Fightin' Obama and the howlin' wingnuts May 29, 2008 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Hmm. I thought the WWII Post/Obama post was interesting and don't see the excessiveness GYOBness. What's that all about?
posted by Artw to Etiquette/Policy at 12:22 PM (141 comments total)

Is gyobness pronounced with a hard or soft g?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:27 PM on May 29, 2008


I was a little puzzled about this as well, but I'm sure Jessamyn will tell us in a bit.
posted by pjern at 12:28 PM on May 29, 2008


What's that all about?

I think what it's all about was that the post was, at its core, a link to a dailykos post supported by links to the things the dailykos post was linking to.

We can and should do better here.
posted by dersins at 12:28 PM on May 29, 2008


It's excessive to label attempts to politicize the Holocaust "wingnuttery?" Because that's pretty much my definition.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:29 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


over the top editorializing undermines the general righteousness of this post.

Wow, what a shitty and stupid reason to delete this post. The FPP, verbatim, was:

Please crawl back under the rock you came out from. A World War 2 veteran responds succinctly to a right-wing blogger who contacted him in search of dirt on Barack Obama's great-uncle. More here. Bonus wingnuttery: Buchenwald not as bad as Auschwitz.

The first sentence is the quote being linked to, and other than that the only parts of the FPP I would remotely suggest are "editorializing" are the term "right-wing" and "in search of dirt." And I fail to see either of them as "over the top."

It was a good example of an interesting direction a growing trend in political "journalism" is taking and for this one of everything we've seen and likely will see in the 2008 election to be the one labeled "over the top" is really fucking ridiculous.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:30 PM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


(Sorry, I meant "wingnuttery" not the "right-wing" line in the third graf.)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:31 PM on May 29, 2008


It wasn't a GYOB situation, it was a bunch of editorializing on a political topic and a few links to a bunch of OMGOMGOMG political blog stories on the topic. Words like "wingnut" "pwns" "crawl back under the rock you came from" and concentration camp metaphor mean that the post was an argument before it even started. It just seemed like an opportunity to roll our eyes at some jerkish blogger and that discussion is already taking place on the blogs the post linked to. If there's something more to the story/posts than that, it would have been good if AE had made that clear in the post.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:32 PM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


What concentration camp metaphor?
posted by Artw at 12:33 PM on May 29, 2008


Maybe I am displaying my ignorance by asking, but what about that post was important or interesting?
posted by prefpara at 12:34 PM on May 29, 2008


Buchenwald and Auschwitz "weren't all that bad (since the deaths were merely in the tens of thousands)." according to the Kos link. Perhaps metaphor is the wrong choice of words, "concentration camp invocation"?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:36 PM on May 29, 2008


prefpara - Well, I’d go for:
* Feisty old vet telling slimeballs to shove it.
* The bizarre sight of said slimeballs trying to make a big deal out of the distinction between two concentration camps, like one was Butlins or something.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on May 29, 2008


I liked the story because of the simple and satisfying "fuck you" from some WWII vets to people attempting to disparage or disprove Obama's great-uncle helping to liberate a death camp.


(Interestingly, I had googled the liberation of that camp just a little while ago because of a Mefi comment allkindsoftime made.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:38 PM on May 29, 2008


Or what Artw said.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:38 PM on May 29, 2008


Er... The post does indeed appear to mention concentration camps, yes. That's kind of the point though isn't it, rather than some random invocation?
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2008


Again, the point of the story was a focus on how a single minor gaffe snowballs into a partisan fishing expedition, and this one was particularly interesting given the (sadly) unusual outcome of the attempt as well as the extent to which one would go to create a political attack on an opponent. I think a blogger trying to minimize the Holocaust to score a news cycle against a presidential candidate is a fascinating story.

I don't get how "the topic was politicized" can be the excuse to flag a FPP about a topic being politicized.

Was it "politicizing" when Buzz Aldrin clocked that conspiracy nut who insisted the moon landing was a government conspiracy? No, it was awesome. So was this. WWII vets tell whiny punk on internet to go fuck himself! This is happy link.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:42 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, essentially, it's two people having a fight that has something to do with Obama? Is either person significant? Is their fight significant or likely to have far-reaching implications? I feel like I must sound like I am trying to be provoking, and please let me know if there's a better way to frame this, but I am genuinely curious to understand what makes this thread/issue something that people want to see up on MeFi. Is it because there was an OH SNAP on someone who isn't well-liked?
posted by prefpara at 12:44 PM on May 29, 2008


Maybe if there were quote marks around "please crawl back under the rock you came from" it would have been clearer that it wasn't total editorializing?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:44 PM on May 29, 2008


Yeah, add my vote to the "bad deletion" side.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:44 PM on May 29, 2008


Is their fight significant or likely to have far-reaching implications?

Yes.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:46 PM on May 29, 2008


I really hope this is a straight up bad deletion on it's own merits not some kind of bone being thrown out because of the PP flap.
posted by Artw at 12:46 PM on May 29, 2008


When do we get cucumber sandwiches? I feel a faint coming on.
posted by 2sheets at 12:46 PM on May 29, 2008


The first link was a blog-entry about a single-line email reply to a right-wing blogger. The second link was a DailyKos thread gloating about said reply. The third link was a tenuously-related blog entry about right-wing bloggers' discussion of concentration camps.

It's an edge case. I flagged the post because it was presented as LOLWINGNUTS, not a substantive review of the case.
posted by googly at 12:46 PM on May 29, 2008


Yeah, add my vote to the "bad deletion" side.

Me too.
posted by mrnutty at 12:47 PM on May 29, 2008


A prediction--this MeTa thread will continue the bothersome trend of softposting politics topics in the gray that don't cut it on the blue.
posted by Prospero at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is their fight significant or likely to have far-reaching implications?

Yes.


