Prenez soin de l'anonyme September 27, 2007 6:26 PM   Subscribe

In light of this art project, UbuRoivas went to 59,469 Mefites, chosen for their intarnerdiness, to analyze, translate, or reinterpret a selected anonymous AskMe. The resulting collection of responses filled the grey place at MetaFilter with beauty, music, snark & mirth.

(but first, we would need to decide which AskMe to use. any takers?)
posted by UbuRoivas to MetaFilter-Related at 6:26 PM (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I bet that would make the anonymous poster feel really awesome, to have their issue (which was personal enough that they wished to conceal their identity) rolled out for the hive mind and highlighted to specifically pick apart, speculate upon the ID of the author, and make fun of their situation. I'll pass, thanks. :I

Do you go up to crippled people while dancing? "Hey, Mr. Wheelchair. What's your problem? Come on, Ironside! Race ya!"
posted by BeerFilter at 6:43 PM on September 27, 2007


You're being ironic, right?
posted by dersins at 6:44 PM on September 27, 2007


I'm up for it. Can we kick some squirrels first?
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:53 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


How about this? Or this?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:54 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


That artist knew who wrote the letter she sent out. Maybe you should offer up one of your AskMe's for the hordes to interpret, Ubu.
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:59 PM on September 27, 2007


*shakes head*

Ubu, we came so far...and now this? I don't even know you anymore!
posted by liquorice at 7:07 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe some peeps would be willing to fess up for their Anon posts? Or it could be like post secret and you can do your OWN anon post! Imagine, your crabs rendered beautifully in acrylics!
posted by SassHat at 7:17 PM on September 27, 2007


hey, it needn't be anything too personal or embarassing.

maybe the anonymous criterion wasn't the best suggestion.

perhaps something more light-hearted, like the portobello mushroom thread, or something...?

i'm more into the idea of a variety of serious, whimsical or artistic responses to a single thread. the idea was never to drag somebody's personal issues through the dirt.

TPS seems to be on track.

Aside from that, "That artist knew who wrote the letter she sent out" - yeh, like that makes it *SOOOOO* much better & more valid. That makes it possible to trace the thing back to the poor guy. At least an anonymous AskMe is already in the public domain, has been placed there by the OP, and a well-enough chosen one could remain impossible to link to any real-life person.

Another alternative would be for mattamyntex to seek permission from anonymous posters as to whether they would consent to being part of such an artistic endeavour...?

Just floating ideas here.

But I *do* like the squirrel-kicking suggestion...keep 'em coming!
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:19 PM on September 27, 2007


I bet that would make the anonymous poster feel really awesome, to have their issue (which was personal enough that they wished to conceal their identity) rolled out for the hive mind and highlighted to specifically pick apart, speculate upon the ID of the author, and make fun of their situation. I'll pass, thanks. :I

I take it you don't participate in the Green ever, then?
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:21 PM on September 27, 2007


or a pony! a checkbox on askme posts: "i consent to having my question potentially selected & used for an art project"
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:23 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sit, Ubu, Sit.
posted by jonmc at 7:24 PM on September 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


*humps jonmc's leg*
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2007


Good dog.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:36 PM on September 27, 2007


Worst callout ever.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2007


This thread has given me a pretty good idea.
posted by interrobang at 7:43 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


chosen for their intarnerdiness

and ability to pay 5 bucks.

I dunno, it sounds like one of those neat things that people suggest when they're thinking of the MetaFilter community and getting warm, fuzzy feelings and visions of hippie communes where everyone loves one another and all is joy. Those communities have existed before, in real life, and all they gave us with STDs, unwanted children and jealous exes.

Also, just because they're anonymous doesn't mean they should get less respect. If you're gonna do this, ask for non anonymous volunteers to avoid that tacky "lets gang up on someone" feeling.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:46 PM on September 27, 2007


You can use mine.
posted by GrammarMoses at 7:55 PM on September 27, 2007


Let's just do it to this MeTa post instead. Because that's fucking meta.

In light of this art project, UbuRoivas went to

Gotta love that referring to one's actions in the past tense and the third person. What's the term for somebody who talks to themself (sic)? What's the name for somebody who talks about himself as if he were a character in a book?

