Woah January 7, 2010 12:08 PM   Subscribe

This post turned into a clusterf*** of individual stereotyping and talking about the education levels of posters' kids (negatively). Let me just say: woah.

How is it possible that anyone on MeFi thought that was okay territory to go into?
posted by jock@law to Etiquette/Policy at 12:08 PM (1034 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

My kid beat up your honor student.
posted by killdevil at 12:11 PM on January 7, 2010


Link? 230 comments is a lot to scroll through when looking for good insults to remember.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


One of the problems there is that certain people like St. Alia insist on injecting their comments with very personal anecdote. It's ok to relate context for why you state things a certain way, but it really needs to be held in check. There are much better ways of stating things objectively while still being true to one's beliefs or convictions, especially in a public forum. But, certain other usual suspects were being knobs there, and salivated at the chance to lay into St. Alia. I know it can be frustrating to see her comments sometimes, and I have reacted poorly in the past, but I would caution people to be 200% more gentle with her than their first impulse. Please note that being extra gentle in no way precludes smacking her arguments down, but perhaps that aggressive going for the jugular approach should just be shitcanned altogether here.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2010 [19 favorites]


I removed the comments that I saw that were directly talking about other people's kids. Are there any still left? That said, this gets into problematic territory. When one user with a long site history brings up their kids, not allowing other people to talk about them is messy. That said, the shitty comments that I saw earlier are gone, and if there are some left please point me to them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


A lot of the most egregious comments were deleted by mods. The discussion of St. Alia of the Bunnies and her homeschooling her kids, their resultant intelligence, and whether one going to the USAFA made him smart or an idiot ultraconservative evangelical mostly seemed pretty off to me.
posted by jock@law at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2010


If you think your kid hasn't learned the word fuck yet, you're probably wrong.
posted by Plutor at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't necessarily agree with some of the belief St Alia et al holds, but when some people start to lay into her you can really imagine the spittle flying off their lips as they scream at their monitors...

It's not a requirement to rebut every. single. thing. someone says that you disagree with. You'd think it was a site policy to chase people off with sticks for not thinking like everyone else.
posted by GuyZero at 12:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [25 favorites]


These seemed problematic, and appear after jessamyn's most recent mod note:
10:40 AM
4:01 PM
posted by jock@law at 12:24 PM on January 7, 2010


I did one more pass since this is now in MetaTalk. We don't have any specific rules about banning people for going after other members of the site but sometimes I feel like we should. There are literally 5-8 people who do this all the time and most people never do it at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


St. Alia: I like puppies, and sometimes it rains.

MeFi folks: Oh you would, wouldn't you? But maybe you've never read this Bible verse that says puppies aren't related to the rain! Also ninety years ago you said in this other thread that you like kittens clearly you are just saying what you heard on FOX News. Fuckity fuck fuck.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:32 PM on January 7, 2010 [56 favorites]


I'm going to try to make up for it by designating her my spouse.
posted by found missing at 12:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


To be fair, I see it more as...

St. Alia: I like puppies, and when God makes it rain.

MeFi folks: HOPPITAMOPPITA!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:34 PM on January 7, 2010 [22 favorites]


St. Alia: I like puppies, and when God makes it rain hellfire.

Most MeFi folks: ... uh?

A handful of MeFi folks: ... that's really fucked up.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:37 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fucking hell. I worked hard on that last comment. Did I really say anything that was so offensive or disparaging against Alia that it deserved deletion?
posted by zarq at 12:39 PM on January 7, 2010


I can send you a copy of it. It was responding to stuff that I removed and mostly meta in nature. I'll memail it to you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2010


wait, I thought hoppitamoppita was a playful metasyntactic variable. Is it actually serious/ fighty in nature?
posted by boo_radley at 12:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]



MeTa: HOPPITAMOPPITA!
posted by infini at 12:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: "There are literally 5-8 people who do this all the time and most people never do it at all."

Sounds like most of us are suckers. Here I could be doing something without consequences, and I'm not! How often could I do it and not be at risk for bannening? 80%? Can we get this added to the FAQ?
posted by Plutor at 12:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


They see me hoppin', they moppin'.
posted by ardgedee at 12:48 PM on January 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


I'm sorry if its serious/fighty in nature, but I just can't help laughing out loud while attempting to stifle it so as to not wake up the house at half past 4am

*choke, gurgle, escaped guffaw*

doesn't work for me, i keep seeing bunny rabbits jumping up and down... oh..wait...hmmmm
posted by infini at 12:48 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like how any time she expresses the mildest opinion, she will usually get slammed by at least a few characters, and she comes out looking picked on. Kinda ironic to talk about "the persecution complex of the conservative" in light of that dynamic.

Not to say that she didn't say anything as innocuous as "I like puppies." She said (to paraphrase) "all textbooks are crap". That's ridiculous. What's the point of even responding to that? I'm not hanging this on St. Alia but, if you believe someone is a "hopeless case", why engage?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


OK. Thank you. I do appreciate it.

Some of the threads around here are combining with my deep sleep deprivation to give me an awful migraine. Ugh.
posted by zarq at 12:53 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm not hanging this on St. Alia but, if you believe someone is a "hopeless case", why engage?

Hope springs eternal?

I tend to think that most folks are at least somewhat reasonable and open to other people's opinions. Even when I'm not. ;)
posted by zarq at 12:54 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, guys, I know that this discussion is about real-world events that have nationwide, nay, global ramifications. A handful of nutcases in Texas are essentially responsible for the general dumbing-down of American children, and thus crippling our future chances at being a world leader in science and technology.

But fuck that boring stuff because have you seen what precious Jaycen has been up to? First, he made two goals (that's right, fuckers, two) in his junior soccer game. Second, his younger sister Stephanyy is growing up so fast and beautifully! She's going to be a beautiful model or rich man's wife one day!!

No, listen, this is about me. Me and my fascinating kids.

Finally, science is gay and you are gay if you like science.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:57 PM on January 7, 2010 [26 favorites]


If everything is serious business then nothing is serious business.
posted by GuyZero at 1:00 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm assuming her initial comment(s) in that thread were deleted? I couldn't find anything she said to match Optimus' little satire up there.
posted by cimbrog at 1:01 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Finally, science is gay and you are gay if you like science.

I am tired of you. This sort of "let me parody the other side using the crappy language that makes people mad when they use it" is actually part of the problem.

If you don't like people using words like "gay" to describe things that are bad, don't do it as a joke. Cleaning up after that sort of stuff -- especially in the wake of the huge homophobia MeTa thread with a lot of hard feelings all around which is still open -- is a pain, especially when I know that you, OC, in your heart of hearts, dont think the gay=bad construction is really an okay way to talk about ideas.

Here I could be doing something without consequences, and I'm not!

As you have just seen, there are consequences. You get annoying lectures from me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:01 PM on January 7, 2010 [70 favorites]


snap
posted by found missing at 1:02 PM on January 7, 2010


Jaycen
Stephanyy

More evidence for my theory that any remotely plausible variant of an existing name is already in use in the world.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 1:03 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


While were talking about stuff not getting deleted why is all the Foos so hot/I'd hit that even though they're the wrong sex comments not getting deleted from here?
posted by Mitheral at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2010


No, listen, this is about me. Me and my fascinating kids.

I mention my poor, gold-forsaken children ALL THE TIME and no one ever flames me. So it's not about anybody's kids or their ability to stay on-topic, something else I am so guilty of that the mods would have to immolate me if it was prohibited on the site, such is my power to reanimate my corpse for the purposes of derailing threads.

Everything St Alia actually does (as opposed to what she believes) I do ten times over and no one gives a flying fuck about me.

please flame me. it really is all about me.
posted by GuyZero at 1:05 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Plutor: "Here I could be doing something without consequences, and I'm not! How often could I do it and not be at risk for bannening?"

That's it, Plutor.

I'm coming to get you.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:05 PM on January 7, 2010


St. Alia seems to push all sorts of buttons for all sorts of people. I'm trying to learn to recognize my own buttons, because my responses when my buttons are pushed tend to be less-than-reasonable, but, god damn, it's a hard thing to do.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:06 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


While were talking about stuff not getting deleted

Nothing was flagged from that thread (except the lulzy MeTa joke) and I hadn't seen it. If something is bothering you, flag it. If nothing is bothering you, then maybe there's no problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:07 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


please flame me. it really is all about me.

HOPPITAMOPPITA!
posted by cimbrog at 1:07 PM on January 7, 2010


I misread "homophobia" as "hoppitamoppita" there and got excited for
a moment.

I don't think St. A is the only one with a propensity to turn threads into being all about her; she's just the most prominent because of (a) the volume of comments she makes (b) the number of people that react (maybe they're seeking her out? I don't know) and (c) her relative infamy and opinions.
posted by subbes at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2010


GUYZERO'S KIDS ARE STUPID AND UGLY
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:10 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


:::Thinking about making popcorn:::
posted by jgirl at 1:11 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


More evidence for my theory that any remotely plausible variant of an existing name is already in use in the world.

Baby's Named A Bad, Bad Thing
posted by zarq at 1:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not hanging this on St. Alia but, if you believe someone is a "hopeless case", why engage?

I am, and this is basically why I've never called her out for some of her more disingenuous contributions. Because I'm pretty sure they're not disingenuous, she just genuinely has such a different worldview than I or the majority of other Mefites that it's like trying to take to a Martian, who is still on Mars, on the radio. "The sky is blue!" "What are you talking about? The sky is very clearly black all the time."

It would start a big ol' GRAR fest and accomplish exactly nothing. For you people (you know who you are) who really feel like engaging, they should argue with her points, not her, in a "This is wrong, and this is why it is wrong" format. You're not ever going to convince her of anything. Settle for showing other's what's wrong with her arguments. Maybe that way you can avoid looking like jerks.
posted by Caduceus at 1:13 PM on January 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


jessamyn, the only hard feelings I have are that you are having such a hard time that you don't deserve, and I get that the hard times aren't caused by idiot stuff like this that you have to mod, but this idiot stuff can't be helping.

Do you get any time off? For relaxation and recharging?
posted by kalessin at 1:13 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


GUYZERO'S KIDS ARE STUPID AND UGLY

Only if you extrapolate from their male parent.

she's just the most prominent because of (a) the volume of comments she makes (b) the number of people that react (maybe they're seeking her out? I don't know) and (c) her relative infamy and opinions.

on (a) 500-some comments in a year-and-some is not a really high-volume commenter. Though I haven't crunched the numbers. So it's not that.
posted by GuyZero at 1:14 PM on January 7, 2010


Baby's Named A Bad, Bad Thing

Whoa. Has no one ever posted that to MeFi? It's been around for ages.
posted by zarq at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2010


If you don't like people using words like "gay" to describe things that are bad, don't do it as a joke. Cleaning up after that sort of stuff -- especially in the wake of the huge homophobia MeTa thread with a lot of hard feelings all around which is still open -- is a pain, especially when I know that you, OC, in your heart of hearts, dont think the gay=bad construction is really an okay way to talk about ideas.

You're right, I don't. But I do find it bizarre that my parody of that language is viewed as worse than the hateful language itself, which exists on MeFi to this day. If I ever get banned - and sadly, I am all but certain that that Ragnarok is in some ways inevitable - it's clear that my Brand New Day under some completely obvious pseudonym will not be nearly the untouchable whitewash other people have gotten.

Yes, certain posters get under other people's skin, and responses to them are often over-the-top. However, to borrow a phrase from the homophobic right, why are they always shoving it in our face?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:17 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


she's just the most prominent because of (a) the volume of comments she makes (b) the number of people that react (maybe they're seeking her out? I don't know) and (c) her relative infamy and opinions.

I don't think she comments much at all. I think point (c) is really the issue. She gets flack because she's quite vocal when it comes to being anti-abortion and hating on the gays -- or whatever the 'hate the sin not the sinner' way of saying hating on the gays is. Also, she's really obtuse so you can't really have an argument/discussion with her. She's just a perfect storm for things that bug people on MetaFilter.

There are people way more obnoxious on this site.
posted by chunking express at 1:19 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


St. Alia seems to push all sorts of buttons for all sorts of people.

Which is odd. She's pretty straight forwards and her views are pretty well known and any regular should know she's not going to change. It's like trying to fight a brick wall, you know it's a brick wall, so you might as well stop hating on it for bringing a brick wall and enjoy the positive aspects of a brick wall.

Why people want to continue arguing with her after all these years makes me wonder about them instead of her, if I have wonder about anyone. But I'd rather not wonder about anyone. Is there any pie left?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm far from exempt, myself. Election season was a time of great gnashitude, and I gleefully participated in engaging her. Initially because it was fun, but then out of some misguided optimism. When I saw what the score was, future engagements were done out of fascination. This is why I asked about what's involved in her parsing of the news. I was genuinely curious. I was disappointed by her utterly mundane and ordinary answer.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2010


joe lisboa: St. Alia: I like puppies, and when God makes it rain hellfire.

Mary Paulson: I like bunny rabbits, Satan, cheese and milk (previously on Mefi).
posted by MikeHarris at 1:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Y'know, I disagree with St. Alia to a violent degree, and I've been known to shout at her as well, but honestly her comments don't annoy me nearly as much as the comments that invariably get posted to point out how she misreads other unrelated parts of the Bible, bring up things she's said years ago, or otherwise do nothing but attempt to re-engage her in a fight that has apparently been going on for years. Yeah, I get that she bothers you, and you don't like her opinions, and you think she says dumb things that offend you, but Jesus Christ, folks, sometimes it reads like you think all of MetaFilter is a quiet humdrum distraction from the real point of the site which is clearly the epic showdown between a handful of people and St. Alia of the Bunnies.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ, folks, sometimes it reads like you think all of MetaFilter is a quiet humdrum distraction from the real point of the site which is clearly the epic showdown between a handful of people and St. Alia of the Bunnies.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:23 PM on January 7


I haven't responded to SAotB since the "you flag me so much I look like the U.N." joke of months back, but I commented here because I'm sick of seeing yet another MeTa thread where the cure for bigotry is pretending someone's not a bigot.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2010 [17 favorites]


I don't think anyone has contended that pretending she doesn't believe the way she does is a "cure" for it. Just that engagement is pointless, turns threads into her as the subject, and makes her look like the piled-upon victim. I'm not sure how productive that is towards the goal of curing bigotry.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


If I ever get banned - and sadly, I am all but certain that that Ragnarok is in some ways inevitable - it's clear that my Brand New Day under some completely obvious pseudonym will not be nearly the untouchable whitewash other people have gotten.

I am not sure that fantasizing about something that hasn't happened and declaring it inevitable is entirely fair.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sick of seeing yet another MeTa thread where the cure for bigotry is pretending someone's not a bigot.

The cure for bigotry isn't derailing threads with invective.
posted by mpbx at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


But I do find it bizarre that my parody of that language is viewed as worse than the hateful language itself

It's not worse. It's bad, and you should stop doing it. You're someone who does -- as attested to by repeated statements you've made -- know better. You're expected to act like it. If you see people making "that's gay" comments to mean "that's bad" on the site, use the flag queue to tell us about it. Don't just act out as if that's somehow justified because other people are worse and "getting away with it."

If you think we're not moderating the site approrpiately or effectively, say it out loud, don't just make crappy over the top comments that have what you feel is a sophisticated message that is drowned in capital letters. If you think we should ban people, make a case for it, don't just pussyfoot around the way we treat some people.

Over-the-top responses to non-over-the-top but deeply maddening comments are not, strictly speaking, cricket. To borrow a phrase from the ongoing homophobia disucussion taking place at this very moment.

THE BASIC QUESTION: "Why do I have to be extra polite and careful when I and my people were the ones who were wronged?"

THE BASIC ANSWER: His moral judgments were basically correct, but his emotions were far from appropriate.


I can spell this out in more detail, why this is important, but I don't think it's doing anything other than going over the same old topics. I do not believe that St. Alia is a very clever troll. I think she literally does not know better than to enter discussions the way she does and have discussions the way she does. Okay. If that's true, where do we go from there? No one is asking you to pretend that anyone is not a bigot. We're asking you to not get in big huge fights with people who you think are bigots because you don't like the way their minds work. You, and others, can email St Alia. You can engage with her on facebook or wherever she hangs out if you want to have a personal discussion with her.

This whole neverending-derailing threads because they become all about St Alia and people attacking her is over on MetaFilter. It's no longer okay. Sorry.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2010 [24 favorites]


But I do find it bizarre that my parody of that language is viewed as worse than the hateful language itself, which exists on MeFi to this day.

You're knowingly perpetuating—goading on, really—a crappy dynamic for no apparent reason other than your unwillingness to let go of your dislike for her. That sucks. It's not just you, but it is a pretty small handful of oldschoolers at this point responsible for the vast majority of that dynamic where it does present itself. That's why it sucks.

A couple of people here have pretty much successfully rebooted under new usernames, getting away from the cycle of interuser drama that they had going on with their original names. I'm glad that's happened in the cases where it has, regardless of whether the user in question has changed their ways particularly—if it's someone I found annoying in their original incarnation, I probably find them annoying in the new one too, but better that it be me and Matt and Jess being quietly and privately annoyed than a bunch of people with less disincentive to contain that annoyance knowing about it as well. That's part of the value of Brand New Day; not just giving someone a second or third chance to be here, but to give the community a chance to get away from that user-specific cycle of bullshit.

Other folks have changed accounts but not managed to fly under the radar. St. Alia is clearly one of them, and insofar as that's down to her being either unwilling to or incapable of changing her way of communicating here enough to make it anything other than blindingly obvious who she is I can appreciate the frustration of people who feel like there's some sort of "la la la I can't hear you" thing going on with the new account/old account friction. But the fact is that not letting that go, not willfully taking the high road and letting old shit go, is unquestionably a crappy thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:34 PM on January 7, 2010


But stereotypes are one of the things that MetaFilter does well.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:35 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's just like an Australian to say something like that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:36 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


sometimes it reads like you think all of MetaFilter is a quiet humdrum distraction from the real point of the site which is clearly the epic showdown between a handful of people and St. Alia of the Bunnies.

I'm pretty sure that's why she's here though; if she didn't get a bonfire to throw her strawmen on every day, they'd start piling up, and then there'd be rats and whatever else feeds on old strawmen. Make that both sides of these arguments.


If there's two things we seem to like at metafilter these days, it's a good yelling-past-each-other match, and heapin plate of beans.

I blame the kids on the lawn.
posted by nomisxid at 1:36 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I haven't responded to SAotB since the "you flag me so much I look like the U.N." joke of months back, but I commented here because I'm sick of seeing yet another MeTa thread where the cure for bigotry is pretending someone's not a bigot.

Unfortunately, her case is terminal. The best thing to do is just point out when the things she says are bigoted, so that other people know, but again don't otherwise engage.
posted by Caduceus at 1:37 PM on January 7, 2010


It's an unchangeable fact that people exist who hold opinions vastly different from yours. It's ok to challenge and rebut those opinions, but before you do, make yourself really and truly comfortable with the fact that these people and their opinions exist and always will. Understand it. Accept it.
Then and only then, debate the ideas with reason, and without any expectation that the other side will change their mind.
If you can't do that, then disengage.
posted by rocket88 at 1:42 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


500-some comments in a year-and-some is not a really high-volume commenter

Her previous two accounts had an additional 3,443 comments on the blue alone. And (with this one) an additional 4,420 comments on the green and grey. That's a lot of comments.
posted by grouse at 1:44 PM on January 7, 2010


Her previous two accounts had an additional 3,443 comments on the blue alone. And (with this one) an additional 4,420 comments on the green and grey. That's a lot of comments.

Phhhhhhhhht.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Shes wrong
posted by Damn That Television at 1:45 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm pretty sure that's why she's here though; if she didn't get a bonfire to throw her strawmen on every day, they'd start piling up, and then there'd be rats and whatever else feeds on old strawmen.

There is a lot more to MetaFilter than just the political debates. St.Alia pops up all over and there usually isn't problem since in those cases she's just another friendly face. In fact, if it weren't for the more touchy subjects she would probably be fairly well thought of since no one would know how badly she disagrees with the site's political vector. Heck, she has an AskMe for anime recommendations.
posted by cimbrog at 1:46 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


nothing is ever fixed or helped by stooping so low you get your own nose dirty.
posted by nadawi at 1:46 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


WTF is this "Woah" shit? It's "Whoa."

Seriously. We've been through this.
posted by Eideteker at 1:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [19 favorites]


GuyZero: (a) 500-some comments in a year-and-some is not a really high-volume commenter

I think it's more that she tends to get a bit postorrheic within individual threads, long past when most would have just stepped away.

I could see how you would be confused based on your dumb, ugly children, though.
posted by mkultra at 1:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always assumed the trick to arguing about ideas on the Internet was to address the presumed far wider audience reading rather than just go for whatever opponent you're debating in any given instance, if changing minds or making a point is actually your intent. And a lot of what it takes to reach that audience is not engaging in deeply unappealing self-righteousness yourself in the process. Like I've, er, just done in this comment.
posted by Abiezer at 1:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Her previous two accounts...

OK, so (a) I think it's not cool to do that and (b) I was trying to express a comment rate, not a total volume, unless you're saying she's running sockpuppets. A comment rate of 500 comments per year on the blue is not exception for a "regular" of the site.
posted by GuyZero at 1:51 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Her previous two accounts had an additional 3,443 comments on the blue alone. And (with this one) an additional 4,420 comments on the green and grey. That's a lot of comments.

I had no idea that she'd taken the Brand New Day route.
posted by zarq at 1:53 PM on January 7, 2010


I had no idea that she'd taken the Brand New Day route.

I thought that was kind of the point of the policy.
posted by GuyZero at 1:56 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I thought the drama around here was going to decrease significantly once dirtynumbangelboy split.

Silly me.
posted by chillmost at 1:56 PM on January 7, 2010


I had no idea that she'd taken the Brand New Day route.

Ditto. Weird.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:59 PM on January 7, 2010


(a) I think it's not cool to do that

Maybe, if she were actually trying to have a clean slate and keep her new identity separate from the previous personas. But St. Alia's former identities are even an open secret. They aren't a secret whatsoever. Personally I don't think it's cool to do the "Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain" thing when she makes it so obvious who the woman behind the curtain is.

I have similar but less stringent beliefs about using your children as a rhetorical football and then objecting when the punt is returned, but without having seen the comments, I will take people's word when they say they were offensive.

And the rate is really immaterial. More than 7,800 comments over a period of nine years is a rich data set if you want to know how someone acts.
posted by grouse at 2:04 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


And the rate is really immaterial.

Not when I'm rebutting the assertion that she posts a lot, i.e. that she has a high posting rate. People are not flaming her based on her frequency of posting.
posted by GuyZero at 2:07 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie : St. Alia seems to push all sorts of buttons for all sorts of people. I'm trying to learn to recognize my own buttons, because my responses when my buttons are pushed tend to be less-than-reasonable, but, god damn, it's a hard thing to do.

This more or less sums up my feelings. I find that there are a couple of people here who, when I'm composing my response to something they've said, I realize that what I've just written in no way makes the conversation better and in many ways makes it much, much worse. I like this site and I don't want to be thought of as someone who does that.

That said, there are times... oh there are times when walking away is not something I want to do. I'll take a deep breath, delete my comment, and console myself with the fact that any argument I make is one that has already been presented and rejected and just talking to make myself heard is not worth the anger I'll carry with me the rest of the day.

Then I'll make some statement about leprechauns or death rays or something. Just to make myself feel better.
posted by quin at 2:10 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hey, check it out -- I know St. Alia's son! The Air Force son, I mean. He is one of my brother's best friends, and was a groomsman at his wedding. My brother started bringing him home when we were still in high school, so I've known this guy for round about ten years.

I do not know St. Alia. Never met her, don't usually agree with her stances. Virtually never agree with her political stances. And god, I thought that Optimus Chyme's comment about "where's my ralph" was freaking hilarious.

But her son is a fine young man. Intelligent, thoughtful, polite, and endearing. He holds many opinions and beliefs with which I strongly disagree, too, but he is a lovely human being. I hope he and my brother are lifelong friends (my brother, incidentally, is pretty liberal). St. Alia may annoy the crap out of us, and she may push buttons aplenty. But her son came out the other end of her homeschooling and etc, a good guy.

Since I began reading Metafilter (looong before I even had an account), several unseemly comments have been made about St Alia's son, by people who've never actually met him. Just to antagonize the woman. That's very poor behavior. Some people among us need to do and act a lot better.

I told myself once, "Self, the next time that people start in on your brother's friend just to get under his mother's skin, please stand up for him." So I'm doing that. I'm a third party with a very different worldview than both St. Alia and her son, and I say: the USAFA kid is good people, and shouldn't be up for speculative insult just because his mother pisses people off on Metafilter.
posted by Coatlicue at 2:10 PM on January 7, 2010 [92 favorites]


I'm calling uncool on that grouse. There are some open secrets that people who've been reading here for a long time know but that doesn't mean you should publicize them. The mod's in their infinite wisdom, patience, and/or caprice give some people guidance and do-overs that are not public business.

If they wanted them to be public they would be, just ask Optimus Chyme.
posted by Babblesort at 2:11 PM on January 7, 2010


dammit - or even mods without an apostrophe. frik.
posted by Babblesort at 2:13 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm not a big poster, but I've read a number of posts with St. Alia battles and she's never come across as more strident or more obnoxious than many many folks who toe the mefi political line. There are lots of users on here with more similar opinions to mine whose comments I skip right past because they're just big-old-jerky-jerkfaces.

I'm glad there are a handful of active users with opposing viewpoints in Metafilter, and I wish there were more. St. Alia has a point of view that is not-so-very-uncommon outside of the screens we're staring at, and she's capable of stating her point of view in a relatively intelligent and civilized manner. There are a lot of topics that come up on the blue where "that one guy" who disagrees with the general consensus is dismissed automatically as a troll - because he's the only one who disagrees with everyone else. That's not a terribly healthy way to approach an issue. I'd much rather have a few more St. Alias around. I learn a lot more about difficult subjects from listening to different opinions than from "OH MY GOD FUCKING DIE, YOU FUCKS!" or "Fuck, Texas. I mean.....just......FUUUUCK!!!"
posted by Dojie at 2:14 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


There is a lot more to MetaFilter than just the political debates. St.Alia pops up all over and there usually isn't problem since in those cases she's just another friendly face.

This is something I've noticed as well, especially when she posts or answers questions on AskMe. I've been struck by the fact that on the green she's just a regular poster, one who gets favorites and open agreement on occasion, whereas her presence on the blue seems more...heated, maybe? It just seems like there's so much more nit-picking of her on the blue, even of comments that seem fairly innocuous. It's like people can't resist needing to have something to disagree with her over, as if lack of vehement opposition to her every comment means you're endorsing her politics.

(Which, by the way, obviously isn't true, and just makes certain threads uglier to read than they would otherwise be.)

I wonder if that's because there is a population of AskMe users who don't hang out on the blue and don't know she's someone to be shunned? I don't know.

(Disclaimer that I myself do not agree with her politics, etc. etc. whatever.)
posted by Salieri at 2:16 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm pretty sure that's why she's here though; if she didn't get a bonfire to throw her strawmen on every day, they'd start piling up, and then there'd be rats and whatever else feeds on old strawmen.

If that's really why s/he's here, then disengagement would be the most effective method to getting him/her to go away, wouldn't it?

I'm glad to see that the Aliapileon will no longer be acceptable here in MeFi. I am wondering, however, how it will be handled from now on. Immediate removal to MeTa? Deletion of posts contending with Alia? I think one of the main reasons anyone engages with Alia in the first place is because they don't like to see comments of obvious religious bias and ignorance stand unchallenged on the Blue. So how will this be circumnavigated in the future?
posted by hippybear at 2:17 PM on January 7, 2010


"Fuck, Texas. I mean.....just......FUUUUCK!!!"

I didn't read that comment as particularly bad. I thought it was like saying "fuck, dude" when you find your friend strung out on the floor after you thought he'd beaten smack. Y'know just "fuuuuuuck, dude." Hella sad y'know?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm tired of talking about pie, let's talk about BBQ.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:19 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think she literally does not know better than to enter discussions the way she does and have discussions the way she does. Okay. If that's true, where do we go from there? No one is asking you to pretend that anyone is not a bigot. We're asking you to not get in big huge fights with people who you think are bigots because you don't like the way their minds work. You can engage with her on facebook or wherever she hangs out if you want to have a personal discussion with her.

Are you suggesting we not engage in MeTa? Has she passed some annoyance threshold? One of the nice things about MeFi is you get called out for being an idiot when you say something that's completely moronic. It's not like someone should get a free pass publicly once we've all established that they can't offer anything to the conversation. Repeating massive derails over and over in the blue is super annoying, but it's the judicious use of MeTa that should take care of that, not the explicit directive to avoid engaging a specific person. I mean, if someone wants to have a knock down drag out flameout on MeTa whenever St. Alia posts something I'm actually okay with that.
posted by scrutiny at 2:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I engage Alia, which isn't often, I try to address her points and not her person. But mostly I try to be okay with that fact that there is somebody on the Internet who is wrong about things.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:22 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm tired of talking about pie, let's talk about BBQ.


mmmmmmmmmmmm...
posted by ob at 2:23 PM on January 7, 2010


Cheater's barbeque sauce: one can enchilada sauce, half can ketchup.

Great stuff.
posted by lysdexic at 2:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


One can enchilada sauce, but that doesn't mean one ought to.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


Immediate removal to MeTa? Deletion of posts contending with Alia?

What we've been doing over the last year or so is trying to use some judicious notes in-thread [and the occasional deletion] letting people know that if they want to have a fight with just one person, that's not really what MeFi is for. They can take those things to MeTa or they can go to email or elsewhere. That's pretty much in line with what it says under the comment box anyhow, we've just been a little more vigilant about it before it's gotten out of control.

I'm fine with people coming to Meta to have it out as well. That said, the old tar and feathering thing that MeTa represents to some people has shifted somewhat as well as the site has gotten bigger. Out-and-out savagery is not okay. This may be a change that some people aren't okay with and that's obviously open to debate.

This isn't something that we decided one day in some backroom star chamber, this is mostly just responding to people's comments and trying to find ways to manage a larger site somewhat better after some of the old ways of doing things didn't scale well. St. A doesn't get a free pass on saying whatever she wants either, but her comments are measured more or less the same way everyone else's are with a few caveats which I've mentioned before.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cheater's barbeque sauce: one can enchilada sauce, half can ketchup. Great stuff.

This may be the most perniciously evil, wrong, and offensive thing ever posted to MetaTalk.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


...but that doesn't mean one ought to.

And now I spend the rest of the day coming up with what "enchilada" can be a euphemism for. Right off the bat I realize something important; I've got a dirty, dirty mind.
posted by quin at 2:33 PM on January 7, 2010


I didn't read that comment as particularly bad. I thought it was like saying "fuck, dude" when you find your friend strung out on the floor after you thought he'd beaten smack. Y'know just "fuuuuuuck, dude." Hella sad y'know?

That wasn't meant as an example of a "big-old-jerky-jerkface." But it's not something that particularly contributes to an intelligent discussion of an issue either.

And seriously??? You want to talk BBQ in a callout from a Texas-Hate-Fest??? Doesn't that seem a bit wrong to you?
posted by Dojie at 2:33 PM on January 7, 2010


This may be the most perniciously evil, wrong, and offensive thing ever posted to MetaTalk.

I think Dan Brown is a more insightful writer than Cormac McCarthy.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


but I would caution people to be 200% more gentle with her than their first impulse.

I agree, which is why I almost never ever engage her anymore, and on the rare occassions that I do, it's far more neutrally than I'm first inclined to. But in truth, I think a lot of what is and was in that thread IS people trying to tone it down, because that's how mad they are at her. part of that is certainly their overreaction to anything she says, but part of it is how legitimately infuriating she is.

We don't have any specific rules about banning people for going after other members of the site but sometimes I feel like we should. There are literally 5-8 people who do this all the time and most people never do it at all.

I don't want to sound like I'm trying to justify the overreactions to alia (because, y'know, two wrongs don't make a right, etc..) but howsabout we start banning people who have consistently been problems on the site for years, oh say maybe because they're unapologetic bigots who have refused to tone down their problematic behavior despite changing screen names twice so far? I'm all for brand new days, but there are enough people here who didn't even REALIZE she's konolia/bunnyfire who still get set off by her nonsense that it's myopic to think the problem isn't actually her.

I do not believe that St. Alia is a very clever troll. I think she literally does not know better than to enter discussions the way she does and have discussions the way she does.

just to be clear: being a troll is not the yardstick by which we measure bad behavior, right? I mean, while you'll always find someone willing to accuse another user they don't like of being a troll, that's not the entirety of the problem, here. We can all wave her behavior away by saying "well, she really does believe the shit she spews," but THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM. It's worse because she means it, because she's spouting prejudiced, ignorant nonsense under this "oh well maybe I'm just too adorably provincial" banner, and it ruins threads every single time. The only capitulation we've ever gotten out of her was that she FINALLY stopped going into askme threads telling gay people they're going to hell. WHEW! man, I don't know about you, but I'd like to think that we demand maybe just a little bit more out of our users. If it's fair to ask Chyme to tone down the high volume sarcasm (and it is) then it's more than fair to start really talking about what to do about St. Alia.

anyone who cares to can go through my posting history and see I've kept from really going at it with her for a while, now, and the mods can attest that there aren't any deleted comments of me going at it with her, either. This is not me making excuses for the bad behavior of others. I really just honestly think that her schtick is not okay any more. She's a toxic influence on this site, and she's had more than her fair share of brand new days.
posted by shmegegge at 2:35 PM on January 7, 2010 [36 favorites]


I think Hitler was handsome.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:35 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm all out of popcorn. Time to start on the tarragon and soy sauce.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:36 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


She's a toxic influence on this site

She's a toxic influence for people who can't handle the fact that someone is WRONG on the INTERNET.
posted by GuyZero at 2:37 PM on January 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


I am unfamiliar with the concept that it's ok to call someone "wrong" on something that isn't concrete...say, newton's second law or something, or maybe a syntactical grammatical construction.

But I think in and of itself, "wrong" is a construction of your frame of reference, which you earned through the sum of your experiences.

Ergo, MeTa or MeFi, calling someone "wrong" is...well, kinda tacky, no?
posted by TomMelee at 2:38 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a little confused. I read OC's comments all the time (I know him; we live in the same city), and it's been my observation that, particularly over the past several months, he's changed his focus, largely in response to requests from the mods. His comments still over the top in tone, yes, but they are, with the exception of the one in this thread, not directed at other members of the site, but rather about the subject of the post.

And yet, despite this change, he gets called out, particularly by you, jessamyn. I get your point about not using slurs, etc., in a satirical way, but the majority of his comments don't do that. To me, it seems like he's getting flak for his style (which, for the record, I usually enjoy), and no credit for the changes he's made.

What am I missing?
posted by ocherdraco at 2:39 PM on January 7, 2010 [22 favorites]


Ergo, MeTa or MeFi, calling someone "wrong" is...well, kinda tacky, no?

It's a reference.
posted by GuyZero at 2:41 PM on January 7, 2010


I thought the drama around here was going to decrease significantly once dirtynumbangelboy split.

If St. Alia of the Bunnies flames out in this thread, I think it's safe to assume that she's really jenleigh, and dirtynumbangelboy is really dhoyt, and y2karl is poised to make the best MetaTalk post ever.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 2:41 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can of ketchup? Bottle o' corn. I gotta get out more.
posted by vapidave at 2:42 PM on January 7, 2010


Mayhaps for you, GZ, but...uh.. that doesn't make it any less tacky.
posted by TomMelee at 2:42 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh huh. So who did I say was wrong exactly?
posted by GuyZero at 2:43 PM on January 7, 2010


Cheater's barbeque sauce: one can enchilada sauce, half can ketchup. Great stuff.

Come to North Carolina and call anything with that on it barbecue. Someone will literally KILL YOU, and no jury will ever convict.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [20 favorites]


I'm glad there are a handful of active users with opposing viewpoints in Metafilter, and I wish there were more.

I'm curious about how many there are. For example, conventional, Main Street relatively moderate Republicans. (A dying breed, I realize.) Carol Schwartz types, if you are in the DC area. Or old-school Barry Goldwater conservatives who abhor the religious right. I mean reasonable, thinking, good solid citizens. There was a poster a while back who said GHWB was "not a bad president at all." I can't remember who, though. They didn't get attacked for it, in posts anyway.

I imagine such people lurk, or stay on the green. I'm glad I'm there, advising on thyroid stuff, fashion colors, WWI books, and all.
posted by jgirl at 2:45 PM on January 7, 2010


She's a toxic influence on this site

Nowhere near as toxic as the spittle brigade.
posted by GeekAnimator at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


ProTip: I wasn't just talking to you, or even just about this thread. You aren't the first (or the last) person to use that phrase, you may or may not be the first to use it sarcastically.

I'm commenting on calling people wrong, much more so than I'm commenting on the posts in question, because I didn't even read them. (horrors!)

MeTa is a fun animal because you have people trying to participate in A Very Serious Conversation interspersed with minimally well known Meme's, sarcasm, HAMBURGER, and whatever else anyone feels like they need to interject randomly.
posted by TomMelee at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2010


I think Hitler was handsome.

I've realized in the last couple of months that, while I've been growing my hair out longer, I've been pushing my bangs out of my eyes and off to the side. And then one day I noticed; I have Hitler's haircut.

Fuck. I guess I won't be getting that Chaplin mustache now.
posted by quin at 2:49 PM on January 7, 2010


jessamyn - if/when you're down for ALA next week, I'll buy you a beer. Dewey Knows I need some reason to trek down into the city besides listening to boring, desperate spiels from 3M!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:50 PM on January 7, 2010


Who the hell buys ketchup in a can??
posted by mudpuppie at 2:51 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone who wants two gallons of it.
posted by GuyZero at 2:52 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


ocherdraco - he used a slur in an awful way in this thread and when jessamyn asked him to stop he tried to defend it with some sort of "but other people do it too!" nonsense. should the mods just ignore his bad behavior because most of the time (these days) he's an alright chap? your point is even further muddled by the fact that OC is comfortable using St Alia's past user history under different names to strengthen his position.

(fwiw, i also find his style to be funny when i notice it - i was just a little dumbstruck by his slur today and think the mods were very right to bring that up, especially since we're not even a week out from the big flame out a few threads down)
posted by nadawi at 2:53 PM on January 7, 2010


Oh, actually Heinz sells it in #10 cans which are about 13 cups which is less than a gallon. My bad.
posted by GuyZero at 2:56 PM on January 7, 2010


I don't disagree with you about the slur, nadawi. That's not what I'm talking about; I'm asking about a string of callouts, not just this one.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:56 PM on January 7, 2010


I could see how you would be confused based on your dumb, ugly children, though.

You got a spit-take from me. Well done.
posted by davejay at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2010


St. Alia has a point of view that is not-so-very-uncommon outside of the screens we're staring at, and she's capable of stating her point of view in a relatively intelligent and civilized manner.

Actually she's not, and that's one of the problems and, at least the way I perceive it, one of the reasons she gets people so riled up. When people try to engage with her in a respectful manner and address her with points, backed up by facts, that counter her beliefs, or ask her difficult ethical questions brought up by her professed beliefs, she will either completely ignore the most important arguments or questions and latch on to little nit picky problems of phrasing or word choice made by those addressing her to base her "counterarguments" on, or will alternatively choose to argue with people who have already lost their cool and ignore the people making rational, salient arguments.

It's a well known strategy of debate, and she's hardly the only person on the site who does this, but (at least in the last few threads I read on the blue that she participated in, and note that the one this MeTa is about is not one of those) she does it consistently and in an especially egregious manner.

This is what I've considered calling her out on before, but I've come to the conclusion that it would really do no good. I don't think she's ignoring the most damning evidence against and biggest problems with her professed views on purpose; I think she's like a fake computer in a movie that gets a data input and flashes "DOES NOT COMPUTE" across the screen before going back to whatever it was doing before. It's not that she's intentionally ignoring them, its that stuff that conflicts with her deeply held world view gets unconsciously edited out of existence, which is why she doesn't respond to such questions, and why she never shows up in political FPPs that are primarily fact based or have really unequivocal demonstrations of people being hurt by certain sets of right-wing ideology. It's not really her fault,
posted by Caduceus at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2010 [38 favorites]


TomMelee: “I am unfamiliar with the concept that it's ok to call someone "wrong" on something that isn't concrete...say, newton's second law or something, or maybe a syntactical grammatical construction. But I think in and of itself, "wrong" is a construction of your frame of reference, which you earned through the sum of your experiences. Ergo, MeTa or MeFi, calling someone "wrong" is...well, kinda tacky, no?”

Heh. You can think that, but you'd be wrong. I especially like your designation "something that isn't concrete"—ponder for a moment exactly how you'd draw that distinction. Is love concrete? Is justice concrete? I can't actually tell if you're saying that Newton's Second Law is concrete or not, but... well, yes, lots of other things are concrete. To say that it's good to murder innocent people for fun is wrong. To say that Newton's Second Law of Motion is that "an object in motion stays in motion" is wrong. To say that 2 added to 2 equals 5 is wrong. Nowadays people are often afraid to say so, because we're very sensitive to what other people think, but people can't avoid having opinions, and an honest discussion has to deal with the fact that by nature human beings believe there are a lot of things that are wrong.

You might be able to dispute this essentially in some way, a la Wittgenstein. But in fact the fun thing about Wittgenstein is that he's really a contradiction; you couldn't actually dispute rightness or wrongness. If you really believed that this is something whereof we cannot speak, you'd just have to remain silent. And no conversation's very fun if everybody just remains silent, is it?
posted by koeselitz at 3:01 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


That should have been a period at the end, there. Or as our British friends like to refer to them, a full stop.
posted by Caduceus at 3:02 PM on January 7, 2010


Who the hell buys ketchup in a can??

That makes it a lot easier to dip my filet mignon.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:03 PM on January 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


Also, for the record: I generally think the mods do an excellent job of modding, and put up with a ton of shit from us. I would not be as good at doing their jobs as they are, and I know it.

But the way OC has been treated lately, despite what from my perspective looks like quite a bit of shaping up, has been bothering me over the past few months (it's really the only thing the mods have done that's truly bothered me), so I thought I'd speak up.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:03 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have similar but less stringent beliefs about using your children as a rhetorical football and then objecting when the punt is returned...

Ah, memories when John Kerry was blasted by the Cheney's for bringing up the fact that their daughter, Mary, is a lesbian.
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm asking about a string of callouts, not just this one.

then aren't you doing just what you're accusing jessamyn of doing? you're taking her to task in this thread for something you agree was just because of how she behaved before. if you have a problem with previous callouts, shouldn't you have approached them then instead of now where she seems to be totally appropriate in her "please don't"?
posted by nadawi at 3:05 PM on January 7, 2010


That makes it a lot easier to dip my filet mignon.

And are you one who mixes his 18-year old Glenmorangie with Ginger Ale?
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


then aren't you doing just what you're accusing jessamyn of doing? you're taking her to task in this thread for something you agree was just because of how she behaved before.

well, the difference is that chyme has been taken to task a lot recently, despite having improved in the areas he's been asked to, whereas ocherdraco is simply asking jessamyn to recognize that this once.

as in, she's asking this once, not that she's saying "just recognize it this one time."
posted by shmegegge at 3:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I consider myself a moderate. I do think that I have moved more to the middle since becoming MeFi obsessed in late 2006, or maybe I'm just learning to recognize my true opinions about things. I'm in the suburban South, born and raised and you just don't get much difference of opinion around here. Now, I'm in that weird, moderate place. I think that the extreme religious right is a cancer, but I'm not comfortable with extreme liberal politics either. I'm 1000% for Gay rights, I'm a small business owner who is responsible for supporting 30 families so I'm still rather fiscally conservative, and my views on abortion rights have become more liberal since reading the blue. I homeschool my children, not for any religious agenda or because I have an affliction for prairie skirts, because my local options, public and private are not good enough. And, homeschooling is an amazing option and probably what we will do until we are done. My husband gave me Lady Gaga tickets for Christmas, I sat right behind Akon , Kim Zolciack's boobs rested on my head and her bratty kid told me to move over because she couldn't see over me (true story). I highlight my hair, I'm too fat and I HATE wal-mart. I also agree that people's treatment of S Alia around here keep differing opinions from being shared. I know that I have kept quiet at times, even when I really wanted to jump into the fray. Sometimes you are wrong, sometimes you are right and sometimes you just are. All I can do is keep trying to improve myself and not get all twisted because someone else feels differently.
posted by pearlybob at 3:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


shouldn't you have approached them then instead (nadawi)

Maybe. But I didn't. Sorry?

Perhaps my frustration is ill timed, but I'm frustrated all the same.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:08 PM on January 7, 2010


I often compose rebuttal comments to many regular posters whose comments get under my skin. I have a full head of steam built up, and then I realize - some people really, really like to stir shit up and are really, really good at it. Why give them what they want? I try* to never post those comments.

*sometimes I do, anyway. what the hell.
posted by pinky at 3:10 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


And seriously??? You want to talk BBQ in a callout from a Texas-Hate-Fest??? Doesn't that seem a bit wrong to you?

How was the thread a Texas-Hate-Fest? People-in-Texas-succeeding-in-instilling-misinformation-and-revisionist-history-that-is-rooted-in-ignorance-Hate-Fest, OK, but a plain ol' Texas-Hate-Fest how?
posted by defenestration at 3:11 PM on January 7, 2010


If I ever get banned - and sadly, I am all but certain that that Ragnarok is in some ways inevitable

Goodnight Meigon
Artist: Billy Joel

We met as troll-mates,
On MetaProjects
We left as in-grates,
devoid of lo-gic.
And we were snark!
As snark as gays!
and we were so gung ho to post to our graves.

We came in man-ic,
with leftist la-bels.
We left in pan-ic,
accounts dis-a-bled.
And we learned fast,
to flag as noise!
ASCII art to pick the men from the boys.

We posted so-ber.
We posted sod-den.
They sent us favor-ites.
They gave us straw-men.
We dug in deep!
And argued hard!
And took every possible opportunity to call Cory Doctorow a 'tard.

(Chorus)
And we would all get banned together.
We said we'd all get banned together.
Yes, we would all get banned together.

We called them Hit-lers,
and flew the Pink Flag.
Quick with the dick slurs,
and ironic Blink tags.
And we had time...
had time to kill!
We read cor-tex-'s de-le-tions
and we laughed at the trea-son
and we promised the ad-mins we'd chill.

(Chorus)
And we would all get banned together.
We said we'd all get banned together.
Yes, we would all get banned together.

Remember Greg Nog?
He fell in la-va.
I posted goat-se,
it broke my Ja-va.
And who was light,
and who was dark?
It didn't matter long as we were not Fark.
posted by Damn That Television at 3:13 PM on January 7, 2010 [36 favorites]


(repeat chorus until flameout)
posted by Damn That Television at 3:15 PM on January 7, 2010


And see Koes you demonstrate the other metafilter creature, which is the one where you take something said that you really don't have any basis to argue with, trump up your language and sound fancy, and then argue for the sake of hearing your own prattle.

You know darn well what I meant, and you even illustrated it in your response.

I think, if you're "calling someone out" and you actually have any REAL interest in "changing their mind" that you focus your language in a less confrontational manner that doesn't make you come off like a glaring prick.

"Alia, I see that you said X and Y, and I disagree with X because of A and Y because of B, and I really feel strongly about this." is a lot different than "Alia, you are WRONG because X and Y, when everybody knows that A and B are the real truth."

Especially, especially, ESPECIALLY, when A,B,X, and Y are..say, OPINIONS, regardless of how popular or unpopular they may be.

It has nothing to do with polite discourse, I don't give two rotten apples from the bottom of a barrel of chlamydia about politness or hurting other peoples feelings---if anything I care very little for peoples feelings.

I just believe that it's a false dichotomy to come off all "but really I just wanted to engage this person about the core levels of their belief structure" when what you're actually doing is the opposite of something they'd respond to.

See, I'll split hairs with you. A few months ago (maybe less) I got called out in MeTa for the statement that "sometimes people need to die." That may be wrong for you, but it's absolutely unquestionably right for me. I don't agree with Alia, but I'll take it one step further and say that I don't agree with *any* homeschooling, with lots of exciting personal anecdotes from my experiences in education and childcare---but I'd never say she was "wrong" for her motivations. Like I said, I don't care one whit about your feelings any more than you care about mine (hopefully very little), but don't spout altruism and behave selfishly.
posted by TomMelee at 3:19 PM on January 7, 2010


if you have a problem with previous callouts, shouldn't you have approached them then

Well, sometimes there isn't even a call-out to address, because comments just vanish and that's it. Case by case they're often not anything I'd make a big deal out of, but... I do think that where OC's concerned, there's a bit of bias against comments that seem even remotely iffy.

I have nothing but respect for you, Jessamyn -- the hard decisions you make and the tone you've cultivated for the site(s) require more impartiality than I could ever summon. But I can't help feeling that your annoyance with OC has made you a little hasty to delete his comments, sometimes (in my opinion) questionably.

I'm not weighing in on this particular case, I'm still catching up on the threads in question. But I agree with ocherdraco that OC has seemed to morph a bit over the months in response to mod reactions (and deletions). While he may still seem to be one of your problem children, I think he's more sensitive to your feedback than certain other provocative members, and I don't think that pre-emptive deletion of borderline comments is necessarily the best way to go. Certain people find ways of being far more obnoxious than OC while staying well within the rules, and honestly I find that far more insidious. His style doesn't really bother me, and while on the surface his words might seem unnecessarily provocative, the underlying message is often quite lucid. People are grownups here, and they need to learn for themselves what bait is worth taking. (That goes for OC too, of course...)

(Granted, I don't have access to the flag queue, so I can't question your prerogative too intensely.)
posted by hermitosis at 3:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


But the way OC has been treated lately, despite what from my perspective looks like quite a bit of shaping up, has been bothering me over the past few months (it's really the only thing the mods have done that's truly bothered me), so I thought I'd speak up.

The weird irony is that OC and St. Alia are (along with a number of other folks, to be clear) both outliers in common in some ways: they're long-time, high-visibility members who despite I think having a pretty solid grasp of how this place does and should work have habitually kind of pushed it, in their own specific ways.

We're not trying to pick on OC or anything, and where he's working on his behavior we appreciate the hell out of that. I think he's a good contributor when he's not being a bad contributor, and I think that's most of the time. But the bad can be fairly bad, and when it's something that seems to happen again and again and the person knows better, that gets to be a problem. I'd rather most of the discussion of that sort of thing from a mod perspective happen on private channels, but it doesn't always work out that way and that we've talked to him a bit more in public than I think we'd prefer to in an ideal universe is something I can appreciate as coming off as weird or needling or shaming or something. It's not really by design.

St. Alia, for all the critical things I could say about her behavior past and present, hasn't actually been hitting the radar that much in terms of overt fight-starting behavior lately. Not never, but not much, and we have talked to her when it's seemed like A Thing. I think she's lousy to argue with, personally, and I pretty much avoid it when I can, but at this point the problems we see that relate to her seem mostly to have to do with people willfully reacting to her out of proportion with anything in particular she's done. The weight of site history seems to amplify people's reactions to almost any innocuous if banal or unlikeable thing she has to say.