What do you think the implications will be?
posted by prefpara at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2008


I thought the implications were explained well here better than any other thread I've seen on this subject.
But down it goes into the memory hole and 6 months later when it comes to pass it will be forgotten in favor of the larger narrative.
Good job, citizen!
posted by 2sheets at 12:56 PM on May 29, 2008


Who quits smoking in the middle of a presidential campaign? Seriously, if Obama can do that without snapping he should have this whole Iraq/Peak Oil/Recession thing wrapped up before breakfast.
posted by stet at 12:57 PM on May 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


A prediction--this MeTa thread will continue the bothersome trend of softposting politics topics in the gray that don't cut it on the blue.

Works for me -- I'm glad to have seen this, but more because of the WWII vet vs. callow young chickenhawk matchup than for anything to do with the election (because, as far as I can tell, this is tangentially related to the election at best).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:58 PM on May 29, 2008


Yeah, add my vote to the "bad deletion" side.

Me too.

See, um, MeFi is a Dictatorship, or at best an Oligarchy or Techrocracy. Point is, there is no voting in any of those forms of government. So, um, unless you want to GYOB as the deletion sorta suggests, then your only option at this point is to just smile and say, "OK chief."
posted by Pollomacho at 12:59 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who quits smoking in the middle of a presidential campaign? Seriously, if Obama can do that without snapping he should have this whole Iraq/Peak Oil/Recession thing wrapped up before breakfast.

Yeah, but with the amount of animal tranquilizers he takes each day, kicking smokes is a breeze.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:01 PM on May 29, 2008


I thought the implications were explained well here better than any other thread I've seen on this subject.

Me too, that's why my reply to prefpara was also a link to it.

Who quits smoking in the middle of a presidential campaign?

No kidding. And wouldn't being a smoker help Obama connect with all those Appalachian voters? I think he should pull out a pack of Newports at the first presidential debate.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:01 PM on May 29, 2008


Hold up Stalin. MeFi isn't a Dictatorship, MeFi is a Dictatorship with bitching.
Largely futile bitching
so that's what we're doing.

posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought the implications were explained well here

That makes it sound like one piece of a larger movement, and I think I recall the mods saying something to the effect of "we don't want to see an FPP about every piece of a potential eventual larger movement."
posted by prefpara at 1:05 PM on May 29, 2008


No, the whole tone of the post was "Woo ho, we got a bitch slap going on, everybody come watch and enjoy!!" The subject matter itself was kinda thin too.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:09 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't feel as strongly about this post as Jessamyn, maybe, but I sure didn't think it was great. I get the gotcha hook of it, I really do, but the first link by itself is kind of thin stuff for the post by itself and the supplemental links are just Let's Go Look At This Ugly Thing Again.

But down it goes into the memory hole and 6 months later when it comes to pass it will be forgotten in favor of the larger narrative.

Can we be clear about something? Metafilter is not the lynchpin in American political dialogue. The appearance or not of a post on metafilter is not the thing that makes the difference between the US suddenly seizing on the ills of election politics and oppo research mudslinging and swiftboatery.

If the justification for a post is ever that, as the above suggests, something fundamental will be lost from an otherwise destined change of tone in the political landscape if the post (or its comments) ends up deleted, the post is in big, big trouble.

I really hope this is a straight up bad deletion on it's own merits not some kind of bone being thrown out because of the PP flap.

Gah. I think it's safe to say it's got nothing to do with PP, yes. It's kind of an obnoxious speculation, really -- "I really hope that was a straight up crappy implication on it's own merits, not some kind of bone being thrown out because you argued with your girlfriend last night"? Why on earth would you go there?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:15 PM on May 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Again, the point of the story was a focus on how a single minor gaffe snowballs into a partisan fishing expedition, and this one was particularly interesting given the (sadly) unusual outcome of the attempt as well as the extent to which one would go to create a political attack on an opponent.

Then it would have been nice to see some links that actually looked at, as opposed to another political pile on against "them". Instead we get the first link which simply tells the story, the second link which repeats the story and follows up a bit and finally a link to comparing Nazi camps.

None of those links really get into the interesting subject you bring up. It's just a giant circle jerk with a post coital smack down of an easy target.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:17 PM on May 29, 2008


I found it interesting.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:18 PM on May 29, 2008


Unfortunate deletion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:20 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


The post provides a few links to the newest ridiculous shouting match with basically "ha ha, look what the right-wing morons are saying about Obama now. They got pwned this time!" It doesn't make what they're saying any less absurd, but it also doesn't provide context that makes it anything other than LOLCONSERVATIVEBLOGGERS. Wingnut is kind of a tip-off that the tone of the post is too editorial.

Can we be clear about something? Metafilter is not the lynchpin in American political dialogue. The appearance or not of a post on metafilter is not the thing that makes the difference between the US suddenly seizing on the ills of election politics and oppo research mudslinging and swiftboatery.

*quiet sob*
posted by Tehanu at 1:21 PM on May 29, 2008


See, um, MeFi is a Dictatorship, or at best an Oligarchy or Techrocracy.

Wrong! It's a Polyocracy!

and it needs...the Nazis.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:23 PM on May 29, 2008


I think the deletion was justified. Given the word “pwn” in the title, and the clearly ad hominem “wignuttery” in the text, the FPP did seem overly editorial in its tone, IMO, and there’s no arguing that this isn’t newsfilter.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 1:24 PM on May 29, 2008


Tyranny of the Blogocrats!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:24 PM on May 29, 2008


Hey, everybody! The sun is shining outside!

Well, it is in my happy corner of the universe.
posted by lysdexic at 1:25 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why on earth would you go there?

Yet another presentation of the D--s Fairness Doctrine makes people cranky.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:26 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, everybody! The sun is shining outside!

