item for your attention September 9, 2007 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Is there a shrink in the house? I'm just curious what your diagnosis would be for this: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Does somebody need a time out?
posted by spock to MetaFilter-Related at 9:13 PM (254 comments total)

christ, what an asshole
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:17 PM on September 9, 2007


Most everyone here is an asshole.

*hides from mirror*
posted by Burhanistan at 9:18 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yea, what Burhanistan said. This seems par for the course in threads of that nature. Not really ban-worthy, IMO.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:20 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


So, because you find him disagreeable and callous, you want us to diagnose him of a menyal illness and ban him? You mean, like they did in the Soviet Union to dissenters?
posted by orthogonality at 9:23 PM on September 9, 2007


These things are relative.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:23 PM on September 9, 2007


MeFi is a community site. Communities will, by definition, contain some real assholes. But if the community tolerates, nay EXPECTS assholes, then one should not be surprised if - over time - it becomes exclusively a community of assholes. Is that where we're going? Non-assholes, the exit door is this way...
posted by spock at 9:24 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cranky is not a crime*.

*not valid in Arkansas or Texas
posted by peeedro at 9:24 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ah, the classic "Why are we spending time on X when we could be doing Y?" argument. An oldie but goodie.

The answer is that we must do something, otherwise we'd all be Buridan's ass.
posted by vacapinta at 9:26 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am personally worried that item's dictionary skips "fuchsia".
posted by YoBananaBoy at 9:27 PM on September 9, 2007 [10 favorites]


Let's see if he floats!
posted by SassHat at 9:28 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


vacapinta: I've not heard of Buridan's Ass before. I enjoy descriptions of paradoxes. Thanks!

And, then, so clear.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:29 PM on September 9, 2007


Wow, that ass sure must be stupid.

This may be equally applicable to Buridan's ass and item.
posted by djgh at 9:32 PM on September 9, 2007


Flaming out on a Steve Fossett thread is really fucking weak.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:37 PM on September 9, 2007


He does not need a time out. He thinks that thousands of people scrutinizing satellite photos to search for an adventurer who some find a disagreeable person is a waste of people's effort and an example of the moral distortion caused by celebrity culture. My “diagnosis” would be that he's not making his point in the nicest way—which is nothing new around here—and that in doing so he's probably intentionally provoking those who are examples of exactly what he's criticizing. Callous? Not really. Provocative? Definitely. That's not bannable per se and he is making a salient point.

I do agree that there are limits to the degree of disrespect that should be tolerated in obituary and similar threads. I don't agree that item has crossed that threshold.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:39 PM on September 9, 2007 [24 favorites]


I read items first comment as a clumsy way of saying: I don't care
- to help rescue very rich people who wouldn't care to help me.
- to help someone who spends a great deal of money on getting himself in dangerous situations.
Both perfectly defendable positions I guess.
I didn't read the rest of the comments but it's probably a case of heaping coal on the fire after being attacked.

oh, and vacapinta, it's nice to know the name of that paradox now. Although on the other hand I learned in highschool that you can't use names like that in conversations. "you know, it's like Buridan's donkey. ...."
That doesn't work obviously. So I just say "it's like the donkey between the haystacks that grow as he moves away from them". Which isn't very catchy either.
Anyhow, now if we'd ever were to meet now we could just refer to Buridan's donkey.
That would be awesome. Like a geeky secret handshake.
posted by jouke at 9:43 PM on September 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


We had almost the same discussion about those people, not too long ago (since I joined in January 2001) about people who go adventuring and then need people to come extricate them when they get lost in a snowstorm.

Maybe "adventurers getting lost/killed" should be filed alongside "circumcision/genital mutilation" and "weight loss/obesity" as pleasant topics of conversation here.
posted by jayder at 9:44 PM on September 9, 2007


Yeah, spock, I hate to say it lest you have me banned as well, but I kinda agree with item's argument. But then, maybe I'm an asshole. I DO live in Los Angeles & work in Marketing.
posted by jonson at 9:45 PM on September 9, 2007


posted by spock to MetaFilter-related

The real Spock would never do this.
posted by dhammond at 9:46 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't find it so bad. Disagreeable, but more along the lines of self-righteously indignant than actually a fuckwit. He believes in a different cause, and it's not as if the points he raises are totally invalid. Insensitive, but not invalid.
posted by Phire at 9:50 PM on September 9, 2007


Here's the discussion about lost mountain climbers I referred to (and its obligatory companion MeTa thread). Methylviolet was the one everyone was hatin' on back then.
posted by jayder at 9:52 PM on September 9, 2007


I think he is an eloquent and impassioned cranky guy who makes a pretty good point. Though the last three comments are just milking it and trying to continue to make the thread about him.
posted by LarryC at 9:56 PM on September 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dude sort of dug in his heels and went nuts there. Being vehemently disagreeable about Fossett love is fine—as a few folks have said, obit-ish stuff isn't sacred, even if it's an unusually bumpy place to start an argument—but responding to every damn comment and addressing other users with "you fuck" is, yeah. Freakout behavior.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:00 PM on September 9, 2007


One of the things I love about Metafilter is that, communally, no bullshit is tolerated. Every thread on the blue has someone saying some version of "WTF?!" Asshole or not, when you're right, you're right, and there's very little waah-waah hand wringing over someone being tooooooo meeeeean. I'm glad we don't censor thoughts here because someone somewhere might read them and get upset.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:05 PM on September 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


The first few linked comments seem pretty normal, but by the fourth he just sounds like he's having a temper tantrum.
posted by MadamM at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2007


Yeah once you start hurling insults at other posters because they're objecting to you stinking up a thread, it's time to step away from the keyboard.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:08 PM on September 9, 2007


I thought of making some crack about let the rich fucker fund his own rescue if he wants to jolly round in his balloon, but then thought better of it, and that he was after all a human like the rest of us (if you don't count the tilted money-to-sense ratio). Maybe item was having a worse day than me and then decided to fight his corner once picked up on it.
posted by Abiezer at 10:12 PM on September 9, 2007


"Does somebody need a time out?"

You do, pitchfork-waver.

Cop: "Why'd you run if you wasn't guilty?"

Black teenager: '"Cuz you was chasing me with your gun out, man."

Furthermore, unlike with the repeated lynchings of ParisParamus, dios and that guy who posted a link to the Protocols, I actually agree with the substance of what this guy said about Fosse. Furthermore, I go farther to call him this . We're not exactly talking about a 4 year old who wandered off at Disney World, folks.

And hey, you know else is missing and presumed dead and never got his own dot thread here?
posted by davy at 10:17 PM on September 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Item email me and asked me to let folks know that he's been temporarily banned but that he would have apologized for offending peoples' sensibilities, had he the opportunity to do so. And that's also why he's not responded to this callout.

Are there further comments from item after those linked in this post? Because I don't really see what jessamyn and cortex describe as an extended freak out with personal insults. I only see one comment including a "fuck you" and wasn't that after he was attacked?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:19 PM on September 9, 2007


Bad callout, bad ban. He should have just let it go and avoided the personal attacks, but I'm not really one to admonish others for that fault. He's right, by the way: rich assholes who spend all their money on irrelevant fake "adventures" don't deserve our pity. Would Fossett help me if I needed it? Fuck no.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:24 PM on September 9, 2007


And just to make it perfectly clear, yes I was referring to Fosse with that link.

And on preview, see Bligh's comment up there? I don't see what item got a time-out for either. Maybe a Mod or two is having a bad night?

But then hey, as vacapinta recently told me, Metafilter is a dictatorship, so I don't expect asking that this person's time-out be rescinded to work.
posted by davy at 10:28 PM on September 9, 2007


Another vote for "bad ban", mods.
posted by aberrant at 10:35 PM on September 9, 2007


But if this ban is rescinded I'll admit I was wrong in predicting it won't be.
posted by davy at 10:38 PM on September 9, 2007


Because I don't really see what jessamyn and cortex describe as an extended freak out with personal insults.

I don't know who this missing rich guy is, but over the course of half a dozen comments, the thread starts to become about item and his freakout over some missing rich dude. Calling another member a fuck, and following up with anyone that responded to him -- this is classic "whoa" behavior we cut people off for. So it's not that we love this missing rich guy and think he deserves a bit more respect, it's a behavior pattern we're responding to here. Some member says something fairly cynical then starts arguing with everyone and suddenly it becomes a big derail and about one member when it's a shared community we have here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:38 PM on September 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


He thinks that thousands of people scrutinizing satellite photos to search for an adventurer who some find a disagreeable person is a waste of people's effort and an example of the moral distortion caused by celebrity culture.

The argument you're defending is not the main argument item made, which is that Fossett is an asshole solely because he is rich and has chosen to use his money to do dangerous things. It's disingenuous to pretend people are objecting to item's pointing out that rich celebrities get a better chance at rescue than the rest of us.

There was also this:
He's a fuck because he ran DEA missions in search of the Dreaded and Dangerous marijuana plant. He's a fuck because he's the kind of guy that would swashbuckle on in a room and whisk your girlfriend away to Malaysia just to prove that his latest batch of Viagra wasn't switched at the pharmacist's with a sugar pill.
Nothing about Fossett and the DEA that I can find on Google. I have no idea what the Viagra thing is about.

This is nonetheless a terrible reason for a banning (or a callout). I thought we banned people for breaking rules or abusing the site itself, not for holding ill-thought-out and annoying opinions. There were a lot more personal attacks on item in that thread than personal attacks by item on fellow commenters, and as personal attacks go, one "you fuck" hardly rates.
posted by enn at 10:38 PM on September 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Everyone is, after all, an old fuck,maybe impolite to ask your parents about the details though.
posted by hortense at 10:43 PM on September 9, 2007


I've only taken Psych 101, but this guy seems like the textbook definition of a fuck.
posted by Poolio at 10:52 PM on September 9, 2007


(Hey hortense, my dad told me I was a broken rubber. It sure made my mom happy though: after 7 years of tolerating sex she got her very own oven bun!)

Oh and speaking of "parents," of course the Mods here close ranks over a "discipline problem." Not that I'm criticizing, only pointing out the obvious. Also "the purpose of power is power"; I'm not saying it's the ONLY purpose, but what good is having a banhammer if you never get to swing it?

And on preview: Poolio, I've got more experience than Psych 101 and I know a fuck when I see one, but that's not the point: sometimes a fuck happens to be right and should not be "disciplined" for being "unconventional."

