Obits done right March 19, 2009 5:33 AM   Subscribe

I just wanted to commend WCityMike for his outstanding obit post on Natasha Richardson, and commend the mods for opting for a post that gets it right, rather than simply getting it first.

I don't mean this as a callout of the earlier posters; I certainly understand the impulse to bring breaking news to the blue immediately. But I'm always happy to see moderation decisions that emphasize thoughtfulness and contextualization.
posted by Horace Rumpole to Etiquette/Policy at 5:33 AM (82 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Yes, it was a much better post than the original.

That said (and with all due respect to you and WCM), I don't get how obit posts are appropriate for MetaFilter. I did one once and it seemed weird to be reporting on something that was already all over CNN, the NYT and every other news outlet.

Obit posts really lack that "Hey look at what I found on the web" luster that MetaFilter has become known for.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:49 AM on March 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Obit posts really lack that "Hey look at what I found on the web" luster that MetaFilter has become known for.

My feeling is that, done right, they can really add a whole lot of depth to the standard obits we see elsewhere. I agree that they seem to have diverged from the MeFi original core mission,l but so do a lot of other things. as MeFi has grown to be more of a large scale community, some sort of MeFi-attention to more newsish stuff seems appropriate.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:55 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I agree that they seem to have diverged from the MeFi original core mission, but so do a lot of other things.

Yep - like Music, and AskMe, and Projects, which all have their own subsection.

I know we've had this debate before, but excellent posts like WCityMike's would be great in a NewsFilter subsection.
posted by creeky at 6:08 AM on March 19, 2009


Enough decisions like that and we might almost eliminate the Race To Be First and then where will we be?
posted by DU at 6:11 AM on March 19, 2009


You know what else would be great, is if I could, like, un-favorite something. Only me though.
posted by Mister_A at 6:19 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obit posts really lack that "Hey look at what I found on the web" luster that MetaFilter has become known for.

More often than not, though, they also contain personal stories, either directly or indirectly related to the deceased. Which Metafilter is also known for, and valued for. My opinion.
posted by inigo2 at 6:24 AM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yes, obit posts that bring something new to the table are fine by me. And if you don't like them, you always have the option of not reading them.
posted by Mister_A at 6:35 AM on March 19, 2009


Obit posts really lack that "Hey look at what I found on the web" luster that MetaFilter has become known for.

If they're done right, they have a depth and thought-provoking angle that makes them Metafilter-appropriate, even if they aren't the best of the posts we see here.
posted by orange swan at 6:36 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


My feeling is that, done right, they can really add a whole lot of depth to the standard obits we see elsewhere.

Exactly. Done with some care and a curatorial sensibility, they're not functionally that different from a good post about someone who died a hundred years ago. A well-done post is a well-done post.

The timing/news element is obviously a driving one in most obits, and I'm not thrilled by that, but it's a long standing force of nature, something a whole lot of posters are inclined to do, and I don't see anything other than an uncomfortably draconian change in policy making that go away. Ditto for news-related posts in general.

More often than not, though, they also contain personal stories, either directly or indirectly related to the deceased. Which Metafilter is also known for, and valued for. My opinion.

That, too, is one of the really nice things that can come out of obit threads.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:40 AM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I came over here hoping that there'd be a "Way to Go, WCityMike" MeTa, and lo, here it be. That, my friends, is how to do ObitFilter in an informative, thought-provoking, classy manner allowing for lots of worthwhile directions of discussion.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:50 AM on March 19, 2009


I've never heard of this person. Was there really that much of a torrent of posts regarding her death? I mean, it seems like she's had a few minor roles and is related to some much more famous people.
posted by Eideteker at 7:02 AM on March 19, 2009


MeFi has grown to be more of a large scale community, some sort of MeFi-attention to more newsish stuff seems appropriate.

That, to me, seems to be the most appropriate explanation for the number of obit posts. I can live with that. This ain't my daddy's MetaFilter in other words,


If they're done right, they have a depth and thought-provoking angle that makes them Metafilter-appropriate, even if they aren't the best of the posts we see here.