We have talked to both of them in the past, as well as other people. We will continue to do so if we see stuff that seems like habitual, recurring problematic behavior. There's not really a more specific thing to say here; we're not going to suddenly start banning people a lot more freely than we have historically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:22 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think she's lousy to argue with, personally, and I pretty much avoid it when I can

I suspect that she's only only member who isn't here for an argument.

she's looking for contradiction, down the hall, on the right...
posted by GuyZero at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


A few months ago (maybe less) I got called out in MeTa...

There needs to be some sort of Godwin's Law of MeTa where the longer a thread goes, the chances of some completely unrelated axe coming out to get ground goes to 1.
posted by GuyZero at 3:28 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie: "It's just like an Australian to say something like that"

What do you expect from a country whose motto is a threat?
posted by team lowkey at 3:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heh, GuyZero, I think you're on to something (tangentially, at least), that I've been thinking for awhile. Metafilter needs a bit less Cleese/Chapman confrontation and a bit more Palin/Jones weirdness, Idle wordplay, and Gilliam OH SHIT HOW MUCH DID I TAKE???.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


This site has given me more chances than I probably deserve. As near as I can tell St. Alia doesn't intend to push buttons, but I could be wrong. If people can grant me that Brand New Day, and many have, I don't see any reason not to do the same for St. Alia. A little forgiveness makes the world a bit less ugly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:32 PM on January 7, 2010 [23 favorites]


You'd think it was a site policy to chase people off with sticks for not thinking like everyone else.

It seems that way to me also. I think its called harrassment.

There was a brand new day ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:33 PM on January 7, 2010


Metafilter needs... a bit more... Idle wordplay

I'm pretty sure you're not new here.

Wait, Idle wordplay or idle wordplay? Because we have lots of the latter already.
posted by GuyZero at 3:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am unfamiliar with the concept that it's ok to call someone "wrong" on something that isn't concrete...

Really? You've never encountered a religion? Or a fandom? Or a discussion about sports teams? A philosophy class?

I don't know if you need to get out more or I need to get out less, but we are definitely getting different broadcast channels on our life TVs.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:35 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


something I can appreciate as coming off as weird or needling or shaming or something. (cortex)

As hermitosis said, one of the things that comes off this way the most is when OC's comments disappear, even when their content isn't objectional or confrontational. I don't know how often this has happened exactly, but it's happened enough that I noticed it (sometimes because a comment I favorited disappeared).

I know y'all generally don't give reasons when you delete comments, and I'm not suggesting you start doing that. But, to me anyway, deletions (and callouts) for this particular user have seemed overzealous lately.

It's not really by design. (cortex)

I know it isn't; that's part of why I wanted to say something. Because this pattern I've noticed isn't by design, y'all might not have realized how it was coming across (at least to some mefites).

Thanks for responding; I appreciate it.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:39 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


As far as how I feel about all this, since I'm certain everyone here is just dying to know:

I think all of this has been a pretty good illustration of what arrogant, self-important, ponderous, rug-burned pricks you liberals can be sometimes. A person mentioned her son, maybe in an unfortunate mistake—and all you could think to do was fall all over yourselves and trash him to try to prove your point. As if that could possibly prove anything. As if St Alia of the Bunnies was about to respond, saying, "verily, I have seen the liberal light, and I have henceforth cut off my son and forsworn him."

Every day I talk to someone or read something that speaks with this supposedly high-minded tone, indicating that anyone with half a brain and a quarter-ounce of human decency must agree with what I say now. Liberals have no monopoly on arrogance or cruelty, but the more pretentious strain of it seems to be a particularly liberal thing now, maybe because George W Bush made all liberals feel as though they had every right to be arrogant and crude in defense of their cause;—indeed, that it was their duty to spare no one. And what bugs me the most about this is that the characteristic liberal disdain doesn't even have the dignity of a Rush Limbaugh or a Glenn Beck. At least Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck lash out publicly, saying what they think and making their outrageous and ridiculous claims for all the world to see and refute. But most liberals hide behind a veil of kindness and humanitarianism, shielding their really angry and bitter thoughts behind a facade of equity and humility. Until it comes out in the most anonymous of situations: hence the prevalence of all-out liberal hate on the internet. Everybody likes to feel like they're right in their opinions, and liberals are no different; the internet just affords them the only place where they can say what they think and still keep their precious facade of humanitarian decency.

I made it clear, in between what I said in that thread, how I feel about St Alia, and what I think of her saying she trusts an image of the USAFA because she heard it from him. I think that's silly; I think it's utterly unfair to judge an important public institution like that on the basis of who you know. Moreover, while I am unlike just about everyone else in that thread in that I realize that piling on someone rarely changes minds, I think this is somewhat symptomatic of the mistakes conservatives, for their part, are prone to. In short, I know that there are problems with conservatism, too.

But human interaction can rarely be reduced to a binary in any productive way. Liberal? Conservative? It becomes more and more clear that politics, at least in democratic countries, is for the vast majority of people just a playground upon which they can play out the petty squabbles and childhood issues and inferiority complexes that dance in their heads. For most people, it isn't about "justice" or "the good" or "the right." It's just about using those words to act out their revenge on their own personified pain. St Alia has the knack for neatly personifying for many people their own repression, their own provinciality, their own small-mindedness and aloofness to facts; so when she is aloof to them, or distant with them, or otherwise ignores their "facts," they become enraged, and lashed out bitterly.

Now, I can say all this stuff here, but I try to stay out of those political threads because honestly I can't do it. To know how to say to someone that they're just playing out their own drama, or that they're letting the group dynamic impress its illogical arguments in their minds as sensible is something—this would be very difficult, I think. You'd have to be a very good judge of character, and you'd have to be able to project love to people even while telling them they're wrong. That's true politics—the art of the handling of human beings, the art of judging the waters of human discourse and knowing precisely what action to take at precisely what time in order to benefit everyone the most. I think we can start to get an image of true politics when we learn to let go of our group identifications and labels and accept the possibility that we might be wrong. For example, an expert in true politics could have given St Alia an answer which, in a paragraph or two, completely changed her mind and her perspective on the entire topic at hand; and yet she would have been just as prepared to accept that St Alia might have been right, after all.

But none of us here are really up to that yet. I'm not bad-mouthing you all, sincerely, but the group identifications you make are unfortunate at best—especially giving that they're totally unnecessary. I'm not perfect on this count, either, but I do realize that we really have to learn to let it go.
posted by koeselitz at 3:42 PM on January 7, 2010 [21 favorites]


This is something I've noticed as well, especially when she posts or answers questions on AskMe. I've been struck by the fact that on the green she's just a regular poster, one who gets favorites and open agreement on occasion, whereas her presence on the blue seems more...heated, maybe?

This is my favorite part of Ask and the site in general. It reminds me of the cartoon with the wolf and the sheepdog, and Ask is after the whistle blows.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]




UbuRoivas: “But stereotypes are one of the things that MetaFilter does well.”

Astro Zombie: “It's just like an Australian to say something like that.”

team lowkey: “What do you expect from a country whose motto is a threat?”

You know, I never thought about it, but now that you mention it, "FOSTERS: Australian for 'Beer'" actually is kind of threatening.
posted by koeselitz at 3:49 PM on January 7, 2010



I think all of this has been a pretty good illustration of what arrogant, self-important, ponderous, rug-burned pricks you liberals can be sometimes.


when you strike such a large brush stroke - it's pretty hard to listen or hear anything you say after that. "liberals" aren't a cohesive unit any more than "gays", "conservatives", "women", "americans", "boy scouts" or any other large group of people.
posted by nadawi at 3:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [20 favorites]


Everybody likes to feel like they're right in their opinions, and liberals are no different; the internet just affords them the only place where they can say what they think and still keep their precious facade of humanitarian decency.

But we are right.

I mean I'm kidding, a bit, but come on. Mainstream "Conservative" views in the U.S. are often insane, prehistoric, and will inevitably be proved wrong by history. Gay people aren't equal? Wrong. War-mongering is awesome and will bring democracy? Wrong.*

I'm all for people being civil, and it sucks when people pile on. But realistically, we are at a point in history where a major political party that a lot of people vote for is putting out insanely wrong, stupid, and immoral ideas. They're just as insane and wrong as slavery and segregation were. Both those things were *perfectly acceptable points of view* at one time. How did we get to the point where everyone (but the tiniest thousandth-of-a-percent fringe) considers these things utterly wrong? By people having opinions about what's right, and standing by them. Just because a lot of people currently have an opinion doesn't make it OK.

There's no wiggle room on this, and pointing that out does not make me as bad as Glenn Beck.


*Ok Obama is guilty on this too, but you know what I mean.

posted by drjimmy11 at 3:53 PM on January 7, 2010 [23 favorites]


I think all of this has been a pretty good illustration of what arrogant, self-important, ponderous, rug-burned pricks you liberals can be sometimes.

WAIT HOLY SHIT WHAT?

"You liberals are such dicks because you stereotype other people. That's what liberals do. Liberals liberals liberals."

My head, it is about to explode from the searing irony of this.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:54 PM on January 7, 2010 [41 favorites]


Or when you put "dignity", Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck together in a sentence.
posted by Partario at 3:54 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


koeselitz: I'm not bad-mouthing you all, sincerely,

Well, shit, that's a relief, because it sure sounded like it in those first few paragraphs of yours.
posted by Caduceus at 3:56 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh wow. Brand New Tangent, here we come.
posted by defenestration at 4:00 PM on January 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


I know it isn't; that's part of why I wanted to say something. Because this pattern I've noticed isn't by design, y'all might not have realized how it was coming across (at least to some mefites).

I don't have much to add to ocherdraco's comments, other than to say I've gradually noticed it, too, and it's bothered me as well. I also don't think it's conscious, and I also completely appreciate that the mods A) do an amazing job under sometimes very difficult circumstances, and B) are as human as the rest of us; I do think, however, that it's worth considering that the mods may have become just a skosh, well, kneejerky when it comes to Optimus Chyme. At least that's been my growing impression over the past several months, though I'd be hard-pressed to come up with anyone else I feel is getting the same treatment.

on preview: I think all of this has been a pretty good illustration of what arrogant, self-important, ponderous, rug-burned pricks you liberals can be sometimes.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Comedy. Gold.
posted by scody at 4:01 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:02 PM on January 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Yeah. I'm not saying your mother dresses you funny or anything, sincerely, but why is it you look like your digging for clams? And I'm not saying your wife is ugly or anything, sincerely, but I here she has to sneak up on a glass of water. I 'm not bad-mouthing you or anything, sincerely, but go cram a bowling pin up your ass sideways.
posted by tkchrist at 4:13 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


> But fuck that boring stuff because have you seen what precious Jaycen has been up to?
> First, he made two goals (that's right, fuckers, two) in his junior soccer game. Second, his
> younger sister Stephanyy is growing up so fast and beautifully! She's going to be a
> beautiful model or rich man's wife one day!!
>
> No, listen, this is about me. Me and my fascinating kids.
>
> Finally, science is gay and you are gay if you like science.
> posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:57 PM on January 7 [10 favorites +] [!]

Say, Optimus, you're improving. We must have gotten to you somehow. Got some pix of those kids?
posted by jfuller at 4:15 PM on January 7, 2010


I don't have much to add to ocherdraco's comments, other than to say I've gradually noticed it, too, and it's bothered me as well.

Ditto.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


and in case it wasn't obvious, fourthed.
posted by shmegegge at 4:23 PM on January 7, 2010


Off we go, into the wild blue yonder...dum dum dum, doo be do do
posted by fixedgear at 4:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


You guys realize she loves this shit, right? She's a big fat attention whore and people constantly play into her hands.
posted by bardic at 4:28 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think all of this has been a pretty good illustration of what arrogant, self-important, ponderous, rug-burned pricks you liberals can be sometimes

Lesson one of Metafilter: you're not a special wittle snowflake apart from the rest of the snowdrift. You're in here with the rest of us, and if you think attempts to create divides are good and healthy for the site, you should really think again. Stereotyping sucks dude.

FWIW, I think people are unnecessarily ragging on SAotB. The mods have clearly got a handle on her activity, and people are clearly overreacting to every comment she ever makes. Maybe if everyone just went and had a nice cup of tea, normal service could resume? That would be nice.
posted by saturnine at 4:29 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


How about some chocolate cake?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I see threads with St. Alia, I'm tempted to start defending her because of the horrific ad-hominem treatment that she gets. I couldn't disagree with her more, but at the same time, BY THE HAMMER OF THOR - the shit that gets directed at personally is, in my view, so much more toxic than what she expresses as general opinion.

Yes, yes, her general opinions are generally several thousand miles to the right of everyone else on the site, and yes, I personally find them to be awful. But she doesn't seem to be awful and people treating her like she's the AntiChrist (which is especially ironic given the non-Christian bent of the site) is obviously not helping anything.

Yeah, it's pretty bad when I'm tempted to stick up for someone who is pro-life and anti-gay marriage. Someone's going to revoke my Hampshire diploma if I don't cut this comment off RIGHT NOW.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:37 PM on January 7, 2010 [19 favorites]


“Nietzsche said ‘embrace your enemies.’ You aren't my enemies so I won't embrace you.”
– Mark E Smith

posted by koeselitz at 4:38 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Chocolate Cake it is!
posted by scody at 4:38 PM on January 7, 2010


What is the cure for bigoted people posting to MeFi?

How should we handle bigots on this site?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:40 PM on January 7, 2010


*steeples fingers*

*chuckles quietly to himself*

posted by Avenger at 4:41 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


What do you expect from a country whose motto is a threat?

What motto?!?? First I've ever heard of such a thing.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Australia has never adopted any official motto.

Perhaps it's an unofficial motto, to go with the unofficial anthem & unofficial flag.

(and i can just about see him going "i toldzh ya orreddy - foshtersh ISZH oshtrayn for beeyah!!!)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:46 PM on January 7, 2010


I think all of this has been a pretty good illustration of what arrogant, self-important, ponderous, rug-burned pricks you liberals can be sometimes

Lesson one of Metafilter: you're not a special wittle snowflake apart from the rest of the snowdrift. You're in here with the rest of us, and if you think attempts to create divides are good and healthy for the site, you should really think again. Stereotyping sucks dude.


Yeah, seriously.
[The] wicked [son], what does he say: What is this service to you? To you and not to himself. And because he separated him self from the community [he] rejects that which is essential.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's pretty bad when I'm tempted to stick up for someone who is pro-life and anti-gay marriage.

If that was the problem... there wouldn't necessarily BE a problem. Because one can address those issues like adults. With reason. I know plenty of people who hold those positions.

The problem is her argumentation is thoroughly dysfunctional and in practice dishonest. Whether by nature or by design (and that's the BIG elephant in this room that nobody is going to come out and say, right?). She doesn't remotely digest the reasoned responses she does get. Let alone the insults. There is no there, there.

I finally learned it's best to ignore her completely. Defending her is as futile as engaging her.
posted by tkchrist at 4:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


But I can't help feeling that your annoyance with OC has made you a little hasty to delete his comments, sometimes (in my opinion) questionably.

My feeling is that people who know OC personally, who know he's a right on guy who would give you the coat off of his back, may not have as much of a "how he is on the site if you don't know him personally" view of him. This is the view that I have and the view that most other people on the site have about him. Those people flag him, a lot.

I think it's true that his comments get deleted slightly more than they would if they were not made by him. I'm aware that this is, or looks, not fair. And without going too much into the inside baseball of the thing, this is basically what happens instead of him being banned for good.

He's said he's going to work on stuff, that's totally great. We're into it. We're psyched. We'll give him a chance to work on improving, which he's said he'd like to do, instead of just banning him. There is no one who is getting this same treatment because there is no one else on the site, literally no one, who says they want to make things work and yet still gets flagged and who we get email complaints about at the same level we do for him. Maybe this is because other people are in some way attenuated to him as well, I do not know.

I'm not sure what else to say about this. I have absolutely no doubt that he is a wonderful person, in person. I'll pay attention to the attention that I pay to him which is already, from my mod perspective, too much attention for any one site member which is, coincidentally, how I feel about StAotB.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:51 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


First, off I'm getting really fucking sick of these marathon MeTa threads that we seem to feel compelled to have on a daily basis lately.

Also, I'll agree with jessamyn that these individual pile-ons are tiresome and ugly. In the past I've participated in and even led a few of them, but over a decade of hanging around here, I've kind of lost my taste for them. I've been here a while, I know a lot of people here online and offline, I know their quirks and habits and hangups. There's been plenty of times where reading threads I've cooked up comments that would sting, make my point, give us all a few laughs and probably net me a fuckload of favorites, but y'know what? I delete them since I realize that I'd be hurting people's feelings needlessly, creating headaches for the admins and fucking up the atmosphere of the site, so it wouldn't be worth it. And as someone who's been on teh recieving end of this stuff, I can tell you that it does suck.

As far as bunnyfire/konolia/SAotB goes, there's a lot she says that I disagree with, even to the point of being offended by her, but on a personal level, I actually like her better than many of the people I agree with, for whatever that's worth, so I keep engaging in a constructive way. I am not asking that anyone else do the same, but I'd prefer that I not be hindered.
posted by jonmc at 4:51 PM on January 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


I admit with regret that I have gotten awfully fighty with SAotB on a couple of occasions when she has made posts that I interpreted as suggesting that a) I am not really a Christian and/or b) that people in my Christian spiritual tradition aren't really Christians.

I know this is not something I handle at all well, and I acknowledge that my interpretation of those posts may have been way waaaaay off because of my own hot buttons around this issue, and I was glad to take my lumps from mods about being out of line in those fighty moments, and as far as I'm concerned Brand New Day every day.

But it gets a little tough to take flak from both sides on this stuff. NOW I WILL GET OFF THE CROSS BECAUSE Y'ALL NEED THE WOOD.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:51 PM on January 7, 2010


OH, now it's on.

Big Daddy's Carolina BBQ Rib sauce - mostly mustard. Cool by me. I like to smother pork ribs in dark mustard and put it in a kettle and simmer it in dark beer for most of the afternoon. Good times. That jury can come by my house anytime.

What's in the typical tomato based BBQ sauce? Tomato, vinegar, salt, onions, garlic, sometimes sugar, sometimes cayenne. The really prissy folk talk about olives and bourbon and coffee I-don't-know-what, but IMNVHO, that precious fluid is going in me, not the sauce. You want it in the sauce? You cook it.

What's in enchilada sauce? Ground up red chiles, onions, garlic, salt, water, misc. spices.

What's in ketchup? Tomato, salt, vinegar, water.

Oh, what's this? Homemade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Recipe! First ingredient, a WHOLE BOTTLE of ketchup! I only proposed half a[n enchilada sauce] can! 8 ounces? I'm a piker!

And oh my god, don't get me started on a mayonnaise based BBQ sauce!

Oh, you talk about tolerance and diversity and celebrations of differences, but you're really all just as bigoted as the next foodie.

And that, ladies and gennelmen, is my recpie for delicious, tasty, homemade barbecue hamburger.
posted by lysdexic at 4:53 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Defending her is as futile as engaging her.

I agree. I'm just trying to say that I'm tempted to defend her - not that I actually do or even really could. Just that the tone of conversations gets so personal, so quickly that it's practically physically uncomfortable to sit by and watch.

I left the textbook thread as soon as I saw she had commented in it, not because I disagree with her or have any issue with her opinion at all, but because I knew EXACTLY how that was going to play out. And lo, here we are in this MeTa, so my spidey senses were correct on that one.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:53 PM on January 7, 2010


I engaged with her in that thread. I wish I hadn't.

jessamyn: I do not believe that St. Alia is a very clever troll. I think she literally does not know better than to enter discussions the way she does and have discussions the way she does. Okay. If that's true, where do we go from there?

fff: What is the cure for bigoted people posting to MeFi?

How should we handle bigots on this site?


Yes, where? What? How?
posted by box at 4:54 PM on January 7, 2010


Everybody needs a hug. It works for a reason.
posted by pearlybob at 4:55 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't koeselitz just pissed off at Liberal Internet Warriors for going after St. Alia's son? [Apparently because she has OMGterrible beliefs and that this is a fight we must win!@].

I must admit that I think it'd be nice if LIWs would stop being dicks, as they sometimes are.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:57 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


My big thing with konolia lately is that she doesn't really seem to want the Brand New Days she's had. She's still konolia, she still acts like konolia, and that she has stopped telling homosexuals that they're going to hell shouldn't be to her credit any more than feeding your children or not punching people in the face should be to your credit: it should be a basic condition of human interaction. As far as I can tell, her idea of the Brand New Day isn't a way of getting away from drama or whatever (as evidenced by the fact that it's no secret at all who she is), it's making sure the mods will yell at people who bring up her posting history. She's the epitome of a bad poster: offensive content, pretends when she argues to be dumber than she really is, contemptuous of the site. If her opinions were as far to the left as they are to the right, she'd have been banned years ago.

And honestly, since the mods seem uninterested in the actual content of postings, focusing instead on tone (calm racism/sexism/homophobia/[other viciousness] is fine, impassioned or angry responses to those things are not), I'm curious: are we supposed to, as posters, simply respond to such things as if they were normal, respectable opinions formed within a conceptual framework that respects the rights of all human beings to exist? Are we supposed to simply let such things stand? I'm baffled by the idea of respecting opinions which dehumanize the rest of the human race, by the idea of simply allowing to stand statements which piss on basic human decency.

Take this for example:
This makes me so sick I could puke.

I know there is a God in heaven that sees these shenanigans, and when payback time comes it's gonna be hell.
This was in response to the news that a trucking company had stranded their drivers on the road. Now, I'm right there with her on the idea that this was an epically shitty thing to do. But threatening the perpetrators with eternal damnation and hellfire seems like it ought to be beyond the pale. I'm not alone in that assessment, and several people, myself included, posted comments to that effect, with varying tones ranging from the cautious and calm to the over-the-top. Every single one was deleted with a note about fighting, even the inoffensive, and the original comment was left intact.

So what I've taken away from this- and if I'm wrong in this interpretation, I'm very curious as to what I was supposed to learn from this- is that calling for the eternal torment and torture of people who anger you is fine, and calling that a shitty thing to say is not. And this is hardly an isolated incident; over the years there has been a long-standing pattern of "saying a shitty thing is fine, saying it's shitty to say shitty things isn't". I'm not confident, as OC is, that I'm going to end up getting banned, but there's times that, no matter how much I like Metafilter, I seriously reconsider participating here, given this tendency.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:58 PM on January 7, 2010 [44 favorites]


I'll pay attention to the attention that I pay to him (jessamyn)

Thanks. I appreciate that.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:58 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm still trying to find a way to craft a comment where I too can call everybody rug-burned arrogant self-important pricks and not have it get deleted.

I'm having a problem working in the "rug-burned" part. Mostly because of the odd sexually submissive connotation. I don't want to leave out the population of you that consider your selves tops (though a good portion might be power bottoms). Such a conundrum.
posted by tkchrist at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


But threatening the perpetrators with eternal damnation and hellfire seems like it ought to be beyond the pale. I'm not alone in that assessment, and several people, myself included, posted comments to that effect, with varying tones ranging from the cautious and calm to the over-the-top. Every single one was deleted with a note about fighting, even the inoffensive, and the original comment was left intact.

I do think this is a good point--I don't think the site would suffer from a "no discussion of who's going to Hell" policy at all.

Unless we could convince Matt Groening to become MeFi's Own. In which case, all bets would be off.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2010


And lo, here we are in this MeTa, so my spidey senses were correct on that one.

We were bit by the same radioactive spider.
posted by tkchrist at 5:04 PM on January 7, 2010


I guess I should have read further: my questions are answered
Other folks have changed accounts but not managed to fly under the radar. St. Alia is clearly one of them, and insofar as that's down to her being either unwilling to or incapable of changing her way of communicating here enough to make it anything other than blindingly obvious who she is I can appreciate the frustration of people who feel like there's some sort of "la la la I can't hear you" thing going on with the new account/old account friction. But the fact is that not letting that go, not willfully taking the high road and letting old shit go, is unquestionably a crappy thing.
Apparently, the way we are to handle bigots and haters is to let them come back under a new alias and slip under the radar — unless they don't slip under the radar because they don't change their tune, in which case we are to let it go.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:06 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


This was in response to the news that a trucking company had stranded their drivers on the road. Now, I'm right there with her on the idea that this was an epically shitty thing to do. But threatening the perpetrators with eternal damnation and hellfire seems like it ought to be beyond the pale.

Come on, really?

I flagged a lot of those response posts in that tread because they were absurd. If anyone other than her said it, nobody would've batted an eyebrow. And they seriously threatened to derail the thread, whereas her comment was entirely understandable and appropriate in the context of the thread.

The responses were bratty, juvenile, and unbecoming of Metafilter members.
posted by mpbx at 5:11 PM on January 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


This was in response to the news that a trucking company had stranded their drivers on the road. Now, I'm right there with her on the idea that this was an epically shitty thing to do. But threatening the perpetrators with eternal damnation and hellfire seems like it ought to be beyond the pale. I'm not alone in that assessment, and several people, myself included, posted comments to that effect, with varying tones ranging from the cautious and calm to the over-the-top. Every single one was deleted with a note about fighting, even the inoffensive, and the original comment was left intact.

Honestly, PG, I've seen people on this site condemn to eternal damnation and hellfire people for using Comic Sans on their website. I'm pretty sure that people taking this comment from St. Alia and getting upset about it are very much attempting to pick a fight.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:11 PM on January 7, 2010 [24 favorites]


Pope Guilty, if you can actually see "eternal damnation and hellfire" in that little comment, then your monitor's got some kind of insane high-tech 10,000,000p HD Blu-Ray shit going on that I've never seen before.
posted by koeselitz at 5:11 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course, if you're an athiest as many people here are, threating someone with 'eternal hellfire and damnation' should bother you about as much as being threated with a visit from a herd of killer unicorns, but I doubt there'd be as much complaint.

I'm starting to think that you people actually enjoy this shit.
posted by jonmc at 5:14 PM on January 7, 2010 [23 favorites]


Why fret about being condemned to a fate that won't ever happen in a place that doesn't exist?

It's like freaking out over somebody giving you the jimmy eye. So what.
posted by tkchrist at 5:15 PM on January 7, 2010


Jonmc beat me to it.
posted by tkchrist at 5:15 PM on January 7, 2010


Defending her is as futile as engaging her.

And with that, we conclude this session of St. Aliashi Maru training.

You all fail.
posted by everichon at 5:16 PM on January 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Has anyone counted the number of gay users who have departed the site because Ms. Brand New Day has been allowed to spew her hateful opinions about them?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


jessamyn I'll pay attention to the attention that I pay to him

It sounds like recognizing countertransference and then working through it.
posted by mlis at 5:18 PM on January 7, 2010


The best discussions occur when both parties are equally willing to be wrong. This rarely happens in person, and is even rarer still on the internet. The fact that I can find it here at all is one of the reasons I really like this site.
posted by scrutiny at 5:19 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


My feeling is that people who know OC personally, who know he's a right on guy who would give you the coat off of his back, may not have as much of a "how he is on the site if you don't know him personally" view of him.

This is undoubtedly true. I just hope that those who haven't met him personally can take us in good faith that he really is a right excellent chap. If you're ever in NYC, try to meet up with him. It's be a fun, happy time. Either way, I'm thankful that you're taking ocherdraco's point seriously, so thanks to metafilter and to you in particular.

I'm never sure how much outside knowledge of a person really should affect how you view them online. I've had my issues with mefites, and had other users let me know that they're actually good folk. If I remember correctly, I've seen you come out in defense of mefites you know personally when they're under personal attack. (not saying you were attacking OC personally, btw) And at the end of the day, I think coming out in defense of someone that way is a Good Thing because it lowers that anonymous barrier a bit that sometimes allows us to behave in ways we wouldn't in person.

which is mostly just me thinking out loud, but there it is.
posted by shmegegge at 5:22 PM on January 7, 2010


Honestly, PG, I've seen people on this site condemn to eternal damnation and hellfire people for using Comic Sans on their website.

Those are not generally people who sincerely believe that hell exists and eternal torment actually does await people who make crappy web design choices. Those statements are obvious jokes. The individual in question, however, openly believes in hell and eternal damnation for sinners, and was very clearly not joking. She believes that people who do things like that deserve to burn forever.

If you think jokes and sincere statements should be treated identically, I don't know what to tell you.


Pope Guilty, if you can actually see "eternal damnation and hellfire" in that little comment, then your monitor's got some kind of insane high-tech 10,000,000p HD Blu-Ray shit going on that I've never seen before.

Really? I suppose your interpretation of that comment is that she talks about divine retribution and uses the word "hell" specifically because she thinks God's going to, what, come to them in the night and give them a light spanking? I know you're not stupid, so why are you pretending?


Of course, if you're an athiest as many people here are, threating someone with 'eternal hellfire and damnation' should bother you about as much as being threated with a visit from a herd of killer unicorns, but I doubt there'd be as much complaint.

Again, she is someone who sincerely believes in eternal and ultimate violence being visited upon people she thinks are immoral.

And even if it doesn't bother you, it bothers me to post somewhere where people talk about eternal torment and damnation being leveled against people they don't like. Whether that eternity of suffering is real or not, the fact that she very plainly wishes it on people is not conducive to this being a good place to read or post.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


This was in response to the news that a trucking company had stranded their drivers on the road. Now, I'm right there with her on the idea that this was an epically shitty thing to do. But threatening the perpetrators with eternal damnation and hellfire seems like it ought to be beyond the pale. I'm not alone in that assessment, and several people, myself included, posted comments to that effect, with varying tones ranging from the cautious and calm to the over-the-top. Every single one was deleted with a note about fighting, even the inoffensive, and the original comment was left intact.

I think invoking the physical or metaphysical consequences you'd like to see befall someone you're unimpressed with is usually a pretty meh contribution to a conversation, whether it's violence or hell or karma or whatever. I don't think it's necessarily or even generally a deletable thing to say, though.

I do think that a mention of Hell from St. Alia's byline gets a much more overt reaction than it would from a random user, or than other conversational wishes for cosmic justice in whatever form tend to, and that's a big part of where the crappiness that comes from responses-to-her lies.

I was just saying this in another thread: the crappiness of one person's behavior should not be the metric by which everybody else meters their own behavior. What you're asking boils down for me to "why aren't we allowed to make a mess of a thread when St. Alia says something that annoys us", and I don't know what to say other than to ask why on earth making a mess of a thread would be defensible behavior. That's not specific to her or to responses to her, and god knows I do not think she is blameless in the messes that have occurred in the past, but it's incumbent on folks to just kind of show some self-control and not keep doing that same goddam dance with her over and over.

Apparently, the way we are to handle bigots and haters is to let them come back under a new alias and slip under the radar — unless they don't slip under the radar because they don't change their tune, in which case we are to let it go.

I'd say the best way to deal with bigotry and hatred is to deal with it as civilly and productively as you can when it manifests itself, and to try and keep that as cleanly separated form cult-of-personality vendettas as possible. I do not think that is really what's happening with the long weird ugly pain-in-the-ass history of the St. Alia interactions, and I don't think anybody comes out of what has happened and continues to happen looking very good.

We clean some of this shit up fairly proactively at this point because we don't want the site to be as much of a mess as it would be if we just gave up and didn't bother to intercede. Don't mistake that for us thinking this is an awesome state of affairs, but there are good and bad ways to deal with unpopular opinions and I think the overall arc of the St. Alia dynamic on the site is often a manifestly bad one that folks perpetuate more out of habit and dislike than any honest belief that they're making this site a better place through the decisions they make about how they interact with her.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


tkchrist: “I finally learned it's best to ignore her completely. Defending her is as futile as engaging her.”

Thank fuck those aren't the only three options.
posted by koeselitz at 5:24 PM on January 7, 2010


There is no one who is getting this same treatment because there is no one else on the site, literally no one, who says they want to make things work and yet still gets flagged and who we get email complaints about at the same level we do for him.

HELLO New Year's Resolution!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Has anyone counted the number of gay users who have departed the site because Ms. Brand New Day has been allowed to spew her hateful opinions about them?

You'd seriously storm out in a huff because someone who might not be in full posession of their faculties talks crazy talk?
posted by fixedgear at 5:26 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh good grief. Why are gay people better than the conservative Christians who have avoided the site because we say hateful things about them? Now we're choosing who's worth more for the site? Some sort of belief-system fantasy sports league?

Not everyone comes to MetaFilter for an argument. People are going to say things that others disagree with, sometimes very strongly. The standards of this community are based around behaviour, not about the absolute position of your thoughts.

Has anyone counted the number of gay users who have departed the site because Ms. Brand New Day has been allowed to spew her hateful opinions about them?

Aggrieved group                          
Vegetable                          

How many (Aggrieved Group) have departed the site because of the (vegetable) people spew at them?

It's MetaFilter MadLibs.
posted by GuyZero at 5:27 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


All I know is it's now fifteen months since myself and other MeFites asked St. Alia or whatever her incarnation was at the time to explain in a single thread why I can't call Michelle Malkin racist because she's Asian-American and what it meant that knowing someone who babysat John McCain's kids was "enough said."

That I'm still waiting for this elucidation, just a minor example of a rich tapestry of several thousand comments, pretty much sums up why there seem to be so many frustrated comments directed toward her. In my seven or so years on MetaFilter, why one particular poster has been given extraordinary amnesty from the requirement to explain their own arguments remains the biggest mystery of the entire site.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:29 PM on January 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


Wait, Len Bias' nickname was 'Frosty'?
posted by box at 5:29 PM on January 7, 2010


And even if it doesn't bother you, it bothers me to post somewhere where people talk about eternal torment and damnation being leveled against people they don't like.

Dude, I see these two and a few other fanatics, religius political and otherwise, on an almost daily basis. If I wanted to avoid extremes in thinking I'd have to never leave the house.
posted by jonmc at 5:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


If her opinions were as far to the left as they are to the right, she'd have been banned years ago. . . .

Take this for example:
"This makes me so sick I could puke.

I know there is a God in heaven that sees these shenanigans, and when payback time comes it's gonna be hell."



If that is the best you could dig up I think you need to us a different axe.
posted by nola at 5:31 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


How many (Aggrieved Group) have departed the site because of the (vegetable) people spew at them?

Oh I know I know! How many (celiac disease sufferers) have departed the site because of the (wheat) people spew at them?
posted by jock@law at 5:33 PM on January 7, 2010


I am compelled to point out that Fosters is actually Australian for "cold fountain of slightly carbonated piss, spewing into your throat." You can't even buy it at a bottle shop, most of the time (thank god).

If anything, THIS would be Australian for beer. Personally, I think it's simply a less-watery, more acrid variety of urine - morning piss if you will. But when you're a teenager, 2 tall-ies for 5 bucks is almost unbeatable.
posted by smoke at 5:33 PM on January 7, 2010


In my seven or so years on MetaFilter, why one particular poster has been given extraordinary amnesty from the requirement to explain their own arguments remains the biggest mystery of the entire site.

Everyone has that amnesty. There is no such requirement. It's poor conversation and poor manners to not explain your arguments, certainly, but that's a far cry from being against any sort of site rules.

The generally good, engaged argumentation that happens on metafilter is a product of site culture and some amount of happy chance, not the result of any kind of entrance exam or an anthropomorphic dog standing at the front gate holding out a hand and saying You Must Be This Good At Conversation To Enter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


Pope Guilty: “Really? I suppose your interpretation of that comment is that she talks about divine retribution and uses the word ‘hell’ specifically because she thinks God's going to, what, come to them in the night and give them a light spanking? I know you're not stupid, so why are you pretending?”

Heh. Well, she was being vehement in her disgust. My ex-wife (god rest her soul) used to curse people thusly: "fuck him with a chainsaw" - under her breath, with vehemence. Not that she'd actually do that, nor that she even thought that should be done to anybody (fucking hell) but in a moment of disgust inspired, say, by vastly traumatic corporate malfaesance (like the situation at hand) she might say that, yeah. Lots of people might.

And I haven't talked about this with St Alia, so I don't want to speak for her, but I have a feeling that in her contemplative moments she wouldn't say that she actually believes that God rains down judgment upon corporate shits merely because of single acts like that, as awful as they may be; and that she'd agree that damnation, as well as salvation, are complex enough and important enough to make weighing in on the judgment of another person a pretty hasty thing to do. In short, she'd agree that she had no idea what went on between God and those guys in the end, no matter how awful the action was.

Although, frankly, I feel sympathy. That was my reaction on reading that article, too, and I feel pretty strongly that most human beings aren't really the sort of saints that wouldn't feel that way. I don't say that the kind of holy human being who does not feel malice or wrath toward any creature whatsoever isn't possible, or that it isn't worth striving to be free of malice; but let's be honest, Pope: you and me? We're not that kind of Saint. When we read about Bernard Madoff or Dick Cheney, we think: "fuck this guy." And in the case you've brought up, so did Alia.
posted by koeselitz at 5:38 PM on January 7, 2010


an anthropomorphic dog standing at the front gate holding out a hand and saying You Must Be This Good At Conversation To Enter

HELLO SITE MASCOT
posted by scody at 5:38 PM on January 7, 2010 [37 favorites]


I am tired of you. This sort of "let me parody the other side using the crappy language that makes people mad when they use it" is actually part of the problem.

There seems to be a problem with this line of thinking, and that problem is maybe behind the sense of disconnect I have regarding OC's comment and the mod response it elicited.

First off, it's hard to imagine parody and satire as not depending on some form of mimicry or intimation, and so it's hard to imagine a parody of the sort OC was engaged in that would not employ such crappy language or crappy concepts.

Second, there is the further implication in that comment that one ought only satirize things that one likes or support, and that one ought not parody bigoted views. Not only would that remove an interesting way of dealing with views one strongly disagrees with; it would also make this site a rather fucking boring read.
posted by rudster at 5:39 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


You'd seriously storm out in a huff because someone who might not be in full posession of their faculties talks crazy talk?

That Metafilter allows crazy hateful talk to stand means that some people- many of whom have been victimized using that sort of talk, and many of whom find such talk offensive- will not read or post here. The mods have to decide whether or not this is a place where crazy hateful talk is acceptable, and what kinds of responses to that are acceptable, and it is my experience that crazy hateful talk is, in and of itself, far more acceptable to and tolerated by the moderators here than responses to it.


Why are gay people better than the conservative Christians who have avoided the site because we say hateful things about them?

Can you seriously not distinguish between hate groups spewing bile and invective against people for no reason other than bigotry and people responding to that hate? Is there not enough racism and homophobia and sexism on Metafilter already that we need more conservative Christians in the room?


If that is the best you could dig up I think you need to us a different axe.

In the one statement I am referring to her entire posting history. In the next I am referring explicitly to a particular instantiation of what makes her a blight on Metafilter because that particular example is fresh in my mind. I could sit down and spend a day poring over her thousands of comments looking for the perfect gotcha pullquote, but she is simply not worth wasting that much of time on.


What you're asking boils down for me to "why aren't we allowed to make a mess of a thread when St. Alia says something that annoys us", and I don't know what to say other than to ask why on earth making a mess of a thread would be defensible behavior.

See, the disconnect here is that I think "people I don't like should be tortured forever" is worse than "wishing eternal damnation upon the people you don't like is bad", and it seems to me that the moderators are more comfortable letting the first stand than the second. I'm not saying "let me be as bad as konolia". I'm saying "if I'm going to get things deleted because they're bad, why are you letting things that are far worse stand?"

Website moderation involves deleting things which are beyond a certain level of terrible- the art of it is in determining which things are beyond that point. I don't have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is that obnoxiously hateful and offensive speech- the aforementioned crazy hateful talk- is judged to be far less terrible than people saying that there's something wrong with it. This establishes, in my opinion, an atmosphere on the site which is welcoming to bigots and which can alienate not only the targets of bigotry but those who find bigotry offensive. If bigots are a more valued membership for Metafilter than the other groups, fine. Say it out loud, instead of sending a coded message through the moderation as it is performed, and I'll stop posting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:40 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh good grief. Why are gay people better than the conservative Christians who have avoided the site because we say hateful things about them?

Because when I say a mean thing about a conservative christian it's always about something they've said or done and not about who they are or who they've fallen in love with. I try to be civil and speak in complete sentences and stuff, but the christian homophobia really does get to me because it seriously hurts people. To her credit, St. Alia has seriously toned it down on this subject and I'm not calling for her to leave or anything, but I do think that I'd rather have a gay MeFite sight unseen than a conservative christian one. I don't see a person's position on gay rights as simply a personal political choice that's entitled to the same due consideration as any other political choice because I've seen the harm that the conservative position on the subject wreaks. Opposing gay rights hurts people and I'm not always inclined to be nice about it.

We've got these two groups of people, gay people and conservative christians, and one is doing harm to the other. Not only that, but the group doing the harm is actually winning the political fight in most places. So, yeah, I'd rather have this site be a place where the persecuted feel a little more welcome than their persecutors.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:41 PM on January 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


Not everyone comes to MetaFilter for an argument.

Indeed not. I came here for abuse!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


> But we are right.

I mean I'm kidding, a bit,


No you're not, really. And that's koeselitz's point. The overwhelming mass of liberal/progressive thinkers on this site is so sure of its rightness it doesn't realize how smug and self-satisfied it is, and how easily it gangs up on "wrong thinking." 'Cause it's really wrong! Right? And we're really right, right?

When I encounter that kind of groupthink I want to dig up my childhood copy of Six Crises and start quoting Nixon at you till you all turn blue in the face and fall over from sheer outrage.
Cromwell's rule, named by statistician Dennis Lindley, states that one should avoid using prior probabilities of 0 or 1, except when applied to statements that are logically true or false.... The reference is to Oliver Cromwell, who famously wrote to the synod of the Church of Scotland on August 5, 1650 saying
I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.
Seriously, think it possible that you may be mistaken.
posted by languagehat at 5:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [44 favorites]


I don't say that the kind of holy human being who does not feel malice or wrath toward any creature whatsoever isn't possible, or that it isn't worth striving to be free of malice; but let's be honest, Pope: you and me? We're not that kind of Saint. When we read about Bernard Madoff or Dick Cheney, we think: "fuck this guy." And in the case you've brought up, so did Alia.

But nor are we specifically invoking the worst thing that can possibly happen to a person and wishing it on them.

I dunno; I've lamented that I sometimes think I take other people's religious beliefs more seriously than they do. It's my understanding that she sincerely believes in hellfire. If I had that belief, I imagine I'd be awfully careful about invoking that kind of imagery. Shit, I don't have to imagine: I was raised believing in the reality of that sort of thing, and because of the sheer horror and gravity of the concept, I took it seriously, as something you wouldn't lightly discuss. Does she both believe in horrifying divine retribution and take it so unseriously as to be something you'd go to a public place and talk lightly about it so that other people can hear her doing it?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


pretty much sums up why there seem to be so many frustrated comments directed toward her

I think they're frustrated because they can't convince her that she's wrong. She's an affront, in their eyes, to their reality and only be getting her to admit that she's wrong and they're right will they derive a measure of peace.

There are more interesting things to talk about.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:49 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


> If bigots are a more valued membership for Metafilter than the other groups, fine. Say it out loud, instead of sending a coded message through the moderation as it is performed, and I'll stop posting.

Oh for fuck's sake.
posted by languagehat at 5:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [16 favorites]


Oh, the poor ghettoized conservatives. They get so marginalized. And not only here!

If only they could get their own media empires to voice their views separate from the choking smog of liberal self-righteous rug-burned hate. If only they too had the power to implement policies that could give life to their wold views.

It's such an unfair world we live in where the liberal progressive tyranny crushes in it's cold iron fist the delicate unprotected fledgling of right wing conservatism.

We must nurture these poor tiny frightened creatures and press them to our bosom. Not ignore them.
posted by tkchrist at 5:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


Let's not get into a metaphysical argument here, I don't think the mods should be trying to determine whether people's statements of faith about the afterlife are properly grounded in the ethics of the living world.
posted by mpbx at 5:51 PM on January 7, 2010


only be getting her to admit that she's wrong and they're right will they derive a measure of peace.

No really. She admitted she finally thought Sarah Palin was a terrible candidate. And people still engage her.
posted by tkchrist at 5:52 PM on January 7, 2010


Is there not enough racism and homophobia and sexism on Metafilter already that we need more conservative Christians in the room?

If you're assuming that all conservative Christians are racist, homophobic, and sexist, you're doing this "not being a jerkface" thing wrong.

No, I'm not arguing we open up the wackadoo Jerry Falwell floodgates, but man, for every Christian I know whose mind is like that whole camel/needle thing when it comes to "other" people (I heard a good friend of mine, who is a Christian, and who I hadn't spoken to in years use the terms "towelhead" and "chink" in all honesty and I honestly didn't know what parallel universe I had woken up in where people actually still DID that) - I know Christians who are queer activists, radical feminists, and generally awesome people.

Can we all come to the agreement that jerks are jerks and people shouldn't be jerks and leave all this nit-picking about sub-jerk groups aside?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:52 PM on January 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


one ought not parody bigoted views.

I'm aware that it's treading on thin ice, but our general opinion is that casual racist/sexist/homophobic talk doesn't seem to scale well. That is, I know that OC is making a joke and most people in MeTa probably do.

That said, there's a huge thread also in MeTa right now where people are arguing about how much casual homophobic-sounding statements should one person be allowed to make before people call them on it. People who think their satire/parodistic intents are crystal clear when they make "bitch had it coming" statements are often wrong. And all the women and men on the site get to read "bitch had it coming" and some will laugh and some will shake their head at the fact that this sort of joke is still considered amusing in mixed company. And some may go to MetaTalk and some may just leave.

I'm personally not worried that the site will become dull if people can't make rape and holocaust and "no tickeee no washee" jokes. Language is vast and malleable. If that's the only tool in your box, you need a bigger box.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:53 PM on January 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


If bigots are a more valued membership for Metafilter than the other groups, fine.

Oh whatever the fuck, man. I probably agree with you more than St. Alia about just about any social or political issue we could name, and you should in any case know full well what bullshit the implication that the mod staff is on the side of the bigots is.

That people can't or won't get the fuck over their desire to go after St. Alia on the site in large part because of who she is is an issue independent of the specific politics. It is enormously frustrating to have to return constantly to the fact that her having unpopular opinions and a worldview that a lot of folks here, me included, don't much agree with, is not grounds for people acting crappily.

There is no point at which a mefite is officially too incorrect in their worldview to be protected by the general community expectations here that people will behave like adults and be halfway decent to each other. St. Alia is so far from having been granted carte blanche to do whatever she wants on the site that it's crazymaking to be treated like we're pampering her when we simply ask people not to overtly act like jerks.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:53 PM on January 7, 2010 [26 favorites]


I know Christians who are queer activists, radical feminists, and generally awesome people.

And are these conservative Christians?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:53 PM on January 7, 2010


I've stopped worrying about St. A ever since I realized that she was very like a relative of mine (who says many of the same things, much to my embarrassment), who does his best to shield himself from all viewpoints that differ from his own - and that way can feel that of course he's in the right about such things, and of course in the majority. Folks like that really don't want to change, and as much as they say they're interested in your opinion they'd really just rather say their piece and not think about the world in any different way. This relative of mine's children and the rest of the family don't agree with his views, and in fact live very differently. So I guess what I'm saying is - keep St. A's kids and family out of it, they may be nothing like her. (I think my relative would be shocked that his children aren't, but then children often turn out very differently than their parents think.)

As a Christian it used to really bother me that she'd do that damning to hell stuff as if she spoke for God personally - and as if that's all there was to the religion, you disagree with me and bam, God kills you off. Then I realized that no one here (who followed her posts) really thought she represented mainstream Christianity - it's the outlier thing in action, and most folk know that. As a Christian happily married to an atheist - it is completely possible for people with different worldviews to get along, and accept each others' beliefs. So I've learned/am learning to smile at the atheist vs. Christianity/religion threads and not get all hot and bothered. Not that it doesn't frustrate me, I just sit on my hands, and read. Sometimes it's ok just to listen/read others words and ponder.
posted by batgrlHG at 5:57 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder how Guilty ever got elected pope in the first place!
posted by mpbx at 5:58 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Why are gay people better than the conservative Christians who have avoided the site because we say hateful things about them?

Can you seriously not distinguish between hate groups spewing bile and invective against people for no reason other than bigotry and people responding to that hate? Is there not enough racism and homophobia and sexism on Metafilter already that we need more conservative Christians in the room?


Conservative Christian <> hate group/racist/homophobe/sexist.

Having spent most of my life in the Bible Belt, I have known many good, decent, loving considerate, intelligent, compassionate conservative Christians. We won't see many of them active here because of this attitude. Are there asshole conservative Christians? Yes. Absolutely. I've run into plenty of them too. And they're obviously highly visible. But I've run into some asshole gays too. Some people are dicks. Most people aren't. Christians too.

posted by Dojie at 5:58 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


Why are gay people better than the conservative Christians who have avoided the site because we say hateful things about them

Gay people are better than homophobes.

Not all conservative Christians are homophobes.

As someone who self-identifies as Christian, I get fucking tired of the LOLXIANS shit.

As someone who self-identifies as bisexual, I get fucking tired of the GOD HATES FAGS shit.

The thing is that right now, homophobes are passing anti-gay legislation under the guise of being Christians. Nobody is passing anti-Christian legislation under the guise of being gay.

Therefore, homophobia posing as Christianity is a real danger to me, whereas anti-Christianity posing as gay activism is not.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:59 PM on January 7, 2010 [25 favorites]


Conservative Christian <> hate group/racist/homophobe/sexist.

I agree completely with this.

However, there is no group that self-identifies as "protecting gay values" that is funding anti-Christian legislation. There are groups that self-identify as "protecting Christian values" that fund anti-gay legislation.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:00 PM on January 7, 2010


And are these conservative Christians?

I'm not getting into this hair-splitting "Christians are ok until they're not" thing. No way, no how.

It wouldn't be ok for "Jews are ok, but not CONSERVATIVE Jews. Muslims are ok, but not CONSERVATIVE Muslims. Atheists are ok, but not CONSERVATIVE atheists. Taoists are fine, but I can't think of what a conservative Taoist would even look like." so I'm going to stand by my previous statement that it's not ok to be a jerk and there's no justification for that, but we should never presume someone IS a jerk before they've gone and stuck their feet in their mouth - just like there are plenty of queer feminist activists who are ALSO sometimes, total jerks! Group identification does not predispose one to or prevent one from engaging in interpersonal assholery!

Look at me, I'm a Buddhist and I'm bugging myself right about now! I'm going to call it a night!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:01 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


If I had that belief, I imagine I'd be awfully careful about invoking that kind of imagery. Shit, I don't have to imagine: I was raised believing in the reality of that sort of thing, and because of the sheer horror and gravity of the concept, I took it seriously, as something you wouldn't lightly discuss

With all due respect, I think this is a lack of imagination on your own part. "If I believed A, I would therefore think B and never say C, and this is proof that someone else means D." The fact that you were raised in that belief doesn't mean that you know how St. A (or anyone, for that matter) thinks.

