Complaint versus enjoyable discussion November 12, 2008 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Sometimes snippy derails ruin any chance of decent discussion on an interesting topic.

Yeah, I should have caught that and worded it better. I'm no expert in Rommel or Charley Fox. I just thought it was an interesting enough story that when I watch a segment about it on the news and heard a little more on CBC Radio, I decided to put together a post on it.

Sorry that some readers feel that posts should be followed up with Wikipedia-ish "cite-needed", etc. Instead, couldn't we follow up with helpful clarification and make the conversation better and more interesting, even if the post is not the absolute best it could be?
posted by Kickstart70 to MetaFilter-Related at 7:25 PM (51 comments total)

what?
posted by boo_radley at 7:33 PM on November 12, 2008


It's a good idea to flag early thread-shitting, in a general sense. A gracious follow-up in the thread would probably get people to quit talking about it at this point. I think there's a difference between "this isn't as good as it could be" and some people thinking there was a factual mistake. Not a huge deal, and I can see it both ways, but they're two different things people object to, I guess is how I see it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:36 PM on November 12, 2008


You're quite right; good manners aren't difficult. If it helps to salve your annoyance any, they of course as a result left a worse impression on the reader than you did by making a mistake, but you're right it pisses on the discussion right from the off. Sadly, there's being right and then there's having a reasonable expectation that such behaviour won't occur.
posted by Abiezer at 7:44 PM on November 12, 2008


Absolutely agree... I've seen how threads here often go to unexpected and awesome places.

Not cool to crap on it just because you got there early, and you can. If there's a problem, flag it and let the mods deal with. That's their jobs.
posted by pjern at 7:47 PM on November 12, 2008


As snippy a response as it was, anyone who breezed through those links would've caught your gaffe and wondered the same thing. The post was kinda doomed from the beginning.
posted by scabrous at 7:52 PM on November 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know who else liked to derail threads?
posted by blue_beetle at 8:08 PM on November 12, 2008


When you set a stone on a path for others to see as they walk by, walk on; your part in the story is complete.

But be damn sure you're happy with the stone before you put it on the path in the first place, dumbass.
posted by yhbc at 8:14 PM on November 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know who else liked to derail threads?

Tank bombs.

Or is that "treads"?
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:15 PM on November 12, 2008


When you set a stone on a path for others to see as they walk by, walk on; your part in the story is complete.

Sorta, somewhat agree.

However, if I want to hang around and enjoy the stone with others who happen along, it would be nice if it wasn't shat upon. Or, if I want to return and look at the foot prints that turned toward the stone, it would be nice to see that no one spraypainted it day-glo-orange with "YOU SUCK!".
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:20 PM on November 12, 2008


Your zen thought for the day: We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 PM on November 12, 2008


I agree it was snippy but it's not really a derail, more like a correction. It was a pretty glaring error to make.
posted by puke & cry at 8:33 PM on November 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


So let me get this straight. You post a glaring factual error and someone corrects you. Instead of thanking them and apologizing for the error, you piss and moan about it on MetaTalk. Yeah, you suck.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:34 PM on November 12, 2008


Mmm...salve.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on November 12, 2008


In the future, along with the usual schedule of immunizations, children will receive a special drug in their booster shot that will permanently enable them to see themselves as others see them. And then they will all live happily ever after.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:46 PM on November 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the best way to deal with noise or perceived derails in your own FPP is to contact one of the admins using the little contact link at the bottom of the page. It's worked for me every time. Although I can't claim never to have done it, moderating your own thread is kind of embarrassing, as is this MetaTalk callout.

But, Jesus Christ, Rommel committed suicide, and he did so after the July 20 plot. These two facts combined turn his fate into tragedy.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:51 PM on November 12, 2008


Here is the only poem about Rommel that I know.

"ROMMEL DRIVES ON DEEP INTO EGYPT"
        —San Francisco Chronicle headline
       June 26, 1942

Rommel is dead.
His army has joined the quicksand legions
of history where the battle is always
a metal echo saluting a rusty shadow.
His tanks are gone.
How's your ass?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:00 PM on November 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Roman Graves writes "I assume that people know the topic they're posting about,"

I wonder how this assumption took root? Most of the good posts to the front page aren't by people who know anything about the subject and those posts authored by experts often fall into GYOB territory.
posted by Mitheral at 9:03 PM on November 12, 2008


When you set a stone on a path for others to see as they walk by, walk on; your part in the story is complete.

But be damn sure you're happy with the stone before you put it on the path in the first place, dumbass.


And be damn careful not to set the stumbling stone of untruth in the path of others.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:07 PM on November 12, 2008


Rommel gets a couple of shout-outs in Sorley MacLean's war poems too; MacLean fought in the North African campaign and was wounded at El Alamein. From Dol an Iar/Going Westward:
...

Far from me Belsen and Dachau,
Rotterdam, the Clyde and Prague
and Dimitrov before a court
hitting fear with the thump of his laugh.

