A prejudicial start to the weekend. October 20, 2007 4:29 AM   Subscribe

Do we tolerate veiled ethnic slurs by AskMe posters?

The part about "provable sociological/psychological and ethnic studies into the behavior of males in his culture group" reeks to me of bullshit. I understand that Sam.Burdick is pissed—I probably would be too—but he shouldn't go around claiming harassment when "Al" reported (apparently truthfully, to the satisfaction of the court) that "Sue" had committed a felony. If that's the case, "Al" isn't doing anything unethical.

On the other hand, if "Al" is as vexatiously litigious as Sam.Burdick says, he's liable to come after #1, too, if he sees that question.
posted by oaf to Etiquette/Policy at 4:29 AM (93 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

That's one of those weirdly fucked up stupidly fascinating AskMes where the poster doesn't really have a clue what's actually happening but is micromanaging the answers anyway. Fun, but it sure does include an awful lot of possibly identifying information.

Oh, and I love that "Al has got this felony charge to stick on Sue" is now the preferred way of saying "Sue got convicted of a felony."
posted by mediareport at 4:51 AM on October 20, 2007 [5 favorites]


--really, I would like to close this thread. It isn't useful and I didn't carefully consider the consiquences of creating it--

I think that is good advice from the poster of the Askme Q. Too weird.
posted by peacay at 5:03 AM on October 20, 2007


Oaf -- the guy already lamented having posed the question and wanted the thread closed. I really have to wonder whether a second thread is necessary.
posted by creasy boy at 5:14 AM on October 20, 2007


she's a slut.
posted by quonsar at 5:37 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


“Do we tolerate veiled ethnic slurs by AskMe posters?”

I didn't see a slur. And although one commenter guessed that “Al” was Jewish, I can't see any reason why. For one thing, it's pretty indisputable that there are cultures which are big in the machismo thing and there are cultures which are not. It's not an “ethnic slur” to claim that this is true, nor is it an ethnic slur to claim it of a particular culture, assuming it's true. For another thing, I've never heard that American Jewish culture is among the machismo cultures and it's certainly not my own impression. The commenter's guess seems off-base to me. If the specificity of the slur is “veiled”, it's so heavily veiled as to be invisible.

I'm also not quite understanding peoples' certainty that “Sue” isn't being harassed. For example, “Sue” could have, with “Al's” consent, written a rent utility payment with a check drawn on “Al's” account and signed her name to it, or signed his. Or any number of other possibilities that might happen once or twice or occasionally with a couple who have been dating or living together for several years.

Look: about six months after me and my ex-wife separated and while we were starting our divorce, she filled out and signed my name to that year's state income tax form for us as a married couple, and then deposited the refund check, all without telling me. The money was hers, she had been the one working that year. But she still forged my signature on a legal document. I was actually pretty pissed-off about it and during a period when I was quite angry with her, I thought about getting her in trouble over it. But I realized that it would be wrong for me to do that. What she did was pretty egregious and the law would probably look dimly on it, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. She had a moral right to the money, she didn't want to deal with me or wait for me to get around to doing my part, so she did it herself. That she told me about it at all was to her credit. But from a legal standpoint, it's pretty cut-and-dried. (Unless there's some law I don't know about allowing this.)

If you date someone—and especially if you live with them—for several years, you probably know any number of things that could get them in trouble, even serious legal trouble. Especially if you are willing to lie.

So, yeah, maybe “Sue” outright forged some checks and cashed them or something. But if could also easily be the case that “Al” got her in trouble for something that is a crime and looks like a crime but in context it was really no big deal.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:53 AM on October 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


The ethnic slurs are so veiled that we don't even know who they were talking about. Therefore, no one in particular is offended, but several of us are wondering if we should be. For example, if they were talking about a jewish, arab, latin, or south asian person, I would be very put off. But if they were talking about a Canadian, I would completely see the OP's point.
posted by mds35 at 6:25 AM on October 20, 2007


What the hell is a "culture group"? And what the hell is a "provable study"? That shit's just dumb.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:27 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Obnoxious but weird. Obnoxious and weird? Obnoxious.
posted by dreamsign at 6:34 AM on October 20, 2007


That shit's just dumb.