Again, not speaking for her. I have no idea what she's thinking or what she meant by that statement, although I'm inclined to interpret it differently than you did. It just seems to me an awfully limiting way to interpret other people's words by making assumptions that the way you would think applies to everyone.
posted by Salieri at 6:01 PM on January 7, 2010


GuyZero: “Oh good grief. Why are gay people better than the conservative Christians who have avoided the site because we say hateful things about them?”

Pope Guilty: “Can you seriously not distinguish between hate groups spewing bile and invective against people for no reason other than bigotry and people responding to that hate? Is there not enough racism and homophobia and sexism on Metafilter already that we need more conservative Christians in the room?”

PG, if you really see a relationship of simple identity between "conservative Christians" and "hate groups spewing bile and invective against people for no reason other than bigotry," then it makes sense that you'd want St Alia of the Bunnies and any other conservative Christian on the site banned forthwith. But may I gently suggest that you might be artificially hemming in your mental circumference by putting any perspective which disagrees with you in the "morally wrong" category? St Alia said a few things here, once upon a time, which offended a lot of us; that was an ordeal, but we dealt with it, and it's long been done with. So in the name of—what, trucking executives who feel unwelcome on metafilter?—you're trying to say that she's still a vile bigot. Well, yes, if your definition of "vile bigot" is "conservative Christian," then Alia's certainly a vile bigot. But that seems like an odd definition to me.
posted by koeselitz at 6:02 PM on January 7, 2010


PS: I'm not getting into this on a "group" level, which yeah, is a whole bees nest unto itself and Sidhedevil makes good points about legislative funding, I'm merely talking about personal interactions based on self-reported identification as members of certain groups.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:04 PM on January 7, 2010


And if your definition of 'vile bigot' is 'homophobe'?
posted by box at 6:06 PM on January 7, 2010


Are there asshole conservative Christians? Yes. Absolutely. I've run into plenty of them too. And they're obviously highly visible. But I've run into some asshole gays too. Some people are dicks. Most people aren't. Christians too.

The asshole gays did not vote on a bill to deny conservative Christians the same rights as everyone else. If I could bet on it I would say that when your good, decent, loving considerate, intelligent, compassionate conservative Christian friends went into the ballot box, if and when it ever came up in their state, they did vote to deprive the gays (nice and asshole alike) of the same rights as everyone else. Right there, there's harm done. Conservative Christian might not necessarily mean homophobe, but it's enough evidence to suspect.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 6:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Therefore, homophobia posing as Christianity is a real danger to me, whereas anti-Christianity posing as gay activism is not.

Exactly. And let's state the facts clearly. It's not "christian" it's Right Wing Conservatism, which is really a front for a very narrow set of powerful interests, using religion and bigotry as a despicable dominant political mechanism. So when people decry the need for more "alternative" voices on the site, and claim "group think" (at least politically) I have to call complete bullshit. This site IS the alternative. Jesus Christ. Liberality will eat it self with this divisive bullshit wringing our hand about how we must feel we're too right. For fuck sake liberalism is the only ideology in this contry actually even debating if they are right or not. And it would be something IF we had "conservatism" but we don't. We have EXTREME right-wing conservatism. And they have been on the wrong side of every major historical issue since Civil Rights. So fuck this criticism that we don't question our "rightness" values shit. Questioning is part of the ideology and how we arrive at our policy choices in the first place. And sorry, how is giving people equal rights ever worth considering to be "wrong."
posted by tkchrist at 6:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [23 favorites]


Having an issue with homophobia is not the same as having an issue with Christianity of any flavor.

Saying that any stranger is going to Hell for being gay is homophobia, not Christianity. The only place it would possibly be appropriate to tell someone that they were committing a sin with their personal sexual choices would be in a discussion with that person, when both parties were having a serious discourse about their interpretation of their own spiritual beliefs.

It is not appropriate in a public discussion to say "You are going to Hell" any more than it is appropriate to say, in a public discussion, "You have cancer." Making a spiritual diagnosis should, if one is a follower of a spiritual tradition, be taken at least as seriously as making a medical diagnosis.

As a Christian myself, I take this really seriously. There are lots of Bible verses to support this, though I have been told that We Don't Do That Here, so I'm not doing that here.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:09 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


"keep St. A's kids and family out of it"

Kind of hard to do when she regales us with the cutesy-racist terms she uses to label her mixed race grandchild.

It's all about St. A all the time and she's fapping to this thread. She loves this shit. And she plays the mods like violins.
posted by bardic at 6:09 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


you should in any case know full well what bullshit the implication that the mod staff is on the side of the bigots is.

I'm open to the possibility that it's an unintended result of inconsistent moderation. But if that's true, "please make the moderation more consistent" shouldn't be met with such hostility and mischaracterization.


I have known many good, decent, loving considerate, intelligent, compassionate conservative Christians.

What was it that made them good, decent, loving, considerate, intelligent, and compassionate? Do you simply regard a person's political and religious beliefs as being irrelevant to your evaluation of them?

For that matter, how are you people defining "Conservative Christian"? My understanding of it involves conservative moral and political positions. Are there conservative Christians out there who are just fine and dandy with homosexuality, abortion, feminism, comprehensive sex ed, the separation of church and state, welfare, and other religions being in the public discourse? If so, why use the term "conservative Christian"? How does it have any meaning whatsoever?


Saying that any stranger is going to Hell for being gay is homophobia, not Christianity.

This is total Scotsmanism. It's both Christianity and homophobia. There are non-Christian homophobes, Christian non-homophobes, and non-Christian homophobes, and there are also Christian homophobes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


What I have a problem with is that obnoxiously hateful and offensive speech- the aforementioned crazy hateful talk- is judged to be far less terrible than people saying that there's something wrong with it. This establishes, in my opinion, an atmosphere on the site which is welcoming to bigots and which can alienate not only the targets of bigotry but those who find bigotry offensive.

Dude, this doesn't reflect reality at all. With all due respect you're just out of touch.
posted by nola at 6:16 PM on January 7, 2010


There's a lot of hate in this thread, and St. Alia hasn't posted in it once. I think this is a Metafilter problem that's bigger than just one member.
posted by mpbx at 6:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [15 favorites]







You don't have to rely on your beliefs in order to be an asshole.
posted by edgeways at 6:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: “I dunno; I've lamented that I sometimes think I take other people's religious beliefs more seriously than they do. It's my understanding that she sincerely believes in hellfire. If I had that belief, I imagine I'd be awfully careful about invoking that kind of imagery. Shit, I don't have to imagine: I was raised believing in the reality of that sort of thing, and because of the sheer horror and gravity of the concept, I took it seriously, as something you wouldn't lightly discuss. Does she both believe in horrifying divine retribution and take it so unseriously as to be something you'd go to a public place and talk lightly about it so that other people can hear her doing it?”

I believe pretty seriously in the importance of fucking. It may seem counterintuitive, but that's actually why, in my more emotional moments moments of wrath, I use the same words tell people to fuck off. Most human oaths are that way.
posted by koeselitz at 6:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


What I don't understand: there are many Mefites who identify as Christian, and some are members of denominations or sects whose leadership express views hardly different than St Alia's. Why are these members not subjected to the same level of vitriol that she is?
posted by a young man in spats at 6:19 PM on January 7, 2010


At a guess, because those MeFites don't tell us about the aforementioned racist nicknames they give their grandkids, and don't have a history of telling people they're bad and they're going to hell, and...
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:21 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now we're arguing semantics. How about this, it doesn't require a label: she's against gay people having the same rights she does, and knows—just knows—that they will be tortured for eternity in hellfire, as per the teachings of her religion. Since her adherence to her religion is born of dogma—a hard-and-fast belief system upon which she's built her entire life—it would not be foolish to argue that she very much hopes its all true. Therefore, she hopes these people will be tortured for eternity, too.

I'd say I'm pretty fucking right in saying she's wrong. Or perhaps that's just me being arrogant.
posted by defenestration at 6:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because they aren't serial assholes.
posted by bardic at 6:23 PM on January 7, 2010


As a Christian myself, I take this really seriously. There are lots of Bible verses to support this, though I have been told that We Don't Do That Here, so I'm not doing that here.

THANK YOU. Sincerely.
posted by zarq at 6:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guilty,

It should be pretty clear by this point in the thread that what you want, St. Alia's banning, is not going to come to pass. The mods also seem pretty dim on your desired changes to the way the site is moderated.

What do you hope to accomplish by continuing this line of discussion, and what do you intend to do once you've decided your work in this thread is done?
posted by mpbx at 6:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


- Saying that any stranger is going to Hell for being gay is homophobia, not Christianity.

- This is total Scotsmanism. It's both Christianity and homophobia. There are non-Christian homophobes, Christian non-homophobes, and non-Christian homophobes, and there are also Christian homophobes.


I failed to make the point I was trying to make; let me try again.

Saying someone going to Hell for being gay can be dismissed as appropriate public discourse on the basis of its being homophobia, without any need to determine whether or not it is an accurate interpretation of any religious tradition.

It should not be appropriate to say here or in any civil-society context, "I believe something really bad is going to happen to you because you are gay, and you deserve it because you are gay" whether that bad thing is torture in the afterlife or life imprisonment.

It is not being anti-Christian not to tolerate homophobia.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:25 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apparently this simple concept isn't getting through to people, including Alia herself:

St. Alia of the Bunnies isn't a target of opprobrium and vitriol for how she identifies or for who she is. She is a target for these things specifically because of how she has behaved on Metafilter, combined with her completely unrepentant attitude toward it. She's not being singled out for anything but what she herself has done here over the course of years. This idea that she is being unfairly picked on for her extra-Metafilter activities, beliefs, or behaviors is unfounded.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:27 PM on January 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


Apparently this simple concept isn't getting through to people, including Alia herself:

St. Alia of the Bunnies isn't a target of opprobrium and vitriol for how she identifies or for who she is. She is a target for these things specifically because of how she has behaved on Metafilter, combined with her completely unrepentant attitude toward it. She's not being singled out for anything but what she herself has done here over the course of years. This idea that she is being unfairly picked on for her extra-Metafilter activities, beliefs, or behaviors is unfounded.


People understand this. What you don't understand is that the opprobrium and vitriol serve no purpose. St. Alia has not left, and she has not changed. All the vitriol does is derail threads and lower the discourse here. It's time to take the high road.
posted by mpbx at 6:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mommmmm, St. Alia told me I'm going to Hell! Tell her to stop it!
posted by HopperFan at 6:31 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: you've been quite the asshat on a number of occasions also. Perhaps all the stone throwing is growing old right about now?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:32 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


She is a target for these things specifically because of how she has behaved on Metafilter, combined with her completely unrepentant attitude toward it.

So you don't believe in the "New Day" deal then? Because I haven't read anything by St. A that breaks with the "New Day" deal. So it would seem the nut of the matter is that you won't let sleeping dogs lie, and in fact are set on reading into any and everything she posts now and in the future? I'm seriously asking.
posted by nola at 6:32 PM on January 7, 2010


that big brush i spoke of earlier is just as tiring when wielded by those who fall on the same side of the political spectrum as i do. there is no "all X believe Y" in any group, especially when discussing politics and religion.
posted by nadawi at 6:32 PM on January 7, 2010


bardic: “Kind of hard to do when she regales us with the cutesy-racist terms she uses to label her mixed race grandchild. It's all about St. A all the time and she's fapping to this thread. She loves this shit. And she plays the mods like violins.”

And the monkeys that have just flown out of my ass all alight on the head of a pin, singing Handel's Messiah and dancing a fantastical mazurka.

Seriously, you're being a complete and utter prick. Much worse than the people in that thread. This sick masturbatory fantasy shit is utterly untenable; you seem intent on grabbing people's attention with it so you can inject all the old hostility into this conversation with anecdotes from the past, all the while saying nothing of substance about the subject at hand. If what you want is a grand rehearsal of every argument we've ever had about this person here, go ahead, but you're advised to note where a lot of those discussions ended up: nowhere. So fuck off if all you want to do is fan flames of hatred toward one particular person through recitations of their sins which mix the factual with the fictional with the perverse.
posted by koeselitz at 6:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


She is a target for these things specifically because of how she has behaved on Metafilter, combined with her completely unrepentant attitude toward it. She's not being singled out for anything but what she herself has done here over the course of years.

But no one should be a target on Metafilter. That's a fundamentally fucked up way to partake in and build a community. Either you tolerate, rehabilitate or remove a person. You don't turn them into a target for consistent flogging. It achieves nothing.
posted by saturnine at 6:34 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


So you don't believe in the "New Day" deal then?

As I've said, she doesn't appear to want a New Day for any reason other than so the mods will yell at people for bringing up her history. She's the same person- and the same MeFite- she always was.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:34 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Being intolerant of (and vitriolic toward) a whole group of people for something they have no control over = Acceptable behavior.

Being intolerant of (and vitriolic toward) a specific person because of views they hold = Unacceptable behavior.
posted by defenestration at 6:34 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Either you tolerate, rehabilitate or remove a person.

We are in complete agreement.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:35 PM on January 7, 2010


while i have hated many things that St Alia has said - bringing up her wish for assholes to rot in hell as evidence of outrageous behavior seems pretty weak. one would only have to peek in the jesse helms death thread and do a search for "hell" to see that the mods do not feel that wishing someone to hell is a problem, no matter what the poster's politics are.

this raised mormon-atheist right here doesn't really see a problem with the burn in hell comments, as to me it means as much as "damn you to santa's house to work in the elf shops!" it's just silly fairytale stuff.
posted by nadawi at 6:39 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm aware that the mods are getting grief about, or are concerned with the insinuation that, homophobes are running riot through mefi.

Nonetheless, to associate either OC's comment above or my point with advocacy of holocaust or rape jokes seems quite, quite unfair.

What is at stake for me here is whether there is another productive, interesting way of dealing with abrasively-opinionated or obstinately-biased persons with whom one strongly disagrees, apart from the civil form of engagement cortex has already advocated. Satire seems to be precisely such an alternative, even if its contributions and aims are much harder to pin down than civil discourse.

If it's thin ice we're on, my view is that the satirical voices in this community should not automatically be the first ones to dropped just to keep the rest high and dry.
posted by rudster at 6:41 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


People understand this. What you don't understand is that the opprobrium and vitriol serve no purpose. St. Alia has not left, and she has not changed. All the vitriol does is derail threads and lower the discourse here. It's time to take the high road.

I feel like I should say something, even though I engaged her in that thread without knowing her complete back story and tried not to be an ass. FWIW, until this thread, I was only aware that she was a politically conservative religious Christian.

I tried not to bring her son into it, despite the fact that she mentioned him first, and was using his experiences as an example. And when a couple of posters made comments that I thought were over the line, I flagged 'em. And said something like "what the hell, was that really necessary" to one of the commenters.

If I had known her back story... well, I doubt I'd have had the restraint to keep my mouth shut and not engage her. Gay bashing in any form infuriates me. But FIAMO would have been a smarter move than engaging her.

I'll keep that in mind in the future.
posted by zarq at 6:41 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


As I've said, she doesn't appear to want a New Day for any reason other than so the mods will yell at people for bringing up her history. She's the same person- and the same MeFite- she always was.

I'm willing to admit I haven't read all of her post but like I said I haven't seen anything from her pre St. A. that got her in trouble the other times. Maybe I'm missing something. She is the same person, her behavior here (it remains to be seen) is not the same. That is my contention; that she has been given a new day and her past is meant to be left in the past by those who respect the idea of giving people a fresh page. How she acts, not what she thinks in her dark little heart.
posted by nola at 6:42 PM on January 7, 2010


this raised mormon-atheist right here doesn't really see a problem with the burn in hell comments, as to me it means as much as "damn you to santa's house to work in the elf shops!" it's just silly fairytale stuff.
Those are not generally people who sincerely believe that hell exists and eternal torment actually does await people who make crappy web design choices. Those statements are obvious jokes. The individual in question, however, openly believes in hell and eternal damnation for sinners, and was very clearly not joking. She believes that people who do things like that deserve to burn forever.

If you think jokes and sincere statements should be treated identically, I don't know what to tell you.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:43 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Either you tolerate, rehabilitate or remove a person.

What does 'rehabilitate' mean in this context?
posted by box at 6:43 PM on January 7, 2010


I'd like to thank the people who put themselves on the line, mod-wise, to stick up for me. It is appreciated, truly.

I'm aware that some people think my entire post history is "honky grandma be trippin," but it's not, and I'll certainly put it up against the histories of people who have written "fuck you Matt [Haughey]," "I'm glad you have a stalker," "the mods and admins are uniformly terrible," and "I think it is ridiculous to think a gay person is unable to change [his or her sexual orientation]," all of whom are still non-banned members of this site. Also, not to get all *slams brew* *takes depositions* *nails hot babes* with you, but I have to go do some stuff so I can't hang out the rest of the night.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:46 PM on January 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


As person who was also raised around mentions of hellfire, I often heard phrases like "They'll get their comeuppance someday, mark you" and "The Lord has special plans for that sinner."

It was used seriously, but in a very casual manner. Today, I attach as much importance to such statements as they properly deserve - which is to say, none.
posted by HopperFan at 6:49 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Also, not to get all *slams brew* *takes depositions* *nails hot babes* with you, but I have to go do some stuff so I can't hang out the rest of the night."

Have a good time, Pauly D!
posted by HopperFan at 6:51 PM on January 7, 2010


my view is that the satirical voices in this community should not automatically be the first ones to dropped just to keep the rest high and dry.

Also, not to get all *slams brew* *takes depositions* *nails hot babes*

rudster, I totally hear what you're saying but as someone who would prefer that the "nails hot babes" quotient on MeFi were closer to zero and who has now read it satirically twice in three days, I'm sort of wondering where the line is usefully drawn?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think there's something uniquely horrifying about a culture where a sincere "people I don't like are going to hell to be murdered and tortured forever" sentiment is casually tossed off like that. The sheer dehumanization of it is boggling.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:52 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


What is the cure for bigoted people posting to MeFi?

How should we handle bigots on this site?


Is there something bigoted about saying that textbooks are crap and that her son had to be well-educated to get into the USAFA? I'm not sure I understand how attacks in that thread can be justified with reference to her posting history generally.

Also, OC makes me pee my pants. There have to be extra MeFi points for that to make up for the, er, less advisable stuff.
posted by palliser at 6:53 PM on January 7, 2010


And she plays the mods like violins.

This is so much bullshit and it's getting tiresome to hear it and versions of it repeated over and over.
posted by fixedgear at 6:58 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


as someone who would prefer that the "nails hot babes" quotient on MeFi were closer to zero

Wait, closer to? I had no idea this was even an option...God, I've been doing MetaFilter all WRONG!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:58 PM on January 7, 2010


What if OC wasn't being satirical and his "hot babe nailing" was ordained by a sacred text?

Would you hold his sincere sexism against him at a later date? Or just his satirical sexism, because he should know better. And, if that's the case, shouldn't everyone have to know better, including Alia?
posted by defenestration at 7:00 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've had personal beef with konolia/St.Alia ever since she popped into a friend's anonymous question about getting an abortion--a question that at no point ever evinced an iota of ambiguity about the decision to get an abortion, only a question about the medical procedure itself--with the groundbreaking news that a couple in North Carolina were looking to adopt. And I honestly don't know how I should treat someone with civility when they espouse abhorrent views such as hating people based on sexual preference. Her bigotry is equaled only by her dialectic refusal to ever engage anyone in a thread with a shred of reason. She offers anecdotes about what Ralph thinks, she mentions something someone said to her at the gym about Sarah, she spouts Biblical hellfire about gays and then licks her wounds when people compare her homophobia to racism. She is willfully incendiary and yet refuses to elucidate her viewpoints.

Metafilter isn't my living room, I know, but the ongoing presence of a zealous gay-basher masquerading as a folksy gramma has been this site's one glaring letdown. I will engage with any of the other high-profile conservatives on this site about welfare, the military-industrial complex and public health care. I will even attempt to discuss homophobia with a homophobic person who comes to the table equipped with arguments. That woman has done neither, and it's only because she entertains the latest bigotry-du-jour, a hatred that will be shockingly gauche in the next 20 years, that she remains on this site.

Konolia, you and I are from the same town. I lived in FayetteNam and went to Alma Easom Elementary School and Max Abbott Middle School. I know your kind. I know that hatred, because I was taught to think the same thing you did. I'm a military brat from Pope Air Force base, and I remember men at my dinnertable laughing about how they'd rid the world of fags with kerosene and rope. You cloak your hatred in Biblical ideology rather than cavalier bravura and it makes you slippery and palatable to the mods and to the liberal apologists, but I know who you are.

You are the latter-day equivalent to a racist, and every ignorant comment you've made in your long, long history on this site reminds me why I don't go back to Fayetteville.
posted by zoomorphic at 7:00 PM on January 7, 2010 [77 favorites]


I'm aware that some people think my entire post history is "honky grandma be trippin," but it's not, and I'll certainly put it up against the histories of people who have written "fuck you Matt [Haughey]," "I'm glad you have a stalker," "the mods and admins are uniformly terrible," and "I think it is ridiculous to think a gay person is unable to change [his or her sexual orientation]," all of whom are still non-banned members of this site.

Way to set that bar high.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:00 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I often wish, sometimes out loud, that horrible things would happen to people that have done things that I think are cruel or evil, like the guy who shot his dogs in the head rather than board them for two weeks while he took a cruise.

If that happens in some afterlife that I don't actually believe in, super. I would prefer for it to happen here so I can enjoy some schadenfreude.
posted by HopperFan at 7:05 PM on January 7, 2010


Yeah, HopperFan, but she wants that to happen to people who just happened to be born gay. You must understand the difference?
posted by defenestration at 7:06 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you think jokes and sincere statements should be treated identically, I don't know what to tell you.

i think it's probably better to ignore the toddler yelling about fairy tales as i know they aren't true.


things i think the mods should care about : people making personal attacks that wish harm on members of the site, no matter what fairytale it's wrapped up in.

things i think are people just looking for a fight : getting mad at DIAF (be they direct or mythological) comments towards idiot corporations and racist politicians.
posted by nadawi at 7:07 PM on January 7, 2010


Do you simply regard a person's political and religious beliefs as being irrelevant to your evaluation of them?

Personally, yes. Yes, I do. A person's political and religious beliefs are their own business. I'm not going to agree with someone with diametrically opposed beliefs, but they're not any less of a person for it. Your beliefs are not relevant, to me, to whether or not I think you're awesome - it's how you act on those beliefs that is the salient thing.

Deciding what you think about someone based on their political and religious affiliations is a very narrowminded point of view, but you don't seem to mind if others dismiss you out of hand, so I suppose it doesn't seem unreasonable to you to do the same thing. Fair enough, but while I think you're being somewhat facetious here, I'm going to answer your question honestly because not everyone on this site has the same "If you're conservative, I don't want to hear your opinion" bias.

I'm down with anyone's opinion in a good faith discussion - so long as we can all, in the end, hug or drink beers or hug beers or whatever, that's fine with me.

Actual political action is a different matter, of course, and not something that I feel is relevant to MetaFilter as a site, being as it does not have - and I'm grateful for it - a stated liberal purpose.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think there's something uniquely horrifying about a culture where a sincere "people I don't like are going to hell to be murdered and tortured forever" sentiment is casually tossed off like that. The sheer dehumanization of it is boggling.
posted by Pope Guilty


What's kind of crazy about you Pope is how you can draw a stark line that clearly traces your own opinions, a trace that is a perfect silhouette, and call your side of the line good and the other side non negotiable evil. I think the thing that bothers me about you and some other people around here isn't your personal opinions, since I happen to agree with you on politics and religion and human values most of the time. It's how you think that I don't like, you think all fucked up. I really don't know how else to put it. Reading your comments is like reading the word of God. You're so infatic, and you leave no room for self-doubt. Anyone who doesn't see it your way is breaking the LAW.

I agree with you . . . sometimes. Sometimes I don't. When I agree with you it doesn't make me correct, and when I don't agree it doesn't make me wrong.

I don't understand why people who think stupid shit are such a danger to Mefi, Pope. St. A. is a voice crying in her wilderness/basement. It's your attempt to silence her when she's quiet that creeps me out.

Never mind I'm just riffing here I guess. Just thinking out loud, with a keyboard.
posted by nola at 7:10 PM on January 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


"Yeah, HopperFan, but she wants that to happen to people who just happened to be born gay. You must understand the difference?
posted by defenestration"


Well, Mr. Disingenuous Defenestration, Pope Guilty brought up a specific example where she casually cursed the owners of a trucking company, that's the one we're currently discussing.

Her comments on gays are far more serious, and I don't think any one is saying otherwise.
posted by HopperFan at 7:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I Just Ate a bunch of Oven Fries and now I have the Oven Fry Shit's
posted by Damn That Television at 7:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think invoking the physical or metaphysical consequences you'd like to see befall someone

When I was in high school, we would pretend to launch balefire at people.

going back into my hole now
posted by scrutiny at 7:14 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wasn't being disingenuous, HoppperFan. I just misunderstood you.
posted by defenestration at 7:18 PM on January 7, 2010


I also didn't add that p on purpose.
posted by defenestration at 7:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


And sorry, how is giving people equal rights ever worth considering to be "wrong."

I agree with you 100%, and yet, this is exactly the sort of "We're liberal, so we can't be wrong!" thing that not only makes political threads on MeFi really tiresome, but also makes light of the incredible lengths that people have fought throughout history for equal rights. It's an incredibly facile treatment of activism to say "Well, they were obviously right since they wanted equal rights and everybody else was wrong."

It takes a lot of courage to fight the machine and the machine doesn't stop to consider "right" and "wrong." Eventually, a lot of people have been revealed to have been totally on the wrong side of history, but equal rights is obviously not as easy as sitting down and singing kumbaya or we wouldn't need to still work for them. And I mean work. As in, it's hard.

It's entirely too facile, to me, to say "If you're not for equal rights, you're wrong." I agree that everyone should have the same rights as human beings, but I don't think that this is an easy thing to enact or an easy position to take from a nuanced political perspective. But then again, I'm not nuanced. I'm a practically tye-dyed in the wool second-generation hippie with a circular diploma from Weirdo University.

TL;DR: Yes, people should all have the same rights, but to say everyone who doesn't think so is "wrong" is rather dismissive of what it means to actually work towards said rights.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:19 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Not wishing to single anyone out, but Greg Nog and The Whelk - but two examples of many - make witty, satirical and whimsical comments, and seem to be universally loved by all, recipient of legion hosannas and huzzays, and never called out.

The false dichotomy of funny or PC is pretty thin, I feel.

Also: Play the man, and not the ball, sheesh. I can't believe we need a thread discussing it. Assume, act, respond to the best. Easy.
posted by smoke at 7:20 PM on January 7, 2010


That's too bad, because I actually kind of liked it. HoppperFan.
posted by HopperFan at 7:21 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think part of the problem here is that the anti-Alia faction picked a really bad moment to go all out. What she said in the textbook thread was totally innocuous, and the backlash it encountered was completely over the top, because it was based on her history and not what she said in the moment.

If she had actually said something controversial, she might have actually gotten bounced. But she didn't, and so here we are rehashing years old battles that nobody is going to win. Can we close the thread yet?
posted by mpbx at 7:21 PM on January 7, 2010


Everyone needs a gay hug. Even certain people who we're trying not to talk about.
posted by hermitosis at 7:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's an agreement from the mods that we don't do "witnessing" here, yes? For the same reasons, more or less, that we don't do advertising--no PepsiBlue, no JesusBlue?

If that's the case, then it's going to be a case by case evaluation of everybody's statements, just as it is for advertising, yes? So it's not like 'NO PEPSI DRINKERS ALLOWED' or 'NO JESUS LOVERS ALLOWED.' We Jesus-loving Pepsi drinkers just have to color inside the lines.

With blue.

Actually, I hate Pepsi.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Play the man, and not the ball, sheesh.
Ball and not the man, ffs. And I must say, the type of schoolboy error typical of an irredeemably thorough-going rotter such as you, smoke. I know your typeo.
posted by Abiezer at 7:25 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


If that's the case, then it's going to be a case by case evaluation of everybody's statements, just as it is for advertising, yes?

They'll need more mods.
posted by jgirl at 7:26 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


They'll need more mods.

I think the mods are already evaluating every statement that mentions any world religion, because somebody on here is going to flag it for something.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:28 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm calling out Greg Nog and The Whelk for being too fucking perfect and wrecking the curve!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:28 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was kidding.
posted by jgirl at 7:30 PM on January 7, 2010


Do you simply regard a person's political and religious beliefs as being irrelevant to your evaluation of them?

Personally, yes. Yes, I do.


Then you are not evaluating them as a person, but as that portion of themselves which you find it convenient to interact with.


What's kind of crazy about you Pope is how you can draw a stark line that clearly traces your own opinions, a trace that is a perfect silhouette, and call your side of the line good and the other side non negotiable evil.

I think this is an unfair caricature. On most issues I think there is a wide variety of opinions and beliefs that can be held in good faith by reasonable people, and which can be reasonably discussed.

There is, however, a small group of ideas which I regard as beyond reason and beyond good faith. The big ones- and the ones which I tend to get the most het up about- are things like racism, sexism, and homophobia. What they ultimately come down to is dehumanization- the notion that certain people simply aren't people like the rest of us. And yeah, I tend to be pretty stark about it. I don't regard those beliefs as worthy of the slightest hint of respect, and view tolerating them, and treating them as if they were beliefs that are of the same kind or deserving of the same consideration and respect as the sorts of beliefs that can be held in good faith and argued reasonably over, is fundamentally letting them win. To treat homophobia as a belief that reasonable people can hold in good faith and to address it as such is in and of itself homophobic and is an assault on the rights of GLBT people. To treat racism as a belief that reasonable people can hold in good faith and to address it as such is in and of itself racist and is an assault on the rights of racial minorities. And so on, and so on.

I'm not going to apologize for thinking that Metafilter should not be a haven for mass dehumanization.

St. A. is a voice crying in her wilderness/basement. It's your attempt to silence her when she's quiet that creeps me out.

This is so far from reality that I have the idea that you believe yourself to dictating to a stuffed koala bear who is transmitting your text to the Akashic Records. St. Alia holds remarkably mainstream views and is plugged into the structure of one of the most powerful political organizations on the face of the planet earth. I'm some crazy-ass fringe lefty whose politics pretty much exclude membership in any political organization with a membership in the double digits. I'm not sure where you got the idea that St. Alia is some weak voice that's barely being heard and I'm a big bad meanie trying to make sure that she's crushed, but buddy, it doesn't bear the slightest resemblence to reality. Between the two of us, she's a lot more likely to get the things she wants, and she has the connections to do it.

The idea that she's some weak, marginalized victim being stomped on by the big meanies is so bizarre that I'm having to assume you're on drugs in order to formulate it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


Late to this, but I wanted to say something about OC- it's difficult for me to look at his site contributions objectively because he's a good friend who has been there for me and has babysat my kitten and done a million other things. Having said that, when I try my best to look at these threads objectively it really does seem like it's often the case that a bunch of people will be all over the map, with a whole bunch of comments that could be construed as borderline offensive, or tricky for the site, or in violations of guidelines, or what have you, and OC's is the only one to be deleted. It happens frequently enough that, like Ocherdraco said, I become aware of it in a way separate from the fact that I know OC and so I pay attention when I see his username.

It might be that the particular way he phrases things pushes a specific button that the mods have decided just doesn't work well, and I guess I understand that, but it also seems like his comments are always the first to go even when there are a lot of frankly worse comments that stay. I don't know what's going on behind the scenes and I'm not saying it seems like a vendetta, or anything, but the very very short leash he's on seems a bit extreme compared to the actual content of his comments and what other people get away with sometimes.

As the site gets bigger I get that it's a constant battle to tamp down the fightiness here. Sometimes it seems like a necessary byproduct of that is a tendency to allow nasty sentiments that are expressed well, at the expense of equally or less nasty sentiments expressed poorly. That isn't meant to describe OC in particular, but I think his treatment might be a consequence of that policy. It is a bit frustrating to see someone who very obviously means well but has an idiosyncratic style always getting shut down, while offensive things stated calmly are allowed. Again, I get that maybe OC's style can involve words that trigger the "just not going to work her for reason x" thing, and I'll admit that there are times when I understand what he's getting at but realize that other people might not, but it does seem like a lot of stuff that he says just gets nixed, even when there's nothing objectionable about it. I don't think it's personal, and if it's something that's happening as a result of scaling the rules for a much larger site, I guess that is what it is, but it's still a shame. I feel like we might be gaining courtesy, but we're losing flavor.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:34 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


The Whelk is in Paris suffering lost baggage ignominy. Please send him a big old hug of any sort.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:36 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh yes, ha ha ha ha. I am a two-bit bastard, aren't I?
posted by smoke at 7:36 PM on January 7, 2010


I think we're stoking the fires under Pope Guilty's flameout quite nicely here.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:36 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


The idea that she's some weak, marginalized victim being stomped on by the big meanies is so bizarre that I'm having to assume you're on drugs in order to formulate it.

Well, she's certainly a minority HERE. You're not exactly trolling a teabagger organization site.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:39 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


"Play the man, not the ball" is what I was always taught in boxing.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:40 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was kidding.

Apparently the earlier explosion of my Irony Meter also affected the operation of my Sarcasm Detector. This is not a good thing.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:40 PM on January 7, 2010


Yeah, HopperFan, but she wants that to happen to people who just happened to be born gay. You must understand the difference?

Do you understand the difference about discussions about a subject and discussions about the people in the discussion? Do you understand that a reply to a comment should be about the comment and never about the commenter?

Example:

There's a post about puppies. Hitler shows up to say "O HAI, I like Dobermans"

Replies on subject:
"Dobermans rock, dude! Right on!"
"The whole genetic engineering thing about dobermans is disgusting, and the purpose for which they were created even more so."

Replies not on subject:
"Holy fuck it's Hitler! You're an asshole, Hitler!"
"I hope a Doberman chews on your private parts, you fuckety fuck."
"Of course you like Dobermans, how so very typical of you."
"What about all those Jews you killed? you like them as well?"

It doesn't matter how much you hate Hitler, or how much of a shitty excuse of a person he is, the latter replies are crap and have no place in a civilized discussion, and Hitler's original comment is much more MetaFilter-worthy than any of them. If you have an issue with him, send him an email (or an assassin). If you have an issue with him being a member of the site, take it to the mods. But keep it out of the puppies thread.
posted by qvantamon at 7:43 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


Cus D'Amato always told me to vote for the person (well, he said 'man'), not the party.
posted by box at 7:43 PM on January 7, 2010


You're not going to find me defending anything St. A has said, ever. But it's pretty clear that the mods have been dealing with the problem of this person for some time, as it's also clear that the Brand New Day of name changing hasn't brought on a New Day of Understanding and Allowing Others the Freedom to Disagree Politely without Damnation/Judgment in this case. But at the same time this thread doesn't look like a banning thing to me, though I'm sure it gets added to the tally sheet somewhere of "This Isn't Helping."

I don't have any great answers for this. But I'm pretty sure the mods are shepherding the situation as best they can. And as fairly as possible. And frankly I don't see that this one person IS such a danger, seeing how many of us agree that we disagree with her methods as well as her statements.

Humorously when St. A was under different names others have stepped in with the "now let's not beat up on Poor User X" - ah, deja vu!
posted by batgrlHG at 7:43 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


They'll need more mods.

I think the mods are already evaluating every statement that mentions any world religion, because somebody on here is going to flag it for something.

I was kidding.

Apparently the earlier explosion of my Irony Meter also affected the operation of my Sarcasm Detector. This is not a good thing.



man - now i have to take my sarcasm detector in to the shop, because i could have sworn that you (sidhedevil) were kidding as well.
posted by nadawi at 7:44 PM on January 7, 2010


kittens for breakfast: "You're not exactly trolling a teabagger organization site."

I read this as "You're not exactly teabagging a trolling organization site."
posted by kalessin at 7:44 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Having said that, when I try my best to look at these threads objectively it really does seem like it's often the case that a bunch of people will be all over the map, with a whole bunch of comments that could be construed as borderline offensive, or tricky for the site, or in violations of guidelines, or what have you, and OC's is the only one to be deleted.

That's probably confirmation bias. What I've noticed from him is that when it's already been established that a few or several people in a thread are voicing some kind of stupid sentiment or other in reaction to the content of a post, and they have been called out already, he will then jump in with an over the top all caps low hanging fruit kind of parody. I don't mean that as an indictment, it's just what I've seen occur several times. It works to good comedic effect as often as it is kind of annoying overkill.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 PM on January 7, 2010


Well, she's certainly a minority HERE.

Anti-equality homophobic bigots should be the minority here.

This is not Fox News. We do not need to pretend to be "fair and balanced" by giving equal voice to ignorant, hateful people. We lose a lot more by allowing those sorts of people in, than we do by excluding them.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:46 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


Conservative Christian might not necessarily mean homophobe, but it's enough evidence to suspect

Welcome to prejudice.
posted by Shohn at 7:46 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


I don't think this is a case of those who know OC being overly sympathetic. I've never met him, and I've noticed unusual moderation on his comments, to the extent that I assumed there must have been a horrible catalyst thread; in fact at one point I made a half assed effort to go back and find it.
posted by lalex at 7:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


HOPPITAMOPPITA!

That is seriously gonna be my band name if I ever start one.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of people could use that hypothetical GreaseMonkey script that removes usernames from comments.
posted by qvantamon at 7:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]





First let me say I'm with you on most of what you just said up thread. Things like: To treat homophobia as a belief that reasonable people can hold in good faith and to address it as such is in and of itself homophobic and is an assault on the rights of GLBT people. Without a doubt i'm with you there.

My issue with you: The idea that she's some weak, marginalized victim being stomped on by the big meanies is so bizarre that I'm having to assume you're on drugs in order to formulate it

I'm talking about here, not out there. Here she is all alone. I have a personal sense of fair play that makes me less inclined to hound the only jesus loving homophobe on Mefi every time she comments just because she once said things that now she doesn't say and has promised not to, and it's funny cause lots of people keep talking about that thing she's never ever to mention again or she'll be banned for it.
posted by nola at 7:50 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


he will then jump in with an over the top all caps low hanging fruit kind of parody.

Oh, no, dude totally does that- it is His Way. I just genuinely don't see why it's so bad, on its own or compared with other behavior, as to warrant deletion all the time.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:51 PM on January 7, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies makes me so sick I could puke.

I know there is a God in heaven that sees these shenanigans, and when payback time comes it's gonna be hell.

posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:51 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Welcome to prejudice.

"Hey guys, I really like 80's post-punk more than any other kind of music. New Order's my favorite band ever."

"So I'm guessing you also like Joy Division?"

"FUCK YOU, BIGOT!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:52 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Hey guys, I really like shrimp."

"So I'm guessing you also like prawns?"
posted by box at 7:53 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm talking about here, not out there. Here she is all alone.

I understand what you're saying, and I want to be sympathetic, but I think that nothing exists free of context. If you're going to analyse or critique a person's statement, you kind of need to understand the context that person is saying it within. The problem arises with where you stop examining the context. If we stop our examination of context at "site:metafilter.com" when it comes to Alia, we have to ask why she's special in being contextualized purely within MeFi, while other topics are contextualized beyond the site.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:56 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


all caps low hanging fruit kind of parody

and let's not forget that the parody is usually hilarious.
posted by scrutiny at 7:58 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


qvantamon, I already said I misunderstood. I'd totally ban Hitler, though.
posted by defenestration at 7:58 PM on January 7, 2010


Because Metafilter members are not topics.
posted by qvantamon at 7:59 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know who else disabled his account?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:59 PM on January 7, 2010


Seriously, did SAotB mention her opinions on homosexuality in the Revisionists post? I didn't see it.
posted by HopperFan at 8:00 PM on January 7, 2010


Try it this way, Pope Guilty:

Conservative Christian might not necessarily mean homophobe, but it's enough evidence to suspect

Irish might not necessarily mean drunk, but it's enough evidence to suspect.
posted by Shohn at 8:01 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


You're going to Hell for that, Shohn. Now let's have another drink.
posted by HopperFan at 8:03 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously, did SAotB mention her opinions on homosexuality in the Revisionists post? I didn't see it.

Currently no, but that's subject to change.
posted by defenestration at 8:04 PM on January 7, 2010


I made it through this whole thread and I am glad the mods consider themselves adequately compensated.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:04 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think there's something uniquely horrifying about a culture where a sincere "people I don't like are going to hell to be murdered and tortured forever" sentiment is casually tossed off like that. The sheer dehumanization of it is boggling.

....So says the person who routinely dehumanizes others simply because they happen to believe in a Deity.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 PM on January 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


I am glad the mods consider themselves adequately compensated.

I'm STILL waiting for them to move this ocean that's so inconveniently placed in my front yard.

But seriously, I'm not really criticizing the policy- I see why it's necessary, but I do think it's a shame.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 8:07 PM on January 7, 2010


Seriously, did SAotB mention her opinions on homosexuality in the Revisionists post? I didn't see it.

I didn't either.

It would also be enlightening if the people suggesting she should be considered for banning (i think shmeggege, Pope Guilty, and five fresh fish have at least hinted at it) could link to comments she's made under her current username that would warrant banning. Maybe I'm just not familiar with some commonly known examples, but I see a lot of discussion of older stuff, and then "she's the same as she ever was," but no examples of comments that are actually comparable to the older stuff.
posted by palliser at 8:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I guess what I'm getting at is, the fact that she is willing to drop it but you are not it makes it hard for me to not view you and others as bullies in the context of this site. The norms here being not to her advantage.

Now the day you and I are having coffee at the Gallatin Waffle House and we see her whipping up a bunch of crazy homophobe truckdrivers against a gay couple having pie and ice cream, brother it'll be on like Red Dawn. But in the mean time lets you and me just hate people that do stuff.
posted by nola at 8:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


The awesome thing about jajangmyeon is that it's got this slow-roasted onion background but the Chinese restaurant down the street serves it with raw onion as a condiment. So you get two entirely different onion flavors while you slurp down your noodles, sort of the gastronomic equivalent of musical counterpoint. It's fucking rad.

And St. Alia has every right to post what she wants. And people have every right to point out her bullshit. "Brand New Day" isn't a "Get Out of Jail Free" card, it's an agreement to act in better faith. She has not learned to do this.
posted by bardic at 8:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cus D'Amato always told me to vote for the person (well, he said 'man'), not the party.

In New Zealand you get to do both. (No, really. Two votes.)
posted by shelleycat at 8:20 PM on January 7, 2010


Irish might not necessarily mean drunk, but it's enough evidence to suspect.

That's offensive. "Conservative Christian" is a self-applied label that refers to a set of beliefs. "Irish" is a label applied beyond the control of the individual which does not refer to anything beyond national origin.


....So says the person who routinely dehumanizes others simply because they happen to believe in a Deity.

I do nothing of the sort, though this sort of inanity does rather serve to confirm the things I've said about theists. I respect theists as people, even if the favor is sometimes not returned (as in the case of Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor).


It would also be enlightening if the people suggesting she should be considered for banning (i think shmeggege, Pope Guilty, and five fresh fish have at least hinted at it) could link to comments she's made under her current username that would warrant banning.

I don't want her banned. I want her to either stop being a noxious, hateful person on Metafilter or at least to be moderated according to the same standards as her detractors. If that latter involves banning, I'm not going to cry, but if not at least the site's less nasty.


Now the day you and I are having coffee at the Gallatin Waffle House and we see her whipping up a bunch of crazy homophobe truckdrivers against a gay couple having pie and ice cream, brother it'll be on like Red Dawn.

Do you think, given her active involvement in her local GOP, that she was merely an internet cheerleader for Proposition 8?
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


This discussion shows some of the tensions inherent in the Brand New Day thing versus judging people in the light of their past behavior.

And some of the difficulty of discussing that past behavior when, for one thing, comments are deleted and, for another, re-posting those past comments in this thread is discouraged.
posted by box at 8:25 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's offensive. "Conservative Christian" is a self-applied label that refers to a set of beliefs. "Irish" is a label applied beyond the control of the individual which does not refer to anything beyond national origin.

Dude, it can be self-applied, or applied by others - just like Irish.
posted by smoke at 8:26 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


HOPPITAMOPPITA!

That is seriously gonna be my band name if I ever start one.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies


You're not obligated to do so, but it would definitely behoove you to be a bit more expressive than that to avoid appearing spacey or clueless.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:26 PM on January 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


>....So says the person who routinely dehumanizes others simply because they happen to believe in a Deity.

I do nothing of the sort...


"I'm saying that believing in supernaturally-assured rewards and punishment makes a person internally a child and externally a jerk."
-- Pope Guilty, January 4th, 3:11 pm.

That's just this week.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:29 PM on January 7, 2010 [17 favorites]


Do you think, given her active involvement in her local GOP, that she was merely an internet cheerleader for Proposition 8?

She also hasn't denied that whole thing with the girl in 1990. This should be beneath you.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:29 PM on January 7, 2010


And some of the difficulty of discussing that past behavior when, for one thing, comments are deleted

isn't the basic complaint that the mods are allowing bigoted comments at the expense of other members' comfort at the site? so isn't the fact that the comments in question are deleted evidence that the mods aren't allowing it, but discouraging it by removing them from the record?
posted by nadawi at 8:31 PM on January 7, 2010


How should we handle bigots on this site?

With tolerance. Their lack of it does not excuse anyone else from needing to exercise tolerance.

It's work and it's not always fun and it may go against the grain of your brain, but if those silly people in Texas want to think that what they eat is "barbecue" even though it's bloody fucking obviously just slathered meat, let'em. Sure, I work for change, and I try to gently point out that they're not correctly slow roasting it over hickory -- heck, it's not even pork -- but at the end of the meal it still tasted pretty okay.

Everybody needs a hug. Not just those we agree with, not just those who don't make us mad, not just those whose viewpoints we disagree with but can still understand, and not just those who wish us well. Everybody needs a hug.

Anybody that doesn't agree with that, up against the wall, motherfucker.
posted by waraw at 8:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


And oh my god, don't get me started on a mayonnaise based BBQ sauce!

Um, and you've won how many BBQ cook-offs? Big Bob Gibson's has won 10 World BBQ Championships and 6 world titles at Memphis in May.

I challenge you, lysdexic. I challenge you to come down here and we'll take a leisurely drive to Decatur, and I'll buy you a sampler platter at Big Bob's and I'LL BET YOU ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU WISH TO WAGER that once you close your mouth on a bite of BBQ chicken with crackling skin and sweet moist meat slathered in that white sauce that you seem to find so repugnant you'll sing a different tune.

Your tongue will light up. Your heart will leap with joy. The pleasure centers of your brain will spin up to maximum output. Your eyelids will droop in ecstasy. You will emerge from this changed; you will never mistreat meats cooked low and slow and smoky again.
Fuck this MeFi drama. BBQ is SERIOUS BUSINESS, and I will not sit idly by while Big Bob Gibson is being impugned.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:33 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


Do you think, given her active involvement in her local GOP, that she was merely an internet cheerleader for Proposition 8?

My activity in the local GOP consists of being married to my husband, who is active, and being dragged to the occasional dinner meeting, which lately I have managed to pretty much avoid because of my work hours. Oh, and I did work a phone bank once or twice to ask people to go vote last November. (Mostly because it enabled me to meet Bob Dole personally. He's old, but he's funny.) Left to my own devices I don't know if I'd even remember to go vote regularly.


Besides that, I live a long, LONG way away from California.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:34 PM on January 7, 2010


We do not need to pretend to be "fair and balanced" by giving equal voice to ignorant, hateful people. We lose a lot more by allowing those sorts of people in, than we do by excluding them.
posted by five fresh fish


sunlight is the best medicine, and all that.

defeat the bigots by passing new laws

and the context of the epic homophobia metatalk thread is significant, w/r/t to O.C.'s comment.
posted by angrycat at 8:34 PM on January 7, 2010


(Oh, and Eastern North Carolina pulled pork barbecue. On a sandwich bun. With coleslaw. Sweet ice tea and hush puppies on the side.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:35 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I do not believe that St. Alia is a very clever troll. I think she literally does not know better than to enter discussions the way she does and have discussions the way she does. Okay. If that's true, where do we go from there? No one is asking you to pretend that anyone is not a bigot. We're asking you to not get in big huge fights with people who you think are bigots because you don't like the way their minds work. You, and others, can email St Alia. You can engage with her on facebook or wherever she hangs out if you want to have a personal discussion with her.

This whole neverending-derailing threads because they become all about St Alia and people attacking her is over on MetaFilter. It's no longer okay. Sorry.


Frankly, I think you have this backwards. For St. Alia to literally not know any better about the reaction her comments will receive, she would have to be either very naive or very stupid. And very naive or very stupid people do become active members of Metafilter for almost a decade. So that means that she is troll, though one that hides in a well constructed little old lady costume.

It is true that she isn't a 4chan style pure griefer troll, but the essence of a trolling isn't griefing but intentionally disrupting the conversation for the troll's own ends. To me at least, it is clear that St Alia consistently does this with the goal of making all the threads she participates in be all about St. Alia. Why else would she constantly bring up irrelevant details about her personal life?

Though in the end I agree with the people who say that if you are annoyed or outraged by what St. Alia posts you exercise restraint and not respond, because the only way to get rid of a troll is to ignore it.
posted by afu at 8:37 PM on January 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


That's just this week.

I will not deny that I believe that theism infantilizes believers. That is not dehumanization.

(I would also note that you don't have to believe in a deity to believe in supernatural rewards and punishments, but I think that goes without saying.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:38 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie writes "Who the hell buys ketchup in a can??"

I can my own ketchup does that count?

Pope Guilty writes "And even if it doesn't bother you, it bothers me to post somewhere where people talk about eternal torment and damnation being leveled against people they don't like. Whether that eternity of suffering is real or not, the fact that she very plainly wishes it on people is not conducive to this being a good place to read or post."

First off that comment doesn't wish anything on anyone being rather a statement of fact as seen by the person making it. I can be looking out the 40 floor of the Empire State building and see some one go plummeting by and then remark "That guy is going to make a mess that's going tobe hard to clean up." That statement doesn't mean I want him to make that mess; merely that gravity and an immovable object are going to take their toll.

With that out of the way even if she was threatening people with hell fire and damnation it doesn't matter because:
  1. The reader believes everything the poster does in which case it can't be a threat because, as far as I know, god(s) aren't big on democracy. The poster's and reader's belief will have no bearing on the eventual punishment of commentee. Hell fire and damnation will or will not rain down strictly on the whims of the god.
  2. The reader is an atheist in which case see previous comment about threatening people with chainsaw wielding fairies riding unicorns.
  3. The reader isn't atheist but believes in some other mystical sky being/karma/$object of faith. This is really just a special case of either 1 or 2 depending on how the reader's belief structure aligns with the poster's.
  4. Even in the case of a some whacked out Pan-Theological Multi-Person Solipsistic Universe how people are treated posthumously would be dependent on their beliefs not the beliefs of the commenter.

posted by Mitheral at 8:38 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


For a long time I've thought that all the vitriol towards SAotB was about some members' need to protect the echo chamber. Now I realize that isn't true. To be honest, I've always kind of liked St. Alia, in all of her permutations, even though I almost always disagree 100% with her politics. I've somehow never come across any gay-bashing from her, though it's been mentioned enough here that I suppose it must be true. That ain't cool at all.