Agreed however my thing with them has to do why they're posted in the first place. Using my only obit post on Mike Douglas as an example, it was utter shit to start with that ultimately resulted in some cool YouTube links.

And if you don't like them, you always have the option of not reading them.

Please don't go there.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:10 AM on March 19, 2009


Done with some care and a curatorial sensibility, they're not functionally that different from a good post about someone who died a hundred years ago. A well-done post is a well-done post.

Agreed. As noted in one of the obit threads, people may find out about interesting people only after they have passed. Posts like WCM's are more than just copying the obit page from a news source, it's providing back story and elaboration that news outlets don't do in their own race to be first. I wish these people would be celebrated while they live, but there are so many fascinating people who fade from public view until their passing, I'll join the celebrations of their passing.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:13 AM on March 19, 2009


it seems like she's had a few minor roles and is related to some much more famous people.

And a phenomenal stage career. The links in WCityMike's fpp provide a good overview of her life and work.

Good shoutout, good post; thanks to you both.
posted by rtha at 7:14 AM on March 19, 2009


I've never heard of this person. Was there really that much of a torrent of posts regarding her death? I mean, it seems like she's had a few minor roles and is related to some much more famous people.

You don't get famous for stage work the way you do from film. Unfortunately.
posted by desuetude at 7:14 AM on March 19, 2009


That was a good obit.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:15 AM on March 19, 2009


Using my only obit post on Mike Douglas as an example, it was utter shit to start with

With respect, the fact that you once did a shitty obit post has no bearing on anything except your shitty post. There have been many, many fine obit posts on MetaFilter, some about people I would not otherwise have known about. There are good and bad examples of every kind of post. And is there really a pressing need to turn every praise-oriented MeTa post into yet another bitchfest?
posted by languagehat at 7:18 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fer fucks sake, Horace. In your RACE to be the first to congratulate WCityMike on his obit post you DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO LINK TO ...

I can't remember how I was going to wrap that joke up.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:20 AM on March 19, 2009


This was an example of how obit posts should be done. Bravo. Let's start a race to be best.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:25 AM on March 19, 2009


I saw Richardson's obituary in the New York Times first (in the print edition, no less), which gave an excellent summary of her career, but left me with the question, "how is it that someone receives what appears to be a fairly minor injury, and seems fine at the time, then dies a few days later?" WCityMike's link to the Scientific American interview satisfied my curiosity on that point, so I'm grateful for his excellent post.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:27 AM on March 19, 2009


cortex: That, too, is one of the really nice things that can come out of obit threads.

One of my very close friends I made because of an obit post. I noticed a shared interest, we met up in real life and now we're close friends. So chalk me up as someone who's happy about the existence of obitposts.
posted by Kattullus at 7:34 AM on March 19, 2009


I wasn't trying to do that, Languagehat. I was questioning the need for them based on how I've experienced them. WCM's post was a fine obit. No "bitchfest" from me.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:36 AM on March 19, 2009


Please don't go there.

Girlfriend, I go where I want. [SNAP]
posted by Mister_A at 7:39 AM on March 19, 2009


Let's start a race to be best.

You know who else had that idea?
posted by gman at 7:48 AM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


excellent posts like WCityMike's would be great in a NewsFilter subsection.

We could call it NewFi.

[NOT NEWFOUNDLAND-IST]
posted by roombythelake at 7:49 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


No offense to WCityMike, and sincere kudos for his efforts which improved greatly on the me firsters, but presenting Richardson as the star of Parent Trap instead of the Tony winning scion of a great British theatre dynasty shows that the best obit posts are made by people with some familiarity with the subject.
(Please remember this when Drew Barrymore dies.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:57 AM on March 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Girlfriend, I go where I want. [SNAP]

Ha! God I wish we could post images again.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:02 AM on March 19, 2009


My feeling is that, done right, they can really add a whole lot of depth to the standard obits we see elsewhere.
As I hadn't got a clue about who had had the skiing accident which was all over the news I appreciated this post Mike. Thank you.
posted by adamvasco at 8:04 AM on March 19, 2009


One of my very close friends I made because of an obit post. I noticed a shared interest, we met up in real life and now we're close friends.

Grave robbery? Necromancy? Mortician handywork?

Hey, why all the rotten tomatoes? Ok, Ok, I give! Tip your waitress!
posted by cavalier at 8:15 AM on March 19, 2009


Richardson's obituary...left me with the question, "how is it that someone receives what appears to be a fairly minor injury, and seems fine at the time, then dies a few days later?" WCityMike's link to the Scientific American interview satisfied my curiosity on that point, so I'm grateful for his excellent post.

Yes. My maternal grandfather died a couple of days after sustaining what seemed to be minor head injuries in a streetcar accident (long before I was born) and I had never quite understood the family stories about this until now.

Also, I thought Richardson was a fine actor and the whole thing makes me sad.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:21 AM on March 19, 2009


I don't get how obit posts are appropriate for MetaFilter.

I've done several, and they've pretty much all been obits of relatively obscure musicians. As languagehat said upthread, he's seen obit posts of people he'd never heard of before, and I know many of my obit posts have been, for some MeFi readers, a first-time introduction to someone worth knowing about but not necessarily enormously famous.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:26 AM on March 19, 2009


cavalier: Grave robbery? Necromancy? Mortician handywork?

Worse. Roleplaying.
posted by Kattullus at 8:30 AM on March 19, 2009


Obit posts really lack that "Hey look at what I found on the web" luster that MetaFilter has become known for.

*ssssnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiffffffffffffffff*

Aaah, I love that "new post" scent.


That, too, is one of the really nice things that can come out of obit threads.

That, and cake. Moist, delicious cake.
posted by slogger at 8:35 AM on March 19, 2009


I found it to be a fantastic post, a cut above your standard obit. And for what it's worth, I think I spend as much time, if not more, with Metafilter as I spend with the mainstream media. So, WCM's post was my first knowledge of Ms. Richardson's death. After seeing the work he'd put in, my first thought was "if only msm obits had such detail."

So, at least for this user, Metafilter both replaced and exceeded the msm in this context.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:40 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thanks for bringing this up, Horace Rumpole - which I didn't want to do as one of the offending parties. It gives me the perfect opportunity to quietly apologize to MetaFilter, and to thank WCityMike for a good final product.

So, first: Thank you WCityMike. That was lovely and informative. And second, I'm sorry MetaFilter. You provide me so much, for which I'm grateful on a daily basis, that I wanted to give back in some way. But it was stupid to think that a single link to E! was giving back to you in any measure what you've already given to me. I will try harder next time.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:01 AM on March 19, 2009


greekphilosophy, you're a mensch.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:08 AM on March 19, 2009


Enough decisions like that and we might almost eliminate the Race To Be First and then where will we be?

Last?
posted by jerseygirl at 9:10 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did we thank them for their actions on Arthur C Clarke? Because if not here's a belated thank you.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on March 19, 2009


Yay, we're all happy. Hugs, goat cheese, cider and spankings for every one.

You may skip the goat cheese if you like.
posted by Mister_A at 9:17 AM on March 19, 2009


So, WCM's post was my first knowledge of Ms. Richardson's death. After seeing the work he'd put in, my first thought was "if only msm obits had such detail."

Not to take anything away from WCM's fine post, but I think you are short-changing at least some of the mainstream media here.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:39 AM on March 19, 2009


One of my very close friends I made because of an obit post.

Aw, shucks.
posted by lunit at 9:44 AM on March 19, 2009


I've met WCityMike a few times at Meetups and can attest to the fact that he is an all around great guy and awesome MeFi.
posted by wfrgms at 9:51 AM on March 19, 2009


WCM's post was my first knowledge of Ms. Richardson's death. After seeing the work he'd put in, my first thought was "if only msm obits had such detail."

Yeah, gosh, if only those newspaper obits you didn't read had measured up.

(This kind of comment is why I can't go into the MSM bashing threads any more.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:04 AM on March 19, 2009


Mainstream media will be replaced by citizen journalists citing mainstream media!
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on March 19, 2009


Mainstream media will be replaced by citizen journalists citing mainstream media!

The king is dead! Long live the king?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:34 AM on March 19, 2009


It is still ObitFilter, the unfortunate spawn of NewsFilter--which is a bad thing, it is to be remembered.
posted by LarryC at 10:37 AM on March 19, 2009


it seemed weird to be reporting on something that was already all over CNN, the NYT and every other news outlet.

Exactly. Newsfilter is the noise that drowns out the signal.
posted by LarryC at 10:39 AM on March 19, 2009


filthy light thief: The king is dead! Long live the king?

More like: The king is dead! Long may the king's corpse stay embalmed!
posted by Kattullus at 10:48 AM on March 19, 2009


I saw Richardson's obituary in the New York Times first (in the print edition, no less), which gave an excellent summary of her career, but left me with the question, "how is it that someone receives what appears to be a fairly minor injury, and seems fine at the time, then dies a few days later?" WCityMike's link to the Scientific American interview satisfied my curiosity on that point, so I'm grateful for his excellent post.

Likewise. I noticed in several obituaries I read that invariably Ms. Richardson's cause of death was stated to be "an apparent brain injury." This would be humorous if not so tragic, because the presumed brain injury was the very opposite of "apparent."

I wonder at journalists who write that so-and-so died "of an apparent heart attack." Are adverbs out of fashion? Can we not say "apparently of a heart attack?" It seems to me that the only way to die of an apparent heart attack is to believe you are having a heart attack, and it frightens you so badly you have an actual heart attack. Kind of like an Alanis Morrissete song, really.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:51 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The heart attack or brain injury can be apparent after the fact from context while not being apparent at the time during which it is doing its fatal damage.

But that reminds me of one of my favorite little gags from Peter Schikele's The Definitive Biography of P.D.Q Bach, a heavily-footnoted psuedo-historical book that I cannot recommend highly enough to anyone who likes classical music, bad puns, and well-crafted bullshit:
Although he apparently liked Salzburg,4 P.D.Q. did not stay around long; within a few months he realized that the Mozart boy was already beginning to outshine him as a musician, and he lost no time in leaving for browner pastures. After all...

4 Years later he told a friend, "I apparently liked Slazburg."
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:04 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Apparent heart attacks are never fatal.

I remember being taught this on my high school newspaper (Homer Hall was hardcore. I don't recall that we had many occasions where it could have come up, but I suppose an apparent drug overdose wasn't out of the question.) This also reminds me of the discussion of people being evacuated on season 5 of The Wire.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:12 AM on March 19, 2009


Naturally you people are splitting hairs re: apparency of various major adverse events, and I have no beef with that, but it's important to keep in mind that this is useful news shorthand. It means, "We're pretty sure she had a heart attack/stroke/traumatic brain injury, and that's what killed her, but we haven't seen a report from an ME or the hospital to confirm this."
posted by Mister_A at 11:18 AM on March 19, 2009


I wonder at journalists who write that so-and-so died "of an apparent heart attack." Are adverbs out of fashion? Can we not say "apparently of a heart attack?" It seems to me that the only way to die of an apparent heart attack is to believe you are having a heart attack, and it frightens you so badly you have an actual heart attack. Kind of like an Alanis Morrissete song, really.

The greatest virtue of news reporting is conciseness; they prefer to use a phrasing that is not quite accurate but saves on space, rather than to write well. I hope that this will change as more news reporting goes online only, but I'm not counting on it.
posted by Caduceus at 11:29 AM on March 19, 2009


Speaking of personal stories, MeFi user thinkpiece mentions in the thread that the Richardson/Neeson family are good friends of his.

Obit threads on MeFi are shining examples of how small the world is.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:30 AM on March 19, 2009


this is useful news shorthand

Yeah, I think "apparent" is the polite and respectful equivalent of "alleged."
posted by dersins at 11:30 AM on March 19, 2009


Dead is as dead does.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:45 AM on March 19, 2009


The DFW obit thread is another example of why obits can be good. A lot of people were hit hard by that, and the thread offered a place for them to come together, talk about it, process it, etc. It made a really bad day slightly less bad, and brought forth some interesting stories besides, so it was at least as valuable as any other post on the front page that day.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 12:18 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Kurt Vonnegut obit thread is yet another good one. Very moving; made me sniffly for much of the day as I sat at my desk.
posted by rtha at 12:41 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Steve Irwin obit thread was another great one.
posted by Ryvar at 1:26 PM on March 19, 2009


