Mustn't offend China! March 21, 2008 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Just so we all know for future reference, why is "FREE TIBET!" not a viable answer for this question?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! to Etiquette/Policy at 1:22 PM (124 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Because it appears to be an attempt at a Hilarious Joke Answer, given the context?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:26 PM on March 21, 2008


Note that this also applies to "The bass player has gonorrhea", someone else's contribution.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:26 PM on March 21, 2008


I didn't remove it but it seems like a sort of wisecrack and not a genuine answer to the question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:26 PM on March 21, 2008


Bono would say FREE TIBET in concert.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:27 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, please skip the part where you complain about moderation in the askme thread itself and go straight to the metatalk or email in the future. You know for a fact that it doesn't go there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:28 PM on March 21, 2008


Plenty of bands would say that in concert, but it's not a good idea for them to say it in concert IN CHINA.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:28 PM on March 21, 2008


Yes, that would never happen. Or, would it?
posted by found missing at 1:30 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know for a fact that it doesn't go there.

True - sorry for that.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:31 PM on March 21, 2008


Note that this also applies to "The bass player has gonorrhea", someone else's contribution.

When half of Shanghai hurts when they pee, you'll only have yourself to blame.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:33 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just so we all know for future reference

Don't bring the rest of us into this! You're on your own on this one.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:39 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know for a fact that it doesn't go there.

I knew that too, I commented there, so, sorry.

But anyway: "FREE TIBET" is absolutely a valid response to that question, and ought to be re-instated. It's unrealistic, sure. It might prematurely end the band's tour, I'd guess. But, especially given the situation of the last few days, when there are serious suggestions for the US to boycott the summer Olympics in China, it is certainly valid to suggest that a band say "Free Tibet" on stage there.

Furthermore, deleting this comment is equivalent to the Chinese government's censorship of the internet. We get all bent out of shape when Google agrees to play by China's censorship rules; is Metafilter acting at China's behest now, as well?

Besides all that, this was one AskMe thread where a little irreverence would be fine (such as the bass player-gonorrhea crack which is now gone). And note that the OP actually favorited MCLoCarb's answer, before it got zapped.
posted by beagle at 1:41 PM on March 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


Interesting Fact: The "No Joke Rule" on AskMe was implemented by MetaFilter's original founder, Chairman Mao.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:43 PM on March 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


By the way, this comment ("FUCKING CIRCLE PIT NOW"). still live, is as unrealistic, but valid, as the one in question.
posted by beagle at 1:48 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh please.
posted by tkolar at 1:50 PM on March 21, 2008


Furthermore, deleting this comment is equivalent to the Chinese government's censorship of the internet.

Which makes you just as brave as a Chinese dissident? Bravo!
posted by Bookhouse at 1:52 PM on March 21, 2008 [12 favorites]


Yeah, it sounded like to me the OP wanted some clever (or 'wise crack') responses. Either way, I don't think there is anything wrong with the answer FREE TIBET. There are lots of mostly joking answers in that thread.
posted by Corduroy at 1:55 PM on March 21, 2008


Furthermore, deleting this comment is equivalent to the Chinese government's censorship of the internet. We get all bent out of shape when Google agrees to play by China's censorship rules; is Metafilter acting at China's behest now, as well?

I really want to come up with some devastatingly witty comeback to this, but all I can think is....actually, what I'm really thinking right now is insulting and rude and I'm trying to not do that (so much).

I'll just say: bullshit.
posted by rtha at 1:56 PM on March 21, 2008


Furthermore, deleting this comment is equivalent to the Chinese government's censorship of the internet.

I don't give a fuck about China; I give a fuck about the band being set up for badness by a home-run of a bumpersticker joke answer in askme. We're not going to abandon askme's guidelines just to avoid the accusation of failing to spite China sufficiently, although in an ideal world we wouldn't even get dealt such a weird accusation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:56 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


is Metafilter acting at China's behest now, as well?

Not even Metafilter, acting as it so often does at the behest of China, can stop the awesome phenomenon that is OBAMA!
posted by ND¢ at 1:57 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


Furthermore, deleting this comment is equivalent to the Chinese government's censorship of the internet.