But what this thread is making me think of is the thread from a little while back about the pharmacist in Oklahoma who killed the kid who was robbing him after already disarming him. In that thread, I made the point about how there's a certain breed of gun enthusiast who relishes in the fantasy of getting the chance to murder someone with impugnity.

That's what all this is reminding me of. People on this site, who I like, look at St. Alia as their chance to be wanton assholes without consequences. Those members (the 5-8 jessamyn mentioned way upthread) are kicking and screaming to defend their chance to be dicks. She's a homophobe. She's anti-choice. She argues disingenuously. She says "go to hell" and believes there's a hell people can go to. Etc. However much of this is true or not, it still all adds up to, "she deserves it."

And maybe she does. That's not the point. The point is that you shouldn't be a dick. Seriously, it's the very first lesson they teach you at Don't Be A Dick School. Looking for loopholes doesn't make the desire to be a dick any better. It just makes it all bullying behavior. And bringing her kids into it is inexcusable.

In conclusion, I grew up in Texas, but god help me if Tennessee BBQ doesn't reign as king over all.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:41 PM on January 7, 2010 [33 favorites]


Now I want to see a Pixar-class animation of chainsaw wielding faeries riding unicorns. Can someone get busy on that, please?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Irish might not necessarily mean drunk, but it's enough evidence to suspect.

Craig Ferguson, renown Irishman, agrees with that statement. And says it out loud, on television, not infrequently.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:46 PM on January 7, 2010


Now I want to see a Pixar-class animation of chainsaw wielding faeries riding unicorns. Can someone get busy on that, please?

Can't help you there, but this is pretty awesome.
posted by defenestration at 8:47 PM on January 7, 2010


I will not deny that I believe that theism infantilizes believers. That is not dehumanization.

So, they're still humans. Just not, you know, adult humans, worthy of respect.

Not much better.
posted by Salieri at 8:47 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would just like to thank Pope Guilty for everything he posted here. And I want to make it clear that I am being sincere. You have the right of this and you saved me a lot of typing had I been reading this thread at the time. Don't flame out on this one dude, you are needed here.
posted by Riemann at 8:48 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I will not deny that I believe that theism infantilizes believers. That is not dehumanization.

You belittle us as a group instead of judging each of us on our individual merits, statements and actions. That's dehumanizing.
posted by zarq at 8:51 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


I have bright red hair and a beard to match and I sing when I'm drunk. It doesn't necessarily mean my ancestors were Irish but it's enough evidence to suspect.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:52 PM on January 7, 2010


Craig Ferguson, renown Irishman

There's something Mike Myers would like to point out here.
posted by palliser at 8:54 PM on January 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Is this where I come in and ask that we as a site refrain from prison-rape jokes? Cuz, um...
posted by nevercalm at 8:55 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Craig Ferguson is from Scotland.
But, he IS also a self-proclaimed alcoholic.
/me has a HUGE Craig crush.
posted by lilywing13 at 8:55 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


First off that comment doesn't wish anything on anyone being rather a statement of fact as seen by the person making it.

If you believe in God, and that God is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong and that sinners go to hell, then it's not only a fact that sinners go to hell, it's right that sinners go to hell. To be against sinners going to hell would be morally wrong.


So, they're still humans. Just not, you know, adult humans, worthy of respect.

You belittle us as a group instead of judging each of us on our individual merits, statements and actions. That's dehumanizing.

If you think "I have less respect for you because of the things you believe" is even vaguely comparable to the dehumanization inherent in sex-, race-, or sexuality-based bigotry, I think you maybe need to spend some time thinking about your privilege. I respect you enough to honestly criticize your beliefs and the effects those beliefs have on you as a person. This thing where you try to claim victimhood and compare yourselves to members of actually disadvantaged and persecuted persons is disgusting.


I would just like to thank Pope Guilty for everything he posted here. And I want to make it clear that I am being sincere. You have the right of this and you saved me a lot of typing had I been reading this thread at the time. Don't flame out on this one dude, you are needed here.

Please don't do this.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:00 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


I would also like to thank Pope Guilty. I think he has spoken truth and is pretty much on the money about most of what he has expressed.

zarq, there are over 100K users in this place and some 200M+ theists in the USA. To expect to be judged on your individual merits in a succinct post is an unrealistic expectation. While you may indeed be a special theist snowflake, you stand a snowflake's chance in hell of getting special dispensation when someone writes a post. That you appear to expect such is itself, perhaps, a sign of infantilism.

I suggest that you, and everyone else, start reading these sorts of broad generalizations as they are intended: a generalization that reflects the truth of the greater whole, and not as a criticism of your own special snowflake self. To do otherwise is to essentially eliminate the possibility of casual conversation.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:03 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


PG, what exactly are you arguing in favor of, here? Instead of listing gripes or overexplaining misunderstandings, could you maybe give like a thesis statement, like a 'St. Alia should be banned and/or I should be allowed to call her a pile of fuck in a green leotard without getting called on it' kind of thing?

Hugs in advance,
posted by shakespeherian at 9:04 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I respect you enough to honestly criticize your beliefs and the effects those beliefs have on you as a person.

Well, here's the thing. You have no idea what my beliefs have on me as a person because you don't know me as a person. You know nothing about me outside of the (few) comments I've made here, and you don't know what my beliefs actually are. (Aside from the fact that I just outed myself as a Childish Theist. D'oh!) Seriously, can you claim to say anything about what my beliefs have on me as a person? At all? Because that's a fucking joke, man.

I, for one, am not claiming "victim" status, or claiming equivalence to the disadvantaged. I don't see anyone here doing that, and it's pretty ugly of you to say so.
posted by Salieri at 9:06 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops. Sorry, Pope.

Also, I have slapped myself for fucking up Craig's heritage. I am stupid. I'll slap myself again, tomorrow morning, too. Just for good measure. Dumb, dumb, dumb FFFish. I am mortified.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:09 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


IM DRUNK AS SHIT. JESSAYMN!!! IF U BAN OPTIMUS CHYME U WILL BRING A ANCIENT FRIENDSTER CURSE ON U. I AM A GHOST OF INTERNET SOCIAL NETWORKS. I WAS A COOL ADULT BUT I DIED IN A WEB DISASTER (HACK + FIRe). POST THIS MESSAGE TO 69 FACEBOOKS OF YOUR GRUMPIEST RELATIVES AND PRESS ALT + f5 AND THE NAME OF YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR WILL APPEAR ON THE SCREEN. IF U DO NOT DO THIS MY SPIRIT WILL INFECT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AND MAKE U BUY ADULATORY KITCHENWARE WHICH WILL EMBARRSE U. BUSH HID THE FACTS
posted by Damn That Television at 9:09 PM on January 7, 2010 [26 favorites]


IM DRUNK AS SHIT

You are correct, sir.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:10 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


this may or may not be the time to bring up my secret, woefully unrequited meficrush on damn that television.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 9:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you think "I have less respect for you because of the things you believe" is even vaguely comparable to the dehumanization inherent in sex-, race-, or sexuality-based bigotry, I think you maybe need to spend some time thinking about your privilege. I respect you enough to honestly criticize your beliefs and the effects those beliefs have on you as a person. This thing where you try to claim victimhood and compare yourselves to members of actually disadvantaged and persecuted persons is disgusting.

I've made quite a few comments here over the last couple of weeks, explaining my position on slurs against Jews, religious bigotry and the importance of actual versus perceived victimization in Jewish culture. I realize that you bowed out of the Arbeit Macht Frei post before you may have seen my comment there, but believe me when I tell you that I'm not claiming some sort of mythical victimhood for the Jewish people based on your disrespect.

No, I'm trying to convey to you that statements you have made on this site about theists truly are inappropriate, insulting and offensive to many of us simply because you seem to be incapable of understanding that religion and theistic faith covers a wide gamut of beliefs.

The overriding theme of this thread seems to be that it is best to judge each person on their character: what they say, what they do and how they treat others. It would be a pleasant surprise to me if you proved capable of doing so without plumbing the depths of indignant stereotype and self-righteous disdain for those who happen to disagree with you.
posted by zarq at 9:15 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I suggest that you, and everyone else, start reading these sorts of broad generalizations as they are intended: a generalization that reflects the truth of the greater whole, and not as a criticism of your own special snowflake self. To do otherwise is to essentially eliminate the possibility of casual conversation.

Well, you're entire posting history is pretty much just poorly expressed sweeping and inflammatory generalizations, so your comment there is pretty damn laughable. You're a bigot in your own way as well.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:16 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


To expect to be judged on your individual merits in a succinct post is an unrealistic expectation.

That's the saddest, most disappointing thing I've ever read here.

you stand a snowflake's chance in hell of getting special dispensation when someone writes a post.

I submit that's a problem with you, not other people.

To do otherwise is to essentially eliminate the possibility of casual conversation.

I've never had a casual conversation with a greater whole. And, again, that you need to see things in terms of The Greater Them is not an Us problem, it's a You problem.
posted by Cyrano at 9:17 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


your
posted by Burhanistan at 9:19 PM on January 7, 2010


Wow, we did this again? I thought the pointlessness of St. Alia arguments was pretty well known site lore by now. It took me a couple frustrating arguments to figure this out for myself, but there's really nothing to be gained from engaging with her in any way. She wants to view the world through Bronze Age distortions of reality and shall resist to the last any attempts at actual discussion. Whatevs. Over my time here, I've come to read her screename as "St. You're Better off Just Ignoring Whatever Comment I Just Made."

If not for the BBQ sauce recipes, this thread would be an utter waste of energy.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


> HOPPITAMOPPITA! That is seriously gonna be my band name if I ever start one.

uh-oh
posted by hoppitamoppita at 9:21 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


zarq, there are over 100K users in this place and some 200M+ theists in the USA. To expect to be judged on your individual merits in a succinct post is an unrealistic expectation. While you may indeed be a special theist snowflake, you stand a snowflake's chance in hell of getting special dispensation when someone writes a post. That you appear to expect such is itself, perhaps, a sign of infantilism.

I'm not asking for special dispensation. I'm asking him to dispense with the broad generalizations in favor of a more nuanced perspective. There's a difference.

I suggest that you, and everyone else, start reading these sorts of broad generalizations as they are intended: a generalization that reflects the truth of the greater whole, and not as a criticism of your own special snowflake self. To do otherwise is to essentially eliminate the possibility of casual conversation.

Do you really think that casual, friendly discourse is served by absolutism? Both theists and atheists are guilty of it here, and it degrades our conversations by portraying both sides as extremists.
posted by zarq at 9:22 PM on January 7, 2010


Over my time here, I've come to read her screename as "St. You're Better off Just Ignoring Whatever Comment I Just Made."

Anyone good with Greasemonkey willing to add this to the standard Mefi package?
posted by nevercalm at 9:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will not deny that I believe that theism infantilizes believers. That is not dehumanization.

So, you'd be perfectly okay with me saying that you are mentally deficient simply because I have heard that you believe in a particular thing? You wouldn't feel dehumanized or demarginalized in ANY way?

Interesting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:23 PM on January 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


hoppitamoppita gotta be a boat-ah?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:24 PM on January 7, 2010


You know it's gotten bad when you start wishing that Shetterly would show up and start babbling about class.
posted by HopperFan at 9:26 PM on January 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


Is DTTV the new quonsar? (And not in a good way.)
posted by Mid at 9:29 PM on January 7, 2010


g
posted by Damn That Television at 9:29 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well it's getting late and I'm hanging drywall in 20° weather first thing and I doubt any, and I mean any, of you high minded BBQ eating carpet rolling liberal types are gonna be out there with me lending a hand so I'm going to bed and get some rest.
posted by nola at 9:31 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


FFF, no more self-harming. Craig would probably say that a drunk's a drunk, regardless of where they're from.
Here's a hug. Would a nice spousing help?
posted by lilywing13 at 9:31 PM on January 7, 2010


Yeah, I'm exhausted -- but I'm also really wired! So, ah, what do you say...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2010


"Also my poop was funny. Not "ha ha" funny, but like, clever funny.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:55 AM on December 10"


DTTV is my hero.
posted by HopperFan at 9:33 PM on January 7, 2010


Actually, I really AM exhausted + really wired. But sadly, exhaustion must win out. I look forward to the 985 new comments that will surely be here in the morning. Goodnight, heathens and non-heathens alike!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:35 PM on January 7, 2010


She's a homophobe. She's anti-choice. She argues disingenuously.

One of these three is defensible, and doesn't deserve kneejerk reactions.
posted by inigo2 at 9:37 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chicken is BBQ? I mean, what the fuck, Punk?
posted by breezeway at 9:38 PM on January 7, 2010


She's a homophobe. She's anti-choice. She argues disingenuously.

i just wanna say that would be a really great sitcom okay i'm seriously going to bed now
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:39 PM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


inigo2, I was just trying to list the reasons people give for acting the way they do towards SAotB, not commending those reasons as valid.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:40 PM on January 7, 2010


If the Gnostic Samael could read this thread I tell you now he would be getting fucking Nag Hammadi on some asses.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:42 PM on January 7, 2010


Out of curiosity, regarding OC (whom I have also never met)-- is it a broad range of people doing the flagging/emailing? I have a pretty sizeable tolerance for overthetopness/crassness/whateverness in humor, probably more than most people, so I can't use my own judgement here. But I do hope it isn't a small group of easily-offended people who respond negatively to his comments with excess flags/emails. (Particularly if any of said people were to be doing this because the comment is by OC, rather than due to its content).
posted by nat at 9:47 PM on January 7, 2010


Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

/getting fucking Nag Hammadi on some asses
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:48 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]




(Oh, and Eastern North Carolina pulled pork barbecue. On a sandwich bun. With coleslaw. Sweet ice tea and hush puppies on the side.)

OH YR A CLEVER ONE AREN'T YOU APPEALING TO REASON LIKE THAT.

I don't agree with your politics and you kinda drive me crazyand seriously, there's some stuff you trot out at every. freaking. opportunity. to the extent that it is now like a goddamn meme/bingo card, but now, see what you've done, we've got a bond in barbecue.

(At home, I use kaiser rolls to make one big sandwich instead of having two and I make the coleslaw with red cabbage and carrots and a little bit of ginger and a lot of vinegar and homemade mayo and I'm too lazy to make the hushpuppies. So see, it's TOTALLY different that the barbecue I had the night before at the barbecue joint. Oh, and honeybutter on the hushpuppies.)

Also, WTF is all this MeTa yammering on about again? *yawn* I think we've done this, no?
posted by desuetude at 10:02 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


My big thing with konolia lately is that she doesn't really seem to want the Brand New Days she's had. She's still konolia, she still acts like konolia, and that she has stopped telling homosexuals that they're going to hell shouldn't be to her credit any more than feeding your children or not punching people in the face should be to your credit: it should be a basic condition of human interaction.

This. If I repeatedly posted that my Bible said black people, or women, were inferior, or damned, or hated by God, and refused to cut that shit out across multiple bannings, I doubt the bannings would stop, or that there'd be people queuing up to defend me. But no, like Jews in 1920s, gays are the people that just need to be reasonable about people hating them.

How should we handle bigots on this site?

With tolerance. Their lack of it does not excuse anyone else from needing to exercise tolerance.


So if someone shows up and starts posting, "Black people are criminals. They can't help it. Look at the arrest rate, it speaks for itself", and keeps posting variations on this over and over and over, we should... let them?

I think there's something uniquely horrifying about a culture where a sincere "people I don't like are going to hell to be murdered and tortured forever" sentiment is casually tossed off like that. The sheer dehumanization of it is boggling.

....So says the person who routinely dehumanizes others simply because they happen to believe in a Deity.


Yes, "I think belief in religion is dumb" is obviously equivalent as a sentiment to "I hope you spend eternity in torment".

Coming up next: Holocaust, just like College hazing.

I think we're stoking the fires under Pope Guilty's flameout quite nicely here.

Stay classy.
posted by rodgerd at 10:05 PM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


She's a homophobe. She's anti-choice. She argues disingenuously.

i just wanna say that would be a really great sitcom okay i'm seriously going to bed now


Microchips here and there, she's a... Small Wonder!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:05 PM on January 7, 2010


there is a hell - and in it, people are being made to read this thread aloud in shrill, loud cartoon voices
posted by pyramid termite at 10:05 PM on January 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


So if someone shows up and starts posting, "Black people are criminals. They can't help it. Look at the arrest rate, it speaks for itself", and keeps posting variations on this over and over and over, we should... let them?

YOU SOLVED THE THREAD THANKS FOR THE INPUT
posted by shakespeherian at 10:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


perhaps this will all go in our mods' memoirs, or 'modmoirs'
posted by angrycat at 10:16 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, just a note because I had comments deleted and maybe jock@law was wanting to call me out (which isn't a big deal), but I'm drunk and my girlfriend keeps being like, "Jeez, come and watch Star Trek"—by which we mean ST: TNG.

Anyway, my beef was that because I don't find St. Alia a very objective commenter regarding education, religion or her children (not that anyone is ever really objective about their children, except GuyZero's ugly, ugly, grubby children), I was even less inclined to believe her son's account of the USAFA, especially as filtered through her. And being nominally of journalistic training, thus attuned to the myriad ways that journalists fuck up or don't, her blanket statements read dumb, and I was trying to say that without being like, "Hey, wassup, you dumb. Many ways dumb."

I like her as a person well enough, it's just like, you know, when you've got that friend that starts talking about how Mag Lev is going to save America.
posted by klangklangston at 10:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thank god this tread remains ALL ABOUT ME.
posted by GuyZero at 10:24 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thank god this tread remains ALL ABOUT ME.

Oh, way to live vicariously through your gargoyle-spawn, GuyZero.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:29 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, I found GuyZero's kids to be bright, well-mannered and delightful - which when you look at their father is a minor miracle.
posted by Abiezer at 10:34 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Do you simply regard a person's political and religious beliefs as being irrelevant to your evaluation of them?

Then you are not evaluating them as a person, but as that portion of themselves which you find it convenient to interact with.


Pope Guilty, isn't that sort of... life? Part of figuring out how to relate to others even though we may disagree with them deeply on major issues?

I suspect the ambivalence many mefites (I'm one) have about St Alia may be because we have parents or grandparents (or sisters or brothers) who share her views. My extended family is quite conservative (Christian). I think they almost all voted McCain/PALIN. I found out over the hoidays that one dear relative thinks Obama is a Muslim (and possibly engaged in a treasonous conspiracy). I have a grandma who is buying up Iraqi dinars because she thinks the end times are coming. She made me a gift of a million of them.

I don't mean to associate St Alia with all these wacky views, of course. Just saying they're out there, and some of us interact with the people who believe them, and yelling "BIGOT!" at the Thanksgiving table isn't a useful option.

I'm curious, Pope Guilty, since you say you were brought up with views you disagree with now--don't you have any friends or family who still hold those views? Do you talk to and about them the way you talk about St Alia?

There is, however, a small group of ideas which I regard as beyond reason and beyond good faith. The big ones- and the ones which I tend to get the most het up about- are things like racism, sexism, and homophobia. What they ultimately come down to is dehumanization- the notion that certain people simply aren't people like the rest of us.

They do not see it that way, though. Well, racism, certainly yes (in my experience). But sexism and homophobia, based on the Bible, no. The idea is that women and men are created with different, and complementary, and equally honored roles. Homosexuality is seen as a choice, or an unfortunate proclivity.

I don't agree with these beliefs (I mean they drive me NUTS), but I have to assume, when engaging with my family or friends, good faith on their side. Because I know and do respect them as loving, compassionate people. I.e., people who give away a great deal of their income, though it's not much; adopt marginalized kids; take struggling people into their homes for weeks at a time (and yes, they're Republicans!). Stuff I don't do, to my shame.

I'm just saying it's complicated. You can't just put people into BIGOT! vs DECENT PERSON categories the way you seem to want to do. We are at a certain place in history, and change is inevitable; seems to me we have the luxury of influencing how acrimonious the debate will be. Homophobia in particular is going to be a tough one, because it has to do with something not so visible as race (and also tied up with sexuality, of course--a whole other can of worms for conservatives--I think St Alia has said premarital sex is as offensive to her as homosexuality, which implicates a lot more Mefites than her gay comments do).

The answer really is not to demonize the other side (didn't Lincoln and MLK understand this?), but to persuade, if possible. And if not, recognize at least that we're all human, and to one degree or another, influenced by our times and upbringing.
posted by torticat at 11:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [26 favorites]


Kindness has converted more people than zeal, science or eloquence. (Mother Theresa)

This is a lesson that a lot of us gay kids have to learn organically that some of the rest of you might not have encountered in your own lives. Many of us are related to St. Alia of the Bunnies. She's our mom or our dad or our Aunt Mary. And she's hurtful, dehumanizing, degrading, illogical, mean, sometimes hypocritical - but above all: she's ours.

Sometimes we yell and scream and shake our fists, or we cry and, beg or we give up and end it all by running away or killing ourselves literally or figuratively. We offer charts and graphs and empirical data to UNBLIND them. Or we offer detailed personalized accounts of who we are, we share our story with them so they can understand.

But all those things aren't the magic ingredient. To really make headway, we show them respect. We show them respect because it is something they deserve - and something they deserve to be taught. It is something they cannot be reasoned or screamed or shamed into.

It's terrifying for me to have to accept that something like 48% of the people here in my city don't think I should be allowed to teach children. It's painful that my aunt read my blog about my first kiss - and then forbade me from ever speaking to my teenage cousin again. It's sad when my mother pulls out tired old stereotypes about promiscuous gay men, and says things like, "Well, I'm sorry that relationship didn't work out honey, but I guess that just explains why so many gay men drift through life unable to commit to a longterm relationship."

But no matter how hurtful and cruel St. Alia of the Bunnies may be, when I meet her in her myriad forms - here on MetaFilter and in life - I hope I demonstrate respect for her so that she may learn.
posted by greekphilosophy at 11:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [32 favorites]


For the record, it was a self-designated Fundamentalist Christian who clarified for me the "fact" that the Jesus Christ of the Gospels had far, far less to say about the "evils" of homosexuality than the evils of judgment.

As for St. Alia, if she's with the Bunnies, she can't be all bad ... unless, of course, it's this kind of bunny.
posted by philip-random at 11:28 PM on January 7, 2010


Apparently January is the new December when it comes to MeTa threads.

As for St Alia, you know, the woman has been known to offer horribly offensive opinions (I think the truly egregious were all before Brand New Day, though) and entirely banal opinions. The textbook commentary was pretty banal. I completely fail to understand why you would want to jump on St Alia when she's not saying things that are beyond the pale. Why not save the righteous anger for the crazy comments? I assure you that plenty of people currently defending her, most definitely including me, will be right there with you if she does break common MeFi decency.
posted by librarylis at 11:40 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty, I like you and I think you're right, in a general sense, but I also think it'd be better if you let it go. I dislike konalia; I think pretty much everything zoomorphic said above is right. I also stand by my comments above, and I think it's not worth the damage to the overall site engaging her causes. The worst thing about her, even more than her gay-hating and women's rights opposing, is the fact that she brings out the worst of so many of us here. I don't know whether, as I intimated above, she's an idiot, or whether as other people have stated, she's a troll, but she's just not worth the effort. If we were putting it up to a vote, I'd kick her ass off the island in a second. But we're not, and I believe more in keeping discourse civil and intelligent than in fighting about her stupid, banal comments.

If necessary, flag her. Flag the fuck out of her. I'll get behind that. If she says something you think is beyond the pale, flag it. The system is there for a reason. Otherwise, ignore her folksy bullshit, since it is mostly pointless, and rest assured that sooner or later she'll slip up and say something really horrible. The best thing to do is wait and let her dig her own grave. I doubt she's going to get yet another Brand New Day, but if she does, it'll be because we can't stop ourselves from throwing ourselves at her with knives out and teeth bared.
posted by Caduceus at 12:14 AM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't know whether, as I intimated above, she's an idiot, or whether as other people have stated, she's a troll

A number of people in this thread, notably jessamyn, have tried to delicately point out that there may be another reason why St. Alia behaves the way that she does, and that it is not b/c she is a troll or idiot or b/c she wants to cause a shitstorm every time she comments in the blue.

Then you have Blazecock Pileon saying early on in this thread "As near as I can tell St. Alia doesn't intend to push buttons, but I could be wrong." BP, who is gay and vocal in advocating for gay rights and standing up to homophobia on this site. It means something when someone with his history makes a comment like that.

I wish people would read between the lines, kind of take a breath, ponder why jess & BP feel that way, maybe review some past comments of Alia and see if they can put it together.

Like nola said so well above, it is the farthest thing from sporting and the worst kind of bullying to attack someone who does not make the best presentation but is trying to do the best that she can.
posted by mlis at 1:07 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


but also makes light of the incredible lengths that people have fought throughout history for equal rights. It's an incredibly facile treatment of activism to say "Well, they were obviously right since they wanted equal rights and everybody else was wrong."

I guess I don't really understand this. To my mind, they were right and everybody else was wrong. Strom Thurmond was a jackass who was fucking wrong about race in America. Are we using the word "wrong" differently? I'm using it to mean "incorrect." If you don't think that equal rights is a cause that's "right" as opposed to "wrong" why work for it in the first place?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:30 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


sorry for being a lax obsessive but what happened with this?: dirtynumbangelboy split
posted by skwt at 1:40 AM on January 8, 2010


nevermind got it
posted by skwt at 1:41 AM on January 8, 2010


I was going to say nothing in this thread. I think Alia *is* a troll, and should be ignored.

But I really dispute that Alia raises hackles merely because she "expresses different opinions" or "opinions that are not common on Metafilter."

To me, that's utter bullshit.

There have been quite a few conservatives on Metafilter, and the majority of them are treated with civility and respect even when their views are anathema to a majority. As I have said in my own engagements with Alia, you cannot spin the "I'm just a little middle-American mom speaking for all the regular small town Christian folks" crap with me. I have spent much of my life working in rural American communities. I've worshipped with friends in conservative evangelical churches hundreds of times. I've played gospel and country music professionally. I've been in more small towns in this country (US) than most people could name, and have dozens of close friends who would describe themselves as Christian conservatives. Not just "some of my best friends." Many of my oldest and dearest friends. I've *enjoyably* and productively debated politics with fundamentalist preachers and redneck mechanics for 20 years. I myself am a conservative on certain issues (libertarian, but for example I favor gun ownership rights most liberals would find appalling).

I am not, I insist, an anti-conservative bigot who finds Alia offensive because of *what* she believes. I think a lot of what she believes is bigoted nonsense. I am capable of separating my judgment of a person's character from what I consider to be limitations in their experience or education that might condition their beliefs and ideologies a certain way. On many points of conservative belief, I can go further and accept the validity of the opinion given certain assumptions (about human nature, about politics, etc.) which may or may not be valid. And on some points, I am right with the most conservative people I know.

No, it's not a difference of "opinion." I think Alia is insincere. I think her "I'm just a down home American mom" schtick *is* a schtick. She's a political activist -- at least in her own mind -- for whom that schtick is capital. She is disingenuous about her *intention* to disrupt and derail political discussions on MeFi, not with her "unpopular" ideas, but with her use of her *self* as an exemplar of their embodiment, or really as a straw (wo)man. If you find her *manner* of self-presentation offensive or narcissistic or disruptive, you are guilty of being against "people like her." And that means now *you're* the bigot, and she's got you nailed for picking on such a nice lady.

Nowhere was this more apparent than during the 2008 election, when she would routinely pop into threads to tell us that, as a representative of "real" small town white Christian America, she spoke for a majority in calling Barack Obama a scary terrorist and Sarah Palin the embodiment of all that is good and normal. Over and over and over again.

Barack Obama won St. Alia's home county in North Carolina by 18 percent. Who is it that speaks for small town America again?

I don't want to know all the details of someone's personal life on Mefi either. I know so much about Alia's family and her personal life (and her husband, the GOP operative, by the way, oh and her mixed-race grandkid who somehow proves she could not possibly be a racist) because she uses it constantly to "prove" her points in a manner that makes any response an "attack" on her family or person or community, *as if she and her family represented* small town, Christian, conservative, southern, military, home-schooling, working-class, "real" America.

See, I think she knows exactly what she's doing. When she shows up to tell us gays are going to hell or Barack Obama is un-American, or (in AskMe) that medical science is wrong because she knows a doctor who says differently, in her oh-so-nice middle-aged white lady way, she's banking on being able to retreat to the "I'm just a nice middle aged small town Christian lady and all y'all are picking on me because you don't like people like me" position. Nonsense. She's a narcissist. She *wants* the conversation to be all about her. She wants to feel like a persecuted member of an oppressed Metafilter minority (while claiming to represent a majority in "the real world" -- this is her trump card, and it's bullshit). She *wants* threads to derail and become all about her. She wants MeTa threads devoted, as this one is, to discussing her identity on the site.

And most of all, she wants people she considers bad -- liberals, gays, intellectuals, scientists -- to take the thing from her hand and engage. It's a classic strategy of American anti-intellectualism, or of bullying the nerdy kids more generally. See, all your big words and ideas don't even dent my serene self-confidence that I am right and you are wrong and you represent a minority and I represent a majority, and God will damn you to hell for being who you are even though you think you're so smart. Here in the Real America, we don't like people like you, and I just thought I'd show up and remind you of that right in your own safe little place on the web.

I have learned to ignore her, even though she still pisses me off every time she posts (and I don't think she's much better in AskMe). I personally think the mods have given her way too much of a pass on the specious argument that she just has "different views" from the Mefi majority. In each of her incarnations, she is a constant lightning rod for conflict. It can't all be other people's fault, or about ideology. Most of her most vociferous antagonists (and I was one, now retired) are long-time members, people who contribute substantially to this site in other ways, who know her history and prior incarnations. That ought to tell you something. If it came down to losing Alia or losing the 8 or 10 MeFites who routinely smack her bullshit back in her direction, I know which one I think would hurt Metafilter more.

I *do* favor civility, and strive for it more and more the longer I am a member of MeFi. I see the wisdom of ignoring her attention-seeking behavior after banging my head against the screen a few too many times. Frankly, I see the wisdom of just plain not reading anything she posts, which is my new strategy, and staying out of threads where she appears. Since I killfiled Alia, I've enjoyed MeFi just a little more, and my blood pressure has gone down to boot. (But then, I'm just generally less active on here than I used to be, mostly because I'm really busy these days with work.)

But being nice has its limits. Knowing how to be "fake nice" in tone while saying hateful, bigoted, anti-intellectual things is a debating tactic often mastered by nice ladies like konolia. I mean bunnyfire. I mean St. Alia. It provides the perfect setup for deflecting any critical response as an attack on one's person or social group, not one's wrong, bigoted, or plain illogical ideas. It's passive aggressive. And it's bullshit. It's just as snarky as calling someone an asshole or a liar to say "you disagree with me, so therefore you must hate people like me." It's the faux populist martyrdom of the American right. It's all around us these days. Alia is steeped in it, and it's her modus operandi. She's putting one over on us, people.

All this aside, I get jessamyn's and cortex's points above, and I too value civility on MeFi as the core of its community enough that this is all I will have to say on the subject, and I do my very best not to take Alia's bait any more. (I think I've only slipped up once in the last 6 months.) She is not worth arguing with. She's not worth discussing. And in fact, if those of us who find her a hateful presence here just ignore her, she's probably going to get bored and go away.

Oh please, get bored and go away, nice church lady.

dnab's flameout got rid of one narcissistic attention-monger whose response to everything was hyper-emotional and over-personalized. Despite their surface differences, Alia's contributions to MeFi seem to me about the same as dnab's, and not worth the trouble of enduring her bullshit.

And dnab was an urban gay lefty atheist male, as I recall. The fact that I hated his mefi persona just as much as I despise Alia's should confirm that this is IN NO WAY about a difference of political opinion or identity. It's a dislike of people who can't debate differences of opinion or identity in good faith because they have NO INTENTION of doing so, disingenuous protestations to the contrary. It's all about them, their need to be the center of attention, and that's about all I have to say.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:59 AM on January 8, 2010 [119 favorites]


The University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team are national champions. That is all.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:00 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Burn the heretic!!!! Buuuuuuurn her! We should all subscribe to the same truth! Eliminate all nonconforming beliefs! Her beliefs are a danger to us all. No reasonable person would be able to see the irrationality of her beliefs on his or her own. Thus we must root out such heretics, and all additional threats to our belief system. We must ridicule, mock and shun those who would disagree with us! Without our guidance, without our insults and bullying, the common people will fall prey to her insidious belief system. We can't have that now, can we?

It is very important all of us believe the same belief. Yes, we can have minor differences, but we must all share the same ideology. Ideology is important. Without ideology one cannot function. Don't try. Nobody can do it. People without ideology are numbskulls.

One's life will not feel as fulfilling, one will feel empty and irrelevant. One will not be able to make decisions. It is VERY IMPORTANT you pick the right ideology, however. The wrong ideology will make you uncool and stupid and evil, therefore you must pick ours. All right, perhaps no ideology has lasted throughout history, and perhaps all of them have self-destructed at some point because of how they twist and weaken minds, but the point is an ideology makes you feel alive! Gives you purpose! Your life some meaning!

So make sure you attack this person of the wrong ideology. We like dedicated, passionate members, and the more you attack, the more frequently you attack, the more we will honor you. Such heroes and heroines cleanse this world of filth, and fill it with goodness and light!
posted by thisperon at 2:35 AM on January 8, 2010


thisperson, my point (at least) was the exact opposite from your implication, in case you were caricaturing my post. And your Orwellian language is absurd and uncalled for. No one is saying "burn the heretic." MeFi is full of heretics. That's exactly what this particular heretic -- St. Alia -- hates about us.

I don't give a flying fuck what St. Alia of the GOP believes. Or what you believe. If you can't make a reasoned case and have to resort to the sort of crap you just pulled in your comment, you're just trying to start a fight.

Not one critic of St. Alia has taken the position that her contributions are unwelcome because of the substantive content of her beliefs, in this thread, or generally in her history here. As I said, there are plenty of conservatives on this site, always have been, who are treated with respect.

What's really funny about your comment, though, is that the tradition represented by St. Alia as morally superior (and in your account, heretical for claiming so) is the one that actually *invented* "burning heretics."
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:48 AM on January 8, 2010 [20 favorites]


Man, I can't tell who's a sockpuppet for whom anymore around here either.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:57 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not one critic of St. Alia has taken the position that her contributions are unwelcome because of the substantive content of her beliefs, in this thread, or generally in her history here.

You know, I was kind of done here because I felt like it was becoming about me and that was inappropriate but I'll come right on back in and say that this isn't true. I'd say the racism, misogyny, and homophobia are a big part of why people don't like her, and those are absolutely part of the content of her beliefs.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:02 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac, your comment was actually one of the few I actually found thoughtful in this thread.

I'm amazed you think there are people who aren't ideologically hidebound in this thread however.

I don't care who started the tradition of "burning heretics." The point is that it is an ugly part of human nature gone very, very awry.
posted by thisperon at 3:04 AM on January 8, 2010


Pope Guilty, true, I stand corrected. It's hard to separate the bigotry from the "conservatism" when they are served in the same narcissistic goulash. Bigotry, against anyone, including believers, is unacceptable, and should be unacceptable in an enlightened community. I personally think Alia is a bigot, not just a conservative or a Christian (though they do tend to go together). I also concede that there is certainly anti-Evangelical-Christian bigotry in this thread and elsewhere when Alia has gotten people's hackles raised. It's hard not to respond to bigotry (her various formulations of "gays are going to hell" and "liberals support terrorists" for example) with counter-bigotry, but it's necessary to do so.

My point is that Alia's bigotry, ugly as it is, is disingenuously presented as a valid political position (or in thisperon's words, "ideology," which means something different to me) because she makes it her business to blur the line between what she believes and who she claims to *represent.* She does not represent Christianity, conservatism, or "America" any more than anyone else does. She represents herself, and herself alone. If she were clear about that, and didn't claim to be the spokeswoman for Real America among us heathens and faggots and terrorist-loving libruls and lying media whores, we could engage on the substance of her ideas. But her ideas are placed beyond criticism when they are represented as a valid representation of something other than her own damn self.

thisperon, we are all ideologically hidebound, yourself included. That's what "ideology" means: you take as natural and evidently true that which is actually socially and historically contingent.

I can name ten conservative MeFites, at least, whose views I respect even when I disagree with them, whose arguments I find compelling even when I think they are flawed, and whose manner I consider civil, respectful, and fair. Alia is not one of them.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:16 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, and "gone very, very awry?" Is St. Alia being persecuted here? Is there a mob of people agitating for her removal? Does she have no defenders? Is she herself just a little old defenseless church lady and we're "burning" her for being so?

I'll pull an Alia and bring in my own family history. My mother is a devout Christian with conservative beliefs on some issues that resemble Alia's (although on other issues, she's liberal, and she has always voted democractic and condemned her fellow Christians for bigotry). I grew up going to church. I know the bible inside and out and routinely engage in fascinating theological arguments with Christian elders in my current research setting (I'm an anthropologist) who want to save my soul and who appreciate the fact that I can quote chapter and verse when needed. As I said, I've spent a large number of my own Sunday mornings sitting in evangelical Christian churches with good friends -- people I love -- who believe Jesus Saves. I do so respectfully, and without judgment. My mother, who is highly educated as well as very devout, and like most of the devout Christians I know, would never presume to speak *for* her God, to tell other people how (her) God will judge them, or to claim she has the sole truth about what is moral or just in her possession. See, there's this important tradition in Christianity of *humility,* which Christians like St. Alia seem to have skipped learning about in Sunday School.

I myself am a "devout" atheist, a scientist by nature and training, a radical leftist in many political respects, a crazy right-winger in a few respects (I think I should be able to own an AK47 if I want to, I favor abolishing the Federal Reserve, and I am opposed to "free" trade across the borders between countries with unequal labor or environmental laws and standards; of course, I also favor the complete legalization of all drugs, the taxation of ALL churches, the abolishment of the "non-profit" corporation, the end of pegging school funding to property taxes in favor of a system where every child is entitled to the very same educational standards, a very high tax on carbon energy use, and a 100% tax on all inheritances. I favor gay marriage -- or rather, I oppose "marriage" as an institution of the state at all. I've read virtually the entire writings of Marx, Machiavelli, and Burke. And the Koran. And Darwin. What does this make me? What's my "ideology"?)

I like interesting, intelligent people. I like arguing with them. I like disagreeing with them in an agreeable way. I learn from people who believe or think differently from me. I've built my entire career as a scholar and activist on the premise that engaging with people who believe or think differently from oneself is the most productive path to truth.

So, speaking personally, I will continue to insist that I don't despise St. Alia because she is a Christian. Or a conservative. Or from a small town.

I dislike her effects on Metafilter's community and culture because she argues in bad faith. Period.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:36 AM on January 8, 2010 [13 favorites]



thisperon, we are all ideologically hidebound, yourself included. That's what "ideology" means: you take as natural and evidently true that which is actually socially and historically contingent.


Um, excuse me? If it's socially and historically contingent, why would I take that as "natural" and "evidently true"? One does not necessitate the other. I don't understand why you would feel and accept that it is inevitable. I feel like we should be MOVING AWAY from this situation, not accepting it like we can't help it.

What is it with this trend perpetrated in our present society that forces people into ideological camps? If you feel it's necessary for you to have an ideology, so be it. I'm sure I have a lot of assumptions about reality. What is not A GIVEN, however, is having to have share these assumptions with some labeled group.

Anyways, I would agree with you, in some sense, that St. Alia or whoever this poster is has a bit of "troll bait" going on. On the other hand, I doubt there is anything this person could say that could appease the people eager to vent their aggression on a lone, vocal Christian conservative hanging out in a largely liberal forum.
posted by thisperon at 3:36 AM on January 8, 2010


What does this make me? What's my "ideology"?

Hello? You're the one who said we're all ideologically hidebound, not me. Are you contradicting yourself?
posted by thisperon at 3:39 AM on January 8, 2010


No. We all have ideology. Another word for ideology, in my intellectual tradition, is "culture." That doesn't mean we share it perfectly with everyone else who claims to believe some things in common with us. I don't write comments on MeFi claiming to represent "an" ideology, or more pointedly, the totality of people who believe some things in common with me. It is possible to have an ideological stance without being an ideologue. That's what I am saying, apologies if it wasn't clear.

OK, I meant to post one comment and be done with this. I will not take the thing from anyone's hand again. Nothing will change. We'll be back to have this discussion again, and again, until Alia decides she's milked all the attention she can get from this site and we get bored with this same old same old back and forth.

I killfilled St. Alia a while back. I highly recommend it to my fellow MeFites.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:45 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Um, excuse me? If it's socially and historically contingent, why would I take that as "natural" and "evidently true"? One does not necessitate the other.

Except I didn't see this. We don't have enough points of reference in common to discuss this, I can tell. Ideology (or culture) is a capacity of the human mind to take as given that which is contingent on context. We couldn't function as social beings if we did not have this capacity.

However, a critical mind is capable of recognizing its ideological assumptions, and conceding that if those assumptions (all humans are interest-seeking individuals, there is a God in Heaven who will Judge Us All, All Men Are Created Equal, etc.) are not granted, the arguments that follow from them are not necessarily valid. I don't believe in God. I concede that if you grant the existence of a God, in your ideology, then you will reach different conclusions about human conduct than I will reach as an atheist.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:50 AM on January 8, 2010


thisperon : what are you actually trying to achieve with your burnburn speech up there? cuz from here it looks like you stepped into an already contentious thread, looked around, and decided what it was missing was more yelling.
posted by nadawi at 4:03 AM on January 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


Then you are not evaluating them as a person, but as that portion of themselves which you find it convenient to interact with.

That is totally bizarre - "Do you disregard people's political views when evaluating them?" "Yep." "Well, then, you're not REALLY evaluating them!"

Alright fine. In your mind, I'm not really evaluating anybody, but I think that semantic difference is pretty irrelevant to the discussion of "Do people's political views influence how you feel about them?" In your case - yes. In my case - no.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:11 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wonder if that's because there is a population of AskMe users who don't hang out on the blue and don't know she's someone to be shunned?

I don't hang out on the blue, mainly because I'm too scared to submit an opinion to it. I don't really know much about SAOTB, other than what I've seen in this thread. I also wasn't aware that I should be shunning someone.

For what that is worth.

Which probably isn't much, really. I just can't help thinking that the mods really earn that $5/user.
posted by Solomon at 4:26 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Grapefruitmoon, some people can't fathom a world outside of common political tropes. Politics is so much a part of their identity it is incomprehensible that anybody *gasp* could see things in a non-binary, more nuanced and accepting fashion.

Interestingly, cult members also harbor this particular kind of us/them mentality. It is highly important to them to know who is part of the in group and who is part of the out group. Their entire personality depends on it.

Many sectors of society outside of political parties also encourage this type of worldview. Sectors of the military, some of the more popular religious traditions, etc. The interesting thing is that this us/them type of worldview ultimately serves the perpetuation of the organizational structure involved, often to the detriment of the individual's intellectual and psychological development.
posted by thisperon at 4:33 AM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


I killfilled St. Alia a while back. I highly recommend it to my fellow MeFites.

How does one do this? Not necessarily for St. Alia, but it sounds like it could be a good thing to know.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:43 AM on January 8, 2010


Grapefruitmoon, some people can't fathom a world outside of common political tropes. Politics is so much a part of their identity it is incomprehensible that anybody *gasp* could see things in a non-binary, more nuanced and accepting fashion.

Extremely well put. That, in a nutshell, would be my definition of an "ideologue."
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:43 AM on January 8, 2010


Infinite Jest, there are several options, but the best is here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:48 AM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


That's an interesting us/them worldview you have going there, thisperon.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:53 AM on January 8, 2010


At least I'm aware of my own tendencies for groupthink. Are you?
posted by thisperon at 4:55 AM on January 8, 2010


The University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team are national champions. That is all. (BitterOldPunk)

BitterOldPunk, listen up, because this is likely the only time you will ever hear this coming from me, given that my heritage is so orange and blue that my grandfather went to Auburn Elementary, Auburn High School, and Auburn University, and my grandmother was Miss Auburn, but the circumstances are unique, and Bama's performance last night (and also your gallant defense of my hometown, Decatur, and its delicious barbecue earlier in this thread) warrants it:

Roll Tide.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:55 AM on January 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


As an addendum to that, last night my mother said to me, "You know, it's a national holiday in Alabama today." It must be even more of a national holiday now that they've won.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:56 AM on January 8, 2010


Seriously, did SAotB mention her opinions on homosexuality in the Revisionists post? I didn't see it.

I can't find the relevant MetaTalk thread, but I'm pretty sure that when konolia was granted a Brand New Day as St. Alia, the mods made it clear to her that she wasn't 'allowed' to espouse her homophobic beliefs on the site any more. It might even have been a

While searching for the thread in question, I stumbled across many mentions of Bevets, who made St. Alia look like a saint, so to speak.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 5:01 AM on January 8, 2010


Everyone needs a gay hug. Even certain people who we're trying not to talk about.

I think a good game of gay paintball would be more productive.
posted by milarepa at 5:09 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoops. I meant to write: It might even have been an earlier incarnation that was censured.

Anyway, I found the thread in question:

konolia: I have been prohibited-let me say that again, PROHIBITED-from even commenting on those subjects at metafilter on pain of being permabanned.

jessamyn: The specifc issue that this was centered around was that you would show up in threads discussing homosexuality and gratuitously interject your opinion that gay people were sinning and/or sinners.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, to be honest, it's not like MetaFilter runs on strict precedent...
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 5:11 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tip: If you mentally replace every St. Alia post with "HEY LOOK AT ME! LOOOOOK ATTTT MEEEEEEE!!! PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEE!", which is really the only reason she posts here, you'll be a lot less annoyed by her.
posted by cmonkey at 5:16 AM on January 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


I hope I get my own MeTa post some day. We all have dreams, right?
posted by josher71 at 5:23 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm just saying it's complicated. You can't just put people into BIGOT! vs DECENT PERSON categories the way you seem to want to do.

I totally agree. I was thinking of this on my drive over to work (yes, it's too bad that this is taking up so much mental real estate, but so it goes) and the problem is that there's no referee. Neither Pope Guilty, nor I, nor anyone else can say objectively "Look, you're just wrong." I think Shakespeare got it right - "There's nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so."

To my father, who believes that homosexuality is an abberation caused by demonic possession - my bisexuality is a sign that I am in the grips of Satan. And yeah, this is wackadoo nuts, but in his mind, I am just flat out wrong about gay rights because if gays would just accept Christ, they wouldn't be gay! (Ok, we can agree that yes, this is just not true, but the point I'm trying to make is that the "hate the sin, not the sinner" thing, while crazy to those of us who don't espouse that particular belief, totally makes complete sense to the people who do.) So, on this issue, he believes that he's firmly right. And I believe that he is firmly wrong. And each of us, were we trying to "judge" would just keep yelling until we were blue in the face and neither of us would change our minds.

And yes, you're going to pipe in with "Well, he is wrong." Ok, fine, but he thinks the same thing about you. So, given that there is no one on the sidelines giving out yellow cards, trying to tease apart complicated ethical issues into "BIGOT!" and "DECENT PERSON!" just doesn't work. There's no judge, no objective standard. This liberal "but you're just WRONG" mindset doesn't hold up when met with the conservative "yeah, well, but YOU'RE WRONGER" response. Especially not if we're trying to be seen as more accepting of the general human community.

My dad also collects medical supplies for missionary expeditions to the Phillipines and spends a great deal of time and energy on this kind of foreign relief work through his church. He's not a bad guy. He's just a guy whose beliefs are a bit bats and he's firmly entrenched in them due to constant reinforcement from Fox News et al. He'd say the same about me. He'd tell you I'm not a bad person, I've just spent too much time being coerced by the agents of Satan who exist among us to tempt our faith.

Absent a giant wizard in the sky pointing fingers, there's no way to go about making "YOU'RE JUST WRONG!" distinctions accurately and without seeming like a giant jerk. I hope the one thing we can agree on is that no matter what your beliefs are, you shouldn't be a dick about them.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:34 AM on January 8, 2010 [13 favorites]


At least I'm aware of my own tendencies for groupthink. Are you?

Yes.

I'm also aware of my own tendencies to be contrarian and disruptive just to prove to myself that I'm a dangerous thinker that isn't just one of the sheeple. I'm aware of my own tendencies to post mutton-fisted attempts at tone-deaf "satire" to show that my unchained brilliance just can't be controlled.

I try not to do it, because it contributes nothing to the conversation, and reinforces some of my worst personality traits to the detriment of actually listening to other points of view, assimilating them, and reconsidering my own beliefs.

Threadshitting is fun in a look-at-me sort of way, but if you want to show you're against "groupthink," try a reasoned, intelligent response that is opposed to majority opinion. People will listen. But you need to show that you're listening too.
posted by Shepherd at 5:45 AM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


I hope the one thing we can agree on is that no matter what your beliefs are, you shouldn't be a dick about them.

Over and above not being a dick (which is a pretty good first step), there's a big difference between speaking (or typing in this case) to be all "Look at me! And you are WRONG!" and speaking to communicate. Even if you are 110% right, and the other person is just as wrong (which as we all have experienced is common on the internet), unless you are speaking in a way that actually reaches your audience, you aren't doing much good.

My take on SAOTB is that she's more background noise than anything. I really, really wish people would quit bringing up her past identities into the discussion, complete with links and quotes. I don't know if she is just a bit wacky, or has serious mental health issues, or what, but I think at this point in time there just isn't any point in allowing her to push your buttons every goddamn time. Because that's what is happening -- people are welcoming and embracing the button pushing, and finding it even in relatively innocuous comments.

And life is just too short for that kind of nonsense, honestly. The half hour it takes to type up that impassioned screed could have been spent doing something fun and rewarding, like baking cookies or petting your cat. Moreover, the results of the button pushing are almost invariably shrill and unpleasant to read -- the worst kind of liberal smugness and insularity. All that unhappiness, and it's not even generating something that's fun to read.
posted by Forktine at 5:45 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, I look back at that konolia "silenced ALL MY LIFE" thread, and I realized there's a lot of great posters in there that you just don't see around here anymore. Maybe being one of Time's top sites hasn't benefited us, really, all that much.
posted by nevercalm at 5:52 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ideology is the individual's imaginary relation to reality.
posted by Wolof at 5:53 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you believe in God, and that God is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong and that sinners go to hell, then it's not only a fact that sinners go to hell, it's right that sinners go to hell. To be against sinners going to hell would be morally wrong.

Huh. That's interesting to bring into the conversation, since literally nobody believes that.

I respect you enough to honestly criticize your beliefs...

O RLY?
posted by jock@law at 5:54 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grapefruitmoon, some people can't fathom a world outside of common political tropes. Politics is so much a part of their identity it is incomprehensible that anybody *gasp* could see things in a non-binary, more nuanced and accepting fashion.

