Why is it only axe grinding if certain people say so? October 24, 2007 10:06 AM   Subscribe

This post was deleted for the following reason: this is an axegrindy HC post. I know it's election time and all, but it's too early for "your favorite candidate sucks" posts and if you have issues with the way other political posts have been handled, it would be better to take those to Metatalk or your own blog. -- jessamyn

What the hell other than PardonYou?'s ridiculous hysterics makes you think my post about hillary's ties to defense contractors had anything to do with my being pissed off about the single-link Blog FPP that called Kucinich a delusional nut-job? What is the coherent guideline here? Just so I know? If a couple of whiny right-wing blowhards like PardonYou? complain then the post just gets yanked away? My complaint about the Kucinich post was the first complaint I've ever lodged against an FPP and it was completely ignored. Yet it seems like PardonYou and certain others can pretty much get posts deleted at their whim.
posted by saulgoodman to Etiquette/Policy at 10:06 AM (134 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

FYI: he's talking about this post
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:14 AM on October 24, 2007


Fact: I once shot a man in Reno, just so PardonYou? could watch him die.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Cut off your hand. It's the only way.
posted by yhbc at 10:15 AM on October 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


The post got flagged a bunch, and it's not clear what about your post was intended to be interesting other than as some sort of Hillary gotcha—if it's not really big news and none of the links have any particular sparkle to them and it's likely to just generate a lot of dem- and/or GOP-bashing, it's a post that's not looking so great and can seem a lot more "oh, yeah? Well..." than what a mefi post should generally be.

Ironically, jessamyn deleted it while I was trying to mentally edit my deletion reason to something that would reduce the likelihood of a callout.

pardonyou? has no special powers; jessamyn speculating that what he said in the thread might have something to do with your posting is just that, speculation, and while I had the same tingle reading the post I can see why you might be bothered by that in the deletion reason. Fact is, we're much of the time trying to summarize our thought process and the zeitgeist of the thread reaction when we write those up, and it's an imperfect process.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't know pardonyou, I just figured I'd add that in case what pardonyou said had any merit. I did get your message about the Kucinich post but it seemed like other people didn't have the same problems with it as you did. I didn't ignore it, but we also don't always send back "thanks for your concern" messages either.

Your recent post was flagged by numerous people, seemed pretty close to a "look at these assholes" axegrindy political post, had the title Mama Warbucks, and despite the supporting links was basically a SLBOE post. I went to your profile page just to get an idea of what you normally post and it currently says "Ah go to hell, you dumbasses." It's possible that's new.

The guidelines haven't changed. Political posts, like other posts, still need to be about interesting stuff on the web that might merit decent discussion from others. Editorializing sort of keeps that from happening, often.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:16 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman: "What is the coherent guideline here? Just so I know?"

(1) Every single one of your links sucked. Not a single one was interesting or coherent. That's all, nothing more.

(2) It was clear that the reason you posted shitty links was to create a political discussion. That's not the purpose of making posts on Metafilter.

(3) Boy, am I glad you decided to take this to MeTa, because it gives me a chance to say what I didn't get to say in that thread before it closed: don't post shit. That post was completely fucking stupid. And I'm glad I get to see another one of you goddamned whiny keening shitfaced sycophantic ass-kissing muck-slinging politicos torn to absolute pieces here. You deserve every minute of it for invading the USA and infiltrating every salient piece of news coverage or media time.
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 AM on October 24, 2007 [16 favorites]


Y'know what, I don't like deletions. I'd like there to be less deletions. Hell, I bother Jessamyn and the other two with e-mails decrying deletions.

But that was a weak post, saulgoodman. The topic may be important but that doesn't mean every post about it passes muster.
posted by Kattullus at 10:20 AM on October 24, 2007


I flagged it. Laaaame post.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:23 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


posted by saulgoodman What is the coherent guideline here? Just so I know?

Don't make front-page posts with lots of weak links to support your own axe-grinding agenda.

And read the guidelines.

Oh, and I notice you've told us all to go to hell in your profile.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:25 AM on October 24, 2007


Oh, and I notice you've told us all to go to hell in your profile.

To be fair to saulgoodman, that's only insulting if one self-identifies as a dumbass.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:31 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


yeah. the profile change was recent. i dunno. i'm having second thoughs about all this drama. i'm just pretty irritated about how this is all going to play out (i mean, let's face it, the whole sequence of events has been pretty predictable--even this MetaTalk flame-out). if any candidates positions are fair game, why aren't they all? and as for the axe-grind-filter angle: what does Clinton have to do with that? i've only recently become aware of these stories surrounding the Clinton campaign and the defense industry myself and I wanted to offer a round-up, and I don't understand how that's a GYOFB kind of thing anymore than half the other political posts that end up on the front page. And though the axe-grind thing is misplaced, I do think it's kind of hard to see, from where I now sit, how a single-link to a political Blog like TPM with editorializing about Kucinich being a delusional nutjob succeeds on any points where my FPP fails. but whatever. what can i do but defer to your judgment.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:32 AM on October 24, 2007


Two words: Wee & Clinks.
posted by Jofus at 10:33 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


This post is like a glimpse into the future. Next October we will all pray for the levelheadness saulgoodman has presented here. Cutting off limbs will be so commonplace people will yawn all the way to the emergency room and at least 48 mefites will get so fat from all the popcorn they won't be able to leave their apartments.

I'm going to invest in pitchforks and torches though, so profit for me!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:35 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


The other thing to add would be the thousands of non-USians here, who, unless you guys elect another nut job, could not care less about the next President of the United States of America.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 10:41 AM on October 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


saulgoodman, I get the impression from some of your comments that you're sort of a regular reader and commentor over at TPM. Which is fine, but I think there's maybe some culture-shock aspect to this situation with your post because of that; TPM is a really solid site, but what fits there doesn't necessarily work for mefi.