Heya, you question my manhood?
I shoulda box your ears!

(I got nuthin)
posted by dreamsign at 6:35 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Do we tolerate veiled ethnic slurs by AskMe posters?

If they're veiled to that degree, we totally do. Those things tend to work themselves out in-thread with people calling the OP on whatever it was he was thinly veiling a reference to. While I appreciate your taking this here to Meta oaf, there's not much to do except say "wow that's a real mess of a question, isn't it?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:44 AM on October 20, 2007


if you're able to fill in the blanks as to who the poster is talking about when they post "provable sociological/psychological and ethnic studies into the behavior of males in his culture group", you're the racist.

not that there is anything wrong with that.

wait, there is?!?
posted by dflemingdotorg at 6:44 AM on October 20, 2007


Jews have manhoods now?
posted by Deathalicious at 6:49 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Do we tolerate veiled ethnic slurs by AskMe posters?

I hope so, because I was just about to ask how to keep out my guinea neighbor's garlic stink. I was going to be much more subtle in the actual question, but now I won't bother.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:50 AM on October 20, 2007


My pary are with the father who lost his chrilden. I am truely sorry for your lots.
posted by Mayor Peace Love and Unity at 6:55 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mayor Peace Love and Unity, would you ever consider violence against Mayor Curley? Someone needs to kick his ass.
posted by veggieboy at 6:57 AM on October 20, 2007


I think it's silly to say that someone claiming that men of certain cultures react more aggressively than others when they feel their “manhood” has been questioned. That's just simply true. It's not a slur.

However, asserting that a particular male reacted aggressively to a certain situation because he's a member of a particular culture and therefore he felt his manhood was questioned is moving into the slur area.

Finally, claiming that it's proof that a particular person is harassing someone because he's a member of a particular culture and therefore it's safe to assume that he felt his manhood was questioned is not onlyl pretty much in the slur territory, it's also pretty damn stupid.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:59 AM on October 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


So there are slurs and then damn stupid slurs?
posted by carsonb at 7:05 AM on October 20, 2007


Only people from certain provable culture groups make damn stupid slurs.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:09 AM on October 20, 2007


If he hadn't out and out used the word "ethnic," I would have assumed the culture group to which he made reference was, like, lawyers. Who I don't believe comprise an ethnicity, although...maybe? Clearly, it's time for science to step in. Has anyone asked the DNA guy about this? I bet he could conduct a study, and...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:13 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to point out that, based on provable sociological/psychological and ethnic studies, males in my culture group are totally okay with threats to their manhood.
posted by felix betachat at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Perhaps the culture group referred to was Aspirant Appreciators of American Assholist Art? I hear their coffee-mornings-cum-frat-boy-comedy-showings practically reek of testosterone.
posted by Abiezer at 7:16 AM on October 20, 2007


“I would have assumed the culture group to which he made reference was, like, lawyers. Who I don't believe comprise an ethnicity, although...maybe?”

Well, they are brothers-in-law*.

* And sisters, too.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:17 AM on October 20, 2007


The poster of the AskMe thread said it was a bad idea and asked that it be closed. Any reason not to honor that request?
posted by brain_drain at 7:34 AM on October 20, 2007


If they're veiled to that degree, we totally do.

I think the thing I take issue with the most is the "provable" thing. His statements aren't provable outside his own head.
posted by oaf at 7:40 AM on October 20, 2007


Attempt at further clarification: I find anything along the lines of "This set of people is provably inferior according to SCIENCE!" to be offensive.
posted by oaf at 7:46 AM on October 20, 2007


The poster of the AskMe thread said it was a bad idea and asked that it be closed. Any reason not to honor that request?

I was waiting to see if he contacted one of us. Once it's closed unclosing it is a little more confusing for all involved and we're incredibly reachable via email/chat/this thread as Justinian pointed out. I don't want to be passive-aggressive about it, but there is a "is this your final answer?" aspect to by-request thread closures and we usually wait to be contacted. I'll drop the OP a note and check in with him.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:48 AM on October 20, 2007


Damn, I would LOVE to see the provable study that said "and, taking the data in aggregrate and in relinking with Johnson and McMenamee(1993)[1], we have shown that expected response in this category[2] is to be a real jerk".
posted by bonaldi at 8:06 AM on October 20, 2007


I'll weigh in here.

