"Your world is filled with non-people." October 9, 2007 12:55 PM   Subscribe

That little drive-by rant made you sound like the biggest pompous asshole in mefi history, buddy. It really did. Ethereal Bligh, stop this. Your continual personal insults and belittling are neither appropriate nor conducive to discussion or community.
posted by amberglow to Etiquette/Policy at 12:55 PM (289 comments total)

And if you have "little patience" for a topic or discussion, why jump in SOLELY to insult those who have patience--and actually care, and were actually discussing the topic of the post instead of each other?
posted by amberglow at 12:58 PM on October 9, 2007


I'll pause in here only to note that amberglow seems to be ranting about Ethereal Bligh's rant about a christian bashing rant and that's it is a very beautiful day outside.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:04 PM on October 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


Disagree. I think that EB's points were valid and the tone was more of frustration in seeing yet another discussion devolve because of the 9th Grade God Haterz Club.

Further, the thought that tkchrist should have his declarations of who is and who is not a pompous asshole taken seriously is ludicrous.
posted by klangklangston at 1:04 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


the biggest pompous asshole in mefi history

I dunno, thems some mighty big shoes.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:05 PM on October 9, 2007 [18 favorites]


We could have so many different asshole categories this way, like the Emmys. "Biggest Supporting Asshole in a Comedy".
posted by hermitosis at 1:10 PM on October 9, 2007 [12 favorites]


I'd like to see a list post of the 40 biggest pompous assholes in mefi history. Preferably from cracked.com.
posted by rocket88 at 1:12 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Really, hermitosis? I would've considered this thread more of a "dramedy" -- it's hilarious, sure, but there's also so much pathos involved. It works on multiple levels.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:13 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


posted by hermitosis We could have so many different asshole categories this way, like the Emmys. "Biggest Supporting Asshole in a Comedy".

We'll call it the Golden Goatse award.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:15 PM on October 9, 2007


We need a punctuation mark to denote pompous assholes. I suggest the follwing:

*
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:17 PM on October 9, 2007


I'd go with the Tubgirl Lifetime Achievement Award.
posted by phaedon at 1:17 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see a list post of the 40 biggest pompous assholes in mefi history. Preferably from cracked.com.

*Furiously tries to delete posting history. Fails. Cries.*

The lot of you have not a billionth the insight and wit of, say, Nietzsche, or for that matter, Russell.

You only think that because I save my best work for, well, places other than here.

Shit, shit, shit! Can I delete this one, too? Goddamnit.
posted by loquacious at 1:17 PM on October 9, 2007


That thread stank and was destined to go badly pretty early on, imo. Several people who could have just stepped away and not made it worse didn't do so.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:18 PM on October 9, 2007


OH MY GOD, THIS THREAD IS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME!!!!!
posted by shmegegge at 1:19 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Lest we forget, a pompous spirit embiggens the smallest asshole.
posted by googly at 1:22 PM on October 9, 2007 [8 favorites]


HIGH FIVE!
posted by klangklangston at 1:22 PM on October 9, 2007


"We could have so many different asshole categories this way, like the Emmys. "Biggest Supporting Asshole in a Comedy"."

The Emmys have an asshole category?

Man, who watches the Emmys?
posted by klangklangston at 1:23 PM on October 9, 2007


Assholes are like opinions; everyone is one. ???
posted by phaedon at 1:23 PM on October 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Hey, there's ice cream in the thread below this one, if you're on the list.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:23 PM on October 9, 2007


Man, who watches the Emmys?

Surely not pompous assholes!

I keed, I keed!
posted by ericb at 1:24 PM on October 9, 2007


Hey, there's ice cream in my asshole! Fancy a lick?
posted by breezeway at 1:25 PM on October 9, 2007


Mmm, Breezeway's Secret Caramel Fudge!
posted by fandango_matt at 1:27 PM on October 9, 2007


ARGH THAT'S NOT ROCKY ROAD
posted by loquacious at 1:27 PM on October 9, 2007


The lot of you have not a billionth the insight and wit of, say, Nietzsche, or for that matter, Russell.

I have it on good authority that 80% of us are wackier than Karl Popper though, so that's something.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:27 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Former pizzeria manager Michael Devlin said in court Tuesday that a boy he kidnapped talked him out of strangling him.

If only we followed suit.
posted by phaedon at 1:27 PM on October 9, 2007


I am totally not eating ice cream out of your breezeway.
posted by hermitosis at 1:29 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mmm, Breezeway's Secret Caramel Fudge!

The secret is breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
posted by breezeway at 1:29 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just want to point out how much more... vivid... the imagery of breezeway in my mind is now that I've met him. thanks for that.
posted by shmegegge at 1:31 PM on October 9, 2007


One man's breezeway is another man's dog trot.
posted by breezeway at 1:32 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Former pizzeria manager Michael Devlin said in court Tuesday that a boy he kidnapped talked him out of strangling him.

If only we followed suit.


Yeah, this fast food gig sucks.
posted by cog_nate at 1:34 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


At least Ethereal Bligh puts thought into his comments, as opposed to infantile, asinine drivel such as this:

hysterical! Every single one of them is either closeted or a criminal --or both!
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on October 5


He is rarely curt for the sake of being such. But I have noticed the few times he does come off in a brusque manner, it is usually deserved.

And he has a long way to go to grab the title of biggest asshole in Mefi history.
posted by dios at 1:37 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


And to think I was about to put away the popcorn.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 1:39 PM on October 9, 2007


(Has something been trimmed from that thread? Because I read it again and I must be missing what Ethereal Bligh did that was callout worthy)
posted by dios at 1:39 PM on October 9, 2007


And to think I was about to put away the popcorn.

It'll take EB at least an hour to finish writing his reply. Though I'm getting a little impatient myself, I have to admit. When do they get to the fireworks factory?!?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:41 PM on October 9, 2007


dios!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:41 PM on October 9, 2007


When the hell are they awarding the title for "biggest asshole filled with ice cream in Mefi history," dammit?
posted by breezeway at 1:41 PM on October 9, 2007


It'll take EB at least an hour to finish writing his reply.

Heh.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:42 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why am I the first one to suggest the flagging and the moving on bit?
posted by Catfry at 1:44 PM on October 9, 2007


monju_bosatsu!
posted by dios at 1:45 PM on October 9, 2007


And he has a long way to go to grab the title of biggest asshole in Mefi history.

Rest assured. Your title is quite secure.
posted by loquacious at 1:47 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


YAAAYYYYYYY!!! Let the games begin!
posted by shmegegge at 1:47 PM on October 9, 2007


Why am I the first one to suggest the flagging and the moving on bit?

I'll support that idea. This kind of thread only draws the kinds of miserable people who feed on this stuff.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:48 PM on October 9, 2007


I hope that both parties take a breather on this one. I respect them both and this kind of ugliness is unnecessary.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:49 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


"When the hell are they awarding the title for "biggest asshole filled with ice cream in Mefi history," dammit?"

Because my pants are getting cold!
posted by klangklangston at 1:51 PM on October 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


It's raining outside and I'm avoiding a stack of page proofs. Could someone please supply a copy of the comment amberglow is referencing here so I can be properly outraged?
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:51 PM on October 9, 2007


This kind of thread only draws the kinds of miserable people who feed on this stuff.

*Wonders if there's a category for worst possible failure to preview*
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:52 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Your continual personal insults and belittling are neither appropriate nor conducive to discussion or community.

Yeah, this is MetaFilter. If you want to insult someone, at least veil your comments with enough clever snark for them to pass the ambiguous MeFi Shit-Talking Barometer. You'll want your belittling repartee to fall more toward the "humor" side of the scale than the "downright nasty and uncalled for" side.

The rule of thumb is if you frame your diss intelligently, you won't end up in MetaTalk and might get a few favorites in the process. So let's try this again without being so explicit--and don't forget, you'd better make us laugh this time, you fucking stinkbox.
posted by dead_ at 1:53 PM on October 9, 2007 [7 favorites]


I'm wondering what is so offensive myself. I read his comments in the thread and they seem pretty mild for this site. I got called an airhead twit the other week after all! =)
posted by agregoli at 1:53 PM on October 9, 2007


dios, I lost track of your subjects and objects. Who's rarely Curt, and is it really cool to call him by his first name in an open thread if he doesn't have the name on his profile?
posted by lodurr at 1:53 PM on October 9, 2007


I'll support that idea. This kind of thread only draws the kinds of miserable people who feed on this stuff.

And I for one find those people disgusting! We're all only here to chastise them!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:53 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's hilarious, anotherpanacea. And Blazecock Pileon, credit where due.
posted by breezeway at 1:56 PM on October 9, 2007


Who Would Jesus Call Out?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:01 PM on October 9, 2007


Unfortunately, this thread is too specific for my needs! If it was a more general "Metafilter people I think are pompous, authoritarian bullies and rude" thing, I would have several suggestions.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 2:03 PM on October 9, 2007


I don't know what EB said, but he said it somewhere between 11:23 PM and 5:05 AM.

Of the stuff that's actually still left in the thread, I don't see a problem. EB references intellectuals, film at 11. And he's got a point about the tendency on MeFi to just dismiss theism and theists out of hand without bothering to actually understand the people that represents.

But, yeah, maybe he said Matt was the reincarnation of Hitler's dog or something, I don't know. That would be pretty bad.
posted by lodurr at 2:05 PM on October 9, 2007


You know, I really do question this "race to the bottom" logic that seems to dominate the blue. You'd think if a certain type of thread was known for devolving into a shitfest then people would be on their best behavior and the mods would be extra zealous about dinging offenders. It's like the way the police flood certain areas on Saturday nights. Instead certain "hot" topics are accepted as a green light for all the biggest assholes to try and out-asshole one another. The result is that each of these threads almost seems worse than the one that preceded it.

Anyways, fff's behavior in that thread is worse than EB's. There's just no need for such a combative tone and there's certainly no cause for and nothing to be gained by treating konolia so abusively.

Then again EB's "you're not as smart as Russel so shut up!" comment does aspire to a whole 'nother level of assholery. That's the sort of willful, pretentious stupidity that justifies the oppression of a whole class of people. But it's a rare gem in a big pile of dung. In general EB's performance is terribly lacking, it comes off as unfocused and very spur of the moment, and he tries too hard to hide it and compensate for his lack of an actual point with a bunch of showy cuss words and bold assertions. It's not even a good rant because he's really just phoning it in. Plus he only has two comments compared to fff's one hundred and twelve.

If EB does get the award, personally, I'll be very disappointed. It's another data point in the long trend of an award is being passed off to an ultimately mediocre work in a cynical attempt to generate some buzz and press. I won't be watching next year.
posted by nixerman at 2:08 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


In metatalk, the asshole is you!
posted by iamabot at 2:10 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]




"If EB does get the award, personally, I'll be very disappointed. It's another data point in the long trend of an award is being passed off to an ultimately mediocre work in a cynical attempt to generate some buzz and press. I won't be watching next year."

But Jon Stewart is hosting!
posted by klangklangston at 2:17 PM on October 9, 2007


Wow, I'm thinking my impression of EB's performance on that thread is really, really different from that of other people. Given, I've only read the messages that remain (I just searched for 'Ethereal' and skipped one to another), but I thought they were actually very restrained, especially by comparison with some of the stuff I've seen him post in the past. He could get really nasty, really angry, but in the messages remaining on that thread he's not doing that at all. I assume that's what was in the missing post (can anybody say that there was more than one?), but I just don't see it in the others.

I assume the thread title ("Your world is filled with non-people") is attributable to EB. It actually sounds kind of clever -- sounds like someone telling someone else off for lack of empathy. Maybe it was pot:kettle, but how would that be different from any other day?
posted by lodurr at 2:18 PM on October 9, 2007


Oh great. Another MetaTalk WankFest. You were offended. We GET it, ok? Email? Please? Just once?

These petty little fights get so goddamn tiresome. I'd rather read about someone's whacked out pony request or look at Meet Up pics than to have these shit-stain posts messing with my full MetaExperience™. I do understand it is not your job to keep me entertained with minimal conflict, unicorns and buttercups but for the love of all that is good can you at least try?

Have a nice day.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:21 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


... minimal conflict, unicorns and buttercups ...

Dude, haven't you ever seen two unicorns go at it over some buttercups? 'Entertainment' ain't the half, bra.
posted by lodurr at 2:28 PM on October 9, 2007


These petty little fights get so goddamn tiresome. I'd rather read about someone's whacked out pony request or look at Meet Up pics than to have these shit-stain posts messing with my full MetaExperience™. I do understand it is not your job to keep me entertained with minimal conflict, unicorns and buttercups but for the love of all that is good can you at least try?

Is this a veiled request for more unicorn porn?

Be very, very careful of what you ask for. This is the internet.
posted by loquacious at 2:29 PM on October 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


You know, I really do question this "race to the bottom" logic that seems to dominate the blue. You'd think if a certain type of thread was known for devolving into a shitfest then people would be on their best behavior and the mods would be extra zealous about dinging offenders.

Have you read all the tripe posted in that thread? What mod wants to wade through that? Thank god for flags to lead them to the most outrageous crap without having to read all the mere crap in between.
posted by caddis at 2:29 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


A Metafilter rant about God is just a concept by which we measure our MetaTalk about assholes...
posted by Skygazer at 2:30 PM on October 9, 2007


MetaTalk: A veiled request for more unicorn porn
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:31 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


What was someone saying about a 'race to the bottom'?
posted by lodurr at 2:32 PM on October 9, 2007


I was here.
posted by sveskemus at 2:33 PM on October 9, 2007


More Unicorn Porn! Call it a "pony" request of some sort.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:36 PM on October 9, 2007


UNICORN POWER!!!
posted by loquacious at 2:37 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


EB generally posts detailed, well-thought-out comments. I don't always agree with him but, honestly, in the thread I'm reading, he comes across as the voice of reason in the midst of a majorly hostile snarkfest.
posted by misha at 2:40 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


What misha said. Or can someone supply the deleted comments I am (charitably) supposing are the source of these complaints?
posted by dreamsign at 2:42 PM on October 9, 2007


2 things:

1) I'm much more troubled by the "race to the bottom" that seems to happen more and more in MetaTalk threads. Commenting on-topic in here feels like trying to have a discussion with my 3 year-old relatives.