The Kucinich post was an odd one, but the "delusional nutjob" bit of it was ironic, not a hatchet-job—the post was as much as anything a wry defense of the K-man, and the focus was more the oddity of the UFO aspect (and some of the history of that) than just a candidate position roundup. The two posts are pretty apples-and-oranges.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 AM on October 24, 2007


What the hell other than PardonYou?'s ridiculous hysterics makes you think my post about hillary's ties to defense contractors had anything to do with my being pissed off about the single-link Blog FPP that called Kucinich a delusional nut-job?

Did someone say something about Hilary and a nut job? I'm so confused.

Could you just type that sentence again for me, please? Just so I know?
posted by dead_ at 10:41 AM on October 24, 2007


fandango_matt: i've read the guidelines, thx. it just seems to me like they're sometimes pretty selectively applied.

the dumb ass thing was a recent change (5 minutes ago) born out of frustration. i'm considering just taking a break from MeFi for a while, though. which is kind of sad for me, because i normally like it here.

god what a mess.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:42 AM on October 24, 2007


saulgoodman: "yeah. the profile change was recent. i dunno. i'm having second thoughs about all this drama. i'm just pretty irritated about how this is all going to play out (i mean, let's face it, the whole sequence of events has been pretty predictable--even this MetaTalk flame-out)."

Take my advice. Really. I assure you that it's for your own good. Ignore political posts. I do it, and I'm a happier person for it; they almost never have any substance, and they only involve someone getting worked up for absolutely no reason aside from the fact that a certain person who claims to be from a certain group that they dislike said or did something. They're useless. There are important things in the world. So-called "politics" isn't one of them.

In fact, if you can pull it off, you'll probably be happier if you avoid thinking about politics whatsoever. You, like everyone I know, know who you'll vote for, and you're not going to change your opinion. So stop worrying about it.

And one last thing: I disagree on one point. I'm not very irritated about how this is going to play out, even if it was predictable. This kind of purging is good for the site.
posted by koeselitz at 10:44 AM on October 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


Your post was not good. Sorry.
posted by boo_radley at 10:46 AM on October 24, 2007


What the hell other than PardonYou?'s ridiculous hysterics makes you think my post about hillary's ties to defense contractors had anything to do with my being pissed off about the single-link Blog FPP that called Kucinich a delusional nut-job?

Maybe your post just sucked, completely independent of my "ridiculous hysterics"? Anyway, I'm still quite confident that your Hillary post wouldn't have happened without the Kucinich post, but I acknowledge your non-denial denial.

If a couple of whiny right-wing blowhards like PardonYou? complain then the post just gets yanked away?

For what it's worth, I never flagged your post. I probably should have, but I said my peace and bowed out.

Also, for what it's worth, I'm desperately hoping Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the U.S. But by all means continue making wild, unsupported claims. It reflects well on your judgment.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:46 AM on October 24, 2007


And for what it's worth I love nut bars.
posted by dead_ at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Saul,
It's just a website, one of billions at this point, so don't let it ruin your day, you know?

I'm curious though, what was the point of your post? I'm betting theres some other links you can do to make it a really strong post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2007


Let's parse the links in the original post:


(1) It's no secret: War is big business. An interesting but hardly groundbreaking Nation article on war profiteering.

(2) Hillary Clinton. A brief article that notes that Clinton has secured the second-highest number of defense earmarks (26, for $148M) in among Senate Democrats. Of course, Clinton represents the third-largest state in the U.S., and those earmarks were obtained working in conjunction with Charles Schumer.

(3) boasts of the millions of defense dollars. A link to her website, which - like every other Senator and Representative in the country - boasts about the money she is bringing back to her state.

(4) most expensive congressional trip funded by the defense industry. A link to a brief article mentioning that Clinton got a $1500 plane ticket to attend a Lockheed Martin facility.

(5) Eisenhower tried to warn us. A link to Eisenhower's famous "military-industrial complex" speech.

I was willing to give your post the benefit of the doubt when I first saw it, since I didn't consider it particularly axe-grindy. But after looking through it, its difficult not to see it as a lot of spin. You have taken an unobjectionable truth - there is a lot of profit being made off this war - and insinuated that Clinton is at best the most egregious profiteer, but possibly is more sinisterly tied to the military-industrial complex. But your links indicate that she is simply doing what a lot of politicians do - trying to funnel defense money to her constituents, and boasting about it when she succeeds. It is unsavory, to be sure, but your implication that she is the only one doing it is what tips this post over the line between reporting and axe-grinding.

BTW: if you wanted to talk about defense earmarks, perhaps you could have linked to a more recent article listing the actual recipients of funding. The big winners? Ted Stevens, who represents the 47th most-populous state, followed by Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii, 42nd) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va., 37th).
posted by googly at 10:51 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ah, fuck. Reading somebody's posting history always softens me. And I was so looking forward to this.

Look, saulgoodman, you usually post great stuff. This is just a political flap. It's not a very good post, but a deletion doesn't constitute an insult, it's just paperwork. MeFi isn't the most important place in the world, so, like Brandon says, don't worry too much.

This too shall pass.

sigh...
posted by koeselitz at 10:52 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


The two posts are pretty apples-and-oranges.

I agree. Which is why I maintain there's no basis for the "axe-grinding" complaints PardonYou? made. My problem with the Kucinich post, ironic defense of the K-man or not, was that it was a single-link editorial blog post on the front-page, which passed along as fact third-party information published in a political blog without any supporting sources (and personally, I happen to think there's a bit of an intentional effort to marginalize Kucinich underway at the moment, which makes the FPP especially problematic). My Hillary Clinton/Defense Industry FPP offered a round-up of a variety of sources of information about a currently highly-visible public figure. The reason it got flagged so much is that lots of MeFites are Clinton supporters. If it had been another post rounding up articles on the web about Cheney's efforts to expand executive powers, don't doubt for a minute, it would have gotten a pass.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:52 AM on October 24, 2007


I am very surprised that thread got deleted, because it doesn't jump out immediately as axe-grinding or crappy blogging. I'm a bit concerned that this post might have stayed up if it was posted by someone other than the guy who posted it, who apparently has some history with political posts.