No it isn't. We may span multiple timezones but MetaFilter is not China. Seriously, if you don't like the rules, come here to gripe, but "civil disobedience" in the form of fucking around in AskMe is mostly just irksome.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:00 PM on March 21, 2008


T-shirt motto idea: MeTa Filter: Censored Content for the Masses.
I can't help but make a feeble joke of beagle's comment, for surely he was feebly joking
posted by dawson at 2:03 PM on March 21, 2008


I agree with the sentiment, but not the whingeingness.
posted by slogger at 2:05 PM on March 21, 2008


You're a fucking idiot, and you should feel bad.

Hell, I don't like it when bands talk about Iraq in the US. What makes you think the Chinese will be any happier? They went to a damn concert, not some agitprop consciousness-raising wankfest.
posted by nasreddin at 2:07 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree with the sentiment, but not the whingeingness.

And that, my friend, is why it should be spelled "whine."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:09 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


I really don't think there is any need to get upset over this. From my view, it seems like beagle was being ridiculous because he thought the deletion was a little strange. Literally, it's a dumb accusation, but should mods really be so quick to insults?
posted by Corduroy at 2:09 PM on March 21, 2008


Chairman Meow
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:10 PM on March 21, 2008


Oh, man! I totally called this metatalk!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:10 PM on March 21, 2008


Literally, it's a dumb accusation, but should mods really be so quick to insults?

They shouldn't, and they weren't? Where are the insults from mods in this thread?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:12 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And anyway, if MeFi's actually trying to not offend China re: Tibet by censoring anything Tibet-related, it's doing a bad job.

What you said was stupid, insulting, and offensive.
posted by rtha at 2:14 PM on March 21, 2008


Is irksome an insult? I have lost perspective.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:14 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm honestly not trying to insult anyone, nor do I think I've thrown out any insults here. I think the reaction to the deletion has been pretty weird and I'm a little piqued about the in-askme behavior, but I don't think M. C. or beagle means harm or anything. I do think the accusation that the deletion had thing uno to do with protecting or acceding to China is really, really bizarre, but saying as much is not intended as an insult to beagle so much as an honest appraisal of what comes off as an attempt to smear us as being in bed with a foreign regime's shitty policy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:14 PM on March 21, 2008


You're a fucking idiot, and you should feel bad.

Hell, I don't like it when bands talk about Iraq in the US. What makes you think the Chinese will be any happier? They went to a damn concert, not some agitprop consciousness-raising wankfest.


Jesus, Nasredin - good thing Hootie and the Blowfish are still touring, then!

And I feel terrible that I made a slightly jokey reference to a recent pop-culture-cum-political-incident in a thread that did appear to be seeking silly answers. Just terrible.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:15 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Quit being an irk.
posted by found missing at 2:15 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


What would Tuesday Lobsang Rampa say?
posted by stubby phillips at 2:16 PM on March 21, 2008


It sure was a funny joke you deleted, though. I just told it to the the Mexicans working on my roof ("If you had a band, you know what's a funny thing to say to during its performance in China? Free Tibet! Haw haw haw!"), and they're still laughing about it now, almost 5 minutes later. Too bad the asker wasn't asking about things to say during a band performance in China, were they?
posted by BeerFilter at 2:17 PM on March 21, 2008


Maybe 'insult' isn't the right word. I guess the harsh language just really isn't necessary.
posted by Corduroy at 2:17 PM on March 21, 2008


I'm having a 'fuck'y sort of day, I'll admit it. I spend a lot of my dayjob workday refraining from cursing, and it's nice to not have to dance around those expressively satisfying eggshells on mefi. But I can see how it could add some abrasiveness in a context where we're already in a degree of conversational conflict, so I hear you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:27 PM on March 21, 2008


FREE [country or culture perceived as being oppressed] seems a perfectly reasonable answer to me.
posted by Artw at 2:29 PM on March 21, 2008


this was one AskMe thread where a little irreverence would be fine

Why do people keep thinking this sort of thing? AskMe is about helping people find answers to their questions. Jokes, insults, and general fuckwittery should be kept in MetaTalk where they belong.
posted by languagehat at 2:36 PM on March 21, 2008


I think it would be much more punk rock to yell, FUCK TIBET.
posted by found missing at 2:37 PM on March 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


(And advising against it in [culture that might object to that/culture that you don't know if they might object to that] would seem like a reasonable follow up message as well)

[exuberant verb] ON!
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on March 21, 2008


You're not a fucking idiot. But it's a dumb joke, and not one likely to play well in China.
posted by nasreddin at 2:38 PM on March 21, 2008


Furthermore, deleting this comment is equivalent to the Chinese government's censorship of the internet. We get all bent out of shape when Google agrees to play by China's censorship rules; is Metafilter acting at China's behest now, as well?