Guernica itself is very far
from the innocent corpses of the Nazis,
who are lying in the gravel
and the khaki sand of the Desert.

There is no rancour in my heart
against the hardy soldiers of the Enemy,
but the kinship there is among
men in prison on a tidal rock.

waiting for the sea flowing
and making cold the warm stone;
and the coldness of life (is)
in the hot sun of the Desert.

But this is the struggle not to be avoided
The sore extreme of human-kind,
and though I do not hate Rommel's army
the brain's eye is not squinting.

...
posted by Abiezer at 9:50 PM on November 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate seeing threads squashed! Snark can be such a fucking killjoy sometimes. Same goes for know-it-all-syndrome. It totally reminds me of this time I was showing my then-boyfriend my favorite film in the whole wide world, The Usual Suspects. I just thought it was so great and clever, and was really looking forward to sharing the experience with him since he'd never seen that movie before. I made a special night out of it. Popcorn, blankets, mood lighting. I imagined his reaction as the Kobayashi cup shatters to the floor, and the true plot reveals itself.

But no. Opening scene. Know what he says to me? "Oh that's Kevin Spacey's voice! He must be the antagonist!"

I ground my teeth on popcorn kernels for the next 2 hours.

By the way, what's the origin of the "You know who else liked to..." meme? I honestly don't know!
(Am I going to regret asking this?)

posted by iamkimiam at 9:57 PM on November 12, 2008


You know who else never heard of that meme?

HITLER.

The purported origin is "You know who else was a vegetarian?" from vegeterian / omnivore flame wars.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:44 PM on November 12, 2008


I really didn't think that first comment was snippy at all. If anything it sounded a bit frustrated - especially in light of the implied ignorance of (not obscure) history displayed by the poster. Do not piss of the historians - they get cranky!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:45 PM on November 12, 2008


...piss off the historians....

Ok, can't type - going to bed.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:46 PM on November 12, 2008


Kevin Spacey, huh? Guess I can take The Usual Suspects off my Netflix queue...
posted by Knappster at 10:57 PM on November 12, 2008


Snippy derails are bad, but this is more of a brusque correction.

Do not piss of the historians - they get cranky!

And they hold grudges like it's their job to remember shit.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:19 PM on November 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Snippy! Snippy! Snippy! Let's all get sni-paaaayy!!

IMO, a simple correction, worded in a friendly way, would've been better than the somewhat mean-spirited "did you read your own links?" bit. But, hey, some folks are kinda mean-spirited, and that's just the way it is, so I'd say you're probably overreacting a wee bit here, Kickstart70. Those kind of comments come with the territory here at MeFi, and this one, in fact, is a lot less hurtful and jabbing than many I've seen.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:21 PM on November 12, 2008


And now my mea culpa; re-reading the thread RomanGraves was a bit short and could have lost the "Did you read your own links" bit but wasn't half as rude as I recalled and entirely on topic and to the point. Let's all just sing kumbaya and promise to better in future or something.
posted by Abiezer at 11:50 PM on November 12, 2008


Your zen thought for the day: We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

That is from the Dao, dude. Nit-picked.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:15 AM on November 13, 2008


Those kind of comments come with the territory here at MeFi, and this one, in fact, is a lot less hurtful and jabbing than many I've seen.

Yes, but that's why it's worth discussing -- not as a single incident, but as the sort of thing people shouldn't do, even if this was one of the milder cases. If someone thinks it's worth pointing out that Rommel died later rather than immediately, that's cool, but the correction could have been done so as to improve the post and work with the poster. (Maybe something like: "I think it's worth pointing out that Rommel did not die in this attack. He was wounded and later killed himself rather than be implicated in the plot to asplode Old Toothbrush Lip. Wounded or killed, though, he was indeed put out of action forever by the Canadian pilot, and the loss of Rommel may have changed the outcome of the plot and the war.") Instead, the post was scuttled and the war nerds who care most about such stuff lost a chance to discuss what they care about. Too bad for them, really.
posted by pracowity at 2:44 AM on November 13, 2008


Erwin Rommel has died!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
ERWIN ROMMEL HAS DIED!
there is no snow in Libya
there is no rain in Egypt
I have been to lots of countries
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually died
oh you magnificent bastard we love you get up

Apologies to Frank O'Hara and to the Deutsches Afrikakorps ...
posted by octobersurprise at 5:44 AM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is my favorite "you know who else...".
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:49 AM on November 13, 2008


You know, someone in power could probably raze the thread (which appears 100% derailed, albeit somewhat interestingly IMO) and correct the wording in the post.

Or the OP could chime in with a "Whoops, my bad!" and be done with it.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:12 AM on November 13, 2008


Do not piss of the historians - they get cranky!

So does everyone else on MetaFilter, mostly. About typos, factual errors, margins, live preview, time limits, font colors, etc. I've always thought it was a worthwhile trade-off, getting to hang out with a really smart and funny group of people, but also a very prickly and sensitive group at the same time, and sometimes poorly socialized [all fingers I point go back my way as well]. Mostly great, but when it fails it fails big.