As it stands, I think the problem with this post is that it singles out HRC as being impliedly bad because she takes money from the defense industry. This may be true or a reasonable opinion, but I'm not so sure, without the attendant context of everybody taking money from that industry, and thus they exert control over the winner regardless of who it is.

Maybe what's needed here is some kind of more structured style guide: e.g., a post must offer a theme or a point, be cast an objective context, with links to new or widely unknown information, as background or supporting links. Or something like that.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:53 AM on October 24, 2007


This kind of purging is good for the site.

It's a lot like taking a nice, early morning hangover shit--you can breath in the previous night with one whiff, but as pleasurable as one's own noisome stench can be, it's better to simply flush the turd and get on with the day. Right now we're reaching for the lever. I think.
posted by dead_ at 10:54 AM on October 24, 2007


The reason it got flagged so much is that lots of MeFites are Clinton supporters.

It is impossible for me to prove this to you beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I find that explanation highly, highly suspect, and I think that specific sort of politically-invested POV on posting (and site administration) underscores exactly the problem with your post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


posted by Pastabagel Maybe what's needed here is some kind of more structured style guide: e.g., a post must offer a theme or a point, be cast an objective context, with links to new or widely unknown information, as background or supporting links.

No, what's needed here is for people to read and follow the guidelines.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2007


The reason it got flagged so much is that lots of MeFites are Clinton supporters.

If it had been another post rounding up articles on the web about Cheney's efforts to expand executive powers, don't doubt for a minute, it would have gotten a pass.


No, and no. I would venture to guess that most MeFites are not Clinton supporters, but that's neither here nor there. Yet another Cheney/BushFilter "round-up" with have gotten even MORE flags.
posted by yhbc at 10:59 AM on October 24, 2007


I really liked your red rain of Kerala post a while back saulgoodman.

I'll second the other folks and say don't worry about it! Walk away, but make sure you come back.
posted by algreer at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2007


You have taken an unobjectionable truth - there is a lot of profit being made off this war - and insinuated that Clinton is at best the most egregious profiteer, but possibly is more sinisterly tied to the military-industrial complex.

Really? I didn't mean to insinuate anything more sinister than is widely understood.

It's only recently come to my attention that Hillary's campaign has been getting so much funding from the defense industry (that is, relative to other Dem candidates) and when I started exploring the topic, I found some articles that explored the subject from a variety of angles and (I thought) filled out the picture more completely. Yes, arguably there's some implicit editorial slant in the presentation of the material, but to me it's really less editorializing than attempting to synthesize information.

And maybe I was off-base about the "why are some people's complaints given more weight than others thing. I really don't mean any offense to you, Jessamyn. I just want to understand what the real underlying guideline is. It seems like I've seen a certain degree of editorial slant held up as fair play in some cases. In others, not so much.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:06 AM on October 24, 2007


The reason it got flagged so much is that lots of MeFites are Clinton supporters.

Oh, come on now. I suppose "lots" are in the sense that there are lots of MeFites and there's bound to be some support for Hillary, enough so that it could be called "lots" in comparison to, say, the number of people in the average apartment, but I'm pretty sure she's got less proportional support here than in the population at large. There are proportionately way more wild-eyed lefties and hard-core libertarians here than most places, and those groups tend not to like Hillary very much.

Personally, I can't stand Hillary, and yet I thought your post was awful. I wanted to like it, I really did, but googly does an excellent job of analyzing why it sucked. Did you really think we needed a link to the "military-industrial complex" speech? Face it, it's very hard to be objective when one's own political feelings are involved. (That's just one reason I rarely post about anything related to politics.)

You're a good guy and I hope you'll stick around, but you need to realize that when it's You Against the World, the World probably has a point.
posted by languagehat at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


languagehat: "Personally, I can't stand Hillary, and yet I thought your post was awful."

Hear, hear. Bad post. And I hate Democrats and Independants almost as much as I hate Republicans.
posted by koeselitz at 11:12 AM on October 24, 2007


And if you think that the majority here are card-carrying, line-toeing mainline Democrats, I have a feeling you're very wrong. Nor are they Republicans, for the record.
posted by koeselitz at 11:14 AM on October 24, 2007


From that thread:

Want to know the cost of the SCHIP bill? A week and a day of the war in Iraq.

I've read that it was two months, but the point stands.
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM on October 24, 2007


I think that specific sort of politically-invested POV on posting (and site administration) underscores exactly the problem with your post.

cortex: i'm not suggesting a politically-invested POV in the site administration side. i actually have always believed that every effort is made to administer the guidelines fairly. i'm just not sure that it always works out that way in practice.

if hillary clinton really is the dem front-runner (as all the polls seem to indicate), and mefites represent a fairly broad cross-section of political POVs (okay, sure, probably skewing leftward), then wouldn't it just make statistical sense that there'd be a lot of clinton supporters here?

and i won't deny i have a political POV. so do lots of MeFites, from Y2Karl, to PardonYou? to many, many others. Why does that matter? I don't work for anybody's campaign, and I wasn't posting spurious information. Hell, I used to be a conservative. Now I'm a liberal. I don't have an ideological axe to grind.

but it's all good. i'm learning new ways to surrender to forces beyond my control everyday, so i suppose i'll just add this to my list of losses.