Or maybe item has a mental disorder?
posted by davy at 10:59 PM on September 9, 2007


Maybe we should stop talking about item since he's been temp-banned and can't come in here to refute your stupid diagnoses?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:02 PM on September 9, 2007


Uh, Burhanistan, see this? To spare you a click, I'll cut & paste:

"So, because you find him disagreeable and callous, you want us to diagnose him of a menyal illness and ban him? You mean, like they did in the Soviet Union to dissenters?
posted by orthogonality at 12:23 AM on September 10"


That's what I was echoing. I'm sure you understand now that I wasn't really stupidly diagnosing item with that...
posted by davy at 11:10 PM on September 9, 2007


So anyway, are Belorussians really Russians? Most speak Russian as their mother tongue, and they're closer "ethnically" than Ukrainians and Russians (or Syrians and Jordanians for that matter). If Belarus wants to be absorbed into Russia should they be stopped?
posted by davy at 11:13 PM on September 9, 2007


davy, I wasn't just talking about you or I would've said "davy: ..blah blah blah". It was my oblique way of asking for this dumbass thread to be closed.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:14 PM on September 9, 2007


Oh okay Burhanistan. Since you brought it up, I too feel this dumbass thread might as well be closed; it's not like dozens of Mefites lining up to criticize a Mod's decision will get item untempbanned.
posted by davy at 11:20 PM on September 9, 2007


Terrible ban.

I've seen enough anger in enough Fossett threads around the 'net (slashdot's in particular comes to mind) at this point to get the impression he was perhaps not above stepping on people to get where he is (was?). This doesn't seem like sour grapes from one person - there's too many outcries going on for there not to have been some nasty behavioral patterns on the subject's part.

I guess what I'm saying is that this reaction to Fossett seems pretty par for the course, and if I had to guess Item or someone he knows might have been hurt by him, because looking around the . . . I'm sorry, I just can't use the b-word that ends in 'sphere' without committing seppuku, but you know the one . . . looking around it there seem to be a lot of similarly angry people.

Nevermind that a ban - even a temporary ban - over a drama non-event on this (lack of) scale is setting a bad precedent, whatever the context.

cortex context cortext corntext
posted by Ryvar at 11:43 PM on September 9, 2007


Wow. That's really weird. A ban, even a temporary one, seems completely out of proportion. As far as I can see, he called one other member a "fuck", twice. Shitty, yes, and he did seem to be going a little crazy-obsessive, but it's nowhere near the sort of level that would merit bannery.

Also a bit odd that, even though Matt, Jess and Cortex all commented in this thread, none of them actually told us that item had been banned.
posted by flashboy at 12:47 AM on September 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


Lame. The post shouldn't have stayed up in the first place--the other Fossett post is still open.
posted by hototogisu at 1:16 AM on September 10, 2007


You're a fuck, flashboy. Yeah, that's right: a fuck!
posted by Kwine at 1:18 AM on September 10, 2007


You know, he got a timeout, not a ban. The "hey, just cool the hell off there" thing is yards different from "and STAY OUT", and a direct reaction to what's consistent with freak-out-and-make-a-mess behavior we've seen a whole bunch of times before from various folks.

If you want to argue that item wasn't getting out of line in that thread just because his freakout was motivated by an argument with some merit, go for it, but that doesn't address the fact that he was moving into extremely obnoxious territory.

The arguments against a timeout here seem to be relying largely on the idea that the argument item was making has anything to do with it, which it doesn't. It's entirely the making a storm and calling people shit and over-responding to any criticism. This is not the first time someone has done that in a thread, and it goes really badly. It's the sort of thing people start chanting "flameout" about, which is pretty shitty; I'd rather see item take a breather than flame out, any day of the week.

Also a bit odd that, even though Matt, Jess and Cortex all commented in this thread, none of them actually told us that item had been banned.

I honestly thought it was obvious from context. Blind spot, and I'll cop to that, but this seemed pretty open-and-shut, behaviorally speaking.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:20 AM on September 10, 2007


Woah! Item was banned for that? People make rude attacks in threads all the time. Generally, that particular comment is deleted, and they seem to be given some sort of warning. Unless item has a history of being a jerk, this seems unnecissary.

Maybe its because I fall in the "who cares about another missing rich-dude" camp, but even a temporary banning seems pretty extreme.
posted by serazin at 1:25 AM on September 10, 2007


If you want to argue that item wasn't getting out of line in that thread just because his freakout was motivated by an argument with some merit, go for it, but that doesn't address the fact that he was moving into extremely obnoxious territory.

Some of us, who think his argument has no merit whatsoever, are arguing the opposite.

I don't see the difference between item's "you fuck" and tgrundke's "you are an ass."

(I hope it's obvious that I'm not saying tgrundke's statement deserved a ban, or "time-out," if you will, the difference being fairly academic when one looks at the history of "banned" MeFites — but that item's did not.)
posted by enn at 1:26 AM on September 10, 2007


I guess I was typing while you were cortex. I'm not going to wet my pants over this, but I don't think you can divorce the time-out from the content of the post. I really doubt item would have been given the same treatment for a simular action in a thread about the Simpsons (or some other, non-charged topic).
posted by serazin at 1:28 AM on September 10, 2007


You're a fuck, flashboy. Yeah, that's right: a fuck!
A very good fuck too, if I recall that last London meet-up. Flash by name...
posted by Abiezer at 1:31 AM on September 10, 2007


Yeah, I don't think anybody's going to start manning the barricades over this - he certainly was starting to act like a dick. He just didn't seem to have got even close to levels of dickishness and sweary-rantiness that we've all seen plenty of times before, without any timeouts being forthcoming. Nothing to do with his argument, just that the wrath of mod seemed to be unusually swift and merciless in this case.

But, eh, it's a subjective thing, determining the levels of crazy within a series of comment, and I guess you guys have more experience of it.

You're a fuck, flashboy. Yeah, that's right: a fuck!

I like to think of myself as more a fuckwit than a plain old fuck.
posted by flashboy at 1:35 AM on September 10, 2007


I don't think you can divorce the time-out from the content of the post. I really doubt item would have been given the same treatment for a simular action in a thread about the Simpsons (or some other, non-charged topic).

I don't know what to tell you. I could give fuckall about Fossett, personally, or arguments in either direction, so the topic sure doesn't color my analysis, nor Jess' or Matt's if you read their comments here, regardless of what you suspect. The timeout is 100% about what struck Matt as shitty, take-a-breather behavior.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:51 AM on September 10, 2007


I shouldn't have used the term ban. I think item used the term in his email to me, but when I was typing my comment I couldn't think of the expression for a short-term ban. Which is obviously timeout. I'm getting old.

And it's a short 24-hour timeout, by the way, according to item. He corresponded with matthowie about it.

For the record, he felt pretty strongly about the issues he was describing and that's why he used strong language. And, like anyone else, when attacked he got defensive and escalated the rhetoric. In his email, he said he was sorry for actually offending anyone and he feels kind of like a jerk for getting a timeout.

Being the spokeperson for item in this thread puts me in a weird position. I totally see the reasoning behind the timeout because those sorts of arguments and escalating behavior really do derail a thread and, also, result in behavior that no one, later, is proud of. And the admins' judgments aren't perfectly consistent and I'm okay with that. But, on the other hand, item's behavior in the thread certainly isn't any worse than a great deal of behavior that we see everyday that doesn't result in a timeout.

All in all, though, it's only 24 hours, the thread didn't get consumed by this argument, and it's really not that big of a deal. Item doesn't seem to be outraged by the timeout, just a little embarrassed and also slightly put-upon that what he thinks of as a completely legitimate point, and one he feels strongly about, would result in such a backlash from certain other members such that they would advocate a banning/timeout. I'm somewhat putting words in his mouth, but that's the gist of my between-the-lines readings of the four short emails he sent me.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:04 AM on September 10, 2007


)
posted by Eideteker at 2:10 AM on September 10, 2007


FTF???
posted by quonsar at 4:05 AM on September 10, 2007


There are enough assholes here, (as is the case with most online forums and communities), that I can't believe this guy actually shows up on the radar as "any different from those other assholes."

Maybe I've just been frequenting too many assholish online communities and I'm jaded.
posted by sneakin at 4:15 AM on September 10, 2007


It's kinda odd, to me, that he was singled out. But the 24 hour timeout seems like a good comprise for getting home the point "don't be such a deliberate asshole".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:30 AM on September 10, 2007


I was called a "cunt" recently by another MeFier, and I suspect worse (or at least more of the same) in his subsequent comments which were deleted before I had a chance to read them. Then the fellow said he'd done some sort of "self-ban", but in fact he's been posting again recently, so that obviously wasn't really the case. So, like, is calling another MeFier a "cunt" a lesser offense than calling another MeFier a "fuck"?

I dunno, hey, there's some kinda shit going on every now and then that, well, I don't understand exactly... But hey, that's true of life in general, anyway.

And the guy who called me a cunt made a good post the other day so, hey, fuck it, I love everybody! Whisky all around! And a Heineken for klangklangston! To all my friends! To all my friiiieeeeends!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:56 AM on September 10, 2007


If you stick around here long enough, you get to experience the wonderful feeling of being a lightning rod for the opposing view. It doesn't matter if you are articulate and logical in the way you convey your point of view, it's easy to get into a shouting match with the people who disagree with you, and it's hard not to take it personally sometimes.

It has nothing to do with a psychological defect, but it can be frustrating. The pressure to conform can be terrific, and I can understand why Item descended into obscenities and namecalling. I don't think it was worthy of a time-out, but since it was probably only going to get uglier, I can understand why Matt cut him off.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:04 AM on September 10, 2007


To all my friends!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:07 AM on September 10, 2007


Eh.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 5:31 AM on September 10, 2007


!
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:02 AM on September 10, 2007


I can understand why Matt cut him off.

It's not a bad metaphor. Sometimes threads devolve into big fights with everyone sort of tussling with each other over some hot topic or another. Sometimes they turn into one person in a sort of take-on-all-comers pugilist stance with increasingly escalating amounts of aggression. Often that person has just had a bad day and is just taking it out on random internet strangers. That's the sort of event that a short time-out can often help with. The thread doesn't get worse. The person gets to sleep it off or step away from the keyboard, or go hassle people somewhere else, and the thread gets to go on being at least somewhat on-topic.

As EB reports, in this case it doesn't seem to be a big deal to item and it's not a big deal to us.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:10 AM on September 10, 2007


So, because you find him disagreeable and callous, you want us to diagnose him of a menyal illness and ban him? You mean, like they did in the Soviet Union to dissenters?