2) EB was dead-on in that thread. The bit about Muslim stereotypes v. Christian stereotypes is dead-on. Lefty rationality fetishists have a serious problem with looking at these issues rationally.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:42 PM on October 9, 2007


Clearly there has been pruning. The link in this post goes nowhere and the quote is gone.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:43 PM on October 9, 2007


The whole problem with the world is that poindexters and nimrods are always so certain of themselves, but righteous dudes so full of doubts.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:54 PM on October 9, 2007


(Has something been trimmed from that thread? Because I read it again and I must be missing what Ethereal Bligh did that was callout worthy)

Oh, yes. Not trimmed, but excised!
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on October 9, 2007


The question then becomes: Can a righteous dude become certain of himself without becoming a poindexter or a nimrod?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:56 PM on October 9, 2007


Metafilter: Clearly there has been pruning.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:58 PM on October 9, 2007


amberglow, if you're ever looking for a domme, I'll work with you for free, albeit provisos and contract required. *polishes baton* I'm becoming addicted to the tenor of your whinging. I want it to resonate in every dale across the countryside, its orgasmic vibrato inducing avalanches of assholes pouring, in every cottage, forth from their labors at the penis to their keyboards, drunk with the promise of your drama song. And you'll only say, "Thank you, Maestra, for finding the sweet spot."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:13 PM on October 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


Ewwwwww...
posted by timeistight at 3:23 PM on October 9, 2007


dios, I was puzzled by that as well, as I was all yay! at EB's first post in that thread but then stopped reading because yawn.

The remaining? offensive bits apparently occurred as the thread devolved into a personal argument here and here.
posted by desuetude at 3:26 PM on October 9, 2007


And you'll only say, "Thank you, Maestra, for finding the sweet spot."

That or, "Err... I'm gay. Sorry."

I'm not, though. I just don't think I could whinge quite enough for your, err, requirements. But I bet it would be fun to find out!
posted by loquacious at 3:30 PM on October 9, 2007


?? So... what was the comment? I feel confused.
posted by taz at 3:38 PM on October 9, 2007


And he has a long way to go to grab the title of biggest asshole in Mefi history.

That comment was way too long ago for a goatse reference to be funny now, right?
posted by dersins at 3:38 PM on October 9, 2007


By the way, how could anyone else be up for Biggest Asshole when GModelo elaborates on his "Gee, is it normal that I'm attracted to other women?" question with zingers such as:


*It's cool to leave his girlfriend, because she just had surgery that makes her womb inhospitable.
*A gay person wouldn't understand the straight man's drive to have babies.
*It's all because of Science Gave Me The All Clear To Be A Prick "Biological Determinism", kthx.

posted by thehmsbeagle at 3:44 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


i can make a call to capt. cook?
posted by clavdivs at 3:48 PM on October 9, 2007


I'm starting to think the system-wide killfile isn't such a bad idea, so long as it's auto-populated with dinks that...
1. Post in threads saying "I flagged this"
2. Post talk threads instead of emailing the admin for...
__a. thread deletion whines
__b. look at all the snark in this thread whines
__c. look at just the snark I'm offended by, while ignoring all other/my snark in this thread whines
__d. paddling the school canoe
posted by nomisxid at 3:51 PM on October 9, 2007


Can an admin please post an opinion in here so I can agree with it.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 3:53 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Here is something that makes more sense to me than this post.

Quaesisti a me, Lucili, quid ita, si providentia mundus ageretur, multa bonis viris mala acciderent. Hoc commodius in contextu operis redderetur, cum praeesse universis providentiam probaremus et interesse nobis deum; sed quoniam a toto particulam revelli placet et unam contradictionem manente lite integra solvere, faciam rem non difficilem, causam deorum agam.

Supervacuum est in praesentia ostendere non sine aliquo custode tantum opus stare nec hunc siderum coetum discursumque fortuiti impetus esse, et quae casus incitat saepe turbari et cito arietare, hanc inoffensam velocita tem procedere aeternae legis imperio tantum rerum terra marique gestantem, tantum clarissimorum luminum et ex disposito relucentium; non esse materiae errantis hunc ordinem nec quae temere coierunt tanta arte pendere ut terrarum gravissimum pondus sedeat inmotum et circa se properantis caeli fugam spectet, ut infusa vallibus maria molliant terras nec ullum incrementum fluminum sentiant, ut ex minimis seminibus nascantur ingentia.

posted by killdevil at 3:53 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


er..... it looks like eb was the voice of reason in that thread - unless he got all fred phelps and it got deleted...
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:58 PM on October 9, 2007


Seneca's On Providence? Hells yeah!
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:59 PM on October 9, 2007


Yay! I had forgotten about the "dametamer." Har! Thanks, fandango_matt!
posted by Don Pepino at 4:05 PM on October 9, 2007


No lorem ipsum?
posted by klangklangston at 4:26 PM on October 9, 2007


I saw this thread and literally said to myself 'Oh, dear, this is going to be interesting', using 'interesting' to mean 'oh dear god why oh ladies and gentlemen the humanity'.

I have been disappointed.

Also, though I often find myself disagreeing with nixerman, this
You'd think if a certain type of thread was known for devolving into a shitfest then people would be on their best behavior and the mods would be extra zealous about dinging offenders. It's like the way the police flood certain areas on Saturday nights. Instead certain "hot" topics are accepted as a green light for all the biggest assholes to try and out-asshole one another. The result is that each of these threads almost seems worse than the one that preceded it.
often seems true, although I don't know what the mod squad could actually do about it, since I reckon (as I've hobbyhorsed about before) silent comment deletions are BAD. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:00 PM on October 9, 2007


1. What was this thread about originally (since EB's quote seems to have been removed, or is there a hyperlink problem)?
2. What is this thread about now?
posted by sneakin at 5:06 PM on October 9, 2007


Your continual personal insults and belittling are neither appropriate nor conducive to discussion or community.

Is it possible his comments were born of frustration with trying to speak logic to those who can only hear themselves? Or is he just a nasty jerk like everyone else that doesn't toe whatever line we're all supposed to agree on for the good of the cocktail party?
posted by yerfatma at 5:11 PM on October 9, 2007


None of this would have happened if we had real threading and killfiles on the server side.
posted by Kwine at 5:18 PM on October 9, 2007


One good-sized comment was removed, along with a few small responses. Here's the big one, for posterity:

You know, almost everything in your comment is 180 degrees wrong. I'm an atheist, so I'm not sure who you think my “co-religionists” are. I have a long public record of speaking out against bigots, especially cultural conservative bigots, which certainly includes a certain kind of fundie. Anyone who knows me or even has cursory experience of my mefi history knows that I'm not quiet or passive about any of the things you mention, in general or from the Christian conservatives you have in mind. What you perceive as “being passive” is actually me being active against your and other peoples' bigotry against all Christians, all theists for things that only a portion of them commit. If I were like you, amberglow, I'd be obsessed with the neocons (who I hate and think are dangeous lunatics) and I'd focus on the fact that many of them are prominent Jews. I'd then paint all Jews in neocon colors and indulge in stereotyped bigotry to denounce them. But Wolfowitz doesn't speak for all Jews any more than Bush speaks for all Christians. If I were like you, I'd argue that all Jews have a responsibility to speak out against the hate and bigotry of the so-called “ultra Orthodox” and also, perhaps, the extreme Zionists and I'd use the fact that most of them aren't doing so as proof that all Jews either think the same things, or are complicit in some other respect. However, I'm not like you. I know better. You'd know better, too, because you've been told, at least, that your bigotries and stereotypes aren't true, and you've been pointed to evidence that it's not true. You ignore it. So that makes you a willing bigot. And, unlike you, I'm not a bigot, willing or otherwise. Your world is filled with non-people. The vast majority of people in this world are just stereotypes to you. And, like the Christians you hate, you've decided that whole groups of people that you know nothing about are the repository for everything evil and wrong with the world today. Why admit there's different kinds of Christians? It's more satisfying for you to have one Big Bad Enemy that you can get your hate on without feeling any doubt or guilt. From where I'm standing, you don't look a bit different from your mortal enemies. Your beliefs are contingent upon your own life circumstance and are largely and quite obviously built around your personal self-interests. I could have placed little baby amberglow with some Christian fundie parents, and, assuming there's such a thing as basic temperament, you'd have fit in fine. You'd have been a Craig. There's no doubt in my mind. You're a sheep, dominated by self-interests and gratified by the bigotry your life-circumstance has allowed you.

And FYI, Matt is the reincarnation of Hitler's dog.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:32 PM on October 9, 2007 [7 favorites]


Bad deletion, that.
posted by timeistight at 5:37 PM on October 9, 2007 [12 favorites]


Thanks, cortex, for the catch-up. Unfortch I got bored three lines in. *runs back to jonson's penis thread*
posted by sneakin at 5:41 PM on October 9, 2007


Also, it's come to my attention that most of EB's comments should have their own [more inside] feature. Damn they're long.
posted by sneakin at 5:42 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


*runs back to jonson's penis thread*

That's what all the ladies say.

EB's comments should have their own [more inside] feature. Damn they're long.

Also, that.
posted by dersins at 5:44 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Er, uh, I kinda think EB's right, and I'm trying not to pick on Amberglow for posting it to MeTa, expecting (I would guess) a very different reception.
posted by klangklangston at 5:55 PM on October 9, 2007


Huh. On reading EB's deleted comment, I have to say I'm a wee bit mystified as to why it was removed. Didn't seem out of line or abusive. And hey, the "180 degrees wrong" bit is pure gold. Destined for meme-dom.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:59 PM on October 9, 2007


while I think that theism is a pernicious superstition, I've come to realize that it's possibly among the least harmful of a great number of pernicious superstitions. And that's “least” on balance, as I don't argue that theism hasn't motivated a great deal of evil. But it's acted against a great deal of evil, too.

I haven't decided where it fits on the spectrum, myself, but this was about as well said as can be.
posted by dreamsign at 5:59 PM on October 9, 2007


Goddamit, fandango_matt, I want my goddam details on my goddam mounts at the top of the structure and the window beam we discussed, as shown at gridlines E1 on S2.22.

What the hell are you doing all day, goddammit?
posted by dersins at 6:02 PM on October 9, 2007


The vast majority of people in this world are just stereotypes to you. And, like the Christians you hate, you've decided that whole groups of people that you know nothing about are the repository for everything evil and wrong with the world today. Why admit there's different kinds of Christians? It's more satisfying for you to have one Big Bad Enemy

That got deleted? What the hell are we keeping nowadays?
posted by yerfatma at 6:09 PM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


2. What is this thread about now?

"Dametamer."

No, really, by all means - discuss.

I can't believe I posted in that thread and missed that.

*stress-tests own skull with a brick*
posted by loquacious at 6:10 PM on October 9, 2007


Recipe, penis-mod and boobie posts, of course!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:11 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


most of EB's comments should have their own [more inside] feature. Damn they're long.

How do you people make it through books? Did you ever learn to scan when you read? I'll admit that I give the internet about fifteen seconds to load a video link before I bail, but text? C'mon. That's like an 8th grade writing assignment worth of text right there. Minus the Jew analogies. That's more junior-year-in-high-school stuff.

And I agree with timestight. Bad comment deletion. EB can come across as pompus, but amberglow, as his Mefi persona (and we all have one; this isn't a jab at him specifically,) can come across as some of the things he was accused of being as well. If that comment wasn't allowed to stand this whole thread should be closed. Why does EB get a broadsides for something most of us never saw in a thread that was way off the front page?
posted by Cyrano at 6:11 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Er, whoops. That was in response to 'What the hell are we keeping nowadays?'
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:11 PM on October 9, 2007


What the hell are you doing all day, goddammit?

Well, your wife has been in his office all day discussing the heated towel cabinets.

She seems to be agreeing quite enthusiastically with his proposed designs.

Must be some damn nice towel cabinets.
posted by loquacious at 6:12 PM on October 9, 2007


I just can't figure out why she wants them "deeper". How many goddamn towels do you have, anyway?
posted by loquacious at 6:14 PM on October 9, 2007


EB's refute was personal, so should have been removed. Mods did the right thing, even if EB might have had a point. Seeing it now makes this whole thing make a bit more sense though. I understand what EB did that pissed off AG and why it went to metatalk. What I don't understand is why I read all of this and then cared about how it was resolved. And yet I do.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:14 PM on October 9, 2007


Well, that's not the comment where he calls the guy an idiot like fifteen times, which -- upon scanning the thread -- was the one that leapt out at me as abusive. That said, I haven't got six hours to kill reading that entire monstrosity (i.e., the thread), so it could...maybe have seemed less assholish in context? Or perhaps not. But really, I think it's important to remember that being right and being an asshole are not mutually exclusive, as illustrated below:

Walter Sobchak: Am I wrong?
The Dude: No, you're not wrong.
Walter Sobchak: Am I wrong?
The Dude: You're not wrong, Walter. You're just an asshole!
Walter Sobchak: All right then.


It is, then, completely possible to be both right and an asshole.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:18 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I like Bligh. He once offered to talk to me on the phone when I was going through a tough time.

I like amberglow. I met him in person and, despite being a timid little mouse of a man, was nice and interesting and I really enjoyed his company.

Who likes item??? C'mon, I know you're out there...
posted by item at 6:44 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've met amberglow in real life, and he's a really nice and interesting guy, but when it comes to political discussion, I agree with pretty much everything EB said.

That said, that was a personal discussion of EB's beliefs about amberglow's personality, and thus not really acceptable in MeFi, as far as I know. Rephrased, it might have been fine (i.e. something along the lines of "Wolfowitz doesn't speak for all Jews any more than Bush speaks for all Christians, and it would be wrong to accuse Jews of neocon complicity just because they don't spend all day disavowing themselves of Wolfowitz. By exactly the same token, it's wrong to accuse Christians of neocon complicity just because they don't spend all day disavowing themselves of Bush."), but the way it was written, it's about amberglow himself as much as it's about the problems in that thought process, and that's against MeFi guidelines.
posted by Bugbread at 6:45 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Weird jinx there, bugbread.
posted by item at 6:46 PM on October 9, 2007


How do you people make it through books?