I agree people should be especially careful dropping snark into threads early on and we're happy to remove early "tl;dr" or "this sucks" commentary. At the same time, a certain awareness that This is MetaFilter and snark sometimes happens is a decent idea. I know it seems sort of futile, acknowledging and accepting the behavior that we're also trying to change, but the snark isn't as much a problem as the (occasional) ensuing freakouts -- not calling this one of those, just saying -- and so the question becomes how much do you have to tolerate to keep the peace versus dealing with truly assholish behavior? MetaTalk is good for finding the limits of those things, I suppose.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:19 AM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also? Snippy, shnippy. Roman Graves is right: It's probably worth reading something before posting it.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:19 AM on November 13, 2008


As snippy a response as it was, anyone who breezed through those links would've caught your gaffe and wondered the same thing.

But they wouldn't have to be a jerk about it.

The post was kinda doomed from the beginning.

Only because there are a fuckton of jerks at MetaFilter.
posted by languagehat at 6:31 AM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have killed
the myself
that was in
the conspiracy

And who
you were definitely
saving
for kangaroo court

Forgive me
I was National Socialist
so cyanide-y
and so fucked

Snippy! Snippy! Snippy! Let's all get sni-paaaayy!!

I had that done already when I was a baby.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:49 AM on November 13, 2008


Take a tip off cortex everybody...oh, too late!
posted by Abiezer at 7:07 AM on November 13, 2008


boy that was not what I wanted to think about during breakfast.
posted by desjardins at 7:59 AM on November 13, 2008


You know who else was proud to be snipped as a baby? That's right: Hugh Bris.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:26 AM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


The post was kinda doomed from the beginning.

Only because there are a fuckton of jerks
knowledgeable people who will see through your DAMNED INACCURACIES!!! at MetaFilter.


I personally didn't detect any overt snippiness in the thread until the purportedly anti-snippy second comment. After that, it all just went to snipsville in a Made Up MetaFilter Rules of Etiquette handbasket with a Why Can't You Assholes Be Nice bow.

(Note to pracowity: You could have probably given the poster a chance to respond, rather than depositing your obnoxious sympathy whinge.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:03 AM on November 13, 2008


Is that a metric fuckton or an Imperial fuckton?
posted by Mister_A at 11:46 AM on November 13, 2008


Hitler has only got one ball,
Goering has two but very small,
Himmler,
Is very similar,
And Goebels,
Has no balls,
At all.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:01 PM on November 13, 2008


Is that a metric fuckton or an Imperial fuckton?

I have changed the definition of an Imperial fuckton. Pray I do not alter it any further.
posted by GuyZero at 12:22 PM on November 13, 2008


The last remnants of the old fuckton have been swept away.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:39 PM on November 13, 2008


"I’m an auditor of the Imperial Fuckton on a diplomatic mission from the National Institute of Standards and Technology."

"You are part of the Metric Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:52 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Millennium Fuckton is not an Imperial vessel.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:00 PM on November 13, 2008


You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 fucktons...
posted by GuyZero at 1:50 PM on November 13, 2008


Do you speak Fuckton?

Why sir, it's like a second language to me! I..

Alright, shut the fuck up.

Shutting the fuck up, sir.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:06 PM on November 13, 2008


But I was going to go to Toshi Station to pick up a fuckton of power converters!
posted by baphomet at 6:26 PM on November 13, 2008


Whistle while you work
Hitler is a jerk
Desert Fox
Sucked his cock
Now it doesn't work
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:06 PM on November 13, 2008


Kickstart70: That doesn't make sense.

In the original "Mussolini bit his weenie" version, Hitler becomes afflicted with erectile dysfunction via penile injury vis-à-vis teeth. This alludes, via Freudian imagery, to the historic reversal of the Italian Fascists' allegiances; while the Actual Mussolini never bit the Nazi weenie, so to speak, Metaphorical Mussolini (i.e. Gran Consiglio del Fascismo) discovered his preference for the flavour of Allied pudenda upon first tasting it in the summer of '43.

In your version, however, there is no explanation of the actual method by which Hitler's weenie is rendered inoperable; indeed, it suggests that the simple act of fellatio -- sans dents -- somehow permanently drained the recipient of all sexual potential.

The recontextualized poem would be more accurately phrased thus:

Whistle while you work
Hitler is a jerk
Desert Fox,
While cradling Hitler's testicles during a session of oral-genital lovemaking, nicked the scrotum with a hastily cut fingernail;
This mild laceration may or may not have caused the infection that spread to the dictator's organ of generation, inflicting him with such a miserable impotence that he would ultimately commit suicide by a combination of cyanide capsule and bullet to the brain

It needs some work, but you get the idea.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:43 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


« Older PTSD TKC OMG   |   Custom Folders for MeFi Mail Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments