007


whine whine whine.
posted by quonsar at 3:06 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]



whine whine whine.
posted by quonsar


Now THAT is fucking rich.
posted by vito90 at 3:15 PM on August 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


If it means anything, I agree w/ DNAB. GN strikes me as Paris Paramus boiled down. I'm all for opposing views, but GN just lights the bag of shit, rings the doorbell and runs.
posted by landis at 3:17 PM on August 26, 2007


I miss the trolls who actually put in an effort at stirring shit up.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:18 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


As mathowie says this is something we're trying to work out with this user if possible, it's one day since a bannin' so far. I'd love to make it two.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:22 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I kind of miss old double P.
posted by oddman at 3:26 PM on August 26, 2007 [5 favorites]


So, he's a conservative, Christian vegetarian? There's a mix you don't see everyday.

The problem is, he's not really any of that. He's just a troll, whose views shift depending on what is most likely to derail a thread.
posted by scottreynen at 3:26 PM on August 26, 2007


It feels really harsh to do this in metatalk. What's wrong with emailing the moderators on this? Or directly contacting the poster him/herself? If direct communication just doesn't work, I can see posting here as a last resort, but even so, a lot of the comments are just opinions that you don't agree with - nothing so awful. (and I say this as someone who probably has diametrically opposed politics.)
posted by serazin at 3:30 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whereas I'm all for public mocking and shunning.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:39 PM on August 26, 2007


Much of Gnostic Novelist opinions are commonly held by a large segment of the US population.Things you learn to deal with like sleet and visits to the dentist.
Aren't liberals supposed to be tolerant of the differences of others?
posted by Cranberry at 3:39 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Are we going to have the whole discussion about "queen" again?
posted by Krrrlson at 3:40 PM on August 26, 2007


There is a bit of backstory

Oh come on, don't leave us hanging like that! Now everyone wants to know.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:44 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cranberry: tolerant of differences, yes. Tolerant of him simply showing up, laying a big steamy one, and walking away? Not so much.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:49 PM on August 26, 2007


If it looks like poo, then walk around it. This is kind of a weak call-out, but no matter the mod squad is already on the case!
posted by snsranch at 3:50 PM on August 26, 2007


He's the most recent incarnation of Evanizer, isn't he?
posted by Dave Faris at 3:53 PM on August 26, 2007


Awesome. I've always been a huge fan. It's a tragedy she has been looked over.
posted to MetaFilter by Gnostic Novelist at 3:25 PM on August 26, 2007 [+]


Boy, you're right. What a jerk.
posted by evilcolonel at 3:56 PM on August 26, 2007


He seems mildly trollish, neither especially clever, or coherently offensive. Too bad he doesn't stick around to actually chat about these little stinkbombs, but whatever. Your camel has a bad back.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:58 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nah Evanizer was a bit smarter than that.

Although I really don't see what the big deal about Gnostic Novellist is. I like having him around to remind me what total fucking douch-bags there are out there, because I don't meet that many of them in my daily life, really. Good to know how the other half lives.
posted by Jimbob at 4:01 PM on August 26, 2007


Er...what is the "damn skullfucking post" mentioned in Jessamyn's flickr shot?
posted by Bugbread at 4:01 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


DNAB

Dammit. I always thought dirtynumbangelboy broke down as Dirty N Um Bangle Boy. This changes everything.
posted by srboisvert at 4:02 PM on August 26, 2007


Don't worry, srboisvert, I thought it was Dirty Numb Bagel Boy for the longest time.
posted by Bugbread at 4:03 PM on August 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


You guys are lucky. dnab's a total earworm for me, causing the entire Trainspotting soundtrack to play through in my brain. Irritating.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:06 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


bugbread, here.
posted by Catfry at 4:08 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


It can't be that irritating Ambrosia Voyeur. Pulp. Iggy. And that version of Atomic fucking rocks.
posted by Jimbob at 4:09 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


This callout is 80% motivated by political antipathy.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:16 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Add me to the list of people who totally think Gnostic Novelist is overdue for his mercy-killing.
posted by hermitosis at 4:19 PM on August 26, 2007


*sigh*

No, EB, this doesn't have anything to do with his politics. This is--and really, I'm not going to bother saying this again--about the fact that he shits in pretty much every thread he participates in.

He's ParisParamus without the humour.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:21 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Much of Gnostic Novelist opinions are commonly held by a large segment of the US population.

Maybe, but I don't know many Americans who claim that segregation ought to be legal.

The Iraq thread is a perfect example. Even if he believed that welfare was theft, why bring it up in the Iraq thread? Surely no one could seriously think that playing football with $100,000 bundles and defrauding the government of billions was worse then taking advantage of a social program. And if the only point was that "Welfare is bad" then it's not really related to the thread at all. So why post it.

If he had a serious argument supporting this stuff, he certainly didn't express it.
posted by delmoi at 4:21 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've been on to old Gnostic Novelist for a while now, but I was never willing to ruin my perfect non-metatalk posting record for his cheap ass trolls. I'm more annoyed by how weak his trolling is than that he's doing it at all.

I think instead of being banned he should be given one day where he is the only person who is allowed to post to metafilter.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:30 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


The only reason Gnostic Novelist keeps posting his non sequitors is because people respond to them. If you don't pay any attention, he'll curl up and wither on the vine.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:33 PM on August 26, 2007


The guy pissed me off the first time I became aware of him. Since then, I watched him drop turd after turd after turd in threads. He's a fucking troll and not a good one. He makes me long for Paris Paramus and fucking 111/witty.
posted by stet at 4:37 PM on August 26, 2007


Don't miss this little gem of a comment, in which Gnostic Novelist called the KKK "progressives, albeit they may have been a little on the racist side".

I answered him quite patiently in that thread, I think, but then when I found him trolling in another I decided he was getting the full-on ignore from then on. As every rose has its thorn and its mildew, so does Metafilter have its ignorant and its trolls.
posted by orange swan at 4:39 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's ParisParamus without the humour.

PP had humo(u)r? Never noticed. Please provide link.

I, for one, will flag GN and move on. Or, if I'm in the mood and it's not too much trouble, I'll ridicule his trollish comments with bad puns. It's the least I can do.
posted by wendell at 4:45 PM on August 26, 2007


"If you don't pay any attention, he'll curl up and wither on the vine."

I don't know, it seems to me that in the threads I've seen him in, pretty much everyone has ignored his one line comments.

He's not going away, but then he's not hard to ignore, either.

"This is--and really, I'm not going to bother saying this again--about the fact that he shits in pretty much every thread he participates in."

You say that. But "turd" for you clearly involved political disagreement. If his one-line comments were echoing the party line here, they'd be seen as, well, one line comments saying things people agree with. The only reason you or anyone else thinks they are disruptive is because you don't agree with them. If you agreed with them, they wouldn't be disruptive.

And, I'm sorry, but I don't think that simply disagreeing in a not-very -contributory manner qualifies as trolling. He's not adding anything to the site and he is probably stirring up some controversy. But a just-as-useless commenter who shared our politics wouldn't be called-out.

This callout is so close to merely calling someone out because they post things that are unpopular that it's implicitly making the case that anyone who posts unpopular things is de facto a troll. I don't really care that he doesn't stick around and defend his comments or that he's not saying anything particularly interesting or that he's provocative. Until people we agree with are being called-out because they don't stick around to defend their comments or because they're not saying anything particularly interesting or because they are provocative, then I'm inclined to see this as purely a matter of intolerance for differing opinions.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:46 PM on August 26, 2007 [8 favorites]


I was actually thinking about bringing this up here, but I'm slow on the draw that way. It's not that he's "conservative," it's that his comments are constructed for the sole purpose of invoking spleen-venting by those of us who can't resist the bait. I've fallen victim twice in as many days.

He never seems to have a point beyond making inflammatory statements. No logic, no argument, just *plop!* I have conservative friends, and we can actually discuss things, and influence one another. That is not happening here.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:55 PM on August 26, 2007


*sigh*

Oh my GOD, EB, don't be so frightfully stupid. Dirtynumbangelboy said it wasn't about politics. LITERACY. Got some? Gnostic Novelist isn't contributing anything!!

Now I'm really just done with you.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:00 PM on August 26, 2007


It feels really harsh to do this in metatalk.

I think this definitely belongs in MetaTalk, that is what self policing is about. Not that I have any particular opinion about the user in question (I haven't noticed him that often, but he does seem irritating).
posted by Chuckles at 5:02 PM on August 26, 2007


So, he's a conservative, Christian vegetarian?

*reads Abbie Hoffman, cranks Black Sabbath, chews porterhouse*
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on August 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


My posting history reveals that most of my comments are utterly useless and usually without any merit. Most of the time, I start to type something and hit the back button, getting rid of what I was going to say, because it was pointless.

Very much like this comment, as one example of many.

GN is just somebody to ignore, not silence. He proves how moronic he is with every comment.

stealth/mode=ON
posted by disclaimer at 5:12 PM on August 26, 2007


Just install that Grease Monkey script to censor him from your own MeFi experience. Worry about you own thing more than everyone else's experience.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:15 PM on August 26, 2007


Anyone know how old GN is? I get the feeling that more and more people here are in their teens. Could explain some of the more provocative comments.
posted by billysumday at 5:20 PM on August 26, 2007


There's a lot of sighing going on this thread.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:22 PM on August 26, 2007


Just install that Grease Monkey script to censor him from your own MeFi experience.

You know, I've had that script installed for at least a year, and never used it before.

Still, there's a first time for everything.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:24 PM on August 26, 2007


There's a lot of sighing going on this thread.

*belches*

(I'm here to help)
posted by jonmc at 5:31 PM on August 26, 2007


oh sweet holiest of craps do we really have to do this again ok fine goddamit.

GROW A FUCKING HIDE ALREADY.
posted by loquacious at 5:39 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I apologize for responding to GN's stupid, trite shit. I really do mean that, and I won't be responding anymore. At first, of course, I thought that he was some kind of strange anarchist-libertarian-theocratic-rightist-vegetarian-self hating African American-misanthrope, and would be a worthy target of some healthy debate.

After a while, I realized that he was none of those things, and was, most likely, a troubled basement dweller who just likes to stir shit up on the internet. Mission Accomplished, apparently.

For the record, there is a difference between having strong, even asshole-ish opinions, and being a troll. Showing up in a thread about personal debt and blaming credit card debt on atheism(?!?!) and then refusing to back up said arguments is not the mark of someone interested in rational discourse, or even ethical online behavior. Its shit-stirring, and we're better off without it.

It's not just the horrendeous political opinions -- konolia is a conservative Christian (and a Republican, I assume?) and most of us get along with her fairly well. Its the shit-storm inducing drive-by comments that are the mark of a troll of any political persuasion.

I suppose we're all tempted at certain points to derail threads and make it all about ME!, but those of us who aren't brain-dead trolls know how to resist the urge and either stick to the topic at hand or shut the fuck up.

I'm done with this asshole.
posted by Avenger at 5:44 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


If my google search is correct, he's a bi-polar shut-in who rarely leaves his house, so I can't help but feel sorry for him rather than be annoyed about the trolling. Ignore him and he'll find somewhere else to shit on.
posted by cmonkey at 6:03 PM on August 26, 2007


Anyone know how old GN is? I get the feeling that more and more people here are in their teens.

I'm pretty sure he mentioned in the Ron Paul thread that he's 32. If you have a few hours to spare you can read through his endless barrage of comments to find it. Me, I'd rather scoop my own eyes out with a trowel.
posted by maryh at 6:06 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


posted by Blazecock Pileon The only reason Gnostic Novelist keeps posting his non sequitors is because people respond to them. If you don't pay any attention, he'll curl up and wither on the vine.

Yes, we all saw how well that worked with ParisParamus.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:14 PM on August 26, 2007


I'm pretty sure he mentioned in the Ron Paul thread that he's 32.

Wait a minute. He's the guy that posted that ron paul thread? Well, fuck him then.
posted by puke & cry at 6:33 PM on August 26, 2007


What a lazy callout. If you're going to call for someone to be banned, at least do the work to lay out the pattern of misconduct. (Lucky for you the admins were already on the case in this instance.)
posted by brain_drain at 6:46 PM on August 26, 2007


I was going to go the "irritating but mostly harmless route"—and remain on it—but I agree with Avenger that the guy is totally inconsistent. Seriously, what the hell is a anarchist-libertarian-theocratic-rightist-vegetarian-self hating African American-misanthrope? It's like the guy's whole mind is fake. Which registers on the troll-meter rather intensely.
posted by Firas at 6:53 PM on August 26, 2007


He sucks, of course, but I don't think he's banworthy. That "backbreaking" comment is childish and eye-roll-inducing, but I don't think it's out of bounds. It's not a personal attack or anything.

Everyone should go favorite my witty takedown of libertarianism from that Ron Paul thread, though. That's for damn sure. Let something good come of this.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:56 PM on August 26, 2007


"Oh my GOD, EB, don't be so frightfully stupid. Dirtynumbangelboy said it wasn't about politics. LITERACY. Got some? Gnostic Novelist isn't contributing anything!!"

I can't even tell if you're being sarcastic.
posted by klangklangston at 7:09 PM on August 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


If s/he's such a fucking troll (which s/he may be - I've never followed him/her although I have been annoyed by some of her/his comments) then isnt' this public wanking fest over him/her exactly what s/he has been hoping for?

All I'm sayin' is, how about an email to the person and the mods before the public flaying?
posted by serazin at 7:15 PM on August 26, 2007


Coincidentally, this was the comment I happened upon earlier today which finally convinced me GN is just a troll. It has nothing to do with politics, is not particularly offensive, and may even be interpreted as a point that could be defensible, though only by reading into it much more than is actually said. Mostly though it just looks like a classic troll.

Gnostic Novelist called the KKK "progressives, albeit they may have been a little on the racist side".

That one is a bit more impressive. You have to read only the first two paragraphs of the article he links to in support of that to realize it says nothing like what he represents it as saying. The larger point he was trying to make may be partially true, though still entirely ridiculous. That one seem less obviously a troll though, when considered in isolation. More so than most GN comments, it could plausibly be the work of a mere idiot.

So, G.Novelist is more like a troll than an idiot on the whole, but that does not define him entirely of course. Every troll is different. This one, I think, appears to be sufferring from some Internet version of coprolalia. It's as though he types so fast that whatever half-formed reactionary thought arises from the depths of his subconscious, it's already posted as a metafilter comment before it's reached his conscious brain for a bit of second thought. Well, that's what it looks like to me.

This thread, one of the very few where he makes more than one comment, seems illuminating:

Have sex scenes added anything of value to films? They seem pointless beyond pointless.
posted to MetaFilter by Gnostic Novelist at 3:58 PM on August 23, 2007 [+]


First, a comment that when you think about it is entirely ridiculous. The myriad ways in which sex has been depicted in film can not so easily be reduced to one repeated adjective. Then, six minutes later, he thinks it over, and posts a comment to tell us he's been thinking it over. 36 minutes later, he's got a more sensible comment on the subject in which he expresses a preference for one particular way of dealing with sex in film, and makes reasonable criticism of another.

I suppose we all post things too hastily sometimes, and can empathize with this behaviour. But taking it to such an extreme is really amazing.
posted by sfenders at 7:20 PM on August 26, 2007


dude, why is everyone so sensitive about this? he posts some dumb comments, I kind of laugh a little and move on, and sometimes they're not that dumb.

i am pretty sure banning is for people that horribly disrupt the conversation here and/or drag it down into complete stupidity. i bet you could build a case for other people that boil down to "this person only posts LOL[GROUP] in threads in the past three weeks" ... because there are definitely people who do that.

at least Mr. Novelist is making real comments.

chill.

(PS: how does it make any sense to make the post title of an ostensibly serious thread "I can has" anything? is inanity preferred to offensiveness?)
posted by blacklite at 7:22 PM on August 26, 2007


Aren't liberals supposed to be tolerant of the differences of others?

that's the myth that's been propogated, yes.
posted by quonsar at 7:22 PM on August 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh man, I can't believe I missed that Ron Paul thread. It's a trainwreck classic.

Gnostic Novelist in that thread kind of reminds me of Ignatius Reilly. "My father is a brilliant man, we were lower middle class, but he was a member of Mensa, and of course this means I am endowed with certain genetic gifts."
posted by painquale at 7:26 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've never noticed GN specifically before, and looking over the posting history: I don't see it. He's not very productive, but he's not really harmful either. EB's point wasn't that he isn't useless, but rather that useless people who share prevailing politics would never get a callout like this. The uselessness is not a sufficient criteria for a callout. The issue is uselessness combined with the politics. That doesn't seem good enough to me.
posted by Arturus at 7:31 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


this is what i hate most about this place - the way "community" encourages insularism and the expectation that people should be thrown out for not being part of the club. i don't have an answer; i understand that one of matt's achievements is to have developed a "community attitude" and that this more a problem with human nature than anything particular to this site, but, still, it's depressing.

dnab - do you have any idea how violent it feels to be ejected from a community? if so, how can you wish that on someone for doing as little as this?
posted by andrew cooke at 7:34 PM on August 26, 2007 [10 favorites]


He makes me long for Paris Paramus and fucking 111/witty.

Oh, man, witty! How long has that guy been gone? I just remember that every single thread with a troll from him had at least one poster commenting on his lack of wit. That was great.
posted by graventy at 7:34 PM on August 26, 2007


The main issue from an admin perspective is that the guy has shown up with multiple flags—from a variety of people, not just one or two folks following him around or whatever—on this or that comment, every single day for about two straight weeks. It's nuts, and the lack of followup from him, and the tendency of the comments to stir shit up, makes it really hard to see him as participating in anything resembling good faith.

Whether or not the email in his profile is something he checks, I don't even know. He hasn't offered any sort of reply to the mail I sent him a couple days ago, which is kind of frustrating when we're trying to figure out where the heck the guy is coming from.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:37 PM on August 26, 2007


I haven't paid much attention to GN, I guess probably because I tend to just bleep over stuff that is annoying or uninteresting, much the same way I expect 95% skip over my annoyingness.

But... the "last straw" comment... pretty weak. However it does seem like enough of a pattern has emerged that others have noticed as well, DNAB.

So, uh... now... what did I actually come here to post?

*shrugs, eats pizza*
posted by The Deej at 7:39 PM on August 26, 2007


Looking through his posting history, it occurs to me that the quality of many/most of GN's comments is vastly improved if you add "in bed" to the end of them.
posted by Poolio at 7:53 PM on August 26, 2007


*Shrugs* Chalk me up as another who hasn't or can't remember ever being riled up by the guy. Maybe he's had a lot of deletions of horrible, horrible comments, but browsing his comment history isn't getting my dander up.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:59 PM on August 26, 2007


Cortex says: kind of frustrating when we're trying to figure out where the heck the guy is coming from.

Have you or the other admins removed the controversial comments? Like Alvy, I can't really see what has gotten everyone so outraged. His history looks like it's made up of pretty normal comments, to me.
posted by jayder at 8:02 PM on August 26, 2007


If I might speak from the lectern for a moment—

DNAB is a generally nice guy who happens to be a hysterical whiner about any real disagreement; any calls for bannination from him should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

That's set against the general sense I have of Gnostic Novelist as a tremendous inept dumbass who can't help but be disruptive purely through the bludgeon of his brain-crushery. Sometimes, he's stupid enough that he makes me laugh, other times he annoys me, and still other times you just have to feel the same pity as you would for an uncle or neighbor who's convinced of giant lizards or Zionist Protocols or fake moon landings.

One of the things that I like about Metafilter is that it tends to encourage a smarter community, a broad (and liberal in a related sense) gathering of people who generally know what they're on about. Things've gotten more democratic in the last couple of years, and arguably that means that the dangerous pollution of intolerant idiocy that Gnostic Novelist represents to some of us can be even more likely to poison the well.

If he were part of a circle of friends in real life, it would be easy to just stop inviting him, but here he knows where we live and can't be excluded by any of the common social cues, subtle or overt. But banning him just for an ill-defined "being fucking moronic" seems both mean-spirited and unnecessarily vague. He hasn't really done anything specific, just left the vague discomfort that comes with having to deal with mooks out in real life.

And if that was all it took, we'd have axed a huge swath of people (and y'all would have likely biopsied my ass out long ago).

So until I can get all of the interchangeable one-note atheists, anarchists, libertarians, Mac-fans, Bush-bashers, and people who like mediocre indie rock out of here, I'd feel uncomfortable agitating for Gnostic Novelist to be excised by fiat.

(I'd rather he flamed out, but that's the beast-who-sups-on-schadenfreude speaking).
posted by klangklangston at 8:03 PM on August 26, 2007 [16 favorites]


this is what i hate most about this place - the way "community" encourages insularism and the expectation that people should be thrown out for not being part of the club.

See, there's community and then there's "community".
It's one thing to have an argument over dinner, it's another thing to have someone walk into the community dining area and take a huge, smelly shit right on the table. Or maybe toss a grenade on the table in Baghdad's case.

There aren't many rules here in Bartertown MetaFilter, but you bust a deal, you face the wheel. Thats it.
posted by Avenger at 8:03 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and also, I wasn't aware it was a sign of bad faith that you don't come back to defend your comments. Sometimes I make a comment and never bother going back to the thread. I thought that was okay.
posted by jayder at 8:03 PM on August 26, 2007


Like Alvy, I can't really see what has gotten everyone so outraged. His history looks like it's made up of pretty normal comments, to me.

Same here. Guess you had to be there.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:05 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Swarm Behavior: "A single ant or bee Mefi user isn't smart, but their colonies are."
posted by Burhanistan at 8:05 PM on August 26, 2007


He makes me long for Paris Paramus and fucking 111/witty.

Are you serious?!? Someone needs to go reread some old threads. Those three really got shitstorms flying around here.
GN? He's a total amateur in comparison. Go grow some damn skin and move on.
posted by jmd82 at 8:13 PM on August 26, 2007


This callout somehow manages to be lazy, silly, and ideologically motivated. Bravo!
posted by Kwantsar at 8:16 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Meh. What Alvy said.

Just treat him like Metafilter's own version of Alan Keys: a handy barometer for a certain kind of batshitinsanity, the sampling of which is occasionally useful and often quite edifying.
posted by Chrischris at 8:16 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Uh, Keyes, that is...
posted by Chrischris at 8:17 PM on August 26, 2007


Hey, twatwaffle, my indie rock is far from mediocre.
posted by absalom at 8:19 PM on August 26, 2007


HEY KWINE, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS ISSUE?

Glad you asked! I agree with klang full stop.
posted by Kwine at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2007


I don't know anything about the Gold Standard I'm afraid, but I do love little kittens.
posted by flabdablet at 8:24 PM on August 26, 2007


I don't know anything about the Gold Standard I'm afraid, but I do love little kittens.

previously :)
posted by Poolio at 8:26 PM on August 26, 2007


Oh, and also, I wasn't aware it was a sign of bad faith that you don't come back to defend your comments.

In and of itself, it's certainly not. I'd say the overwhelming proportion of comments made in threads are singletons, with the commenter never making a followup.

It's the consistency with which the comments cause overt reactions, paired with the apparently willful disinclination to respond (except occasionally) to the responses to said comments, that starts to stink up the room when it happens time and time again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:56 PM on August 26, 2007


If we didn't have Christian fundamentalist vegetarians, or people like DU (who, while I would love to meet I currently have a low opinion of), what would be fun be of a paid-for blog environment?

Frankly, it's cowardly to say "I think this guy should go" because you don't agree with him. Why can't you man up and respond in kind? If you're going to take a swipe at a king, you must kill him.
posted by parmanparman at 9:06 PM on August 26, 2007


Standard issue troll. Not prolific, not persistent. Eminently ignorable.
posted by nanojath at 9:08 PM on August 26, 2007


Well put, klang.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:15 PM on August 26, 2007


yeah I don't get this callout at all dnab. It doesn't seem like you.

I read his posts and didn't see one personal attack and the kkk remark was a link to a Reason magazine article.

and to be honest, unless I am missing something (or something was deleted) it bothers me that the mods would even go after him just because he got flagged.
posted by vronsky at 9:31 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's the consistency with which the comments cause overt reactions, paired with the apparently willful disinclination to respond (except occasionally) to the responses to said comments, that starts to stink up the room when it happens time and time again.

on the other hand if he did reply consistently, people would accuse him of derailing threads

it's been my experience that he's actually incapable of getting through a sustained argument without embarrassing himself ... so he's probably stopped trying
posted by pyramid termite at 9:39 PM on August 26, 2007


and to be honest, unless I am missing something (or something was deleted) it bothers me that the mods would even go after him just because he got flagged.

All kinds of people get flagged, every day, for a dozen different reasons. It's not really a question of never pissing anybody off or never saying something unpopular or controversial. It's this weird consistency, the being constantly on the shitlist, that's unusual. Seeing the sort of gestalt reaction to him the last couple weeks, this sudden bright dot on the radar—it's not the same as just casually coming across one of the comments here or there. Viewed from above, he's been a systemic pain in the ass for about two weeks straight, which is not something anyone normally does.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:04 PM on August 26, 2007


Ok, Gnostic's ideals and political views are almost oposite from at least 90% of Mefi, and he seems to not be the sharpest tool in the shed. He often doesn't make a lot of sense when he actually tries to add things to the discussion, which with his 343 comments obviously makes up a sizeable portion of those comments. And some of our favorite and most favorited of Mefites often make comments with no goal except to stir things up. Klang, who I wholeheartedly agree with on this issue, does it often enough with his grumpy old man comments and Loquacious, who so many here idolize, often verges on insanity with his rants. And if you ban him, it will be regretted in the future. Because we all miss Parisparamus and his frequent flame outs, it may have been a serious pain sometimes, but god was it entertaining. So, guys, really just toughen up and ignore his prodding.
posted by KingoftheWhales at 10:06 PM on August 26, 2007


As mathowie says this is something we're trying to work out with this user if possible, it's one day since a bannin' so far.

...I sort of have a burning desire to see a box like that on the front page, now.

Looking through his posting history, it occurs to me that the quality of many/most of GN's comments is vastly improved if you add "in bed" to the end of them.
"Indeed, the myth of Robber Barons being engendered by the free-market depends upon ignoring the government subsidies they received" in bed.

"Gladly, if I can get... [more]" in bed.

"Just shows what happens when adamant atheists get power" in bed.

"Humans are worthless, but animals are special" in bed.
...Okay, I don't think I want to play this game anymore.
posted by Many bubbles at 10:24 PM on August 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


I actually like the fact that he has, as of yet, refused to play the "zomg librul echo-chamber" card. I mean, his ideas are repellent, but at least he doesn't shit his pants and call for the whambulance about the big-bad mefi groupthink strawman when people routinely point out what a racist, Opus Dei-swilling, reactionary twit he is. I honestly kind of respect that.

(And he thinks Stephen King is a "genius," and a better author than Ralph Ellison. C'mon -- that kind of delicious batshit-insanity doesn't come along too often in life. Enjoy it.)
posted by bardic at 10:30 PM on August 26, 2007


...Okay, I don't think I want to play this game anymore.

ZERO
posted by Poolio at 10:41 PM on August 26, 2007


it's a Ron Paul supporter; we should just be happy he hasn't accidentally scooped out his own bowels with an dirty trowel and a dog-eared version of the turner diaries
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:42 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Klang, who I wholeheartedly agree with on this issue, does it often enough with his grumpy old man comments"

I'm not even 30 yet!

"(And he thinks Stephen King is a "genius," and a better author than Ralph Ellison. C'mon -- that kind of delicious batshit-insanity doesn't come along too often in life. Enjoy it.)"

That was the first time that I remember running into him and it made me do a virtual double take. Wh-wha?

It's kinda like that guy who went off on the whole "Drool on your forehead!" thing— every time I see him getting into it and think "Who's this again?" I stumble onto his crazy comments and smile, then forget about him again for a while.

(On some level, it reminds me of working at the grocery store— you get regular nutbags, but then they're normal for a couple of weeks, then all of the sudden they're screaming out the lotto numbers as fast as God can transmit them to their brains and you're like, "Damn, Greg, calm down and buy your groats, dude.")
posted by klangklangston at 10:43 PM on August 26, 2007


Don't agree with the callout on a couple levels but yeah, I agree GN's playin' the site. The fact that such a weak effort to do so should have any effect (like this callout) should be food for thought as in: why's it so easy?
posted by scheptech at 11:12 PM on August 26, 2007


orange swan writes "Don't miss this little gem of a comment, in which Gnostic Novelist called the KKK 'progressives, albeit they may have been a little on the racist side'."

Wait.

There's actually some truth to that. Populism and Progressivism, in the US, did overlap with racism (and anti-immigration and anti-Catholicism). Think Huey Long, see the early George Wallace. Hell, look at (former Supreme Court Justice) Hugo Black and (sitting US Senator) Robert Byrd.

We Americans tend to like to see history (and the world) as containing "good" and "evil" actors, with "good" usually meaning, "conforming to our current beliefs". Thus all the angst over Washington or Jefferson holding slaves: how can they be our role models if they did evil, how can we hold up for emulation someone who wasn't perfect? This is why we love talking about Hitler, because he's conveniently an "absolute evil" who doesn't cause us any cognitive dissonance.

The truth is that history's actors are not conveniently Manichean exemplars of all that is good, or profound evil. They were humans just like us, and yes, some unrepentant racist KKKluxers were also progressive populists.

So let's not ban Gnostic Novelist for staing an inconvenient truth.
posted by orthogonality at 12:44 AM on August 27, 2007 [9 favorites]


I think the fact that he hasn't turned up in his own meta-callout thread shows a lot about his level of involvement in the community.

Reading his contributions, you have to really read them, not skim the first four - his blatant offenses are probably every fourth comment or so. But you could argue that they all are, in context of the surrounding thread. With that in consideration, he's clearly dropping in and making a mess, then taking off again. He's not trolling because he doesn't stand back to enjoy the trainwreck he causes. He just jots off a sentence or five and never comes back. So this makes him a little more harmless than most, but if he's not even answering the mods' emails, he obviously isn't invested in the community or his own actions therein.

I agree with DNAB that this guy sucks a lot. Ban-worthy? I'd leave it up to the mods who have a better big picture sense than we mere mortals.

And Stephen King is awesome. Bitches.
posted by SassHat at 1:03 AM on August 27, 2007


SassHat writes "I think the fact that he hasn't turned up in his own meta-callout thread shows a lot about his level of involvement in the community. "

Having been the subject of call-outs, I suggest it shows wisdom on his part not to show up.
posted by orthogonality at 1:51 AM on August 27, 2007


I was reading about Anna Ford leaving the BBC, and this quote from her reminded me of Mefi. Substitute Metafilter for BBC and the like, and see if you agree.

"The BBC must differentiate itself from all other television companies by making extremely high-class programmes. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be popular but they should be the best. I do think complaints about dumbing down are justified. I must sound very old fashioned when I use the word vulgarity, but we are constantly seeing people on screen who are of low intelligence and low education and whose views on everything seem to be made important."

Much of Gnostic Novelist opinions are commonly held by a large segment of the US population. -cranberry
Vulgar- Etymology: Middle English, from Latin vulgaris of the mob, vulgar, from volgus, vulgus mob, common people. Just because GN states "commonly held" views doesn't mean he doesn't have to defend them.

Folks like GN, who shit and run, piss me off. I've made many stupid comments around here, but I've tried to defend myself well, and learn when I get spanked down. GN can't be assed to respond to direct emails from admins. Yes, we should be able to ignore his posts, but since the poster's name comes after the comment often the damage is already done.

And for the record, I don't think everything on mefi has to be "high-class"; I love the silly parts of this place, but there's a difference between stoopid and stupid.
posted by landis at 2:12 AM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


"And he thinks Stephen King is a 'genius,' and a better author than Ralph Ellison."

I won't defend the better-than-Ellison part, but I certainly agree that King is a "genius". That doesn't mean that all, most, or any of his books are great or that he even approaches the level of good literature. But he has a singular insight into fear in the human psychology as expressed in American culture. And, at times, he can be a very, very adept storyteller.

This is a controversial subject, but I'm in the camp that believes that contemporary judgments about the quality of literature/art are almost invariably flawed and that it takes decades before the true value of a work can begin to be accurately assessed. Our current and long-running emphasis on a particular kind of psychological realism, as well as a strong disregard for popular/genre fiction, makes it difficult for us to assess the quality of King's work.

It's clear, I think, that his books have deep flaws that will continue to be recognized. But how heavily they weigh against him may indeed be much less in the future than today. It's entirely possible that King's strengths in fear psychology, the influence he's had on American pop culture, and his long-running observations of American culture may, decades from now, be highly valued.

I was just thinking the other day about his Dark Tower series. To me, it's sort of sad, actually, because if you read the forewords and interviews and such about the books you understand how the series is in some sense his major life's work. The first book was pretty much the first book he ever wrote, it's an idea that has stuck with him and bedeviled him for his entire life. And, sadly, the series just isn't very good by any standard. It fails as fantasy, it mostly fails as entertaining fiction. And it quite deeply fails at (or omits) most of what are elsewhere King's strengths.

However, with that in mind, I remain quite struck and fascinated by his self-portrayal in the latter half of the series. Exemplary is the moment when his protagonist and another main character first encounter the fictional King in the front yard of his house in Maine. The fictional King's reaction? To run in terror in a descriptively cowardly fashion. There's almost nothing sympathetic in King's portrayal of himself. At that point in the series, and presumably in real-life, King is a bit of a clod, an alcoholic, self-absorbed. Even later, after he's stopped drinking, he's still not especially likable or praiseworthy. His one virtue is that he's in thrall to his muse—and that's not really a virtue, as, in his view, his books are not so much his creation as his transmission from elsewhere.

To me, there's something remarkable about such a self-characterization by the world's most successful living writer. Mind you, it's not a self-obsessed, self-hating pathos-filled portrayal of himself you'd expect from most authors that would show themselves in a negative light. It's much more mundane, much more realistic than that. And in that one thing in this series I think he shows us a bit of his genius. When he gets things right, he's unequaled in finding the point at which the very mundane and normal intersects that which makes us most uncomfortable and/or fearful.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:47 AM on August 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


...he's unequaled in finding the point at which the very mundane and normal intersects that which makes us most uncomfortable and/or fearful...

*sound of needle scraping rapidly across vinyl*
posted by quonsar at 4:06 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


the world's most successful living writer after Rowling.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:38 AM on August 27, 2007


I've bitten a few of GN's hooks. There seems to be a trend in his Mefi and AskMe posts about alchohol and writing. Maybe that explains some of his thinking.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:40 AM on August 27, 2007


A car with a mind of its own. Now that is scary.

I was never able to watch The Love Bug again after that.
posted by Wolof at 4:41 AM on August 27, 2007


his baby-smearing-doodoo-all-over-threads

he just shits on threads

Tolerant of him simply showing up, laying a big steamy one, and walking away? Not so much.

Dear Sirs and Madams,

As the Secretary of the American States' Society of Fecaephiles, Urinites and Coprophagists I must strongly protest at your constant belittling of a pastime enjoyed by many law-abiding Americans.

It seems that Metatalk cannot go a day without one of its users pejoratively comparing a rival's activities with a hobby that so many of our members find simultaneously enriching and liberating.

The Directors of ASSFUC have, therefore, asked me to request that you contemplate this issue deeply before again suggesting a nexus between what we feel is (on the one hand) your childish and impotent complaints about conversational etiquette and (on the other) a delightful postprandial entertainment between consenting adults.

With sincere "brown regards",
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:48 AM on August 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


I think the fact that he hasn't turned up in his own meta-callout thread shows a lot about his level of involvement in the community.

To be fair, it might just show that he's got a life and doesn't spend his time checking Metafilter as obsessively as the rest of us?

Or alternatively, we might just be one of hundreds of similar sites that he trolls, and he hasn't got to our allotted place on the list yet?

Do the mods insta-mail somebody to let them know there's a Metatalk call out? I mean, he might not even *read* Metatalk.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:55 AM on August 27, 2007


at least he doesn't shit his pants

He's got that going for him, at least.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:09 AM on August 27, 2007


Have some of his comments been removed? Because I'm not really seeing it.
posted by taz at 6:13 AM on August 27, 2007


I'm having pancakes right now. No lie.

But when I'm done, I'm taking my knitting down to the guillotine. Don't leave me cackling for too long.
posted by gimonca at 6:15 AM on August 27, 2007


The guy (Gnostic, not King) is a noise machine, but not hard to filter out. Stay or go, it won't affect the site that much.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:49 AM on August 27, 2007


Do the mods insta-mail somebody to let them know there's a Metatalk call out?

Hey, that's a good question, PeterMcDermott. I'd like to think that they would do that, thereby perhaps giving someone who's being called out a chance to defend him or herself, flame right on out, whatever.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:53 AM on August 27, 2007


I'm not clear at all on why there's any issue here. He shits in threads and runs off. He trolls. Self-linking gets the banhammer- why doesn't stirring shit up and refusing to wade in it? I mean, I can be abrasive at times, but I at least stick around to defend my points.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:58 AM on August 27, 2007


Do the mods insta-mail somebody to let them know there's a Metatalk call out?

If you mean programmatically, no; I think it'd be a pain in the ass to nail that particular magic down without misfires etc.

I'll sometimes email someone if there's a Metatalk thread about 'em; in this case, I wrote the dude two or three days ago and haven't heard back, so sending off another email seems like useless in this case. He's been active on the site this weekend, which suggests he's not just not around, but he's also got zero footprint in Metatalk, ever; whether that's a matter of unfamiliarity or simple avoidance, it's hard to say.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:04 AM on August 27, 2007


Haha, while reading the Ron Paul thread I came across this little nugget:

I disagree with atheism but believe they are citizens in equal standing who shouldn't be disparaged.

I guess suggesting that the recent rash of bankruptcies is caused by atheism isn't disparagement.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:07 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just curious if anyone else took matt up on his email offer? I haven't heard anything back.
posted by landis at 7:15 AM on August 27, 2007


I agree with klang and bardic; I think this is a lame callout and I'm surprised the moderators are taking a spate of flagging so seriously. Of course the guy gets flagged; his comments are often lame and pointless (so far nothing to distinguish them from at least 50% of MeFi comments), and they consistently contradict MeFi groupthink. This is why they get flagged; it's predictable and should be ignored. If he were routinely insulting other members or deliberately engaging in flamefests, that would be another matter. But he's not. And he likes Moms Mabley; come on, he can't be all bad.
posted by languagehat at 7:21 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's a difference between "lame and pointless" and "trolling" and you know it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:23 AM on August 27, 2007


. . . the guy has shown up with multiple flags—from a variety of people, not just one or two folks following him around or whatever—on this or that comment, every single day for about two straight weeks. It's nuts, and the lack of followup from him, and the tendency of the comments to stir shit up, makes it really hard to see him as participating in anything resembling good faith. -cortex
This isn't apparently just a "spate" of flagging. And as to his comments being flagged for running counter to the mefi-mind, I'd like to see a comparison of flags between GN and, say, konolia. She's not what I think of as mainstream mefi, but she answers her critics and doesn't drop shitbombs in threads.
posted by landis at 7:29 AM on August 27, 2007


I'm surprised the moderators are taking a spate of flagging so seriously. Of course the guy gets flagged; his comments are often lame and pointless

I don't know; go spend some time on sites with less-aggressive moderation, and see every.fucking.thread get yanked off the rails be the local crew of GN-types. He's like crabgrass; a little isn't so bad, but you want to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't spread.

He's a garden-variety attention-whoring contrarian; he spouts the bullshit so we'll look at him, and we do. On his own, he's just an ignorable bump in the road. If we had five of him active at a time, the site would be unreadable.

I get irritated by him pretty frequently, but then I comfort myself in the knowledge that his Gnostic novels are almost certainly unreadable, sophomoric shit. And then I feel warm and comforted by sweet, sweet spite.
posted by COBRA! at 7:40 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I notice we seem to have one or two at a time: HTuttle, ParisParamus, witty, dios, Gnostic Novelist. There's probably several I'm forgetting. But it seems like there's generally only one or two of them being really active at any given time.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:42 AM on August 27, 2007


There's a difference between "lame and pointless" and "trolling" and you know it.

Yes, I do, and we disagree on where it falls in this case. I think that you and others are sure this is trolling because you find the views expressed so offensive.

I mean, let's take this fairly representative comment:

Ecofeminism

I can smell the leftism


I laughed at that; it's funny 'cause it's true. Yeah, it seems to be GN's mission in life to mock leftism in irrelevant contexts, but come on, if it had been:

Analytic Philosophy

I can smell the right-wingery


there wouldn't have been any flagging and we wouldn't be here.

And it's simply not true that all he does is drop turds. How would you characterize this?

Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith

I've spent many a night curled up with nice bottle of wine with this one. What a Scotsman, what a Scotsman.


He likes Adam Smith, he likes Moms Mabley, he doesn't like leftism. He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer and he's certainly not a typical MeFite, but banworthy? Come on, that's just mobthink.
posted by languagehat at 7:43 AM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


I dunno, it's borderline but I'm suspecting the complainants on this one, despite protestations to the contrary, don't like what's being said more than how it's being said and that this callout is driven more by a desire for censorship of disagreeable ideas than a desire for improved etiquette.
posted by scheptech at 7:49 AM on August 27, 2007


Gnostic Novelist on Diversity.

Gotta run.
posted by landis at 7:58 AM on August 27, 2007


"I mean, I can be abrasive at times, but I at least stick around to defend my points."

Uh, that's not necessarily better. But we'll put you down as another "He's just not like me" vote for banning.

"I notice we seem to have one or two at a time: HTuttle, ParisParamus, witty, dios, Gnostic Novelist. "

You've only seen these names repeated, right? Not actually interacted with any of them? I mean, they're just orders of magnitude off, and Dios is quite a different thing all together. I suspect that if you made your list as jfuller, Krrrlson and GN, you'd be closer, but you'll notice that neither jfuller nor Krrrlson are banned (for good reason).
posted by klangklangston at 8:09 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


This callout is lame.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:11 AM on August 27, 2007


Gnostic Novelist on Diversity.

I'm still missing it - he thinks the differences between people make it harder for us to get along rather than easier and you either think the opposite or would simply rather not hear it, so - bannination?
posted by scheptech at 8:17 AM on August 27, 2007


I'm a bit confused. If all he does is stir up shit, and the proposed solution is that we should all pretend that he doesn't exist, then why do his comments need to exist?

Also, a really cool server side idea: the soft ban. Poster can post, but the only ID that the server sends those posts to is the originator. He'd be left wondering after a while why no one responded to the trolls. Eventually he'd look for his comments not logged in, realize the futility of trolling, and implode.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:20 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


KingoftheWhales writes "And if you ban him, it will be regretted in the future. Because we all miss Parisparamus and his frequent flame outs, it may have been a serious pain sometimes, but god was it entertaining."

Well I don't miss him, in fact mighty glad he's no longer around.
posted by Mitheral at 8:29 AM on August 27, 2007


"If it had been
Analytic Philosophy

I can smell the right-wingery
there wouldn't have been any flagging and we wouldn't be here."