Wow. Thank you, everyone. This is extremely kind of all of you.
posted by WCityMike at 1:29 PM on March 19, 2009


The cause of Ms. Richardson's death is no longer apparent.
posted by Mister_A at 1:47 PM on March 19, 2009


CunningLinguist - I found Mike's post to be richer and more detailed that obituaries for other public figures that I've read, in the past, in the regular media - not for Ms Richardson specifically. Sorry if my wording was sloppy.

Again, Mike, well done.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:49 PM on March 19, 2009


Some obits were the first time I've heard of the passing of notable figures. Sure, you're never going to miss Heath Ledger on the front page of some newspaper site, but Metafilter was the first place I heard about David Foster Wallace's passing. I know that's not the job of Metafilter and I wouldn't call DFW an unknown - but certainly there are lesser known notable people whose passing is also notable and can be covered here much more comprehensively than elsewhere.
posted by crossoverman at 3:30 PM on March 19, 2009


the best obit posts are made by people with some familiarity with the subject.

Given the choice between the "me first!" brigade and a non-fan doing the work of a detailed but imperfect post, I'll always take the latter, but yeah, it's a little strange that one of the most important moments - if not *the* most important - in Richardson's career isn't mentioned at all in her MeFi obit post.
posted by mediareport at 4:44 PM on March 19, 2009


Hey all. it's the guy who posted the original shitty one. I had a reason for posting the way i did, which I can explain at a later time where i'm not swamped with work.

super short version: In the wake of the accident there had a been a million articles on her. The brevity of the post was meant to stand as a sadly terrible conclusion to an ongoing saga.

But I assure you it was a conscious attempt and anything but "firsties." That actually makes me sick to my stomach because I love her work, particularly in the not so good movie "asylum" in which I thought she was rather multi-faceted and under-appreciated.

Will post more on this soon.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:06 PM on March 19, 2009


But I assure you it was a conscious attempt

Um, maybe try harder next time? A single link to a CNN front page story is a terrible MeFi post.
posted by mediareport at 5:24 PM on March 19, 2009


This was an example of how obit posts should be done. Bravo. Let's start a race to be best.

Well, OK, but first we're going to have to figure out who we're going to kill.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:44 PM on March 19, 2009


After reading all the comments in depth, I have come to one conclusion: I feel infinitely stupid and small. This is probably earned, maybe even healthy, but I have a sick feeling the pit of my stomach. I feel as if everyone is assuming I'm a distasteful cretin. I can't help it. I was going to justify my thought process but honestly it doesn't matter. Sure I had some noble intentions. So what? It doesn't matter; the chorus is spoken.

Maybe there's aspects of our personality and writing that just come across as completely inane on mefi, when they would come across otherwise in a different context. I do feel like I offer some stuff to the site. I have experience with the education system. I feel like I can articulate some philosophical stuff okay. I know the silly entertainment biz. But often I feel like my attempts to post on mefi get lost in translation. Reason #1) I'm at work for a lot of this and am distracted. This cannot be helped. And 2) I guess I sometimes cannot resist falling into the predictability of human urge: "Natasha Richardson has died. This makes me unfathomably sad." And in doing so poorly I have let the people down I sought to share some kind of grief with (even if it is digital emotion). Worse, I lambasted the post before for not confirming the report. When the report was confirmed. I posted and that's not what I should have done.

I don't know. Basically I feel like shit. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive. But if I don't be sensitive I'm just another dickface on the internet.