Oh, I'm well aware. I suppose I was just trying to point out that some people don't view things this way - and hard as it is for the more politically minded to accept, it's not that we don't have critical thinking skills or opinions, we just have totally different priorities.

Like cheese. I value cheese way more than I value evaluating other people's political beliefs.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:58 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everyone needs some cheese.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:03 AM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Can't believe I read the whole thing. HAMBURGER

Perhaps a change of perspective: the next thing you read that offends your sensibilities, take it as a test of your ability to move above it and just ignore the slight/bigotry/intentional ignorance/what have you. Those of you who speak the loudest and the longest on the subject have already demonstrated your zeal and your commitment to the various and sundry ideals you hold dear- now prove you can be better than what makes you angry.

I'm reminded of the old saw about the two southern girls who meet each other after summer vacation:

Girl 1: "Why, I just had the most incredible summer! We went to Venice, and rode the gondolas!"

Girl 2: "How nice for you."

Girl 1: "And then we went to Paris and the Eiffel Tower was simply divine!"

Girl 2: "How nice for you."

Girl 1: "And then we went to Italy to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, isn't that incredible? What did you do this summer?"

Girl 2: "I went to finishing school."

Girl 1: "And what did you do there?"

Girl 2: "We learned to say 'How nice for you' instead of 'fuck you.'

Maybe it's time for finishing school.
posted by Pragmatica at 6:26 AM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


Absent a giant wizard in the sky pointing fingers, there's no way to go about making "YOU'RE JUST WRONG!" distinctions accurately and without seeming like a giant jerk. I hope the one thing we can agree on is that no matter what your beliefs are, you shouldn't be a dick about them.

Thanks for saying this. It's exactly what I was going to say, only intelligent. I feel like I keep reading comments in this thread that say 'It's not St. Alia's opinion that bothers me, it's that she's wrong!'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:38 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha, reminds me of an oldie but a goodie:

So this hillbilly -- we'll call him Cletus -- decides to travel to Cambridge and have a look at the famed Harvard University.

Standing in Harvard Square, Cletus spits out his tobacco and approaches a fellow smoking a pipe, wearing a tweed jacket, and waiting for Widener Library to open.

Cletus asks the fellow in tweed "Hey buddy, can you tell me where Harvard Yard's at?"

Tweedy looks at Cletus through squinted eyes and intones, "Sir, around here we do not end our sentences with prepositions."

To which Cletus replies: "Oh, okay, I get it. Pardon me. Can you tell me where Harvard Yard is at, ASSHOLE?"

/told to me by an actual hillbilly, not hillbillyist, somewhat Harvardist
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:41 AM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Some matters of fact do not reduce to competing "opinions."

You can believe the earth was created by God 6000 years ago with Man already here and fully formed. I can prove your "opinion" is false on its face. You can choose not to accept my proof, but you can't offer any in response.

I disagree with your opinion, because you're wrong.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:44 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


To be against unrepentant sinners going to hell would be morally wrong.

ftfy

Now the comment stands just fine.
posted by scrutiny at 6:51 AM on January 8, 2010


You can believe the earth was created by God 6000 years ago with Man already here and fully formed. I can prove your "opinion" is false on its face.

And that still would not entitle you to make cheap attacks on that person's family.

Also, no you can't. "False on its face" doesn't mean what you think it means. "I am both alive and not-alive at the same time" is a statement that is false on its face. To prove the Earth is older than 6000 years you need, you know, actual evidence. But either way you still shouldn't be calling posters' kids stupid or uneducated or talking about them in heated argument at all.
posted by jock@law at 6:53 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


I killfilled St. Alia a while back.

Then how exactly do you know she's arguing in bad faith or good faith or any faith at all?

It's your privilege to killfile her (there are plenty of people I do my best to tune out around here), but it's dirty pool to say "I'm ignoring you; la la la I can't HEAR you" and then write extended comments trashing someone's character and accusing her of disingenuousness -- as if any of us is an authority on the authenticity of another's viewpoints.

I never exactly get the basis for claims of "bad faith." The logic seems to go, "I would never think that, and it doesn't match my observations of real life; therefore, you must not genuinely believe it or see it either and are just fucking with us. You couldn't possibly mean something so contrary to my own experience because the lens I see through is the only accurate one."

Anyhow, if we're taking sides, I'm on the side that's extremely tired of all the usual suspects going into a frenzy of obsessive nastiness every time St. Alia says, "Nice day, isn't it?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:53 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, someone who believes that would point to their Religious Book, which they believe is proof enough. Your Science Book isn't credible to them in the same way their Religious Book isn't credible to you.

You haven't proved anything wrong, even if, in reality, it is wrong. You've made an assertion and backed it up with what you believe is evidence, which is exactly what the other person has done.
posted by mpbx at 6:54 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're right that some matters of fact do not reduce to competing opinions.

But the way to prove that you are right and the other person is wrong is not accomplished by insults and screaming.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 AM on January 8, 2010


Hooray! You thought of an opinion that could be proven wrong. Therefore all opinions can be proven wrong! And therefore the opinions I disagree with are wrong! You've solved the problem!

Note: You could also have gone with "You can believe the sky is purple with green polka-dots and the moon is made of candy." because that has been expressed just as frequently in this thread as the 6000 year old earth opinion and is just as relevant to the discussion at hand.
posted by Dojie at 6:55 AM on January 8, 2010


Some matters of fact do not reduce to competing "opinions." You can believe the earth was created by God 6000 years ago with Man already here and fully formed. I can prove your "opinion" is false on its face. You can choose not to accept my proof, but you can't offer any in response.

Right, and I've had this discussion. But the problem isn't that one side is wrong, the problem is that neither side will bend and both sides equally believe that they are right and you get people just yelling at each other until they're blue in the face.

You can offer my dad any amount of proof and he's still going to tell you that dinosaurs were put here to test your faith. So, in the end, it's not worth challenging his opinion for the sake of "discussion" unless what you actually want to do is just yell and scream a lot. Offering up a rational argument and then leaving it alone is really the best you can do.

(Again, if we're talking about this in the context of legislation and public policy, that's not my beef - I'm specifically and only talking about interpersonal discussion on an informal level.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:55 AM on January 8, 2010


Pope Guilty:
"Irish might not necessarily mean drunk, but it's enough evidence to suspect.


That's offensive."

Exactly! I'm glad you see my point, and that we agree on this.
posted by Shohn at 7:01 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I disagree with your opinion, because you're wrong

This may very well be true, but I think that your earlier point was stronger: the problem with St. Alia is not that her beliefs are untrue, but that she often seems to be disingenuously baiting other posters by feigning sweet folksy reasonableness whilst pushing buttons.

For what it's worth, I would very much like to see Metafilter contain thoughtful, polite and articulate contributions from all sides.

On the other hand, there does seem to be a trend in conservatism towards annoying liberals purely to get a rise out of them. Many liberals care deeply and sincerely about issues where they are convinced that they are in the right - it can be quite easy to make someone like that very upset.

Usually, this irritating behaviour involves heavy use of implication - implying that someone is stupid, going to burn in hell, dismissable etc. without actually saying so directly. You get to appear "polite" and "civil" whilst saying very uncivil things. I have had people do that to me and is extremely provocative.

I really do enjoy conversations with conservatives who don't do that.
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:01 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


> I think there's something uniquely horrifying about a culture where a sincere "people I don't like are going to hell to be murdered and tortured forever" sentiment is casually tossed off like that. The sheer dehumanization of it is boggling.

You are either disingenuous or reality-challenged. Please stop trying to stir up shit and go look at a sunset or something. In this thread, you are far worse for MetaFilter than St. Alia. (Also, what des said about barbecue. I'll tolerate a lot for good barbecue.)
posted by languagehat at 7:06 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


I disagree with your opinion, because in my opinion, you're wrong.

I don't know about y'all, but it works a lot better for me this way.
posted by Shohn at 7:06 AM on January 8, 2010


If you mentally replace every St. Alia post with "HEY LOOK AT ME! LOOOOOK ATTTT MEEEEEEE!!! PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEE!", which is really the only reason she posts here, you'll be a lot less annoyed by her.

In my mind's eye she is more like a demented prairie dog; she pops out of her hole. Says something nonsensical or debatable or hateful. Then pops back into her dark hole. And when people stand around the hole, sputtering, fuming, getting angry, she pops out of a different hole and says something else-- often not related at all. She is so passive-aggressive that it is absolutely maddening: "Well, that's what folks around here think, I'm just saying." as though she is doing us this great service by reporting on what the imaginary composite people in her mythical kingdom believe. We already know what "they" believe, what we need are people with honest beliefs who can communicate why, exactly they feel the way they do. But that's not the way bunny operates.

So the brand new deal/whole new day thing is a joke if we can connect the dots to a previous account because the person acts exactly the same-- with the same communication style and the same opinions and the same family anecdotes. I don't have any way to remember whether something was written by Konolia or if it was St. Alia or if it was bunnyfire-- they are the same person, forever blurred in my mind.

What I have tried to do is to remember that when she says something debatable, she won't be around to debate-- she is back in her hole, back in her warm, comfortable nest completely undisturbed by anything logical or contrary to her world view.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:07 AM on January 8, 2010 [19 favorites]


FelliniBlank: “I never exactly get the basis for claims of ‘bad faith.’”

That's precisely the problem here.

Claiming someone "isn't arguing in good faith" is the equivalent of running screaming to mommy and begging her to get the other kid to play fair. There's no mommy here, unfortunately, to easily resolve all such issues; we just have to be bold and stop being so childish when someone says something that really irks us.

Particularly, fourcheesemac's comment above displayed this: a deeply wounded, personally hurt sense that bunny-ali-olia had really got him where it counted—as though argument with someone irrational really hurt him. Frankly, those descriptions made me excited for when kon-fire-ofthebunnies turns up again. By that account, she should be the easiest person in the world to argue against; all you'd have to let go of is a deep attachment to your own position, and you'd have an immediate and unmitigable advantage. And if she really was a genius of evil logic, then wouldn't it be worthwhile to battle such an opponent?
posted by koeselitz at 7:09 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nothing she said in the thread this MeTa is related to was in any way hateful or nonsensical.

The issue here is that people have decided that threads must be derailed to drive her away, regardless of whether what she says is bad or not.
posted by mpbx at 7:10 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes, my example was meant in the abstract, not in reference to St. Whomever of the Whatever. You can build entire opinionated edifices and irrational models of proof on the basis of a few willfully denied obvious truths about the world.

But in the abstract, no, shohn, it's not the same thing. There are confirmable facts about the empirical world on which humans can and must agree to live, let alone live in society. ("This plant is inedibly poisonous? I don't believe you. In my opinion you're wron . . . . ."). If someone refuses to accept the truth of such an obvious fact about the world in the context of their ideology, their ideology is permeable by reason.

I disagree with your opinion that the world is flat, because in my opinion the world is round? Really?
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:11 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


koselitz, that's sort of a bad faith comment in its own right. By your standards, we would have no standards of discourse.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:12 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


it's clear to me that a few people here are engaged in a personal vendetta against st alia and are simply unable to let go of it

it's perfectly possible to rebut the questionable things she says without dragging the whole history of her participation into it - it's even possible to just ignore her

frankly, the self-righteous listing of grievances that people indulge against her is much more harmful to this place than anything she's said recently
posted by pyramid termite at 7:18 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


further replies:
-- grapefruitmoon, I agree. Did I scream? I oppose screaming. We're on the same page.

Dojie, I hope my second example cleared up your confusion of my point. I've "thought of an opinion that could be proved wrong?" No, I've thought of one of an innumerable number of factual claims about the external world that could be proved right, where to hold the opposite fact in your head would only be defensible as a matter of "opinion." A line between fact and opinion is the basis of science, and of modern societies that depend on scientific progress (which only recently got some traction against religion). Perhaps I should substitute the words "subjective" and "objective" for "opinion" and "fact."

You are perfectly entitled to "believe" (or have an "opinion" about) an unprovable truth. I cannot dispute it on rational grounds. I have such opinions too (I think red hair is beautiful, for example, and I like Indian food; neither is more or less true for anyone else by virtue of being your opinion than a belief in the existence of God). Hell, you're entitled to have an opinion based on provable falsehoods, as long as you don't compel me to believe the same thing, or my kids to have to learn those falsehoods as the equivalent of evident facts (this discussion was about textbooks at one point; we were discussing "policy," and it's not just about MeFi community norms, since this is a public forum where we try to argue for our "opinions," among other things we do, so that they will have consequences in the world). And as long as your non-objective opinions don't drag society down with them, which I think is the case for some of the opinions we're discussing here. (That, of course, is my opinion; I can make a case for it, but it's not in the class of demonstrably provable facts, and I would concede that.)

It's empiricism, baby. We're only here because we have a capacity to learn from experience.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:21 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tip: If you mentally replace every St. Alia post with "HEY LOOK AT ME! LOOOOOK ATTTT MEEEEEEE!!! PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEE!", which is really the only reason she posts here, you'll be a lot less annoyed by her.

I guess because I mostly spend time on the green, I don't see this as the case. She isn't a cartoon troll; she's simply that annoying (for some of us) fundie or conservative relative that we tolerate during the holidays (and send right to our spam box if she's got our email)--who has found "our" website.

It sounds like she's said execrable things in the past; I'm also aware that this was chalked up to some under-treated mental health issues. If she's still writing offensive comments, fine, flag and move on, and hopefully they get deleted like other ugly sentiments here do.

Constantly waiting for her to make the slightest move towards her old "bunnyfire" or "konolia" personae and then launching a full-on hate attack (OMG, she said something about homeschooling! Or, OMG, she said something about karmic retribution but since she's a Christian and not a Buddhist that means her metaphor is an offensive fairy tale!!1!), doesn't seem like a great way of demonstrating how tolerance and logic is supposed to work.
posted by availablelight at 7:30 AM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


There are confirmable facts about the empirical world on which humans can and must agree to live, let alone live in society.

True. But those are not the kinds of opinions anyone has disagreed about here. There are also many many other opinions which are not confirmable. Those are the ones that turn people (here and elsewhere) into screaming idjits. There is [or is not] a God. The Soviet Union failed because of [whatever]. [Whatever] is the best economic policy. America sucks [or does not suck]. Mayonnaise sauce is [or is not] vile and repugnant. You can have reasons (even evidence) for thinking the way you do, but you don't always have proof that you are correct. Most of the liberal/conservative disagreement that causes the kind of trouble we're talking about is like that.

And I apologize for my last comment. That was my first snark on metafilter and, while I don't think it was particularly inappropriate or egregious, I feel guilty about it and wish I hadn't done that. Bad Dojie. Bad, bad Dojie. On the other hand, it was also my first attempt at using small text and it worked correctly. Hooray for Dojie!
posted by Dojie at 7:31 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


SNOW DAY!!!
posted by nola at 7:36 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I see your point, fourcheesemac, and I agree in many ways. There are some things that are black and white. The problem often lies here:

If someone refuses to accept the truth of such an obvious fact about the world in the context of their ideology, their ideology is permeable by reason

Specifically, at some point on the hierarchy of obviousness, there's some divergence. What may be patently and blatantly obvious to you may not be so to me. Does that make my entire ideology permeable to reason? I may believe that a plant is poisonous because I've had an allergic reaction to it, and you haven't. Is that opinion or fact? Where's the line?

And facts can change. The entire history of Science! is filled with brilliant people challenging and disproving dogma that was proclaimed as indisputable fact.

Put another way, I used to think that those who opposed the death penalty were just pretty wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Well, I don't think they're that wrong anymore. As a matter of fact, I think the death penalty is pretty wrong, now.

We can sit around and agree about how right we are that the earth is round because it's so obvious a fact. But what happens when I tell you that it's blatantly obvious to me that there's a God in Heaven, but it's not perhaps that obvious to you? Should I tell you that you're just wrong?

Yes, there are empirical facts. I have observed that there is a tree outside my window. It is there. It exists. I'm pretty confident of that. But not everything I think is right or wrong is based on personal observation. I have never personally seen the entire earth from a vantage that empirically proves its rotundity. Yet I believe that it is, in fact, round. I'm just as confident of that fact as I am about the tree out there.

The rightness of many of the things we discuss on MetaFilter isn't equally obvious to everyone who participates in the conversation.

I should remember that as much as anyone.
posted by Shohn at 7:38 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dojie, I hope you will understand that I will probably always read your posts in Dobby the house-elf's voice now.
posted by Pragmatica at 7:38 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would also like to point out, for the purposes of full disclosure, that Shohn is my husband. Although we are not in the same location right now and haven't been working together on this. Also, as his wife, I can verify that many of his opinions are, in fact, very very wrong.

I only sound like Dobby when I sing.
posted by Dojie at 7:47 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


If we're going to toss out the standard of argument "in good faith," where one actually believes both that one is speaking one's own truth and respecting the rights of others to hold alternative truths in mind where such truths are not decidable by appeal to self-evident proof, and where one is bound by discourse norms to engage with what someone actually says rather than what impute to them by stereotype, then there's no point debating anything. Let's just post lolcat jpgs and one-liners.

"Good faith" is not an obscure concept or standard of argument. It is enshrined in western law.

As for my killfiling alia, that is actually an instance of not arguing in good faith on my part, and FelliniBlank does have me dead to rights on my own hypocrisy. Mea culpa. Like I said, I struggled to abstain from this thread. My comments on her posting history are based on prior engagements to the thread in question, and perhaps she's changed in the last couple of months and I just haven't noticed, in which case she has my apologies and sincere respect. I don't think she's stupid, and I think she has an interesting perspective to offer, just not one that she should be universalizing in bad faith, knowing it will be hurtful and contentious in advance. (The very definition of "bigotry," and something from which none of us are fully immune.)

I think *in the past,* then, that she has frequently argued in bad faith, for positions I consider bigoted, and with the claim to speak on behalf of a constituency I know well enough to take offense on their behalf, and to resent the portrayal of Christian or small town or even conservative American culture and values she articulates as if it were self-evident that she was somehow typical of a category to which many Mefites -- myself included -- self-ascribe ("Real Americans" will do for a gloss, or "moral individuals," for another). And in the past, her forays into contentious topics have been clearly antagonistic in intent. She has, in the past, rarely conceded the validity of others' perspectives, in an assertive manner that has invited attacks on her own; that, to me, is the very definition of "bad faith." Again, we all do it. When called on it, some of us have changed our stripes, actually -- I try myself not to be as fighty as a I used to be, in part because of the futility and frustrating redudnancy of this very argument. And yet here it goes again. If SATB has changed her stripes, and I've missed it, I regret my failure to peruse her recent posting history.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:48 AM on January 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


koeselitz: kon-fire-ofthebunnies

This made me laugh out loud. But it also reminded me of something:
"Decency... decency is what your grandmother taught you. It's in your bones! Now you go home. Go home and be decent people. Be decent.

I'm so glad that quote was on imdb. :)
posted by zarq at 7:50 AM on January 8, 2010


I'm so glad that quote was on imdb. :)

Was that movie any good? I love the book but have avoided the film in light of the indisputable fact that the poster makes it look terrible.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:54 AM on January 8, 2010


wow, 8 hours of sleep did wonders for my disposition after reading this thread last night.

waking up and reading the rest of it made my disposition even worse.

it's frustrating to me that those of us who reject Alia's bigotry also have on "our side" people who distract the entire userbase as much as Pope Guilty does. What I mean is that if the most reasoned argument against Alia's behavior were being made in the thread last night, all by itself, then the MOMENT Pope Guilty showed up to post his anti-christian novels... forget it. thread's done. whatever group of arguments might tenuously have been called "we" has just lost. blam. that is now the focus of the thread, and suddenly the fact that alia is a real and actual bigot is lost amid the cries of her being persecuted by anti-christian factions that probably only represent 5 admittedly too-vocal users.

and a similar thing happened with Optimus Chyme, who (in this thread) really only made the mistake of irking jessamyn. that the initial irking was the result of god knows how much trouble jessamyn has had with his previous comments is true, but it wasn't supposed to be the subject of this thread. except now it is.

that we went from "let's not pile on alia about her kids" (which should have been a short damn discussion consisting of 'yes, let's.') to now having the argument be twisted around into some kind of fight between people who hate christians and people who hate prejudice is mind blowingly frustrating. because the original topic could have been a short discussion, and this thread could have moved successfully onto the topic of what to do about alia. I honestly think we need to have that discussion, and I think it'd be poor form for me to start a separate meta thread about it just because this one's focus was slightly different.

but now? it's fucked. PG has made it about him, and jessamyn has made it about OC. so no thanks for that, guys. it also certainly doesn't help that the mods call alia's behavior things like "not great" instead of "bigoted" or "dishonest" or "hurtful." I understand the impulse, and as much as I've come down hard on them in the past I really have come around to supporting how they do things. That they try to speak softly about issues so that they don't add fuel to fires they're trying to put out is great. I mean it, that's the way to go. it's why mefi is great, and they're great for doing it. but christ. she's not "not great." she's not "less than ideal." she's a bigot. an unapologetic, admitted and unrepentant bigot. and it's unbelievably frustrating to hear it referred to as anything else, because that's not how you deal with bigotry. I'm all for civil discourse. But I'm also for honesty, and while the desire to be gentle is admirable, when you call alia's behavior something other than ignorant bigotry, it's more than gentle. it's dishonest. and that drives me up the wall, if you couldn't already tell.

so let me know: can we have the discussion specifically about alia? or are we gonna have to run the PG gauntlet?
posted by shmegegge at 7:54 AM on January 8, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'm all for civil discourse. But I'm also for honesty, and while the desire to be gentle is admirable, when you call alia's behavior something other than ignorant bigotry, it's more than gentle. it's dishonest.

I suppose my question is 'why call it anything at all?' Surely, if a person says something that offends you and it's your belief that they get pleasure from your offense, why give them that pleasure? And if offending you does not give them pleasure, and you're capable of ignoring it, why wouldn't you?

There are so many other things that can actually cause harm, why would you give any energy, positive or negative, to the offhand bigotry of a web forum personality?
posted by Pragmatica at 8:01 AM on January 8, 2010


I'm sort of wondering where the line is usefully drawn?

I'm a fool for entertaining even for a moment the notion that this is anything but a rhetorical question - for who am I, but a fool - and yet am utterly fascinated by the import of the question. I am certain I could not do justice to its difficulty or its nuance, nor the wealth of experience and discernment belonging to the person(s) faced with it.

A useful line? A practicable line? A three prong test or something? Perhaps others more reliable here might have a suggestion or two. Yet try as I might, I cannot avoid the apprehension that this would come all too close to writing rules for satire or parody, with all sorts of nefarious consequences accruing to them. Less *hot nails*? Certainly (myself included). An exhortation for more inventiveness and play in the satirist's delightful demonstration of our follies? Mos def. Beyond that ... I'm not sure such a useful line can be drawn.
The situation reminds me of Borges's story "Averroes' Search," in which the latter struggles to find a basis on which to understand the meaning of tragedy and comedy in Aristotle's Poetics. What are the rules for defining these things?

At any rate, the porosity of this line - be it in the sand, or one that you do not cross - speaks, in my view, for and not against the openness of the community to both new members and to challenges to our idiocies.
posted by rudster at 8:08 AM on January 8, 2010



There have been quite a few conservatives on Metafilter, and the majority of them are treated with civility and respect even when their views are anathema to a majority.


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:10 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


fourcheesemac -- spot on and well said!
posted by ericb at 8:17 AM on January 8, 2010


There are so many other things that can actually cause harm, why would you give any energy, positive or negative, to the offhand bigotry of a web forum personality?

Because that's how one fights bigotry. By pointing to it when it appears in public forums and saying "Hey, that's not okay. Here's why." Bigotry and hatred thrive on a culture of approval. Non-action in response to it is encouragement to continue.

If we don't speak up, then effecting change becomes impossible.
posted by zarq at 8:18 AM on January 8, 2010 [12 favorites]


I disagree with your opinion, because you're wrong

My next bumper sticker.
posted by philip-random at 8:21 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because that's how one fights bigotry. By pointing to it when it appears in public forums and saying "Hey, that's not okay. Here's why." Bigotry and hatred thrive on a culture of approval. Non-action in response to it is encouragement to continue.

In the context of MetaFilter, I disagree. In this environment, bigotry and hatred are a tarbaby. Ignoring them completely removes their power.

If we don't speak up, then effecting change becomes impossible.

Change of what, exactly? Still speaking in the context of MetaFilter, mind you.
posted by Pragmatica at 8:27 AM on January 8, 2010


Because that's how one fights bigotry. By pointing to it when it appears in public forums and saying "Hey, that's not okay. Here's why." Bigotry and hatred thrive on a culture of approval. Non-action in response to it is encouragement to continue.

Yes, yes, yes. If everyone responded to offensive statements that way, the world (and Metafilter) would be a much better place. Unfortunately, the response Alia (and she is not alone in this) gets to problematic opinions is not a calm, respectful statement of why she's wrong - it's "UR A TROLL AND I HATE U AND YR KIDS R STOOPID!" And because people don't like her (rightly or wrongly), she also gets the same response when she says something completely innocuous. I would rather see a whole bunch of non-action to that.
posted by Dojie at 8:28 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I keep waiting to find this thread interesting or engaging. I'm certainly not shy about jumping into fighty meTas, but this one just leaves me cold. And bored. I've only been around a few years but it feels like we've had this same conversation a thousand times. I'm glad if some folks are getting something out of it - a new perspective, some favorites, whatever - but man, old fights are old.

One thing that's particularly ticked me off though are the repeated suggestions that since the mods have not banned St. Alia, they must be okay with bigotry. That's just dumb.
posted by rtha at 8:35 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Change of what, exactly? Still speaking in the context of MetaFilter, mind you.

The people posting are not the only people reading. You may not change the mind of the person who wrote something bigoted (although I've never seen anything overtly bigoted avoid deletion for long), but there may be someone else reading along who says to himself "yeah, that dude's got a point. " It may not be a life-changing moment for hypothetical guy at home, but if it gets someone thinking about a previously unchallenged assumption, that's a very good thing.
posted by Dojie at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


And I say that as someone who reads a whole lotta stuff on the blue but pretty much never participates in the discussions. I've found a lot of stuff to think about there, and some of my assumptions have, in fact, been challenged by points raised there. But only by the people who act like reasonable people. Because Shouty Jerky-McJerkfaces who result to insults instead of discussion get passed right by.
posted by Dojie at 8:45 AM on January 8, 2010


If you think "I have less respect for you because of the things you believe" is even vaguely comparable to the dehumanization inherent in sex-, race-, or sexuality-based bigotry, I think you maybe need to spend some time thinking about your privilege.

No, it's not comparable and not as bad, but it's still shitty behaviour and shouldn't be welcome here.
posted by rocket88 at 8:46 AM on January 8, 2010


It may not be a life-changing moment for hypothetical guy at home, but if it gets someone thinking about a previously unchallenged assumption, that's a very good thing..


This has happened to me numerous times since I've started here. And, some of my beliefs and opinions have changed, I believe for the better. The "Spittle Brigade" (forgot who said that upthread, but it was awesome!) does completely turn me off. Not necessary or helpful in building community
posted by pearlybob at 8:48 AM on January 8, 2010


So what do you all think about not vaccinating your kids?
posted by Balisong at 8:48 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


The people posting are not the only people reading. You may not change the mind of the person who wrote something bigoted (although I've never seen anything overtly bigoted avoid deletion for long), but there may be someone else reading along who says to himself "yeah, that dude's got a point."

You're right. Your way's better.
posted by Pragmatica at 8:49 AM on January 8, 2010


On non-preview, ditto Dojie, again.
posted by pearlybob at 8:50 AM on January 8, 2010


I've vaccinated my kids, but I've also declawed them, just to be safe.
posted by Dojie at 8:50 AM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Nothing she said in the thread this MeTa is related to was in any way hateful or nonsensical.

My family moved around a few times when I was between ages 9-12 and I inevitably ended up in four different schools, various sports teams, summer camps, etc ... in all of which, I was the NEW KID.

One thing the new kid quickly gets is some version of the history-you-need-to-know-in-order-to-function-around-here. And in pretty much every one of these histories, there was at least one kid who was simply, inarguably a VILLAIN based on transgressions and incidents that had preceded me. More often than not, on eventually meeting this VILLAIN, I was perplexed. Maybe they weren't someone I instantly wanted as a friend, but a nefarious, black-suited agent of darkness? No.

Maybe they were once. But whatever had gone down, they'd been humbled, neutralized, or maybe they'd just grown up a bit. Yet time and again, I'd see them get ridiculed, singled out, humiliated, TORMENTED by the other kids for those foul crimes that preceded my experience. And as such, the whole thing felt the wrong kind of absurd and certainly did way more to negatively color my impression of the tormentors (even if I otherwise found them charming, fun, engaging) than it did my impression of the ex-villain.

Or as my mom once said to me, "You know, you were a far superior person to Jonathon (the neighborhood bully) right up until you decided you were. Shame on you."
posted by philip-random at 8:51 AM on January 8, 2010 [14 favorites]


I wrote: Because that's how one fights bigotry. By pointing to it when it appears in public forums and saying "Hey, that's not okay. Here's why." Bigotry and hatred thrive on a culture of approval. Non-action in response to it is encouragement to continue.

Pragmatica: In the context of MetaFilter, I disagree. In this environment, bigotry and hatred are a tarbaby. Ignoring them completely removes their power.

I previewed, and saw both Dojie's great answer to this and your response.

But also, please see the rape thread. How many people who participated in that conversation said that they learned new things about sexism in our culture? A few even said that they would be more mindful of their own behavior towards and around women, including body language cues.

Isn't that worth the effort?

I said: If we don't speak up, then effecting change becomes impossible.

Pragmatica: Change of what, exactly? Still speaking in the context of MetaFilter, mind you.

Hopefully, it will increase awareness of how our actions and words impact the people around us.
posted by zarq at 9:10 AM on January 8, 2010


If everyone responded to offensive statements that way, the world (and Metafilter) would be a much better place. Unfortunately, the response Alia (and she is not alone in this) gets to problematic opinions is not a calm, respectful statement of why she's wrong - it's "UR A TROLL AND I HATE U AND YR KIDS R STOOPID!" And because people don't like her (rightly or wrongly), she also gets the same response when she says something completely innocuous. I would rather see a whole bunch of non-action to that.

I agree that sort of response to Alia is wrong, and hope I haven't been guilty of it myself.

That said, I'd rather try and talk to those responding with hysteria and over-the-top anger and ask them to express themselves more reasonably. Ignoring what they're doing would be a sort of tacit approval for their behavior.
posted by zarq at 9:13 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Was that movie any good? I love the book but have avoided the film in light of the indisputable fact that the poster makes it look terrible.

I thought it was horrible. I'd rather be subjected to Starship Troopers 2 again. Sad, considering how many a-list actors were involved.

The book was much better.
posted by zarq at 9:16 AM on January 8, 2010


> There are so many other things that can actually cause harm, why would you give any energy, positive or negative, to the offhand bigotry of a web forum personality?

Because that's how one fights bigotry. By pointing to it when it appears in public forums and saying "Hey, that's not okay. Here's why." Bigotry and hatred thrive on a culture of approval. Non-action in response to it is encouragement to continue.


I completely agree -- the way you fight bigotry is by reacting to bigoted statements.

However, when you cross over into reacting to ANYTHING a bigot says with vitriol, no matter what it is that person is saying, that is when you have become a bigot your own self. Because then it isn't about "I am responding to bigotry" it is about "I am responding to this person."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on January 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


THIS THREAD IS NOW ABOUT FILM ADAPTATIONS OF BOOKS
posted by shakespeherian at 9:31 AM on January 8, 2010


I've vaccinated my kids, but I've also declawed them, just to be safe.

DTMFA then get yourself in therapy and lawyer up!
posted by fuq at 9:33 AM on January 8, 2010


My legal advice is to follow the above legal advice.
posted by Drastic at 9:39 AM on January 8, 2010


However, when you cross over into reacting to ANYTHING a bigot says with vitriol, no matter what it is that person is saying, that is when you have become a bigot your own self. Because then it isn't about "I am responding to bigotry" it is about "I am responding to this person."

Well put.
posted by zarq at 9:44 AM on January 8, 2010


With whatever bias I have as someone else whose self-expression tends towards pungency - and myself might benefit from a Brand New Day - I invite those who consider the moderation of SAotB inadequate to consider this...

Let's agree for the sake of argument that you're right. That your judgment of what should be done in this situation is superior to the differing judgment of the mods.

Are you confident that your judgment also would be superior to theirs in all the hundreds of other difficult modding decisions that need to be made? Superior even a majority of the time? Really?

The reason it stings when the mods tell me to knock some particular shit off is because they've earned my respect of their judgment with the thoughtful way they've communicated with us through countless clusterfucks like this thread.

When they say that "Don't be a dick" beats all other hands in this game, I would pay attention because they know a great deal more about the game than I do.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:46 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


can we have the discussion specifically about alia?

I'd rather not. She's not the point of this post. The point of this post is to discuss whether making people's family the subject of insults, derision, and public ridicule is something we can all agree on is creepy and off limits.
posted by jock@law at 9:51 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


> But I do find it bizarre that my parody of that language is viewed as worse than the hateful language itself, which exists on MeFi to this day.

> Has anyone counted the number of gay users who have departed the site because Ms. Brand New Day has been allowed to spew her hateful opinions about them?

> That Metafilter allows crazy hateful talk to stand means that some people- many of whom have been victimized using that sort of talk, and many of whom find such talk offensive- will not read or post here.

> I don't have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is that obnoxiously hateful and offensive speech- the aforementioned crazy hateful talk- is judged to be far less terrible than people saying that there's something wrong with it.

> We do not need to pretend to be "fair and balanced" by giving equal voice to ignorant, hateful people.

> I want her to either stop being a noxious, hateful person on Metafilter or at least to be moderated according to the same standards as her detractors.

> Knowing how to be "fake nice" in tone while saying hateful, bigoted, anti-intellectual things is a debating tactic often mastered by nice ladies like [...] St. Alia.

> Says something nonsensical or debatable or hateful.


Can someone point at some of this "crazy hateful talk" of St. Alia's? I've been around here a long time but somehow, I've missed it.
posted by timeistight at 9:52 AM on January 8, 2010


The point of this post is to discuss whether making people's family the subject of insults, derision, and public ridicule is something we can all agree on is creepy and off limits.
posted by jock@law at 10:51 AM on January 8 [+] [!]


Never has been.
posted by Balisong at 9:58 AM on January 8, 2010


and a similar thing happened with Optimus Chyme, who (in this thread) really only made the mistake of irking jessamyn.

I and 50+ others (who favorited Jessamyn's comment, yeah favorites != approval, whatever) disagree that irking Jessamyn was OC's only mistake. No rhetoric in regular use here annoys me more than the old "dressing a poop dolly in a paraphrase dress" routine. Goddamn, do I hate that crap. It may seem like it's engaging somebody's arguments because "hey, I'm just saying what they said," but it's really just pure personal attack. You're saying what you heard in your head, based on the worst possible reading of what was actually said, and using your own sick fantasies to discredit another member of the community. So beyond being ugly language, which remains ugly though ironically intended (what I think is Jessamyn's main point), it's like a megabot straw man to boot.

that the initial irking ... wasn't supposed to be the subject of this thread. except now it is.
...
so let me know: can we have the discussion specifically about alia?


Speaking of sick fantasies, I cannot understand how you reached the conclusion that jock@law intended this thread to be yet another discussion of alia. Did a joke just go over my head?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 9:59 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can someone point at some of this "crazy hateful talk" of St. Alia's? I've been around here a long time but somehow, I've missed it.

That's because crazy hateful talk gets deleted by the amazing and wondermous mods. The idea that the mods allow anyone to throw down bigoted hateful stuff (toward minorities at least) without censure is so ludicrous I can not even see where it's coming from.
posted by Dojie at 10:04 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, Balisong. I strongly disagree with you if you are anti-vaccination, but damn ... mods, please tell me that the person wishing death on a MeFite's children was permabanned.
posted by jock@law at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2010


Can someone point at some of this "crazy hateful talk" of St. Alia's? I've been around here a long time but somehow, I've missed it.
posted by timeistight


Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate

No rhetoric in regular use here annoys me more than the old "dressing a poop dolly in a paraphrase dress" routine. Goddamn, do I hate that crap. It may seem like it's engaging somebody's arguments because "hey, I'm just saying what they said," but it's really just pure personal attack. You're saying what you heard in your head, based on the worst possible reading of what was actually said, and using your own sick fantasies to discredit another member of the community. So beyond being ugly language, which remains ugly though ironically intended (what I think is Jessamyn's main point), it's like a megabot straw man to boot.

If a) strawmanning is that big of an offense and b) we all have to be 100% dry and boring all the time, half of the whole damn site might as well just go argue in the Wikipedia talk page about model trains or whatever it is robot-Americans do for fun.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:15 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Speaking of sick fantasies, I cannot understand how you reached the conclusion that jock@law intended this thread to be yet another discussion of alia.

speaking of sick fantasies, stop being a jerk. I can understand you misreading what I said, which I'll clarify in a second, but take your "sick fantasies" talk and cram it.

anyway, no I don't think that's what jock@law was getting at. sorry if that's what it seemed I was saying. I was saying that I think jock@law's original post was pretty much spot on, and that agreeing with it would have been a short thread if it weren't for certain other disasters happening. had that been the case, I believe we could have reasonably shifted topic just slightly to the topic of alia's behavior, because starting a whole new thread would have been bad form what with a related one still being open. I believe that a discussion about alia's behavior is something we should have, so I was asking if there's actually a way to do that.
posted by shmegegge at 10:16 AM on January 8, 2010


Assuming it's conversion and not indulging in rage that is the point of debate: Thinking that someone will abandon their worldview and support structure and alienate themselves from their friends and daily contacts because of what some people say on the internet is fanciful at best. Thinking that someone would do the same and make common cause with people who relentlessly stalk and shout and insult is - well, I'll be polite and just say I've yet to see it happen. Feckless froth for the lose.

I'm on about Lemurs. It seems they try their best but can't help but look foolish and I find that endearing. Does anyone here post from Madagascar? Would you tell me a Lemur story? Or perhaps guide me toward a book about Lemurs that was made into a movie so as not to derail.
posted by vapidave at 10:17 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


> I struggled to abstain from this thread.

Struggle harder. You are contributing to a ridiculous and counterproductive pileon.
posted by languagehat at 10:17 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Never has been.

Balisong, not to rehash the immunization thread, but....

What I see in that post is many, many comments saying the person (GrimmGrin) who said they hoped your kids would die was wrong, and his comment should be deleted and not tolerated here.

Also, I saw a few excellent comments like this one, from Pope Guilty: this comment: "I hope your children don't die, and I wish that you would take steps to make sure that they don't."

When you were being unfairly attacked, many people rose to your defense.

However, the point being made in that thread that you are potentially endangering others (and especially the immunocompromised) by deliberately not immunizing your children is accurate. Your comments essentially saying that you both deny scientific evidence and don't give a damn about the rest of us are problematic.

And those of us whose family members and friends your actions put at risk have every right to politely take issue with that.
posted by zarq at 10:18 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


and further:

I and 50+ others (who favorited Jessamyn's comment, yeah favorites != approval, whatever) disagree that irking Jessamyn was OC's only mistake. No rhetoric in regular use here annoys me more than the old "dressing a poop dolly in a paraphrase dress" routine.

annoying you (or 50+) others is not by itself the criteria by which we judge comments. I can understand that OC has justifiably been asked to tone it down. I get that. But being sarcastic and parodic is not some awful form of behavior just because it annoys you.
posted by shmegegge at 10:20 AM on January 8, 2010


Assuming it's conversion and not indulging in rage that is the point of debate:

I'm risking posting way too often, so a quick thing before I back away for a bit:

these are not the only two options when dealing with bigotry, and in this case neither option is actually viable since alia refuses to honestly engage.
posted by shmegegge at 10:21 AM on January 8, 2010


jock@law: Holy shit, Balisong. I strongly disagree with you if you are anti-vaccination, but damn ... mods, please tell me that the person wishing death on a MeFite's children was permabanned.

No. However, the comment was decried by many in our community and deleted by the mods.
posted by zarq at 10:22 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's because crazy hateful talk gets deleted by the amazing and wondermous mods.

Actually, without getting too backroom about it, we're really not doing this. Under her current username St. A has had very little removed from MeFi proper.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:26 AM on January 8, 2010


I'd rather not. She's not the point of this post. The point of this post is to discuss whether making people's family the subject of insults, derision, and public ridicule is something we can all agree on is creepy and off limits.

That may have been your original intent, but 530+ comments later this thread seems to have acquired a momentum of its own in other directions.
posted by zarq at 10:28 AM on January 8, 2010


Holy shit, Balisong. I strongly disagree with you if you are anti-vaccination, but damn ... mods, please tell me that the person wishing death on a MeFite's children was permabanned.

It was one shitty, shitty comment from someone who had apparently otherwise not made any kind of habit of saying shitty things to people. It was flagged and we deleted it as soon as we saw it, and if GrimGrin had delivered some kind of followup salvo we would have dealt with that accordingly.

We do not ban people for one stupid or nasty comment. We don't even ban people for a lot of them, generally, preferring instead to try and talk to them about making it not happen again, etc. It's a policy that is at times controversial and that at rare times I feel tempted to disregard, but it's how we do things here and I think as a general rule it's a good idea.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:30 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fair 'nuff. I'll deal with my strong emotional reaction to wishing death on kids in my own time.
posted by jock@law at 10:33 AM on January 8, 2010


But being sarcastic and parodic is not some awful form of behavior just because it annoys you.

Would you agree it's a mistake? It happens the one that pushes my buttons mostest, so I wanted to disagree that pissing off Jessamyn was only the mistake in OC's comment.

stop being a jerk.

Yes, that was a jerky addendum. Apologies.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 10:33 AM on January 8, 2010


I should contrast lemurs with say, squirrels. A squirrel could if it wanted take a chunk out of you and stand 3 feet away with no fear of retribution save projectile weapons. Nothing that moves with as much alacrity as a squirrel can ever truly be considered endearing.
posted by vapidave at 10:36 AM on January 8, 2010


However, when you cross over into reacting to ANYTHING a bigot says with vitriol, no matter what it is that person is saying, that is when you have become a bigot your own self. Because then it isn't about "I am responding to bigotry" it is about "I am responding to this person."

Yeah, no. St. Alia could behave like a real nice lady like so many other bigots in sheep's clothing, but her views on the eternal damnation of gays and abortion doctors and errant trucking companies inspires my vitriol. Does that vitriol rear when St. Alia pops into relationship threads with generic mom advice, even though I know who she is and what she has said in the past? Nope. But it does respond when St. Alia shits over Ask.Me questions like "What can I expect during my abortion" with "My friends will adopt your baby!" [deleted] and posts on the blue about how changing one's homosexual orientation would please God.

The only reason I am not constantly shouting down konolia's sad worldview all the time via my gushing river of vitriol is that I know she'll plug her fingers in her ears and that my brain will start hemorrhaging with Jovian wrath. But you can fucking bet her homophobia and anti-woman politics provoked my vitriolic upthread comment. Racism, sexism, homophobia and all the other Ferris Bueller -isms should inspire vitriolic outrage.
posted by zoomorphic at 10:36 AM on January 8, 2010 [8 favorites]


Racism, sexism, homophobia and all the other Ferris Bueller -isms should inspire vitriolic outrage.

See also Malcolm X. But see Martin Luther King, Jr.
posted by jock@law at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


zoomorphic: "But you can fucking bet her homophobia and anti-woman politics provoked my vitriolic upthread comment. Racism, sexism, homophobia and all the other Ferris Bueller -isms should inspire vitriolic outrage"

Yes. Outrage that doesn't belong in the thread.

The mods aren't telling anyone how to feel about SAotB's opinions. They're just saying that any rage they may produce you will need to be dealt with somewhere else.

This doesn't strike me as an unreasonable request. They're trying to run a respectable joint here.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:44 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


"But you can fucking bet her homophobia and anti-woman politics provoked my vitriolic upthread comment."

OK, but how does that apply to the Revisionists thread that Jock@Law asked about? Like Jessamyn said, "Under her current username St. A has had very little removed from MeFi proper." Didn't we have these discussions about Bunnyfire/Konolia when the comments so many people object to actually occurred?

It seems like a lot of people here have the feeling that whatever decision the mods reached about SAofB was not OK with them, so they keep restarting the argument.
posted by HopperFan at 10:48 AM on January 8, 2010


The only reason I am not constantly shouting down konolia's sad worldview all the time via my gushing river of vitriol is that I know she'll plug her fingers in her ears and that my brain will start hemorrhaging with Jovian wrath. But you can fucking bet her homophobia and anti-woman politics provoked my vitriolic upthread comment. Racism, sexism, homophobia and all the other Ferris Bueller -isms should inspire vitriolic outrage.

Then....you're not one of the people I was talking about.

In fact, you state that you know that she'll plug her ears and it's not worth it, so you've chosen not to engage. Which is going one better than I was talking about.

I wasn't talking to the people who are genuinely outraged by her offensive opinions, but have given up. I was talking to the people who are on a hair-trigger and let fly when she says anything at all, because they haven't figured out that their outrage isn't helping.

There's "I hate her opinions, but it ain't gonna do any good, so I'm not saying anything. That's what you're doing. There's "I hate what she says, but I'll be REAAAAAAAAALLY careful to wait until she says something that is arguably objectionable, and even then I'll flag it first before I talk back," which I do.

Then there's "I hate what she thinks about X, Y, and Z.....oh, there she is. ....Wait, she's not talking about X, Y, or Z. She's talking about W, though -- oh, hell, that's close enough. GRAAAAR!" That's what I was saying DOESN'T work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


So did anyone else see The Road? What did y'all think?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2010


>In my mind's eye she is more like a demented prairie dog; she pops out of her hole. Says something nonsensical or debatable or hateful. Then pops back into her dark hole. And when people stand around the hole, sputtering, fuming, getting angry, she pops out of a different hole and says something else-- often not related at all.

This is an apt analogy. And it also points to the fact that engaging with her is really just turns into a big game of Whack-a-Mole. Face it -- you're never going to bop that animatronic rodent on the head, but still you keep dropping quarters into the machine in hopes of winning enough tickets so you can get that plush SpongeBob doll you've always wanted.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shit, this thread is moving insanely fast. Essentially impossible to stay ahead of it.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2010


This is an apt analogy. And it also points to the fact that engaging with her is really just turns into a big game of Whack-a-Mole. Face it -- you're never going to bop that animatronic rodent on the head, but still you keep dropping quarters into the machine in hopes of winning enough tickets so you can get that plush SpongeBob doll you've always wanted.

And to continue that analogy -- all the mods are saying is that everyone else in the arcade is getting kind of pissed off at the way you hog the machine and beat on the flippers and shout, "COME ON!!!!" for hours straight because it's not doing you any good, and it's especially getting on the nerves of that guy over in the back who just wants to play Skee-ball with his five-year-old nephew who's about ready to start crying now because there's a big loud mean-looking person at the Whack-a-mole game, and now he's gotta get the kid some cotton candy to quiet him down, except the last time he had cotton candy he puked, and his sister got mad at him because...

Wait, where was I going with this?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:02 AM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


"So did anyone else see The Road? What did y'all think?"

I haven't seen it yet, but my brother told me that they had to find the bleakest, greyest, most depressing landscape to film in, and you know where they chose? Pittsburgh. That just cracks me up.
posted by HopperFan at 11:04 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Struggle harder. You are contributing to a ridiculous and counterproductive pileon.
posted by languagehat


WTF? And your contribution is to tell me to shut up?
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:04 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shit, this thread is moving insanely fast. Essentially impossible to stay ahead of it.

Well, then let's just sit down and have some barbecue.

BoP - July ok? Don't know if we're flying or driving to Florida yet.
posted by lysdexic at 11:06 AM on January 8, 2010


Shit, this thread is moving insanely fast. Essentially impossible to stay ahead of it.

MeTa singularity?
posted by Pragmatica at 11:08 AM on January 8, 2010


So did anyone else see The Road? What did y'all think?

I read it. As soon as the Supreme Court strikes down the handgun ban this summer, I'm getting a 9mm.
posted by jock@law at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2010


In Texas, real barbecue does not need "sauce," by the way. What is this "sauce" you speak of, human?
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2010


What is this "sauce" you speak of, human?

it's like a wet version of dry rub.
posted by shmegegge at 11:27 AM on January 8, 2010


Dojie: That's because crazy hateful talk gets deleted by the amazing and wondermous mods.

jessamyn: Actually, without getting too backroom about it, we're really not doing this. Under her current username St. A has had very little removed from MeFi proper.

No hateful speech? You people are going to need to find another crime before the lynching can proceed.
posted by timeistight at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been here for many years and didn't realize that SAOTB was Bunnyfire Mark III. Amazing. Now, could someone with a lot of time please create a wiki page with all current posters who used to be other posters? It would save me a lot of time. Thanks!
posted by norm at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2010


The University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team are national champions. That is all.

This makes me so sick I could puke.

I know there is a God in heaven that sees these shenanigans, and when payback time comes it's gonna be hell.

You're leading by 10 with 90 seconds left, have a first down inside the Texas 10, and the Horns only have one timeout. Why the hell do you punch in another TD? Why the hell do you not run the Victory Formation three times? And this from a coach who whined about the same thing happening to him when he was coaching at LSU back in 2000. Seriously, Nick Saban can die in a fire.
posted by dw at 11:36 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Very little" and "no" are not the same.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:36 AM on January 8, 2010


What zoomorphic just said to the nth and nth and nth, and what so many other people have said in this thread that I fear I will wear out my favorites button.

Here's the thing: I'm all about the Brand New Day policy. I endorse it. I think it rocks. It does not, however, work, if the person who is supposedly launching herself into the sunshine of that Brand New Day keeps on coyly referring to previous, less sunshiny days. I am not a Mefi supersleuth: I figured out who St. Alia was because she kept telling everyone. I infer from this that she is not ashamed or unhappy with the many, many unpleasant comments made by her previous incarnations. Therefore I feel that it is just fine to remember them and to keep them in mind.

No, there's no point in engaging her. She's not here for discourse; she's here to convert. Don't forget that: in her book, she is serving her particular God by bringing in as many converts as she can. She's witnessing for her own brand of faith and while she does that, she's winning points in some inscrutable game of Change the Liberals. Therefore, I do think there is a point to politely warning others who begin to Whack the Mole that continuing is not only a waste of their time but is actually helping her evangelize.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:37 AM on January 8, 2010 [15 favorites]


WTF? And your contribution is to tell me to shut up?
posted by fourcheesemac


By your own admission you killfiled SAotB 'a while back', so none of your comments relating to her are informed by her recent activity. You have no frame of reference here, Donny. Shutting up may not be a bad idea in this case.
posted by ArgentineBlonde at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2010


I understand St. Alia's viewpoint. I don't share it, and I don't agree with it, but I understand it. What I don't understand is how people can so insanely worked up over her expressing it on the internet.
I think jonmc had it exactly right upthread when he said: I'm starting to think that you people actually enjoy this shit.
posted by rocket88 at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's "I hate what she says, but I'll be REAAAAAAAAALLY careful to wait until she says something that is arguably objectionable, and even then I'll flag it first before I talk back," which I do.