59,469 Mefites

For the last time, there aren't anywhere near that many people reading Metafilter, let alone Metatalk.

chosen for their intarnerdiness

UbuRoivas should be killed for coining that filthy neologism. You take that back you dirty swine!

to analyze, translate, or reinterpret a selected anonymous AskMe.

The heart of this is that this is a bad idea. And you are a bad person for having suggested it.

The resulting collection of responses filled the grey place at MetaFilter with beauty, music, snark & mirth.

There's that past tense again, plus the self-satisfied hyperbole at the end suggesting what a fantastic idea UbuRoivas is convinced he's come up with. This is of course ironic, as we've established that the idea is rank.

Hey, that was fun. NEXT.
posted by nanojath at 8:16 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


This thread has given me a pretty good idea.

If you're planning on illustrating weird and personal AskMes, I'll have you know that those are property of their respective copyright holders, mister!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:39 PM on September 27, 2007


Upon reviewing my AskMe history, I have no weird no personal queries to haunt me, so go nuts!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:40 PM on September 27, 2007


In light of this art project, nanojath, not chosen, but once worth at least $5, analyzed, translated, or reinterpreted a selected MeTa. The resulting collection of responses filled UbuRoivas at MetaFilter with pleasure at the ascending orders of metaness being achieved.

talking to himself - not to himselves - UbuRoivas also wonders to what nanojath's (sic) refers. perhaps nanojath is one of those descriptivists who believes that "themselves" would have been more appropriate, simply because it is more common to hear people using this grammatical abomination...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:43 PM on September 27, 2007


more seriously, what artistic reflection on metafilter have we ever seen? i can only think of a comic strip by fandango_matt & a handful of songs by cortex.

am i really the only one here who thinks it would be interesting to see all the wonderful & frightening ways that the varied individuals here would interpret a single given thread?
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:46 PM on September 27, 2007


I'll have you know that those are property of their respective copyright holders, mister!

not sure about that, for a number of reasons.

1. copyright does not normally inhere in a work unless it is specifically asserted (with a (c) symbol & the year), or unless copyright exists under some sort of contract, in which case it's a vicarious deal, and the OP transfers the IP to somebody else (Matt / metafilter LLC?).

2. the parody exemption might apply to a comic strip based on copyright text.

3. sampling might be another way around it. i was actually thinking of putting together a cutup - of a question followed by semi-random responses from other threads, perhaps on similar topics, but not necessarily, ordered so as to produce amusing results.

4. profit!
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:51 PM on September 27, 2007


Well, my FilterFic needs some tightening up and more sodomy, but I am planning on posting it to Projects eventually.

"[This is good]" XXXXXX moaned, feeling the sweat that had soaked through his sort of off-coloured MeFi shirt cool in the night air. "I want to be your Recent Activity, YYYYY. Favorite me, please, make me your sockpuppet."

YYYYY grinned. "You know who else I made my sockpuppet?" he chuckled lustily. ZZZZZ walked onto the terrace, the scent of Anonymous still upon him. He embraced YYYYY and turned to XXXXX, his MeTa-gray eyes glinting with a cruel cold cruelty. "I'm going to stuff you like a strawman. Time to add to my Contacts list!"

"Oh no! Double!" XXXXX wailed, a tremble of excitement belying his terror, struggling weakly against his bonds. "This won't wendell!"

"Did someone call me?" Wendell asked...


NEXT WEEK:

We have cameras. In our pants; Or, Sometimes You're Glad That <> Doesn't Work
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:08 PM on September 27, 2007


Aw frig, IMG stripper strikes again. I'd ask for the admins to hope me, but after rereading my previous comment I'm not sure that's even possible.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:13 PM on September 27, 2007


am i really the only one here who thinks it would be interesting to see all the wonderful & frightening ways that the varied individuals here would interpret a single given thread?