... how the hell did I manage to give this an existentialist bent?
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 6:13 PM on March 19, 2009


Lacking Subtlety, let me assure you that your anguish is completely disproportionate to the severity of your offense (which it isn't, even). Your post was bad, but you shouldn't feel bad.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:19 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you're being overly sensitive. Was that your first deleted post? Hell, just about everyone who has the guts to post to the front page has had a few (including me). Just keep in mind that a link to CNN's front page isn't a very good post, then move on.
posted by mediareport at 6:26 PM on March 19, 2009


No I know. But maybe I"m just presenting a case for being sensitive? w/r/t providing emotional resonance and thereby a reminder that one should write a post that someone can literally depend on? Of course it's not a big deal and I'm not rocking in the corner or anything, but I just think it's important to treat it like that. I think the humanizing element of mefi is largely its best trait... and oddly that seems to be bogged down by policy more than anything else.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 6:55 PM on March 19, 2009


I think the humanizing element of mefi is largely its best trait... and oddly that seems to be bogged down by policy more than anything else.

I don't really understand this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:08 PM on March 19, 2009


I feel as if everyone is assuming I'm a distasteful cretin.

I don't think it's anything like that. People strike out at posting now and then, especially when they're new to it, and while some people here can be overly gruff or harsh about expressing their disapproval, at the end of the day it's not a big deal if the intent wasn't malicious and you're willing to learn from it.

A lot of folks think that your post wasn't very well done, and that's something I agree with—it was thin, rushed, not really giving any information at all on this woman, and premised in its spartanness apparently on some internalized notion you had about the ongoing media coverage instead of designed specifically for the benefit of the metafilter members and readers that would be reading it and who had no access to your internal mental state. All of that kind of rolls up to a pretty poor post.

But it's just a poor post. Now you know a bit more about how people will react to this sort of thing, and you can take that into account next time out.

I think the humanizing element of mefi is largely its best trait...

I think I agree with you here, very much.

and oddly that seems to be bogged down by policy more than anything else.

Like jessamyn, I'm lost on this bit. Can you elaborate?
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:24 PM on March 19, 2009


I don't mean this as a callout of the earlier posters.

LOL at how this sentence was the first to follow the links to the earlier posters.
posted by troybob at 9:21 PM on March 19, 2009


LOLDOTS
posted by not_on_display at 10:44 PM on March 19, 2009


Reason #1) I'm at work for a lot of this and am distracted. This cannot be helped.
I have the same problem but, after a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I came up with what I consider to be a brilliantly simple solution:
Don't post things to the front page of MeFi if you are rushed and distracted. There's no rule that says you have to post anything, ever.
posted by dg at 1:33 AM on March 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think the humanizing element of mefi is largely its best trait... and oddly that seems to be bogged down by policy more than anything else.

I totally get this. Time and again I've seen excellent, thoughtful posts tossed in the dustbin because they happened to appear within a cool thread that got busted on a technicality.
posted by troybob at 10:26 AM on March 20, 2009


More often than not, though, they also contain personal stories, either directly or indirectly related to the deceased. Which Metafilter is also known for, and valued for. My opinion.
Personally, I thought the Gary Gygax thread was something special.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:53 PM on March 20, 2009


It's possibly worth noting that poorly composed or rushed obit threads are going to be more upsetting to some people than your average shitty newsfilter post. Regardless of the poster's intent, they can seem not just sensationalistic, but disrespectful & offensive.

I've appreciated the current moderation policy, holding back the crappy "first!" posts and waiting for a decent one to be made. It reinforces the rule of thumb: If you're rationalizing your rushed post by thinking, "somebody had to do it", keep in mind that "somebody" doesn't have to be you.
posted by obloquy at 11:49 AM on March 21, 2009


I wonder at journalists who write that so-and-so died "of an apparent heart attack." Are adverbs out of fashion? Can we not say "apparently of a heart attack?"

It means the same thing.
posted by Zambrano at 1:10 PM on March 21, 2009


Worse. Roleplaying.

Oh, good heavens. Is there LARP involved? Don't answer, *shudders*, don't answer...
posted by cavalier at 8:12 AM on March 23, 2009


cavalier: Is there LARP involved?

God no! What kind of foul beasts do you take us for? This is a perfectly civilized Sunday lunch/roleplaying session. No cavorting on heaths or in dank glades, no make-up, foam swords or shouts of "lightning bolt!" It's just five of us sitting around a table eating nice food, throwing dice and pretending to be people we're not.
posted by Kattullus at 9:47 AM on March 23, 2009


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