I say "I'd like to read from a book now" and sit down, open a book and read. Sometimes for hours. I do not do this before I scan threads on the internet. That's why it's called "scanning a thread on the internet" and not "reading a book."
posted by sneakin at 7:06 PM on October 9, 2007


I don't call it "scanning a thread on the internet", I call it "reading Metafilter". Perhaps that's the issue?
posted by jacalata at 7:33 PM on October 9, 2007


We're doomed.
posted by item at 7:39 PM on October 9, 2007


Metafilter: Your world is filled with non-people.
posted by lukemeister at 7:44 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


You'd know better, too, because you've been told, at least, that your bigotries and stereotypes aren't true, and you've been pointed to evidence that it's not true. You ignore it. So that makes you a willing bigot.

Wow, that was deleted? I've been told and called much worse, and EB's comment is dead on. If amberglow wants to constantly throw around stereotypes he should be called on his bigotry.
posted by justgary at 7:47 PM on October 9, 2007


Was the EB comment heavily flagged or was it deleted strictly at the mod's discretion?
posted by klarck at 7:50 PM on October 9, 2007


Was the EB comment heavily flagged or was it deleted strictly at the mod's discretion?

Ooh, this just got interesting again.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:52 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


In all seriousness, really bad deletion on the mods part. Not cool.
posted by item at 8:02 PM on October 9, 2007


Was the EB comment heavily flagged or was it deleted strictly at the mod's discretion?

It had a few flags iirc, but when something's brought it to MetaTalk it's like one big MetaFlag and we usually go check out the whole thread. The thread had gotten the odd flag or two up until it was posted here, but once something gets into MeTa it suddenly gets more eyeballs and so more flags. In this case, even though amberglow linked to just the one namecalling comment, there were a small collection of comments at the end after it that were just calling other posters names. So, I removed those (3? 4?) and put a pointer to this thread if people wanted to continue here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:07 PM on October 9, 2007


You know, I really do question this "race to the bottom" logic that seems to dominate the blue. You'd think if a certain type of thread was known for devolving into a shitfest then people would be on their best behavior and the mods would be extra zealous about dinging offenders.

Exactly, thank you!
posted by Chuckles at 8:11 PM on October 9, 2007


Which isn't to say the mods need to work harder or they are doing a crappy job, or anything like that - I can see how it could be read that way - but.. The problem is the behaviour, and that is what should be focused on.
posted by Chuckles at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2007


Hey, there's ice cream in my asshole! Fancy a lick?

PSYCHE you out!

Seriously, though... if you're going to go all british and talk of fancying licks, then get it right. It's an arsehole, not an asshole. You wanker.
posted by scarabic at 8:24 PM on October 9, 2007


I've met both amberglow and ethereal bligh, FWIW, and they are both wonderful men. It pains me if they tear at each other.
posted by scarabic at 8:26 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why does EB get a broadsides for something most of us never saw in a thread that was way off the front page?

because amberglow whines every time he's called on his bigotry and idiocy

and this time, having him accuse an atheist of having patience for his "co-religionists" was especially rich in kneejerk stupidity and prejudice

that comment shouldn't have been deleted - it was truthful and appropriate - and hardly the worst thing said about someone in that thread

what a baby you are amberglow
posted by pyramid termite at 8:46 PM on October 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


it's about amberglow dios himself as much as it's about the problems in that thought process, and that's against MeFi guidelines.

Does that still fly? (*waves at dios* Sorry to drag you into this!)

EB's refute was personal, so should have been removed.

This post started for personal reasons. And it's still here.

Also, what scarabic just said, minus the meeting them in person part.
posted by Cyrano at 9:13 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


EB's non-comment may be the best summary I've read of what infuriates me about DailyKos, when I make the mistake of reading it. I wish it had stayed.
posted by gsteff at 10:19 PM on October 9, 2007


justgary writes "Wow, that was deleted? I've been told and called much worse"

That shows that some bad nondeletions have happened in the past, not that a bad deletion has happened here. Nobody complains about murderers getting prison convictions even though OJ got off, they complain about OJ having gotten off in the first place.
posted by Bugbread at 10:26 PM on October 9, 2007


Yeah! And how 'bout Phil Spector?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:28 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


And he has a long way to go to grab the title of biggest asshole in Mefi history.
posted by dios at 1:37 PM on October 9


He's closer than you think, Dios. So you'd better get moving.

I don't mean this at all; it's just too easy a setup to resist.
posted by davejay at 10:42 PM on October 9, 2007


That said, that was a personal discussion of EB's beliefs about amberglow's personality

Much worse, it amounted to a threat to attack amberglow as a member of a particular ethnic group by bringing up the names of members of that group EB presumed amberglow might be embarrassed to be associated with, and then accusing amberglow of being just the sort of bigot who would do what EB was himself doing by making the accusation in the first place-- all the while pretending to a nobility of character and purpose which would render such conduct forever beneath him.

It was an excellent deletion, not for the sake of amberglow, who has little to fear from EB dousing himself with gasoline and threatening to light a match, as he did in that comment, but for the sake of the reputation EB has so carefully nurtured here as a person both principled and humane.
posted by jamjam at 10:48 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hey, stop picking on dios, he got really nice a while back, Blazecock-style.

EB's comment was perfectly appropriate. WTF mods. Are you going to start deleting every judicious smackdown of unintentional trolls?
posted by blasdelf at 10:58 PM on October 9, 2007


Is this a veiled request for more unicorn porn?
Be very, very careful of what you ask for. This is the internet.


Anything has got to be better than that damn uniporn. Sure, the guy looks like he's enjoying himself, but there's an undeniable sadness in the way he pulls that tattered sweatsock out from the couch cushions.

Also, since this seems to be the game du jour, I have no beef with amberglow or Ethereal Bligh; I do find ag's glee regarding these matters somewhat tiresome, but the same goes for EB's responses which, as well composed as they are, are just as rote as the attitudes and opinions they criticize. Teh internets will never be free until the last LOLREPUBLIXTIANSer is strangled with the intestines of the last ROFLURJUSTASBADASTHEMist.

The thread had gotten the odd flag

So, that's what you think of my flags, I knew it!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:13 PM on October 9, 2007


Of course there's a race to the bottom. We all heard it was full of ice cream.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:25 PM on October 9, 2007


This is pretty much an out and out bullshit deletion. Egregiously bad call.
posted by Ryvar at 11:32 PM on October 9, 2007


Of course there's a race to the bottom.

Is the finish line in Idaho or Florida?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:43 PM on October 9, 2007


Of course there's a race to the bottom.

Is the finish line in Idaho or Florida?


The bottom is in Antartica, silly.
posted by amyms at 11:54 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oops, I meant Antarctica*... I think?... My spelling skills get fuzzier as I get closer to bedtime.
posted by amyms at 11:56 PM on October 9, 2007


Speaking for all people wise enough to stay away from a MeTa callout of them, there's nothing I can say that the folks defending me or my comment haven't already said.

Well, except one point: amberglow has always confused personal criticism with personal insult. Of course, as I've become more and more weary of amberglow, my criticism has become more and more harsh and pointed and looks pretty much like insults. But they're not merely insults because they are responses to specific long-term behavior on his part on MetaFilter.

Also, his notion, shared by some others, that personal criticism is categorically inappropriate on MetaFilter is wrong. Irrelevant personal criticism is inappropriate, relevant criticism, either to a specific comment or to a pattern of behavior on MeFi, is perfectly appropriate.

I realize that other people think differently, but attacks on other people that are “impersonalized”, so to speak, by being vague about the specifics but quite obviously intended to include people present to the discussion have always seemed to me to be more cowardly than following some sort of etiquette. There are a number of devout MeFites, and some show up in these LOLXIANS threads. And while amberglow may not attack them personally, he attacks them as a group and it's quite obvious that the individual mefites that are part of that group are included in the attack. Yet when someone answers that attack by a criticism of his behavior, he calls this “personal” and “damaging to the site”. That's self-serving bullshit.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:37 AM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ethereal Bligh writes "Yet when someone answers that attack by a criticism of his behavior, he calls this “personal” and “damaging to the site”. That's self-serving bullshit."

And he's right some of the time, and wrong some of the time. Basically, what's in a thread is supposed to be confined to that thread, so there's nothing wrong with criticizing a specific instance of bad behaviour in a thread, and there's nothing wrong with criticizing a pattern of behaviour in a thread, but when you start discussing a user's pattern of behaviour outside of the thread as well, you're no longer on sound footing.

Besides which, what do you think you accomplish by criticising someone's general pattern of behaviour instead of just the behaviour in the thread? It isn't going to change their mind, and doesn't make your position any stronger than if you'd reined it in to only the comments made in that specific thread. So you're skirting the guidelines for...nothing? Just to vent? I understand the feeling, but that's the kind of thing one should avoid doing, or, if it happens, do and then feel sorry for having done, not something you do and then justify.
posted by Bugbread at 2:55 AM on October 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I feel like some sort of inverse Voltaire: "I agree with what you say, but I will attack to the mild-discomfort your right to say it."
posted by Bugbread at 3:00 AM on October 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I feel like some sort of inverse Voltaire

Hey, that reminds me of the old blues tune...

Woke up this morning,
felt like an inverse Voltaire.
Woke up this morning,
felt like an inverse Voltaire.
I looked over in the corner,
Saw Ethereal Bligh a-standin' there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:13 AM on October 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


posted by bugbread I feel like some sort of inverse Voltaire

In the world of no possible bests?
posted by fandango_matt at 5:35 AM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


That shows that some bad nondeletions have happened in the past, not that a bad deletion has happened here. Nobody complains about murderers getting prison convictions even though OJ got off, they complain about OJ having gotten off in the first place.

First, jacking up the scales of comparison like that is not a good way to keep things in perspective. This wasn't murder. It wasn't even assault.

Second, if the deletions are inconsistent (and in a human moderated system, they will be), they need to err on the side of over-use, not under-use, or we've got a de facto gaslighting mindfuck intermittent reinforcement scenario on our hands. Put another way, people need to see that most such comments get deleted, not that some do, or the deletion is likely to have no effect at all -- if not actually driving some characters to be even more abusive.

For myself, I don't think it was deletion-worthy. People who hang themselves out there with bold and broad comments need to expect to get this kind of stuff thrown back at them.

If we expect social mechanisms to work at all, we have to let people give each other bloody noses sometimes.
posted by lodurr at 5:58 AM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Powerful arguments lodurr, I think I agree with you over bugbread.
posted by Catfry at 6:47 AM on October 10, 2007


Crap, I don't even remember making that comment. Heh. Oh, well.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:10 AM on October 10, 2007


I'm late - what did I miss?
posted by triv at 7:17 AM on October 10, 2007


I'm late - what did I miss?

I think there was an ice cream social. You might still be able to get in on that.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:24 AM on October 10, 2007


Catfry : "Powerful arguments lodurr, I think I agree with you over bugbread."

Except for the final conclusion ("I don't think it was deletion-worthy"), so do I. You're right, lodurr, I should have used littering or something as an example. I just picked murder because I don't know any famous literers. Still, no law that I had to use someone famous, so you're right. And, you're also right that deletions need to be picked up (I don't think erring on the side of overuse is a good idea, but at least getting way closer). You just fall on the "there are so few deletions that this should've been spared" side, and I fall on the "there are so few deletions that there should be more" side.
posted by Bugbread at 8:38 AM on October 10, 2007


If I had known there were going to be awards, I would have tried harder.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:51 AM on October 10, 2007


I'm late too, but I agree with both EB and lodurr. Bad (and hypocritical) callout, bad deletion. And I'm not touching that ice cream.
posted by languagehat at 9:16 AM on October 10, 2007


Phew! It wouldn't really be a pompous asshole thread without languagehat.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:44 AM on October 10, 2007


It engenders personal politics and vendettas here when stuff of that comment's level of insult is removed, especially as a sanction resulting from a callout. I think this thread should have been close a long time ago and the issue should have been resolved sensibly in thread. Meanwhile, I'll lower my standard for flagging rotten insulting attacks I see in future.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:54 AM on October 10, 2007


If we expect social mechanisms to work at all, we have to let people give each other bloody noses sometimes.

I would like to see this expanded into a parenting book. I am quite serious.
posted by yerfatma at 11:15 AM on October 10, 2007


Briefly: if personal insults are going to get deleted, why doesn't amberglow get every other comment of his deleted? And why does an EB comment made clearly in self-defense get deleted while the comment that provoked the defense:

amberglow: "yup--little patience for those of us who point out the real harm, societal damage, lies, perversions, and crimes your co-religionists do daily--but endless patience and passivity towards those who actually do the harm and spread the hate."

...get to stay?

If we're going to talk about knee-jerk personal insults, there's probably no better expert to inform us on the subject than amberglow anyway. Anybody who's ever had the gall to disagree with him is accustomed by now to being shrilly called a nazi or worse.
posted by koeselitz at 12:13 PM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


...so, yeah. Bad deletion. I don't think amberglow's comments should be deleted, but they're full of personal insults. That doesn't bother me too much, it's just that I keep thinking of that old saying about black kettles that's referenced here so often.
posted by koeselitz at 12:15 PM on October 10, 2007


Oh, and one other thing.

jessamyn: "It had a few flags iirc, but when something's brought it to MetaTalk it's like one big MetaFlag and we usually go check out the whole thread. The thread had gotten the odd flag or two up until it was posted here, but once something gets into MeTa it suddenly gets more eyeballs and so more flags. In this case, even though amberglow linked to just the one namecalling comment, there were a small collection of comments at the end after it that were just calling other posters names. So, I removed those (3? 4?) and put a pointer to this thread if people wanted to continue here."

Just one more reason to kill the 'flag' feature, in my opinion. amberglow got to kill EB's comment just by posting about it in MeTa and thus earning it more flags? Bullshit. Remind me to make a MeTa post about every comment I disagree with in the future so that I can moderate the site on my own and kill comments by people I dislike.
posted by koeselitz at 12:18 PM on October 10, 2007


I'm having trouble posting my comment, it says it “appears to be blank”, so I'm attempting to post this instead and see if it works.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:40 PM on October 10, 2007


“a”
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:46 PM on October 10, 2007


well, that's not the problem
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:47 PM on October 10, 2007


It's probably too long.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:48 PM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ethereal Bligh: you can email it to me and I can post if for you if you are having problems.
posted by dios at 12:49 PM on October 10, 2007


Yeah, well, I think my rant should be seen in the context of the three comments which preceded it. Although I'd been pretty heated and saying strong things and disagreeing with five fresh fish, spitbull, and others, five fresh fish had posted a quite remarkably (and commendably) mild criticism of me.