The Nazis had pieces of flair that they made the Jews wear.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:17 AM on September 10, 2007


also slightly put-upon that what he thinks of as a completely legitimate point, and one he feels strongly about, would result in such a backlash from certain other members such that they would advocate a banning/timeout.

While I'm not sure the timeout wasn't an overreaction, that shows a lamentable lack of self-awareness. Dear item: Go back and read your comments in that thread as if they were by somebody else. If you don't find yourself thinking "Christ, what an asshole," I don't know what to tell you. But this is not about your "completely legitimate point." It's about your behavior. Which was bad for the thread and which you showed no signs of tempering, which is why you got the timeout. Glad I could help.
posted by languagehat at 6:33 AM on September 10, 2007


Wow. I guess if spock wants you banned, you get banned. Eerie. His point was completely valid, and I don't recall anybody ever getting banned for their literary tone.
posted by tehloki at 7:45 AM on September 10, 2007


Wow. That's really weird. A ban, even a temporary one, seems completely out of proportion. As far as I can see, he called one other member a "fuck", twice. Shitty, yes, and he did seem to be going a little crazy-obsessive, but it's nowhere near the sort of level that would merit bannery.

Agreed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:47 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


He called for a 'timeout' not a ban. Semantics to some no doubt. Still, specifically calling for a punishment rather than just noting the behaviour is a bit unseemly. Count me among the 'didn't seem so bad as to warrant more than a terse email from a moderator' camp.
posted by peacay at 7:51 AM on September 10, 2007


I don't think that he was wrong; the media pays way too much attention to stories that are - if they could be seen objectively - are very, very small.

Why should some washed-up star's drug addiction/eating disorder/legal problems get more coverage than what's happening in Darfur? Why? It's actually really, really sick.

Why should one guy in a plane crash garner more sympathy than the 5000 AIDs orphans created in the third world?

item has a point; it was just made badly. His anger should have been directed at the vultures in the media, who obfuscate and distract the gullible, the weak, and those who don't want to know about real suffering.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:52 AM on September 10, 2007


('He' being spock - I've made the gender presumption. Apologies as necessary if that's not correct)
posted by peacay at 7:53 AM on September 10, 2007


Correlation != causation. spock started a callout that was a pretty good way of making Matt aware of the brewing freakout; Matt saw it and made a S.O.P. decision to time someone out (something that isn't always accompanied by a metatalk thread). spock has no magic powers; I'm reminded of a number of "bending to dios' will" threads from metatalk past here where the same sort of conflation was stumped; it was weird then and it's weird now.

If spock's post text had read "item is exactly right about this" instead of "Does somebody need a time out?", you know what probably would have happened? item would have gotten a timeout for freaking out in that thread. If spock had never made this callout? Same, with the flags that were creeping in on that thread and his comments in particular, except it might well have been even worse by the time we got there.

To suggest that we only ever do stuff because someone hollers at us in Metatalk is pretty off base.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:55 AM on September 10, 2007


Matt, Jess and Cortex [...] none of them actually told us that item had been banned.

cortex: I honestly thought it was obvious from context.

Personally, I agree with the time-out, but the "obvious from context" doesn't really work, does it? I feel you need to be really clear about these things lest people make incorrect assumptions, which on the internet happens pretty much always.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:55 AM on September 10, 2007


Why should some washed-up star's drug addiction/eating disorder/legal problems get more coverage than what's happening in Darfur?

We love drama, but we don't want serious drama.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:09 AM on September 10, 2007


"I was called a "cunt" recently by another MeFier"

The truth is an absolute defense.

:P
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:11 AM on September 10, 2007


"Cop: "Why'd you run if you wasn't guilty?"

Black teenager: '"Cuz you was chasing me with your gun out, man.""

I actually saw this last night on Cops (which had taped after King of the Hill or something). The exchange there was "Why'd you run?"

"I thought you'd throw me on the ground and handcuff me for nothin'."

"But why'd you run?"

Repeat that about four times. Ultimately, it was that the guy had been seen trying car doors in a parking lot, but I think that running is a perfectly acceptable course of action for a young black man when he has a spotlight shone on him and gets a "Hey you!" out of the darkness.

Oh yeah, and what, you mods didn't email item first? Let him know he was being a dick and let him right his rails? Sorry, this was all pretty weak (but perhaps I'm simply self-interested, arguing for the right to call others "fucks" when they're acting fucky).
posted by klangklangston at 8:20 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


ban : banhammer :: timeout : ???
posted by eddydamascene at 8:23 AM on September 10, 2007


Yeah once you start hurling insults at other posters because they're objecting to you stinking up a thread, it's time to step away from the keyboard.
posted by jessamyn at 1:08 AM on September 10


I think that is about right. He would have been better off to express his indignation without all the histrionics and insults. People might have even listened to him then, although I don't know; it was pretty insensitive stuff.

Oh yeah, and what, you mods didn't email item first? Let him know he was being a dick and let him right his rails?

Too many people do not read their emails in a timely fashion here.
posted by caddis at 8:26 AM on September 10, 2007


Oh yeah, and what, you mods didn't email item first? Let him know he was being a dick and let him right his rails?

There's zero guarantee that someone is going to check their email in the next 168 hours, let alone the next five minutes, and it's unverifiable and unenforceable besides.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:33 AM on September 10, 2007


But cortex, item could have been warned in the thread itself. "Hey item, speaking as a Mighty Moderator, you're getting close to a timeout and I think you should calm down." But hey, if all you have is a banhammer...

What it boils down to is the Mod Squad has decided on a policy of decreasing tolerance and increasing timeouts; item didn't even get warned, he just got "punished." What's disturbing is that a) item's behavior was actually pretty mild for Metafilter and b) so many Mefites are supporting his "punishment."

The terrorists have won.
posted by davy at 8:43 AM on September 10, 2007


And klangklangston, in many locales black teenagers are pretty routinely "disciplined" after they've been handcuffed, and in Louisville black teenagers have been shot in the back by cops for trying to run away. The message there is "sooner run faster and faster."

I doubt you'd defend anybody being summarily executed for "trying car doors in a parking lot," right?

Has the KKK won too?
posted by davy at 8:48 AM on September 10, 2007


First reaction: Same as matt's. The comments item made were really inflammatory.

I personally think it is ridiculous the amount of coverage Fosse's disappearance is generating. But when those miners in Utah had been gone over two weeks without breathable air detected in the mine, I felt the same way about that search. At a certain point, it's just too much.

[Of course, this morning, a local teen turned up alive after a week trapped in an upside-down car without food or water (he used his shoes to gather water from the ditch where he crashed), so I don't know how we judge when that "certain point" is. ]
posted by misha at 8:49 AM on September 10, 2007


item -

You are an ass for that statement.
posted by tgrundke at 12:31 PM on September 9


"ass" is OK but "fuck" gets you a timeout.
There should be a guidebook for these rules...so hard to keep track...
posted by rocket88 at 9:00 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


"ass" is OK but "fuck" gets you a timeout.
There should be a guidebook for these rules...so hard to keep track...


It's simpler than that: being a great big pain in the ass may get you negative administrative attention. There's never going to be a rulebook; there's never going to be perfect consistency; there will always be examples of things that seem punishable but were let to stand, or which seemed acceptable but were acted on. And the key thing is that which things go in which of those lists varies for every person in this thread. We do our best to react based on a mix of overall community feedback and past experience with related situations. It's never going to leave everyone equally satisfied, and I doubt there's any administrative decision ever that will not leave someone dissatisfied.

But cortex, item could have been warned in the thread itself. "Hey item, speaking as a Mighty Moderator, you're getting close to a timeout and I think you should calm down." But hey, if all you have is a banhammer...

davy, I don't know if you're being ironic or serious or what; you've bitched at us and passive-aggressively about us repeatedly regarding having once been addressed in-thread re: flipping out, so it's hard to know how to react to that.

Someone just going off is a crappy situation all around, and there are no perfect solutions, but a quick timeout makes a lot less mess than a public fracass. And inline "hey, folks, cut it out" can work, but it seems to work more for general rerails than for dealing with one specific user. Regardless, it's one of the tools in the bucket, not the only one and not always the most effective one—especially on a Sunday night when the staff is going to bed and won't be around to make sure there's no Round Two brewing after the polite admonition.

If there wasn't a callout for this there would have been no big argument in the first place. It happens now and then, is generally painless for all involved, and doesn't actually require a bunch of drama. Usually it helps avoid it, in fact.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:06 AM on September 10, 2007


jesus, davy, they gave him a 24-hour cool-off for being a repetitive, near-nonsensical (what's with that DEA stuff, anyway?) jerk *and* topping it off by calling another user "you fuck."

Pick your battles better.
posted by mediareport at 9:10 AM on September 10, 2007


You know, item did get out of hand in that thread, and a 24 hour timeout makes sense.

On the other hand, all item did was get a little too upset about something. He wasn't the first person to call another mefite names in that thread, but he was the first person to be called one. But calling someone an ass and "the most callous person on metafilter" etc... doesn't come across as ANGRY. Apparently that's the real sin on metafilter, is getting angry. You can act like a total douchebag, if you want. You can call people names, you can belittle their intelligence, distort their arguments and generally be a total dick to them. Chances are you won't get a timeout or have your comments deleted. BUT, if you being a total dick makes them angry, then they're probably going to get a timeout and/or have comments deleted.

I mean, there's a difference between item being called an ass, or an asshole and item calling people fucks, obviously. (And yes, I'm aware of the joke mathowie is referencing. I still think it was a jerk thing to say.) And item no doubt needed a little time away from the thread to cool off. But item, to my mind, just looks like someone who got a little too hot under the collar in order to make what could have been, ultimately, a good point. The only people who look like jerks to me here are mathowie, spock (mental illness, really?) and tgrundke. For the life of me, I don't know why acting like a jerk is ok around here.
posted by shmegegge at 9:35 AM on September 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


whiners.
posted by Stynxno at 9:42 AM on September 10, 2007


"And klangklangston, in many locales black teenagers are pretty routinely "disciplined" after they've been handcuffed, and in Louisville black teenagers have been shot in the back by cops for trying to run away. The message there is "sooner run faster and faster."

I doubt you'd defend anybody being summarily executed for "trying car doors in a parking lot," right?

Has the KKK won too?"

What the hell are you on about now, Davy?

You ever watch a dog fart under water, and see 'em snapping at the bubbles? Why you snappin' at the bubbles, Davy?
posted by klangklangston at 9:50 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Great, firefox just crashed and lost a very reasonable comment. Anyway.