Personally, I can't stand Hillary, and yet I thought your post was awful.

well, what are some ways to improve it so that it does meet the guidelines, without having to excoriate all the potentially inflammatory facts about clinton's defense industry dealings just because they make her look bad?

there was a post the other day about "the worst mayor in america." what makes that not an axe-grinding post? just the fact that the guy's so batshitinsane his abuses of authority are actually kind of funny?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:25 AM on October 24, 2007


and mefites represent a fairly broad cross-section of political POVs (okay, sure, probably skewing leftward),

Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, he he he. I'm not convincned that Metafilter is a "fairly broad cross-section" of anything, but politically? Come on.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:28 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


The reason it got flagged so much is that lots of MeFites are Clinton supporters.

Except for the ones who simply hate all posts about American politics. It's not like there's a shortage of sites to go and complain endlessly about politicians you don't like.
posted by GuyZero at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2007


"pardonyou? has no special powers;"

PardonYou? can bend spoons with his mind, and can pass for psmealey in a dark alley.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2007


just the fact that the guy's so batshitinsane his abuses of authority are actually kind of funny?

Yes. Most links can only hope to be that funny.
posted by GuyZero at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2007


There are important things in the world. So-called "politics" isn't one of them....
posted by koeselitz at 10:44 AM on October 24 [2 favorites +] [!]


Now let's take a look back to May 1, 2005, when a certain leaked memo was published which turned out to be very embarrassing to the Bush and Blair administrations:

...And, for what it's worth: legality doesn't matter, public justification doesn't matter. The war in Iraq was right....
posted by koeselitz at 1:37 PM on May 1 [+] [!]


My, how things have changed.

Did you perform your lobotomy yourself, koeselitz, or did you and your like-minded friends throw a lobotomy party and do each other's?
posted by jamjam at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


It seems like I've seen a certain degree of editorial slant held up as fair play in some cases. In others, not so much.

That's the tricky part; sort of questionable posts sometimes stand, but they're not being held up as fair play, they're just not quite deleted. As a perception issue, that's a pain in the ass, but there it is: we don't raze every post we possibly could, and I think there's some correllating effects (and a lot of confirmation bias) that leads to upset posters/commentors/deletees seeing in particular the things they don't like in the stuff that didn't get deleted.

I'm on the record as pretty much loathing a lot of the political posts that hit the site. I understand that some folks like them, and I even understand why they like them (and why people post them), and some of them actually produce pretty good threads despite it all, but it's pretty much yech territory for me. I play it soft on the deletions there partly because I'm aware that my personal biases about posts don't dictate mefi policy, and Matt and Jess are in the same boat. We talk about this stuff on a regular basis, and sanity check things when they seem borderline.

So the poli stuff that does get deleted is usually pretty carefully considered as being the worst of the crop. Doesn't make the posters bad people or anything, but this post was, like a lot of the politically-oriented stuff that hits the front page, just plain bad.

> I think that specific sort of politically-invested POV on posting (and site administration) underscores exactly the problem with your post.

cortex: i'm not suggesting a politically-invested POV in the site administration side.


I was actually suggesting that it was the poster's POV (yours in this case) that was suffering (in the sole sense of making good posting decisions) from the political investment. It's natural, it's understandable, but it really effs up the whole quality meter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2007


I thought the only interesting part of the deleted post was the curious use of the word bespoke.
posted by birdlady at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2007


I'm a Dean-Gore-Obama Democrat that will not vote for Hillary Clinton for dog catcher, but I think that post sucked, FWIW.
posted by empath at 11:36 AM on October 24, 2007


there was a post the other day about "the worst mayor in america." what makes that not an axe-grinding post?

Well, for one thing, the title of the Reason article to which the FPP links is: "The Worst Mayor in America."
posted by ericb at 11:38 AM on October 24, 2007


It's only recently come to my attention ...just because you haven't been paying attention, doesn't make the information new. Look at the dates on the links you used.
posted by nomisxid at 11:41 AM on October 24, 2007


PardonYou? can bend spoons with his mind, and can pass for psmealey in a dark alley.

Yes, but can he hammer a six-inch spike through a board with his penis?
posted by NationalKato at 11:42 AM on October 24, 2007


To understand why the post was deleted you must know the following: Mark Penn and jessamyn are totally going out.
posted by kosem at 11:42 AM on October 24, 2007


saulgoodman: "well, what are some ways to improve it so that it does meet the guidelines, without having to excoriate all the potentially inflammatory facts about clinton's defense industry dealings just because they make her look bad?"

Your options, as I see them, are:

(a) Wait until you happen to stumble upon a great link that will be interesting to everyone across the board and that no one really knows about. That's how metafilter is supposed to work, and that's why the 'I'll just add links to it until it's good' solution often doesn't.

(b) Pad out the post with info about everybody's connections to the military-industrial complex. Talk about Clinton, talk about Obama, talk about Kucinich, whoever. Discuss the point in an unbiased way without focussing on any one candidate, and be generally informative.

Personally, I'd advise against the second option, as it wouldn't necessarily lead to a very good post, but it would at least yield a non-deleted post.
posted by koeselitz at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2007


"Yes, but can he hammer a six-inch spike through a board with his penis?"

No, but I hear he can hammer a six-inch spike through his penis with a board.

Never seen it though.
posted by klangklangston at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2007


Yes, but can he hammer a six-inch spike through a board with his penis?

pardonyou? is so powerful he doesn't need the spike.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:45 AM on October 24, 2007


jamjam: Did you perform your lobotomy yourself, koeselitz, or did you and your like-minded friends throw a lobotomy party and do each other's?"

I performed it myself. There wasn't much cutting to do anyway, so it was easy. When the operation was over, my mind was remarkably clearer, I must say.