Metafilter does that anyway, right now, without your wonderful idea.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:15 PM on September 27, 2007


i realise that, BB, but only in textual form, and only within the limits of what can be said without deletion.

what a bunch of wet blankets you all are.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:27 PM on September 27, 2007


It's over. Take care of yourselves.
posted by flabdablet at 9:48 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Looking back, I think this would have gone over much better if you had left out the word snark in your original post. It's not like we people encouraging snark, especially on anon AskMefi posts.

Giving it further thought, I think stuff like this works best if the original poster actually does what they're proposing and then makes a post describing where the intention came from and of, a link to the art piece. Said art piece would not be snark filled or snark hinted at, just to set the tone. Talking about things is fine, but think how much better it would sound or look if you actually showed with a completed piece for people to talk and get inspired about it. The reason the Velvet Underground supposedly spawned a thousand bands is because they produced something as opposed to sitting around, saying "Wouldn't it be cool if...."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:51 PM on September 27, 2007


fair enough. i thought that the original artwork was an interesting enough concept, and simply tried to do a quick paraphrase of the original FPP without pausing to think how snarky it would sound.

what's most amusing to me is that this woman forwarding a private breakup message to a bunch of strangers for them to pull it apart sounds almost exactly like what we do on the green every single day with relationshipfilter, only she specifically selected various professional experts, whereas we have the metamob. anyway, that's what got me thinking that we could do something similar, but with different results.

i was speculating that we might actually come out with a more interesting set of 'interpretations', simply because she's operating within the confines of her own conception of who might respond interestingly (and it's a pretty boring & cliched list, if you ask me: relationship counsellors, etiquette guides etc), whereas we find almost anything at all, from javascript to css to perl, even maybe some cobol.

as it is, we just have a bunch of churlish strawmen who would rather strike an idea down to prove their own cleverness than engage in a project greater than the talk of the biennale.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:04 PM on September 27, 2007


Did someone call me?
posted by wendell at 10:11 PM on September 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


as it is, we just have a bunch of churlish strawmen who would rather strike an idea down to prove their own cleverness than engage in a project greater than the talk of the biennale.

I got shit to do, so you're to have to inspire and seduce me (but not in that way) so I want to join in, rather than calling me names, even if you're right. It's your idea, put your money where your mouth is.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:15 PM on September 27, 2007


Sigh.

...so you're gonna have to inspire...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:16 PM on September 27, 2007


Ubu, I know nothing about Australian law, but US copyright law does not require notice anymore (Adherence to Berne Convention, 1989). Now, it's likely that somewhere in the terms of use for Metafilter we've all signed away our rights to anything we say here, but the mere lack of a (c) notice is not enough to lose copyright status here.
posted by katemonster at 10:26 PM on September 27, 2007


There is a copyright notice. It's at the bottom of every page. It says, "All posts are © their original authors." Does anyone read the posts down here?
posted by tepidmonkey at 10:55 PM on September 27, 2007


UbuRoivas writes "perhaps something more light-hearted, like the portobello mushroom thread, or something...? "

Kinda creepy considering the status of the poster.
posted by Mitheral at 11:33 PM on September 27, 2007


tepidmonkey - hm, yeh, thought i had seen that somewhere before.

Mitheral - oh, puhleeez! people here constantly make jokes about that thread & you deliberately overlooked the *like*. it was an attempt to suggest that it needn't be all about serious shit like "my father beats & rapes me & keeps me locked in a cage all day". lighten up a bit, willya?

you guys are giving me a migraine. i need a stiff drink.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:50 PM on September 27, 2007


i'm more into the idea of a variety of serious, whimsical or artistic responses to a single thread.

Bbut that's what the threads are...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:53 AM on September 28, 2007


Look, the easiest way around the problem is to choose an old AskMe post that's not anonymous, and then ask the poster if they mind it being used. Eventually, someone won't mind, and there's your post.

I agree that choosing an anonymous one probably isn't a good idea.
posted by taz at 2:09 AM on September 28, 2007


NO SQUIRREL KICKING.
posted by sciurus at 4:32 AM on September 28, 2007


what artistic reflection on metafilter have we ever seen?

Back when konolia posted this comic-generator, I made this MeTa.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:04 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


the idea was never to drag somebody's personal issues through the dirt.