Hey, everybody, there's porn on this here internets!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:28 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter is not the lynchpin in American political dialogue.

What? Now you tell me!
posted by languagehat at 1:28 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


does anybody else get the impression jessamyn didn't read any of the linked material?

Buchenwald and Auschwitz "weren't all that bad (since the deaths were merely in the tens of thousands)." according to the Kos link. Perhaps metaphor is the wrong choice of words, "concentration camp invocation"?

So the post invoked concentration camps by mentioning them in a topic that was all about which concentration camp Obama's grandfather helped free? I'm not seeing the logic, unless the logic is that jess thinks the OP was linking to something UNRELATED about the concentration camps. If that's the case, it sounds like she didn't read any of the linked material, then. I find this easier to believe since jess also called the original mention of the camps a metaphor at first.

It is, however, entirely possible that she merely misspoke twice and has yet to properly explain what she's getting at with this concentration camp thing. Are we simply not allowed to make posts that mention them?
posted by shmegegge at 1:30 PM on May 29, 2008


Dennis Prager discussed this earlier in the week. Auschwitz is, pardon the expression, the gold standard of the camps, and is the "Band Aid" or Q-Tip of concentration camps. To fault said candidate on what he said is completely NUTS.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 1:35 PM on May 29, 2008


Very thin post and a reasonable deletion. A minor incident in the US election campaign, surely? Nice to see liars get their come-uppance but neither a new phenomenon (the Swift-boating tactic) or a particularly engaging story.
posted by Abiezer at 1:40 PM on May 29, 2008


I skimmed all three linked posts.

The balloon-juice post specifically had NSFW images of dead concentration camp victims basically as a way of driving home the point that they were making against the right wing blogger. Everyone was making this all about the concentration camps themselves and the horrors involved (and trying to make the cheap association that, I don't know right wing bloggers are nazi torturers by being dicks about this issue, or this one blogger was) instead of the "Obama says this, blogger says that, truth is THIS" discussion that it could have been.

It was gratuitous and tawdry, in my opinion and set up the whole thing as an OMG situation instead of "gee that was really some lame hyperbole you were using there, let's discuss what is really going on" To people not on the inside of this whole he-said-they-said minute-by-minute election commentary this is really small stuff. If you wanted to frame it in the larger "what's going on with the election and why it matters outside of the howling blogosphere" that would also be okay to. This post didn't do that. It was just an invitation to more howling.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:43 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


While I appreciated the story, I did have a moment where I wondered if every strange little moment in the election was going to be on the Blue. Because a considerable part of this story is the race-to-the-bottom crapola that is passing as political discourse in this election - and that gets thin pretty fast. There's a new example every day. Put me down in the "mixed feelings" column on this one.

Metafilter is not the lynchpin in American political dialogue. The appearance or not of a post on metafilter is not the thing that makes the difference between the US suddenly seizing on the ills of election politics and oppo research mudslinging and swiftboatery.

But can't we dream, cortex? Can't we dream?

[FADE-IN on HOST]
Welcome to Politics from Yesterday, an interactive Web show that explores important political moments in history. Today, we discuss the groundbreaking US Presidential Campaign of 2008.

[CHANGING SHOTS OF METAFILTER FRONT PAGE, with VOICE-OVER]
It was a simple website - a community weblog, they called it - relatively obscure, not much known - that changed the course of US politics and, of course, the media. The insights offered on MetaFilter on the low-brow coverage and use of mudslinging in the campaign caused a widespread revolution in the electorate. They turned off their TVs, went forth, and asked the hard-hitting, insightful questions of the candidates that needed to be asked. They provoked inspired discussion of the issues facing the country, and moved the focus away from the misstatements of the candidates and petty quibbles about their pasts. The discussions on Metafilter ushered in the new Golden Age of American politics, ended global warming, and indirectly lead to the Global Peace Accord, amongst other things.

[CUT BACK TO HOST]
Metafilter was the dream of one man, Matt Haughey. Going by the username mathowie on Metafilter, he created the environment where American politics - and the world as a whole - would be changed for ever.

[FOOTAGE OF MATT]
How'd that cat get stuck in the scanner? That's funny! I'm going to totally post that!
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:49 PM on May 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Some ideas are better when they are just mused over for a moment or two rather than actually fleshed out.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:51 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ouch.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:51 PM on May 29, 2008


Yeah, that was kind of blunt.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:53 PM on May 29, 2008


That's OK - it's only a flesh wound.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:53 PM on May 29, 2008


Time to sing along with a little wisdom from Phil Collins:

If it's gonna get better, it starts with a feeling
If it's gonna get better, it's gonna take time
If it's gonna get better, we've gotta start now
'cos I know, everybody can feel it
and I know, everybody will see it
'cos it shows, and that shows I'm not dreaming
'cos you know, and I know, it's time for change
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:57 PM on May 29, 2008


Too thin. Needs more SLYT.
posted by xod at 1:58 PM on May 29, 2008


I can feel it
Posting in the blue
Tonight
Oh Maaatt
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:04 PM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


There's a post
That's been on my mind
All the time
Ba-Ba-Banudio, oh oh
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:08 PM on May 29, 2008


Some ideas are better when they are just mused over for a moment or two rather than actually fleshed out.

Oh, come on. You love flesh.
posted by languagehat at 2:11 PM on May 29, 2008


True Cannibal Confessions
posted by Burhanistan at 2:12 PM on May 29, 2008


Before you guys go labeling this a newsfilter, one of the reasons I liked the post is that it was a minor internet kerfuffle that I'm sure I won't see anywhere else. The fact that it was minor I guess supports deletion, but it was just a nice little "feisty WWII vet flips off would-be swiftboater" vignette that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. And I thought the discussion was pretty interesting, not really howling.
But I don't care enough to keep bitching about it. Gaymover.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:13 PM on May 29, 2008


Oh
Flag twice
It's another day for you and me
On blue web sites
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:13 PM on May 29, 2008


I think he should pull out a pack of Newports at the first presidential debate.