It's clear from cortex's comments in this thread that we'll see greater consistency in the application of timeouts without warning and a lessening tolerance for behavior the sheeple and/or the Mods disapprove of.

To answer vacapinta in the comment referred to upthread, the benevolence of any dictorship is relative: millions of obedient Aryans thought the Nazis were "benevolent." (And no, I'm not calling the Mefi Mod Squad Nazis, I'm critiquing the term "benevolent dictatorship.")

And the "inflammatoriness" of item's comments there (or anybody's at any time) I also relative: I myself am inflamed at the thought of wasting time and resources looking for one rich "adventurer" who went out of his way to bring trouble on himself, as opposed to concentrating on lots of poor people who get trouble through no fault of their own.

And mediareport (and on preview klangklangston too), as far as picking one's battles, "first they came..."

Also on preview: so shmegegge, you think more people in that thread should have gotten timeouts without warning? Am I reading you correctly? Yikes.

Note that I'm now explicitly and consistently defending people's right to call item an asshole as much as I'm defending his right to respond with "you fuck." (Regardless of whatever obscure in-joke shmegegge and mathowie are talking about.)

What bugs me about this here is that for a lot of people the "blogosphere" is the only place they feel allowed to speak their minds, and that cracking down on Metafilter has a chilling effect. (No, I'm not talking constitutional law: people had "rights" before governments were imposed on us.)

[Note cortex that in this comment I did not insult or gt rude at anybody once, not even to those people who clearly insulted me.]
posted by davy at 9:55 AM on September 10, 2007


Wow. What shmegegge said. He hits the nail of the dynamics of MetaFilter on its head. There is something perverse about the way in which the social environment—much less so than the administrative decisions—encourage a “smile as you slip the shiv in” mentality that rewards those who learn to a) drape their insults and provocations in wit and plausible deniability; b) punishes those who are self-evidently, earnestly angry and upset; and c) reward those mentioned in “a” who also learn to be thick-skinned enough to avoid becoming those mentioned in “b”.

I realize this is true of a great many social environments. But it's never been clear to me how this is better than the alternative because, obviously, it rewards subterfuge and insincerity and punishes honesty and trust. There certainly must be some benefit, or it wouldn't be such a commonly (micro)evolved social behavior.

The evolution of both my personality and behavior on MetaFilter has directly tracked my aquisition of the characteristics mentioned in “a” and “c” and has resulted in both people objecting to my behavior much less and an increase in my own comfort level. But I think it's made me a worse person (here).

The April 2004 EB was very earnest, never wanted to fight, always wanted good and deep discussions, wore his heart on his sleeve, but was easily provoked and was easily hurt. When he wanted to attack someone, always in response to an attack, he did so overtly and fervently.

Now, what I write is still mostly honest, and I regularly complain against the “it's all sport” mentality of verbal jousting, but I'm more willing to stick the shiv in other people and just walk away, I walk away before I get very upset and therefore generally don't try to resolve conflicts, I have a studied ability to forget it all by tomorrow, and I've truly learned the fundamental truth that everything I expose will be—sooner or later—attacked and so to choose what and how I expose myself carefully.

Many of us say we like it here because it's so much better than the cesspit that is much of the rest of the web. And that's true. But the reality is that it's still far, very far, from lively, pleasant, and stimulating conversion that comes from intelligent friends gathered together. No, it's still closer to Les Liaisons dangereuses than a weekend with your smartest friends. (Excepting those of you for whom Valmont and Merteuil are good approximations of your friends.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:59 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I actually saw this last night on Cops

That's pretty much what happens every night on Cops.

I should have suggested Cops be listed on TIME's 100 Greatest Shows.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:08 AM on September 10, 2007


At first I was a little surprised that a timeout was given, but 24 hours is not a big deal. Still, it seems a bit rash.

(ban : banhammer :: timeout : the timeout ratchet set....It's like Teddy said, 'walk softly and carry a precise ratchet set')
posted by taliaferro at 10:11 AM on September 10, 2007


it's a behavior pattern we're responding to here.

The timeout is appropriate. It's not because of item's argument, which I mostly agree with, and it's not because of his use of the word fuck. It's because he was escalating with every succeeding comment. It wasn't going to get better on its own, and he showed no sign of wanting it to.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:12 AM on September 10, 2007


Oh I get it! If Metafilter is to generate lots of ad revenue it must be "safe," "pleasant" and "non-controversial." That explains the crackdown against item, and that official tolerance will continue to consistently lessen.

Pretty soon the "blogosphere" will be just like AOL.

"They hate us for our freedoms!"
posted by davy at 10:14 AM on September 10, 2007


Geez, you're all fucks.
posted by ~ at 10:14 AM on September 10, 2007


I'd just like to add to the valuable tidbit above, that the assumption that a time-out serves only as punishment, and the fixation on the precise "fairness" of it, is adolescent. The time-out also is a firm-but-fair educational tool. The ban-hammer is love.
posted by ~ at 10:20 AM on September 10, 2007


The only thing worse than an asshole is an asshole who whines when he gets his ass kicked. A timeout is exactly what children who insist shitting on threads and ruining the entire discussion for everybody deserve. Move on and don't do it again.
posted by nixerman at 10:24 AM on September 10, 2007


"The ban-hammer is love."

So Auschwitz was a blessing.
posted by davy at 10:25 AM on September 10, 2007


Jesus, Davy, could you try advocating for positions you disagree with? Because you pretty much take every reasonable, rational argument and pervert it into a swamp of insults, allusions to fascism and allegations.

Further, your continuing presence is proof that there is no site-wide jerkass ban policy.
posted by klangklangston at 10:25 AM on September 10, 2007 [9 favorites]


Of course nixerman, nobody should ever do anything anybody in "the majority" finds "inflammatory."

So going on peace marchers should get their asses kicked when they ruin the war for everybody.

I see! Where should I buy my brown shirt?
posted by davy at 10:27 AM on September 10, 2007


See cortex? I didn't insult anybody, and then somebody insulted me. Has the mighty Timeouthammer of Thor come down on klangklangston yet?
posted by davy at 10:30 AM on September 10, 2007


2nding Kirth Gerson. We've all made at least one jerky comment. Not all of us continue to make jerky, progressively more belligerent comments in the same thread.

Like I've said before, the easiest way to protect the 'MeFi brand' or creating a squeaky clean, safe for consumption site would be to close MetaTalk. But we're all still here. That doesn't mean that Matt & Co. don't have a vested interest in maintaining a certain level here, but shit, "You sold out!" is a bloody tired argument, and one that's used far too much in the bastion of free speech and personal freedoms that is the "blogosphere".
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:31 AM on September 10, 2007


shmegegge writes "You know, item did get out of hand in that thread, and a 24 hour timeout makes sense.

"On the other hand, all item did was get a little too upset about something. He wasn't the first person to call another mefite names in that thread, but he was the first person to be called one. But calling someone an ass and 'the most callous person on metafilter' etc... doesn't come across as ANGRY. Apparently that's the real sin on metafilter, is getting angry. You can act like a total douchebag, if you want. You can call people names, you can belittle their intelligence, distort their arguments and generally be a total dick to them. Chances are you won't get a timeout or have your comments deleted. BUT, if you being a total dick makes them angry, then they're probably going to get a timeout and/or have comments deleted.

"I mean, there's a difference between item being called an ass, or an asshole and item calling people fucks, obviously. (And yes, I'm aware of the joke mathowie is referencing. I still think it was a jerk thing to say.) And item no doubt needed a little time away from the thread to cool off. But item, to my mind, just looks like someone who got a little too hot under the collar in order to make what could have been, ultimately, a good point. The only people who look like jerks to me here are mathowie, spock (mental illness, really?) and tgrundke. For the life of me, I don't know why acting like a jerk is ok around here."


I just want this to be seen again.

davy writes "It's clear from cortex's comments in this thread that we'll see greater consistency in the application of timeouts without warning and a lessening tolerance for behavior the sheeple and/or the Mods disapprove of. "

this would be great if it happened.
posted by PugAchev at 10:31 AM on September 10, 2007


Baaah!
posted by davy at 10:32 AM on September 10, 2007


“The only thing worse than an asshole is an asshole who whines when he gets his ass kicked.”

For the record, item has not whined or complained. He did mention a small complaint in his email to me; but it was quite clearly small and, for the most part, he wasn't contesting the timeout at all or to anyone.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:32 AM on September 10, 2007


Those who can, comment. Those who can't, quote.
posted by davy at 10:33 AM on September 10, 2007


something perverse about the way in which the social environment ... encourage a “smile as you slip the shiv in” mentality that rewards those who learn to a) drape their insults and provocations in wit and plausible deniability; b) punishes those who are self-evidently, earnestly angry and upset

Eh, that's life. Do you think Winston Churchill would have been as fondly remembered if he responded to "You sir, are drunk" with "Yes, madam, but you're a fucking bitch, shut the fuck up, you cow!"?
posted by anthill at 10:34 AM on September 10, 2007 [6 favorites]



.
posted by davy at 10:34 AM on September 10, 2007


This thread reads like a preschool playground fight. "Look, mr cortex, he started it!" "Stop SITTING AT ME!"
posted by tehloki at 10:35 AM on September 10, 2007


Eh, that's life.

But that's why we need Radical Honesty!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:35 AM on September 10, 2007


No insult intended, Davy, but have you and your doctor managed to get your meds regulated correctly? You're so godwinned by this point, it's hard to take you seriously. Brownshirts? C'mon. You can do better than that.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:40 AM on September 10, 2007


If people truly feel oppressed at Metafilter they can certainly go to 4chan, or even start their own friggen free blog. It is not as if metafilter is an arm of the government, or is actively repressing expression that can find other valid means of outlet. It is not owned by the public, and there is no inherent guarantee that you can say or act in any given way without consequences. The absence of consequences in an anonymous setting is not a good thing for most people. Davy, I seriously think a 24 hour timeout will not have a "chilling effect" (OMG!) on what is said here.
EB, you raise some interesting points, I have to say I agree that NO place on the internet is going to be as remotely good as conversations with friends in rl, the internet is but a pale imitation, which, while it can be great, also fosters overall much shallower relationships.
posted by edgeways at 10:40 AM on September 10, 2007


So why is this thread still open? Is it because most commentors are now supporting the Mod Squad's increasing use of power?
posted by davy at 10:41 AM on September 10, 2007


I believe that Matt, Cortex, and Jess should be given the power to kill those they disagree with, and to silence those who complain. I believe, in addition, that they should be given absolute dictatorial power over the entire world, the better to destroy those with whom they have the slightest discord.