Are you fucking kidding me?

Maybe 'insult' isn't the right word. I guess the harsh language just really isn't necessary.

You mean the really harsh stuff like accusing the mods of censorship and supporting dictatorial regimes? Agreed.
posted by OmieWise at 2:41 PM on March 21, 2008


Chairman M'howie
posted by loiseau at 2:42 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Indeed, loiseau.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:48 PM on March 21, 2008




When I read that question I immediately turned to the greatest hits collection of Paul Stanley's stage-banter, "People Let Me Get This Off My Chest".
posted by milkrate at 2:56 PM on March 21, 2008


refresh! damn!
posted by kosem at 2:57 PM on March 21, 2008


RTFQ. Saying "Free Tibet" from a stage in China may be a lot of things, but it definitely isn't generic.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:59 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the best thing people can do for AskMetafilter is to ask themselves "Would this answer look right at home over at Yahoo! Answers?" before they post.
posted by tkolar at 3:05 PM on March 21, 2008


and not one likely to play well in China.

I kind of figured that went without saying.

It was a joke, but I guess I thought it was harmless in the context of the recent discussion re: Bjork and the lighthearted nature of the question and concert banter in general.

I know that AskMe is not for jokes, and I concede I should have kept it to myself and Beerfilter's roofers.

I'm totally yellin' that shit out next time I play Rock Band in the basement, though. My wife thinks I'm hilarious.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:07 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fuckin' A, man.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:16 PM on March 21, 2008


See? It's just Fucktown USA today. I cannot help it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:17 PM on March 21, 2008


Oh, man. Oh, well, no time to develop restraint now.

Metafilter: Fucktown USA
posted by Skot at 3:22 PM on March 21, 2008


Don't The Beastie Boys usually do the "Free Tibet!" thing, though?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2008


Why does USA keep all the fuck for itself? I'm writing a letter to my MP.
posted by maudlin at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2008


"Good night, Shanghai!"

Please don't pee pee in our coke.
posted by deern the headlice at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


(How about "FREE TAIWAN"?)
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on March 21, 2008


FREE TIBET

TIBET: $20, SAME AS IN TOWN.
posted by matthewr at 3:33 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


Heh. I can't even begin to fathom how FUCKING CIRCLE PIT NOW would sound like in Chinese.

Also, just to clarify what rtha said, in my mind - that was directed to beagle, right? Ditto nasreddin? Sorry if I've got the address wrong; there's a lot of anger going on and it's hard to keep the camps straight. Though the fact that there are camps at all is worrying. Hugs, stat.
posted by Phire at 4:36 PM on March 21, 2008


TANSTAAFT
posted by pyramid termite at 4:38 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yes, directed at beagle. Kinda over the top, maybe, but what beagle said really pissed me off. I shoulda counted to ten. Years ago someone I was having a political argument with called me a collaborator because I disagreed with her. She then condescended to explain to me what a collaborator was. I guess I had a flashback.
posted by rtha at 4:40 PM on March 21, 2008


Yes, it was originally directed at beagle, but then I realized he might have been joking and then I just let the whole thing float out in an ill-focused bubble of aggression. So maybe?
posted by nasreddin at 4:46 PM on March 21, 2008


Fucking mods....
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 PM on March 21, 2008


*Flags previous comment as "I'm an idiot who doesn't pay attention"*

I blame the crew of white-clad basketball players who passed the ball 13 times.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:09 PM on March 21, 2008


Uh, that's a flag on my own previous comment, not BB's.
Ah, t'hell with it, I'm going to bed.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:11 PM on March 21, 2008


"FREE BIRD!"
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:38 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


What makes you think the Chinese will be any happier? They went to a damn concert, not some agitprop consciousness-raising wankfest.