(cont)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:51 PM on October 10, 2007


In fact, just now trying to look these comments up in the thread, I realize they were deleted, too. Here they are:
You certainly have become a lot more condescending of late, EB.
by five fresh fish at 8:41AM on October 9
I'm not sure that's true. I wax and wane in this vice. But this is one subject/position combination that I have little patience for.
by Ethereal Bligh at 8:55AM on October 9
And amberglow's comment, which you quote in full, followed these two. My deleted comment immediately followed this comment from amberglow.

I have a policy of not complaining about deletions. But I am a little disturbed by jess's choices in this case to delete fff's, my response, and then my response to amberglow while retaining amberglow's. That seems very odd and questionable to me.

Anyway, that's the true context for my rant. I'd been arguing pretty heatedly (but acceptably in the opinion of some people in this thread) up to that point, and five fresh fish makes a mildly worded and completely valid criticism of me. I thought it was a valid criticism, but I wasn't sure that I agreed that I had been more condescending than normal, so I tried to respond to it in the mild spirit in which it had been presented, cop to it as much as I felt it was true, and explain that this particular topic just gets me riled up.

That little exchange between me and five fresh fish is the sort of “let's be more reasonable and less directly insulting” comment that defuses escalating hard feelings.

And then amberglow felt the need to go in completely the opposite direction and not only accuse me of pretty serious despicable political behavior, but also his accusation was so damn untrue and, also, there was the “co-religionist” thing which half baffled me and half really pissed me off (not the least because I had just said that it was revealing how people like spitbull and others will just assume anyone that disagrees with their anti-theist rants to be theists—something that has repeatedly happened to me here at MeFi even though I've said a bazillion times that I'm an atheist).

So, somehow, in that one comment, in the context of the thread in general and amberglow's rhtoric on this topic in general and in the context of the immediately preceding exchange between me and five fresh fish...well, amberglow just really, really pissed me off. Not only did I write that comment, I wrote a long email to someone else ranting about that exchange and amberglow. I was pretty upset.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:57 PM on October 10, 2007


I think Matt/pb is filtering code which looks like the attribution line in an attempt to keep people from spoofing comments. As soon as I changed “posted by” to “by” it finally accepted it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:59 PM on October 10, 2007


Yeah, it's been like that for a long time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:00 PM on October 10, 2007


”Yeah, it's been like that for a long time.”

Um, a correct error message would be nice. Is it common knowledge that the inclusion of anything that matches the attribution line in form will result in the “It appears your comment is blank. Go back and try again” error? Because I've not seen this discussed and it's a pretty baffling result. Without patting myself on the back too heavily for my troubleshooting skills, I doubt most people would have figured out what was causing the problem with their comment.

posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:06 PM on October 10, 2007


I don't disagree that a proper error message would be better. On the other hand, it's a rare occurrance, semi-common knowledge, and sort of an entertaining little adventure anyway. Which is to say, while it could use a tweak, it hasn't really been a high priority, but you can always drop Matt an email if you really want to lobby for it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:23 PM on October 10, 2007


is it just me, or is anyone else shrinking?
posted by tehloki at 2:48 PM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


keep it down, you guys. get another <small> or something
posted by 31d1 at 2:51 PM on October 10, 2007


MetaTalk is a cold, cold place, tehloki.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:54 PM on October 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


it's time to cuddle?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:57 PM on October 10, 2007


no.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:29 PM on October 10, 2007


HI THERE
posted by koeselitz at 4:37 PM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


fuck, sorry. gotta see my psych about that turrets thing.
posted by koeselitz at 4:37 PM on October 10, 2007


Mommy, help!!! Everything's shrinking and the cat is looking at me funny!!!
posted by ericb at 4:40 PM on October 10, 2007


gotta see my psych about that turrets thing.

You have an obsession with castles?
posted by timeistight at 4:52 PM on October 10, 2007


No, I have an obsession with castiles. You know, the soap.

And also spelling things wrong.
posted by koeselitz at 4:55 PM on October 10, 2007


Who likes item??? C'mon, I know you're out there...

I like you, item. Really.

(also I've met both Bligh and Amebrglow. Online they both occasionally drive me batshit, but they're both genuinely nice guys. Who maybe need to relax a bit)

No, I have an obsession with castiles.

Castiles? Well, Bruce is dreamy...
posted by jonmc at 5:19 PM on October 10, 2007


Well I'd be delighted to see Bligh finally go over the top and finally and firmly cement the #1 slot, his comments in that thread aren't the ones to do it. They're thoughtul and relevant and nothing like as abstractly long-winded as they used to be. Is the old Bligh really lost to us? Let's all call on the fella to pull out the big one and do something really callout worthy.

SHIT IN A THREAD!
SHIT IN A THREAD!
SHIT IN A THREAD!

AT LENGTH!
AT LENGTH!
posted by biffa at 3:49 AM on October 11, 2007


I too think the Ethereal Bligh of late is a much milder character than the Ethereal Bligh of yore.

"Dametamer" was priceless, though. I'm getting a big grin just thinking of that bit. Inspired, that was.
posted by lodurr at 5:20 AM on October 11, 2007


I don't think silently failing on any error is a good idea.
posted by skorgu at 9:20 AM on October 11 [+] [!]
posted by Skorgu at 6:21 AM on October 11, 2007


“‘Dametamer’ was priceless, though. I'm getting a big grin just thinking of that bit. Inspired, that was.”

I have this weird habit, shared with not a few other people, of thinking that I can shock or outrage people into seeing how their opinion is irrational or inconsistent. So, when someone says something like (paraphrase) “anything that is one's own (property, body part, whatever), that person has the ‘right’ to name it whatever they want and if other people are offended, then tough shit”, then my first inclination is to come up with an example of naming something of my own that would offend the person who made such a statement.

Stupidly, or insanely (famous definition of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome), I somehow think that will encourage people to see how their reasoning is flawed. What actually happens is that it just pisses them off.

Why, oh why, do so many of us (seem to) believe that pissing people off is the way to get them to be reasonable or see the other side of the argument?

Anyway, you're right, I don't do that as much anymore. Sometimes that instinct still gets the better of me, but in my time here on MeFi I've learned to smother it fairly well.

Partly I've done this because while I don't mind making people angry and causing them to dislike me because I've said things I really believe and think are true (the subject of this thread is an example), I do mind generating a lot of antipathy simply because I've said something provocative to make a point. It's just not worth it to make some point in an argument. And, anyway, the bottom line is that it's not very nice. It's not very nice, it's not productive, and it makes people not like me. All very good reasons to learn not to do it.

But the way this is a specific fault of mine (not exclusive, but perhaps enough so to be a signature trait), most of us make the same general error when arguing.

A friend of mine and I—my old high school best friend, actually—were talking the other day about arguing in online fora. He's pretty confrontational, not angry, really, but strongly in the “gotcha” school. And I said to him that while I have a large component of my personality that argues with people that way, I've never actually enjoyed it and it's always made me sort of depressed. But he enjoys it. I asked him if he really believed that he changes peoples' minds. He thinks that he sows doubts. I told him (in a very non-confrontational manner that epitomized what I was saying) that, in my own personal experience, the only way that I've ever consistently had success in convincing other people of the correctness of my views has been when I try very hard to be evenhanded, see the other person's viewpoint and work from their position, and not be confrontational and instead keep in mind the idea of cooperation. And it really is true: I do it sometimes here, Bugbread is an example of someone who does it a great deal—and it's so much more persuasive, productive, and emotionally satisfying (the last part I can only speak for myself about). So why do most of us still insist on confrontational argument?

I'm not convinced that the easy and obvious answer—that most people actually get pleasure out of confrontation and provocation—is true. Certainly that must be true for some people. But my guess is that it's mostly because it's so much easier to be confrontational and provocative. It takes work to be productive and cooperative, especially when the topics are things one feels strongly about. So we take the easy way out—which isn't as rewarding as the hard way, but it's still better than not interacting at all. That's my guess anyway.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:58 AM on October 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


So much of what you say strikes a chord with me. Much as I'm willing to engage, I don't particularly enjoy the fight (most of the time). But I figure if I'm in it, I should be able to take what's thrown at me. Otherwise I shouldn't be in it.

Am I still allowed to think 'dametamer' was funny even if it was a little bit nasty and you'd rather not remember it?
posted by lodurr at 8:44 AM on October 11, 2007


Partly I've done this because while I don't mind making people angry and causing them to dislike me because I've said things I really believe and think are true (the subject of this thread is an example), I do mind generating a lot of antipathy simply because I've said something provocative to make a point.

I Caramba! I-eee!! I yI yI yI!!!
posted by y2karl at 9:40 AM on October 11, 2007


Что за черт! Getting ¡ay, caramba! so wrong is not unlike getting oy vey! wrong. Uff da!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:29 AM on October 11, 2007


Oy va voy!
posted by breezeway at 10:47 AM on October 11, 2007


Uff da!

Oh, shit, now I get it.

I used to see that in Love & Rockets all the time, and I just thought it was, like, some weird exasperated sound they'd make.

So I did learn something here today, after all.
posted by lodurr at 11:01 AM on October 11, 2007


... except now that I think of it, I think it was actually Nexus.
posted by lodurr at 11:01 AM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Getting ¡ay, caramba! so wrong is not unlike getting oy vey! wrong.

Huh? It was a pun. There's no spell check on sounds like...
posted by y2karl at 12:04 PM on October 11, 2007


“I used to see that in Love & Rockets all the time, and I just thought it was, like, some weird exasperated sound they'd make.”

I'm one quarter Norwegian and it's the one-quarter that matter, so to speak. Paternal grandmother's parents came over from Norway to Wisconsin, natch. I have relatives who actually use the expression un-selfconsciously. That, and talk like the people in Fargo un-selfconsciously.

“Huh? It was a pun. There's no spell check on sounds like...”

Oh. Sorry. I didn't get it. (Still don't.) I just thought you were snarking and making up a spelling because you'd not seen it actually written out (which seems weird to me, but then I live in New Mexico).
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:26 PM on October 11, 2007


...the only way that I've ever consistently had success in convincing other people of the correctness of my views has been when I try very hard to be evenhanded, see the other person's viewpoint and work from their position, and not be confrontational and instead keep in mind the idea of cooperation. And it really is true... So why do most of us still insist on confrontational argument?

I'm not convinced that the easy and obvious answer—that most people actually get pleasure out of confrontation and provocation—is true. Certainly that must be true for some people. But my guess is that it's mostly because it's so much easier to be confrontational and provocative.


This is an extremely interesting and (I think) important point, and it's too bad it's buried down here in a thread that's basically moved to the dustbin-of-history section. I agree that cooperation is the only thing that works but that most people don't bother. And you know what else that's true of? Getting information from prisoners. This resonates strongly with a discussion I was having with my wife—after hearing an interview with yet another expert on interrogation who said the only method that works is getting to know the individual prisoner and gaining their trust—about why, since that's the pretty much unanimous conclusion of experts, the first impulse of most authority figures who get hold of somebody who they think Knows Something is to beat the shit out of them and subject them to whatever tortures they find sexy at the moment. Is it really because it just seems easier? I'm sure that's part of it, but I don't think it's all. I think that old charlatan Freud was right about there being some basic instinct of destruction in our nature. There's just too much evidence that people revel in hurting others even when it makes no objective sense.

Don't know where to go from here, but I found your comment stimulating and I thank you for making it.
posted by languagehat at 3:28 PM on October 11, 2007


Also, I'm half Norsk and grew up listening to uff da (which I mentally spelled "ufta" for years, because that's how it sounded) as a normal part of conversation.
posted by languagehat at 3:29 PM on October 11, 2007


So why do most of us still insist on confrontational argument?
Confrontational argument here should be about a topic--not a person. An important difference. If someone is wrong about something, there are multiple ways to disagree without attacking them in general.

If you had no interest in the topic of the post, you should have stayed out of it. The comments deleted by Jess were attacks against other members and not about the topic of the post.

(And Jess: if the others were going to be deleted, mine should have been too)

I won't even begin to go into your own assumptions, and their relation to the insults you threw around in that thread.
posted by amberglow at 4:42 PM on October 11, 2007


I won't even begin to go into your own assumptions, and their relation to the insults you threw around in that thread.

That's fucking rich.

"Co-religionists" ring a bell?
posted by Snyder at 4:49 PM on October 11, 2007


Can we go back to discussing language from Nexus? What it is!
posted by yerfatma at 5:52 PM on October 11, 2007


Is this thread fine or superfine?
posted by stinkycheese at 6:51 PM on October 11, 2007


Sorry. On second thought, that was Tropic of Capricorn, wasn't it?
posted by stinkycheese at 7:11 PM on October 11, 2007


“If someone is wrong about something, there are multiple ways to disagree without attacking them in general.”

If they are wrong in their behavior, then you can't disagree without criticizing their behavior. If someone commented in a thread something like “gays are bad people who spread disease and corrupt children”, I seriously doubt you would confine yourself to arguing against his claim without calling into question his motives. But, you're right, that would be the best thing to do.

The first time he says such things.

But if he says them, over and over, and disregarding the contrary arguments you've made and evidence to support it, at some point it becomes clear that he's simply a bigot. It's not about his argument at that point, it's about his pattern of behavior regarding that bigotry. And if he's been on the site for long enough and has revealed himself and his beliefs in other areas, then maybe a larger pattern of narrow-mindedness and bigotry can be shown.

I'm pretty certain that you agree that a bigot should be called on his bigotry, not just the falseness of his beliefs. It's only when you're in the hot seat do you suddenly claim that the argument remain impersonal and abstract. Do you really believe that anyone could even begin a cursory search of your commenting history and not immediately find you criticizing someone personally for bad behavior, such as being, say, a homophobe?