I think this is a really good strategy to take with any posters who have said things in the past that outrage us.

Well put, Empress. Now my job is to actually do that myself, because I often fuck up with brand-new-daying.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


"So did anyone else see The Road? What did y'all think?"

I haven't seen it yet, but my brother told me that they had to find the bleakest, greyest, most depressing landscape to film in, and you know where they chose? Pittsburgh. That just cracks me up.


Sigh. Okay, I guess I have to bust out this quote from Brendan Gill, the New Yorker's architecture critic, who wrote in 1990: "The three most beautiful cities in the world are Paris; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Pittsburgh. If Pittsburgh were situated somewhere in the heart of Europe, tourists would eagerly journey hundreds of miles out of their way to visit it."

But actually, yeah, to be honest, I got a kick out of the shooting location here, too.
posted by chinston at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


The three most beautiful cities in the world are...

That might of been true in 1990. And I suppose could still be true from an almost anthropological point of view. But today Pittsburgh is a relentlessly desolate and depressing place. There are places in Chechnya that are more cheery.
posted by tkchrist at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2010


In fact, you state that you know that she'll plug her ears and it's not worth it, so you've chosen not to engage. Which is going one better than I was talking about.

No no, I engaged her earlier and pretty damn personally in this thread. Proceed to think of me as a disrespectful spittle-spewer.

Outrage that doesn't belong in the thread.

But her views do belong in the thread, right?

Look, I guess I'm on the unpopular side of the fence, along with shmeggege, OC and PG, wherein I think that espousing homophobia deserves SAoB's permabanning, just as much as someone who posts "blacks are inferior" and "women are all dirty sluts and baby-ovens" in earnest would get banned. The only reason we entertain St. Alia's views even though 95% of Metafilter knows homophobia is just our era's arbitrary crucifixion is that, politically speaking, we still live in a world (America, for many of us) that does not recognize those civil rights.

I'm repeating what others have stated, though, so instead I'll relate a story with utmost sincerity that still puzzles me.

When my family moved away from FayetteNam to Ohio, my parents became friends with the only other Southerners in our town. The kids were our age and moms talked about how much they missed the South, but for some reason my dad didn't seem to like the other dad all that much. He always had some excuse to not hang out one-on-one with the other husband. Then the father of the other family started saying things at gatherings that even I, a poor country kid, had not heard from polite adults in Fayetteville. He referred to black people as "porchmonkeys" and "darkies." They had a picture on their wall of a cartoonish black boy, big lips and buck teeth, eating an orange, with the text DIXIE BOY above him. One time when we were going to the pool, the father started making fun of a black mother and her children because they were at a bus stop. I spoke up from the back seat and said that my Bible studies teacher taught us that Jesus was dark-skinned. The dad pulled over the car, made me get out, and told me to apologize for what I'd said. That's just one of countless stories.

They moved away the next year, when I was still too young to really know what any of that meant. The older I get, the angrier I grow towards my parents for letting us around them, even though my dad clearly didn't agree with the other guy's views. My parents are conservative and not exactly abolitionists, but they never, ever attributed attitude or character to anyone's skin color.

This Christmas my dad and I were stranded at the airport waiting for my boyfriend to arrive, and we had six damn hours to kill. I finally asked him why they socialized with such unapologetic racists. My dad paused and finally said, "Jim is a really nice guy other than his views on black people. He's funny and generous and very big-hearted. I didn't become his good friend, but I tried to overlook his views because that's just how he grew up."

"How can you think a person is big-hearted other than the fact that he's racist?"

"Those were just his views. He was a very nice family guy, though."

"But he was a huge racist!"

"Well, it's not my business."

"But why didn't you call him out when he turned whole dinner conversations into how blacks are ingrates and spendthrifts who buy TVs and not houses?"

"It's not nice to start that kind of trouble. Live and let live."

This is my problem, because I can't see this situation as "live and let live," but rather "live and let bigots make it just a little harder for other people to live." People keep protesting, "But she's nicer now, and besides, it's her view! It's her view, goddammit, just let her keep saying hateful shit and don't get outraged when she gargles specious Biblical invective and contributes just a little bit more to a society where gays and abortion doctors and feminists and even goddamn divorces are targets."

But sure, it's our outrage that makes Metafilter a "less respectable place." Just like how my own father's tolerance for that man's racism made the dinner conversation "more respectable." Or maybe it's just a hell of a lot easier to shush logic in the face than address the fact that this site has made a nice little nest for people like St. Konolia to politely voice hatred with impunity.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2010 [29 favorites]


You have no frame of reference here, Donny. Shutting up may not be a bad idea in this case.

You know when a user with a single Metatalk comment, less than 30 total comments, and less than a month old user history, pops in to tell another long standing and respected member to shut up... well I not only suspect that user of being a sockpuppet of some asshole on the site, which might be undeserving, but I also immediately want to respond in kind by telling that user to shut his or her pie hole and maybe lurk a while longer before jumping in to tell people we respect, though we may disagree with, to shut up. So. Yeah. You shut your pie hole, you.
posted by tkchrist at 12:03 PM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think admitting you haven't seen any of the material in question should disqualify you from pontificating about it at length, regardless of how long you've been a member here.
posted by mpbx at 12:06 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Outrage that doesn't belong in the thread.

But her views do belong in the thread, right?


No, they don't, and if you had read that thread (or this one) you'd know they weren't ever in the thread.
posted by mpbx at 12:08 PM on January 8, 2010


I think admitting you haven't seen any of the material in question should disqualify you from pontificating about it at length, regardless of how long you've been a member here.

he didn't say he hasn't seen it. he said he'd seen enough to killfile her. Alia is approaching her 10th year here. 10. years. of this shit. I assure you he's got a perfectly accurate idea of what she's like.
posted by shmegegge at 12:15 PM on January 8, 2010


"Now, could someone with a lot of time please create a wiki page with all current posters who used to be other posters?"

She's the only one.

Trust me.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


Chinston, I apologize, I actually love Pittsburgh. My family are all Western Pee-Ayers on my Dad's side, and the absolute best trip I took last year was a spur of the moment drive to Pittsburgh where we visited :

The Andy Warhol Museum
The Mattress Factory
The Carnegie Museum of Art

and last, but not least :

Eide's Entertainment (comics! comics! comics!)

"Pittsburgh is a relentlessly desolate and depressing place"

In the former industrial areas around Pittsburgh, this is true, which is why the film crew chose that area - but the city itself is gorgeous and has a lot of art/architecture/culture/music/food to enjoy.
posted by HopperFan at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why the hell do you punch in another TD?

Don't want us to score? Then play defense.

I agree that Nick Saban is an evil asshole, though. But he's OUR evil asshole. At least until he gets a better offer.

And lysdexic: July's fine. Y'all come see us.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:20 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


So. Yeah. You shut your pie hole, you.

They're right or they ain't. Amount of time on the site makes no difference. Sock puppet or not makes no difference. They've lurked long enough to frame the comment as a Lebowski reference.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


> And your contribution is to tell me to shut up?

Not telling you to shut up, suggesting you follow your own admirable principles.

I swear, some of you do seem to live off your own outrage. Except it's not enough to consume the outrage straight out of your brain, you have to put it out there in public where it takes on the delightful shape, color, aroma, and taste of the most delicious food ever put on the earth (perhaps, say, North Carolina barbecue). Then you gobble it down: YUM YUM DELICIOUS OUTRAGE!
posted by languagehat at 12:31 PM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


zoomorphic: "But her views do belong in the thread, right? ... The only reason we entertain St. Alia's views even though 95% of Metafilter knows homophobia is just our era's arbitrary crucifixion is that, politically speaking, we still live in a world (America, for many of us) that does not recognize those civil rights. "

What belongs in a thread is for the mods to decide. I think they're pretty damned good at it.

And if you, upon pause and sober reflection, genuinely believe that SAotB's continued access to the site is due their indoctrination in a homophobic culture rather than their good-faith best effort to do what's in the site's best interest, I think you're very sadly mistaken.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:32 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now, could someone with a lot of time please create a wiki page with all current posters who used to be other posters?

I like the idea of MeFi reincarnation. You know, previous MeFi-lives and all that entails.
posted by ob at 12:34 PM on January 8, 2010


And if you, upon pause and sober reflection, genuinely believe that SAotB's continued access to the site is due their indoctrination in a homophobic culture rather than their good-faith best effort to do what's in the site's best interest, I think you're very sadly mistaken.

Did you read my comments? I think that her access to the site is due to the fact that the mods are inclined to err on the side of treating everyone's worldview with respect, which is great in about 99% of Metafilter's polyphonic spread. However, St. Alia is one of those dangerous outliers who exploits the gray area of controversial but ultimately legitimate worldviews by smuggling dangerous bigotry that provokes and sustains oppression, denial of civil rights, and hate crimes under the guise of conservative Christian ideology. I sincerely think her views are not only detestable but harmful justifications for violence and disenfranchisement, and I'll keep voicing my outrage about their continued presence on this site just as if we had some racist in our midst ranting about eugenics and evolutionary psychology.
posted by zoomorphic at 12:56 PM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


zoomorphic: is your extreme outrage because she disagrees with you? or because you view the positions she takes as hostile and unreasonable?

if your response is that you think people should behave reasonably and non-hostilely, my resonse to that is: hmm. funny, that.
posted by jock@law at 1:02 PM on January 8, 2010


I like the idea of MeFi reincarnation. You know, previous MeFi-lives and all that entails.


I don't. I'm starting to think linking to previous-life comments ought to be treated like posting private correspondence to a thread.
posted by lysdexic at 1:03 PM on January 8, 2010


I'm starting to think linking to previous-life comments ought to be treated like posting private correspondence to a thread.

I thought it was.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:07 PM on January 8, 2010


if your response is that you think people should behave reasonably and non-hostilely, my resonse to that is: hmm. funny, that.

After reading and participating this far down the thread, I am not even remotely shocked that outrage against bigotry is lazily compared to bigotry itself.
posted by zoomorphic at 1:09 PM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


It is not an opinion that homosexuals are human beings.

That's it, basically. If you sincerely believe that "All human beings are human beings regardless of their beliefs, genitals, skin, or sexual preferences" is an opinion which can be disagreed with reasonably and in good faith, well... I dunno what to tell you, other than: you're wrong, and you're incapable of dealing with reality.

It's shocking to see this treated as a difference of opinion.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:11 PM on January 8, 2010 [11 favorites]


Sometimes I just wish we could start the whole thing over, wipe the slate clean and go back to the ameoba stage and try again as there is no way we could fuck up this whole "being people" thing any more.






Reading this thread is one of those times.
posted by badrolemodel at 1:11 PM on January 8, 2010


I don't. I'm starting to think linking to previous-life comments ought to be treated like posting private correspondence to a thread.

Lest my point be misinterpreted, I mean it literally. I'm not being serious, either.
posted by ob at 1:12 PM on January 8, 2010


After reading and participating this far down the thread, I am not even remotely shocked that outrage against bigotry is lazily compared to bigotry itself.

Given the varying responses to calm bigotry and angry anti-bigotry, one at some point questions what it is that people really find upsetting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2010


We could just go back in the trees, since so many thought that wasn't such a good idea.
posted by lysdexic at 1:17 PM on January 8, 2010


I think that her access to the site is due to the fact that the mods are inclined to err on the side of treating everyone's worldview with respect, which is great in about 99% of Metafilter's polyphonic spread.

It's more that we don't consider worldview to be something we're moderating. I don't expect everybody to have equal respect for everybody else's view of things, and much as I'd like to see people get along reasonably well and not treat on another poorly I certainly don't think that some sort of blind "everybody is awesome, no opinions are better or worse than any other" mantra should be ringing through the halls here.

We expect people to try and be minimally decent to each other. That includes not pursuing vendettas and not fucking up entire conversations for the sake of making sure Target User X doesn't get away with joining the conversation and not being smacked around yet again. That stands even if their worldview is ugly or unpopular, and the unwillingness sometimes displayed by folks here to constrain their reactions to what is actually going on in a thread sucks and does not deserve to be excused on the basis of how unlikeable their target's opinions are.

I don't think I can be any plainer about disagreeing with St. Alia and some of the opinions she holds. She's said some shit in the past that I think was total bullshit, and I have personally called her on specific crappy arguments (or non-arguments) when she's proffered them in a conversation. We have basically told her to can some of that old ugly bullshit from the past if she wants to continue having any involvement with this site.

But still we get references to some Fox Newsian "fair and balanced" agenda bullshit, as if what we're actually saying is "hey you can't disagree, man, it's just her opinion" or something. That kind of thing pisses me off, as have enough other things in the thread that I've been keeping what I have to say in here to a minimum since some time yesterday evening so as not to say anything I'll seriously regret. Suffice it to say that as much as I dislike some of the shit St. Alia has said in the past and as much as I am inclined to disagree with a hell of a lot of the beliefs she has espoused and her style of interaction, she is herself as one opinionated person on the internet significantly less of a threat to the health of this site's community than the collective crappy behavior of all the people insisting on their right to publicly go after her.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2010 [26 favorites]


I guess I just don't get it. St. Alia isn't saying anything offensive these days. Anything that's even close to the borderline gets jumped on and is countered pretty aggressively. As far as I can tell, nothing offensive she said in the past was allowed to just stand without being lambasted with pretty damned effective opposition. So I really don't understand why this is argument is happening. I'll say it one more time, because I hate to give up on something I think is important - outrage isn't a problem. Being a jerk is a problem.

Of course, I haven't been a member very long, so evidently I haven't earned the right to disagree with long standing and respected members regardless of their poor behavior. I hope I'll get a memail when that right kicks in. I'll shut my pie hole now.
posted by Dojie at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2010


In other words, this...

I sincerely think her views are not only detestable but harmful justifications for violence and disenfranchisement, and I'll keep voicing my outrage about their continued presence on this site just as if we had some racist in our midst ranting about eugenics and evolutionary psychology.

...is a lot less problematic if the voicing of outrage were actually constrained to those contexts where the things worthy of outrage were actually being expressed. Every time it pops up as a random driveby, every time someone one this site chooses to go after someone else not for a lousy thing they've just said but for daring to say anything at all while being guilty of being a Known Bad Person, that's crappy.

Metafilter is not the battleground on which personal grudgematches should be fought, and if folks want to start non-sequitur rematches with someone they think sucks they need to find somewhere else to do that. No amount of insisting that the person you're going after is a bad person make it not shitty behavior.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:26 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


zoomorphic: "... the mods are inclined to err on the side of treating everyone's worldview with respect, which is great in about 99% of Metafilter's polyphonic spread. However, St. Alia is one of those dangerous outliers... "

This has never been about treating SAotB's views with respect.

This has always been about which does more damage to the Commons: a pest digging in the garden, or a bunch of angry gardeners spraying poison everywhere in a vain attempt to exterminate it. The mods believe it's the latter.

It's really no more complicated than that.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:28 PM on January 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


If you sincerely believe that "All human beings are human beings regardless of their beliefs, genitals, skin, or sexual preferences" is an opinion which can be disagreed with reasonably and in good faith, well... I dunno what to tell you, other than: you're wrong, and you're incapable of dealing with reality.

This may be the crux of the problem, PG. I don't think anyone's saying that human equality is an opinion, to be discussed/disagreed with. I think the disagreement is in how to treat a person who doesn't believe what you believe regardless of what that belief is. I personally don't think a person behaving badly is justification for being just as bad. It's the behavior I disagree with, whether I agree with the ideology or not.
posted by Pragmatica at 1:29 PM on January 8, 2010


My parents are conservative and not exactly abolitionists

Um. Abolitionists?
posted by torticat at 1:32 PM on January 8, 2010


I don't think anyone's saying that human equality is an opinion, to be discussed/disagreed with.

One of the sentiments that's been thrown about repeatedly in this thread is that those of us who go after konolia do it because she has different opinions than we do.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2010


They're right or they ain't. Amount of time on the site makes no difference. Sock puppet or not makes no difference. They've lurked long enough to frame the comment as a Lebowski reference.

Well. That is, like, your opinion, man.

If it's sock puppetry to load the ballot box in the attempted silencing of a valued member of the site? It is simply not fucking cool. Full stop.

And fourcheesemac has all the frame of reference to comment on this topic he needs. So it was a completely asshole thing to say. Whether I agree with fcm comments or not. Which in part I do not.

Man, this thread is all about the twisted little grudges coming out. Some of you guys need to hit the gym more. Work out that hostility.
posted by tkchrist at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the sentiments that's been thrown about repeatedly in this thread is that those of us who go after konolia do it because she has different opinions than we do.

I would say the word 'opinions' could be exchanged for 'beliefs' and made correct, do you agree?
posted by Pragmatica at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2010


I'm not sure why this "let's get those evil religious white conservatives" attitude isn't taken to places like majorityrights or any of similar type forums. There's a nice big batch of actual white supremacists and such to actually vent one's spleen upon.
posted by thisperon at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


If it's sock puppetry to load the ballot box in the attempted silencing of a valued member of the site? It is simply not fucking cool. Full stop.

People pulling creepy sockpuppet hijinks in arguments is the sort of thing we watch for and kick ass about. Worrying about it is our jobs as mods, and we're far better equipped to do so than anyone else. And false accusations about that sort of thing suck.

All of which is why, if someone is worried about something like that happening, it's a far better idea to drop us a discreet line about it to look into than it is to publicly speculate about some user's bona fide's on the basis that they're new and have a strong opinion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:43 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


But my anger is caused by roid rage.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Worrying about it is our jobs as mods

Good to know.
posted by tkchrist at 1:46 PM on January 8, 2010


That's cool, HopperFan! No need to apologize. And I dunno, tkchrist, while I can admit that today (as in today, Friday, as I stare out my office window) this place looks like Hoth, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find people who agree that things were overall better from an aesthetic standpoint in 1990.
posted by chinston at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2010


But my anger is caused by roid rage.

I would recommend organic beef for your next BBQ dinner, then.
posted by Pragmatica at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2010


But my anger is caused by roid rage.

Switch to Decca. Injected. That oral stuff is what gives you adrenaline surges. And you still have to hit the gym to work out the tension.
posted by tkchrist at 1:48 PM on January 8, 2010


It seems like there are two separate questions here, and the second depends on the first:

1) If a user is permitted to get a new account, should the contributions only from that account be judged, or should behavior on past accounts come into play, too?

2) Are there "hateful" things that have been posted under the new account, or are they all from the old accounts?

On the first question, I guess people have argued that since she brings biographical details into her postings, and that makes it clear who she is, she has given up her claim to "Brand New Day" status. But I thought the only condition on which she got that status was that she stop posting about certain topics, so it's not really fair to add the condition that she anonymize herself by eschewing biographical details. We all post biographical details; I'm sure if anyone paid that kind of attention to my comments (*sound of wind whistling*), they could tell if I closed my account and opened a new one.

On the second question, well, no one's posted any links.

*hugs HopperFan* *snaps Terrible Towel at tkchrist*
posted by palliser at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think you'd be hard-pressed to find people who agree that things were overall better from an aesthetic standpoint in 1990.

I havn't been there since March 2002. Now, true, downtown architecturally, was real quaint and interesting. But after 6pm totally and completely dead and lifeless. And the outlying areas actually did remind me of post-apocalyptic America. But not in a cool Road Warrior way. Gods balls it was like a neutron bomb was dropped on the place.
posted by tkchrist at 1:59 PM on January 8, 2010


"But after 6pm totally and completely dead and lifeless."

Sure, but that's happened to a lot of Midwestern cities. They're trying to reverse that trend, though - for example, when it got dead downtown in Pittsburgh, we headed over to Station Square, (easily walkable distance from downtown, right over the bridge) and had some incredible food at the Grand Concourse, plus some fun people-watching afterwards.

*hugs Palliser back*
posted by HopperFan at 2:13 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


We expect people to try and be minimally decent to each other.

I think this also explains why anecdotes like zoomorphic's about her bigotry-tolerant parents are of limited value. I mean, "minimally decent" does not mean having fellow site members to your house for dinner, or -- ye gods -- letting them drive your kids around and put them out of the car when they disagree with the bigotry coming from the front seat.

I think it's more comparable to a situation where someone with objectionable views is part of a church or country club or something, and the question is whether, instead of riding them out on a rail, it's okay to have a community leader talk to them and tell them to stop expressing those views in front of other community members. And then, if they do stop, not to nudge the person next to you when you see the hated member and talk about all the horrible things the hated member did in the past.
posted by palliser at 2:19 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is there any reason for the Pittsburgh/Baltimore rivalry beyond football?
posted by josher71 at 2:19 PM on January 8, 2010


1) If a user is permitted to get a new account, should the contributions only from that account be judged, or should behavior on past accounts come into play, too?

Whether or not someone is "permitted"* to get a new account, I think sifting through past history to find evidence of their lynchability sucks.

*And since when did we need permission to open an account?
posted by timeistight at 2:27 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are maybe 3-5 users who are actually Banned4Lyfe and we don't let them sign up again if we can help it. We'll return their money and ban the account immediately.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:36 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think she literally does not know better than to enter discussions the way she does and have discussions the way she does.

I have seen people like St. Alia on other sites, and this is ultimately what I gather from them: they have an intellectual and rhetorical style that is incompatible with places like MeFi. We depend on facts, articles, and statistics. St. Alia and her ilk (for better or for worse) have a worldview primarily informed by their family experiences, experiences they've had through raising children, and a culture that revolves around the exchange of certain specific talking points, to the point where certain of their claims ("all textbooks are crap") are at the level of simply being axiomatic and arguments they make amount to "well it worked out for my family, so it is true," even if her point of view is completely crazy. That, and she just isn't capable or doesn't understand the need to engage arguments on their own terms: rather, with the benefit she as of age and experience, simply beliefs that she is entitled to her views by nature of the fact that they are hers and that she has held them for a long time, regardless of the fact that they are completely ungrounded. I am sure that the fact that she believes she is much older that the other MeFites buttresses this sense of entitlement she carries.

In a sense, people like dios and ParisParamus used to "fit in" here better than St. Alia because, while they may be operating from a radically different (and incorrect) philosophical belief system, they did not have the same feeling of entitlement and self-reinforced obtuseness.
posted by deanc at 2:36 PM on January 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


Sorry, yeah, I meant "banned in their current incarnation but permitted to open a new account."
posted by palliser at 2:37 PM on January 8, 2010


Suffice it to say that as much as I dislike some of the shit St. Alia has said in the past and as much as I am inclined to disagree with a hell of a lot of the beliefs she has espoused and her style of interaction, she is herself as one opinionated person on the internet significantly less of a threat to the health of this site's community than the collective crappy behavior of all the people insisting on their right to publicly go after her.

Man, do I find this a difficult sentiment to understand. I mean, I get that people shouldn't be tarring and feathering her every time she makes an appearance. But it's not she wanders into a thread and goes "oh, hi! I'm konolia and I'm back!" and then people just get out the pitchforks. go through her history. I just did a bit, and what I found was thread after thread where she says something normal and nobody bats an eye and that's about the extent of her participation. then I found comments like this, which - while certainly not the most scandalous thing ever said, is certainly fucking frustrating. the comment from the thread in question, by the way, is supremely frustrating, as well. not to mention her steadfast refusal to actual explain what she meant by "all textbooks are crap." there's her "there really is a biological basis for men's inability to multitask nonsense which miraculously wound up being offensive to both men AND women in that it turned into some folksy "well, that's why the womenfolk just have to do for themselves!" bullshit. there's the God will have to judge america comment in an abortion thread. and let's not forget how certain mefites are going to hell.

there's more out there, but that's just from a quick perusal of her history starting from the oldest stuff. none of it is frothing out and out name calling, which is why she seems to get a pass. no, it's the old wink and nudge routine, couched in the most frustratingly folksy language as though it were just common sense, dummy!

and I fucking hate history digging. hate it hate it hate it. but if you're gonna sit there and say something like the above as though she didn't contribute to the pileons in the first place, and actually claim that her bigotry and willful deception doesn't hurt the site, then fuck it. I don't know what else to do. mind you, that's JUST from her days as Alia. OC's comment above shows the real nasty shit from the konolia days. you don't want to ban her? fine. don't ban her. but howsabout every once in a while jessamyn or you tell HER how tired you are of her, instead of Chyme just because his outrage didn't have a cutesy palin-esque wink and smile to it? sure sure, you email her or whatever. I know you guys know how to do your job, but god damn it if it doesn't send a powerful message when you PUBLICLY shame chyme but not alia. and no, it's not the message that you're conservative or anything stupid like that. it's the message that you can get away with a powerful lot if you're quiet in your offense.

there really is such a stronger aversion to outright anger around here that actual harmful rhetoric will be allowed to stand in its stead simply because it's put calmly. and then a mod will say that outrage is more harmful than bigotry.
posted by shmegegge at 2:39 PM on January 8, 2010 [21 favorites]


and another lesson, this one a good one:

I'm gonna be flagging a lot more thoroughly from now on. I suspect there are a lot of mefites like me who prefer to have discussions when we disagree and don't just flag things that are offensive. I suspect alia gets way too much of a pass because of this, since arguing with her in thread doesn't actually accomplish anything.
posted by shmegegge at 2:41 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]



Whether or not someone is "permitted"* to get a new account, I think sifting through past history to find evidence of their lynchability sucks.


I mostly agree. In 99% of the cases this should be true.

But there exists a tiny minority of users who are intractable axe grinders for which it would be silly to pretend "hey, here is another wholly new entity that seems to be obsessively emotionally invested in X topic just like that one guy was. What a coincidence?"

Especially when you damned well know who they are and it's all but a wink and a nod. I mean, seriously. That's kind of absurd to have to put on the fake god damned play with each and every deliberately contrived interaction when eventually you get treated like a sucker for it.

And some point you have to consider the history.
posted by tkchrist at 2:42 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


and I fucking hate history digging. hate it hate it hate it. but if you're gonna sit there and say something like the above as though she didn't contribute to the pileons in the first place, and actually claim that her bigotry and willful deception doesn't hurt the site, then fuck it.

That is not my claim. My claim is that the overt collective reaction she receives is, in fact, having a greater negative impact on the site than things she has said lately. And that feels like the thing a lot of people do not want to be told: that their own behavior, their specific way of reacting to their dislike of her and her beliefs and her presence at all here is actually deeply problematic.

This can be summed up in reduced format as "two wrongs do not make a right". Anybody arguing that they don't need to adjust their own tendency to react to St. Alia or anyone else with an established negative reputation how and when and where they please is just reserving the right to behave badly. That's very much a problem. "But she's obnoxious and frustrating and has ugly beliefs" does not make it not a problem. Period.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:47 PM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


There are maybe 3-5 users who are actually Banned4Lyfe and we don't let them sign up again if we can help it. We'll return their money and ban the account immediately.

I heard that happened to mathowie's baby.
posted by timeistight at 2:48 PM on January 8, 2010


but howsabout every once in a while jessamyn or you tell HER how tired you are of her, instead of Chyme just because his outrage didn't have a cutesy palin-esque wink and smile to it?

We have. Many times. Publicly and privately. To the point that, again, it's frustrating to the point of making politeness difficult to have it implied or assumed that we've done otherwise.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:51 PM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


> I know you guys know how to do your job, but god damn it if it doesn't send a powerful message when you PUBLICLY shame chyme but not alia.

Alia has not said anything shameful in this thread. I realize you consider her very existence shameful, but try to pay attention to context.

And yes, she may very well be sitting back in her sweet downhome rocker and chuckling nastily at all the ruckus she's been the cause of yet again. So what? Who cares? If that's the worst thing in your life, man are you lucky.
posted by languagehat at 2:52 PM on January 8, 2010 [12 favorites]


schmegge the only worthwhile option is simply ignore her on anything but the most innocuous of threads. We're just gonna go round and round in circles otherwise. It's not worth it. PG and everybody getting all worked up. It's not worth it. Forget it Jake. It's Chinatown.
posted by tkchrist at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


two wrongs do not make a right

That's what I said about P Diddy's cover of Welcome to the Jungle. He still made a kajillion.
posted by tkchrist at 2:57 PM on January 8, 2010


howsabout every once in a while jessamyn or you tell HER how tired you are of her, instead of Chyme just because his outrage didn't have a cutesy palin-esque wink and smile to it?

I do. We both do. Often. It makes me angry that you would even imply that we don't.

...when you PUBLICLY shame chyme but not alia

She knows where she stands on the site and she's changed the things we told her to, to the best of my knowledge [I never saw that bullshit comment you linked above because not a single person flagged it]. I have had a lot of back and forth with OC over email as well and I'm still seeing some of the stuff that's not okay. I've told St. Alia, in threads, often, to knock it off. I'm sorry if you've missed it. She's scarce and quiet in MetaTalk, a place I feel like I can speak more freely, so maybe that's why it doesn't register. Anyone who has emailed me directly gets a run down on what's going on, some stuff isn't really going to be open-air discussions here and I'm sorry about that.

I'd appreciate if people could use the flag queue instead of just making a private shitlist.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:57 PM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


This can be summed up in reduced format as "two wrongs do not make a right". Anybody arguing that they don't need to adjust their own tendency to react to St. Alia or anyone else with an established negative reputation how and when and where they please is just reserving the right to behave badly. That's very much a problem. "But she's obnoxious and frustrating and has ugly beliefs" does not make it not a problem. Period.

I'm not saying it does. what you said was that outrage at her negative behavior was more damaging than her behavior. that's what I take issue with, and the fact is that you guys are reinforcing this idea that being sarcastic or angry is worse than being a bigot. and that's unbelievably frustrating.

I believe I can understand how much it sucks to have us tell you what you believe and feel, so let me be as clear about this as possible: I'm not trying to tell you what you believe or feel, but I am trying to let you know what the message is coming across as right now. Because I've NEVER seen jessamyn respond to alia the way she has repeatedly with Chyme. And the idea that getting frustrated and angry with prejudice is worse than the prejudice itself is incredibly grating. I know, and so do most of us, that we don't have carte blanche to flip out at someone because we disagree with them, or don't like them. but again: go through her history. see how often she says things and nobody bats an eye. then notice when the giant pileons start. she has a hand in this, and her comments are fight starters. I just wish this got some recognition from somebody on this. You can say "look, I don't like her politics either, but..." and it's like please, for the love of God, acknowledge that this isn't just her politics. she. is. offensive. how you guys do your job is yours to decide, and I respect all the work you do immensely. but for god's sake, it is just so incredibly frustrating to feel like you're shouting into the wind about that. like, "am I crazy? am I the only person who thinks her comments are legitimately destructive to the site and to the people who encounter her? have I lost my mind?"

please. this is not just a political grudge. it's not. she is actually offensive and harmful. I don't care how she votes, I care that she tries to shame pregnant women into believing their bodies are not their own. I care that she tries to shame atheists. I care that she's a bigot.
posted by shmegegge at 3:08 PM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


shmegegge: " a mod will say that outrage is more harmful than bigotry"

They'll be speaking about MetaFilter. Not about that other thing: the real world.

And they'll be correct.

Look, if you want a web site where all the lefties who agree with each other can, in a judgement-free atmosphere, gang stomp righties who piss them off, you can join me over at Daily Kos.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:09 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


alright, I apologize for saying you guys haven't done it publicly. I really haven't seen it, and still can't find it, but if I'm wrong I'm wrong, so I'm sorry.

I realize you consider her very existence shameful, but try to pay attention to context.

lh, I respect you immensely, but you have this thing about popping into threads just to say something unfair and obnoxious like this. I've had to retype this comment a few times because of how incredibly infuriating what you just said is (and yes, that's my cue to back off a bit and maybe take a walk, so when I come back I should be calmer), but seriously: keep that shit to yourself. you want to lump me into the crowd of people who have a problem with her for who she is instead of what's she's done, keep it to yourself. or better yet, go through my history and find when I've gone at it with her. it's been since before her latest name change at the latest, and it was MAYBE once or twice in the first place.

again, cortex and jessamyn, I'm sorry I made false accusations about you guys. I really hope you can understand where I'm coming from a little bit, though, despite making that one terrible error.
posted by shmegegge at 3:15 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


the comment from the thread in question, by the way, is supremely frustrating,

The comment you link was my expressing my viewpoint that (in general) textbooks are crap. For some reason that started this crapstorm.

Has it ever occured to anyone here that perhaps my viewpoint on texts has nothing at all to do with what you assume it does? Most of it comes from the truly crappy texts I endured in school plus the crappy ones my kids had (I only homeschooled four years and they did public school the rest of the time.) History in particular wanted to make me pull my hair out, because history texts almost always seemed to make the subject as boring as humanly possible, whereas I could go to the library and find excellent books on history and use those to instruct my children (I think this is the series I used but IIRC it was written for the reasons I just stated-to enable young people to have a love for the subject. And no, it was not a Christian or conservative author, just so you know.)
It is also quite common in homeschooling circles to want to teach from "real books" (Google Charlotte Mason while you are at it) so my lack of love for boring monstrosities written by committee is not the horrible outlier opinion some of you like to assume it is.

As for the rest of all this: Since I have no plans on going anywhere anytime soon, why are you all so mean to Jessica, Cortex et all by starting all these useless unnecessary crapstorms? You aren't bothering ME but you are hurting THEM. Stop it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:15 PM on January 8, 2010


And the outlying areas actually did remind me of post-apocalyptic America.

Yeah, no, I agree. I find this weirdly charming in its own way.
posted by chinston at 3:17 PM on January 8, 2010


Jessica?
posted by chinston at 3:18 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


what you said was that outrage at her negative behavior was more damaging than her behavior.

Collectively, it is. The collective, insufficiently checked reactions to her out of proportion with the text of her actual comments manages to be more disruptive than the comments themselves. I don't know how else to put this. A bunch of obnoxious behavior is more destructive than a little obnoxious behavior, especially insofar as it represents a systemic failure of some of the mefi userbase to behave decently. It adds up, and the sum of that behavior is a bigger danger to this place than one annoying user with ugly opinions making banal comments.

Because I've NEVER seen jessamyn respond to alia the way she has repeatedly with Chyme.

I tried to address this earlier, but I'll reiterate: we hold most of the conversations we have with folks about their behavior over private channels. We make a point of that, because it's generally best in our collective mod opinion to not make a public spectacle of talking with someone about improving how they deal with the site. That we've addressed OC a few times in public lately is a chance exception to that, and again insofar as that's made OC feel put unfairly on the spot I'm sorry it worked out that way. Like Jess said, we'll be mindful of it.

But for all that I don't think we have been exceptionally aggressive with him in public, and I sure as hell do not think he's gotten nearly as much public critical attention from us as St. Alia has. I can damned well guarantee he hasn't gotten nearly as much in private.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:23 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


why are you all so mean to Jessica

You make this mistake a lot. Write her name on a post-it note and stick it next your computer or something.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on January 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


(OOPS....can you use your godly mod powers and fix that???)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:26 PM on January 8, 2010


Look, if you want a web site where all the lefties who agree with each other can, in a judgement-free atmosphere, gang stomp righties who piss them off, you can join me over at Daily Kos.

Just heaven help you if you happen to be a lefty and also disagree with the majority about a major issue. That's when "judgement free" goes right out the window. The way that community behaved towards supporters of Hillary Clinton during the last election was shameful.
posted by zarq at 3:27 PM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


deanc: a radically different (and incorrect) philosophical belief system

Could you please provide a list of the correct philosophical belief systems so I can make sure I'm on the right track?

Or is it just the different ones that are incorrect?
posted by Shohn at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex: "we hold most of the conversations we have with folks about their behavior over private channels"

I can vouch for this.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:31 PM on January 8, 2010


OK, if we're going to have a big Ban the Offensive fest, then I'd like to request that we ban everyone who participated in this profoundly offensive AskMe.

And while we're at it, I'd also appreciate it if we could ban all the self-appointed sex police and guardians of bourgeois conventionality in the I Am Tiger Woods thread for foisting their puritanical, narrow-minded moralizing on the rest of us. After all, many of those folks seem to think that Woods will or should burn in hell for having multiple partners and/or lying.

About anecdotal evidence, plenty of people around here present their own experiences and firsthand observations as data points. For instance, here's one more data point from me, as a professional user of textbooks for 30 years and someone who has considered and reviewed lots of textbooks in my field:

Most of them are, for one reason or another, crap -- if not total crap, then at least significantly problematic. Some are poorly written, some stupidly organized, some full of misinformation or pedagogically unsound, some too large, some too narrow, some with dopey or too pop-culture or too high-brow reading selections, etc., etc. etc. And all of them are outrageously overpriced. Pretty much all my colleagues complain about crappy textbooks constantly. Are you going to ban me for being frustratingly anecdotal now?

I don't know why anybody would interpret St. Alia saying "all textbooks are crap" as anything but simply an overstated personal observation of her own frustration in trying to find a decent text to use in teaching her kids. People make similar statements all the time. Why is that a big deal?

Another of St. Alia's crimes is apparently "disingenuously" claiming that a lot of people in her area love Sarah Palin. Well, I guess we're just sisters under the skin then because lots and lots of people in my region adore Sarah Palin, a fact that horrifies me, but am I supposed to pretend it's not true?

Jesus, so many MeFites I otherwise really respect seem to go out of their way to infer every possible shitty thing they can from every syllable St. Alia utters when the rest of us make just as many dogmatic, offensive, overblown, mean-spirited, snotty, judgy, illogical, anecdotal, self-involved or empty statements all the damn time.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:34 PM on January 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


To me at least, it is clear that St Alia consistently does this with the goal of making all the threads she participates in be all about St. Alia. Why else would she constantly bring up irrelevant details about her personal life?

Because this is the way she communicates with people. It's a form of socializing, both expressing one's opinion while also mentioning your successes in life in the hopes of receiving social esteem. In the same way we might "score points" (or favorites) by making a particularly well-posed argument, analogy, or quip or pointing to a particularly relevant source that applies to an argument, SAotB's style is to discuss her personal/family successes, making the argument both unassailable and, in her mind, scoring a rhetorical point by showcasing her household success.

This is infuriating, unstimulating, and generally incompatible with the topics we are discussing, but not inherently malicious. If you're not a wonk or haven't thought much about certain topics, you might not have much firm data or arguments to make about them, but you probably have experienced an issue simply by brushing up against it in one's life, and mentioning you have had those experiences can seem like an accomplishment. Talking this way is completely alien to MeFites, but it's more a symptom of terminal codgerism and patronizing behavior rather than some kind of maliciously narcissistic demand for attention.
posted by deanc at 3:36 PM on January 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


I am beginning to understand why so many meetups happen at bars.
posted by zarq at 3:42 PM on January 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


I can vouch for this.

Hey Joe, I want to apologize for that one time I chewed you out, because ever since then you've been pretty much great. (Not to imply it had anything to do with me chewing you out.) I was a dick and I'm glad you're around.
posted by Caduceus at 3:46 PM on January 8, 2010


I care that she tries to shame atheists. I care that she's a bigot.

They are words on a fucking website. They are worth an eye-roll and little more.

There's a reek of staggering levels of self-importance amongst the people that HAVE TO TELL YOU HOW WRONG YOU ARE. No amount of being right makes up for acting like an asshole. Every little thing someone says is not your opportunity for a teaching moment.

It's comical in its predictability. Zero opinions are changed but people pat their own backs because they're convinced they achieved something just from the level of volume.
posted by GeekAnimator at 3:55 PM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


Talking this way is completely alien to MeFites,

It isn't, though. There are tons of threads packed with personal stories posted by mefites who have no particular expertise in the subject matter of the post. If St Alia didn't have the kind of history she has here, through her various incarnations, no one would bat an eye about a maybe-kind-of-off-topic cite-free anecdote about her grandkids or whatever. There are some folks who apparently can't bear to let a politics-free anecdote of hers pass by without alluding to the (potential) politics behind it. The textbook thing is a perfect example. If I or languagehat or cortex had said "Yeah, textbooks suck" no one would have challenged us to provide a cite for that or questioned whether we think textbooks suck because of our politics.

And textbooks do mostly suck. I had a couple of good ones in high school, but they were mostly terrible, the history ones in particular. Somehow I managed to overcome that and become a history major in college.
posted by rtha at 4:06 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because I've NEVER seen jessamyn respond to alia the way she has repeatedly with Chyme.

To my recollection, I remember three instances where she's come into a thread to tell SAotB to knock it off (though I may be conflating it with konolia). And they haven't exactly been friendly head-patty sorts of "you knock it off you" but more "if you don't shape it up in a hurry you will feel the power of this fully operational banhammer."

I find the anti-bunnyfire et al screeds to be like people buying pink-branded products to fight breast cancer. It feels good, but in the greater scheme of things, it does next to nothing to solve the problem people think they're solving by taking their one action.

Instead of 60,000 users piling on one person, what if 10,000 users talked to one person each about racism/bigotry/homophobia? You could change the minds of 9,999 more people that way.

However, I wonder how many meet and right liberals here actually know anyone who doesn't think exactly the way they do, or if they're quick to slam the door on anyone different from them.

Someone way upthread complained that SAotB was "out to convert." Well, guess what -- everyone here is out to convert everyone else that their worldview, microcosmic or macrocosmic, is the right one. Everyone is trying to show they meet whatever litmus test they think is judging them. We think we have the right answer on AskMe. We think that someone we're presenting in a FPP is funny/cool/infuriating/enlightening and Must Be Discussed. Our community is build on that idea, because all communities are built on that idea. We need affirmation. How we deal with people of differing viewpoints says a lot about our own maturity and our own personal security.

I'm really not saying what I think we should do with SAotB, but honestly, I think she's a jerk at times and at other times she's a good neighbor within the community, and I think that's pretty much how everyone here is. What she's a jerk about defines her in the eyes of many, but ultimately it's about whether you're willing to die on that hill or just flag it and move on.

I do worry about the chilling effects I've seen with a vocal group of MeFites out to define what is right and wrong for the community. There are some very divergent viewpoints on here. I think a good community has room for that divergence, but it also has the room to let people call each other dicks for holding those views. Successful communities are neither all comity nor all argument, neither live and let live nor wholesale regulation. I think, for the most part, we've found that balance, thanks to Matt and Jess and cortex. No one will be completely happy with that balance, but this community works because we are all different, and we let those differences build us. That is, when we let them.
posted by dw at 4:08 PM on January 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


why are you all so mean to Jessica

Come on guys. She's a troll: laughing and pushing buttons. Isn't she making it obvious enough? You're being played. Geez, I can't believe you're falling for this stuff.
posted by belvidere at 5:17 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only viewpoint I refuse to welcome is that this year has produced a single anime series worth watching. Man what a pile of crap. Get it together, Japan!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:22 PM on January 8, 2010


You should all be ashamed of yourselves arguing and fighting like this on David Bowie's birthday.
posted by Sailormom at 5:34 PM on January 8, 2010 [5 favorites]




If the researchers are correct in the preliminary determination, then Hubble is seeing light that reveals the galaxies as they first appeared just 480 million years after the birth of the universe. (That light traveled for billions of years to reach Earth.)

Offered for perspective.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:43 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is infuriating, unstimulating, and generally incompatible with the topics we are discussing, but not inherently malicious

Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice and all that. I lump St Alia into the same mental bucket as sixcolors: whether they're intentionally trolling or not isn't really important. Their entire manner of interaction is anathema to certain norms here, namely good-faith, rational and reality-based adversarial discussion. Since those are the norms I consider most foundational to my experience of this community obviously I'm not a fan.

That said, I do think the policy of Brand New Day is a good one and we could all tone down the spittle enough to react to the actual words on the page instead of a decade's accretion of righteous anger.
posted by Skorgu at 5:50 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


"But she's obnoxious and frustrating and has ugly beliefs" does not make it not a problem.

I do not want my community to be one in which homosexuals are hurt by hateful words and vile opinions. If some racist bastard were to show up here and get away with the same sort of shit that she has been allowed to get away with, I would leave¹. There's no fucking way I want to be part of that in any way, shape or form.

AFAIK, her current incarnation has been less offensive towards homosexuals on the whole. That her idiot comments about textbooks caused a minor flamewar is just pathetic, but given her history of hateful messages and bear-baiting, unsurprising.

Her being obnoxious and frustrating is not a problem. If it were, a lot of users would have to go.

But her ugly beliefs? They are a problem, a good number of them have been pointed out in this thread, and only so long as she doesn't fuck up and start in with the homophobia again should she be allowed to stay. (She's constantly offending with her religious spew, but I personally couldn't care less about her opinions about religion; that's a battle for twenty years down the line, after we've dealt with other socially retarded problems like homophobia.)

I would never have given her a second BND. I hope the mods are sensible enough to not give her a third one. It's time to shape up or ship out.

¹I apologize to our homosexual users, btw: perhaps like the people who refuse to marry until gay marriage is made legal, I should be refusing to be a community member² until all homophobic bigots are made unwelcome here. OTOH, I hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater; I think we're moving the right direction.
² Yes, I'm perfectly aware that I'm not in the least essential as a community member, so "refusing to be a member" would have pretty much no effect anyway. As moot as the action might be, I'd still make it if it were the right thing to do.

posted by five fresh fish at 6:18 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


lh, I respect you immensely, but you have this thing about popping into threads just to say something unfair and obnoxious like this.

Dude, you have got to learn to treat him like a konolia: just walk away. LH's consistent modus operandi is to shit in MeTa threads just like that. Ignore it: it's not worth being riled about.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:23 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


St. A writes "You aren't bothering ME but you are hurting THEM. Stop it."

Actually, Jessamyn made it quite clear that you're the cause of most of their headaches. I can understand the ripple effect and that there's sufficient blame to go around, but LEAVE THE MODS ALONE!!! is a cheap play coming from you.
posted by bardic at 6:27 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


French readers among us: note that this thread is currently over 392,000 (display) characters long. Il you value your blood pressure, you may want to read Manon Lescault (less than 355,000 characters) instead.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:28 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, Bardic, that's a mischaracterization of what Jessica said. Besides, I could drop dead or move to the Sahara or give up all computers tomorrow and before the week was out there's be someone else that would be the focus of the sort of behavior she objected to. Because that is human nature in large groups.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:32 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


JESSAMYN.

It's jessamyn.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:35 PM on January 8, 2010 [17 favorites]



Oh good night I did it again. *goes looking for the post-it notes*
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:39 PM on January 8, 2010


It's jessamyn.

Yeah, that's what Jessica said, too.

I think we are well past constructive discussion and into some kind of multiple performance art territory now.
posted by Forktine at 6:40 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think we are well past constructive discussion and into some kind of multiple performance art territory now.

Seriously.

St. Alia, I've been kinda sticking up for you, but this oops-my-bad-teehee! thing makes me wonder if I've been making a fool out of myself to do so. It's not a difficult name, and it's one of the mods. Getting the name wrong twice strikes me as incredibly disingenous and passive-aggressive.

(And now I officially hate everyone in this thread, including myself. Where was the thread with the free hugs?)
posted by Salieri at 6:45 PM on January 8, 2010


No, it seriously was an inadvertent error. Those who know me in real life are used to me making stupid mistakes especially when I am trying really hard not to make them.

Heck, sometimes I call my kids by the wrong names accidentally.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:48 PM on January 8, 2010


I now actually believe that SAotB is, in fact, trolling in a really weird, passive-aggressive way.
posted by Shohn at 6:49 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I repeat, WTF? I have expressed *no* "outrage" here and I'll thank you -- languagehat -- to refrain from caricaturing my points with such a broad brush. My tone has been critical but civil. In fact, I have not called for SATB to be banned or silenced. I have simply expressed my sympathy with the view that her contributions are disingenuous and frequently bigoted.

As for those using my admission that I haven't read SATB's posts *recently* to imply that I have no basis for my statements, WTF again? I've been here a long time. I got into it with her under her previous handles. I only, finally, killfiled SATB about two months ago, maybe less, after I caught myself responding angrily to one of her posts after swearing I would not do so any more. I was trying to turn the other cheek. Sure, maybe she's had a total change of character since then. No one has yet claimed this to be the case however.

Talk about bad faith. This is what metatalk *is,* and people get piled on here all the time. It's happened to me, for stupid things. I think a poster who routinely expresses bigoted opinions that offend a lot of people in the community is fair game for callouts. It's only "piling on" if you don't like what's being said. Some of you complaining that this is a "pile on" have piled on plenty of times with respect to other targets of MeTa critique.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:49 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Forktine: "I think we are well past constructive discussion and into some kind of multiple performance art territory now."

I'm going to get some chocolate and smear it on my genitals.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:50 PM on January 8, 2010


(And jessamyn, I really do apologise. At work all day long I make people spell back perfectly easy names because, when you are sending flowers to a funeral, it really matters if it's Steven or Stephen. Then I come home, have a yogurt, relax a moment....and, crap.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:50 PM on January 8, 2010


Then I come home, have a yogurt, relax a moment....and, crap.

I suppose that yogurt is Activia, then...
posted by qvantamon at 6:53 PM on January 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


Heh. Actually, no, Dannon. Caramel. Actually pretty good, but then my usual favorite flavor for yogurt is coffee so you might not want to take my word for it.

And come on, guys, I wouldn't do such a stupid thing to Jessamyn as intentionally call her by the wrong name. I have a lot of respect for her as hopefully does everyone on this site.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:57 PM on January 8, 2010


Overshare.
posted by bardic at 6:57 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


No matter however much I strenuously disagree with St. Alia's politics, I'm POSITIVE that when she keeps calling Jess by the wrong name, she really is just making the same boneheaded mistake over and over.

How do I know?

Because I do the same damn thing all the damn time!!!!!

It sucks getting old.
posted by marsha56 at 6:58 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


That light traveled for billions of years to reach Earth.

And all it got was this lousy t-shirt?
posted by Ritchie at 7:04 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Besides, I could drop dead or move to the Sahara

We can cover the plane tickets for you.
posted by special-k at 7:07 PM on January 8, 2010


Ok, then, St. Alia, solultion simple. Back up the things you say with why. You ask [in my head] sarcastically "did it ever occur to you that I have a reason to say that?" To which I answer, "well, no".

Because you so often toss off a single line sentence with nothing to back it up. If you'd put those few paragraphs in the original thread, everyone would have moved on. I'm pretty confident of that.

I tried talking to you during the election, wanting honestly to know why you felt the way you did about stuff, but you never gave more than a few sentences of assertions that weren't a repetition of some Fox News talking point. I think the above explanation of "all textbooks suck" is the longest thing I've seen you type here.

You may have done more, but I don't pay much attention to your postings anymore, because I've learned that interacting with you doesn't go far.

I don't care about Jessica/Jessamyn. (just say "Jess" allready) I get shit wrong all the time, but I know that if I'm tired, I shouldn't post. If I'm mad I shouldn't post. And if the kids are too quiet I shouldn't post.

If you know you have a weakness, compensate for it. Don't make the mods do it.
posted by lysdexic at 7:18 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


POST 667.
posted by boo_radley at 7:22 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think this horse is good and dead. I wish to hear more about this David Bowie character. I understand he's a musician of some sort. Is he any good?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:25 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is what metatalk *is,* and people get piled on here all the time. It's happened to me, for stupid things. I think a poster who routinely expresses bigoted opinions that offend a lot of people in the community is fair game for callouts. It's only "piling on" if you don't like what's being said. Some of you complaining that this is a "pile on" have piled on plenty of times with respect to other targets of MeTa critique.

The problem is that pile-ons don't really "work" on the site anymore. (personally, I don't think they ever did). With ~7000 people commenting on any given month in 2009, and three marathon MeTa thread in so many weeks recently, it doesn't scale. You may not have been following MeTa super-closely recently, but that's what the mods (Jessamyn at least) have been saying recently. I agree with them.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:26 PM on January 8, 2010




And here's the normal speed Death Disco. If you don't have decent speakers that can play the bass then don't bother.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:29 PM on January 8, 2010


Midget Submaries
posted by Burhanistan at 7:30 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


DAF - Der Mussolini
posted by Burhanistan at 7:33 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]






Emission: Impossible
posted by Burhanistan at 7:37 PM on January 8, 2010






Bowie's most earwormingest.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:55 PM on January 8, 2010




That's also an obnoxious behaviour, guys.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:58 PM on January 8, 2010


We already banned you, FFF. Post music or get out.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 PM on January 8, 2010


Jello Biafra will never retire.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:05 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Caspian Hat Dance, suckahs!
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:09 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


EatTheWeak wins.

Or has he?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:27 PM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Holy shit that's awesome, MStPT
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:30 PM on January 8, 2010


Beat Me from The Suburbs at the long-long-time-ago Longhorn bar in Minneapolis.
posted by marsha56 at 8:41 PM on January 8, 2010


It's Elvis' b day to you know.
posted by nola at 8:48 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like we're losing the plot here -- where were we now?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:54 PM on January 8, 2010


Oh noes! I have stumbled upon the cabal! There is no cabal! Shit!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 PM on January 8, 2010


It's Elvis' b day to you know.

Yes, best wishes to the King. In about two minutes (EST) it will MY birthday and also Jimmy Page's.
posted by marxchivist at 8:59 PM on January 8, 2010


Happy birthday marxchivist.
posted by nola at 9:03 PM on January 8, 2010


A staaaaaiiiiirrrrrrwaaaayyyyyy TO...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:04 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


(I guess audio's NSFW, now that I think about it, but if you're at work at midnight on Friday, you probably have bigger problems)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:07 PM on January 8, 2010


He's got a helmet on and
he's wearing overalls and
don't that lady look surprised?
YEEAH!
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:20 PM on January 8, 2010


I see your point.
posted by nola at 9:23 PM on January 8, 2010


Sick Sick USA

this one is the trump card
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think this horse is good and dead.

But I have thoughts I would like to share but haven't had the chance because this MeTa got pushed to the second page and I wasn't on the computer today because my wife and I were getting a marriage license and then we had to stop at GuyZero's and throw rotten fruit at his children and jeer as they vanished in a flurry of bruised apples and leaky oranges! Get off your lawn, you ill-kempt little brutes!

Anyhow:

There's an interesting correlation between those who are most vociferous in their arguments against SAotB and vehement in their defense of their histrionics and those who I find a noisy and jerkish* in general. Excluding OC, who charms his way past my defenses, try as I may to resist him.

*Me, I'm jerky in a quiet, understated sort of way. Some might describe it as suave, perhaps even sexay.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:54 PM on January 8, 2010


can I live?
posted by koeselitz at 10:06 PM on January 8, 2010


Ahem. While I think that:

a) jock@law was responding to my (now deleted, which I am fine with) comment in the original textbook thread, and
b) that my response, now 700 comments or so down in a day-old MetaTalk thread, may not mean much...

St. Alia's original comment was that all textbooks were crap, and that (by implication) her homeschool teaching methods and sources were superior. She brought her children into the thread, noone else.

Teaching has many purposes, but one of the most important, especially in the sciences, is to impart a realistic picture of the way the world as it actually as, not what we believe or might want it to be. St. Alia insinuated that her methods and sources were superior. I wanted to gauge that statement against reality.

Before making the comment, I did my little ritual of checking once, twice and thrice that I was not writing in anger. This test is by no means perfect. The mods disagreed with me, but they also attempted to roll the thread back past St. Alia's original comment, which I respect. (The effort towards which really negates any need to create this thread... but I digress.)

I left this issue behind me almost a week ago, but since I have come this far, I shall add this. It bothers me when people make assertions but cannot back them up. There are people on Metafilter that are notorious for that, and I should have known better than to try to engage one. While I do not believe that using plugins and the like to block Mefites from my screen is the answer - in my experience that Balkanises conversation, and makes it impossible to flag particularly egregious statements - I shall strengthen my resolve not to rise to the insincere, fact-free conversational bait that I feel St. Alia and a few others tend to dangle in threads.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:36 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Heck, sometimes I call my kids by the wrong names accidentally.

A folksy reference to her children? Wow.
posted by agregoli at 10:54 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Insincere, fact free conversational bait."

Perfectly said. Some will call this "outrage," but it's simply an accurate critique.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:23 AM on January 9, 2010


Mhm! Good points Everyone.
posted by Damn That Television at 3:26 AM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's mind-boggling to me is how so many of you can't see how hard Kanolia is trolling you. Whether she believes what she says is totally irrelevant.

It'd be tragic if it weren't so fascinating to watch play out, every single time.
posted by cj_ at 3:43 AM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ok, while painting the dining room I've had the opportunity for thought.
Squirrels aren't evil per se. However, they accelerate alarmingly quickly, like furry spiders. They go from there to here sooner than I'd like. Maybe that's just me. I know this will piss off a bunch of science types but squirrels are instantly in motion.

So my thesis is: Squirrels are by their nature and through no fault of their own less endearing than lemurs.

Also squirrels, if you are fool enough to trust one will tell you that they "are only making plans for Nigel".
Seems he needs a helping hand.
posted by vapidave at 3:59 AM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is British Steel even around anymore? I seem to recall that it didn't survive Thatcher. Maybe I'm wrong. I"m certainly not going to look it up now.

It's funny; that's probably the only XTC song I can stand besides this.
posted by koeselitz at 4:03 AM on January 9, 2010


PS to vapidave:

The awesome old guy next door to me routinely refers to coffee cans as "swuirrel caskets."
posted by koeselitz at 4:04 AM on January 9, 2010


only qith a q, blurgh
posted by koeselitz at 4:05 AM on January 9, 2010


I must be a plate of beans, because over the course of a few days I sure have been overthought.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:27 AM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can we get onto the second course, already? Because I think these beans are starting to lose their taste.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:47 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is my problem, because I can't see this situation as "live and let live," but rather "live and let bigots make it just a little harder for other people to live." People keep protesting, "But she's nicer now, and besides, it's her view! It's her view, goddammit, just let her keep saying hateful shit and don't get outraged when she gargles specious Biblical invective and contributes just a little bit more to a society where gays and abortion doctors and feminists and even goddamn divorces are targets."

The difference here, though, is that this isn't a question of "live and let live." It's a question of "live and object in some other way."

Look -- what your father did was continue to hang out with the guy despite his racism, to look the other way and still associate with him. What would have been better, I'm assuming, is if your father at some point said, "I'm afraid I disagree with you on that, and so I'd rather not associate with you any more." But the behaviour in here that is at question would be the equivalent of your father starting huge fist fights with him any time he saw him.

Which would have won the jackass sympathy from onlookers. Which is what I'm afraid of whenever any shitstorm like this blows up -- that there are onlookers which are going to sympathize with St. Alia sheerly because the behaviour of some of her detractors looks even worse.

Flagging is a way to let the powers that be know that "this is too far." And yet, Jessamyn mentioned above that there was one objectionable comment that everyone was up in arms about that she did not get a single flag about. I can't help but wonder whether the three or so people I'm talking about bother to flag the comments they respond to, as well as responding to them. Because that seems to be a very direct means of registering our disapproval with what is effectively a community situation -- and it's one that, as Jessamyn has pointed out, people don't seem to be using.

And at the end of the day, there are only three or so people who engage in the kind of behaviour I'm referring to in here. For the record, you and OC are not among them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 AM on January 9, 2010



A thought comes to mind (hopefully my final one here) regarding a course I took on collaborative (ie: non-combative) negotiation. One of the big rules: You Cannot Negotiate The Past. In other words, if the goal in a given negotiation is some kind of progressive agreement that allows both (all) sides to move peacefully (not necessarily lovingly) forward, then past transgressions, however contentious, are not on the table, except in the context of reconciling immediate (present) differences.

Oh, and a little something from Peter Hammill ...
posted by philip-random at 7:07 AM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


After a lot of thinking, I agree, I think, with the folks writing here who are calling for temperance and moderation, for finding other ways to deal with festering disagreement, for moving forward.

I think the least we can do is recognize a tar pit and back away, disengage and not go down fighting. I don't think that going down fighting really does a thing for anyone. I also think that there exist fights that we simply cannot win, no matter how self-righteous and justified we feel about the fight.

I am coming around to think of MetaFilter not as a place that's entirely safe for me. I actually think this is a good thing. It's realistically not a "safe space" in activist terminology. It's not the mods' jobs to make it a safe space for anyone. What they seem to want is rational discourse that hurts the fewest of us possible the least.

You don't come to a place that's not a safe space looking for safety. You come to a place like this where the mods do what they can to average out the hyperbole for conversation, discussion, the opportunity to encounter new opinions and points of view and to try to forge understanding.

If you are going to go off about something, know what it is and strategize ways of either avoiding that topic altogether or if you can, talking about it in a way that can be reasoned with.
posted by kalessin at 7:32 AM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"her opinions about religion; that's a battle for twenty years down the line, after we've dealt with other socially retarded problems like homophobia"

That seems extremely rude, are you really equating religion with homophobia?
posted by HopperFan at 7:43 AM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


What's mind-boggling to me is how so many of you can't see how hard Kanolia is trolling you. Whether she believes what she says is totally irrelevant.

Funny, the most-favorited comment in this thread starts with this very observation.

Yeah, I wrote it. That was my exact point.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:55 AM on January 9, 2010


Every time someone mentions "plate of beans" I think Blazing Saddles.
posted by ob at 8:28 AM on January 9, 2010


She brought her children into the thread, noone else. ... I shall strengthen my resolve not to rise to the insincere, fact-free conversational bait that I feel St. Alia and a few others tend to dangle in threads.

So many responses
  • The okay response to a personal anecdote is not a personal attack.
  • How the heck can you consider yourself in any position to dispute whether it's factual or non-factual that St. Alia homeschooled her children? Your post seems just like backpedaling to me. Your explanation is completely non-sensical and impertinent, since she wasn't engaging in "insincere, fact-free conversation[]."
  • In fact, it was you, sir, who began the "insincere, fact-free" speculation game. How could you possibly pretend to know anything about Alia's teaching methods, or her capability of teaching, or her children's intelligence or education?
  • What were you even hoping to prove? I can see a simple explanation for Alia's post - she was stating how she felt about the educational system in question, and providing a related personal anecdote. It was conducive to the conversation. Your comment though... what point? Even if she had responded "Oh, my kids turned out stupid" - which she wouldn't, and you know that - there's no basis to conclude that it was correlated with, let alone caused by, her homeschooling. You wanna talk about "insincere, fact-free conversational bait"? How about trying to show a relationship with a sample size of 1, or do you give yourself a free pass from the rules you seek to impose on others?
  • I don't know if you are one of the ones who pursued the whole USAFA thing, further trying to smear her kid, but the USAFA has a 1230-1380 SAT 25th-7th percentile range and 80% of its incoming freshman where in the top quarter of their high school. This compares well to UC Berkeley (1210-1470, 60.3%)
In short, I think you need to take the plank out of your own eye before worrying about the dust in others' eyes. Your comment is nothing but a failure to see "a realistic picture of the way the world as it actually [i]s, [instead of] what we believe or might want it to be." You couldn't merely accept that Alia ran into the question of textbook quality in the context of homeschooling, oh no. You had to read into it an "insinuation" that she was superior, because that's what you wanted to see from Alia, because it would give you an excuse to go after her, so you could wreak vengeance for her "tendencies" that bother you so much. And your effort at countering her point was unsupportable scientifically, so I frankly don't buy your argument that you were somehow trying to correct the imagined problem.

I think your comment was malicious and pointless. If it was meant to demonstrate something with some sort of objectivity, then the only thing it has so demonstrated is that you do not understand how to demonstrate things with objectivity. Regardless of the motivation, you crossed a line that seriously bothers most people: Do Not Talk Negatively About Other People's Children. It's a creepy personal attack that does nothing to lift the quality of discourse on Metafilter.

Speaking of the quality of discourse on Metafilter, why couldn't you have just asked her if she felt homeschooling was better than public school? You probably would have found out that she did send her kids to public school for a while, and we could have had a nice conversation about things she thought were better, worse, or different about each, instead of all this nonsense about college-ranking pissing contests and who's kid is or isn't smart.
posted by jock@law at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


jock - as I said, I placed this behind me a week ago. The mods provided a solution to the original thread, and I agreed with them. In my response here, I've discussed how I am going to try to avoid such situations in the future.

At this point, you are repeatedly disinterring a conversation corpse and berating it - and working towards being placed in the same read-but-largely-ignored category as St. Alia.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:33 AM on January 9, 2010


The older I get the more often I find myself muttering 'There but for the grace of god go I.'
posted by nola at 9:49 AM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


jock - as I said, I placed this behind me a week ago.

frankly, that's the exact same gambit she often uses when she gets called on something - avoidance by saying that it's not something she wants to discuss anymore or by changing the subject

it takes a lot of nerve to critique people for not backing up their opinions and assertions when you're not willing to do it either

especially when confronted with facts that aren't to your liking
posted by pyramid termite at 9:49 AM on January 9, 2010


HopperFan: I'm equating religious trolling with homophobia. Her approach is all about counting coup: dropping some little proselytizing, uninformed religious turd in a thread. I think she thinks her god gives her brownie points when she does that.

By counter-example, look at Peter Alethias. He's religious, but he's also extremely well-informed, well-spoken, and thinks deeply about his faith and what he says about religion. It's a whole different class of post, and his presence of great value to the site.

But regardless the trash content of her religious trolling, I don't see it as big problem that requires big consequences. Homophobia should be, today, absolutely intolerable in this community. Being sniped at by a religionist idiot? Not a big problem. Wouldn't get upset by a Santa-ist telling me I'm gonna get a lump of coal; don't really care that a stupid, hateful religionist in N.C. is telling me I'm gonna go to hell.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


cj_: “What's mind-boggling to me is how so many of you can't see how hard Kanolia is trolling you.”

fourcheesemac: “Funny, the most-favorited comment in this thread starts with this very observation. Yeah, I wrote it. That was my exact point.”

Heh. Kanolia's clearly not the only one. Nor the most successful.
posted by koeselitz at 9:55 AM on January 9, 2010


why couldn't you have just asked her if she felt homeschooling was better than public school?

That was not actually the topic of the FPP.

You couldn't merely accept that Alia ran into the question of textbook quality in the context of homeschooling, oh no. You had to read into it an "insinuation" that she was superior, because that's what you wanted to see from Alia

In the context of St Alia's overall ouevre, this is not an unfounded take on the situation. I think fourcheesemac covered the issues pretty well, and I have seen similar types of behavior from middle aged conservatives in online forums.
posted by deanc at 10:09 AM on January 9, 2010


pyramid, jock can't even recall who said what. We are well beyond the realm of facts now, and into recrimination, false memory, and wrath.

We cannot ascertain St. Alia's motivations; jock cannot scry mine. We can only judge actions. I have come to the reluctant conclusion that St. Alia does not engage in conversation here in good faith, based on her actions. In the context of my very limited input into MetaFilter, I have decided not to engage her further, and I would ask you to respect that choice.

The mods rolled the original conversation back into the memory hole, and after conversation with them, I agreed that that was the right thing to do for all parties involved. There is, at this point, very little left to discuss, at least from my perspective.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:11 AM on January 9, 2010


There is, at this point, very little left to discuss, at least from my perspective.

Yep. Now post strange music or gtfo.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:27 AM on January 9, 2010


I am growing rather tired of let's wail on st alia over and over. Here is an alternative.
Every time she trolls here, let's each donate $25 to planned parenthood. The more she trolls, the more we contribute.

Everybody wins.
posted by special-k at 10:28 AM on January 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


tkchrist: “You know when a user with a single Metatalk comment, less than 30 total comments, and less than a month old user history, pops in to tell another long standing and respected member to shut up... well I not only suspect that user of being a sockpuppet of some asshole on the site, which might be undeserving, but I also immediately want to respond in kind by telling that user to shut his or her pie hole and maybe lurk a while longer before jumping in to tell people we respect, though we may disagree with, to shut up. So. Yeah. You shut your pie hole, you.”

Dude, fuck off. She was right. Ooh, 'long standing and respected member' — so now you have to put up, what, two dozen comments and wait three months before you can tell somebody to shut up when they need to hear it? Even if that's a sock-puppet, I don't really care, though I doubt it is—why would somebody feel the need to sockpuppet it when it's absolutely true?

The point was that, for all that fourcheesemac, five fresh fish, and all of you anti-alia agitators might be complaining about someone's opinions which I agree are roundly despicable—those opinions don't appear here anymore. "Oh gosh, how do the mods tolerate the bigot in our midst?" Well, they tolerate her because she doesn't give voice to her bigotry. So there's a large degree to which this conversation amounts to something like "oh, god, I fucking hate bigotry, and I just know she's a bigot deep down, and it's so fucking obnoxious that she's allowed to be a bigot!" It's really annoying, I know, but alia is one bigot who's learned to comment here without espousing bigotry. So what do you do about that? Ban someone for crimes she was thinking about committing? I agree that stamping out bigotry is a fine thing, but that's certainly not the way to go about it.

five fresh fish: “But regardless the trash content of her religious trolling, I don't see it as big problem that requires big consequences. Homophobia should be, today, absolutely intolerable in this community. Being sniped at by a religionist idiot? Not a big problem. Wouldn't get upset by a Santa-ist telling me I'm gonna get a lump of coal; don't really care that a stupid, hateful religionist in N.C. is telling me I'm gonna go to hell.”

I think this indicates that we agree more than anybody would like to admit. Although I want to note that the trouble is that alia is never trolling or even 'sniping;' she's careful enough that the worst she ever does is indicate that her beliefs are enough a part of her that she'll never change. And that's enough to set some of us off; hell, when my mother (of whom alia reminds me, in the very worst ways I assure you) does that, it sends me off the handle, believe me.
posted by koeselitz at 10:35 AM on January 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


DJ Kentaro live in Shanghai: 1, 2
posted by koeselitz at 11:04 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did somebody demand strange music?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:45 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Koeselitz wins the thread. DJ Kentaro is better than God (or not-God).
posted by philip-random at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


At this point, you are repeatedly disinterring a conversation corpse and berating it - and working towards being placed in the same read-but-largely-ignored category as St. Alia.

No. Because the same hostile behavior you displayed then you displayed here: "insinuated" "superior" "insincere, fact-free conversational bait" in reference to your victim while never once admitting that you were wrong in, or apologizing for, making personal attacks on the children of other MeFites.

There's behavior you engaged in that really bothers me, and bothers other people. And it's behavior that we (meaning mostly you vs. the rest of us) can't seem to agree should be off the table. As long as you defend that behavior on the basis that Alia gave "insincere, fact-free conversational bait," we aren't making progress. As long as you're defending egregiously not-okay behavior, there's an extant issue to discuss.

Do you recognize how personal people's families are? Can you begin to empathize with people who think that such comments might be off-limits? My OP didn't mention Alia. I don't care if you like her or not, or think she (or I) are relevant or not. What I want to know is this: can we all agree, can you agree, yes or no, that casting aspersions on a person's loved ones is an invalid way of expressing your disagreement with that person?
posted by jock@law at 12:06 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll say this one piece and then I'll leave this thread alone.

Cortex is right. I have, and other posters have, responded to the current iteration of bunnyfire with inordinate outrage. She's not dreadful as St. Alia, and little of my acrimony is really directed at this current incarnation. As stated previously, she's done almost nada to mask an ugly history as Metafilter's own hate-mongering, anti-civil rights spokesperson, and still drops oblique references about her "beliefs" (thus perpetuating her old personae and their nasty defamations) rather than stating anything outright. This is a minor improvement that I suppose we're expected to accept or else pack away our toys and go home.

But hey, I think she should have been banned when she was bunnyfire, and I think she should have been banned as konolia. In my eyes, she doesn't deserve the Brand New Day leeway that has been bestowed not once, but twice, to a person who so richly employed insidious, folksy homophobia using the same Old Testament rhetoric that gets people abused and killed. Language is powerful, and after spending almost a decade parsing together those convenient Bible passages so often used to justify real-life hate crimes and then hiding her head in the sand when we demanded further justifications and contemplations, she doesn't deserve a BND. I don't think she deserves my compassion and patience as St. Alia because I don't think she's earned her right to be St. Alia at all. Her stupid "gosh gee" drop ins remind me that someone like her, so insincere and unwilling to thoughtfully engage in the debate she stirs up, gets forgiven again and again for spreading malevolence with a down-home twang and then covering her tracks with nonsense one-liners. Her continued presence on this site has become, to me, a sign of tolerance for the most poisonous sort of intolerance.

I got a memail from St. A yesterday regarding one of my earlier comments. When I saw the name in my inbox, I thought, "Hell, maybe she's really going to take me up on my claims and offer a sane argument in the privacy of email, and then I'll have to eat my hat." But guess what? After I called her out on bigotry and ducking out of our pleas for self-explanations and bitched about the one time she shat on my friend's question, St. A just wanted to know when I went to Max Abbott middle school, because her kids went there too!

And that's her story. She's harmless except when she's virulent, and we're all supposed to pretend that she's just St. A, the mediocre poster who definitely was not two toxic disabled accounts, unless she herself references them.

As for the rest of all this: Since I have no plans on going anywhere anytime soon, why are you all so mean to Jessica, Cortex et all by starting all these useless unnecessary crapstorms? You aren't bothering ME but you are hurting THEM. Stop it.


Can it, lady. As the Supreme Storm-Generator of Mean Crap, you don't deserve to be here in my book. But Metafilter isn't my book, and so I will try to curb my disdain for you starting now because that's how I have to behave to keep posting on this site. But hey, thanks for showing up and bravely defending the mods who sufficiently explicated your seemingly inexplicable and zombie-like ability to abide when exponentially better posters flirt with getting banned for calling you out. I'm going to try to act nicely, not because I think it's useless and unseemly to shout down your ethical obscenities or because I finally think you actually deserve civil treatment, but because I love this nerdy site. In addition to the many wonderful friends I've met through this site, I've learned quite a lot from the thoughtful insights and amazing stories posted here. I also met my lovely boyfriend at a meetup (maybe you've heard of him) and I will make an effort to laugh with him about your Metafilter silliness in private rather than tear my hair out over you in public. Stick around or leave, but be grateful you're even here at all.
posted by zoomorphic at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


Do you recognize how personal people's families are? Can you begin to empathize with people who think that such comments might be off-limits?

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
posted by found missing at 12:46 PM on January 9, 2010


exponentially better posters flirt with getting banned for calling you out.

If you want to take this to MeMail, please feel free to, but if you think this is as simple as how you're outlining it, I assure you it is not.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:08 PM on January 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


zoomorphic writes "I got a memail from St. A yesterday regarding one of my earlier comments. When I saw the name in my inbox, I thought, 'Hell, maybe she's really going to take me up on my claims and offer a sane argument in the privacy of email, and then I'll have to eat my hat.' But guess what? After I called her out on bigotry and ducking out of our pleas for self-explanations and bitched about the one time she shat on my friend's question, St. A just wanted to know when I went to Max Abbott middle school, because her kids went there too! "

In other words someone you seem to be bound and determined to get fighty with has attempted to find some common ground on a less explosive topic. Doesn't seem worth getting outraged about.
posted by Mitheral at 1:40 PM on January 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


zoomorphic: “And that's her story. She's harmless except when she's virulent, and we're all supposed to pretend that she's just St. A, the mediocre poster who definitely was not two toxic disabled accounts, unless she herself references them.”

I haven't responded directly to you in this thread, zoomorphic, because I know that for you this is a little more personal than most; it's shit you grew up around. (For what it's worth, I have a lot of the same personal feelings about it, too.) But I have to say that, unfortunately, the situation with Alia is about the same as that with anyone with prior convictions: she did her crimes, but she's done the time, and she's out here until she does it again. We don't have to pretend she never did the things she did, we don't even have to pretend we agree with her or like her, but we can't really ask that she be punished again until she actually does something wrong. While I know they wouldn't want to speak so certainly about their intentions regarding an individual member, I have very little doubt that if Alia ever said anything even remotely like what she said in the past that so upset us, she'd be immediately banned and her IP would be blocked from membership.

Two days ago, I flagged a comment in ask.metafilter that was sexist. It was sexist, but the sexism was sort of subtle; I can imagine a lot of people missing it if they didn't read closely, as it wasn't exactly malicious misogyny, only a very uncharitable and ultimately destructive assumption. Moreover it was a comment by a long-time poster who I'm sure didn't realize what he was saying. I flagged that comment thinking that I was myself on the fence about it; the comment was sexist, but people can have opinions, even if they're wrong, and it wasn't direct malice, so hell, they probably won't delete it.

I was wrong. I looked back an hour later, and bam—that comment was deleted, completely and unequivocally. That's not the first time that's happened, either; I have to say that I'm consistently impressed at the zero-tolerance attitude the mods here take toward bigotry of any kind, even if it's unintended bigotry or bigotry that doesn't exactly call for stringing somebody up or anything. Mathowie, cortex, jessamyn, and vacapinta simply won't put up with it—I think that's admirable. And so, though I agree that Alia can be an annoying presence, I think that we'll just have to let it be unless she says something really hateful; if and when she does, I think we can be confident that the mods certainly won't miss it.
posted by koeselitz at 2:00 PM on January 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


*sigh* I am trying to leave this be; I really am.

jock, it is not me against the world - you are railing at me when you don't even recall what I said in the thread. I believe you're conflating what I said with the statements of others, later in the thread.

I did not say anything about St Alia's children. I asked if what she taught matched three fairly popular issues that conservatives are attempting to push into school textbooks, to counter her argument that "all textbooks are crap, that's why I home-schooled my kids."

The argument that her teaching methods and sources were superior is right in her statement. There's nothing there, or in any posting history that I am aware of, to indicate that she chose to home-school and avoid textbooks because of poverty, but because she felt she could do a better job.

And that may be perfectly true, and she is completely in her rights to attempt such. But the claim was untested. My question related back to the topic of the post, and St Alia's response: if textbooks are bad across the board, and if science facts matter, then did she teach facts that can be independently proven and are scientifically accepted, or did she seek to push her religious and political agenda into her teaching, just as the editors and activists in Texas do?

Now, I am no longer interested in the answer. The mods decided this was an overly personal tone to take, and rolled back the entire conversation, and that's fine.

I don't feel that I cast aspersions at all, nor do I feel the need to apoligise for anything. I'm afraid you're going to have to be satisfied with that.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:41 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got a memail from St. A yesterday regarding one of my earlier comments.

and you have to violate basic site etiquette by mentioning what was said

flagged - not cool
posted by pyramid termite at 2:58 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are times I suspect Greg Nog is my Bruce Wayne and vice versa. Something have to account for my blackout time.
posted by The Whelk at 3:18 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are maybe 3-5 users who are actually Banned4Lyfe and we don't let them sign up again if we can help it.

1- pretty generic

2- son of minya

er................. ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:19 PM on January 9, 2010


dhoyt + AKAs
posted by Mitheral at 3:24 PM on January 9, 2010


wfrgms?
posted by zarq at 3:34 PM on January 9, 2010


zoomorphic, please don't bring private correspondence into public view without explicit permission from whoever you were talking to. Even if it's low-stakes stuff, it's pretty firmly not okay.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:34 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Brooklyn Couchmus
posted by Burhanistan at 3:34 PM on January 9, 2010


Hello, Brooklyn!
posted by Burhanistan at 3:36 PM on January 9, 2010


"HopperFan: I'm equating religious trolling with homophobia."

OK, I'm glad I misinterpreted your earlier comment, then. I can't disagree with your followup explanation.

I too appreciate the input of the poster you mentioned, - but it's "Pater Aletheias," ie. "Father Truth."
posted by HopperFan at 4:14 PM on January 9, 2010


it's "Pater Aletheias," ie. "Father Truth."

"Aletheias" is the genitive form of "aletheia," so it is actually "Father of Truth."
posted by deanc at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2010


The Whelk: “There are times I suspect Greg Nog is my Bruce Wayne and vice versa. Something have to account for my blackout time.”

But if you're Greg Nog's Bruce Wayne, and he's your Bruce Wayne—then who the hell is Batman?
posted by koeselitz at 4:37 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


A Mefi friend just suggested that we could donate to her local planned parenthood (Planned parenthood of central North Carolina) instead of the national one.

Here is the address if you would like to mail a check:

Mailng Address for donations or billing:
PO Box 3258
Chapel Hill, NC 27515

For extra credit you could add a note saying [Ms. Alia's real name] was the inspiration behind your donation.
posted by special-k at 4:38 PM on January 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


A Mefi friend just suggested that we could donate to her local planned parenthood

By her I meant St. Alia's local PP.
posted by special-k at 4:41 PM on January 9, 2010


For extra credit you could add a note saying [Ms. Alia's real name] was the inspiration behind your donation.

This seems unnecessarily snide.
posted by mpbx at 4:56 PM on January 9, 2010


I think it's a capital idea, but what's up with this derail? I thought this was a music thread.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:58 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


A Mefi friend just suggested that…

and you have to violate basic site etiquette by mentioning what was said

flagged - not cool
posted by five fresh fish at 5:21 PM on January 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


oh, ffs, fff
posted by koeselitz at 5:24 PM on January 9, 2010


I've got an alternative plan. How about at the end of every month I donate some money to a gay rights cause. Except that if during that month someone decides to go bouncing off the walls in response to a comment made by SAotB (instead of just flagging it or taking it to MetaTalk), I won't donate. So people would have to weigh up whether their visceral need to wreck up another thread trumps actual cash money flowing to the cause they passionately believe in.
posted by Ritchie at 5:50 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yah, okay, it was petty. Sorry.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:54 PM on January 9, 2010


So people would have to weigh up whether their visceral need to wreck up another thread trumps actual cash money flowing to the cause they passionately believe in.

I like it in theory, but think you are over-estimating the altruism of the noisemakers. It would only work if the people who love to shoot their mouths off would then be on the hook for that month's donation. If it don't cost shit to talk it, there is no incentive to do otherwise.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:01 PM on January 9, 2010


Yeah, I guess it suffers from the other problem whereby people would start to feel that a derail is an indulgence that can fairly compensated for through charitable giving, rather than just something to be avoided.

Mostly I came up with the idea to illustrate why it's a bit icky to turn charitable donations into a bludgeon. If you believe in Planned Parenthood, donate. Now. Don't do it as some kind of half-assed deterrent. That's lame.
posted by Ritchie at 6:17 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heyheyhey pal, just because it may not be feasible in this situation doesn't mean that donating to a good cause primarily to spite someone you don't like on the internet is asinine and puerile.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:22 PM on January 9, 2010


Well, it is if you let spite dictate which good cause you donate to. Money is in limited supply, and always falls short of the number of people who really do require more of it. It's a bad idea to let the important decision of who you donate to (and, therefore, who you're not going to donate to) be affected by who your enemies are.
posted by Ritchie at 6:40 PM on January 9, 2010


""Aletheias" is the genitive form of "aletheia," so it is actually "Father of Truth.""

OK, thanks - though I prefer to think of it as Father "Plate of Beans" Truth.
posted by HopperFan at 8:09 PM on January 9, 2010


It's a bad idea to let the important decision of who you donate to (and, therefore, who you're not going to donate to) be affected by who your enemies are.

Not really, no, if they're enemies because they want to perform bodily harm on you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:33 PM on January 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Money is in limited supply

You don't see a role for motivation there, even if it were a petty and nasty motivation?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:51 PM on January 9, 2010


By which I mean, if that's what it takes to motivate someone to donate, so be it. It's like those "sexy" charity calendars of doctors and jocks. Really, it'd be better to just give the cash directly and eliminate the cut that's taken by the calendar-production costs. Same sort idea: getting something for the donation. A sexy calendar, a spiteful stab, a charitable feeling.

Man, I need better meds. Our culture depresses hell out of me.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:56 PM on January 9, 2010


Not really, no, if they're enemies because they want to perform bodily harm on you.

In the abstract, you probably have a good point. In this specific context, how is Planned Parenthood going to protect you? Wouldn't you be better off funding some other group with a charter more in line with your concerns?

You don't see a role for motivation there, even if it were a petty and nasty motivation?

Look, I donate regularly to a couple of cancer causes, and sometimes I do a little more. My motivation is essentially selfish - cancer has affected some people I personally care about. Motivation is easy because I have strongly positive feelings for those people and think about them every day. I could go on like that for years. It's something that works for me.

But it all depends on how you choose to live, I suppose. I'd be incredibly frustrated with myself if my enemies had such a hold on me that I factored them into my decisions about who I should help. It would make me miserable. But if you can draw strength from it, then go with what works for you. I suppose it's a bit like a boxer staring at a photo of his next opponent to motivate him while he trains. So sure, I guess I can see some room for it.
posted by Ritchie at 12:45 AM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


In this specific context, how is Planned Parenthood going to protect you?

I think it is worth pointing out that you're moving the goal posts just a little bit, at least with respect to your original, broader concern. I don't intend to get into that part of it further, but it bears mentioning.

Wouldn't you be better off funding some other group with a charter more in line with your concerns?

Christian terrorists are particularly a threat to women, but they are also a threat to the general order of society, where we get together and work out our differences without killing or maiming each other. Some Christians choose not to take part in that arrangement. While today it is Olympic parks, abortion clinics, doctors in churches, and women seeking healthcare, tomorrow it could be AIDS clinics or GLBT centers. Any kind of funding or action that deters their extremist violence and reaffirms the individual dignities and rights of non-Christians makes all of us safer and better off, in the long run. There would be no inconsistency in giving money to Planned Parenthood, even in this specific context.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:07 AM on January 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


"I think all of this has been a pretty good illustration of what arrogant, self-important, ponderous, rug-burned pricks you liberals can be sometimes"

Lesson one of Metafilter: you're not a special wittle snowflake apart from the rest of the snowdrift. You're in here with the rest of us, and if you think attempts to create divides are good and healthy for the site, you should really think again. Stereotyping sucks dude.


What a poor response. The above wasn't stereotyping. It points to and criticizes a specific behavior, and in that context, notice the use of "can be". There's no claim being made about "essence of liberal". I like the high handed tone ("Lesson one"), though! Way to show that you and your ilk don't have any sanctimonious tendencies.

-----

Speaking of self righteous liberals (being dismissive sure is fun!):

In a sense, people like dios and ParisParamus used to "fit in" here better than St. Alia because, while they may be operating from a radically different (and incorrect) philosophical belief system, they did not have the same feeling of entitlement and self-reinforced obtuseness.

Just had to put in that "(and incorrect)", eh?

-----

If her opinions were as far to the left as they are to the right, she'd have been banned years ago.

This seems completely off the wall. Any evidence?

-----

I can name ten conservative MeFites, at least, whose views I respect even when I disagree with them, whose arguments I find compelling even when I think they are flawed, and whose manner I consider civil, respectful, and fair.

Really? I can't name five conservatives (not libertarians, but both socially and fiscally conservative) on this site period.

-----

Sometimes it seems like a necessary byproduct of that is a tendency to allow nasty sentiments that are expressed well, at the expense of equally or less nasty sentiments expressed poorly. That isn't meant to describe OC in particular, but I think his treatment might be a consequence of that policy. It is a bit frustrating to see someone who very obviously means well but has an idiosyncratic style always getting shut down, while offensive things stated calmly are allowed.

A policy of allowing "nasty sentiments expressed well" would be a good one and the site would be well served moving further in that direction.

I haven't read many of Optimus Chyme's posts in the last few months, but he sticks out in my memory as one of the most caustic and scornful voices on this site. If his more recent posts show a change away from that, then well and good. I wonder though, how someone can "mean well" and express themselves in an "idiosyncratic style", which in the context of your post seems to be a euphemism for an angry or mocking response. Your, or my, agreement with the political / cultural views of the poster is irrelevant. Having a discussion and showing loyalty and love to one's self identified group are two different things.

-----

What is the cure for bigoted people posting to MeFi?

How should we handle bigots on this site?


Why do they need to be handled at all? I would rather distinguish between rude and bigoted, and then delete the rude comments. The distinction is somewhat arbitrary, in that bringing certain subjects up for discussion will be taken as rude by some, but if you want vigorous discussion, err in that direction.
posted by BigSky at 5:59 AM on January 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think it is worth pointing out that you're moving the goal posts just a little bit, at least with respect to your original, broader concern.

Ah, I can see where I might have given off that impression. I went of on a bit of a tangent without identifying it as such. I think we're cool.
posted by Ritchie at 6:21 AM on January 10, 2010


Really? I can't name five conservatives...on this site period.

Agreed. I took it as a throwaway comment ("I can name ten conservative MeFites..."). Not that I think it's appropriate to start tallying names, but: Could you, really? If you sat down and thought for a minute, could you list ten conservative, non-lightning rod MeFites? I can't.

Every so often, somebody will say, "I'd like to hear from somebody who disagrees about [X] explain why," (usually meaning, a conservative viewpoint without fire and brimstone). I take those comments at their word, and am usually tempted to respond. But I don't. MetaFilter isn't a place for conservative viewpoints.

I think this is (one place) where Slashdot excels over MetaFilter. Partisan discussions attract lots of participants, so threads move fast—and one minority-viewpoint comment might attract a dozen replies. It's hard to converse. And while four of those replies might be well-reasoned, the other two-thirds...aren't. Multiply that effect for each conversational 'round,' and it's drowning and tiresome. On Slashdot, moderation (usually) hides both the trolls and the repetition, elevating the best articulation of the salient points and thus providing some space for the actual conversation to breathe.
posted by cribcage at 2:22 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


But if you're Greg Nog's Bruce Wayne, and he's your Bruce Wayne—then who the hell is Batman?

We're all Batman on the internet.
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of us are the goddamn Batman, tyvm.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:43 PM on January 10, 2010


I haven't read many of Optimus Chyme's posts in the last few months, but he sticks out in my memory as one of the most caustic and scornful voices on this site

Man, you make fun of Ron Paul a few times and his fans just go bugfuck crazy about it forever.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:51 PM on January 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


Funny, the most-favorited comment in this thread starts with this very observation.

Yeah, I wrote it. That was my exact point.


It's been said by a few times in various ways, I'm just throwing my lot in. It seems glaringly obvious to me that her contributions are insincere and calculated to cause maximum outrage within the parameters the mods have set, which are pretty lenient.

Why do so many people have a blind spot to this? There's this idea that to be a troll, you have to believe the opposite of what you're saying (so she'd have to "really" be a Liberal and faking it to qualify). I don't think this is true, you just have to be intentionally causing trouble rather than sincerely arguing for a position. That she doesn't stay to defend anything she says is the biggest tell that it was said in bad faith in the first place. Popping back up 600 comments later with some glib nonsense just to let everyone know she's still here but refusing to engage, is maddening -- and she knows that.

How many times has this psychodrama played out now? Dozens? It's all very predictable. And while I find it fascinating, it's sad to see people snipe at each other over it while she laughs and laughs.
posted by cj_ at 6:05 PM on January 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Really? I can't name five conservatives...on this site period.

Er? Could someone define "conservative"? Because I'm really quite conservative about some things, despite being a frothing liberal about other things.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:21 PM on January 10, 2010


That she doesn't stay to defend anything she says is the biggest tell that it was said in bad faith in the first place.

Depends how you define "bad faith." She's acting in bad faith in that she pretends she's interested in discussing the issue. But she actually believes the stuff she's dropping in here: part of it is that she thinks she's "planting a seed." It's a form of preaching common among evangelicals: the idea that you're supposed to tell (not explain, not discuss, not understand) "the news" whenever you can and hope that someone hears it and says, "wow, that's a great idea!" She won't and can't actually defend her ideas. It's all about defending/showcasing herself and repeating the talking points/incantations to maintain an evangelical "witness."

And I'm sure she tells her friends how she maintains the "good fight" by "witnessing" to the godless liberals on metafilter ("who are so young an immature but once they have children like my son who, did I mention, graduated from the USAFA? and my daughter who just had the most beautiful child, will understand what real life and real America is all about").
posted by deanc at 6:32 PM on January 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ooh, I see. Social and fiscal conservative.

Question: What kind of social conservative is going to find a home on a global, multi-cultural, multi-experiential, diverse site like MeFi?

Answer: One who doesn't demonstrate his or her social conservatism.

Because, y'know, if your community is choc-a-bloc with outspoken gays and atheists and anarchists and furries and foreigners, you are not in a socially conservative community. Shooting off your mouth about your conservative social agenda in a socially diverse community is about as smart as waving a pistol at a police officer.

Not having outspoken social conservatives on this site is a feature, not a bug. It demonstrates that our users come from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:35 PM on January 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think deanc has it.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:37 PM on January 10, 2010


That she doesn't stay to defend anything she says is the biggest tell that it was said in bad faith in the first place

Or maybe it's because "she" is so gunshy from all the pileons over the years "she" feels it's safer to say her piece and move on.

It's usually not a smart thing to assign motives to people you don't know.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:18 PM on January 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's usually not a smart thing to assign motives to people you don't know.

It's also a great idea that, if you have no desire to actually engage in a conversation, which is your prerogative, that you not end your comments with some approximation of "nyeah nyeah"

I've tried very hard to remain dispassionate, but between never remembering my name and this sort of thing, I'd like to politely mention that if you are trying to take advantage of our Brand New Day policy in some way, you could do better.

And, other folks, stop with the flat out "fuck off" comments, please.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:31 PM on January 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


cj_ has it right; one only has to witness her recent (2nd?) flameout on MetaChat to realize it.
posted by lalex at 7:33 PM on January 10, 2010


It's usually not a smart thing to assign motives to people you don't know.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:39 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


and, genuine question, was the "fuck off" comment deleted? I've seen far worse than that on MeTa, which I thought was relatively no holds barred.
posted by lalex at 7:40 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm about ready to pull my hair out here. I try to stay out of the conversation, I get trashed. I finally speak up, and Jessamyn, I'm sorry, but I'm really not sure what you are trying to communicate with that last comment. It wasn't meant as a nyah nyah, simply that I am very very tired of people implying all kinds of things to my comments that in my mind are not there. It's to the point I feel like people aren't actually reading the actual words I am writing, but simply reflecting their own viewpoints on me or Christianity or conservatives or what they had for breakfast that morning.

And I'd like to request we leave metachat out of this-that whole thing would take hours to explain and I don't feel that here is the forum to do it. If anyone has questions or statements or wants to continue fussing at me for that matter, you are welcome to use my memail-or I will even give you my email. But that whole thing is even after a year very personally hurtful to me and I'd prefer not to discuss it publically.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:41 PM on January 10, 2010


It was, lalex, and while we let a fair amount of conflict fly here, straight up inter-user "fuck you"s tend to get nixed. At that point it's not even pretending to be civil conversation, and people can do that on their own time and via their own private channels if they really have to go there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:42 PM on January 10, 2010


PS, Jessamyn, I'm getting near menopausal age, and that's no excuse but I screw up or forget people's names irl all the time. I hate it and try not to but it certainly is not intentional.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:42 PM on January 10, 2010


I've seen far worse than that on MeTa, which I thought was relatively no holds barred.

It's good that there is some moderation now here, because that attitude that it's ok to just unload on other individuals here with no remorse simply cause "hey, it's just MeTa" was not really serving anyone well. Your words are your words, regardless of where you post them.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 PM on January 10, 2010


And I'd like to request we leave metachat out of this

Why? It's the perfect example of your disingenuous, martyrdom style that aggravates so many here. And frankly, the responses in that thread articulate the problems with your contribution style perfectly.
posted by lalex at 7:48 PM on January 10, 2010


Lalex, those are pretty loaded words you are using. Again, you are free to use memail, email, or Facebook, but this is not Metachat, I am no longer a member there, and I would prefer to keep any discussion here re THIS site.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:50 PM on January 10, 2010


My god, Spock! Look at the size of that thing - it's... Scotty, are you down there?
Yes, Captain - Ah'm given-uh all she's gaht!
No, Scotty! - That positivity ray we were talking about - the one that could transmit a focused beam of happy vibes at maximum power! Have you got it on line yet?
Captain, Ah've told ye, that ray is purely experimental! Ah can flip the switch, but we've no guarantee that she'll work!
Never mind that, Scotty - we need that thing now! - Transfer the control to the bridge!
All right, Captain - she's all yours...

*BLOOP*

posted by koeselitz at 7:51 PM on January 10, 2010


Why? It's the perfect example of your disingenuous, martyrdom style that aggravates so many here.

Because we don't drag fights from other sites to this one. What she does or does not do one some other site is irrelevant to her behavior on meFi. If we're going to talk about her behavior here, then bring up examples from meFi.
posted by rtha at 7:51 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


What she does or does not do one some other site is irrelevant to her behavior on meFi. If we're going to talk about her behavior here, then bring up examples from meFi.

Okay. Which user names am I allowed to use?
posted by lalex at 7:53 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm really not sure what you are trying to communicate with that last comment.

I am trying to say that there has been a lot, an awful lot, of discussion implying here that you are not participating in this community in good faith.

If you're trying to get across something like "I'm a little gunshy from having gotten a lot of crap here in the past" that's one sort of comment. Finishing it with a homily like "It's usually not a smart thing to assign motives to people you don't know." which basically, when you unpack it, calls someone not smart because they had to guess at why you do the things you do.

As if people don't know you. As if you haven't had ample opportunity to explain yourself here. As if you haven't been a participant here for the better part of a decade and yet, somehow, people still do not think you are participating here in good faith. This implies a communication breakdown of some sort.

You are responsible for people knowing you, here and elsewhere. I'd prefer if you actually participated like most people did. Talking about things you're interested in. Sharing stories. Showing us something cool you found on the web. Instead we get this half defensive and half snarky drive-by response without any sort of assurance you're even going to stick around to answer "What he hell did she mean by that?" questions. As someone who tries to keep the peace here, it's quite frustrating.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:54 PM on January 10, 2010 [20 favorites]


Wow, can we get some thoughts on the new MeTa deletion policy?
posted by lalex at 7:58 PM on January 10, 2010


Wow, can we get some thoughts on the new MeTa deletion policy?

Don't be an ass and you're fine?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:59 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


lalex: “Wow, can we get some thoughts on the new MeTa deletion policy?”

I don't know what that means, but it seems more than a little insulting. Can you calm down and stop posting one-line zingers like that for just a bit, please?

posted by koeselitz at 8:03 PM on January 10, 2010


I've been on this site nearly nine years. When I first was here I was struggling with some pretty severe chemical imbalances plus a good friend was dying of cancer. Through the years even I agree some of my posting was problematic. As far as I can tell in my present incarnation, my posts have been solidly in the guidelines (which for me are quite a bit more stringent than for the rest of you. You can ask the mods if you like, they are free to tell you.)

I am only one member of thousands here. I don't think my posting over the last year is any more remarkable than anyone else's here, frankly.

I generally do not post on political threads anymore, because crap happens. As for the major thing I have been accused of here, against my better judgement I will say this. I have friends who are in the groups you accuse me of hating. I am against hating, I am against calling any one of any group names, I am against violence against any group even if I disagree with the beliefs or actions of that group, and I am vocal about it. If you want to hate me because I am a Conservative and a conservative charismatic Christian, you are totally within your rights to do so, as you are entitled to your own opinions. But I do NOT hate people. If even the most vociferous of you were to suddenly need a favor from me that was in my power to give, I would do it. Because I don't hold grudges, and I believe you have the right to be different from me. Free will is a precious gift we are given.

It is up to the mods what they will or will not accept as discourse here. I do listen to them and endeavor to meet their requests to the best of my ability, on my part. I really do not want to get into fights or "discussions" here about me anymore because this site is not about me. I do want to join discussions, give my opinion and try to not "hit and run" but I really do mean it that I feel like when I do I get into trouble and then when I don't I'm being disingenuous. Well, all I can say is-it's not my intent. As to comments directed at me, I will let the mods judge what is and is not appropriate. I just don't want to fight anymore, so if you get hoppitymoppity with me in a "bad" sense please understand if I feel it is better to just turn off the computer and go play WII or something.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:07 PM on January 10, 2010


But that whole thing is even after a year very personally hurtful to me and I'd prefer not to discuss it publically.

Actually, it only went down in August.

Can you calm down and stop posting one-line zingers like that for just a bit, please?

Sure.

My problem with St. Alia is not her faith or political views - there are many thoughtful religious/political conservatives on the site. It's with her specific brand of disingenuousness, narcissism, and martyrdom...the recurring pattern (over three Metafilter usernames and at least two MetaChat flameouts) of:

(1) dropping a bomb in a thread, which often read like something you'd find in a nutty email forward, like an apocryphal anecdote or a contextless piece of Biblical scripture, then

(2) twisting the words of those who respond to her, or popping out of the thread for good, or otherwise acting as a bad faith participant, and then

(3) at some later date, posting in MetaTalk to (a) complain about being victimized by site members and (b) magnanimously lecture everyone on proper civility and how one of her friends/neighbors/whatever is Muslim/gay/whatever.
posted by lalex at 8:09 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


It seems glaringly obvious to me that her contributions are insincere and calculated to cause maximum outrage within the parameters the mods have set, which are pretty lenient.

it seems glaringly obvious to me that people do not have to reply to anything she says and that outrage is an emotional response that is under YOUR control, not hers

---

one only has to witness her recent (2nd?) flameout on MetaChat to realize it.

that's a little too close to net.stalking for my comfort
posted by pyramid termite at 8:11 PM on January 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'd prefer if you actually participated like most people did. Talking about things you're interested in. Sharing stories. Showing us something cool you found on the web. Instead we get this half defensive and half snarky drive-by response without any sort of assurance you're even going to stick around to answer "What he hell did she mean by that?" questions

Well, me too, Jessamyn. I suppose I really could have phrased that better, but I am sure most people here could understand how frustrating it is when people paint you as this calculating trolly person who was laughing at all this when it's so incredibly, incredibly not that way.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:11 PM on January 10, 2010


"two MetaChat flameouts"

Can you stop bringing that up? It's a DIFFERENT SITE. I don't give a shit what goes on there.

Tried reading that thread you linked to, my God the sheer banality. "Whuffles" WTF
posted by HopperFan at 8:16 PM on January 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Actually, it only went down in August.

I'm remembering how it went down last November, during the election, which is when things started going really sour there. Again, this is all so personally hurtful I have totally put it out of my mind, which for me means I literally forget unless someone brings it up.