I believe that those who support them should unite and form organizations where individual will and initiative is snuffed out in order to better serve the purposes of the Almighty Mods. I believe those who disagree should be silent, living in fear that one day their heretical thoughts will be discovered, and the punishment will be all the worse for their deceit.

The weak should tremble. The strong should hide. The world must be as the Mods wish. The world will be as the mods wish, and God help those who stand in their way.

I'm just saying this so that poor davy has something of substance to disagree with, rather than flailing at strawmen.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 10:42 AM on September 10, 2007 [12 favorites]


Hey edgeways, it's be so much simpler to just sell Metafilter to AOL. Let's hear it for "family entertainment!"

And LFS, read this poem (and the article on it), okay? I'm pointing at it because it's a Big Clue to what I'm trying to do here, and because Pastor Niemöller is more eloquent than I.
posted by davy at 10:48 AM on September 10, 2007


"...[I]t's be so much simpler... Pastor Niemöller is more eloquent than I."

Like, no feces, see?

posted by davy at 10:49 AM on September 10, 2007


Ah, yes, I greatly look forward to the day when the Almighty Mods come for the communists! Communists, socialists, leftists of all stripes, ground under the unyeilding boot of Matt! The lucky ones will be hanged as Jessamyn and Cortex look on, laughing, ever laughing their soulless laugh. Mark well, you unbelievers. We shall know when the Time of the Mods is at hand, for the Communists shall be no more!
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 10:52 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, davy. Every sophomore rolls that old chestnut out when they think the moderators are heavy handed. You're traveling down a very well worn rhetorical track. Or was your point to prove how easy it is to be a dissenting lightning rod in this nuance-free zone?
posted by Dave Faris at 10:53 AM on September 10, 2007


Dave Faris, not everybody who says things you don't approve of in a way you don't favor does so because they're mentally ill. Have you heard of this?

Or would you say everybody who's not always "nice" and "normal" needs to "get [their] meds regulated correctly"?

Again, why is this thread still open? Is it because most commentors are now supporting the Mod Squad's increasing use of power?
posted by davy at 10:54 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Davy, what's with all the mod h8t, man? Honestly, your posts here read as if you have a wound that just won't heal. How about some nice Bag Balm - it works miracles for rashes and burns.
posted by Lynsey at 10:56 AM on September 10, 2007


No, it's because you're funny.
posted by flashboy at 10:58 AM on September 10, 2007


Metafilter: a boot stomping on a human face -- forever.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:59 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I sort of wish that poem wasn't quoted so frequently and freely. Most of us don't have clue fucking one what it's like to face real oppression. And no, I don't mean that there aren't injustices in our society, nor am I advocating complacency, but fuck, if you're ranting about being held to certain levels of conduct and behavior on a privately owned and run website, as opposed to getting your doors kicked in on a regular basis by an occupying army or having to fish your father out a mass grave that he was forced at gunpoint to dig or wondering if today's the day your parents are going to stone you to death for loving the wrong person, you should probably take a look at your priorities.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:00 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Shit, forgot the rest
That poem means something. Stop devaluing it to justify your tantrums.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:02 AM on September 10, 2007


Does anyone remember Edward Woodward, star of The Equalizer?

I always thought his name sounded like a fart in a bathtub.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:08 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Lore, yes, it will be grand. Maybe we can even join Dear Leader Mathowie's Mod Youth!
posted by anthill at 11:13 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


When I was in 1st grade, I gleefully confided to a social worker at school that I loved getting time outs when I did something bad. My parents thought it was a big punishment (I explained to the nice lady), but in reality I just got to go to my room and play with my toys. Some punishment! Boy, were my parents dumb!

Many years later, I realized that the point of time outs wasn't punishment, it was to let me calm down and break the cycle of escalation towards a tantrum or a fight with my sister or whatever. Mom and Dad knew it. Time outs aren't an effective punishment, or even deterrent; they're a highly effective way to get someone to cool off.
posted by vytae at 11:16 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think we can all get around a policy of energy efficiency.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 AM on September 10, 2007


DW, I always thought goldfrapp sounded like a fart in a bathtub.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:30 AM on September 10, 2007


davy,

I think you're reading things into this thread that aren't quite there. Reading your comments so far has been an exercise in frustration because I'm having trouble figuring out if you're not getting other people's sarcasm or if you're responding sarcastically to sarcasm or if I'm assuming you're sarcastic when you're not. Your arguments are full of apparent hyperbole and seem to be misreadin other people a lot. by way of direct example, no I am not thinking that mathowie should time himself out, or that tgrundke and spock should be timed out either. What I'm saying is that there is a cultural acceptance of jerky behavior that it would be just swell if we all tried to curtail. I have no plan or proposed solution to cut down on jerkiness, but I do think that the way things are run right now encourages jerkiness with a wink and a nod over honesty and gettting upset. You go to a bar and call some guy an idiot, and he's gonna get pissed off and tell you to fuck off. At the bar, everyone who witnessed the exchange would agree with the guy who got pissed and told you to fuck off. On metafilter, we all agree with the guy who started off by calling someone an idiot. (note: that's a simplification) I do not like this scenario, is what I'm saying. What would I do? no idea, there are very good reasons why I'm not a moderator of anything.

What I will say is this: back when my user number still looked shiny and new, I once got in an argument with EB about wellbutrin, in some thread about how it gave women orgasms. Now, I had taken some ambien that day and don't remember saying the things I said, but the point is that I was a total asshole. I didn't get angry and call EB a fuck, but I acted totally superior and snobby and dismissive. EB got upset and called me an asshole. This was before the flagging system, btw. Now, this happened late at night EST, which I suppose is why no mods noticed it. But either way, EB was not timed out and his comment stands to this day. And you know what? He was right, and I apologized for it in some unrelated thread weeks or months later when I went back and saw what happened for some reason. there was nothing wrong with it, and there WAS something wrong with me being a jerk.

now, maybe someone should have emailed tgrundke and said "hey, stop calling people an ass." or maybe in the thread someone could have piped up and pointed out that tgrundke was resorting to ad homynym attacks instead of all jumping on board with him. I don't know. maybe more people should be pointing out that it's not fucking cool for the site owner to call people an asshole just for getting too hot under the collar, even if it's through a cute reference to a parody of a new yorker cartoon caption contest. I don't know. But nothing happens if we all pretend the problem doesn't exist.

anyway, no, I'm not advocating more punishment from the mods. You're shadowboxing, here, please chill.
posted by shmegegge at 11:31 AM on September 10, 2007


Dear Mr. Haughey,

I understand you've got a family to support now. So why not sell Metafilter to, oh, AOL or Salon.com or whatever? You'd make some bucks easily, and you won't have to think about this stuff anymore.

If you do that I predict the "deputies" will wind up spinning off their own "ZillaFilter" to not have to work for "the Man," and that might be worthwhile too.

Anyway.

Respectfully yours,
"davy"

P.S. Those who insult me by alleging "mod h8t" and "tantrums" are totally missing the point and mischaracterizing or misperceiving what I'm trying to do here. "Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." is the applicable "Wise Old Saying" -- i.e. I'm "watching the pennies." I hope that's clear enough.

And like I said, comparing say jessamyn to the Stasi is a bit exaggeratory. (I wouldn't even compare youse guys to Hillary Clinton.)
posted by davy at 11:32 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


"comparing say jessamyn to the Stasi is a bit exaggeratory"

Actually, I meant equating, not comparing. One can compare Paganini with Minute Rice, but equating them would be rough.
posted by davy at 11:34 AM on September 10, 2007


DW, I always thought goldfrapp sounded like a fart in a bathtub.

You been in some peculiar bathtubs brother.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:36 AM on September 10, 2007


I think cortex summarized it well when he said there's never going to be perfect consistency. We aren't a particularly consistent group in what we ask for either. I favor total free speech most days and other days wish total annihilation for anyone who has the temerity to suggest I left a "via" off. And I expect the mods to intuit my many moods and act accordingly, dammit!

I think the time-out was a tad heavy handed, we've had much worse behavior pass by unscathed and I didn't find item all that bad - just beginning to sport a bit of foam at mouth corners, nothing that probably wouldn't have been mitigated with an in-thread swat to the nose by a mod. But on the other hand, it was only a timeout and maybe Matt just had a paper clip cut or was irregular yesterday and in a kinda grumpy mood. Eh. It's nice we have a place to weigh in with our "too heavy" or "deserved" opinions, but beyond that, I think this thread is one of those plates of beans we talk about over thinking. If it was really a ban, however, I would be advocating otherwise. I hate perma bans for long time members. I still don't think insomnia lj should have been banned. That even goes for the dread PP ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 11:36 AM on September 10, 2007


Yeah, what's the deal with this timeout? Now item gets to go see what the sun looks like, hug a kitten and go for a walk in the fresh, clean air while we all sit and stare at MetaFilter. Not fair! I want a timeout now.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:36 AM on September 10, 2007


Another round for everyone! To all my friends! Oh, and barkeep, something a little nasty and, well, predictable, for my friend over in the corner there, mr_crash_davis... He likes a drink that reflects his persona, know what I'm saying?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


So it's YOU who keeps turning metatalk threads into BBS bars.
posted by tehloki at 11:48 AM on September 10, 2007


I think I get it now. There would be good reasons to suspect from the info in this thread that item is an EB sockpuppet.
posted by spock at 11:56 AM on September 10, 2007


"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." is the applicable "Wise Old Saying" -- i.e. I'm "watching the pennies."

But yet.

And.
posted by dersins at 12:02 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I have no sockpuppets as you are using the term. I've opened a few joke throwaway accounts that I actually didn't record the passords to, an account to answer a sensitive AskMe question, and a “kmellis” account to protect my traditional everywhere-else-but-mefi username. So, for the record, no, item is not me. I have no sockpuppets. The mods could verify this, but they don't verify any such claims, so you'll have to trust me.

And I clearly have only been mildly sympathetic to item in this thread. I have less of a problem with the timeout that most of the people who have said they don't like it. I think it's not a terribly consistent application of a timeout, but I'm not that stuck up on consistency and I think it's clear that the thread was going to be derailed by the argument.

If you were just joking, then, um, haha. Good one.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:03 PM on September 10, 2007


P.S. Those who insult me by alleging "mod h8t" and "tantrums" are totally missing the point and mischaracterizing or misperceiving what I'm trying to do here.