I'll stop criticizing you personally when you stop being a narrow-minded bigot on the topic of Christianity, realize that while many of us here are not Christians, there are some who are, and that your bigoted comments about all Christians are both untrue and hurtful to those Christians who are on MeFi.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:44 PM on October 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


The post wasn't full of anti-Christian bigotry, darling. It was the latest in a long long line of posts about powerful public influential Christians getting caught being hypocrites, criminals, scam artists, closetcases -- or some or all of the above.

I've countered anti-gay bigotry in all sorts of ways here --none of them like the personal attacks you made in that thread against many of us participating. Links refuting the claims made by those bigots are usually the most satisfying. Try it sometime.

If you think i'm a bigot, flag my comments, take it to MeTa, and/or skip my comments. It's not hard.

this deserves repeating, from jamjam above: it amounted to a threat to attack amberglow as a member of a particular ethnic group by bringing up the names of members of that group EB presumed amberglow might be embarrassed to be associated with, and then accusing amberglow of being just the sort of bigot who would do what EB was himself doing by making the accusation in the first place-- all the while pretending to a nobility of character and purpose which would render such conduct forever beneath him.
posted by amberglow at 4:27 AM on October 12, 2007


What it is, yerfatma. What it is.

I gotta go re-read some of that stuff. Haven't looked at it in close to 20 years.

And L&R was "ootah!"

posted by lodurr at 5:33 AM on October 12, 2007


languagehat, it seems to always be true that we get to the good parts after the heat has died down.

But then someone will come and blow on the coals again.

At this point, probably the most producting thing we can do would be to derail into discussions of comic book slang and its etymology. Bozemoi!
posted by lodurr at 5:40 AM on October 12, 2007


Credo!
posted by breezeway at 6:30 AM on October 12, 2007


...Vootie.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:34 AM on October 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eat hot cocobolo!
posted by breezeway at 8:08 AM on October 12, 2007


Use only as directed!
posted by lodurr at 8:55 AM on October 12, 2007


$#%&!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:03 AM on October 12, 2007


Ut!
posted by lodurr at 9:06 AM on October 12, 2007


The post wasn't full of anti-Christian bigotry, darling

says the person who is so anti-christian that he will actually make up "co-religionists" for an atheist who he doesn't agree with

it must be a conspiracy, man ...

If you think i'm a bigot, flag my comments, take it to MeTa, and/or skip my comments.

or call you on it when you express it in the thread you express it in

you're not getting a free pass and whining to the admins just makes you look more guilty
posted by pyramid termite at 9:14 AM on October 12, 2007


Aw, how sweet!
posted by breezeway at 9:15 AM on October 12, 2007


says the person who is so anti-christian that he will actually make up "co-religionists" for an atheist who he doesn't agree with

Prove how "so anti-christian" and what a bigot i am in that thread. Go ahead--i'm not going anywhere. And when you're done proving that, try to understand from EB's own comments in that thread and here in this thread why people would think he wasn't an atheist--it's not hard to see--and it's not an insult anyway--nor it is bigoted either.
posted by amberglow at 10:17 AM on October 12, 2007


amberglow. Christ. Why is it called "personal insult" when Ethereal Bligh says "willing bigot," but it's called "rational discussion and argumentation" when you say that he's a "co-religionist... [with those who do] harm, societal damage, lies, perversions, and crimes"?
posted by koeselitz at 10:21 AM on October 12, 2007


Prove how "so anti-christian" and what a bigot i am in that thread.

you accused an atheist of having "co-religionists" because he disagreed with you

that's proof right there

And when you're done proving that, try to understand from EB's own comments in that thread and here in this thread why people would think he wasn't an atheist

he said he was an atheist right in that thread - "And, as usual, you've made me embarrassed to call myself an atheist."

so perhaps you should explain to me why an atheist wouldn't or shouldn't have whatever opinions he has, and then explain to me how that isn't based on stereotyping and bigotry on your part

go on, explain to me how an atheist can have "co-religionists" or why he should only have certain opinions that YOU approve of

you've PROVED your bigotry with this very post

i'm quite through with this as the only choices you have left are to admit it, or to continue lying
posted by pyramid termite at 11:01 AM on October 12, 2007


Unsubscribe desuetude
posted by desuetude at 11:44 AM on October 12, 2007


If only that worked.
posted by desuetude at 11:45 AM on October 12, 2007


I think pyramid termite is otherwise correct in what he says, but I don't agree that amberglow talking about my “co-religionists” was bigoted. It was, however, deeply weird because every time this comes up I've said I'm an atheist and I've said I was an atheist in many conversations in threads with amberglow.

I do think it's revealing in that the mindset of someone like amberglow can only imagine that someone who disagrees with him and believes him to be be bigoted must be someone who's got a vested interest in this and thus must be a theist. But I'm not. I have a sister who's a devout evangelical, but it has strained our relationship. I do think she herself proves much of what amberglow says wrong, but I have known a number of people long before my sister got religion who prove amberglow wrong, including a high-school friend who's long been a progressive, leftist evangelical, who's also a physician. Another person is a devout Christian (and, I think, semi-closeted gay man) college teacher I knew who was a Vietnan vet (he was a medic), an anti-war leftist, a poet, and generally a very outspoken leftist in all regards. He and I had long conversations about how the media only portrays Christians as right-wing lunatics and that leftist Christians are almost invisible in the media and, therefore, to all the Americans who live in communities that are largely non-Christian.

Amberglow has a long demonstrated anti-Christian bigotry that would be obvious and not tolerated if it were directed against a different group. My example of neocons and Jews was intended to both show that a similar bigotry wouldn't be tolerated and also to show that amberglow is bigoted when it's people he doesn't know and where he doesn't have a self-interest not to be.

I don't and never have had a problem with attacking culturally conservative activist Christians who are using politics to push a regressive set of programs/laws down the rest of America's throats. As well, I have no tolerance for those culturally conservative Christians who are hatefully homophobic, such as Fred Phelps, who'd I'd happily shoot in the head if I had a chance. I agree with amberglow that such people are dangerous people and I hate them and their undue influence on American politics deeply. But, unlike amberglow, I differentiate them from the rest of American Christians and I don't sling around hateful rhetoric attacking all Christians in general, as amberglow does. He's completely and willfully indiscriminate in his hate, which is the pattern of a bigot.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:16 PM on October 12, 2007


It's really not this hard to explain: amberglow has a binary world view. On any "issue," he divides the world into stark teams of us vs. them. He lumps all of 'them' into the same group and paints them with the same dismissive and insulting broad strokes. (Reasonable people could disagree as to whether that is bigotry or not.) So in this case, amberglow saw Ethereal Bligh as taking a position contrary to his, thereby putting Ethereal Bligh on the "them" team. This type of rhetoric can be noted by anyone who reads more than four comments from him on any topic of a political issue.

That's all that has happened here. But I guess Ethereal Bligh will do what he always does and make long explanations of his position only to be responded to with patronizing crap like calling him "darling." And Metafilter will roll on.
posted by dios at 12:34 PM on October 12, 2007


EB is rather darling, though.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:37 PM on October 12, 2007


That's very true, Ethereal Bligh.

What's funny to me is the fact that "personal insult" is really a difficult term to pin down. It seems to me that amberglow has persistently personalized and politicized comments that people have made on MeFi; lots of the things people say are seen in the context of gay rights or the struggle for equality or religion, rather than in the context of their truth or falsity. That's not, in and of itself, wrong, nor is it bigoted or insulting. But I think people bristle at it, and it's unfair.

It's a fine line to walk. It's hard to say that people shouldn't be held to the things they say, but there's such a thing as overmoralism, and there's such a thing as detached and careful debate.

I think you're both probably personalizing the issue a bit much. But I'm a fine one to talk. If anybody wants personal insults, they can go back through my posting history to find them; it was sort of a surprising, even to me, what I've said myself.
posted by koeselitz at 12:38 PM on October 12, 2007


And Metafilter will roll on.

Don't you read comics? You must have read comics, some time. You've got to be able to cough up at least a catch-phrase. Come on.
posted by lodurr at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2007


koeselitz: your mother smelt of elderberries.
posted by lodurr at 12:40 PM on October 12, 2007


Great Goulesarian! Still going on.
posted by yerfatma at 3:34 PM on October 12, 2007


And clearly, EB and amberglow, you are each other's Larrys.
posted by yerfatma at 3:34 PM on October 12, 2007


aw dios--you feeling left out? you're a darling too--don't worry.

So in this case, amberglow saw Ethereal Bligh as taking a position contrary to his, thereby putting Ethereal Bligh on the "them" team.
No--I saw EB trashing multiple people in the thread with personal insults instead of discussing the topic of the post. I saw character assassination of other mefites--You know about that one well.
posted by amberglow at 7:37 AM on October 13, 2007


amberglow writes "No--I saw EB trashing multiple people in the thread with personal insults instead of discussing the topic of the post. I saw character assassination of other mefites"

False dichotomy. It's not one or the other, you're both right. EB insults people, and you lump him in with the Christians just because he disagrees with you.
posted by Bugbread at 3:47 PM on October 13, 2007


That's not why i posted this here in MeTa, bugbread. Not at all.
posted by amberglow at 4:12 PM on October 13, 2007


amberglow: "That's not why i posted this here in MeTa, bugbread. Not at all."

What's not why you posted this here? I didn't mean to ascribe some sort of purpose to why you posted this here in MeTa, so I don't know what you're disagreeing with.
posted by Bugbread at 7:04 PM on October 13, 2007


Much worse, it amounted to a threat to attack amberglow as a member of a particular ethnic group by bringing up the names of members of that group EB presumed amberglow might be embarrassed to be associated with, and then accusing amberglow of being just the sort of bigot who would do what EB was himself doing by making the accusation in the first place-- all the while pretending to a nobility of character and purpose which would render such conduct forever beneath him.

I wasn't going to comment in this thread, but this is such a bullshit slander that it really deserves to be pointed out as idiotic. There's no evidence that EB is antisemitic, either in that thread or anywhere that I know of on MeFi, and his comment is clearly predicated on pointing out the antisemitism of people who draw the kinds of conclusions that he was discussing. That he was reminding amberglow of the difference in his (amberglow's) ability to view the bigotry in the case of the "neocon jews" calumny is consonant with the point that amberglow is acting hypocritically. EB didn't just say, "You should know better because you're Jewish," he cited a specific example where bigotry should not be allowed to pass, and where amberglow would not allow it to pass, while comparing it to other instances where amberglow is willing to employ the same kind of bigotry (according to EB). There was clearly no threat expressed or implied, and it's very difficult not to see a willful misreading in the suggestion that there was.

Ironically, EB was appealing to rationality, not identity, in the face of amberglow doing the opposite. Any doubt about the justification for EB's charge that amberglow's reactivity clouds his thinking on this matter is removed by amberglow's own reduction of EB's argument to his (supposed) identity as a "co-religionist" (a word strangely resonant with a lot of anti-Semitic literature). That amberglow got it so wrong (EB has never made any secret of his atheism) and that he even failed to read EB's own testimony to his atheism within the thread, further suggests that EB's criticisms were valid and should have been allowed to stand.

Bad deletion (I'm not sure I've ever written that before), bad callout.

(Although I have no opinion on the general question of amberglow's approach to Christians.)
posted by OmieWise at 4:10 PM on October 15, 2007


Thanks, OmieWise. That dark and convenient accusation was based upon a misreading of such ill-will that I thought it best to simply ignore it. So I appreciate your analysis of it as a disinterested third-party.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:10 PM on October 15, 2007


Yeah man, when I read it first (like, last week?) I've been waiting for someone to say something about that. Good job Omiewise!
posted by Catfry at 12:19 PM on October 16, 2007


oh, really? and being reduced to "anti-christian bigot" and everyone in that thread being personally insulted and called ignorant isn't reductive somehow? really? that's not at all about identity and somehow about rationality? really?
posted by amberglow at 3:24 PM on October 17, 2007


bringing up an example related to my religion when the thread is about religion and it's already been prefaced by gigantic reductions is all about identity. it's not ill-will and it's not at all misreading.
posted by amberglow at 3:25 PM on October 17, 2007


one more thing--you attacked me and others in that thread, darling. Let's talk more about ill-will.
posted by amberglow at 3:26 PM on October 17, 2007


Yeah, really. You weren't "reduced to" an anti-christian bigot, you were called one because EB thought you were acting like one. Sure, it was personal, no, it was not an appeal to identity over rationality.

I get it, you're pissed, you think EB went too far, you disagree with his comments in toto. I've got no opinion on whether or not what he said was correct in general, but it certainly seemed correct in that thread, not like it was a gratuitous attack. I think you over-reacted in this callout because you're pissed off. I think it's pretty shitty to essentially agree with an accusation that EB is anti-Semitic simply because he pissed you off, and, frankly, it makes me question your judgment.
posted by OmieWise at 4:17 PM on October 17, 2007


It's not an accusation that he's anti-semitic at all.

Who's being reductive now?
posted by amberglow at 4:44 PM on October 17, 2007


And all the deleted comments were going too far--it's not just me, or those directed against me. If you haven't seen the original thread, Omie, don't assess based on what's there after Jess went thru it.
posted by amberglow at 4:46 PM on October 17, 2007


and, of course, that reminds me-- You weren't "reduced to" an anti-christian bigot, you were called one because EB thought you were acting like one. Sure, it was personal, no, it was not an appeal to identity over rationality.

Again, show me where i was doing so in that thread. This is the whole point of this MeTa post--there were multiple personal attacks against others by EB in that thread. He acted like an ass. When confronted in that thread he escalated it. As a result, his most egregious comments were deleted and some responses to those by him.
posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on October 17, 2007


this is wholly about identity--but it's about how EB chose to go about attacking, and the not the other way around. He attacked me not about any of my comments in that thread but because of his identifying me as an "anti-Christian bigot" generally.
posted by amberglow at 4:58 PM on October 17, 2007


“He attacked me not about any of my comments in that thread but because of his identifying me as an ‘anti-Christian bigot’ generally.”

If you don't like the label, don't earn it. If someone continually lies in their comments on MeFi, then they're going to be called a liar. It's absurd to claim that the only proper response by other mefites would be to restrict themselves to saying “that comment is untrue” in response to each and every example of a lie.