You think that analytic philosophy is a characteristically right-wing endeavour, languagehat?!?!?! That sounds crazy; you usually aren't crazy; please explain.
posted by Kwine at 8:30 AM on August 27, 2007


Also, a really cool server side idea: the soft ban. Poster can post, but the only ID that the server sends those posts to is the originator. He'd be left wondering after a while why no one responded to the trolls. Eventually he'd look for his comments not logged in, realize the futility of trolling, and implode.

You are PJ of Groklaw and I claim my five pounds!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:36 AM on August 27, 2007


Dude, I know you're totally into philosophy, but give me a break: if you'll take your head out of your Critique of Pure Reason and breathe the fresh air for a moment, I think you may be capable of grasping that I was taking a more or less random sample from the list of philosophies on offer here (which is what GN was commenting about) to make a point about prejudice. To repeat with emphasis: give me a fucking break.
posted by languagehat at 8:40 AM on August 27, 2007


Er, that was to Kwine, of course.
posted by languagehat at 8:40 AM on August 27, 2007


We should be able to give timeouts for lame MeTa callouts. This feels like highschool.
posted by NationalKato at 8:41 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


"You think that analytic philosophy is a characteristically right-wing endeavour, languagehat?!?!?!"

LH didn't say that he thought so. But I imagine lots of folks who are much more strongly inclined to continental philosophy think of analytical as being vaguely right-wing.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:42 AM on August 27, 2007


Heh. Yeah, it's been done, and it's not happening here; if we need to ban someone, we'll just ban 'em. No need for taunting like that.

(And if you want to talk mean-spirited alternaviews, I always thought the best way to deal with that sort of thing would be a punitive fnording, anyway; don't ban anybody, just crank up a dial that'd control the frequency with which a random "fnord" would be inserted inline in their view of the page. They'd sound nuts, complaining about it, except to the other folks who've been fnorded; follow up with a blanket "stop making annoying fnord jokes/complaints" rule and enforce that with a ban and boy do you have some evil-authoritarian hijinks.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:43 AM on August 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


languagehat - re kwine/breaks, i almost posted the same question. your comment did seem a bit odd.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:04 AM on August 27, 2007


And your comment seems odd to me. But go read EB's; I'm already tired of this derail.
posted by languagehat at 9:13 AM on August 27, 2007


(because, i think, i didn't expect you to buy-in to the viewpoint eb suggested)

on preview: why are you so pissy about this? go calm down.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:15 AM on August 27, 2007


::yawn:: Wow. We're just blowing through nap time, aren't we?
posted by yeti at 9:23 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


yeti, it wasn't enough to favorite your comment. I had to make this comment, too.
posted by sneakin at 9:36 AM on August 27, 2007


Politics, schmolitics. I hadn't realized he had said Stephen King was a genius. That's simply intolerable.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:54 AM on August 27, 2007


Steven King is the biggest welfare queen of them all.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:12 AM on August 27, 2007


Just curious if anyone else took matt up on his email offer? I haven't heard anything back.

I heard back in five minutes AND I also got this sturdy totebag! The e-mail contained basically the same stuff that's been mentioned in this MeTa. The totebag contained an old apple, half of a ham sandwich, and a dog-eared copy of those dirty western paperbacks.

On a slightly more topical note, how many of us have responded to a call-out or negative mention in MeTa only to end up back at square one frustrated and a few wasted hours closer to death? I'm not saying GN is avoiding or even aware of this MeTa, but if I was in his shoes I'd just contact the admins and stay the hell away from the Star Chamber-meets-Status Quorum that is MeTaMob Justice. "Defending" one's honour often just raises the noise level and ends up generating more bad juju. And although I'm a fan of self-policing (Yay flagging system!), unless I'm spamming or purposefully trolling the front page* or repeatedly slandering/trolling/bullying User X, I have absolutely no obligation to respect or respond to User X's callout.
The admins have acknowledged that dnab's concerns have been shared by others and they're doing what they can to address and follow up on them. There's been some good comments made in this MeTa, but it really hasn't accomplished anything an e-mail to Mattamynex couldn't, other than give folks an opportunity to promulgate on who does and doesn't belong on their MetaFilter.

*Those dirty self-linkers or that Holocaust denial guy, for example.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:30 AM on August 27, 2007


Another vote that this is lame and motivated by political disagreement.

He isn't attacking anyone and he isn't attempting to destroy the discussion. He does make short comments that go against some of the more commonly shared Metafilter beliefs. It would be better if he would respond to some of the replies he gets but not continuing an exchange is pretty common behavior. Like most members he prefers to share his opinion in a couple of lines and go on to the next topic. If I or someone else, who has political views differing from the majority, was to demand a response to my attack on a short post it would be laughed off. His posting history does not make the case against him. He isn't stirring up shit, he isn't working hard enough to do that.

Including dios in the list of trolls shows the intolerance. Gnostic Novelist might not contribute much but dios engages in debate.
posted by BigSky at 10:45 AM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


What BigSky said. (Among others.) I don't see anything wrong with GN's output, though I often disagree with him. When will y'all use your pitchforks appropriately?
posted by davy at 11:05 AM on August 27, 2007


Also, a really cool server side idea: the soft ban. Poster can post, but the only ID that the server sends those posts to is the originator. He'd be left wondering after a while why no one responded to the trolls. Eventually he'd look for his comments not logged in, realize the futility of trolling, and implode.

They used to call this the "hellban" on Something Awful, and it was eventually removed as a feature because it apparently puts a LOT of extra load on the server.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:17 AM on August 27, 2007


Well, I don't see any reason on earth to ban the guy, but there is one thing that makes me suspect trolling anyway:

His comments are fucking hysterical if you think of them as pranks. Obviously you'd need to distance yourself from the idea that they're actively annoying the hell out of generally nice people, but if you can do that they're gold. The KKK is a little on the racist side?! Comedy! Atheism is responsible for credit card debt?! Priceless! I'd never heard of the guy before, but this thread has had me in stitches. I can't help but imagine some bored history major in his dorm room giggling to himself while he puts that shit up. "Oh my God, they think I'm a libertarian conservative vegetarian racist!" That's one hell of an internet persona to adopt. It's almost as genius as Stephen King.
posted by shmegegge at 11:20 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


This callout is lame and does seem politically motivated. GN is not shitting in threads - he is posting contrary views, but that's not the same as shitting.
posted by taliaferro at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2007


on preview: why are you so pissy about this? go calm down.

Well, let's see. I'm talking about the topic of this thread, whether GN should be banned as some evil Übertroll, and in the course of a multipart comment I pick one of his comments I expect people to have objected to—it happens to be in a philosophy context—and I point out, through a thought experiment, that if the content had been different but the form identical people wouldn't have objected, picking an item from the list at the site. Have you looked at it? Go look, I'll wait.

...

Good. Now, do you see anything there that screams "right-wing"? No, probably not. But, as EB says, there are doubtless people who "think of analytical as being vaguely right-wing." So I pick that, as something only slightly different from a random choice, to make my point. Note that my point does not depend in any sense on the truth value of the correlation of "analytical" with "right-wing"; it could be completely off the wall. But as it happens some people probably do make such a correlation; this is irrelevant to the value of my point, but it sure does amp up the pissiness factor in Kwine's and your comments.

Now I would be quite unsurprised to see someone take issue with my comment on the grounds that the GN comment I picked was not representative, or was not offensive, or that I was needlessly defending a jerk, or whatever. I was not prepared for someone to make a totally off-the-wall complaint that I think analytic philosophy "is a characteristically right-wing endeavour," complete with "?!?!?!," and add helpfully "That sounds crazy." No, I thought, that sounds crazy. But I know Kwine is a philosophy nut, so I cut him some slack; I expressed my irritation, but let him know I was aware of where he was coming from. I was pleased to see EB come to the defense of a position I wasn't really taking but which buttressed my point, but I expected that to be the end of it.

But no, then you come along and decide to jump in. Do you have anything substantial to contribute? No, you just repeat Kwine's cluelessness, adding your own special variety by refusing to acknowledge that I had already addressed his point, such as it was. And you don't even have the excuse of being a philosopher. And you're about the last person who has any standing to complain about other people being pissy. For fuck's sake. So go calm down yourself.
posted by languagehat at 12:20 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think that you and others are sure this is trolling because you find the views expressed so offensive.

I think that's awfully presumptive of you. I actually hold about half of the views GN claims to hold. But then the other half disagree. What bothers me is that I don't believe he actually means anything he says. I've never debated with him, nor flagged him, but I have noticed that he regularly contradicts himself. Here's a few examples (contradictory quotes from GN, in different threads):

The Klu Klux Klan were progressives, albeit they may have been a little on the racist side.
That is a little bit much: they aren't killing, raping, pillaging etc. The KKK is the KKK.

How was freedom of the press in Saddam's Iraq?
Iraqi freedom fighters know how to handle pigs.

I happen to consider the death penalty to be immoral.
Right and wrong are social constructs.