Not to mention the Chinese are better educated and more opinioned on the issue than the typical bumper-sticker on an old volvo crowd who think 'free tibet' would be a mindblowing thing to say.

Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans. Oh right, only Chinese do wrong.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:40 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans. Oh right, only Chinese do wrong.

You're one to talk. You haven't taken out the garbage the last three times it was your turn, the sink is overflowing with dirty dishes, and I'm not sexually satisfied.
posted by tkolar at 5:49 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans.

What's your number? I'm ready.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:56 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans. Oh right, only Chinese do wrong.
posted by damn dirty ape


This is why Lat/Lon should be mandatory. Let's start a pool - I'm going with "Canadian with a complete lack of irony". Who wants to go next?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:03 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]





Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans. Oh right, only Chinese do wrong.


Canadia.....fuck, it took me so long to figure out the dimness here that somone beat me to it.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:29 PM on March 21, 2008


I'm back. Look, "FREE TIBET", while LoCarb says he meant it as a joke, is a political statement that was a valid answer to the question. The OP could take it or leave it; he actually favorited it (generic or not). Ragma's link just above puts it in context. Deleting it was a pretty ironic piece of censorship.
posted by beagle at 7:32 PM on March 21, 2008


this was one AskMe thread where a little irreverence would be fine

I used to feel this way about threads occasionally (resulting in several comment deletions), but I was eventually cured by reading OTHER people's jokey comments, which I now flag with great relish. In case, I flag them even if they're borderline just in case they're irking other people, counting on the mods to make the official call.

Unfortunately it seems that the way I learn is by being a pain in the ass and then feeling dumb about it in retrospect; by contesting the deletion instead of electing to not feeling dumb about it, one skips a crucial step toward AskMe enlightenment.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 7:32 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not to mention the Chinese are better educated and more opinioned on the issue than the typical bumper-sticker on an old volvo crowd who think 'free tibet' would be a mindblowing thing to say.

What makes you think so? The impression I get is that many Chinese get their news from the state-run media and are not well-informed on the matter at all.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:38 PM on March 21, 2008


That is of course not to say that Western media, be it amateur or professional, is necessary the paragon of impartiality either. There are censorship and freedom of information problems in China, obviously, but who was it that said that in any bipartisan clash there were three sides - the two parties, and the truth?
posted by Phire at 7:41 PM on March 21, 2008


Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans.

i will, just as soon as the celts get europe back
posted by pyramid termite at 7:49 PM on March 21, 2008


"Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans."

Is that from the bumper sticker on your Volvo?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:56 PM on March 21, 2008


From whom!? Last time I checked, the Celts were doing just fine in Europe.
posted by matthewr at 7:57 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok, let me spell out why I think the deletion of the "Free Tibet" answer stinks.

The poster is asking for "generic things that a band might say to the audience at a concert."

Run DMC, The Cult, Beastie Boys, Blondie, Tracy Chapman, The Roots, Live, Eddie Vedder, Otis Rush, Cibo Matto, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Rage Against the Machine, Wu-Tang-Clan, Chaksam-pa, The Smashing Pumpkins, A Tribe Called Quest, Pavement, Biz Markie, Richie Havens, John Lee Hooker, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth, Beck, Björk, De La Soul, Fugees, Buddy Guy, The Skatalites, Yoko Ono/Ima, Foo Fighters, U2, Alanis Morissette, Patti Smith, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Radiohead, Yungchen Lhamo, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Rancid, Blur, Michael Stipe & Mike Mills, Taj Mahal and Phantom Blues Band, Dadon, Nawang Khechog, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, KRS-ONE, Noel Gallagher, Porno for Pyros, Lee Perry featuring Mad Professor & the Robotiks Band, Regurgitator, Spiderbait, The Mavis's, The Avalanches, Neil Finn, The Living End, Celibate Rifles, Not From There, Gerling, Jebediah, You Am I, Garpa, Blackalicious, Eskimo Joe, Trans Am, Hi-Standard, Buffalo Daughter, Brahman, Audio Active, Kan Takagi, Scha Dara Parr, Kiyoshirou Imawano, Garbage, Urban Dance Squad, Luscious Jackson, NRA, Gangchenpa, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros, Thom Yorke, Radiohead, Sean Lennon, Mutabaruka, Money Mark, Dave Matthews Band, Wyclef Jean, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, Buffalo Daughter, R.E.M., The Wallflowers, and Blues Traveler are all bands that have said either "Free Tibet" on stage, or have performed at a Tibetan Freedom Concert.