Hi, my name is I'm-stupid-for-playing-the-ethnic-card. I do apologize for ruffling any and all feathers for my previous thread.

As I said, it (the thread) was ill-thought out and probably shouldn't have been posted in the first place. But, that's my fault.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 8:12 AM on October 20, 2007


We tolerate it, but by all means we should point out how fucked up that statement is.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:17 AM on October 20, 2007


No shit
posted by Sam.Burdick at 8:20 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I closed the thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:22 AM on October 20, 2007


Now Sam's making ornithological slurs.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:25 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The poster of the AskMe thread said it was a bad idea and asked that it be closed.

Not to disagree with jessamyn, obviously, but I think it's a bad idea to close on request unless the thread is actually damaging to someone in some way, because I don't think people should get a "I don't like the answers, so I'm taking my ball and going home" card.
posted by headspace at 8:29 AM on October 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


headspace - I'm glad the thread was deleted, regardless of the OP. There was a lot of identifying information in there Wisconsin lawyer + possible ethnic minority status + conviction of forgery + house arrest sentence + some family and personal information = a lot of information to find the person via snooping. Especially because the people directly involved with this case (particularly the friend) weren't involved with the posting of the thread.
posted by fermezporte at 8:46 AM on October 20, 2007


i read through the thread, and my racist detector didn't go off at all. but my bs detector redlined.
posted by lester at 8:47 AM on October 20, 2007


The thread, in thise case, could damage someone though, his friend "Sue". As it is it's deleted off the easily-reachable green, as well as Sam.Burdick's "AskMe Posts" history (though not his AskMe asnwer history... which makes it a bit redundant...)
posted by Phire at 8:48 AM on October 20, 2007


I'm thinking he'd like it to be deleted completely if possible. He may not know that's an option.
posted by agropyron at 8:50 AM on October 20, 2007


Oh, good, it is.
posted by agropyron at 8:51 AM on October 20, 2007


no I didn't know it was an option. based on fermezporte's comment I got a hint of how broad an ass I was being in listing that information. Morally, should the whole thing be deleted? I don't know, that's up to the admins.

I was just thinking that...

well no...

I need to get off the internet today and get some perspective. Time to go clean a bathroom.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 8:55 AM on October 20, 2007


Stay away from Canadians, whatever you do. They will wreck your bathroom.
posted by mds35 at 9:03 AM on October 20, 2007


Stinky hosers.
posted by mds35 at 9:03 AM on October 20, 2007


I came here for only two reasons, to be a Jew and kick some ass, and I've just about run out of being Jewish.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:12 AM on October 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Piss off, eh?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:13 AM on October 20, 2007


I'm not saying this particular thread shouldn't have been deleted; I'm just saying in general I think people should have to suck it up when they get answers they don't like.
posted by headspace at 9:29 AM on October 20, 2007


Canucks don't wreck bathrooms.

They wreck your beer stash.

Well, not wreck so much as guzzle, but it amounts to the same thing. Except, I suppose, for the drunk Canuck now staggering off to your bathroom.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:29 AM on October 20, 2007


I'm not saying this particular thread shouldn't have been deleted; I'm just saying in general I think people should have to suck it up when they get answers they don't like.

That's usually what we tell people and ask "are you SURE?" It's in the FAQ saying we generally don't do it because it wastes people's time answering and is just generally a lame thing to do. However, there are instances like this one where it's probably an okay idea Also at some level, we don't wan to get into big admin pissing matches with someone whose girlfriend/boyfriend/parents are mad at them over our right to have their question available. As the site ages, things that may have seemed like a great idea to ask three years ago may not seem as bright linked to your username today.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:44 AM on October 20, 2007


Also, I'm not sure we've really ever seen that many bizarrely flippant askme-closure requests; I can recall a few threads on the blue going really badly in the generic content sense and getting nuked on request, but with AskMe the notion of personal harm of some sort seems pretty heavily tied to the likelihood of such a request.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2007


goddamn femminazis...Ellen my cry, but we all know there is a reptile lurking under her zippable flesh suit
posted by KokuRyu at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2007


Canucks don't wreck bathrooms.