Now, I've always thought that "through the mud" was the correct terminology, but I understand that as an Aussie, with your recent droughts and all, you might be more likely to invoke "dirt" than "mud".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:07 AM on September 28, 2007


Okay, one more thing... as concerns this:

The resulting collection of responses filled the grey place at MetaFilter with beauty, music, snark & mirth.

There's a place for music here at MetaFilter, dagbnabbit, and it's called MetaFilter Music. And UbuRoivas, you are someone who has posted all of two comments to the subsite, and dagnabbit (sorry, but I'm compelled to curse again), they were both about cortex's 862 Lines About 10,316 Mefites or whatever the fuck it was! So dagnabbit, don't go asking for music on the gray, ok, if you're not even bothering to check it out on the BLACK*!

(I mean, hey, some of the folks you converse with daily on the blue have songs over there, y'know what I'm saying?)

*Or whatever that color is... I can't quite tell.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:28 AM on September 28, 2007


flapjax: the point that people make music here is irrelevant. i was floating an idea that we all choose a particular thread & use - each to their own - our particular talents to illuminate it, beyond the comments in the thread, beyond mere text, and beyond random songs that might relate to the broad meta experience.

off the top of my head, robocop is bleeding's wonderful short stories are probably about the only form of a purely art-for-art's sake response to any thread that i can think of ever having seen here, and i have no doubt that people here are capable of so much more.

i just thought for a minute that it would be fun if we could see all the different things people might come up with if we could get it together to address a task like this, but now i've taken my meds & i'm happily complacent, totally over the idea.

back to snarking & trying to spot early-thread opportunities for vapid one-liners in the hope of hoarding favourites for me.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:53 AM on September 28, 2007


When I say "Hey everybody, take time out of your busy lives to do x." and you don't do it or describe ways in which doing x is impractical or not a good idea, it makes you lame.
posted by ND¢ at 6:57 AM on September 28, 2007


flapjax: the point that people make music here is irrelevant.

Shucks, Ubu, I was just taking the piss... Plus I always take any opportunity, even the slightest one, to plug MeFiMu. This was simply another in a long list of MeFiMu plugs by flapjax at midnite.

So, all y'all, come on down to MeFiMu, y'hear? Set a spell! Take your shoes off!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 AM on September 28, 2007


I think this is a fun idea.
posted by brain_drain at 8:09 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


When I say "Hey everybody, take time out of your busy lives to do x." and you don't do it or describe ways in which doing x is impractical or not a good idea, it makes you lame.

apart from the fact that the second part of that made no sense whatsoever (why should i encourage ppl to do X and simultaneously "describe ways in which doing x is impractical or not a good idea"), the concept is no different to what the french art chick in the fpp did: "hey! here's a breakup email! now go off and produce analysis / art from it!"

presumably, the ppl who did that for her did so because they knew of her fame, and thought - woohoo! chance to be vaguely associated with celebrity! (and, potentially, boost my own sales / practice / whatever in the process)

obviously, i don't have that kind of wanker clout. and people here aren't in the slightest bit interested in collaborating to tap the undoubted talents of this place.

my bad. sorry for overestimating youse.

/petulant passive-aggressive
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:15 AM on September 28, 2007


final word here, i think.

french art chick takes lame breakup email & sends it to a bunch of randoms. they respond (becoz she is famous) and this thing ends up in the biennale.

c'mon, despite the fact that almost everybody has resisted the idea, don't you think we can do better than that?

i had hoped so before, but was clearly way off the mark. this idea is dead in the water.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:21 AM on September 28, 2007


Considering the inspiration, I suggest using a metatalk dramatic goodbye thread.
posted by shmegegge at 8:34 AM on September 28, 2007


Wendells email was performance art. I support that, in a passive-agressive sort of way.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:48 AM on September 28, 2007


Well, I was interested, for what it's worth. Maybe it's too early to throw in the towel? Metatalk is always snarkers' paradise, but there are probably others who are intrigued. Why not?
posted by taz at 8:51 AM on September 28, 2007


you guys are giving me a migraine. i need a stiff drink.