I thought they said he smoked Marlboros. Actually, he probably really smokes some high toned Nat Sherman shit, but that would look too effete.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:14 PM on May 29, 2008


So Haughey, Haughey don't ban that member.
'Cause you're not anywhere that I can't find you.
posted by box at 2:17 PM on May 29, 2008


I heard he has cartons of Silk Cut flown in on a private jet.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:17 PM on May 29, 2008


Nicotine patches. Up and down the spine.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:17 PM on May 29, 2008


:9
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 2:20 PM on May 29, 2008


I didn't seem worth posting, imo. There's an open Obama thread already, why not just put it in there?
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on May 29, 2008


I heard that when Hillary Clinton bums a smoke from you, if you give her anything other than a Marlboro or a Camel she says 'What are you, queer?'
posted by box at 2:22 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I know you're going, but I can't believe it's the way that you're leaving
It's like we never knew each other at all, it may be my fault
I gave you too many reasons, being trolled, when I didn't want to
I thought you'd always be there, I almost believed you

All this time, I still remember everything you said
There's so much you trolled, how could I ever forget
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:23 PM on May 29, 2008


Phil Collins is a Nazi?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:25 PM on May 29, 2008


Well you can tell ev'ryone I'm a MeTa disgrace
Drag my name all over the place.
I don't post anymore.
You can tell ev'rybody 'bout the threads I'm in
You won't catch me trollin 'cos I just can't win.
I don't post anymore I don't post anymore
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:30 PM on May 29, 2008


I'll never understand why people say being an admin is a thankless task.
posted by nthdegx at 2:33 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're no fave
You're no fave of miiiiine
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:37 PM on May 29, 2008


Man, Phil Collins is still boring even when you're making mefi puns out of his stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:40 PM on May 29, 2008


I'll never understand why people say being an admin is a thankless task.

I hear it pays very well, if you enjoy internet snark delivered in small unmarked Canadian bills. Which I guess would actually mean a wheelbarrow full of loonies.

Also, I think the correct transcript clearly says:

mathowie: That's hilarious! I'm totally going to post that!
posted by Tehanu at 2:41 PM on May 29, 2008


Ahh, when America went to war for a good reason! Those were the days.
posted by WalterMitty at 2:41 PM on May 29, 2008


I just saw this and was going to make a post about it but it seems that this guy has already been covered here before.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:43 PM on May 29, 2008


Yet another presentation of the D--s Fairness Doctrine makes people cranky.

basically, yeah. But probably still wrong of me to go there, I admit.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on May 29, 2008


does anybody else get the impression jessamyn didn't read any of the linked material?

Kind of getting an uneasy sense of that still, TBH. I can see that it's a borderline post - and given that I'd still have a beef with the deletion since I was mid-discussion regarding it, but the "horrible post, horrible discussion" angle is weirding me out. Sorry.
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on May 29, 2008


Oh take a look for your post.
Well there's just an empty space.
And it coming back to you is against the odds
and that's what you've got to face.
posted by team lowkey at 2:53 PM on May 29, 2008


"horrible post, horrible discussion" angle

I think there might be some misreading here fueling your sense of weirdness, though—it's more of a "horrible way to post on the topic, potential for lousy discussion but no specific condmentation of the discussion itself, and let's loop back to the key issue which is: horrible post" kind of thing, from what I'm getting rereading her comments in here.

It sucks when a conversation you're enjoying gets cut off, but that doesn't actually make the deletion bad, and if you're willing to acknowledge that the post itself is not great and that you're likely to react badly to the deletion based on your attachment to the discussion, it might be fairer to chalk up your lingering botheredness to those very things and just shrug and move on to the next thread, basically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:07 PM on May 29, 2008


I can't hear you Obama
But I can hardly wait
oh To vote and to cheer you, Obama
Oh, I just can't snark away
In the heat and the steam of the Mefi
Ooh, it's got me posting and I just can't brake
So say you'll hope me, Obama
'Cause it's getting so hard, ooh
posted by waraw at 3:16 PM on May 29, 2008


*cups hand over mouth*

Boooo.
posted by pyrex at 3:19 PM on May 29, 2008


Plenty of posts are borderline though, and don’t draw this kind of fire. It seems like it’s fairly unusual for the ones that have stayed up long enough to generate discussion to get culled, unless the discussion is some kind of trainwreck.

And maybe I am misreading, but it seems like the justification given in the deletion description and have gotten progressively weirder and more defensive, and it’s all just slightly odd.

Probably I should stop poking at it now, since I've pretty much played out the upity user thing.
posted by Artw at 3:20 PM on May 29, 2008


There's still a receptive audience for Phil Collins parodies, though.
posted by box at 3:31 PM on May 29, 2008


My recent activity page is currently suggesting the following may be true.

Artw : Mefi deletion decisions :: grumblebee : U.S. education system
posted by Tehanu at 3:31 PM on May 29, 2008


Well if you told me you were blog-ging, I would not lend a hand
I've seen your site before my friend, but I don't know if you know who I am
And I was there and I saw what you blogged, I read it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know what you've writ-ten
It's all been a pack of lies
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:32 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's enormously comforting not to be able to recognise a single one of the Phil Collins songs being parodied. Life has been kind.
posted by Abiezer at 3:36 PM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


My sense, Artw, is that jessamyn kind of blew it here by "skimming". She saw the (admittedly upsetting) concentration camp images and thought they were being used just to inflame the debate -- essentially to Goodwin the wingnuts and nothing more. What I'm not sure she realized is that the debate is about Obama's assertion that his Uncle liberated a concentration camp and the right wing blogosphere's attack on that assertion, so the images were actually relevant, not just fodder. Surprisingly, judging from her most recent post, it appears she still may not understand that. None of this is her fault, of course, because it's hard to figure out what's going on from the inflammatory words of the FPP unless you're already wrapped up in it, and that's probably why it got deleted, but I'm a little surprised she hasn't looked at it more carefully since. She's usually very careful about these things once the debate gets going. As for the deletion, well, this feels like a big deal to those of us who are passionate about our candidate, but I'm not sure it's quite FPP worthy yet. We'll see if it blossoms. On the other hand I was enjoying the discussion. Count me as "torn" in the pointless vote counting.
posted by The Bellman at 3:38 PM on May 29, 2008


It seems like it’s fairly unusual for the ones that have stayed up long enough to generate discussion to get culled, unless the discussion is some kind of trainwreck.

Eh, it's not super unusual. If we're all having busy mornings, we may not see things immediately, and if it's a post with some potent conversation fuel that can lead to a run up to a healthy comment count and a budding discussion fairly quickly. And in fact we've gotten flack more than once specifically for killing a bad thread that had kicked up a decent discussion, so I can guarantee you it's not an out of the blue thing or an aberration.

(Exploring time-to-deletion vs. comments-before-deletion as a datamining project might be interesting, actually. Infodumpers, away!)

So I don't know. Again, I totally understand the frustration that comes with getting cut off. I hear about it actually kind of often from people, and it happens to me too sometimes if I'm late to a metatalk that Matt or Jess decides needs closing. And it's understandably annoying, but it's just a rough fact of life on the site, not an injustice requiring redress.

Which I only bring up again because there's (speaking of interesting potential data explorations) unquestionably a correlation between getting cut off in a thread and expressions of ire (via mail, via metatalk) about a deletion to the point where, by now, I continue to empathize with the frustration but have a hard time not seeing the A -> B connection jumping out as being hugely influential on the complaint, even when the person who is stating the complaint doesn't so much. It's normal and very human, but so is honking when you're stuck in traffic—even though the guy in front of you didn't cause the traffic jam.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:40 PM on May 29, 2008


Theres unquestionably a linki between being a mod and defending deletions, if you want to go that route.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on May 29, 2008


Heh. Granted, but we don't write 'em up in advance or post pre-emptive metatalk threads on the subject. If you think that us not ever responding to any criticism is the best way to do our jobs, I can hear you on that, but I don't agree.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:47 PM on May 29, 2008


If you think that us not ever responding to any criticism is the best way to do our jobs, I can hear you on that

Nope, you go right on ahead.
posted by Artw at 3:52 PM on May 29, 2008


*goes right on ahead*
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:53 PM on May 29, 2008


I think it'd be funny as hell if you never responded to any criticism, actually. Like if you deleted posts and comments but otherwise just vanished for while. You might try that.
posted by puke & cry at 3:56 PM on May 29, 2008


She saw the (admittedly upsetting) concentration camp images and thought they were being used just to inflame the debate -- essentially to Goodwin the wingnuts and nothing more.

Actually I know exactly why they were there, and I still think they're inappropriate button-pushing images for an issue that some people are trying to fan into a huge kerfuffle.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:59 PM on May 29, 2008


It's a half-Jewish conspiracy, as we all learned earlier. You can't fight it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:16 PM on May 29, 2008


It's amazing the flaws that people are willing to overlook--or even defend--in a post, if only the politics are right.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:39 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think he should pull out a pack of Newports at the first presidential debate. I thought they said he smoked Marlboros.

David Sedaris on cigarette brands in his recent New Yorker piece:
"The ones I’d smoked earlier had been Ronnie’s—Pall Malls, I think—and though they tasted no better or worse than I thought they would, I felt that in the name of individuality I should find my own brand, something separate. Something me. Carltons, Kents, Alpines: it was like choosing a religion, for weren’t Vantage people fundamentally different from those who’d taken to Larks or Newports? What I didn’t realize was that you could convert, that you were allowed to. The Kent person could, with very little effort, become a Vantage person, though it was harder to go from menthol to regular, or from regular-sized to ultra-long. All rules had their exceptions, but the way I came to see things they generally went like this: Kools and Newports were for black people and lower-class whites. Camels were for procrastinators, those who wrote bad poetry, and those who put off writing bad poetry. Merits were for sex addicts, Salems for alcoholics, and Mores for people who considered themselves to be outrageous but really weren’t. One should never lend money to a Marlboro-menthol smoker, though you could usually count on a regular-Marlboro person to pay you back. The eventual subclasses of milds, lights, and ultra-lights not only threw a wrench in the works but made it nearly impossible for anyone to keep your brand straight. All that, however, came later, along with warning labels and American Spirits.

The cigarettes I bought that day in Vancouver were Viceroys. I’d often noticed them in the shirt pockets of gas-station attendants and, no doubt, thought that they’d make me appear masculine, or at least as masculine as one could look in a beret and a pair of gabardine pants that buttoned at the ankle. Throw in Ronnie’s white silk scarf and I needed all the Viceroy I could get, especially in the neighborhood where this residence hotel was."
posted by ericb at 6:56 PM on May 29, 2008


i heart you, cortex.
posted by CitizenD at 7:20 PM on May 29, 2008


Snark the Grey, ObamaFilter, the Thursday play
We second guess the mods - delete away
Won’t you stay?

Though your posts have many comments they’re just ghosts
The thread is great though tempers sometimes flare
There, there, there.

Let’s post the news boy (I’ll make popcorn)
Play them Pepsi Blues boy (toot your own horn)
Abuse your own muse, boy (MetaFilter porn)
And the thing I love - oh Lord!
Is staying up late, to read some debate, on some FPP’s fate.