Perhaps his views are just incredibly nuanced, or maybe I've failed to pick up on a lot of sarcastic tone. But he looks like a troll to me. Of course, depending on which half of him you're listening to, that's either a valid or an invalid label to apply to someone:

Are you a troll or something?
Troll has become nothing more than a way to label someone with whom one disagrees, but has no rebuttal.
posted by scottreynen at 12:45 PM on August 27, 2007


Now I would be quite unsurprised to see someone take issue with my comment on the grounds that the GN comment I picked was not representative,

The comment you picked was not representative of the set of GN comments that I find arguably objectionable, in that it sort of made sense on its own. It didn't say anything outrageously out of line with common understanding of how the world works. It's a bit provocative maybe, but saying that something "smells of leftism" when in fact anyone can understand how a reasonable person might think that maybe it does, that's not so crazy.

Scanning through the GN posting history once again, I think this is my favourite: "India's non-atheism will perhaps lead it toward the overall #1 superpower spot in 25-100 years." Nothing offensive about it that I can see, it doesn't directly conflict with any of the usually-held political opinions far as I can tell, but it's hard to imagine how exactly he thinks that statement relates to reality. There isn't any big audience I can think of that would understand whatever he's trying to say there without some clarification, and there's no hint that he realizes this. So it looks like a troll.

But then you look at his other comments and it's clear he really does have some crazy thing about atheists, some sort of definition of atheism that's mostly unrelated to the ordinary meaning of the word. I think G. Novelist does mean what he says, to the extent he thinks about it at all. The question of whether he's a troll is more about his motivation for saying it the way he does.
posted by sfenders at 1:44 PM on August 27, 2007


Holy FUCK have you seen his latest salvo?! This man is some kind of comedic genius.
posted by shmegegge at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2007


Holy FUCK have you seen his latest salvo?! This man is some kind of comedic genius.

Judging by that thread, looks like cortex is about to finally make contact.
posted by BobFrapples at 2:06 PM on August 27, 2007


I pretty much agree with that one. No great fan of Soviet realism.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:22 PM on August 27, 2007


Man, I didn't mean to be pissy, hat. I'm sorry I made you mad. Thanks for the clarification, I think I understand.
posted by Kwine at 2:44 PM on August 27, 2007


Y'know, shmegegge, that's my reaction to his comment from the SC beauty queen thread, too:

Not sure why knowledge of geography is even important. It has no bearing on many people's day to day life unless they are driving somewhere, then of course they learn.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:51 PM on August 27, 2007


Holy FUCK have you seen his latest salvo?!

I actually agree with him on this one. Fascism does spectacle better than your average ideology, that's part of what makes it so dangerous.

Here's hoping he makes a late appearance at his party. Judging by the Ron Paul thread, he could easily drag this one past 200 comments all by his lonesome!
posted by maryh at 2:52 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry I made you mad. Thanks for the clarification, I think I understand.

Nah, you didn't make me mad, you just irritated me a bit. (Now andrew cooke, he made me mad.) But thanks for the comment, which is much appreciated. I'm glad I made myself clearer.
posted by languagehat at 2:55 PM on August 27, 2007


I actually agree with him on this one. Fascism does spectacle better than your average ideology, that's part of what makes it so dangerous.

No doubt, I just think it's hilarious that he leaped directly into the first comment of a post about Leni Riefenstahl with a comment that could easily lead to a lot of pissed off mefites. It's one of those moments where I imagine the guy sitting at home going "Man, what would be the best thing to put here to get some classic kneejerk reactions? I know! A vague declaration about how awesome Triumph of the Will is and then I'll say that it wouldn't be the same without the fascism!" It's not a horrible thing to say in what is probably the proper light, but man does it lend to misinterpretation.
posted by shmegegge at 3:04 PM on August 27, 2007


Hey, guys?

Last time: this isn't ideologically motivated. I just hate that he craps in so many threads, much like ParisParamus did (ps, the 'without the humour' thing? A joke. Calibrate your detectors). You don't think he craps in threads, okay. But please stop ascribing motives to me that are incorrect, ok?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:20 PM on August 27, 2007


dnab: I don't think anybody thinks you made this callout thinking "Hey, this guy isn't so bad, but he's my ideological nemesis, so I must destroy him!" But hardly anybody else is seeing the thread-crapping in the way that you do, so you might want to consider whether your perception might possibly be colored by your ideology. Not saying it is, just saying that can happen.
posted by languagehat at 3:24 PM on August 27, 2007


Yeah, it's not like he was stating the obvious -- fascists love a good parade. He was sort of implying that the problem with liberal democracies is that they don't do good parades.

The difference isn't that subtle.

But whatevs. He's either a kook or a troll, but he makes his point in one or two comments rather than ten. No harm no foul.
posted by bardic at 3:24 PM on August 27, 2007


hat, it would seem based on what cortex had to say that you're not entirely correct. And, okay, I'll grant that it's coloured by my ideology inasmuch as my ideology includes not pinching off a big loaf in the middle of threads whenever possible.

*shrug* Agree to disagree. Cool?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:38 PM on August 27, 2007


That's true, shmegegge, and of course he had to follow it up with a sniffy criticism of Communism and liberal democracy. But that's the thing about this guy- I can't tell if he's being purposefully provocative or if he's just an iconoclast. I find myself leaning toward 'troll', though. The 'straw' that dirtynumbangelboy mentioned above almost got me emailing the mods, something I haven't done before over another member. I know I'm responding to his ideology, but I think his method has something to do with it too. I'm in the wait & see camp for now.
posted by maryh at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2007


Are we going to have the whole discussion about "queen" again?

Bicycle!
posted by davejay at 4:11 PM on August 27, 2007


It's a good thing metafilter doesn't wield the banhammer like Gizmodo does... 'tell us who the assholes are and we'll ban them'
posted by anthill at 5:42 PM on August 27, 2007


I clicked on the link expecting to agree because I am a big fan of DNAB. But instead of a troll all I found was mildly witty contrarian. I take it from Matt that there were worse things that have been deleted?
posted by LarryC at 7:18 PM on August 27, 2007


I'd like him to participate more in threads. I'm hoping he'll have more to say to defend his points, and become more articulate about them. One of my few beefs with metafilter is that I think we risk becoming a self-congratulatory backslapping party on some issues. Dios and others have rescued a few threads that were going to bore me to tears otherwise.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:52 PM on August 27, 2007


I remember when trolling was called "Being the devils advocate" and it was a useful tool in furthering an intellectual argument. When did metafilter readers become so weak willed that there has to be moderation against it in case everyone gets a little upset. If I were trolling now, I'd probably tell you that this behaviour is a very liberal thing. Don't like what people are saying... BAN THEM! In fact, why don't you just rename the whole site pravda.com.

Not that I think or care that this person is trolling. They're providing a p.o.v. which is different to the group-think that passes for intelligent conversation on metafilter. GN doesn't seem to be insulting anyone directly, he doesn't post the same point repeatedly in any one thread and he shows that he's capable of changing his mind / showing flexibility in his thought processes. (I'm assuming that it's a him). Of course, I don't get to see the deleted comments, but the fact that he's been warned about his behaviour is kinda worrying.
posted by seanyboy at 12:17 AM on August 28, 2007


I'm a bit late to all of this, but I had intended on posting this very same request a week ago.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:30 AM on August 28, 2007


A few of my personal favorites:
How are bacon eaters different from Nazis?
What exactly is the point of abstract art?
1 million dead = shit happens.
Dead cat = tragedy.
Poor people shouldn't have kids.

These exclude bigging up the KKK and a few other choice gems. Yes, most of these can be excused for being simply ignorant or just very non-mainstream opinions. Fair enough. But all he ever does is appear, drop down one of these gems and fuck off to the next thread. Very, very rarely does he even attempt to engage in conversation. He contributes very little asides from the occasionally derailing threads.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:53 AM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm not buying in just yet, but the bacon eater post is strong evidence for Gnostic Novelist = comedy genius.
posted by BigSky at 5:39 AM on August 28, 2007


You are all a bunch of losers! We were so close to a languagehat flameout!

I just came here to say that from now on, everytime I see a Gnostic Novelist comment in a thread, I will agree with him and offer my support.

Also, I lost this week's askMe question, what should I do if I accidentally ingested a few grams of Comolombian burundanga?
TIA.
posted by Dataphage at 6:17 AM on August 28, 2007


Agree to disagree. Cool?

Absolutely!
posted by languagehat at 6:22 AM on August 28, 2007


It's telling that the pro-ban group uses "he $%&@s on the threads!" as their rallying cry. What is $%#&, you ask? Well, anything that doesn't reflect the values, interests, ideologies, or here's the real winner "common assumptions" of the pro-ban group.

The this-callout-is-lame group acknowledge that they disagree with GN, but find his comments to be thoughtful or funny or ignorable, albeit based on an... ehem... "unusual" set of definitions and operating principles.