They wreck your beer stash.


The first follows from the second, no?
posted by bonehead at 2:32 PM on October 20, 2007


On the subject of the OP in that thread, wasn't that the plot of Ghost Whisperer last night?
posted by IndigoRain at 2:46 PM on October 20, 2007


CRY.
why must you hate us, eh? we just want to be loved.
posted by Phire at 3:05 PM on October 20, 2007


Plus our beer is better.

What do making love in a canoe and American beer have in common?
--It's fucking close to water!
Baddum-tish!
Thank you, thank you, here all night.

posted by Phire at 3:06 PM on October 20, 2007


I think we've all learned our lesson here today; Canadians suck.
posted by Justinian at 3:28 PM on October 20, 2007


I bite my thumb at thee, sir.
posted by Phire at 3:32 PM on October 20, 2007


Plus our beer is better.

Oh Yeah?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:42 PM on October 20, 2007


The beer they have in Canada is better, 'jax. They don't let it across the border.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:24 PM on October 20, 2007


That an argument over beer quality comes down to Molson vs. Sam Adams is the really depressing thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:32 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Life is sometimes depressing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 PM on October 20, 2007


Piss water posing as beer is very depressing.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:46 PM on October 20, 2007


"Do we tolerate veiled ethnic slurs by AskMe posters?"

Of course we do, sneech.

"Piss water posing as beer is very depressing."

I see you've tried Coors.
posted by klangklangston at 5:48 PM on October 20, 2007


You bastards are beerist and I am offended.
posted by Justinian at 5:48 PM on October 20, 2007


You bastards are beerist and I am offended
This subject of beer, don't you know's open-ended
There's good beers and bad to be found in all lands
So don't get all nationalist, fool, understand?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:45 PM on October 20, 2007


I see that this thread has been derailed and is now about Canadians, so there's no need for me comment.
posted by orange swan at 7:03 PM on October 20, 2007


I like beer.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:22 PM on October 20, 2007


And I'm Canadian, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:23 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I had a porter the other day, and it was good. Took me by surprise! Not nearly a Guiness, which I find a little too thick and chewy; but much more than a dark ale, and much, much more than the typical pub ales. 'twas a nice treat.

I dislike lagers.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:49 PM on October 20, 2007


When a man can't spell "Guinness", he's not to be trusted
Comes off like an expert, but now he's been busted...

Hey, jes' kiddin' though, fff! You obviously know your brews, with beer talk like "chewy" and all.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:12 PM on October 20, 2007


Hah! North Americans comparing beers. A very weak pissing contest!
posted by Abiezer at 8:30 PM on October 20, 2007


Allright Abiezer, you just stay outta this, y'hear? Go back to your Tsingdao!

(Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind a Tsingdao right about now. I'm drinking a "Kirin Classic" now with lunch, though, and they ain't half bad. Plus, they're available at my local supermarket, only a 47 second walk from hime!)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:39 PM on October 20, 2007


I bite my thumb at thee, sir.

Peace? I hate the word.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:39 PM on October 20, 2007


Uh, that's home. I don't know where "Hime" is...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:42 PM on October 20, 2007


Bah. What's the point of blatant trolling when you're all so nice? Unlike Qingdao, which is a gassy travesty of a beer in my hardly humble opinion.
posted by Abiezer at 8:43 PM on October 20, 2007


No expertise here, man. I just know what I like. Lager is piss. Pale Ale is okay. Darker Ales are delicious. Porter, or at least the Porter I had, is damn fine. And Guinness is just too much. Takes the whole darker, richer, heavier thing a little too far for me. Though it's better than horse piss.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:44 PM on October 20, 2007


Sir, with your callous remark, you've just insulted untold millions of horse piss connoisseurs.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:49 PM on October 20, 2007


I'm with you on the Guinness, fff, though I've always imagined that I might enjoy it fresh out the tap, in an Irish pub, with an aural backdrop of fiddle and Uillean pipes.