It seems to me that the answer of "Free Tibet" would be considered a legitimate answer to a question about things bands might say to an audience. Especially "given the context," it seems to me that "Free Tibet" is the furthest thing from a "Hilarious Joke Answer," and is actually a deadly "fucking" serious answer, even if M.C. Lo-Carb! originally meant it as joking.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:58 PM on March 21, 2008 [11 favorites]


beagle:
The advice only makes sense if it's a joke.

If you don't think it's a joke, then it's the worst advice in the world ever - ok hyperbole, but still incredibly bad advice. You really don't see why that's not a good answer to the question "what are some phrases that I should translate into Chinese for a visiting band to shout at a concert in Shanghai?"? You really don't see why that would be a dumb thing to put on a sheet of phrases for the band to choose from? What if they had no idea how much trouble they'd be getting themselves into? This kind of advice if it were serious would be a good way to get arrested or kicked out of the country.

Deleting it was either properly deleting a joke (totally cute joke - just not what Ask is for), or properly deleting boneheaded and dangerous advice (also not what Ask is for). Either way, not like state-sponsored censorship at all, and it seems willfully obtuse to construe it that way.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:02 PM on March 21, 2008


all bands that have said either "Free Tibet" on stage...

NOT WHILE THEY WERE IN CHINA THEMSELVES
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:03 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]



all bands that have said either "Free Tibet" on stage...

yeah, that's probably the best reason for not saying it, ever. It's just a cliched throwaway line unless yr talk talks, like Dick Geres.
posted by dawson at 8:18 PM on March 21, 2008


If Alanis Morrisette and Rancid are on board, by God, things have gotten deadly fuckin' serious.
posted by deern the headlice at 8:25 PM on March 21, 2008




Apropos of nothing, I have a friend who took a side trip to Tibet whilst in China. He was there studying traditional Chinese medicine and wanted a massage while he was in Lhasa (to see what methods they used). Apparently there was a big misunderstanding and he was sent a Tibetan prostitute. He's not into that so he politely refuse but due to the language barrier it began to escalate into something of an incident. Finally, the pimp came in angrily and my friend managed to communicate his misunderstanding. So, the pimp gave him a foot massage for a nominal fee.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:48 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


BeerFilter, nobody here thinks that Tibetan independence is a trivial matter. The suggestion was a joke -- it was a joke precisely because MC L-C recognizes the deadly seriousness of the Tibet issue in China, and recognizes how impossible it would be to follow this suggestion. The humor of the joke -- which we all get -- comes from recognizing how bad the situation is over there. But still it was a joke, and so deleted.

And again, if it weren't a joke it would be godawful advice, because of how deadly serious the Tibet issue is in China. What's under discussion is whether the advice is a reasonable answer to the question. It isn't. Do you see why it would be a really bad idea -- pragmatically speaking -- for a band to shout out a pro-Tibetan-independence slogan while they're performing a concert in Shanghai? And why possibly not every band would realize that, and therefore the translator probably shouldn't risk putting that on the translation sheet?

So again, either a joke or dangerously bad advice. Duly deleted. Either way, it's not a capitulation to the Chinese regime, or an insult to the Tibetan people, to delete it.

on preview: burhanistan, did the pimp administer the massage?
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:55 PM on March 21, 2008


Yes, the pimp gave the foot massage...sorry if that wasn't made clear!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:56 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's a commitment to service.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:22 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


why is "FREE TIBET!" not a viable answer for this question?