Or you don't see how you come off in Metatalk.
posted by smackfu at 12:05 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." is the applicable "Wise Old Saying" -- i.e. I'm "watching the pennies."

Perhaps "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" would be a better "Wise Old Saying". It's a very fine line you're trying to dance upon here.
posted by smackfu at 12:07 PM on September 10, 2007


I have met both item and EB, and if they are in fact the same person, that is one seriously amazing disguise.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:07 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Evidence for item NOT being an EB sockpuppet account: Compare the size of their comments. item is capable of brevity and conciseness. (Unless EB also has multiple personality disorder.) But now I'm being an ass.
posted by spock at 12:10 PM on September 10, 2007


No, no, you're being a fuck. That's the new term.
posted by smackfu at 12:11 PM on September 10, 2007


I think I get it now. There would be good reasons to suspect from the info in this thread that item is an EB sockpuppet.

Now that sounds like a fart in a bathtub.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:16 PM on September 10, 2007


it's a behavior pattern we're responding to here.

Short, simple, and to the point: yes, it is. And that's exactly the problem. In my opinion the pattern of behavior you're responding to should not be getting the degree of punishment you are doling out.
posted by Ryvar at 12:33 PM on September 10, 2007


Talk about a persecution complex. Really, you're not that important, davy.
posted by deborah at 12:34 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is the bathtub half-empty or half-full?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:38 PM on September 10, 2007


The real reason he goes as EB: ksmellis is too easy.
posted by klangklangston at 1:08 PM on September 10, 2007


Akshully, Ah'm rilly a paid agent fo' th' Illuminati. How else ya think I got the whoppin' half a sawbuck to post in this fine venue?

Seriously, with all due respect madamejujujive, if we just get used to people getting day-long timeouts without warning for arguing back then we'll soon see more of them -- and week-long timeouts without warning. That's the way power works, regardless of who wields it or where. That's why "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance," and why Metafilter is good practice/training for dealing with the "Real World." One takes the skills developed here, such as "respect for diverse styles and opinions" and "unwillingness to blindly submit," and generalizes them to other situations in one's life. The result will hopefully be a freer society, like we had under Nixon -- who turned out to be a namby-pamby libertarian liberal compared to the kind of shit Americans have let themselves lay down for in the past 30 years. Because they failed to practice practice practice the skills necessary for democracy.

To quote a slogan from my youth, "the personal is political." (And vice versa, I'd add.) And to quote (allegedly) Lao-tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

And it's also my contention (which I regard as self-evident) that if we let The Majority on Mefi get too good at shutting people up and flagging-&-nagging them into banniation then before too long we will be seeing Brownshirts (or their modern USAn equivalent) on our streets. "As above, so below," IYKWIM.

(Again: it's not that these Mods are Stasi, it's that power corrupts -- and would tend to corrupt even me if had the power to timeout without warning those who offended my take on "community standards" unless I constantly checked myself and was continually monitored by my "userbase.")

And on preview, it's not that I am "so important," but that the principles involved are. I myself are about as "important" as anybody else here, give or take a lasting contribution to humanity (which few in this thread, myself not excepted, are capable of making).

Nor, poor deborah, so I believe I am personally being persecuted in this thread, not by the 'Mod Squad' anyway. Have you noticed the timeout ain't gotten?


And honestly, anybody who calls what I've been posting in this thread here "tantrums" seems quite mistaken, if I might opine to thee. Some people are really scraping the bottom of the insult barrel here with their references to "mental illness" and "persecution complexes" and what-not. Why don't y'all get more intellectual and call me a poopyhead?
posted by davy at 1:14 PM on September 10, 2007


["Have you noticed the timeout ain't gotten?"

Gawd, now that typo is embarrassing, especially in context; I'll never win a Nobel Prize that way!]

posted by davy at 1:16 PM on September 10, 2007


I'm confused.

A thread got out of hand due to a user getting a little over the top with his "fucks" and got a 24 hour timeout on a Sunday night.

Now we're selling MetaFilter to AOL and I'm supposed to go buy a brown shirt or something.

Chill out. Sheesh.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:22 PM on September 10, 2007


/passes doobie to the fuck on my left
posted by lazaruslong at 1:25 PM on September 10, 2007


davy, that's a whole lot of slippery sloping you're doing there. people get exceptionally short timeouts sometimes because they need to step back from the thread, and immediately, in order to keep the whole thing from being a permanent train wreck. writing them an email, as has been noted, does not guarantee that they will read it in time, and the mods generally do not come into a thread and say "chill the fuck out" unless they've gone and deleted comments. this is not a case of the mods abusing their power. even the guy who got timed out says he sees why it happened and has apologized. this is not as extraordinary and dangerous as you believe it is.
posted by shmegegge at 1:44 PM on September 10, 2007


Why don't y'all get more intellectual and call me a poopyhead?

Davy, you're being a big ole poopyhead.
posted by juv3nal at 1:45 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


davy, you're boring. Take a break and come back when you get interesting again.
posted by mediareport at 1:45 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


A little late to the discussion here but I was in agreement with the spirit of item's original comment (which could have been more tactfully expressed) and considered posting a comment myself but when I saw the fury unleashed upon item, I thought better of it. I agree that item became increasingly angry throughout the thread but could understand why, given the "christ, what an asshole" tone of responses.

My take on the thread was that some people were so in love with the technology being used to locate Mr. Fosset that they were overlooking the immense amount of money and resources being spent to locate someone who had chosen to put themselves in harms way in order to boost their own ego and that item very quickly became a scapegoat.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 1:54 PM on September 10, 2007


"My take on the thread was that some people were so in love with the technology being used to locate Mr. Fosset that they were overlooking the immense amount of money and resources being spent to locate someone who had chosen to put themselves in harms way in order to boost their own ego and that item very quickly became a scapegoat."

Yes. I agree. (To illustrate on myself the "proverb" I cited above re: "those who can't, quote.")

Anyway, it only turned into a Big Issue when the "Prude Brigade" made it one. Had they just let it go and not kept after item like that y'all wouldn't have me pontificating hereabouts. (Hint hint.)

Boringly,
davy the poopyhead

P.S. Who gets, without doing a web search, my oft-repeated "can't write for toffee" reference?
posted by davy at 2:06 PM on September 10, 2007


Here's a quote for you : "Just another manic Monday."
posted by Dave Faris at 2:44 PM on September 10, 2007


Perhaps Matt should sell Metafilter to AOL, less people bitching about him.
posted by edgeways at 2:59 PM on September 10, 2007


I think the real questions to be discussed here are:

when did Fossett fly item's girlfriend to Malaysia?
was she hot?
how sticky were her vaginal secretions?
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:09 PM on September 10, 2007


When are they coming for Davy?
posted by lucia__is__dada at 3:37 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I personally think it is ridiculous the amount of coverage Fosse's disappearance is generating.

I hear that Britney Spears bombed at last night's VMA.
posted by ericb at 3:59 PM on September 10, 2007


When are they coming for Davy?

First they came for Davy, and I did not speak out...
posted by ericb at 4:00 PM on September 10, 2007


Then they didn't come for anyone else because Davy was enough for them.

Who knew?
posted by klangklangston at 4:22 PM on September 10, 2007


I hear that Britney Spears bombed at last night's VMA.

And aren't we all so very happy that it wasn't posted to the FP?
posted by smackfu at 4:27 PM on September 10, 2007


It's not too late for something like that to happen, smackfu.
posted by deborah at 4:56 PM on September 10, 2007


We had that thread nearby.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:06 PM on September 10, 2007


hey this is where i'm supposed to ask a question that no one will read or respond to because most of you can't be adults after 100 comments

pancakes plo chops bunnies stuffonmycat pissing elephants hooray

thanks jess
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:27 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


OC, you had a decent point but your OMG delivery and "this is just an example but here are some crappy things EB has said!!!" were going to make it a totally fucked-before-it-started MeTa post that wasn't going to allow for discussion of what you were interested in anyhow. You don't have to thank me for that, it's all you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:31 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I happen to agree with item. While he was pretty flippant about it and people are understandably in a serious mood because a life is at stake, he has a point: adventurers tempt fate for a living. We shouldn't treat them like children trapped in a well when they go missing.

Yes, I'm an asshole too and yes, I know it.
posted by scarabic at 5:58 PM on September 10, 2007


Optimus, to respond to your questions:

Q: pancakes A: yes
Q: plo chops A: only if deniable
Q: bunnies A: cute
Q: stuffonmycat A: no
Q: pissing elephant A: needs pics
Q: hooray A: boo

Really, on flameout threads like this, lots of people read the posts at the bottom just to see the embers glow and sputter.
posted by anthill at 6:00 PM on September 10, 2007


All this house shrinkage everybody's on about? Not what you think. It's just cold in here. Heaven forbid we let the furnace kick on before October.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:01 PM on September 10, 2007


Optimus Chyme,

To respond to your question: there's a difference between being a run-of-the-mill "see how cool I am" Mefi asshole and ruining a thread. When the entire thread devolves into commentary about what an asshole you are, when several different people appear asking you to give it a rest, when you find yourself repeatedly accusing everybody else of being "fucks," then there's a very good chance that you've crossed the line from passionate argument to public nuisance. I suspect you know this already and just couldn't resist the opportunity to call out on EB and this brings up another matter: drop these stupid personal vendettas. They certainly don't bear well upon your character and, more importantly, they confuse what are straight-forward admin decisions with petty personal politics. The last thing the gray needs is more drama; in the future please reconsider before you decide to toss another big steaming, flaming turd on the pile.
posted by nixerman at 6:37 PM on September 10, 2007


Item shouldn't have been banned. Not even temporarily.
posted by matkline at 6:38 PM on September 10, 2007


also: End the Triumvirate!
posted by matkline at 6:40 PM on September 10, 2007


Guards! Seize him!
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:49 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]




Guards! Seize him!


I want to discuss the benefits plan first.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:53 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


OC: When EB called me a worthless fuck, or whatever prolix synonym he (likely aptly) chose, I refocused my daddy issues into pleasing him.

He has since favorited several of my comments.

QED.

(More to the point, while I disagree with the timeout given to item, everyone, including item, has rolled with it. We cannot, as Cher exhorts, turn back time. Though I would support a remedy that led to all of item's comments for the next 24 hours being posted twice, one after another. But tu quoque is rarely a MeTa defense that rises above risible.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:57 PM on September 10, 2007


Also, today I was yelled at for attempting to include the description Grand Guignol in a blurb I was writing. IT WAS A TRAVESTY.
posted by klangklangston at 6:59 PM on September 10, 2007


"More to the point, while I disagree with the timeout given to item, everyone, including item, has rolled with it."