And Abiezer, what, in your not so humble opinion (finally, an honest man!) would be a good Chinese beer?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:53 PM on October 20, 2007


None of them - but I'm a boring Northerner who likes flat warm English beer, so I may not be your best guide. Unfortunately the cunning Germans got in here with their lager first and everywhere you go there's just local variations on gassy lager. which is not my thing. You get some odd dark beers or fruit beers, but it just seems to be added colour or chemicals for me.
Better to try the native brews. Even the notorious baijiu (literally "white spirit" and not wrongly named) has some drinkable versions if you can take the alcohol content. Probably the best thing I ever had was a sorghum wine that the Yi people brew in big clay pots and you drink through a bamboo straw. Sort of like a quality sherry.
posted by Abiezer at 9:07 PM on October 20, 2007


No slur on German lager per se, I hasten to add. Just fairly poor local versions with unknowable chemical contents. I have been told the beer festival in Qingdao is fun. The custom is to fill a carrier bag with the stuff and take it to the beach and drink it with a straw, or by biting a hole in the bag. Odd folk.
posted by Abiezer at 9:10 PM on October 20, 2007


Beer is a situational beverage. To claim that a crisp refreshing pilsner with a burger on a warm summer evening isn't close to perfection is to claim that a pint of Guinness on a cold winter's day while you enjoying a dark pub isn't close to perfection. "Perfection" is a point on the outside of a sphere, and you can get there by many routes across said spheroid.

It should be noted that anything with "light" or, worse, "lite" in the title isn't beer.
posted by maxwelton at 9:36 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the beer in China. But I'm one of those gassy piss sort of guys, as the weather's often fairly warm around here and I don't find ales complement that particularly well. I do like a stout in winter though.
posted by Wolof at 9:43 PM on October 20, 2007


Guinness is an odd duck. I've had several stouts that are either friendlier or meatier than the G, and in general liked them all better than same, but of late I've managed to enjoy it with cake or pizza. I just can't drink it by itself.

A black and tan is nice, though.

In Portland, the local major-micro Terminator is a very nice beer.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:12 PM on October 20, 2007


local major-micro Terminator

Picture of Arnie on the label saying "I'll be back"?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:16 PM on October 20, 2007


I always imagine moss when I read the word "sorghum." Like, that people eat it, I think of bright green, spongy, fibrous moss.

I hope I'm wrong.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:21 PM on October 20, 2007


(sphagnum)
posted by Wolof at 11:38 PM on October 20, 2007


(And while I realize that there's a pragmatic usefulness to arguing A-list macrobrews for the sake of regional/international arguments like this, I think that's a usefulness that does more harm than good: what is an beer argument, in abstract over the internet, when we should be encouraging folks to meet up in unfamiliar cities and consume and compare in person?

Canadians! Come to Portland! Enjoy having your precious Molson debased! First round is on me.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:20 AM on October 21, 2007


GUYS I HAD TOO MANY BEER AND I SHOULDNT BE POSTING!!!111
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2007


Sorgum ? sphagnum! Hell's bells, I got to learn something today!

What a relief. The two aren't even remotely alike.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 AM on October 21, 2007


Oy! Why's my not-equals sign now a ? mark? What happened to our unicode?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 AM on October 21, 2007


it doesn't like you, sorry luv.
posted by Phire at 2:18 PM on October 21, 2007


Wow, this thread went places. Strange places.
posted by oaf at 6:21 AM on October 22, 2007


How is making love in a canoe similar to American beer?

Both are fucking near water.

/old joke
posted by deborah at 2:23 PM on October 22, 2007


About two days old, aye. =)

I am a hops freak, and drink mostly IPAs. The more bitter the better.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:24 PM on October 24, 2007


I've enjoyed an IPA every once in a while. It's a nice variation.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:46 PM on October 24, 2007


When posting to MetaFilter, I always like to have a nice tall glass of beer situated right next to the keyboard. The kind of fluted, top-heavy glass that would be likely to tip over and spill if I accidentally knocked i%kG#H9fffU*+OL?MYUInnjkSX/??@FRY..oiugfVTYU'&`*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:28 PM on October 24, 2007


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