If you feel a migraine coming on, a stiff drink is likely to make it worse.
posted by breezeway at 9:20 AM on September 28, 2007


the concept is no different to what the french art chick in the fpp did: "hey! here's a breakup email! now go off and produce analysis / art from it!" [...]

c'mon, despite the fact that almost everybody has resisted the idea, don't you think we can do better than that?


I think we have very different interpretations about why the "french art chick's" work is cool.

Sophie Calle is interesting only because she is uncomfortably invasive. Many of her past art projects have involved stalking strangers; she made a video of her dying mother on her deathbed. You're supposed to be squicked out. This new art project is fascinating because she is taking something about her life that should be intensely private and making it intensely public. It wouldn't be at all worthwhile if she had 107 people analyze a car manual. Calle did not outsource the project's artistry; the value of the work is in its invasive character.

So, no, we can't do better than that. As the very first few commenters have noted, if we tried to publically analyze an anonymous AskMe in the same way, we'd be tearing some person's privacy to shreds. Besides, it would be a pale, superficial ripoff of the original work. And if we try to do it in a way that is uninvasive, then we're all just riffing on a post. That's no different than what we do in every thread.
posted by painquale at 10:04 AM on September 28, 2007


sciurus: NO SQUIRREL KICKING.

Eponysterical!
posted by tepidmonkey at 10:31 AM on September 28, 2007


Jeez you people are hysterical. I thought it was a fun idea, but you all have sucked the fun out of it once again. Funsuckers!
posted by Mister_A at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2007


The first test of the true artist is whether they quickly fold in the face of adversity, UbuRoivas.
posted by nanojath at 12:21 PM on September 28, 2007


what artistic reflection on metafilter have we ever seen?

I don't know how stealing an idea from an artist's work that's in the mainstream news qualifies as "artistic." That's like saying a cover band is good at writing songs.

Well, not really, but this is stoopid and I wanted to snark.
posted by slogger at 1:02 PM on September 28, 2007


Can we use this Diplo/M.I.A. mix as the soundtrack?

I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make 'em all day
I get one down in a second if you wait

All I wanna do is (BANG BANG BANG BANG!)
And (KKKAAAA CHING!)
And take your money
posted by vronsky at 1:44 PM on September 28, 2007


Ok, here: LOLARTTHREAD.jpg

I took the text from all the comments in this thread to make this. The image is one of those LOLPRIMATES.
posted by BeerFilter at 2:27 PM on September 28, 2007


BeerFilter, your link is borked.
posted by brain_drain at 2:29 PM on September 28, 2007


BeerFilter, that is awesome.
posted by painquale at 2:43 PM on September 28, 2007


I think the link is Coral caching the 404 from when I misspelled the filename. If you remove the .nyud.net from it it should work, but it should also work soon anyway as the Coral cache updates. Something like that.
posted by BeerFilter at 3:00 PM on September 28, 2007


Working now. Heh heh.
posted by brain_drain at 3:20 PM on September 28, 2007


I think we have very different interpretations about why the "french art chick's" work is cool.

and

I don't know how stealing an idea from an artist's work that's in the mainstream news qualifies as "artistic." That's like saying a cover band is good at writing songs.

very true. the value of her work lies in the concept. i was thinking of something slightly different, which revolves around the variety of perspectives we could bring to a single theme, not unlike a cubist painting (to steal an idea) or, say, a compilation book or cd by various artists revolving around a chosen theme (to steal another).

recycling ideas, is, of course, de rigeur in postmodernism. maybe it is just just riffing on a post, though, but - as i have said already - it would be different to what we do in every thread, because every thread does not involve riffing via fiction, music, interpretive dance, web art, performance art, etc etc etc.

The first test of the true artist is whether they quickly fold in the face of adversity

but i am not folding! the world is just not yet ready to understand my ideas. and i am suffering for this, oh, how i am suffering!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:25 PM on September 28, 2007


brain_drain: borked again.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:26 PM on September 28, 2007


oh, i forgot: would this be more palatable if dressed up as a mefi challenge?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:03 PM on September 28, 2007


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