Which is why I tend to recommend it whenever the subject comes up.
posted by koeselitz at 11:46 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's only recently come to my attention ...just because you haven't been paying attention, doesn't make the information new. Look at the dates on the links you used.

nomisxid: maybe so, but there haven't been any posts on metafilter on the topic. and it's not common-knowledge stuff.

et tu, empath?

ericb: "mama warbucks" originated in one of the articles.

well, i've learned my lesson: if i ever get my posting rights back, i'll stick with what seems to be de rigueur around here nowadays, based on these comments: a single link to a recently updated blog, with the name of the article as the headline. it's all good.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:49 AM on October 24, 2007


if i ever get my posting rights back

I predict they'll be restored within 24 hours.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:51 AM on October 24, 2007


saulgoodman: "well, i've learned my lesson: if i ever get my posting rights back, i'll stick with what seems to be de rigueur around here nowadays, based on these comments: a single link to a recently updated blog, with the name of the article as the headline. it's all good."

Geez, that other post wasn't out to make a political point. If it was, yes, it should have been deleted. Which has absolutely no bearing on your post, saulgoodman.
posted by koeselitz at 11:51 AM on October 24, 2007


if i ever get my posting rights back

You haven't had your posting rights taken away. There's a 24 hour timer between mefi posts for everyone, regardless of whether the last one was deleted.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:55 AM on October 24, 2007


It is impossible for me to prove this to you beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I find that explanation highly, highly suspect

Sigh. Do you need another bar graph, cortex? Do your own research once in a while, man.
posted by Kwine at 11:56 AM on October 24, 2007


You'll be a compliant research assistant and you'll like it, Kwine. Or maybe you don't want that degree after all?
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:59 AM on October 24, 2007


if i ever get my posting rights back, i'll stick with what seems to be de rigueur around here nowadays, based on these comments: a single link to a recently updated blog, with the name of the article as the headline.

Please don't. If you truly believe that's what good MeFi posts are about, then you shouldn't post anything. If you are just saying that to make a point, you're slipping into the "my crappy post should have stayed because other crappy posts sometimes escape deletion" defense, which is not a winner.
posted by brain_drain at 12:07 PM on October 24, 2007


"MeFi isn't the most important place in the world,"
Bite your tongue typing fingers, koeselitz.
posted by Cranberry at 12:11 PM on October 24, 2007


brain_drain: If you are just saying that to make a point, you're slipping into the "my crappy post should have stayed because other crappy posts sometimes escape deletion" defense, which is not a winner.

i was. and no, that's not an argument for my post, but it is an argument against what some of the comments here suggest makes a good post.

cortex--thanks. i was making a lame attempt at self-deprecating humor... i'm kind of on a losing streak around here lately.

koeselitz: Geez, that other post wasn't out to make a political point.

sure it was. and it succeeded.

i just miss the days when mefi fpps seemed to have a little more personality. maybe i'm just romanticizing the past, but back in the days when mind control fpps, little fpp haikus, etc. were more common, mefi was so much more fun. these days it seems like people are so scared of having their posts trashed on various stylistic or other subjective criteria, there's less and less willingness to go out on a limb. the result is bland, bland, bland... sure, there are fewer spectacular failures, but there are fewer exceptional successes, too. but that's a different subject.

maybe there should be a new section that's completely unmoderated. "MeFi Free" or something? background could be colored red, like the blood that would undoubtedly soon begin to flow.

meh. whatever. i've got to do some work now.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:16 PM on October 24, 2007


Yes, but can he hammer a six-inch spike through a board with his penis?

As long as Hillary Clinton is on my mind, my penis can do anything.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:16 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here's a Lurker's Tip: your post should be about one topic. If it isn't clear what that single topic is, the multiple topics will be bludgeoned together until they form a roughly topic-like mass and judged as one.

The take-away single topic of your post is, if you'll pardon a paraphrase, HILLARYSUX.

Politics posts have to be more robust than other posts, simply because the subject is covered so copiously and so poorly. The Kucinich post stayed, I think, because it was just so strange that it pulled away from the baseline din of politics.
posted by Skorgu at 12:20 PM on October 24, 2007


OK, honestly:

Bespoke?

I mean, that alone made me just think either "incredible axegrind," or else "you don't know how to use dictionary.com/m-w.com."

And anyway, "bespoke candidate" implies that the candidate is custom-made for the voter, not his/her handlers. It suggests the candidate is many things to many people and is willing to be many things to many people. That is, they have zero beliefs or convictions of their own; they just custom-make themselves to each individual voter. Either that, or they're selling clothes.

But I don't think you meant that word there. And if you did, then you're just working the grindstone. And even then, you're still using it wrong.
posted by dw at 12:20 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who's running on the libertarian ticket? Green party?
posted by Eideteker at 12:23 PM on October 24, 2007


*clips playing cards to dw's candidate bespokes with clothespin*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:28 PM on October 24, 2007


dw: I meant she was the "bespoke front-runner," as in, that's the image her campaign managers ready-made for her (whether she was actually the front-runner or not).

okay, so maybe it was a little axe-grindy. but that's not an improper use of the word. she's the ready-made front-runner, thus the "bespoke front-runner."
posted by saulgoodman at 12:28 PM on October 24, 2007


Bespokes are what you put on your second-best bicycle.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:29 PM on October 24, 2007


ah--now i get it. i'll buy i was busy being too axe-grindy about clinton, but pardonyou?'s comment about my axe grinding being related to my complaint about the kucinich post was just wrong. i just plain think clinton and the kucinich post suck. but those two facts are in no way related.

now i've really got to get this work done.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:31 PM on October 24, 2007


saulgoodman,

look, we've had discussions like these a lot of times in the past, and one of the things that simply has to be understood is that moderation isn't perfect, and specifically that just because another crappy post got to stay doesn't mean that yours gets to, too. Yes, the Kucinich UFO thing was stupid and a crappy post. Sorry, but that has nothing to do with the merits of your post. What are you, the classroom tattle tale? Who cares if his post sucked and didn't get deleted? You're not going to find perfect consistency, because that's just not the focus of moderation here. You can't have the level of consistency you're clamoring for because they focus on soft guidelines rather than hard and fast rules. That's just all there is to it. If it really makes you feel better, you can assume that they love pardonyou? and hate you and that that's why, but the simpler truth is that these things happen. Buck up, kiddo, maybe the next post you hate will get deleted and then you won't have to go making another equally crappy fpp just to make a point.
posted by shmegegge at 12:37 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


There is no cabal (of Hillary Clinton loving thread-flaggers).
posted by ND¢ at 12:45 PM on October 24, 2007


Alvy Ampersand: "Bespokes are what you put on your second-best bicycle."

No. Bespokes are drive system for my new tricycle which is entirely powered by an apiary.
posted by koeselitz at 12:47 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


dw: I meant she was the "bespoke front-runner," as in, that's the image her campaign managers ready-made for her (whether she was actually the front-runner or not).

okay, so maybe it was a little axe-grindy. but that's not an improper use of the word. she's the ready-made front-runner, thus the "bespoke front-runner."


Isn't it the job of all campaign managers to present the image that their candidate is the front-runner?

Also, ready-made is, ironically, the exact opposite of bespoke, meaning custom-made, not off-the-shelf or ready-made.
posted by birdlady at 12:48 PM on October 24, 2007


The post got flagged a bunch

You guys are going to have to adjust for the fact that our demographics lean left around here. Even a bunch of people can be biased.
posted by scarabic at 12:50 PM on October 24, 2007


Yeah, "the post got flagged a bunch" may be a good data point indicating that a post was seen as bad, but it's probably not a good idea to keep mentioning it first-off when challenged about a deletion reason, as tempting as that may be. The deletions around here are almost always good; they can stand on their own merit, aside from some sort of popularity contest.
posted by koeselitz at 12:59 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Community Weblog.
posted by ND¢ at 1:01 PM on October 24, 2007



Now that I've admitted I was wrong about virtually everything (except for one thing: PardonYou?, I promise you I would have still posted my crappy FPP even if not for the crappy Kucinich post).

In yet another brilliant display of good judgment, I'm going to actually respond to this:

Also, ready-made is, ironically, the exact opposite of bespoke, meaning custom-made, not off-the-shelf or ready-made.

be·speak, -spoke or (Archaic) -spake; -spo·ken or -spoke; -speak·ing.
1. to ask for in advance: to bespeak the reader's patience.
2. to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for: to bespeak a seat in a theater.
3. Literary. to speak to; address.
4. to show; indicate: This bespeaks a kindly heart.
5. Obsolete. to foretell; forebode.


(I meant "ready-made" in the sense of "made beforehand," not in the sense of mass-produced.)
posted by saulgoodman at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


You guys are going to have to adjust for the fact that our demographics lean left around here. Even a bunch of people can be biased.

I'm not sure the left-leaning demo around here is actually an argument for Clinton protectionism.

Yeah, "the post got flagged a bunch" may be a good data point indicating that a post was seen as bad, but it's probably not a good idea to keep mentioning it first-off when challenged about a deletion reason

I agree, and try to avoid justifying anything solely on that basis. In this case, I brought it up to further clarify how little sense there was to the allegation that pardonyou?'s opinion drove the deletion decision. It was not one guy with a silver bullet, is the point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:07 PM on October 24, 2007


saulgoodman--there was a post the other day about "the worst mayor in america." what makes that not an axe-grinding post? just the fact that the guy's so batshitinsane his abuses of authority are actually kind of funny?

Two threads. One was a thread, in which the information was pretty much available to everyone as the politician is running for President, that used multiple weak sources to attempt to draw a poor picture of a politician, ; and the other is about a sui generis whack job who is so far out in the ether that we couldn't come up with any fitting contemporary comparisons, even when we listed many crappy politicians in the thread.

If you really can't see the difference between the two posts you probably shouldn't be posting political threads.
posted by OmieWise at 1:10 PM on October 24, 2007


Sorry, I didn't parse your "ah-now I get it" comment properly or I would not have added my two-cents, since you seem to have come to some terms with it all. I apologize for re-opening it.
posted by OmieWise at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2007


Dammit, Saulgoodman. Go get your work done.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2007


"The post got flagged a bunch" by readers angry about already seeing it on digg and reddit.
posted by klarck at 1:18 PM on October 24, 2007


“And I don't understand how that's a GYOFB kind of thing anymore than half the other political posts that end up on the front page.”

Exactly. They don't belong there, either.

“the result is bland, bland, bland... ”

If that's true, your post certainly didn't help matters.

“i'll stick with what seems to be de rigueur around here nowadays, based on these comments: a single link to a recently updated blog, with the name of the article as the headline. It's all good.”

That was just passive/aggressive bullshit. Don't say one thing, mean another in the subtext, and then dip it in essence of whinge. That's annoying.

When I read the Kucinich and Clinton threads just now, I was struck by how damn annoying you were in your immediate and constant paranoid complaints that everyone is against you, politically. The Kucinich story is a conspiracy. If someone thinks it's crazy to believe in alien UFOs, they must be conservative wingnuts. If people don't like your HC post, they're Clinton supporters. Or right-wingers. Everyone is against you, the whole world is politically deluded, blah blah blah. I came back to this thread deeply hoping to see you flaming-out.

And no good post is a link to a news article or two, with perhaps an additional link to a wikipedia article, all intended to make some political point or to further one agenda or attack another. Those are crap posts. Yes, they are common. They are still crap.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:20 PM on October 24, 2007


these days it seems like people are so scared of having their posts trashed on various stylistic or other subjective criteria, there's less and less willingness to go out on a limb. the result is bland, bland, bland...

And your forgettable, uninspired dailykosery will break through that blandness! We will create the Superman through terrible politicsfilter! Onward and upward!
posted by nasreddin at 1:23 PM on October 24, 2007


People who think Hillary is "left-leaning" need to get out of the cave more.