You're Jewish and you know many Jewish people so you know better than to stereotype all Jews on the basis of the prominent Jewish neocons, the ultra Orthodox, and extreme Zionists. You don't know many Christians and so you feel comfortable stereotyping all Christians on the basis of the extreme Christians you don't like. You say that if moderate and progressive Christians exist, they ought to be speaking out against the Christians you don't like, otherwise they are responsible for them. Well, as of right now, I don't think you are speaking out enough against your fellow Jews who are extremists and therefore I think you are responsible for what they say and do. I'll let you know when you meet my standard for countering the Jews I don't like so you'll know when you are no longer responsible for, say, every Palestinian boy who gets shot.

Well, no, actually, because I don't hold you responsible for what your co-religionists do. And if I ever hear you fighting antisemitism by educating someone about the great diversity among Jews, I won't do as you do and accuse you of going out of your way to treat the bad people with kid gloves.

You're a bigot. If you're offended by the label, stop acting like a bigot and I'll stop calling you a bigot. Otherwise, at the very least have some self-respect and quit whining about getting what's coming to you.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:58 PM on October 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


amberglow writes "this is wholly about identity--but it's about how EB chose to go about attacking, and the not the other way around."

Once again, you're making a false dichotomy: "this" (by which I assume you mean "this discussion") is quite evidently, by a cursory read through, about both how and/or if you attacked Christians and how and/or if EB attacked you. You may want this discussion to be about only one or the other, but "I want this to be about X" is not the same as "This is wholly about X".

Ethereal Bligh writes "It's absurd to claim that the only proper response by other mefites would be to restrict themselves to saying “that comment is untrue” in response to each and every example of a lie."

Well, then, I'm an absurdist, and, judging from the guidelines, so is Matt.

Ethereal Bligh writes "You don't know many Christians..."

EB, do you have any support for that claim?
posted by Bugbread at 7:39 PM on October 17, 2007


You say that if moderate and progressive Christians exist, they ought to be speaking out against the Christians you don't like, otherwise they are responsible for them. Well, as of right now, I don't think you are speaking out enough against your fellow Jews who are extremists and therefore I think you are responsible for what they say and do. I'll let you know when you meet my standard for countering the Jews I don't like so you'll know when you are no longer responsible for, say, every Palestinian boy who gets shot.
See--we DO do that--and we do take responsibility to counter those among us who are insane and/or hateful and those who hurt others. It's our responsibility to ensure that the hateful asses are not the public face of our religion--and broadcast loudly and clearly that they don't speak for us and we don't believe as they do and that they're hateful and doing wrong and they don't speak for us and we don't do as they say. We don't allow them--We accept our responsibility to do so--it's absolutely wrong not to--and it's a vital responsibility in a diverse nation. You don't see Meir Kahane and his buddies on tv everyday speaking for all Jews and calling this a "Jewish nation" or trying to make my religion the official religion of this country. You don't see religious Jews taking over local public school boards and inserting Judaism into the curriculum... You don't see Rabbis on CNN saying that 9/11 was God's punishment because of Gays and Lesbians. You don't see insane Jewish hatemongers being quoted when they talk about "values voters" and the power of the "religious right" or even "faith and politics" in general. Take some guesses why that is. There are many reasons--not least of which that WE have marginalized and prevented them from dominating or even prevailing in our discourse. ...

You go right ahead and add "non-countering of insane and hateful Jews" to "anti-Christian bigot" on your checklist regarding me--knock yourself out. You've brought up my religion twice now as if i'm telling Christians to do something i don't do myself--it's not so. Especially when the results of who's dominating the discourse is so harmful.

And i've never said "if" they exist. I know they exist, and i weep that they've shirked their own responsibility--because I and those i love are hurt by the haters every single day in multiple and tangible ways. This is not some abstract thing, or a philosophical disagreement. This is about freedom and quality of life right here and right now for millions of Americans--of other religions and no religions, and of other sexual orientations, etc. Given the vast amount of Christians in this country, it's inexplicable that the ones who dominate are so unChristian, and that they wield so much power and are using it for evil, and to establish a theocracy that has no place for me and mine for multiple reasons.

I'm done. You go ahead and keep track. Seriously, knock yourself out.
posted by amberglow at 9:02 PM on October 17, 2007


EB: if you reallly want to get a point across, you need to find a way to use short words, and not many of them.

Also, people hate being told they're wrong by somebody who sounds smarter than they are.

One of the hazards of being bright is forgetting just how bad most other people's reading comprehension skills are. Beautifully constructed, internally consistent, logically sound exposition is no use at all if your audience is merely going to skim it for Magic Words like "Jewish" so they can find an excuse to take offence instead of thinking about your points.

If your intended audience wasn't amberglow specifically, and you were simply intending to put your objection to his behaviour on the record for posterity's sake, then I think getting sucked into an argument was probably an error.

I think Scott Adams has it: Never argue with an idiot; they just drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

EB ftw.
posted by flabdablet at 9:21 PM on October 17, 2007


“EB, do you have any support for that claim?”

Ah, no. It's a wild-ass guess.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:23 PM on October 17, 2007


So, here's where I totally fail to take my own advice :-(

Given the vast amount of Christians in this country, it's inexplicable that the ones who dominate are so unChristian, and that they wield so much power and are using it for evil, and to establish a theocracy that has no place for me and mine for multiple reasons.

Amberglow, me old darling - doesn't it strike you as sad that exactly the same point could be made, with equal validity, by any random Palestinian?

It's not inexplicable at all. People in positions of real power are, by and large, unprincipled pricks - because that's what it takes to gain a position of power.

In a majority-Christian country, the pricks at the top will claim to be good Christians.

In a majority-Jewish country, the pricks at the top will claim to be good Jews.

In a majority-Muslim country, the pricks at the top will claim to be good Muslims.

In a majority-Buddhist country, the pricks at the top will claim to be good Buddhists.

The fact that your country is currently run by complete pricks who self-identify as Christians does not make it OK to bag Christians in general, and does not support a claim that Christians in general have "shirked their own responsibility".

Peons blaming other peons instead of concentrating on their oppressors is what keeps oppression possible.

You don't need to buy into Divide And Conquer.
posted by flabdablet at 10:00 PM on October 17, 2007


amberglow, all i'm reading in your last screed is an utter inability to understand that there are many different kinds of christians and that people are RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY THINK AND DO, NOT WHAT OTHERS THINK AND DO

do you GET that?

does the word BOUNDARIES mean anything to you?

you don't seem to recognize that other people have them and that, for example, a lasped catholic turned new age mystic like me is hardly going to feel any responsibility for what some guy from liberty university is proclaiming

totally different cultures, totally different references and if you'd ever watched someone like me and someone like that talk, you'd realize that

but, no, you lump us all in together because you're lazy, don't want to think, and it helps your whiny refrain of being oh, so persecuted

real motherfuckers don't need anyone else sticking up for them, they stick up for themselves - they have boundaries and they identify their enemies and they give them hell and they don't sit around whining that all the people that look like their enemies didn't fight their battles for them

it's a rough ass world and if you don't fight your own battles, you're dead meat - and if you depend on "co-religionists" to do it for you, then you'll be forever at their mercy

don't whine and beg for people to give you your rights, fucking scream at those who would deny you and TAKE THOSE FUCKING RIGHTS - and if they don't give them to you do your damnest to live as if they had and keep screaming at them anyway

but quit whining - whiners are losers and americans hate losers

and that's the real reason for your bigotry - it's not that you really hate christians, it's that you're unable to draw boundaries, you're unable to fight your own battles and you're unable to tell the rest of the world to fuck off when you need to without a bunch of other people holding your hand and saying it's ok for you to feel that way - and it's so much easier, you think, to lay a guilt trip on them and claiming that THEY'RE the ones oppressing you because THEY don't fight for you as much as you'd like them to

you want something done right, dude, you got to do it yourself

and BOUNDARIES - learn about them, would you?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:04 PM on October 17, 2007


Or from another angle:

Given the vast amount of Americans in that country, it's inexplicable that the ones who dominate are so un-American, and that they wield so much power and are using it for evil, and to establish an empire that has no place for me and mine for multiple reasons.

Those lazy Americans are shirking their responsibility! It's all their fault. I shall go and fly a plane into their Twin Towers. That'll show 'em.
posted by flabdablet at 10:27 PM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Amazing that this thing is still going....

pyramid termite, while I don't disagree in principle with most of what you're saying, I don't think that's mostly what's going on here.

Yes, the assholes will stick up for themselves. And how. But I wouldn't call understanding the difference between the assholes and the majority of their "co-religionists" [is it really the same religion?] [answer: in a very real sense, 'no'] a matter of "boundaries" in the conventional sense. Maybe in the sense that just not really having good boundaries makes it difficult for a person to understand the differences between people who are different from him.

I see the problem here as a failure to exercise imagination. I know amberglow's got on, and I expect it's reasonably good, but I see a failure on his and others' part to exercise it with regard to religion, again and again. What I mean by that is that they don't seem to be able to grok that there is this difference between the Liberty U crowd and the majority of members of the congregation at First United Methodist in Scotia, NY. (Note that I'm not arguing that they have to grasp what the difference is -- I just want them to understand that there is one, and that it matters. And maybe, hopefully, that it's not their job to judge the Scotia congregants.)

(flabdablet's example is extreme enough that it doesn't apply at all to amberglow, but it's depressingly insightful in general, alas.)
posted by lodurr at 3:13 AM on October 18, 2007


Perhaps pyramid termite meant that amberglow is unable to make fine distinctions or think beyond the most brutal of us vs them dichotomies. Maybe that's what he was trying to get at with "boundaries".

As for the matter of shared responsibility in a community, I do think it exists, but as a community grows it approaches zero asymptotically. It's unrealistic and extreme to say that all 400 million (or whatever) Americans are responsible for what any one of the 400 million do. This is even more true in the case of the billion or so Christianity community. It's also true of Christian Americans, of which there are vast numbers. It's certainly true of Protestants, of which, again, there are vast numbers. And it is even true of Evangelicals, not just because there are a large number of them, but also because there is great diversity among them, being self-creating communities. The fact that there exist parallel traditions of conservative and progressive Evangelism demonstrates that all Evangelism can't really be seen as an integral community. If this weren't true, then, for example, one could argue for a collective responsibility of all American Jews, which is a much smaller community than American Evangelicals and is at least as diverse.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:58 AM on October 18, 2007


Maybe in the sense that just not really having good boundaries makes it difficult for a person to understand the differences between people who are different from him.

it's not just that he doesn't understand the differences - it's that he actually thinks that by lumping people into a group he can force them to be responsible for each other's words and actions - and by laying a guilt trip on them, he can force them to help fight his battles for him - that does seem like a lack of boundaries in the traditional sense, that he thinks people can be manipulated like that
posted by pyramid termite at 7:05 AM on October 18, 2007


Why should i make a distinction when they don't--and you don't either when talking about Jewish people? They talk and act for Christians and as Christians, and they hurt all others--Christian and non-. They don't make the distinctions you do, and they're not just talkers, but radically changing this country for the worse.

Over and over i'm told that no other American Christian has any responsibility to counter the harm to all being done in the name of all Christians--not just Evangelicals, not just Baptists, not just Protestants, etc--and that i'm a bigot. Wrong.

There is a collective responsibility among American Jews, and we exercise it all the time.

There is a collective responsibility among Americans too. You don't even need imagination to know this, and to act accordingly.

real motherfuckers don't need anyone else sticking up for them, they stick up for themselves
That's right. And i do so, and i'm doing so, and i call others out when they don't--i will always do so, and it invites your and others' insults and attacks.
Calling me and others names, and saying that i don't see things, or don't recognize distinctions or boundaries instead of ACTUALLY DISCUSSING THE POINTS of a post or topic is exactly the opposite of what you speak of. A post about yet another fallen public Christian who wields enormous political and tangible power is not an invitation for you or anyone else to attack those discussing it. We will stick up for ourselves, and we will call it out.

We will also sneer at you who refuse repeatedly to accept any measure of responsibility in this country for the harm done in your names--whether that name is "human being" or "American" or "Christian" or "Jew" or whatever. Your attacks on us and slurs on our "not recognizing" things is exactly wrong. We see all too well, and we have ALL of history to guide us.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" -- If you don't like it when you're reminded of your responsibility, too bad for you. Stop attacking those who remind you.
posted by amberglow at 7:31 AM on October 18, 2007


Why should i make a distinction when they don't--and you don't either when talking about Jewish people?

Wow, that's a major cop-out. "They" make implicit and explicit distinctions all the time, by talking about "un-christian" things that other people do or say -- what they don't do is explicitly repudiate their "co-religionists".

That's a pretty high standard. Let's make a list of everyone we have to actively repudiate in order to qualify for exemption from being treated like reprobates.

One fairly obvious way that I could parse your arguments is that you think it's your moral responsibility to criticize all evangelicals because they have a class responsibility to make other evangelicals behave in a way that you find morally acceptable. That they ought to exercise their "collective responsibility" in the same way that the class of American Jews exercises its "collective responsibility" "all the time". (Nevermind that they have a different understanding of what that responsibility actually is.) Is that an accurate parsing? If not, why not?

Do you feel any obligation to understand the position of the people you're criticizing?

It's also kind of amazing to me that you're still banging on the "E_B doesn't like jewish people" pot. Are Jews exempt from being used as an illustrative group? Should he have used Uzbeks, instead?

You really should have given up this fight days ago, but you're still here. Why is that? Is it just because Recent Comments keeps popping up all the responses?