Banhammered by jessamyn, cortex, death by nerd!
You’ve won infamy in time for ignomy
Just say the word!

Drop of whine, a case of beer dear what’s my line?
The slime on the vine is past it’s time
I’m puking rhymes.

Blood on the weblogs – go light your torch
Fighting like mad dogs – crapping on the porch
Our dignity in tatters – just let yourself gorge
Better to Hellban - oh Lord!
For when we get trolls, we’d just let ‘em go, blissfully ignored

So lets skip the news boy (I’ll make that popcorn)
Blood on the weblogs (MetaFilter porn)
The MetaFilter goon squad – you’ll wish you were never born
Then the thread in the Grey is closed
And everyone changes their names to Steve…
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:39 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was a really weak post and election filter to boot.
posted by LarryC at 8:05 PM on May 29, 2008


I'd like to talk to you for a moment about Phil Fucking Collins.

No single recording artist has shaped and influenced my life more than Phil Fucking Collins. I was born to Mama, grew up to Father to Son, fell in love to Against All Odds, lost my virginity to In the Air Tonight, fought to Something Happened On the Way to Heaven, broke up to One More Night, drowned my sorrows to Can't Turn Back the Years.

Well okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. But seriously: my parents' copy of ...But Seriously honestly was the first album I appreciated as an album album, liner notes exegesis and all, marvelling at the royal blare of the horns - and how great they looked wedged between baffle and mic in the booklet photo! - and the way the bass guitar sounded when played over only the sub woofer, with just the slightest hint of the kick drum's body mixed in, when I discovered one could just turn the 'regular' speakers off. I think I was twelve.

Genesis' We Can't Dance was the first album I ever purchased. I sang and played guitar to perform I Wish It Would Rain Down rendered as a three-chord, well-meant punk rock cover with my old, beloved band in front of a maybe hundred-strong neighbourhood audience at the local club.

So, while I would not deem Phil Fucking Collins's oeuvre as a whole the gold standard of recorded popular music, 1980s to present (I don't much care for his musicals work, and True Colours was an affront not just to music but to humanity), I ask this of you only:

Go ahead, parody Phil Fucking Collins. Mock Phil Fucking Collins, even. But know that in mocking Phil Fucking Collins, you mock me and all that I stand for.

Thank you and good night.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:15 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


*parodies, mocks Phil Collins*
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:21 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


See the lonely troll there on the corner,
What hes waiting for, I dont know,
But he waits everyday now.
Hes just waiting for something to show.
posted by Sailormom at 8:21 PM on May 29, 2008


I thought this was an excellent question, and it made me think. So let's continue the chat. The question was - What are the disadvantages of being cortex? I vote for philosophical answers rather than stuff like who pays more for dry cleaning or cover charges. Like the one about how you can't be trusted around children because you might be a molester. That's a pretty sad reality. Here's what I think:

I enjoy being a guy, but one thing I have philosophized about is the stunted Phil Fucking Collins. I don't mean sexual Phil Fucking Collins, which is just one subset Phil Fucking Collins, but rather the unguarded closeness and surrender and trust and sharing that any two people can experience, such as a mother and child. Men have much less of this, at least in western banjo.

You don't realize it for the most part because all you know is all you know. Being cortex = reality (you know, if you're cortex). But look at women. It is culturally acceptable and natural for them to display and and indulge in a level of Phil Fucking Collins and affection with each other that is simply not in the realm of possibilities between men. Can you imagine two straight men, who are friends, sitting on a couch together with their arms around each other, looking into each other's eyes, maybe one comforting the other, hand softly on his neck, or crying or something? Unless you're 6 and the other guy is your dad, that isn't going to happen, the obvious exception excluded. I know that regional banjos can make this more or less of a possibility for women too, but I think you know what I'm saying. To think of two men doing that kicks up a visceral gender-role police enforcement squad in one's lizard brain. What? WHAT?! It's so deeply ingrained that it's alarming when the sediment is disturbed. Or think about walking arm in arm down the street. No way. Guys have made a lot of strides in shedding machismo, but not to that degree. (again, this is banjo-dependent. I've seen some other banjo, maybe Indian (?) where guys might actually walk down the street holding hands)

And the thing is, I think I can speak for men (see banjo caveats) when I say we don't want those things. It's not like we secretly want them but cruel society won't let us have them - it's that we simply weren't trained that way, or maybe it's a combination of biology and banjo. Because of my socialization and the way gender roles are mapped out in our banjo, I was essentially programmed that this was not an option any more than flying is, or that there could be some primary color other than the ones we know of. It isn't something you think about or regret, it simply doesn't exist.

And to clarify, I'm not talking about machismo, toughness, provider-ism, or the idea of men not being able to show emotions or weakness. Those things exist much closer to the surface than what I'm talking about.

Yet if I am using logic, I can say that hucortexs are hucortexs. On the inside we are all squooshy little oysters that are on the same journey regardless of the shape of our shell or our random gender assignment. We are all the same thing, having the same bewildering, exploratory experience. And Phil Fucking Collins is something every hucortex spirit needs. Simply the act of touching while sharing a common experience is nourishment for the soul, perhaps some kind of assurance that we aren't alone. Look at chimps that don't get groomed by their troopmates - they become unhealthy. Look at the ostracized omega wolf in a pack - it's miserable. Beings need Phil Fucking Collins with their fellow beings. Women can have a level of tender Phil Fucking Collins with either sex, so essentially with anyone. Guys can only have that with women (noting the obvious exception). Again, it's not that I couldn't have that if I and another guy both wanted it and didn't care about gender roles, but it just doesn't exist in my head.

So then isn't it a deficit for me as cortex that I don't have the same level of opportunity for Phil Fucking Collins as a wocortex? Shouldn't that be recognized as a pretty awful missing piece in the hucortex journey? How would my life be different if there was not an invisible wall, or a set of blinders maybe, that cut out at least half of my opportunities to share existence with another hucortex presence at a basic level? I don't know, but I bet somebody somewhere has studied this.

Still, though, it's great to be able to write my name in the Metatalk.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:31 PM on May 29, 2008


*weeps, apologizes about mocking Phil*
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:36 PM on May 29, 2008


Dude: I parodied Blood on the Rooftops. I'm guessing the Ven diagram of people who have heard of Blood on the Rooftops and who hate Phil Collins is fairly small. I only wish there was a way to parody Nuclear Burn, by Brand X.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:41 PM on May 29, 2008


I used to hate Phil Collins. Then I heard this This American Life episode and, well, it's pretty hard to hate him now.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:12 PM on May 29, 2008


I doubt a fraction of a percent of anyone on Metafilter Music could write lyrics half as well as Phil Collins can. It's just not going to happen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 PM on May 29, 2008


Just noticed that my post was deleted. So, yeah... I'm kind of annoyed. I'm not going to start a flame war -- I'm going to say the following, then go to bed, because endless meta-talking is not really my scene. If you swoon easily, avert your eyes from the following:

Mods: How many FPPs are there in a day? Was it not sufficient to let this one, even if you didn't totally love its tone, just roll on down the screen, since it had a ongoing, healthy, mostly appreciative comment thread attached, and was not the scene of a toxic argument?

Are posts being deleted to safeguard some rarified ideal of appropriate discussion? Who or what is being protected by this kind of overzealousness? I submit that the essence of MeFi is not being protected. It's being harmed.

I don't understand the need to prune and weed so excessively. I would hate to see this place get so clean and safe that it's not worth coming to any more.

The MeFi I remember from days of yore was not so brittle that it couldn't handle a post like the one I submitted, if I do say so myself. Old School MeFi was not consumed with brown-nosing toward the resident censors, either. (And I walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways, and tied an onion to my belt, because it was the style at the time...)

I always learned that the best response to "bad" speech was... more speech. And I dare say most librarians I know agree.

But I will endeavor not to submit any more FPPs that

- Have any connection to politics
- Have any connection to current events
- Contain links to The Great Orange Satan
- Have any trace of a POV, or hint at passing any sort of moral judgment on anything or anyone, even bona fide morans who belittle GIs that liberated Nazi concentration camps

...because those things might hurt us, or scare us, or could hypothetically, at some point, lead to slightly raised voices. And Nanny wouldn't approve.

Peace out.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:55 PM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Old School MeFi was not consumed with brown-nosing toward the resident censors, either.

Oh God, yeah. I've learned an awful lot about Americans' susceptibility to authority by watching this site degenerate. It's the jessamyn and cortex show, now. You guys have yourselves a real problem with authority figures, you really do.
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:32 AM on May 30, 2008


Hey, remember how, during a charity event for starving Africans, Phil Collins took the Concorde from London to Philadelphia just so he could receive applause on two continents in one day?

Yeah. That's why I don't like Phil Collins.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:11 AM on May 30, 2008


I've learned an awful lot about Americans' susceptibility to authority by watching this site degenerate. It's the jessamyn and cortex show, now. You guys have yourselves a real problem with authority figures, you really do.

So you think we should... storm the Mod Studio, hang them from lampposts, and dance naked in the streets? What exactly are you advocating? I remind you that this is not a polity with a government that can jail and kill us, it is a website the vast majority of whose members want it to be something other than a snark-filled den of political frothing and deeply appreciate the work of the people who try to keep it reasonably civilized. I would also remind you that I'm an anarchist, so you can keep your ad hominem bullshit about "susceptibility to authority" to yourself.
posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


89th Infantry Division issues a statement about Obama's uncle and their liberation of Ohrdruf/Buchenwald.
"Concerning the service of Mr. Charles Payne: C.T. Payne was a soldier in the 89th Infantry Division. He served in the 355th Infantry Regiment, Company K. The 355th Infantry Regiment was the unit to liberate Ohrdruf. Mr. Payne was there.

For those who seek to minimize the horrors of Ohrdruf since it was a 'work' camp and not a 'death' camp, we have but one word: shame. Ironically, this argument has been made to us time and time again by various Holocaust-deniers and other pro-Nazi groups. We will let the testimony of survivors and veterans speak for themselves...."
posted by ericb at 6:35 AM on May 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


storm the Mod Studio
Hard to do since they put up the barricades

hang them from lampposts
Put lampshades on their heads

and dance naked in the streets
Take this to Projects
posted by lukemeister at 7:03 AM on May 30, 2008


It is culturally acceptable and natural for them to display and and indulge in a level of Phil Fucking Collins and affection with each other that is simply not in the realm of possibilities between men. Can you imagine two straight men, who are friends, sitting on a couch together with their arms around each other, looking into each other's eyes, maybe one comforting the other, hand softly on his neck, or crying or something? Unless you're 6 and the other guy is your dad, that isn't going to happen, the obvious exception excluded.