Also, just this morning, I almost posted LBJ Loses Spending Title, but I thought it might be too cutlerious, so I didn't. There may be hope for me.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:31 PM on October 24, 2007


these days it seems like people are so scared of having their posts trashed on various stylistic or other subjective criteria, there's less and less willingness to go out on a limb.

Then those people need to grow a pair. And to stop taking deletions and trashings so personally.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:42 PM on October 24, 2007


boy EB and nasreddin--thanks for reminding me that at least i'm not the biggest asshole around here.

peace out, ya'll. i'm heading home.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:43 PM on October 24, 2007


Millions Billions for defense, but not one cent for tribute health insurance for children.
posted by Cranberry at 1:46 PM on October 24, 2007


it's always too early for "your favorite candidate sucks" posts
posted by timeistight at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


cortex: "I agree, and try to avoid justifying anything solely on that basis. In this case, I brought it up to further clarify how little sense there was to the allegation that pardonyou?'s opinion drove the deletion decision. It was not one guy with a silver bullet, is the point."

Yeah, I noticed. Looking back, it's pretty apparent that it's always a minor, not a major, point of justification.
posted by koeselitz at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2007


Pony request: Can we please have a "X Defensive-Flameout-Free Days" on the sidebar a la construction safety signs or an alert/icon of some sort so I can tell at a glance which MeTalk threads are turning into, "Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home!"?

These are truly the best of the web.
posted by Gucky at 1:57 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't forget your bat and ball!
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:19 PM on October 24, 2007


maybe there should be a new section that's completely unmoderated. "MeFi Free" or something? background could be colored red, like the blood that would undoubtedly soon begin to flow.

There is the rest of the internet for that. Particularly the political blogosphere, where there isn't so much bleeding as a general frothing at the mouth. Personally I try to give the entire territory a wide berth. If I must enter, I try to stay on the main path like Gandalf said to do and not be lured away into the tangle of dark and creepy comments. Goddamn woodelves.
posted by Tehanu at 2:20 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


> Yet it seems like PardonYou and certain others can pretty much get posts deleted at their whim.

PardonYou, can you get me front row tickets and backstage passes for the next Mefi Meetup? You seem like a pretty important person 'round these parts.
posted by WCityMike at 2:38 PM on October 24, 2007


Yeah, that was an amusing claim. I had been tempted to post that it's been my experience that the admins of this site couldn't care less what my opinion is. And I don't blame them. It was also ironic, since I didn't even flag the post, so I'm not sure what I did to "get" his post deleted.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:55 PM on October 24, 2007


Then those people need to grow a pair. And to stop taking deletions and trashings so personally.

Word.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:08 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


"maybe there should be a new section that's completely unmoderated. "MeFi Free" or something? background could be colored red, like the blood that would undoubtedly soon begin to flow."

Yeah, see, I laughed when I read that. 'Cuz... that's metatalk. Behold, for example, the heaping insults I take far too much pleasure in compiling routinely here.
posted by koeselitz at 3:19 PM on October 24, 2007


Good God, EB, did you not bother to read the thread, or did you just feel like you had to get your kicks in despite his thorough recantation?
posted by languagehat at 3:27 PM on October 24, 2007


Can a plate of beans be bespoke(n)?
posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on October 24, 2007


“Good God, EB, did you not bother to read the thread, or did you just feel like you had to get your kicks in despite his thorough recantation?”

I didn't see him recanting being such a putz in those threads. And what I saw in this thread wasn't a “thorough recantation”, it was a bunch of passive/aggressive crap of apologies with disclaimers followed by mild snark.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:06 PM on October 24, 2007


Respoken
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:15 PM on October 24, 2007


I've had several posts deleted lately, but I don't care because I'm pretty much always drunk.

saulgoodman, have you considered becoming an alcoholic?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:15 PM on October 24, 2007


EB's right, "insult insult, peace out" is not a recantation, it's a third grade cop out.
posted by nomisxid at 4:19 PM on October 24, 2007


Great MetaTalk callout, saulgoodman!
posted by KokuRyu at 4:39 PM on October 24, 2007


I feel the need to weigh in here to point out, crucially, that he's still wrong about the word "bespoke."

That is all.
posted by flashboy at 5:01 PM on October 24, 2007


And I don't understand how that's a GYOFB kind of thing anymore than half the other political posts that end up on the front page.

GYOFB. Get Your Own Fucking Blog. I've seen this incarnation of the sentiment more frequently in recent days, and I cannot hide my disappointment. The curse is still there and the phrase is pretty harsh, but it lacks the personal sting and satisfying zing of the other acronym

GYOBFW

Get Your Own Blog, FuckWad. Now that I like. Zing!
posted by carsonb at 5:04 PM on October 24, 2007


If we're being sticklers, it's "fuckwit".
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:09 PM on October 24, 2007


I always thought it was "Get Your Own Fucking Bespoke"
posted by Kwine at 5:14 PM on October 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


20 bucks same as in town.
posted by carsonb at 5:14 PM on October 24, 2007


"Beget Your Own Fucking Spoke"
posted by flashboy at 5:15 PM on October 24, 2007


The right-wing blowhards are ruining this place.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:56 PM on October 24, 2007


saulgoodman, have you considered becoming an alcoholic?

Actually, I kind of used to be an alcoholic, among other vices. Maybe I should give it another try.

I'm pretty embarrassed about this whole episode, now that I've had a chance to cool down (and pop a nicotine lozenge). Especially about my response to Jessamyn (and yes, starting this very MeTa thread, which should never have been). I somehow elided PardonYou?'s accusation about my fpp being a response to the crappy Kucinich fpp from yesterday with Jessamyn's note about my own fpp being too axe-grindy--which now leads me to wonder if the two might not have been more closely related (in my fevered imagination, that is) than I originally thought.

But I can't really admit that, because that would mean PardonYou? might be partly right, too. Which is just way more credit than I can give a "right-wing blowhard" (did I really write that? wtf?)?