Because it wasn't in the spirit of what the OP was asking; I got the feeling he was looking for something that wasn't as controversial as proclaiming "Free Tibet", although, if he did have something that was a bit more confrontational in mind, that would've been a good reply, considering he was well informed of the possibility of what his actions might lead to.
posted by hadjiboy at 11:00 PM on March 21, 2008


If more pimps were willing to deliver these levels of service, the world would be a better place.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:32 PM on March 21, 2008


i will, just as soon as the celts get europe back

I'll settle for a nice seaside plot in Aberwrystwth.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:41 AM on March 22, 2008


And again, if it weren't a joke it would be godawful advice, because of how deadly serious the Tibet issue is in China.

Sure (and I recognized that from the start), but there's godawful advice being given in most AskMe threads (especially the ones on interpersonal relationships) which is not deleted. Instead other posters say, I disagree with So-and-so's advice, for these reasons, and here's my suggestion. Given that this was in Beerfilter's phrasing, "deadly fucking serious" advice at a certain level, there being truth in most jokes, that's what should have happened, not deletion.
posted by beagle at 5:22 AM on March 22, 2008


That is not how AskMe works, sorry.
posted by nasreddin at 5:33 AM on March 22, 2008


the pimp gave him a foot massage for a nominal fee

Pimpin' ain't easy.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:38 AM on March 22, 2008


Poor deletion. Where has all the rage gone?
posted by adamvasco at 6:51 AM on March 22, 2008


The latest apparently non-godawful advice in the thread is:

"They tell me people in Shanghai like to get HIGH!"

"Don't eat the brown acid!"

These gems, in the mods' judgment, must be serious advice, non-jokes and politically correct, while "FREE TIBET" is a joke, not serious and politically incorrect.

I'm not suggesting they be deleted, because by my own arguments above, they're appropriate for the thread and the OP can figure out what he wants to do. Presumably he'll tell the band what their translated remarks actually mean, too. But, if these comments stay, then "FREE TIBET" should have stayed as well, along with the rest of the deleted irreverence.
posted by beagle at 7:31 AM on March 22, 2008


Deleting it was either properly deleting a joke (totally cute joke - just not what Ask is for), or properly deleting boneheaded and dangerous advice (also not what Ask is for). Either way, not like state-sponsored censorship at all, and it seems willfully obtuse to construe it that way.

Exactly, and well said. Case closed. Now can we all get a pimp massage?
posted by languagehat at 7:34 AM on March 22, 2008


For reference, "FUCKING CIRCLE PIT NOW" may not be something most of you hear at shows, but in the music scene I typically frequent it's an extremely commonplace thing to hear. I've been to hundreds of shows and some sort of invitation to start a circle pit is just what you do if you're a band playing a metal show.
posted by baphomet at 7:37 AM on March 22, 2008


Poor deletion. Where has all the rage gone?

Ew, tedious '68 nostalgia. "I was being told to get off people's lawns when your daddy was knee-high to a grasshopper! Whippersnappers... Now where's my Social Security check?"
posted by nasreddin at 7:38 AM on March 22, 2008


These gems, in the mods' judgment, must be serious advice, non-jokes and politically correct, while "FREE TIBET" is a joke, not serious and politically incorrect.

Those gems don't require a level of geopolitical understanding to get what the commenter is getting at by suggesting them. I don't think you have to be that sophisticated to undertand the longtime oppression of the Tibetans by the occupying Chinese but you might not get just how touchy a topic it is in China, something which M.C. Lo-Carb! didn't mention. The short answer, however, is that M.C. Lo-Carb! was making a one-off joke and that joke was removed. That there's an additional layer of meaning that can be read into both the suggestion and the removal of the suggestion doesn't obviate what actually happened.

When people are asking what basically amount to list generation questions, non-answers get removed. Any time someone has a "help me name my ___________ " question, some jackass answers "Fred" Every time. This is true whether it's a name my vegan bakery question or a name my goldfish question. That answer is intended as a sort of meta "I hate these questions" comment, is taken as such, and removed as such. Same thing is true with the brown acid question which was posted while we were asleep. Please don't make "these comments are functional equivalent" arguments or "this is what the mods were thinking based on their failure to act" arguments. We're here to talk about things with you, but do us the courtesy of having legitmate discussions.