The only way to change what is culturally acceptable is to be a clear counterexample. I've always held Scrubs in deep affection (but have only watched Season 1 on DVD so far, NO SPOILERS PLEASE), and partially it's because of the clear affection between the two main guys. And while the show plays with that a bit for humor, and a bit as gay subtext, they always make it crystal clear that the affection is real and that JD, although a bit of a dork, needs to display affection for Turk, sometimes rather publicly. And while Turk will make fun of him for it later, it's clearly a two-way street there. I like to think that the relationship is challenging culture a bit there.
posted by Tehanu at 7:20 AM on May 30, 2008


Actually I know exactly why they were there, and I still think they're inappropriate button-pushing images

Deletion/non-deletion, whatever. I do disagree with the above point, though. The reason pictures are relevant, and not just there for button-pushing/fanning flames, is because of the people trying to somehow minimize Buchenwald, saying it wasn't that bad compared to other places. Yes, it was that bad -- the pictures bear that out.
posted by inigo2 at 7:25 AM on May 30, 2008


I think the pix have nothing to do with the crappiness of the post. Would a similar post stand in which the text of the FPP described a right-wing blogger “pwn”-ing some “moonbats” over something so laughably minor? I agree with the point matteo made in the comments before deletion that this issue is part of a larger narrative, but that is most certainly not how the FPP was framed. I’d love to see a post dealing with the greater political maneuverings by Republicans in this context. But there’s yet precious little to talk about w/r/t them vs. Obama, and the minutiae aren’t all that interesting to those who aren’t immersed in them. On the other hand, as matteo mentioned, there are at least two past election cycles full of these sort of tactics from the Rove-Republican machine.

Had the FPP been framed in some larger context, I would be more inclined to say it should stay.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 8:02 AM on May 30, 2008


Just found this in last week's New Yorker (Ian Frazier, "Hungry Minds," May 26, 2008, p. 63):
During almost every lunch [at the Holy Apostles soup kitchen], somebody takes offense at somebody else, voices are raised, and people stand up and confront each other. Then Clyde and the employees who work on the floor... come over and intervene. They step between the arguers, they remonstrate with them quietly, and soon the shouting dies down. The way they are completely firm and at the same time completely kind should be studied by the U.N.
posted by languagehat at 8:53 AM on May 30, 2008




But I will endeavor not to submit any more FPPs that

- Have any connection to politics


Thank you for pledging to help make metafilter a better place.
posted by dersins at 9:32 AM on May 30, 2008


I gotta side with the "unfortunate deletion" camp.

Honestly, I hadn't even heard about this Obama/holocaust tie-in and found the post interesting. Was it a shining example of the best-of-the-web? No. But you can easily say the same about a lot of the FPPs on any given day. It's easily as good as many that are left to stand.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:56 AM on May 30, 2008


Will no one answer my question in the first comment of this thread? Or, is that a word that exists only as text and is never vocalized either externally with the tongue, or internally in the Broca's region?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:58 AM on May 30, 2008


ericb - The last point there is rather an important one - These guys are effectively denying 9/10ths of the holocaust to push their patisan fuckery. I certainly find that of interest.
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on May 30, 2008


No single recording artist has shaped and influenced my life more than Phil Fucking Collins.

When I read this sentence, i assumed that the rest of the lengthy comment would have been about how fucking outstanding Phil Collins was when he was just the drummer for Genesis and Peter Gabriel was the singer. But for God's sake, you love post-Gabriel Phil Collins?! There needs to be a cure for the disease you suffer from. I'm starting a charity.
posted by shmegegge at 10:10 AM on May 30, 2008


From Armitage Shank’s link, “When John McCain claimed, while on a trip to Iraq in March, that Sunni (as opposed to Shiite) militants in Iraq are being supported by Iran, coverage of the alleged blunder tracked Democratic attacks on his age and stamina.”

What’s more relevant? Obama erroneously substitutes a “concentration camp” for a “work camp” when referring to decades-old family history, or McCain conflates the two major irreconcilable sects of Islam, with both of whom the U.S. is currently embroiled in conflict?
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 10:16 AM on May 30, 2008


Phil Collins did some session drumming for Eno in the 70s.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 AM on May 30, 2008


Will no one answer my question in the first comment of this thread?

It's pronounced "reed," goddammit. How many times do I have to tell you?
posted by languagehat at 12:17 PM on May 30, 2008


s/GYOB/BYOB/g
posted by lukemeister at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2008


It's ironic that so many people want to talk at length about how the media shouldn't talk so much about minor gaffes and controversies. (Now there's a new one with some other Chicago liberal preacher who Obama knows.) Gotcha backlash is as dumb as the original gotcha.

Let's just ignore bullshit fake controversies altogether. Good deletion.
posted by msalt at 12:37 PM on May 30, 2008


Msalt – isn’t that just the media equivalent of the “just ignore trolls and they’ll go away” theory? Neither have the merit of actually working, for the same reason: Other people aren’t ignoring them.
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on May 30, 2008


THERE IS NOW AN UPDATE TO THIS STORY THAT INVOLVES HOMOPHOBIC FURRIES WITH SMOKING FETISHES.

I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR DELETING THIS POST

NEVER
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:08 PM on May 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Holy poop.

You totally would have won the thread with that.
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on May 30, 2008


isn’t that just the media equivalent of the “just ignore trolls and they’ll go away” theory?

To a point, yeah sure. But MetaFilter is by design a hopefully-improved subset of the media, and killing posts is a very effective control mechanism (as opposed to not commenting in a 200 response discussion). Posts are the pinch point.

More globally, I think that the media test ideas for general reaction. There's are lots of wanna-be outrage-of-the-week stories that quietly disappear when no one bites. So all of us are part of a feeback loop that has real effects. Eye-rolling dismay spreads as much as outrage does. Doesn't always work, of course, or America's Funniest Home videos would be off the air.
posted by msalt at 3:27 PM on May 30, 2008


Somehow I think we are not Cigar Skunks target market.
posted by Artw at 3:30 PM on May 30, 2008


THERE IS NOW AN UPDATE TO THIS STORY THAT INVOLVES HOMOPHOBIC FURRIES WITH SMOKING FETISHES.

This changes everything. Mods, please reinstate the post ASAP.
posted by homunculus at 4:26 PM on May 30, 2008




THERE IS NOW AN UPDATE TO THIS STORY THAT INVOLVES HOMOPHOBIC FURRIES WITH SMOKING FETISHES.

And sometimes the problem with the race-to-the-bottom coverage is discovering that there is no bottom.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:17 PM on May 30, 2008


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