"What you mean 'we,' white man?"

Yes, I know, I'm persecution-complected, medication-malfunctioning, boring, slippery-sloping chopped liver. But at least I'm [...] enough for anybody.
posted by davy at 7:07 PM on September 10, 2007


"The last thing the gray needs is more drama."

I disagree. I've got to have something to do with my life-threatening microwave popcorn.
posted by davy at 7:09 PM on September 10, 2007


Mr. Faris, if this is "manic" I demand a recall: all day long I've been barely able to keep my bloodshot eyes open.
posted by davy at 7:16 PM on September 10, 2007


"...Yes, I'm an asshole too and yes, I know it."

Who are you and what have you done with the REAL scarabic?
posted by davy at 7:19 PM on September 10, 2007


The gray needs more Musical Comedy!

CHORUS:
MetaFilter's having trouble
What a sad, sad story
Needed a new leader to restore
Its former glory
Where, oh, where was he?
Where could that man be?
We looked around and then we found
The man for you and me
LEAD TENOR STORMTROOPER:
And now it's...
Springtime for Godwin and MetaTalk
Winter for cortex and jess!
We're posting at a faster roll.
Look out here comes the Master Troll!
Springtime for Godwin and MetaTalk
Flame-outs like you've never seen
Springtime for Godwin and MetaTalk
Watch out, AskMe
We're going to the green!
posted by wendell at 7:25 PM on September 10, 2007


The ol' Sopwith Camel's really taking a pounding, huh?
posted by breezeway at 7:29 PM on September 10, 2007


davy, quit stealing my thunder.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by item at 7:47 PM on September 10, 2007


davy, quit stealing my thunder.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by item at 7:47 PM on September 10, 2007


Looks like the mods implemented your suggestion, scarabic. i promise to not overdo it.
posted by item at 7:48 PM on September 10, 2007


davy, quit stealing item's thunder.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by anthill at 7:50 PM on September 10, 2007


In serious mode: thanks for the calls of unfair. I'm not going to say if I felt the timeout was warranted or not (it wasn't), but I will say that Matt knocked a week off down to a day. I don't think anyone's pride was hurt here and there are no hard feelings.

Everyone has their bad blahblahblah and sometimes it comes out yaddayaddayoo. The point is, after 1000+ comments in just shy of five years, I've finally arrived. The world won't overlook item anymore, no sir!
posted by item at 7:54 PM on September 10, 2007


Also: I had really great answers to every single AskMe question posted in the last 24 hours, but fried my brain out on fermented lawn clippings a couple of hours back and since forgotten them. Sorry!
posted by item at 7:56 PM on September 10, 2007


You're a mensch, item. Now don't bogart the lawn clippings.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:09 PM on September 10, 2007


Correction: I'm a Mensch-Machine.
posted by item at 8:11 PM on September 10, 2007


and how a large part of your worldview is dominated by hordes of scheming, evil enemies, just like the fundies you oppose.

that is the most incredibly dead on, head of the nail, center of the fucking bullseye assessment i've evar seen around here and my estimation of bligh has just shot through the roof for having the insight to grok it and the brass balls to say it.
posted by quonsar at 8:12 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an item.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 8:13 PM on September 10, 2007


"davy, quit stealing my thunder."

Stealing whose what? What do you per se have to do with it? It's the principle, man; nothing personal either way. (This is why I don't feel all hurt that you came back and "thanked" me by calling me an asshole; I'd have defended Bligh's Freedom Of Speech too.)

Speaking of which Mr. Item, what do you say about this? Personally I think OC has reason: Bligh's cited attack was much worse than yours (and much wordier) and nothing happened to him. Does Bligh know something we don't? It's reminding me about the Hebrew School joke I heard from a friend about the stepping stones in Lake Galilee.
posted by davy at 8:31 PM on September 10, 2007


It's too bad there really ARE lots of enemies on both sides then, Quonsar.
posted by davy at 8:33 PM on September 10, 2007


Bad timeout, mods.
posted by orthogonality at 8:40 PM on September 10, 2007


davy, I don't think you're an asshole. You stood up for me when only 75% of the other commenters did and you're very sincere in your crackpottery. For that, as soon as mokolabs mails me my trophy I'll arrange a schedule so you get to have it half of the time.
posted by item at 8:50 PM on September 10, 2007


ceiling cat has given me his videotapes

not only are you all fucks, a lot of you are BAD fucks
posted by pyramid termite at 9:03 PM on September 10, 2007


"Looks like the mods implemented your suggestion, scarabic. i promise to not overdo it."

Scarabic?

Oh… Zing…

"In serious mode: thanks for the calls of unfair. I'm not going to say if I felt the timeout was warranted or not (it wasn't), but I will say that Matt knocked a week off down to a day."

And the umps will call the next dickery fair because we kicked dirt on their shoes!

Welcome back.
posted by klangklangston at 9:24 PM on September 10, 2007


“that is the most incredibly dead on, head of the nail, center of the fucking bullseye assessment i've evar seen around here”

Yes, and it's been deleted because someone can't tell the difference, as amberglow cannot, between gratuitous insult and on-topic criticism of a long history of behavior. Amberglow's Christian-bashing threads are but a symptom of a more general problem, but he has a long history of both posting in ways which bang the drum on his cliched, simpleminded, historically ignorant, Christian phobia; and of making countless additional comments more explicitly making the same narrowminded and often hate-filled points. He always pipes up and complains that Matt allows MetaFilter to tolerate gay-bashing and homophobia, yet is blind to his equivalent form of casual bigotry that relies, like homophobia often does, on a like-minded audience that will eat up things that are obviously “true” only to those to whom the targeted people in question are most known as the objects of jokes and not as real people. And, like a lot of bigoted commentary, it's essentially paranoid.

My rant wasn't a gratuitous and irrelevant insult of amberglow's hairstyle, or his taste in furniture. It was a highly pointed criticism of his failures of both intellect and moral reasoning as expressed by his long, long history of comments made at MetaFilter and which appeared in a thread of additional exhibits. Amberglow has long failed to understand that some criticisms of what someone says is also necessarily criticisms of who they are. Someone may state an untruth once, and we will nicely correct them for the mistake. When they state an untruth, over and over and over again, even after correction, and as an obvious part of an deliberate attempt to present a larger false argument, then we call them liars and rightly so. That is not unecessarily “personal”, it is necessarily personal.

Amberglow is not a liar, he's just wrong, and wrong in a consistently bigoted way that also indicates, not unlike his targets, a glaring lack of self-criticism. Thus sometimes do a person's character flaws closely follow what he says and writes and criticizing one is necessarily criticizing the other.

My own expression in that comment of why I tolerate what he says as much as I do is also true for MetaFilter in general. With an output as consistent and sustained as his has been on Christianity, if it belonged to another poster who was making a less welcome argument and who was belligerent more to those present than those who are not (and therefore cannot defend themselves), he'd be run out of town on a rail. As it is, there is a small minority of both Christians and non-Christians (like myself, an atheist) who object to his narrowminded, bigoted, and cliched campaign to expose their nefarious schemes to destroy the world and kill puppies. Whenever the LOLXIANS topic is raised in MeTa, you can be sure that amberglow is either the subject of the post, or involved deeply in some way1, and those who take strong exception to this long history of his have spoken out against it.

1. Not valid in Nova Scotia. Rhetorical context asserted; literal-minded trolling of past MeTa for counterexamples does not constitute substantial argument nor may be redeemed for cash or sexual favors. Your insight may vary. Contents sold by both weight and volume.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:45 PM on September 10, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yes, and it's been deleted because someone can't tell the difference, as amberglow cannot, between gratuitous insult and on-topic criticism of a long history of behavior.

i find amberglow's bigotry and "you're all responsible for the fruitcakes who are acting in YOUR NAME" tiresome and annoying and have told him

i couldn't post the kind of gross generalizations about gays that he posts about christians - nor would i want to

for starters, he could learn that there's more than one kind and that the protestant/catholic divide would certainly prevent any kind of strict religious based government being established here

but i suppose that it's easier to demonize people rather than have to evaluate them as they are in all their complexity

oh, and he whines too much, too
posted by pyramid termite at 10:03 PM on September 10, 2007


"davy, I don't think you're an asshole."

Oh, okay. I think I'm sometimes a idiot.

"You stood up for me when only 75% of the other commenters did"

You counted and kept track? I go by the latest and/or "loudest" comments; it never occurred to me to be "scientific" about it. Like, math is HARD.

"and you're very sincere in your crackpottery."

I can't tell if I'm blushing or just have heat rash. (Maybe Dave Faris will give his medical diagnosis of that too?)

But keep the trophy. I've got too much clutter here already.
posted by davy at 10:17 PM on September 10, 2007


"not only are you all fucks, a lot of you are BAD fucks"

Was it your wife who snitched me out or your sister?

Gratuitously,
davy
posted by davy at 10:21 PM on September 10, 2007


I can't tell if I'm blushing or just have heat rash.

you could be experiencing an allergic reaction to fart bubbles
posted by pyramid termite at 10:22 PM on September 10, 2007


Was it your wife who snitched me out or your sister?

your dog
posted by pyramid termite at 10:23 PM on September 10, 2007


"but i suppose that it's easier to demonize people"

...Especially other people who demonize people...

"rather than have to evaluate them as they are in all their complexity"

Huh? Most people aren't even simple.
posted by davy at 10:23 PM on September 10, 2007


Me: "Was it your wife who snitched me out or your sister?"

pyramid termite: "your dog"

That ingrate. Anyway, what's he got to compare it to? The neighbor's cat doesn't count.
posted by davy at 10:25 PM on September 10, 2007


That ingrate.

it was only puppy love anyway

Most people aren't even simple.

that would make them complex, right?

you know, you're not contractually obligated to disagree with everything anyone says, right?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:29 PM on September 10, 2007


Davy is like a contrarian version of the Chinese Room, but not even arguably sentient. You don't want to know what's inside.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:38 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I really, I mean really like amberglow, and I am very often agreeing with him. Yet, there is a certain ring of truth to that portion of EB's rant that quonsar highlighted. Amberglow is hardly the biggest offender in attacking Christians around here. It is a group effort, with lots of players. Expressing a Christian opinion on MeFi is sort of like telling klan members about your black grandfather. It's usually not pretty, and tons of self identifying open minded folks show their hypocrisy with prejudice and even hatred. I think it is completely unfair though to single out amberglow. His passion sometimes gets the better of him, and there truly is a world view of millions of enemies organizing en masse against him. If I were an openly gay man making my way in the world, I am not so sure though that I would not see that same horde of enemies. Just because you are paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you, and truly there are many out to get gay men in the world and in this country, and worse they are brazen and backed by some of the most powerful political leaders in the country, mostly using and abusing "Christianity" as their weapon. So despite his imperfections, and as a Christian I must say we all are very much imperfect, amberglow is an unfair target for this criticism. The "soft bigotry" to which EB refers is widespread here on MeFi and amberglow is hardly the worst offender. He has more passion than most though. For me, that is part of his charm. Certainly this stuff annoys me, but you have to look at the whole person and amberglow has a passion to bring peace, love and understanding to the world, even if sometimes a tinge of paranoia at his very real enemies shows a testiness that reeks of bigotry toward them. (So after this screed I promise for several months to temper any criticism I might have of EB's lack of brevity.)
posted by caddis at 10:40 PM on September 10, 2007


i'll agree he's not the worst offender - but he's one of the more stubborn ones
posted by pyramid termite at 10:45 PM on September 10, 2007


“His passion sometimes gets the better of him, and there truly is a world view of millions of enemies organizing en masse against him. If I were an openly gay man making my way in the world, I am not so sure though that I would not see that same horde of enemies.”

My sister, a conservative evangelical, once read a number of MeFi threads and was schocked and saddened at the hate of Christians she saw. When we discussed it, though, I mentioned amberglow to her and her reaction was exactly like yours. It was empathetic and compassionate and not the least bit condemning, even though she had just read some things of amberglow's condemning her. Ah, irony.

I told him this anecdote, by the way, but it's not made a dent in his sweeping generalizations about Christians, not even liberal Christians, which my sister isn't even an example of. Over the course of these debates over the years, I've told him lots of things I've learned about actual Christians in the real world. None of it has ever made a dent. And this mirror-image of a determination to hate and fear despite any evidence to the contrary is just so sadly ironic that it makes me want to cry when it doesn't make me want to throw my monitor out the window.

People need their enemies, it makes their world (pseudo-) comprehensible. That's why they are so stubborn about ever allowing any awareness of how little they understand them.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:59 PM on September 10, 2007


I think everyone who commented in this thread needs a timeout, especially the people I disagree with. I would say who I disagree with, but I don't have the time to write 5 pages on each one, nor do I have the inclination to create long and inappropriate metatalk posts about it.
posted by shmegegge at 11:07 PM on September 10, 2007


You mean the people who disagree with you ;)
posted by caddis at 11:12 PM on September 10, 2007


"you know, you're not contractually obligated to disagree with everything anyone says, right?"

Yes, I know, and I'm damn glad of it too. Like, it'd be hell if I had to disagree with your statement I just quoted; I'm busy enough already.
posted by davy at 11:18 PM on September 10, 2007


YOU'RE FIRST UP AGAINST THE WALL WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES, CADDIS!
posted by shmegegge at 11:20 PM on September 10, 2007


Ethereal Bligh is a bullshit artist who'd fail the Turing test, but I feel sorry for him because he's in worse pain than I am.

I have no idea what makes him so long-winded though. I mean, I thought I babbled. Maybe I need more enjoyable drugs?
posted by davy at 11:22 PM on September 10, 2007


"YOU'RE FIRST UP AGAINST THE WALL WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES, CADDIS!"

No, he's second; you're on first.
posted by davy at 11:22 PM on September 10, 2007


I mean, I thought I babbled.

You, um, do.

fyi.
posted by dersins at 11:24 PM on September 10, 2007


Hey Bligh, I know I'm a near-total ignoramus; does that mean I have no enemies?
posted by davy at 11:24 PM on September 10, 2007


I see you are listening to LarryC. Good. Now flame on pal, we haven't had a proper marshmallow roast around here in some time.
posted by caddis at 11:26 PM on September 10, 2007


"amberglow has a passion to bring peace, love and understanding to the world"

I think pacifists, like opponents of the death penalty, should be taken out and shot. But then I have a very long list, and they're nowhere close to the top.
posted by davy at 11:27 PM on September 10, 2007


All extremists should be shot.
posted by caddis at 11:32 PM on September 10, 2007


“Hey Bligh, I know I'm a near-total ignoramus; does that mean I have no enemies?”

Real enemies? Probably.

Davy, I've been very critical of you in the past, but my ribbing of you here was just the opportunity to make what I thought was a clever joke at the expense of your extreme rambling series of outbursts, mostly harmless, but a spectacle nonetheless, in this thread. It wasn't intended with any real rancor. But you really ought to take a vacation from your computer.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:35 PM on September 10, 2007


The "soft bigotry" to which EB refers is widespread here on MeFi and amberglow is hardly the worst offender.

The worst? I don't know. The most vocal? Definitely. Amberglow is for peace and love and understanding in regards to those he's sympathetic with. Otherwise, his comments often reek of bigotry, hate, hypocrisy, and often, ignorance.
posted by justgary at 11:59 PM on September 10, 2007


Better to let him ramble on metafilter than elsewhere.
posted by justgary at 12:00 AM on September 11, 2007


I see boring people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:48 AM on September 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


P.S. Who gets, without doing a web search, my oft-repeated "can't write for toffee" reference?

If I got any of your obscure references, I would check myself into a basement room in my nearest body of water. Is it from a bottle of Dr. Bronner's?
posted by yerfatma at 4:43 AM on September 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey guys, this thread is about me, remember?
posted by item at 5:07 AM on September 11, 2007


Sorry item, we're just not that into you.
Except for that 100 bucks, but I'll have it back to you once my ship gets in, honest.
posted by Abiezer at 5:31 AM on September 11, 2007


I think it is completely unfair though to single out amberglow.

No it's not. There are plenty of nasty, bigoted members who love spewing venom at their perceived enemies, but he is by far the worst, and the fact that he "has a passion to bring peace, love and understanding to the world" just makes the stench of the hypocrisy more putrid.

Amberglow is for peace and love and understanding in regards to those he's sympathetic with. Otherwise, his comments often reek of bigotry, hate, hypocrisy, and often, ignorance.


Spot on.
posted by languagehat at 6:31 AM on September 11, 2007


Oh, and welcome back, item!
posted by languagehat at 6:32 AM on September 11, 2007


kabuki + head injury = this thread.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:06 AM on September 11, 2007


...And I meant that as a compliment to all involved. I feel like I'm watching "Shortcuts."
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:07 AM on September 11, 2007


Comrade Sjoberg speaks the truth that sounds like a clear ringing bell. As Chairman Maothowie says "Not to grasp firmly is not to grasp at all. It will not do to have no grasp at all, nor will it do if the grasp is not firm."

Maothowie zhu xi shi wo men xin zhong de hong tai yang!
posted by octobersurprise at 7:10 AM on September 11, 2007


I can't tell if caddis thought I was serious, likely because I can't tell if he was replying to me about the marshmallow roast stuff.
posted by shmegegge at 8:00 AM on September 11, 2007


;)
posted by caddis at 9:36 AM on September 11, 2007


No dershins, I don't babble, I rave. There's a difference, which I'm sure Ethereal Bligh could explain somewhat clearly in 15,000 words or more.

That quip didn't come to me till after I'd shut my computer down for the night, so I scribbled it down on a grocery receipt to post it here today. It's probaly nowhere near as clever as it seemed at 3 A.M., but this is only Metatalk.
posted by davy at 9:59 AM on September 11, 2007


"Hey guys, this thread is about me, remember?"

No it's not item, it's about FREE SPEECH!1!!! You cluck!
posted by davy at 10:05 AM on September 11, 2007


Somebody tell yerfatma what Englishman used "can't write for toffee" in which novel, hmm?
posted by davy at 10:07 AM on September 11, 2007


The Information by Marin Amis was where I encountered that expression first, Davy.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:22 AM on September 11, 2007


Martin Amis, of course, not his lesser known Frisco native brother.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:22 AM on September 11, 2007


omebody tell yerfatma what Englishman used "can't write for toffee" in which novel, hmm?

I hate to burst your bubble, davy, but whatever novel you happened to read it in is not the locus classicus, and whatever novelist you have in mind did not invent it in a coruscating burst of linguistic insight. It's a Brit cliche that goes back at least a century. OED:

Phr. not to be able (to do a thing) for toffee: to be incompetent at it. colloq.
1914 Illustr. London News 12 Sept. 380/1 Their opponents cannot ‘shoot for nuts’ (or ‘for toffee’, as one Tommy more expressly put it). 1932 D. L. SAYERS Have his Carcase xii. 145 The Morgan wouldn't start, not for toffee. 1951 M. KENNEDY Lucy Carmichael II. 76 Those dreary girls you get in every Drama School who can't act for toffee. 1977 C. MCCULLOUGH Thorn Birds xiii. 325 You can't kiss for toffee. You open your mouth too wide.
posted by languagehat at 10:28 AM on September 11, 2007


I hate to burst your bubble, davy

Oh, go ahead. Now that EB has burst amberglow's, davy's bubble looks to be the biggest one around.
posted by timeistight at 10:46 AM on September 11, 2007


Thank you D_W. And languagehat, when I'm Stalin you'll swing from a lamppost for that, you Trotskyite wrecker you!
posted by davy at 11:01 AM on September 11, 2007


Anyone wanna guess where I picked up the phrase, "junkie with a bleeding dick fucking a pile of dogshit?"
posted by breezeway at 12:09 PM on September 11, 2007


Anyone wanna guess where I picked up the phrase, "junkie with a bleeding dick fucking a pile of dogshit?"

My fifteen-year-old nephew. I mean, it sounds like something he'd say. Not that he's a...well, you know.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:13 PM on September 11, 2007


Next: "Harry slowly aproached Ron from across teh room, his eyes glimmering like a moonlit oshun. 'Your putting a spell on me Weasley' he said with a mischifous smile."
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:18 PM on September 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Come rest your head on my shoulder Davy.
posted by vronsky at 12:43 PM on September 11, 2007


Anyone wanna guess where I picked up the phrase, "junkie with a bleeding dick fucking a pile of dogshit?"

I don't know where, but I'm guessing the when is before you cleaned up your act.
posted by yerfatma at 1:06 PM on September 11, 2007


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