That this long back and forth discussion is now in MeTa, which is linked in that thread assures that people will see it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:41 AM on March 22, 2008


Sure (and I recognized that from the start), but there's godawful advice being given in most AskMe threads (especially the ones on interpersonal relationships) which is not deleted. Instead other posters say, I disagree with So-and-so's advice, for these reasons, and here's my suggestion. Given that this was in Beerfilter's phrasing, "deadly fucking serious" advice at a certain level, there being truth in most jokes, that's what should have happened, not deletion.

Both happen, depending on what the thread looks like when we get there. If we catch an aggressively noisy answer before a big in-thread discussion of it ensues, we'll generally nix the noise; if there's already a good, civil rebuttal to the comment, we'll often leave the whole thing to stand as a point-counterpoint. But letting the original noise stand is something we sometimes elect to do as a concession to the effort folks have put into clarifying the issue by the time we got there, not because that's the ideal way for the site to work; and sometimes the comment-plus-responses is uncivil or deraily enough that even then we'll pull the whole thing out because it's ruining the thread.

And that sort of potential-to-ruin is part of the motivation for pulling the noisy stuff early. In this case, FREE TIBET was right up at the top of the thread, in prime fucking-up-the-thread territory as fight-starting material goes, which puts extra pressure on us to deal with it compared to, say, a late entry in a well-developed thread.

There's this perception sometimes that if we pull a specific comment from an askme thread, we're implicitly barring discussion of that topic in the askme thread, which isn't true. I can dig the inference, I guess, but much of the time it's not "don't talk about topic x" that is motivating the deletion; it's "wow, you did a lousy job of talking about topic x in that comment".

If someone wanted to suggest, with some damn nuance, why it would or wouldn't be a good or smart idea to shout "Free Tibet!" at that concert, that'd probably be fine (assuming, at least, that they didn't also try to start a fight or get all soapboxy re: China and Tibet in the process). But that doesn't mean chucking "FREE TIBET" in as a two-word comment at the top of that thread was a good idea. It wasn't; it was bad behavior, regardless of the plight of Tibet or any other damn thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:57 AM on March 22, 2008


(Although, in this case, with a lengthy metatalk thread on the subject that is now linked by jessamyn from the thread itself, I'd read it as kind of provocative and bad faith to try and start up the Tibet discussion over there again. But in an ideal world where this hadn't turned into a big thing over in the grey, etc.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on March 22, 2008


FREE BOB AVAKIAN
posted by breezeway at 8:33 AM on March 22, 2008


Steady - mustn't rock the boat now.
If I was part of a rock group playing in China (which I am not and never will be); if I was brave enough, I would maybe utter the words "Free Tibet". Similarily if I was an Olympic athlete on the Podium (which I never was and never will be), I might be brave enough to signal a protest to the Chinese people about the behavior of their government. However its much easier to be complaisant.
posted by adamvasco at 8:38 AM on March 22, 2008


I guess the bar for bravery is set pretty low nowadays.
posted by nasreddin at 8:47 AM on March 22, 2008


If not "Free Tibet", howzabout "Stop Gunning People Down for a Cottonpickin' Minute in Tibet"?
posted by DenOfSizer at 9:06 AM on March 22, 2008


They call me Mister Tibet.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:51 AM on March 22, 2008


damn dirty ape: "Call me when you guys are ready to hand back the US to the native americans. Oh right, only Chinese do wrong."

This is just what I was thinking.

Another one:

"Walmart is Evil!"

Good idea at a punk show, bad idea at a country/rock concert in middle America.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:50 AM on March 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks, mods, for your explanations. Whether the original comment was a joke, or not, this MeTa question was worth some serious discussion, and we've had that. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I yield the remainder of my time.
posted by beagle at 10:50 AM on March 22, 2008