Ah hell. Sure am glad I got to spend some time with my son earlier to get a little perspective, otherwise I might get kind of depressed about all this. Good thing it all really just boils down to a bunch of pixels on a computer screen at the end of the day.

EB, sorry pal, but I still think you were having wayyy too much fun piling on me up-thread. I know you catch a lot of shit around here yourself sometimes, but I'm pretty sure I've never thrown a single unkind word in your direction. Same for you nasreddin, but it's all good.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:25 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Especially about my response to Jessamyn

Well don't worry about it on my account, just comes with the territory.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:00 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


“I know you catch a lot of shit around here yourself sometimes, but I'm pretty sure I've never thrown a single unkind word in your direction.”

That's true and I don't enjoy picking on people I don't know and have no personal reason not to like. But my personal code is sort of the opposite of many people's. I try pretty hard to keep the motivation of my praise and criticism (which includes ridicule and snark) in the realm of the other person's actual behavior and separate from my personal feelings. That's very hard to do, of course, when I really dislike someone or really like someone. But I'll sometimes go a bit out of my way to criticize someone I like or to praise someone I don't. Also, for example, whenever I'm in a situation where I find I'm really annoyed with someone that I also happen to like, that for me is a good reason to respond to them like I would any other person who annoys me that much. Whether I'm very successful at this is another matter and while I'm aiming for fairness, the result might be a net increase in people feeling slighted by me.

At any rate, that we've never had a personal interaction or harsh words just aren't things I'm going to let factor into my reaction to something you do or say that I really dislike. And I really dislike how you repeatedly jump to the conclusion that people disagree with you because they have ulterior motives and not that they do so on the merits. That really rubs me the wrong way.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:53 PM on October 24, 2007


Glad that you cooled down, saulgoodman. May I suggest a refreshing appletini and hearty stack of Belgian waffles? It's hard to feel bad about things when the you see the cider hit the vodka and the waffle-odor tickles the olfactory sense.
posted by Kattullus at 8:10 PM on October 24, 2007


my personal code is "don't forget to drink your ovaltine".
posted by quonsar at 8:12 PM on October 24, 2007


Cookies!
posted by disclaimer at 8:32 PM on October 24, 2007


Seriously though. 'bespoke' means custom-made, as in made to order. Ready-made is the opposite of that. This is important. If we can't agree on that, we have no business voting for our leaders and should probably install a benevolent dictator who can settle petty linguistic disputes. I'll gladly sacrifice life and liberty for literacy.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:40 PM on October 24, 2007


You hear about the junkie who swore he'd kick his amphetamine habit if he could learn to read? Heard to say, that fateful night, "give me literacy, or give me meth."
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pony request: Can we please have a "X Defensive-Flameout-Free Days" on the sidebar a la construction safety signs or an alert/icon of some sort so I can tell at a glance which MeTalk threads are turning into, "Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home!"?

n days since a bannin'.
posted by enn at 10:24 PM on October 24, 2007


Y'know what, I don't like deletions. I'd like there to be less deletions. Hell, I bother Jessamyn and the other two with e-mails decrying deletions.

[this is bad], not from the perspective of mod-harassment (they paid their money, they bought their tickets, I say let 'em crash!), but it does further the unfortunate trend of taking administrational discussion off-line, out of Metatalk, or making it invisible, and that is a really bad thing for the site, I reckon.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:37 PM on October 24, 2007


Sorry, saulgoodman, if I was a jerk. I have nothing against you personally, I just hate politicsfilter and think it blandifies the site much more than anything else does.
posted by nasreddin at 10:44 PM on October 24, 2007


GYOFB. Get Your Own Fucking Blog. I've seen this incarnation of the sentiment more frequently in recent days, and I cannot hide my disappointment.

GYOFB addresses the issue, with F used only as an intensifier here. GYOBFW attacks the poster and is therefore against the guidelines: "Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site."
posted by pracowity at 1:52 AM on October 25, 2007


Classy apology, saulgoodman. It redeems this thread.
posted by OmieWise at 4:21 AM on October 25, 2007


stavrosthewonderchicken: [this is bad], not from the perspective of mod-harassment (they paid their money, they bought their tickets, I say let 'em crash!), but it does further the unfortunate trend of taking administrational discussion off-line, out of Metatalk, or making it invisible, and that is a really bad thing for the site, I reckon.

Well, the couple of e-mails I sent recently also had to do with someone else's personal matters.

But other than that I'm all for the MeTa. Though admittedly I've been less active here recently than I've been in the past (my writer's block broke and I'm writing fiction again).
posted by Kattullus at 5:19 AM on October 25, 2007


MetaFilter: i'm having second thoughs about all this drama
posted by Doohickie at 7:15 AM on October 25, 2007


The reason it got flagged so much is that lots of MeFites are Clinton supporters.

You have no evidence to back that up. None. Nor could you. Note: "your impressions" do not constitute evidence.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:58 AM on October 25, 2007


non-USians

You think this is a word. Unfortunately for you, it is not.
posted by oaf at 1:43 PM on October 25, 2007


The trouble is: what do you call them? Non-residents-of-the-north-american-continent-excluding-canada-and-mexico?
posted by koeselitz at 2:05 PM on October 25, 2007


Foreigners? Infidels?
posted by klangklangston at 2:12 PM on October 25, 2007


Unamericans. We had a whole congressional committee for this, back in the good old days.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:43 PM on October 25, 2007


The trouble is: what do you call them? Non-residents-of-the-north-american-continent-excluding-canada-and-mexico?

Non-Americans? Those of you who aren't American[s]?
posted by oaf at 4:41 PM on October 25, 2007


The trouble is: what do you call them? Non-residents-of-the-north-american-continent-excluding-canada-and-mexico?

Wait, I thought you were talking about Mexico. United Mexican States, right?
posted by Snyder at 5:21 PM on October 25, 2007


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