So you think Ethereal Bligh is a dick. So what. You're not really winning any battles here, and you're more likely eroding your ability to stand as a moral example.
posted by lodurr at 7:48 AM on October 18, 2007


Calling me and others names, and saying that i don't see things, or don't recognize distinctions or boundaries instead of ACTUALLY DISCUSSING THE POINTS

excuse me? the point of this post was your objection to EB saying certain things about you, therefore those things are actually germane to this post

interesting how you try to shut down the discussion of those who disagree with you

A post about yet another fallen public Christian who wields enormous political and tangible power is not an invitation for you or anyone else to attack those discussing it.

in other words your motives, your thoughts and your discussion preferences are beyond inspection by other people

bullshit

We will stick up for ourselves, and we will call it out.

and you will continue to face it every time you make a bigoted comment

We will also sneer at you who refuse repeatedly to accept any measure of responsibility in this country for the harm done in your names--whether that name is "human being" or "American" or "Christian" or "Jew" or whatever.

in short, if you don't have a label handy, you'll dig and dig and come up with one

no harm is being done in my name

you are being willfully ignorant, prejudiced and bigoted because you are unwilling to deal with us as INDIVIDUALS instead of members of a group

Your attacks on us and slurs on our "not recognizing" things is exactly wrong.

and YOU, you disingenuous crybaby, are not "WE" or "US" but one human being - you were not elected to speak for other people and have no right to

in other words, i am not attacking or arguing with "WE" or "US", i am attacking or arguing with "YOU"

We see all too well, and we have ALL of history to guide us.

the verdict of "ALL of history" is that it's people who grouped others together without regarding them as individuals with individual levels of guilt or good that have done most of the evil in the world

and YOU, by your insistence on lumping me in with a bunch of other unrelated people are dehumanizing and devaluing me - (and you're also doing it in the most mindless, kneejerk political cant a sophomore can come up with - i've seen perl bots that could do this with more original phrasing than you manage) - by doing so, you are placing yourself with the devils, not the angels - and by saying "WE" and "US" you're dehumanizing yourself

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

the start of evil was when a man decided to punish another man because he seemed to be like another man who'd done wrong

i'm not the one going along with that program - you are

you are obviously a hopeless case and i give up on you - and i warn the other people here - that the kind of views that you are expressing could lead to fascism as easily as those of extreme right christians

any time you want to start showing the other people on this board the basic human respect of addressing them as individuals and speaking for yourself as an individual, you can

until then, you're a detriment to this site no matter what your politics may be
posted by pyramid termite at 8:06 AM on October 18, 2007


I think it's pretty obvious from this most recent round of exchanges that amberglow's reasoning is remarkably self-serving. I don't think he's really aware of it. Frankly, I don't think he's smart enough to be aware of it. He has no habit of self-examination, and without a sufficient level of intelligence that would force him to recognize the existence of at least some of his internal inconsistencies, what's left is a list of beliefs, a fairly black-and-white worldview dominated by Good Guys and Bad Guys, and a misleading sense of moral security which continually undermines his ability to argue these things rationally. First and foremost comes his own certainly of moral correctness. From there he utilizes whatever justification comes within his reach.

He's really quite similar to Bush, actually. In terms of (lack of) self-awareness and self-criticism, his Manichean sense of morality with himself on the side of the Angels, his lack of intellectual acuity which then allows a great many incoherences which he's probably not even dimly aware of, his inability to take criticism and his predictable whining that it's “unfair”, his willful ignorance of people unlike himself such that he's not forced to feel empathy which would complicate his worldview—in all these respects he's very like Bush.

Yeah, he's a detriment to the site. He's a detriment to the whole leftist movement, just like many similar people are. Personally, I get the impression that at least two of the admin are increasingly weary of the LOLXIANS posts and threads and I wouldn't be surprised to see a time come when their tolerance of it approaches zero. There will be a hue and cry from the likes of amberglow with little support for he and his from the rest of the userbase. The tepid-to-hostile response to his callout of me in this thread is a good barometer of the community and the simple truth is that people are more annoyed by the LOLXIANS posts and vibe, particularly amberglow's sweeping and hateful generalizations, than they are supporters of it. You'd think that would give amberglow pause—but given all the personality traits I mention above, you can see how he'd create a mental fantasy world where the reaction in this thread is exceptional and insignificant and that most onlookers share his outrage at my insults of him.

You really can't shake the foundations of a simpleminded person's self-serving and often fanciful, incoherent worldview. Simple-mindedness is a shield of sorts and men like Bush and amberglow are aware of this.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:33 AM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's really quite similar to Bush, actually.

Come on, now you're just trying to piss him off.
posted by lodurr at 8:44 AM on October 18, 2007


This thread is an instruction manual for trolls. I'd be surprised if it ever ended.
posted by breezeway at 9:08 AM on October 18, 2007


“Come on, now you're just trying to piss him off.”

Heh. But, no, actually. As I began that comment the comparison came to mind and the more I thought about it the more it seemed apt.

The big disconnect between me and people like amberglow—and I mean “people like amberglow” in a much larger and different sense than we've been discussing—is that at some moment in our respective moral and intellectual development, we took different forks in the road at the moral landmark known as “the means/ends complement”. I became very interested in, concerned and worried by, the question of the correctness of means independent of the ends which they serve. Amberglow's contingent is much more interested in simply evaluating the correctness of the ends. There's a sense—a hubris, in my opinion—that if one has the right moral sense to select the correct ends, then one needn't worry about the correctness of the means one chooses because one can count on one's moral intuition to “do the right thing”. Such people don't worry that they may be trying to achieve the right thing the wrong way because they are just as self-assured about their methods as they are of their goals and values.

I, on the other hand, am much more skeptical of human nature and believe that in large part peoples' beliefs and goals only mostly cosmetically differ because they are largely superficial anyway. Their values are real, but often unexamined. And their means are unexamined, too. The result is that means often drift toward primitive and self-serving ends with the ostensive more noble and rational ends acting as “cover”. As the ends are abstract but the means to the ends very real, pragmatic, and of daily importance, I believe that they should be constantly re-evaluated in as greatly self-critical fashion as possible, assuming an inherent tendency to delusion and being self-serving. And those means become a convenient outlet for the expression of common petty, but ugly emotions like paranoia, self-pity, resentment, externalization of fear, envy, and similar.

I can always imagine myself being in my enemy's shoes while for people like amberglow such a thought is almost literally unthinkable.

In a mailing list conversation years ago I had the crystal clear and essentialist exchange which demonstrates this division. I had been arguing for the necessity to always consider the possibility that one is wrong. And one person responded to this with the question, “why should I consider I am wrong when I know I'm right?”

For amberglow, it's probably the case that it's one of the few fundamental postulates, in one form or another, that he is quite utterly unlike George W. Bush. It is impossible to consider that he might be similar to him because that thought it simple unthinkable. There is no context for it. It's thoroughly outside the boundaries.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:12 AM on October 18, 2007


What is up with Ethereal Bligh ? He seems to be fighting tooth and nail for his right to insult people. I know I have taken digs at him and there is no excuse for it. Except that, well, I don't describe his mental state and I don't call him names or run him down as a person.And I have not responded in kind to what are real slimings. I just talk about what I think he is doing. Like he talks about himself all the time. That's a doing. People can agree or disagree from how they see the evidence. No telepathy is involved.

A lot of what he has been doing lately seems to be about baiting people. I don't know if it's conscious or not but that is how it comes across. I know I may not be the most impartial person to note this, but a lot of his postings and comments of late seem to be about getting even with individual people he doesn't like.

And who knows, point by point, maybe his is the ranking intellect on site in some ways. But there is intelligence and then there is emotional intelligence. In the second category, he is most definitely not the leading light here.

The sutras often talk about monks with great skill in means in meditation and enlightenment. What good is a skill in means in running down other people at length ? What good does it do for strangers to see one person, colorfully and at extreme length, tear to pieces another person he despises on a community weblog ? Who could be proud of an accomplishment like that ? Wow, did I hate on him or what ? High fives, buddies, high fives. I don't like him for the same reason I didn't like dhoyt. He's all about the fighting and trying to smite his personal enemies. There is no benefit to anyone else in that.
posted by y2karl at 9:51 AM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


y2karl, I think at this point we're all (me included) just enabling. There's two tangoers out there, with some folks cutting in here and there for a turn, and we're their audience/chorus. So even though it keeps pinging up in Recent Comments, I'm gonna do my darndest henceforth to stay out of it.

See y'all in the funnies....
posted by lodurr at 10:09 AM on October 18, 2007


Yes, I feel that I have to say, because of my defense of you earlier in the thread, that I find your last couple of comments pretty vicious, EB, and tinged with the type of self-righteousness that you seem to be decrying. I don't mean that to obviate my previous comments.
posted by OmieWise at 10:21 AM on October 18, 2007


amberglow writes "Why should i make a distinction when they don't--and you don't either when talking about Jewish people?"

"Let's kill all the muslims. After all, the guys on the planes that hit the WTC didn't distinguish between good and bad Americans, so why should I distinguish between good and bad Muslims?"

lodurr writes "You really should have given up this fight days ago, but you're still here. Why is that? Is it just because Recent Comments keeps popping up all the responses? "

Probably RSS feeds. That's what I use to read MeFi now, and I've noticed since RSS was implemented that some discussions tend to last longer.

amberglow writes "Your attacks on us and slurs on our 'not recognizing' things is exactly wrong. We see all too well, and we have ALL of history to guide us. "

And vice versa.

Ethereal Bligh writes "He's really quite similar to Bush, actually."

To quote a bit from a debate of "Popular Vote" versus "Electoral College" in Weeds:

Shane: "My argument for the popular vote: George W. Bush"

Gretchen: "That's against the rules. How am I supposed to argue when he invokes the name of the worst president we've ever had?"

y2karl writes "What is up with Ethereal Bligh ? He seems to be fighting tooth and nail for his right to insult people. I know I have taken digs at him and there is no excuse for it. Except that, well, I don't describe his mental state and I don't call him names or run him down as a person."

Yeah, this is where my position parts with EB's. EB, what you're saying about how amberglow thinks about this issue, I agree with. But this is extending beyond railing against that way of thinking and is going into railing against amberglow himself. It's groovy that you hate amberglow (I don't), but he hasn't done any egregious shit that warrants this kind of venting of dislike. There's plenty of people I dislike on MeFi (well, maybe not plenty, but a few), but I don't bring them up individually, because as long as they're not obvious trolls or COMPLETE jackasses (as in, "it's more than just my opinion, but universally agreed by all MeFites), there's no point in doing so, and it's just a public feud.

So, yeah, I can see why you've got a hate-on for amberglow, but none of it is so egregious that you need to make the hate-on public. Argue the issue and keep the hate to yourself.

(Oh, and if you're thinking "it is that egregious! That's the kind of thinking that's caused the current state of affairs in the world!", let me remind you that the rules for MeFi are not the rules of the outside world. Posts stay up or go down based on MeFi rules, and bad posts about Really Important Issues get deleted all the time. So whether or not you think amberglow's philosophy results in grievous harm in real life is unimportant. It doesn't result in grievous harm to MeFi.)
posted by Bugbread at 10:38 AM on October 18, 2007


EB, you're an ass. Enough. Stay away from me if you can't stand me--i can't stand you, but that hasn't made me repeatedly attack the way you do me.

Before we invaded Iraq, millions took to the streets and said "Not in my name". Do you know why they did that? BECAUSE IT WAS GOING TO BE DONE IN OUR NAMES. We all bear responsibility in many ways for all that is done here--and especially for the harm done to ourselves and others IN OUR NAMES. It's really really not hard to understand--and it in no way means that i or anyone else should be attacked for pointing that out. You think you're smart, yet this simple and vital point is "like Bush"?--that's idiotic, frankly.



... That they ought to exercise their "collective responsibility" in the same way that the class of American Jews exercises its "collective responsibility" "all the time". (Nevermind that they have a different understanding of what that responsibility actually is.) Is that an accurate parsing? If not, why not?

Do you feel any obligation to understand the position of the people you're criticizing?


No. It's not accurate. ALL Americans have to exercise their collective responsibility to keep this place America--a place that doesn't have a state religion, and a place where one sect of one religion does not set our laws and dominate the discourse, etc. I was asked if i had responsibility for what Jews do--both in this thread and the original one----I do and i have repeatedly said so. All Americans have responsibility and all those who identify under any label or as a member of a group has responsibility. Christians repeatedly distance themselves from those who harm me and mine and are working to make this a Christian theocracy--yet those who are doing that stuff are speaking for all Christians and they say so explicitly all of the time in every way and form. Anyone and everyone who refuses to accept responsibility for the harm done IN THEIR NAMES towards others has a clear position. They're wrong and they're enabling harm to me and mine and millions of others. I understand the position clearly and disagree with it---it does not, however, give you a right to attack me personally for stating it.

Yet again---i'm not the one who keeps trying to make similarities and comparisons and contrasts with my religion and Christianity--i'm responding to the repeated doing so by EB and others--in the original thread and others.
posted by amberglow at 11:31 AM on October 18, 2007


EB, you're an ass. Enough. Stay away from me if you can't stand me--i can't stand you, but that hasn't made me repeatedly attack the way you do me.

give me a break - you called him out

this is your thread and your call out - don't blame him for it
posted by pyramid termite at 11:43 AM on October 18, 2007


amberglow writes "Anyone and everyone who refuses to accept responsibility for the harm done IN THEIR NAMES towards others has a clear position."

So I take it you're responsible for the war, torture, illegal wiretapping, and curtailing of Constitutional rights? You're a busy guy.
posted by Bugbread at 11:51 AM on October 18, 2007


“I know I may not be the most impartial person to note this, but a lot of his postings and comments of late seem to be about getting even with individual people he doesn't like.”

Oh, good grief, you're describing yourself. I don't like you, but in the last few days it's not been me who's been commenting on things you say, it's been you commenting on things I say. The most obvious case of baiting was your long comment where you, among other things, talk about my mental state and insult me at length—all in a thread that you had not participated in, that had seen no activity for three days, and where you quoted a sentence I had written early in the thread. That was baiting if anything is, and here you are accusing me of baiting people!

I didn't go looking for an argument with you, you found me.

Likewise, my rant against amberglow that is the subject of this thread occurred in a thread where I had been critical of the ceaseless indiscriminate criticism of Christians. I hadn't ranted or gotten angry until the thread had mostly calmed down and then amberglow accuses me of aiding and abetting the Falwell's of the world. He made an outrageous claim about me, I lost my temper and responded. There was no baiting involved.

I another thread, I got pissed off at people who were egregiously misreading me. I don't even know a thing about those two people.

And that's it, unless you want to count my argument with mediareport of over a week ago. I'd not thought much one way or another about mediareport until that thread. We argued, as people will do around these parts.

While it may be the case that I've been more irritable than usual lately, it's absurd to claim as you are that I've been finding people I don't like and then baiting them. That's a complete fantasy on your part. I mean, can you even support your claim that anyone I've argued with excepting you and amberglow are people I don't like? Which will be hard to do because you two are about the only active members that I actually dislike. And remember: you initiated the exchange with me, not me.

“...but he hasn't done any egregious shit that warrants this kind of venting of dislike.”

I disagree. If amberglow had been saying such indiscriminately hateful things for as long as he's been saying about a number of other groups, instead of Christians, the tidal wave of abuse that would have been heaped on him would make my comments trivial. And rightly so. Mostly, mefi doesn't tolerate bigots. For some reason it tolerates amberglow, but that doesn't make his rhetoric any less noxious.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:16 PM on October 18, 2007


EB: And remember: you initiated the exchange with me, not me.

He hit me first... mommmmmy!

EB, I imagine that if I was smart enough to scrape and parse the last three days of this site, you would be approaching Joycean word counts.

Three hundred monkeys, with three hundred grams of meth and three hundred typewriters would be hard pressed to match your output over the last few days. Hell, reading your diatribes it seems like every day is Bloomsday.

We get it. Your smart and misunderstood. We're stupid. Everything you say is taken out of context. You're trying to elucidate and educate, we're all obtuse and simple. There is nothing wrong with you, just our perception of you. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hear this same reasoning from dozens of fourth graders on a daily basis.

The only difference between you and them is that they *know* they're nine.
posted by cedar at 2:37 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


“He hit me first... mommmmmy!”

Can you take a step back and see how your comment ironically is an example of me being misread and then attacked for the misreading? Seriously.

I wasn't claiming that whatever I've done is acceptable because someone else started the argument (which is what the “he hit me first...mommmmy” cry is all about) but, rather, I was denying y2karl's claim that, um, I started it. I quoted him saying something to the effect that he thinks I've been baiting people I don't like. Well, no, he baited me, not the other way around.

Maybe it's a conjunction of the stars or someone has cursed me. Whatever it is, your comment right there is an example of a hostile misreading of what I wrote followed by an insult using the misreading as a jumping-off point, ironically claiming that my claims of being misunderstood are false and childish. It's pretty clear that I was merely denying his claim that I've been baiting people, starting fights with people I don't like. I wasn't trying to excuse my behavior, right or wrong.

When one is maliciously—or at least very recklessly—misread a number of times within just a couple of days, it becomes very annoying.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:35 PM on October 18, 2007


cedar writes "We get it. Your smart and misunderstood. We're stupid. Everything you say is taken out of context. You're trying to elucidate and educate, we're all obtuse and simple. There is nothing wrong with you, just our perception of you. Yeah, yeah, yeah."

I don't even know how to parse that: some of us are understanding him (whether we agree or disagree) and some aren't. Some are taking him out of context, and some aren't. Some folks are obtuse and simple, some aren't. Parsing this as "everybody disagrees with EB, so EB thinks everyone is a big dookie-head" is fourth grade reasoning.
posted by Bugbread at 3:39 PM on October 18, 2007


Ethereal Bligh writes "I quoted him saying something to the effect that he thinks I've been baiting people I don't like. Well, no, he baited me, not the other way around."

You know what, the distinction is honestly completely academic. You probably care quite a bit who started it. Y2karl probably cares quite a bit who started it. The rest of us probably don't. All we see is that you two are having a private feud in public. I don't think anybody really cares who started, just that both of you are responsible for continuing it.
posted by Bugbread at 3:46 PM on October 18, 2007


“Parsing this as ‘everybody disagrees with EB, so EB thinks everyone is a big dookie-head’ is fourth grade reasoning.”

I have called a couple of people “stupid” (or equivalent) in the last few days. But is it fair to inflate that into characterizing me as claiming (or believing) that everyone here is stupid and that I'm smart? Nope. But that kind of caricaturization is par for the course, especially when I've upped the ante of the rhetoric in the first place.

I'm more annoyed at the “mommy, he started it” thing. Cedar may have unintentionally hit on something with the sarcastic “you're being taken out of context” remark. Some of the misreadings can be explained if I suppose that people are reacting to particular phrases that catch their eye and which they then isolate out of the context within which they were made. You can see this clearly with “ and remember: you initiated the exchange with me, not me”, which in isolation looks just like a “mommy, he started it whine”.

I think I said in another comment that I agree that it's reasonable for me to be as clear and concise as necessary if I want people to understand my arguments—but that I think that when people are responding to something I said, disagreeing with it or criticizing me, the onus is still on them to avoid misreading what I've written, whether or not it was, for them, sufficiently clear and concise. It just seems to me that if you're going to argue with what someone has written, it's your responsibility to go back and carefully re-read it to be sure you understand what you're arguing against. But too many people seem to be triggered by certain hot-button words or phrases and they immediately start typing into the comment box.

“You know what, the distinction is honestly completely academic. You probably care quite a bit who started it. Y2karl probably cares quite a bit who started it.”

I don't think it's academic because it's not that I cared who started it per se when I wrote that comment, I cared because I wanted to refute his specific argument that I was behaving in a certain pattern with him and other people that involved me starting these arguments. That's a more serious charge than the the typical “well, you started the argument” charge, it was a claim about my general behavior on MetaFilter recently. Of course I wanted to refute that—you would, too.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:57 PM on October 18, 2007


At this point, I'm just commenting to reduce the scroll-time required to pass this thread in My Comments.
posted by cortex 3 ¼ hours ago

posted by y2karl at 5:40 PM on October 18, 2007


Why should i make a distinction when they don't--and you don't either when talking about Jewish people?

See, this is just poor reading comprehension.

The point of switching "Christian" for "Jewish" in a statement about collective responsibility was

----> NOT <>
to claim that it's OK for Christians to deny collective responsibility because Jews do the same thing.

NOT.

OK?

It was an attempt to show that this reasoning pattern - the ascribing of collective responsibility to people you choose to group - is broken.

Since illustrative examples have apparently failed to get the point across, let's do it with boxes and arrows. Go get yourself a bit of scrap paper, and let's put some labels on some groups of people.

People with a keen moral sense who take the love-thy-neighbour teachings of Christianity seriously and self-identify as Christians: call them group A.

Pricks and arseholes who do abominable things while self-identifying as Christians and claiming to act in the name of all Christians: call them group B for Bushco.

Other people who self-identify as Christians: call them group C.

People with a keen moral sense who take the Judaic teachings on doing good works seriously and self-identify as Jewish: call them group 1. From what you've written, I'm going to assume you'd put yourself in group 1.

Pricks and arseholes who do abominable things while self-identifying as Jewish and claiming to act in the name of all Jews: call them group 2. I trust you'll agree that Meir Kahane will do as a convenient face for this group.

Other people who self-identify as Jewish: call them group 3.

People with a keen moral sense who take the peace-loving and moral self-improvement teachings of Islam seriously and self-identify as Muslims: call them group I.

Pricks and arseholes who do abominable things while self-identifying as Muslims and claiming to act in the name of all Muslims: call them group II. The 9/11 mob are in here.

Other people who self-identify as Muslims: call them group III.

People with a keen moral sense who find treating others well to be a self-evident good and self-identify as atheists: call them group α.

Pricks and arseholes who do abominable things while self-identifying as atheists and claiming to act in the name of all atheists: call them group β.

Other people who self-identify as atheists: call them group γ.

And so on. Note that people in groups A, 1, I and α have a great deal in common; so do people in groups B, 2, II and &beta. Groups C, 3, III and γ are diverse enough that it's hard to draw conclusions.

When people in group B claim to act in the name of groups (A + B + C), they are lying or deluded.. Anybody in group A is going to be just as appalled by the actions of those in group B as you would be.

In fact, people in group B don't give a rat's rectum what people in group A think, believe or do.

Which makes the idea that group A should be held accountable for the actions of group B completely wrong.

Sure, group A folk can (and do!) denounce and protest against the actions of group B, and that's laudable and necessary. But if this is generally ineffective, that's not group A's fault.

And group A does not cease to exist simply because you choose to reason in terms of group (A + B + C). When you point the finger of scorn at Christians-in-general (A + B + C) for the failings of group B, you're doing group A a grave injustice. EB attempted to point this out, using parallels between (A, B, C) and (1, 2, 3) to get his point across, and you got all shirty when you apparently misread this as some kind of attack on group 2.

Your apparent Christian-bashing only make sense in a frame of reference that sees distinctions between groups 1 and 2 but lumps (A + B + C) together in one amorphous mass. That lumping is unjustifiable, as EB has been at pains to point out. In fact, much of EB's recent writing has been a passionate criticism of the tendency of those in A to see B and C but only (1 + 2 + 3), (I + II + III), (α + β + γ), or those in 1 to see 2 and 3 but only (A + B + C), (I + II + III), (α + β + γ) and so on.

You're in group 1, and EB is in group α. EB is the more careful reasoner, but both your fundamental attitudes have much in common. Can't we all just get along?
posted by flabdablet at 5:59 PM on October 18, 2007


I think that when people are responding to something I said, disagreeing with it or criticizing me, the onus is still on them to avoid misreading what I've written, whether or not it was, for them, sufficiently clear and concise.

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
posted by flabdablet at 6:11 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ethereal Bligh writes "I don't think it's academic because it's not that I cared who started it per se when I wrote that comment, I cared because I wanted to refute his specific argument that I was behaving in a certain pattern with him and other people that involved me starting these arguments. That's a more serious charge than the the typical “well, you started the argument” charge, it was a claim about my general behavior on MetaFilter recently. Of course I wanted to refute that—you would, too."

Yeah, I would want to do that, and I'm the only person who would care. That's what I'm saying. The charge may be serious, etc., but there are only 3 parties here: you, your opponent, and bystanders. Your opponent won't concede, and the bystanders don't care, and you're already convinced, so the argument is pointless.
posted by Bugbread at 7:34 PM on October 18, 2007


“Yeah, I would want to do that, and I'm the only person who would care. That's what I'm saying. The charge may be serious, etc., but there are only 3 parties here: you, your opponent, and bystanders. Your opponent won't concede, and the bystanders don't care, and you're already convinced, so the argument is pointless.”

So you're saying that in a thread calling me out and in which numerous other people have participated, when someone makes a claim that my behavior has lately followed a certain pattern on MetaFilter, the only people who are interested in that claim are myself and the person making it?

It seems to me that this accusation is just as interesting, or more interesting, than any other comment in this thread.

Furthermore, when someone mischaracterizes my refutation of that claim in a insulting fashion, you're arguing that I shouldn't try to refute that, either, because no one is interested? That hardly seems fair.

I'd like to understand how far this reasoning goes. For example, if I respond to cedar's comment by claiming that cedar is, say, a compulsive liar (this isn't true, it's just an example), because onlookers really could not care less who's actually correct in the argument, it's best that cedar not respond? Wouldn't it be the case also that no one cares whether I or amberglow is right in our disagreement, therefore he should have just ignored my insults?

Well, anyway, regardless of the merits of my other examples, I think it's a reasonable proposition that in a thread in which one is called-out, that person has the right to respond, or not respond, to all accusations made in that thread. If not anywhere else, then still surely here.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:36 PM on October 18, 2007


Anyway, to sum up, since I'm about finished with this thread:

If amberglow were an obvious antisemite who had a long history of posting stereotype-filled, hateful comments and posts about how Jews were destroying the US, he'd have been run out of MetaFilter on a rail, under a barrage of rocks, long ago. That his bigotry is against all Christians means it is more tolerated, but no less egregious and no less deserving of scorn, mockery, and personal abuse. I'm not going to stop refuting his bigotry or shining a light on it.

This thread and the previously deleted thread posted by, I believe, Optimus Chyme about a similar anti-amberglow rant I wrote both have demonstrated more comments sympathetic to my complaints about amberglow than they have comments from his defenders. This is compelling evidence that my complaints are not insignificant and that amberglow's behavior on the subject of Christians is at least problematic and more probably generally offensive. There should be an administrative response to this, sooner or later.

To those claiming that I've been on some kind of rampage through MetaFilter, picking fights and insulting people recklessly—no, I've not been picking fights and I've basically only insulted two or three people quite deliberately. The impression of anything far beyond these limited examples is the product of selection bias. My rants against amberglow and y2karl were particularly vitriolic, and I otherwise have possibly been a bit more testy lately, but otherwise I've been mild and about the same as I've always been. In two days you'll forget that you thought I was on a path of destruction and perhaps you'll have the pleasure of having someone advise you to seek professional help. Seriously—I only mention this because I care. Have a nice day.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:55 PM on October 18, 2007


  
posted by y2karl at 9:07 PM on October 18, 2007


?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:22 PM on October 18, 2007


  
posted by y2karl at 12:05 AM on October 19, 2007


Ethereal Bligh writes "So you're saying that in a thread calling me out and in which numerous other people have participated, when someone makes a claim that my behavior has lately followed a certain pattern on MetaFilter, the only people who are interested in that claim are myself and the person making it?"

No, I'm saying that at this point of the thread, the only people interested in that claim are you and the person making the claim. There's a very big difference.

Ethereal Bligh writes "I otherwise have possibly been a bit more testy lately, but otherwise I've been mild and about the same as I've always been."

I don't know how to put this, so take it as it is: I like you, and almost always agree with you, and I've found you far less mild lately. I've seen other people say the same. This may be due to selection bias, but from a pragmatic standpoint, when both people who dislike you and people who like you are finding you to be increasingly angry and aggressive, you should consider the possibility that it isn't selection bias on their part, but perhaps selection bias on your part.
posted by Bugbread at 12:31 AM on October 19, 2007


I bugbread has a point EB. I think you should go do something nice for yourself and forget about MetaFilter for a day or two. We'll still be here when you get back.
posted by timeistight at 7:42 AM on October 19, 2007


Well, I don't feel any different than usual. In the past when I've been really angry on MeFi and picking fights with people was quite aware of it. Nevertheless, I'll take it under advisement, especially when I'm about to tell someone off.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:53 PM on October 19, 2007


Well, I don't feel any different than usual.

Of course you don't; you're programmed not to :-)
posted by flabdablet at 7:24 PM on October 19, 2007


Well, I, for one, am programmed to receive shove bread down their throats.
posted by lodurr at 1:35 PM on October 21, 2007


Do not trust the lodurr robot. He is malfunctioning.
posted by flabdablet at 7:10 AM on October 22, 2007


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