On just a very basic level yelling 'Free Tibet' would have only a negative effect in China. I'm by no means an Old China Hand, but having been there several times and having lived (in 3 different provinces) there I can (admittedly anecdotally) assure you that this is not what any majority of the actual people, including Tibetans, want or need. The shouter would accomplish a few things: possible punishment for the concert promoters, likely censorship crackdowns leading to further estrangement among the global arts community (which is one of the more effective weapons available against these regimes), befuddlement on the part of the concert goers (sorta like if Yo Yo Ma shouted 'Free the Cherokee!' after performing Vivaldi's Concerto in C Minor). Perhaps you don't give a fuck about HH the Dali Lama, but you would also be working against him and the greater good of the Tibetan people.
Additionally you would look totally cool to a sub-set of 'hip cause' aficionados in the US, UK and Oz who rushed to buy bottled water before realizing they should be rushing to drink tap water, who think they are living close to the earth because they eat only organic and who think Bono is Gandhi reincarnated.
There are many ways to assist, encourage and defend the oppressed Tibetans, shouting 'Free Tibet' (and, one assumes, in English?) at a concert in China is manifestly not such a way, and is, in fact, counterproductive. If someone really feels so passionately they can follow James Mawdsley example (for one example, not that he's alone).
And to even seriously entertain, in any context, that a privately owned website is analogous to a totalitarian government and said websites volunteer mods are petty, gleeful Red Guards is, frankly, idiotic.
The post in question did not offend me in anyway, I did not flag it and I thank God I don't have to deal with the bullshit of dealing with hundreds of comments daily.
The comment was made, deleted and the question here was asked, and I thought, answered but still you persist.
I admire the concern for freedom/democracy for others and the wish to not aid and abet the Chinese government, but you're doing it wrong, that's all.

Oh. On preview you got it already, and graciously at that, but dammit I'm posting this rant anyway. wink
posted by dawson at 10:58 AM on March 22, 2008


MetaFilter: Insufficiently spiting China
posted by owhydididoit at 11:01 AM on March 22, 2008


FREE MUMIA must be out of style.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:51 AM on March 22, 2008


Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on March 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


All the time spent here arguing by protestors could have actually been spent doing volunteer work for a FREE TIBET organization. Or maybe playing the free rice game to help feed hungry people if'n you don't feel like actually doing anything useful besides posturing and arguing. Not saying that's not fun, but well, if you want to free Tibet, then get on the stick because you're preaching to the choir here. Metafilter isn't doing anything to Tibet and it's not responsible for its release.

Alternatively, you could start your own website and code and moderate it yourself, only allowing jokey answers and potentially offensive advice to be given. It's so easy to say it here, but for someone to say it over there could be dangerous.

And Cortex, I must respond to your Fuckin' A with: and B & C too! And if "fuck" is good enough for Julia Loius-Dreyfus, it's good enough for me. Her favorite curse word according to her answer on Inside the Actors Studio. I highly recommend the soundtrack from Co-ed Prison Sluts, and singing it at top volume on the weekends. Shit, Motherfucker is a very therapeutic song to belt out, and it's cheery as well.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:33 PM on March 22, 2008


As the Metatanks rumbled into Tian An Matt Square, one small, droop-eared dog moved to block their path.



And was squashed flat.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:42 PM on March 22, 2008


I know "why was my precious comment deleted?" Metatalk posts aren't cool, but I'm glad I asked this one despite the proper thrashing I received. The Tibet situation is personally very important to me, and to lots of other people here, and I didn't mean to cheapen it with a joke. And I do understand why yelling it out at a concert would not be constructive.

Also, for the record, I didn't really think Metafilter was trying to suppress my free-dums.

But thanks to those one or two people who leapt to my defense!
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 7:38 PM on March 22, 2008


What would Tuesday Lobsang Rampa say?

Free Devon and Cornwall!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:59 AM on March 23, 2008


Shit, Motherfucker is a very therapeutic song to belt out

Talk to the hand is similarly therapeutic, IMO.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:08 AM on March 23, 2008


I went to a lot of gigs in the late 90s / early 00s where the bands' calling of 'free tibet!' had become de rigeur to the point of irony.
posted by popcassady at 6:24 AM on March 23, 2008


As the Metatanks rumbled into Tian An Matt Square, one small, droop-eared dog moved to block their path.



And was squashed flat.


!!!!!!!PANCAKES!!!!1!
posted by pyramid termite at 6:30 AM on March 23, 2008


Any time someone has a "help me name my ___________ " question, some jackass answers "Fred" Every time. This is true whether it's a name my vegan bakery question or a name my goldfish question.

Now, if it were a 'What do I name my Flintstone' question, it would be allowed to remain.
posted by jonmc at 2:34 PM on March 23, 2008


'What do I name my Flintstone'

Steve
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:54 PM on March 23, 2008


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