Clearly the pro-ban group is a bunch of fascists. The question is: how do we ban fascists?
posted by ewkpates at 8:52 AM on August 28, 2007


Try Woody's guitar.
posted by landis at 9:52 AM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


ewkpates, you'll note how I never requested dios or even parisparamus to be given a time-out. They represent the opposite of the commonly held 'values, interests, ideologies and common assumptions' here in metafilter. But you know what? They were able to hold their own in a discussion and though inflammatory, they at least made an effort to contribute something to the discussions held here. Which is a lot more than you can say GN.

Trolling is trolling, whether you find it funny or ignorable.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:47 AM on August 28, 2007


slimepuppy - I thought that was him shrugging about one million dead Iraqis! What a douchenozzle.

Okay, yeah the Gnostic Novelist says some stupid shit, but it's really not ban-worthy. Probably just a young fella who doesn't know as much about the world as he thinks he knows. If we started banning folks like that, pretty soon the entire internet would fall silent.

He seems to follow the same posting pattern as tadellin - drop something ignorant and indefensible into a thread, then make zero attempts at defending his absurd comment. Irritating, to be sure, but over with quickly.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:50 AM on August 28, 2007


Probably just a young fella who doesn't know as much about the world as he thinks he knows.

I'd just like to repeat that he's 32. If he hasn't learned yet, it ain't gonna happen.

He seems to follow the same posting pattern as tadellin - drop something ignorant and indefensible into a thread, then make zero attempts at defending his absurd comment.

There's a word for that. What was that word again? I wonder...
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:00 PM on August 28, 2007


What is $%#&, you ask? Well, anything that doesn't reflect the values, interests, ideologies, or here's the real winner "common assumptions" of the pro-ban group.

For the most part, GN comes into a thread, writes something with deliberate intent to incite trouble, and then leaves immediately thereafter. Whatever one's interpretations of the meaning of his comments, that's at least understood.

The "something" in that sentence is the $%#&, since shitting in a thread isn't something done in good faith.

GN is among a handful of notable bad apples who do little to nothing to contribute to the site. He's not the only one, by far, but at the moment he is the most vocal.

There are certainly people on Metafilter who don't reflect the group's "values", as such, who manage perfectly well to be good, decent members.

It is factually wrong to conflate those two subpopulations of users. Moreover, it does good Metazens a disservice to lump GN and other trolls in with them.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:15 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's a word for that. What was that word again?

Spleen?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:15 PM on August 28, 2007


No, the word he's thinking of is obviously "atheist".
posted by sfenders at 4:04 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


It is factually wrong to conflate those two subpopulations of users. Moreover, it does good Metazens a disservice to lump GN and other trolls in with them.

I agree, but I also think it's factually wrong to say everyone understands that GN writes with deliberate intent to incite trouble. I understand that, but it's clear to me others have a different understanding, one in which GN is not actually a troll, but merely an honestly disagreeable person.

The disagreement here isn't over whether or not we think bad faith trolling is okay, nor is it over whether or not we think honest disagreement is okay. Clearly everyone thinks the former is bad and the latter good. The only disagreement here is over whether we think GN is a dishonest troll or only someone with genuine disagreeable views.
posted by scottreynen at 4:09 PM on August 28, 2007


"The only disagreement here is over whether we think GN is a dishonest troll or only someone with genuine disagreeable views."

No, that's not true. I can tell that GN is, at the very least a little bit, just taking the piss a lot.

But there's not an earnestness check before membership here. There are tons of people who like to say off-the-cuff, risible leftist things that most people don't notice because they agree with the general sentiment, if not that exact formulation. GN isn't contributing much and he's not really participating in very good faith, but that's true for a bunch of people we don't call out. GN's being called out because his shit happens to be a certain color, which causes it to be more noticeable than others'.

The argument against this newfangled definition of troll—people being intentionally provocative—is a pragmatic argument, not an argument about intentions. It's a pragmatic argument that concludes that the price paid in shitstorms is not worth the principle of toleration. That makes sense. But GN isn't causing any shitstorms. He's just annoying some people. Some of those he's annoying are using the trolling rationale as a justification to ban him even thought he worst he's doing is annoying them. And even though there are other people who are annoying to other members and those people are not in earnest and are provocative...but they aren't making politically antagonist comments. So this boils down to politics, unless those calling for banishment are also calling for the banishment of everyone else who makes one-liner, gratuitously provocative comments in threads.

But they're not.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:28 PM on August 28, 2007


The only disagreement here is over whether we think GN is a dishonest troll or only someone with genuine disagreeable views.

Who's to say he's not a little of column a, a little from column b? I see a lot of posts that seem completely trollish; I see a handful of times where he has actually engaged a conversation (if you can call 3 posts a convo).

Of course I often post one-liners, but that's because I don't post at work (often), and forget to check the thread again before it's left the front page.
posted by nomisxid at 4:28 PM on August 28, 2007


GN's trolling is hard to see on his comment history because he dilutes the turds with plain old crap. I didn't realize he posts throwaway comments in nearly every thread every day until now. Slimepuppy gives good examples of his real "contributions."
posted by mek at 4:44 PM on August 28, 2007


Again, why are some advocating punitive measures toward GN?

1. "Some" understand his motives, which are impure. He must be punished/ejected. (Like, you know, what fascists do at rallies)
2. "Some" think that his comments aren't meaningful enough, and/or he doesn't follow them up with enough discussion. (But his motives are clear.) You must explain yourself to our satisfaction, or be punished/ejected.
3. His comments often create "storms of disagreement" which disrupt the "real purpose" of discussion, which is, possibly, agreement.
4. "Some" think that GN doesn't meet an "effort" standard, or perhaps a "quality" standard. Problem: members who don't post clearly fail to meet all standards.

I often, between complaints, ruminate on the idea that all complainers be booted. I think whiners should also be gotten rid of. Perhaps disagreers, generally, and people who haven't taken (and passed, B minimum) Econ 101 AND 102.

Also, hippies are out, as are anyone who's neck is actually red, should we verify at a meetup that such is the case. Children, obviously, pets, obviously. Women? Perhaps I've said too much.

The central problem in human society is one of membership. Who should we eject, and why? I refer you to the 11th commandment. If Jesus decided on meta-bans, WWJD?
posted by ewkpates at 5:22 AM on August 30, 2007


it's because most people don't think "fascism" is what happens when a dominant social group feels threatened - all they hear is a ten dollar word that means "bad".
posted by andrew cooke at 5:58 AM on August 30, 2007


I'm okay with that. Often with dominant groups (dominant either by direct or indirect power) one must resort to gross oversimplification and generalization.

Hence "fascism" = "bad", "exclusion" = "bad", "what you want" = "bad", and my favorite "what you like" = "bad".
posted by ewkpates at 7:09 AM on August 30, 2007


You forgot "what you should feel" = "bad".
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:59 AM on August 30, 2007


ewkpates - was agreeing with you, not criticising.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:12 AM on August 30, 2007


He must be punished/ejected. (Like, you know, what fascists do at rallies)

Yeah, or like movie theatres do to people who talk on their mobile phone during the show. They claimed that the reason they took offense had nothing to do with the fact that I was talking about the progressive nature of the KKK, which was mentioned in the film they were screening, but I know better. The movie houses of this nation are run by fascists.

However, I am not in favour of "punishing" anyone mentioned here, except maybe Ron Paul. I hope we didn't completely scare away Gnostic Novelist; he hasn't posted since he probably saw this thread.
posted by sfenders at 11:57 AM on August 30, 2007


>>"I happen to consider the death penalty to be immoral."
>>Right and wrong are social constructs."

> "Perhaps his views are just incredibly nuanced..."

I'm sorry, but there's no contradiction whatsoever; in fact those statements are so remarkably congruous they could be in s sentence together. E.g., "I happen to consider the eath penalty immoral, but as right and wrong are social constructs it's possible that you have legitimate reason to disagree."

It's highly likely, however, that this callout has no legitimate reason to exist. Your lack of sufficient intelligence to understand what he's saying does not make him a troll.

The wonder is not than Gnostic Novelist fails to argue to "substantiate" his points, but that he bothers to make them here at all. Try explaining quantum physics to an 8 year old and you'll see what I mean.

I myself often disagee with him, but I'm not quite arrogant enough to shit on him for differing from me. As I see it y'all should have earned that when you learned "Sharing": i.e., Metafilter is big enough to share with eople who are not carbon copies of you. And some of y'all who object to GN have the gall to claim you favor "diversity!" Free clue: diversity refers not only to melanin levels but to ideas as well.

Grow up.
posted by davy at 9:37 AM on August 31, 2007


(Please excuse the typos above, "liberal" zombies waving pitchforks offend me past editing.)
posted by davy at 9:39 AM on August 31, 2007


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