Now, please, can we just not talk about Mecha?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:18 PM on January 10, 2010


that's a little too close to net.stalking for my comfort

Yes, because no one who follows Metafilter also follows MeCha. Anyway, I'm done for the evening; goodnight to all.
posted by lalex at 8:27 PM on January 10, 2010


I don't agree with the full pile-on here, so don't tally me in that column, but I do find the whole "don't talk about Mecha" thing to be pretty flimsy. The issues we are debating about SAOTB's behavior here are the exact ones that have been debated there, multiple times over, by many users who participate on both sites.

With respect to the rest of it, SAOTB is annoying, for sure, but I have a strong suspicion that her comments would not draw nearly as much fire if they came from some other user. There's like a whole separate plane of baggage at this point, unfortunately.
posted by Mid at 8:35 PM on January 10, 2010


Because we don't drag fights from other sites to this one. What she does or does not do one some other site is irrelevant to her behavior on meFi. If we're going to talk about her behavior here, then bring up examples from meFi.
posted by rtha at 7:51 PM on January 10


For what it's worth, she said some pretty nasty things about MetaFilter and its users on MetaChat. It directly relates to the discussion.

Still, though, the one good thing about that crazy MeCha thread is it conclusively taught me that engaging certain people is doomed and pointless, and I feel super dumb for having been trolled for over five years. Jess and cortex won't have to worry about me engaging SAotB again, for sure.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:37 PM on January 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why do I feel like telling OC "you just lost the game"?
posted by Mid at 8:39 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, because no one who follows Metafilter also follows MeCha.

they're two different sites and i don't see why the controversies of one site should have to be carried over to the other

and frankly, now that you've done it and i've looked, i have to say that there are some stone cold motherfuckers in that thread - the lack of sensitivity there is appalling
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, since you insist....have any of you ever been upset and mad, so mad that you said and typed some pretty harsh things that later on you know you should never have said or typed?????

I honestly don't remember WHAT I said over there. I meant it when I said I totally blanked it all out. I will take your and Cortex's word for the content. I just remember at the time being really uncharacteristically hurt and angered (really, most of the time when things get sour I'm pretty calm about it.)

Now, can we please drop it?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:41 PM on January 10, 2010


Mid, I do see your point, but MetaChat seems to have a completely different style of discourse, at least from the couple of threads that I looked at.

It would be up to the users there, I suppose ultimately the mods, whether her style of communication created a problem for the site worth banning someone over. Just like it's up to Jessamyn/Cortex/Matt to decide what happens here.
posted by HopperFan at 8:41 PM on January 10, 2010


Look, it's late, I have to work tomorrow and I really should be asleep already.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:45 PM on January 10, 2010


You know I don't think anyone holds up well under this much scrutiny. I know I wouldn't. Is it really so hard to let someone have unpopular ideas? Or strange communication styles. I'm still not sure what people are so upset about. I thought this place was made of stronger stuff. I'm not sure what else to say just wanted to make the statement I guess.
posted by nola at 8:45 PM on January 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Darn, I hit post instead of preview. Just saying I'm not avoiding anyone, I just really have to log off in a sec.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:46 PM on January 10, 2010


Leave the MetaChat passive-aggressive junk in MetaChat, please.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:46 PM on January 10, 2010


Alvy, pardon me but I hope that was directed at me....I'm just, again, feeling gunshy and didn't really want to be accused of running away from the conversation. If it wasn't directed at me, sorry. I'm just tired.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:48 PM on January 10, 2010


it seems glaringly obvious to me that people do not have to reply to anything she says and that outrage is an emotional response that is under YOUR control, not hers

This, a thousand times over.

Whether it's trolling, performance art, chemical imbalances, or just general poor communication, just because someone is "pushing your buttons" does not mean you have to lose your shit and act twenty times worse.

Your behavior is a choice, and the more often people chose to act in an adult sort of way, the nicer this community becomes. Conversely, that MetaChat thread I just skimmed is like a textbook case of how not to behave if you want a nice community experience. Holy cow, what a read.
posted by Forktine at 8:55 PM on January 10, 2010


Not a problem, SAotB, it honestly wasn't directed at you - lalex was the one who inappropriately brought up shit from MetaChat.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:55 PM on January 10, 2010


Or maybe it's because "she" is so gunshy from all the pileons over the years "she" feels it's safer to say her piece and move on.

but I am sure most people here could understand how frustrating it is when people paint you as this calculating trolly person who was laughing at all this when it's so incredibly, incredibly not that way.

St. Alia, jessamyn and other posters have pointed out why your comments are frustrating and why we want to tear out our own hair when we witness your bad habits. "Move on" sounds like code for "parachuting into a thread with a controversial observation and then disappear via a rotating bookshelf while we try to parse together what you meant." I appreciate that you're sticking around and finally responding to some of the criticism levied against you, but you're still willfully ignoring the main issues. This is an excellent mise-en-abîme of why, over the last decade, you're partly to blame for your own tar-and-feathering as a troll, dude.

You bring up the point that you're portrayed as a hater, a drinker of the Biblical haterade if you will, and I definitely kicked up much of that shitstorm in addition to bitching about your particular style of posting. As koeselitz rightly pointed out, I am in many respects waaaaay too close to the subject of conservative "charismatic" Christians from FayetteNam to really get a good handle on my anger towards you. I apologize to the site for telling you to "can it" rather than express my anger more eloquently, less snarly (also who actually says "can it" ?) because I know I'm not the bouncer at this party. I've been open about my feelings on your continued presence here, and I don't buy your "I didn't spread hate" jeremiad for a millisecond, but please look at what other, more rational posters have brought up: you have a distinctly avoidant style of dialogue and often ignore pointed questions for explanation. You've been called out on it before and you apologize, and then damn if you don't go and do it again.

You're doing it right now. You waited until this thread dwindled to less than 10 active posters to shoulder the dialogue responsibly, and you've mainly focused on the "boo she a h8er" part of the critique (which is subjective and something you can quibble with) and have barely touched the "We are mad that you almost never stand your ground in the debates you use start" accusations, which is pretty damn objective and harder to weasel out of. This is trollism even if it's unintended trollism. Thanks for speaking up finally, but it'll be a long haul and lots more in-thread explanations before you get rid of that scarlet letter.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:03 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow, can we get some thoughts on the new MeTa deletion policy?

It's not new. Saying "fuck you" straight up to another user as your only comment isn't okay and hasn't been okay for a while now.

MetaChat is a different site and I'd really prefer people not drag stuff from either place to the other.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:06 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: “Or maybe it's because "she" is so gunshy from all the pileons over the years "she" feels it's safer to say her piece and move on...

I generally do not post on political threads anymore, because crap happens. As for the major thing I have been accused of here, against my better judgement I will say this. I have friends who are in the groups you accuse me of hating. I am against hating, I am against calling any one of any group names, I am against violence against any group even if I disagree with the beliefs or actions of that group, and I am vocal about it. If you want to hate me because I am a Conservative and a conservative charismatic Christian, you are totally within your rights to do so, as you are entitled to your own opinions. But I do NOT hate people. If even the most vociferous of you were to suddenly need a favor from me that was in my power to give, I would do it. Because I don't hold grudges, and I believe you have the right to be different from me. Free will is a precious gift we are given.”


I think I understand what's happening here, Alia.

First, I know that "say my piece and then shut up" has been your general strategy here for a while. I understand why it makes a modicum of sense - you don't want to get involved in the knock-down drag-out fights that erupted in the past when you took a stand on certain issues. You don't want to create or be seen as creating a long, painful conflict, so you say whatever you're going to say and then get out.

And when I mention that, I'm not trying to play into the whole "Alia is a troll who posts snide provocations and then disappears." I really don't think you intend to to that at all. But I have to be honest: my experience (and thinking back, I seem to be correct) is that you do in fact participate in political and religious threads quite often. What's more, you participate in threads about homosexuality, about racism, and about several of the hotbutton issues that people are so loudly debating your opinions on here.

However, Alia - it's also always clear to me that the whole reason you participate in those threads, or at the very least the reason why you "say your piece and shut up," is because you're hurt about what people have said about you in the past. People are pretty cynical about why you might be commenting at any given time, but it's my experience that in almost every case you pop in to note, for example, that you're very good friends with a lot of gay people, or that you are related to someone who's mixed-race, et cetera. I think the issue is that you know that certain people here think you're a racist, a sexist, a bigot, and all the rest. You know it, and it hurts; so when the issue comes up, it's your instinct to register with the body of public opinion the fact that you're not the bigoted, evil conservative some people might think you are. I quoted the above because I think it's an example of that: you say you won't participate in politics, but then you say that "against your better judgment" you will clarify that you're not hateful.

Look, I know you're not being hateful here, and I don't think you're a racist, a bigot, or any other sort of evil malingerer. I disagree quite with your religious affiliation, I guess, but I know you're certainly not a bigot. I'll say that again as many times as I need to. I sympathize: it's hard to be called those things.

But I think you need to absorb a lesson you probably already know by heart and are merely forgetting: people think all kinds of things, and in the end, you just have to let them. It's a sad fact, Alia, that certain people here will always think those things about you. There won't be a reconciliation here; there won't be a conversation that resolves all of this for them and shows them who you really are. There can't be. More to the point, they're not gradually going to notice that you're a good person by seeing that you're like them in many key political areas.

My advice: try to put the feelings other people have about you out of your mind. Just don't let that be part of your being here at all. My suspicion is that, when you log on and look over the front page and see a post about gay people doing this, or far-right conservatives doing that, in the back of your mind you know that a few people in those threads think some pretty despicable things about you; so you pop into the thread and post a comment, not a big argument or anything, just a reminder that you're not that way, that you're not as hateful as they may think. You have to resist that urge. Because, as we've seen time and time again, it only leads people into bickering and squabbling, and the fact that really getting into the nitty-gritty is pretty much against the terms of your being here prevent a discussion from going anywhere but into a haze of outrage.

Just let it go. The great thing about Metafilter is that there are so many things here besides religion and politics. If you stringently avoid those topics, I think you could have a participation on this site that's rewarding to everybody.
posted by koeselitz at 9:11 PM on January 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


(Dang I am gonna need coffee in the morning.)

Okay, let me explain to you why I waited. I thought it was probably the best as every time I show up in a regular thread I get dogpiled (exhibit A was the thread that started this whole thing) and I honestly thought the kindest thing I could do for the sites and for the mods is to keep out of it. Because in the past, many many many times in the past, I have tried to talk my way out of things and it only got worse.

I have already explained where my "hit and run" style came from earlier in this thread. I'm not sure what else I can say except that from where I stand, it really and truly feels much of the time that no matter what I do, someone is going to loudly and vehemenently take issue with it, assign nefarious motives with it, and by the time they are done make me look like a cross between Fred Phelps and Hitler. (Yes, I'm exaggerating to make a point, but emotionally it really feels like that.)

Meanwhile, like most people here, I don't spend 24 hours a day on the computer, so there's that.

Finally, sometimes, I make a post, and then, maybe my husband will want me to watch something with him on tv, or my mother calls, or I get caught up with someone on facebook....I don't know, sometimes I only have one thing I want to say on a subject and then I get distracted by something shiny.

I will say this. I am truly sorry if my posting style is irritating people, for whatever reason, but there are thousands of other people here making interesting posts that are good to read, so I really don't get why everyone has such a need to focus on mine. I mean that sincerely, not snarking.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:14 PM on January 10, 2010


koeselitz, I appreciate your posting that. It makes a lot of sense. Thank you for your fairmindedness.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:16 PM on January 10, 2010


You waited until this thread dwindled to less than 10 active posters to shoulder the dialogue responsibly, and you've mainly focused on the "boo she a h8er" part of the critique (which is subjective and something you can quibble with) and have barely touched the "We are mad that you almost never stand your ground in the debates you use start" accusations, which is pretty damn objective and harder to weasel out of.

and if she did stand her ground, i'm sure that some would accuse her of being "fighty", or just trolling all the harder - the problem people have with her isn't just her style, it's her viewpoints and her beliefs

people aren't required to indulge in reply cycle after reply cycle to participate here - if you think she's talking a bunch of crap (and yeah, a lot of the time, she is), you can rebut her and then have the confidence of your logic and convictions to sustain you instead of demanding some kind of net.trial in which she is demonstrated to be wrong to great and futile lengths - if you think her refusal to go on and on about things shows a weakness in argument you are most free to believe that

it'll be a long haul and lots more in-thread explanations before you get rid of that scarlet letter.

they're your scarlet letters, you can hand them out as you wish, but no one has to take them from you

this is so tiresome - i've said enough

---

But I think you need to absorb a lesson you probably already know by heart and are merely forgetting: people think all kinds of things, and in the end, you just have to let them.

and some other people here would be better off if they would remember this
posted by pyramid termite at 9:17 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaChat is a different site and I'd really prefer people not drag stuff from either place to the other.

With all due respect, jessamyn, in the Other thread at the Other Website, you and cortex both specifically cited problems you have had on Metafilter with StAoB.
posted by lalex at 9:25 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm about ready to pull my hair out here. I try to stay out of the conversation, I get trashed.

Well I just guess that's one of the consequences of having been so abhorrently bigoted and hurtful toward our gay communities, our women who have had abortions communities, our not whatever the hell religion you are communities, our not ignorant of facts communities, and our logical argument/scientific communities.

You have personally been at fault for slipping up on the Brand New Day rule, by behaving in a manner that people identified as Konolia.

The message I'm getting from the moderators is that other people, including myself at times, should have been flagging and moving on instead of trying to inform you or bite at you under this new alias. Fair enough, provided they do their job¹.

We all need to remember that you are the immovable rock upon which Faith is built. Flag and move on. That's all we need do.
--
¹Obviously, a lot of very vocal pain in the ass jerkface users have opinions about this. If we don't like the job, and think her hateful or pig-ignorant religiopinion is being allowed to stand unfairly as a contribution to the community vibe, then I guess we'd better fucking move on ourselves.

I plan to stay on and either care less or flag more. 'fraid to say, though, I gotta side with those who say she hasn't been terribly atrocious as of late. And I do tend toward the care less side, because I think it's obvious she is on the losing side of social opinion.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


net.trial
net.stalking


Please, I am begging you, dude, you can back to the ellipses thing if you strongly reconsider this new net.word thing you're doing.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:42 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


lalex: “With all due respect, jessamyn, in the Other thread at the Other Website, you and cortex both specifically cited problems you have had on Metafilter with StAoB.”

"Please don't bring up MeCha" is code for "in all times, in all places, it's a shitty thing to do to bring up crap from people's pasts and wave it around as an indication of what a terrible person they are." If you've got beef with somebody in the here and now, the decent and moreover practical thing to do is to deal with them on those terms, rather than bringing up past bullshit that in fact has no bearing on the immediate present.
posted by koeselitz at 9:43 PM on January 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Holy crap, there was apparently a shitload of stuff in between seeing that and my actually pressing post. Well, it's out there now. Had I carefully previewed, I'd have STFU. Drop five bucks for a new username if it's really important to you, because this one is a write-off. Yeesh.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:45 PM on January 10, 2010


This is beginning to feel like a teen Facebook drama! Tee-hee!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 PM on January 10, 2010


Please, I am begging you, dude, you can back to the ellipses thing if you strongly reconsider this new net.word thing you're doing.

new? - it's an old usenet thing from the 90s
posted by pyramid termite at 9:53 PM on January 10, 2010


I think we can all use some Christian side hugs right now.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 PM on January 10, 2010


But I do NOT hate people.

I suggest that you not look at it from your point of view. From the point of the people who are gay and who choose to have an abortion, and I think even those of us who are relentlessly, unconvertedably atheist, from our point of view, you hate us.

Or, rather, your Konolia and bunnyfire personas did. St. Alia was a better revision. It'll probably be the fifth revision that finally passes muster in decent society.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:02 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suppose that's far more typically "gay or have an abortion," eh? Heh.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:02 PM on January 10, 2010


people aren't required to indulge in reply cycle after reply cycle to participate here

I'm not asking her to "indulge" in elliptical discussions, but everyone, including the mods, have expressly stated that they wish she simply back up her porch-steps observations or explain them further.

> Instead we get this half defensive and half snarky drive-by response without any sort of assurance you're even going to stick around to answer "What he hell did she mean by that?" questions. As someone who tries to keep the peace here, it's quite frustrating.

> I think she literally does not know better than to enter discussions the way she does and have discussions the way she does.

>It's poor conversation and poor manners to not explain your arguments, certainly, but that's a far cry from being against any sort of site rules. The generally good, engaged argumentation that happens on metafilter is a product of site culture and some amount of happy chance, not the result of any kind of entrance exam or an anthropomorphic dog standing at the front gate holding out a hand and saying You Must Be This Good At Conversation To Enter.

So yeah, it's totes not against the rules to be really bad at Metafilter, but then one shouldn't waste breath defending one's posting styles when everyone else begs for a non-existent anthropomorphic dog to sic on lazy comments.

they're your scarlet letters, you can hand them out as you wish, but no one has to take them from you

Welp, be that as it may, St. Alia is clearly quite upset over her reception to the site. We've said our bit, branded our scarlet letters, and because she is participating in a very large community who gets het up over her particular dialectic style, it seems the possibilities are either A) keep doing exactly what she's doing, which as you point out is totally within the rules but also provokes big fighty call outs because it's bad behavior but not illegal, and from a pretty incendiary member to boot, or B) modifying her behavior and thus giving us and the mods no reason to call her a bad poster. She'd be in the clear and we'd be exposed for disliking her based solely on her history of hateful politics, which, as we've been over, is not grounds for discussion under the BND omnibus.

But hey, her choice.
posted by zoomorphic at 10:06 PM on January 10, 2010


Why do I feel like telling OC "you just lost the game"?

The game is not, and has not, been important. It was a mistake to engage that user. It will always be a mistake to engage that user. Do not engage that user. Just flag that user. It is a lost cause.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:11 PM on January 10, 2010


With all due respect, jessamyn, in the Other thread at the Other Website, you and cortex both specifically cited problems you have had on Metafilter with StAoB.

I don't read MeCha. I don't care what happens there. An overwhelming majority of MeFi users aren't on MeCha. Citing what happens over there is the same in my mind as saying a user was an ass on Slashdot or some Richard Dawkins-Sam Harris slash fic forum -- close to irrelevant and generally inadmissible.

Stop being an asshole. We all know you want to hang SAotB from the highest tree, and your attitude makes you sound more concerned about blood than you are about the community. Put down the pitchfork and back away slowly.
posted by dw at 10:17 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think even those of us who are relentlessly, unconvertedably atheist, from our point of view, you hate us.

I am relentlessly, unconvertedably atheist and I have never thought that.
posted by timeistight at 12:54 AM on January 11, 2010


Because, y'know, if your community is choc-a-bloc with outspoken gays and atheists and anarchists and furries and foreigners, you are not in a socially conservative community.

No shit.

Shooting off your mouth about your conservative social agenda in a socially diverse community is about as smart as waving a pistol at a police officer.

Not having outspoken social conservatives on this site is a feature, not a bug. It demonstrates that our users come from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.


I don't really care if the absence of conservatives meets with wide approval or not. I brought it up because there's been a few posts claiming that MetaFilter has a number of other conservatives besides St. Alia of the Bunnies, and I have no idea who they're talking about. That claim helps make the case that the problem is her style of posting, not her views. I admit that it is a small piece of the overall criticism, but it merits an eye roll more than a nod of agreement.
posted by BigSky at 1:14 AM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is beginning to feel like a teen Facebook drama! Tee-hee!

Teen drama indeed. Imagine the tumult if somebody were to marry her!
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:03 AM on January 11, 2010


Next time this argument flares up, can that thread just be a round of Markovfilter drawn from this thread?
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:27 AM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought this was Markovfilter! Do you mean to tell me that these are all real comments?!??
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:40 AM on January 11, 2010


We've said our bit, branded our scarlet letters

You are aware that it's the people who slapped the scarlet letter on Hester Prynne who were the intolerant sin-obsessed jerks, right? As the fellow said, why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the mise en abyme that is in thine own eye?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:56 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't read MeCha. I don't care what happens there. An overwhelming majority of MeFi users aren't on MeCha. Citing what happens over there is the same in my mind as saying a user was an ass on Slashdot or some Richard Dawkins-Sam Harris slash fic forum -- close to irrelevant and generally inadmissible.

Look, I don't care about the specific user pile-on here, but it is not irrelevant when you have two of the mods here over on another site commenting on the exact same thing we are talking about here, including commenting about the user's conduct on this site. It would be a bizarre rule that said it is OK for the mods to make public, off-site comments about this site, but it is not OK for people here to point them out.
posted by Mid at 5:09 AM on January 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


We've said our bit, branded our scarlet letters, and because she is participating in a very large community who gets het up over her particular dialectic style, it seems the possibilities are either A) keep doing exactly what she's doing, which as you point out is totally within the rules but also provokes big fighty call outs because it's bad behavior but not illegal, and from a pretty incendiary member to boot, or B) modifying her behavior and thus giving us and the mods no reason to call her a bad poster.

By the same token, WE all have two options:

a) continue to perpetuate the big fighty call-outs even though we know the mods aren't going to do something about her until she does something outright illegal, and in the process run the risk of getting everyone else all het up by generating a lot of pointless sound and fury, or maybe saying things we don't mean and inadvertently offending other people around us; or

b) responding to things she says that we don't like by flagging them, but otherwise staying out of it, because if she really is as offensive as we think, if we give her enough rope by letting her say things she'll hang herself better than we all ever could.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:00 AM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's usually not a smart thing to assign motives to people you don't know.

Woohoo! Crabby's here! Where's your damn manifesto?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 6:58 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't be the only one who is dealing with little nuggets of granite posing as boogers due to the cold dry air.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:08 AM on January 11, 2010


You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:42 AM on January 11, 2010


No, it was a really hard booger that I saw in the shower. Maybe you have something in your mind that is driving you mad. Could be your poor, starved conscience?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:46 AM on January 11, 2010


Woohoo! Crabby's here! Where's your damn manifesto?

*head in hands* Combustible, What did I just say about how sucky it is when people get pointlessly fighty?

That's it, no one gets any milk and cookies now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 AM on January 11, 2010


I was answering (obliquely) Combustible Edison Lighthouse's question, Burhanistan, not responding to your idiotic remark. I should have known I'd have to explain it to you.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:59 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


What did I just say about how sucky it is when people get pointlessly fighty?

I'm totally earnesty, I really want to see Crabby's manifesto. Even if it's just a mission statement.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:07 AM on January 11, 2010


I should have known I'd have to explain it to you.

Burn! I have some boogers as reward for your one-upmanship.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:08 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


aha! HoppitaMoppita = pointlessly fighty?


btw, never saw so many comments even for Palin in the heydays of election season
posted by infini at 8:19 AM on January 11, 2010


I don't read MeCha. I don't care what happens there. An overwhelming majority of MeFi users aren't on MeCha. Citing what happens over there is the same in my mind as saying a user was an ass on Slashdot or some Richard Dawkins-Sam Harris slash fic forum -- close to irrelevant and generally inadmissible.

I don't read MeCha; I don't have time to read MetaFilter AND MetaChat, but I'm still interested in what dramas are playing out over there if there is a crossover. It isn't irrelevant in my opinion if the players are the same-- MetaChat is not just some random site, more like a spill-over site or a sister site. If Cortex and Jessamyn are discussing this site over there, I am all ears (eyeballs?)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:42 AM on January 11, 2010


Speaking as a mostly disinterested but fascinated reader, this thread has failed miserably to convince me that SA is a jerk incapable of rehabilitation. There are others that I am having my doubts about.

I had to evict someone once. I was negotiating a settlement with her attorney, and she was balking at a proposed term that would make a trigger point for vacating the premises be an arrest (of the defendant) at the apartment. What if she was arrested for something she didn't do? asked opposing counsel. My answer was, "it's not that hard to not get arrested! I've never been arrested."

I kind of feel like that when discussing being a jerk on this site. How hard is it to not get multiple callouts? It's an imperfect analogy, mainly because there's nothing illegal about being a garden-variety asshole, and it's pretty easy to toss out some ill-conceived offensive joke or get knee-jerk and write some vitriol. It's happened to most of us, including myself. I've written some things I wish I could take back. But seriously, as a general rule, it's not that hard to play nice.

ps. We relented on the arrest point, and made it a 'material lease violation' in the final settlement. In a Section 8 matter, that has a term of art meaning, and made it less up to the police. Six weeks later, she was arrested for assaulting a neighbor, which was a material lease violation, and she had to vacate.
posted by norm at 8:44 AM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm totally earnesty, I really want to see Crabby's manifesto. Even if it's just a mission statement.

I was born at night, but not last night. (I don't think the mods were, either.)

Where's your damn manifesto?

Earnesty. Is that like "truthy"?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:52 AM on January 11, 2010


Crabby Appleton isn't really articulate to say what his viewpoint is, if there's even one in there. It's probably just misdirected bile. He just doesn't like "community" for some reason. Otherwise, all he can do is point and say something vaguely contrarian just for the sake of doing so. When pressed to give any rationale, he just chickens out. He's a much bigger nuisance than StAotB.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:16 AM on January 11, 2010


But I think you need to absorb a lesson you probably already know by heart and are merely forgetting:

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

And so on.

This is a darned interesting FPP.
posted by philip-random at 9:31 AM on January 11, 2010


Ah, another gift for us from the depths of Burhanistan's nose. Stay classy, B.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:32 AM on January 11, 2010


That's it, no one gets any milk and cookies now.

WHOA. WHOA. WHOA! LET'S NOT BE HASTY!
posted by zarq at 10:55 AM on January 11, 2010


I've been reading this thread with a feeling of exasperation, and I decided not to jump into the fray because everything I've been thinking has been expressed more articulately and concisely by others before me. But I did want to say that this thread made me look up mise-en-abîme/mise en abyme. MetaFilter is nothing if not educational.
posted by amyms at 10:57 AM on January 11, 2010


You have personally been at fault for slipping up on the Brand New Day rule, by behaving in a manner that people identified as Konolia.

Honestly, I don't think I fully connected SAotB and konolia until she outed herself at some point.

Actually, after doing some searching, it was probably this thread, which gets pretty heated, where she has 73 or so comments and responds to all sorts of combinations of her previous names without mention.

At times the anger and vitriol really shines through, but I enjoy SAotB's contributions, if only to watch how the arguments against her points of view are refined. So thanks for that.
posted by graventy at 11:03 AM on January 11, 2010


Actually, after doing some searching, it was probably this thread, which gets pretty heated, where she has 73 or so comments and responds to all sorts of combinations of her previous names without mention.

Ack. That's where I called her a satanist.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:10 AM on January 11, 2010


That's it, no one gets any milk and cookies now.

But, but... I'm a good girl! Why can't the good girls and boys have milk and cookies?
posted by amyms at 11:10 AM on January 11, 2010


Paper House.
Tempo House.
Boring,
Boring,
Boring -
My House

posted by koeselitz at 11:19 AM on January 11, 2010


Keep away from my new house!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Regarding donating to a planned parenthood... the concept being discussed doesn't seem all that different than PP's ongoing Pledge a Picket campaign.

Although I have to say, making a revenge pledge for a person you don't like on the internet seems a little pathetic to me.
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on January 11, 2010


With all due respect, jessamyn, in the Other thread at the Other Website, you and cortex both specifically cited problems you have had on Metafilter with StAoB.

I hope that isn't so. If it were I'd be pretty disappointed with both of them.
posted by timeistight at 11:29 AM on January 11, 2010


Why can't the good girls and boys have milk and cookies?

Original Sin from the Days when She was called a Santanist.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:33 AM on January 11, 2010


norm: “I had to evict someone once. I was negotiating a settlement with her attorney, and she was balking at a proposed term that would make a trigger point for vacating the premises be an arrest (of the defendant) at the apartment. What if she was arrested for something she didn't do? asked opposing counsel. My answer was, "it's not that hard to not get arrested! I've never been arrested." ... We relented on the arrest point, and made it a 'material lease violation' in the final settlement. In a Section 8 matter, that has a term of art meaning, and made it less up to the police. Six weeks later, she was arrested for assaulting a neighbor, which was a material lease violation, and she had to vacate.”

A propos of nothing: it may not be hard to not get arrested, but it's actually quite easy to get arrested, even for not doing anything at all. For example, the police will often arrest you on a bench warrant if you fail to show up to court for even a tiny traffic violation, as long as you forget long enough (say, a few months). So, while I understand that the situation was a weird one, and you did the right thing, and moreover your point still stands... well, people get arrested for lots of different things, so being arrested isn't exactly a good indicator of whether a person's in a bad place in life, or spinning out of control, or not being as socially responsible as they should be. I think police would agree there; just because they detain you doesn't mean anything about who you are or what situation you're in in life, it only means they had to detain you.
posted by koeselitz at 11:33 AM on January 11, 2010


...and I'd like to hear their explanation.
posted by timeistight at 11:34 AM on January 11, 2010


Santanists
posted by koeselitz at 11:40 AM on January 11, 2010


* releases polystyrene cup into the depths of this thread *

* the cup is compacted to a tenth of its normal size *
posted by everichon at 11:51 AM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


MeTa bathyscaphe ho!
posted by everichon at 11:52 AM on January 11, 2010


Look, I don't care about the specific user pile-on here, but it is not irrelevant when you have two of the mods here over on another site commenting on the exact same thing we are talking about here, including commenting about the user's conduct on this site. It would be a bizarre rule that said it is OK for the mods to make public, off-site comments about this site, but it is not OK for people here to point them out.

But that's essentially what the rule is now. When someone has a problem with Metachat or IRC or Mefightclub they don't come running over here to stir up shit. If cortex says something about someone over there, it's their venue, it's not here.

If a mod had said something at a meetup about a user, do you think it'd be acceptable to use that in some pile-on against said user? What if the room were full of MeFites? I mean, that's essentially what Metachat is, right? A forum made up of mostly MeFites that are a sub-section of MeFi proper? Surely, if cortex said something disparaging about you and your conduct in that context then I should be able to bring it up here, right?

It's better just to circumscribe the MeFi sites and leave the satellite forums and chat rooms and longboats out of this. Otherwise, every single pile-on turns into a Darkness At Noon show trial of What An Asshole Have You Been On The Entire Internets In Your Lifetime.
posted by dw at 11:56 AM on January 11, 2010


I have been trying not to dig into the discussion of Metachat and St. Alia's apparently final departure from it last August, but if we're going to keep coming back to it I want to be clear about a couple things.

There's a general expectation, on mefi and metachat both, that folks won't engage in cross-site drama—beefing about some negative mefi interaction on metachat and vice versa, essentially—and that's something both Jessamyn and I have made efforts to support over the years. It's a good guideline, and having it in place makes it much simpler, particularly on the Metachat side, to avoid having to muddle through mefi-related rants or airings of grievances.

It's an imperfect stricture, though, because the communities and their userbase overlap, and behavior from individual users that exists/persists on both sites transcends that artificial separation. At a certain point conversations about community dynamics that involve folks who are active in both places have to go in the direction of either addressing that inter-site community as a whole or going to ridiculous efforts to pretend that one community or the other does not exist.

The thread where she bailed, once and for all, was in large part about her behavior in both communities and involved a bunch of folks who are or were active on both sites. The notion of leaving either site's business out of the other's breaks down; pretending Metafilter doesn't factor into that discussion made no sense, and in my opinion (expressed with some frustration in that thread) the idea of one site being a sanctuary to which St. Alia could slink when flaming out from the other, again and again, often using the aegis of the No Cross-Site Drama guideline to avoid having to address any of that, is upsetting and underlines some of the evasive crappiness of her behavior on both sites over the years.

It was more or less impossible to have a frank discussion of her behavior while refusing to acknowledge the existence of Metafilter and her membership there in the process, much as I'd like not to push against that guideline under any normal circumstances. I don't think either me or jessamyn was at all happy to be in that weird position of violating that particular metachat community expectation, or to be having the discussion at all, really, but it was a weird situation in general.

It was a big, bumpy, angry thing all around, especially for Metachat, and I gather it was in site-specific ways a very long time in the coming from at least a couple different angles. lalex linked it upthread last night, if you really want to read through it.

And context for those who may not know: Jessamyn and I are not mods at Metachat, just long-timers, neither of us nearly as highly visible over there as we are here. We do not start conversations about user behavior over there; we do not start conversations about Metafilter issues, or make a habit of chasing problem users from this site to that one. Metachat has its own mod crew and their own guidelines, and they're under no obligation or expectation to manage their own community in sync with how we manage Metafilter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:57 AM on January 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


naime
posted by Damn That Television at 11:59 AM on January 11, 2010


I'm totally earnesty, I really want to see Crabby's manifesto. Even if it's just a mission statement.

Trust me, you ain't gonna get it. Hence my characterization of the exchange as "pointless."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:16 PM on January 11, 2010


I hope that isn't so. If it were I'd be pretty disappointed with both of them.

My take is that my contributions there were pretty broad-brush stuff relating mostly to MetaChat specifically not telling tales out of school/MetaFilter. It's possible that people may interpret my contributions differently. There's definitely nothing I said over there that I haven't also said over here.

It's fairly challenging for us to have a large, public web presence other places than here and try to maintain the level of discretion that we do. Our basic rule of thumb, or mine anyhow, is "no secrets" which is to say that we'll be pretty mum on people's past usernames, past behavior and lives outside of MeFi. However, once someone brings their own stuff up, we'll comment on it.

The tough part is where we're queried about one user by another user, as in "Who is user ______ the sock puppet for?" or "Why do you treat user X different from user Y?" where we really have to decide how much "behind the curtain" stuff to talk about and how much not to. In cases where we've had extensive email interactions with users and they're acting like their only interaction with us is in the open forum of MeTa, we'll sometimes set the record straight as gently and in as low-drama a way as we can. We'd prefer not to, but when people ask us direct questions we have a community responsibility to give at least some sort of answer. Deciding how much is the minimum amount we can divulge is part of the responsibilty we take on by working here and not just hanging out here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:54 PM on January 11, 2010


I hope that isn't so. If it were I'd be pretty disappointed with both of them.

Gosh I know you're super busy but the thread in question was linked to, and you can feel free to read what they said yourself instead of demanding an explanation.
posted by graventy at 1:36 PM on January 11, 2010


I don't really have a heart to plow through another witch burning thread right now, thanks.
posted by timeistight at 1:55 PM on January 11, 2010


...and I was kind of hoping they'd say "Of course we didn't; we'd never do that."
posted by timeistight at 1:56 PM on January 11, 2010


I don't really have a heart to plow through another witch burning thread right now, thanks.

eponyblah blah, etc. But give it a few hours and your appetite will return.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:58 PM on January 11, 2010


Well, I can totally respect not wanting to go wade through a negative thread like that, timeistight, but it'd be nice of you to suspend any disapproving overtures regarding what we said and the context we said it in if you're not going to bother to actually give it a fair reading.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:00 PM on January 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


...and I was kind of hoping they'd say "Of course we didn't; we'd never do that."

cortex and I are a bit too careful language-wise to say we'd "never" do anything, but my feeling is that neither of us went over to another site and dished about another user and we generally find the idea of doing that distasteful. You can see if that agrees with your assessment if/when you read what we said.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:03 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should make clear I don't think jess and cortex did anything wrong, just that I find the "don't mention what anyone said on another site" thing in this thread to chafe a little. In fact, I think what they said was 100% correct and appropriate (and thus is helpful context now).
posted by Mid at 2:13 PM on January 11, 2010


I'm remembering how it went down last November, during the election, which is when things started going really sour there. Again, this is all so personally hurtful I have totally put it out of my mind, which for me means I literally forget unless someone brings it up.

I'm glad you brought this up, because Election Season showcased some pretty bad behavior from a number of people, myself included. I know you and I got into it on a few occasions. Tensions were running very high for everyone involved, regardless of party affiliation. I could be pretty nasty at times there, and I wasn't even living in the US then.

Having said that, there's some constructive criticism I'd like to offer you, relevant to the discussion here and encapsulated by a moment during the election cycle. I'm not going to unearth the comment in question, but I don't think you'll question the accuracy of this.

In one particular thread, Obama's tax plan came up. You talked about being a small business owner, and how you believed his tax plan would hurt you financially. So people linked to material, showing you that in fact the proposed tax plan would actually benefit you. Your response was that you don't believe everything you read.

Now, I'm not getting on your case for not being a Democrat, or for not being happy with Obama. What I'm trying to explain is where the frustration of others often arises. It's not entirely from what you might see as projection, or people making assumptions about what you believe. Your baseless assertion - which you must have known was going to cause some sort of reaction - is met with people making an honest effort to inform you, and put the facts in front of you. When you casually dismiss people who are trying to communicate reasonably with you, it's not entirely unfair for people to arrive at the conclusion that you're not interested in reasonable communication.

This is just one example. I'm no saint, so I'm not going to go down a long list of What's Wrong With You or whatever. I'm just trying to shed some light on where the frustration of others arises from. If you want to rectify this, I'd recommend that you own up to the comments you make. I get that time is a factor for you - family life has its demands, I know this as well as you - but when you drop into a thread to say something, and someone makes an honest, good-faith effort to communicate with them, then engage them. The drive-by stuff is really off-putting, and when you don't make an effort to explain yourself further, you'll have to forgive people for thinking your entire MO is the drive-by, as jessamyn pointed out.

No one's asking you to take on every solitary person who chooses to rail against you "just because" your conservative, or a Christian, or you're you. But she should own the things you say, and be ready to engage with people communicating with you in good faith.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:28 PM on January 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well, I can totally respect not wanting to go wade through a negative thread like that, timeistight, but it'd be nice of you to suspend any disapproving overtures regarding what we said and the context we said it in if you're not going to bother to actually give it a fair reading.

Point taken. I'll button up until I get a chance to read it for myself.
posted by timeistight at 2:28 PM on January 11, 2010


So people linked to material, showing you that in fact the proposed tax plan would actually benefit you. Your response was that you don't believe everything you read.

Case in point regarding the FPP to which this MetaTalk references:
Goofy:
"USAFA is the one with the record of rampant religious discrimination."
St. Alia of the Bunnies:
"Believe everything you read, do you?"
erib:
"Yeah. Especially when we hear from the Air Force Academy leader and the Pentagon.

New York Times | February 7, 2008: Air Force Pays Evangelicals to Preach About Terrorism.

Colorado Springs Gazette | April 29, 2005: Air Force Academy evangelical bias ’systemic,’ group says.

CNN | May 5, 2005: Air Force probes religious bias charges at academy.

U.S. Pentagon | June 22, 2005: The Report of the Headquarters Review Group Concerning the. Religious Climate at the U.S. Air Force Academy [PDF]

Christian Century | June 28, 2005: Air Force Academy leader admits faith bias is pervasive.

New York Times | June 25, 2008: Religion and Its Role Are in Dispute at the Service Academies.

New York Times | February 28, 2009: Questions Raised Anew About Religion in Military."
Not an "attack" on St. Alia of the Bunnies, her character or person, but clearly a refutation of her disingenuous statement ("Believe everything you read, do you?") backed up by citations to counter such.

As usual, she doesn't (i.e. could not) support her throw-away comment.
posted by ericb at 3:51 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Marisa, point of order, I work for a small business owner, don't own one myself (no way in heck I'd want to, either.)

And you may hear me say on other occasions that I don't believe what I read about something. My reason for that is that if you have been on the planet for more than five decades you have been here long enough to see that something that looks grand on paper may not translate too well into reality. I'll try to make sure to expand on any such points in future to avoid any more confusion or hoppitymoppitiness.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:00 PM on January 11, 2010


ericb, unfortunately the forum I used to frequent that was made up almost entirely of former and current USAFA and Air force personnel doesn't keep long archives. If they did, I'd have had you some pretty interesting links to look at.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:02 PM on January 11, 2010


Your 'point of order' doesn't change a single thing Marisa said. But that was another excellent example of taking one single part of a comment and dismissing the main argument entirely.
posted by graventy at 4:08 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, on re-read, that's not fair. But you are very quick to dismiss people with well-thought out and referenced comments with "I don't believe everything I read" or "I know people who were there that can't be true". That's what is disingenuous.
posted by graventy at 4:11 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


ericb, unfortunately the forum I used to frequent that was made up almost entirely of former and current USAFA and Air force personnel doesn't keep long archives. If they did, I'd have had you some pretty interesting links to look at.

Yet another disingenuous statement. Can you back-up your original statement, or not? If so, please provide citations based in fact.

Around-around-we-go...
posted by ericb at 4:11 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


...if you have been on the planet for more than five decades you have been here long enough to see that something that looks grand on paper may not translate too well into reality.

Exhibit A: 'King James Bible.'
posted by ericb at 4:15 PM on January 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


And you may hear me say on other occasions that I don't believe what I read about something. My reason for that is that if you have been on the planet for more than five decades you have been here long enough to see that something that looks grand on paper may not translate too well into reality.

There's a saying that goes something along the lines of, "You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

Look, we all have those relatives or friends who might sit in our living rooms and talk about what they think, and we might engage them or dismiss them at our leisure, and when they say, "well, that's just my opinion," when confronted with claims to the contrary, we all have a good laugh, roll our eyes at our friend, and go back to gossiping about whatever or talking about our families, because mostly we want to just hang out and have a few drinks with our friends. But you are not our friend or relative, and metafilter is not our living room. If you say something factually wrong, and people point out to you that it's factually wrong, and you're unwilling to actually grapple with the facts or admit you were wrong/repeated propaganda you were fed/misinformed, then you shouldn't be commenting. MeFites are smart people in my experience. There's little argument you can make that they haven't heard before. So simply mouthing the party line really isn't enlightening. What we're inviting you to do is to bring something to the table that we couldn't get elsewhere and not only that, you have an obligation to bring something to the table and grapple with everyone else's arguments if you want to participate. Because anyone can state, "well, Obama/abortion/atheism's bad, mmmkay." It's really a statement that holds no interest for us and doesn't tell us anything new.
posted by deanc at 4:15 PM on January 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


ericb: “Not an "attack" on St. Alia of the Bunnies, her character or person, but clearly a refutation of her disingenuous statement ("Believe everything you read, do you?") backed up by citations to counter such. As usual, she doesn't (i.e. could not) support her throw-away comment.”

A googling and an ensuing linkdump don't constitute a refutation, ericb. I'm not saying anybody was innocent, but rattling off a few pages of citations with no commentary or direct responsiveness whatsoever didn't exactly help that thread. One or two citations fleshing out a measured argument that directly responded to something someone said in the thread would be one thing; but screen after screen of direct links seem more like an attempt to put an end to the argument flatly without actually having to talk about it.

Not that there needed to be an argument at all. You know you're right about it; why does convincing her matter?
posted by koeselitz at 4:17 PM on January 11, 2010


And all day long I have been thinking about the fact that Metafilter, actually, is supposed to be all about the links and NOT the comments. Really, we have been told that here for years.

Can I ask the esteemed assembly something? Even if I am the worst most illogical commenter on history, with the multitude of Mefites here, with the multitudes of posts and comments etc....why do MY comments matter?????????? Wouldn't it be just as easy to skip a comment and go to the next one?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:24 PM on January 11, 2010


Okay, I just deleted the bit of my last comment that said this because I didn't want to be too strident, but clearly it needed to be said:

Alia: don't engage in political discussions. You will not help yourself by doing so. You will only be drawn into fightiness. That's not cool for anybody. I'm sure you know all kinds of people who have their own very unique perspective on things; be content with the fact that you know then, and try to accept the fact that you're not going to change any minds here. This is still just friendly advice; I'm only stepping out and saying it because it's clear that that's the only good way this whole thing could ever end well is if you learn to refuse to engage in political or religious discussions here.

And ericb: you're being a troll now. Since I'm sure you realize that Alia's not going to have some big epiphany here and realize you've been right all along, and since I know it's clear to you that this can end in nothing but unhappiness for all involved, for the love of god, stop demanding that Alia engage in political discussion and answer your points. Yes, I know, that's what's asked for in reasoned and measured debate, but this isn't reasoned and measured debate, and unless you've skipped to the end of this thread without reading a word of it you know that too. So quit. There will be no joy until Alia on the one hand and the rest of us on the other learn to coexist without bickering about religion and politics.
posted by koeselitz at 4:26 PM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Even if I am the worst most illogical commenter on history, with the multitude of Mefites here, with the multitudes of posts and comments etc....why do MY comments matter?????????? Wouldn't it be just as easy to skip a comment and go to the next one?

If you want us to ignore your comments -- why are you even making comments in the first place?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:58 PM on January 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


I believe this thread can best be summed up by the following:

HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGH
posted by subbes at 5:01 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


EC, I am speaking to those of you who have such a problem with them. There are plenty of people who don't. I can comment to them, and everyone else is free to ignore what I write. Do you pay attention to every single comment and post here? I sure don't-there are too many, some people's writing styles don't appeal to me, some folks say the same things over and over and so I skip on, and so forth.

It's really not that hard to do.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:05 PM on January 11, 2010


And you may hear me say on other occasions that I don't believe what I read about something. My reason for that is that if you have been on the planet for more than five decades you have been here long enough to see that something that looks grand on paper may not translate too well into reality.

But do you understand that you were willing to believe what you heard with regards to Obama being bad for the small business where you work, but completely dismissed evidence to the contrary with a "I don't believe everything I read"? Do you see the imbalance there?

That's what I'm trying to get at. There are plenty of people here who are willing to have a civil discussion with you. If you dismiss anything that challenges your assumptions and/or you drop a bombshell comment and then disappear, you give the impression that you're not really interested in discussion. If you want to give the impression that you're a reasonable person - and I believe you can be - then show the respect being given to you and read what's been presented, and stand by the things you say.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:05 PM on January 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


In any event, I guess I'm done with this. I don't want to be a broken record. St. Alia, don't conflate a few people who have been unfair to you into everyone attacking you - a lot of people in this thread are just offering constructive criticism. You may feel above it, beyond it, or too old to listen, but you're not an idiot. Let this stuff sink in over a few days. I hope I don't sound condescending or anything; I read some of my comments from mere weeks ago and wince. Just ... I don't know, accept the idea that there might be something to learn here, that's all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:11 PM on January 11, 2010


Okay, I was a bit too glib. Let me clarify.

If you want us to ignore your comments -- why are you even making comments in the first place?

What I meant by that, Alia, is this: you are putting the entire responsibility for the discord in this site directly on all of US in saying this. You KNOW, through bitter experience, that some of the things you say are inflammatory to people. But you say them anyway. And when challenged on it, you ask, in essence, "if my comments bother you, why don't you just ignore them?"

It is correct that people could indeed just exercise the option of ignoring what you say. It is also correct that you technically have the right to say what you're saying.

But -- and I'm saying this as a passionate supporter of the First Amendment -- with every right comes a responsibility. Along with the right to say what you say in a public forum like this, you have the responsibility to accept the consequences that come FROM saying what you say. Those consequences may be being called upon to support what you've said, they may be critique, they may be mockery, they may be expulsion from the site if what you say is bad enough or violates the previously-established codes of this specific site and the specific community you are addressing. But they are the consequences you had a responsibility to accept when you exercised your right to speak. Asking people to "ignore what I say if you don't like it" is an attempt to dodge that responsibility -- and I'm sorry, but some people aren't going to be able to ignore what you say, and that's just the way it goes.

Knowing that, and knowing that what you say is going to anger some people in here, you have a choice to make -- whether to continue saying what you wish, while accepting the responsibility of responding to the consequences, or not giving people the opportunity TO take you to task for what you say. Or, finding a community which is more of a fit with the thigns you say.

Now, please don't interpret that last note as my directly telling you to get out of here. Rather, what I mean is that if you wish to post as you have been posting, but you want to remain wholly unchallenged, this is not the place for that to happen, and another place may be. Only you know what your tolerance of challenges is.

But - asking people to just "ignore what I say if you don't like it" is really, really not going to work as well as you think it will. Because there are people who aren't going to ignore what you say, and you know that. You also know that people are going to be angry at what you say. That's just the way it is. So you have the choice of either accepting the anger, or...not giving anyone the opportunity to direct it to you.

That's what I mean.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:12 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


EC, it's not that I mind being challenged, not at all. But I'm not really talking about those who wish to challenge-for example, MarisaStoleThePreciousThing is a poster I respect even though we have certainly gone our rounds. I am talking about those who do nothing but harangue and slander and batter and go after every word I say as if I was the second coming of Hitler.

There are those here who just want me to leave. That's not being challenged, that's trying to stifle my right to be here, to comment, even though I am different from many here. It is interesting to see how certain folks like to call me intolerant when they are busily demonstrating how NOT tolerant THEY are. Meanwhile, here I am, willing and WANTING to be around others notjustlikeme, because I don't like echo chambers, and....well, it's tiresome.

Marisa, you don't sound condescending-I think all of us had a tough time with this past election season, and probably for my own happiness I should have stayed away from the topic totally as I was IRL surrounded by so much of other people's election turmoil that....well, I hate politics now, totally, on both sides. And I used to somewhat enjoy it.
(You can at least rejoice that I cringe at Palin now, right? Heh.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:24 PM on January 11, 2010


I am talking about those who do nothing but harangue and slander and batter and go after every word I say as if I was the second coming of Hitler.

They have to accept the consequences of what they say as well.

Really -- really, really, really -- asking them to just ignore what you say isn't going to work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:34 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


> But -- and I'm saying this as a passionate supporter of the First Amendment -- with every right comes a responsibility. Along with the right to say what you say in a public forum like this, you have the responsibility to accept the consequences that come FROM saying what you say.

I don't really understand this. As a passionate supporter of the First Amendment, I don't believe that the right to say what you want carries any responsibility whatever, any more than the right to breathe carries any responsibility; that's the whole point of free speech. And one doesn't really have a choice about accepting "the consequences that come FROM saying what you say"; they're going to come, and you're going to have to deal with them, whether or not you "accept" them.

> It is interesting to see how certain folks like to call me intolerant when they are busily demonstrating how NOT tolerant THEY are.

This is certainly true, but it would be nice if you would stop making yourself so easy to be intolerant of. Staying out of political discussions would be an excellent way to start achieving that.
posted by languagehat at 5:47 PM on January 11, 2010


Also: we're going to hit 1,000 comments, I just know it!

*weeps tears of schadenfreude*
posted by languagehat at 5:47 PM on January 11, 2010


It is interesting to see how certain folks like to call me intolerant when they are busily demonstrating how NOT tolerant THEY are.

You might be 50 years old, but people much younger than you have already long-tired of the disingenuous, "You say you're all about tolerance, but then how come you can't tolerate intolerance, huh???" many years ago. Alia, you literally don't have any interest in hearing out the other side. You have your talking points, and you're sticking to them. What you're here is taking advantage of everyone's hospitality by coming to a place where we're expected to hear something we don't know but are instead treated to repetitions of stuff one could hear by tuning into the latest talking points being broadcast over talk radio. And then you refuse to take responsibility for your behavior. And you know, there's no reason anyone should tolerate someone who's being a bad guest.

Many of us here have plenty of right wing friends and relatives. We like them, because they're our friends and relatives. You, however, are not either one of those things. You have a responsibility to engage with us as a community. We don't really care to hear your trite repetitions of right-wing boilerplate and blithe dismissals of arguments to the contrary when you get caught making false statements: we've heard it before. You act as though you're trying to be "our right wing friend" to show us that "conservatives are people too" (and that you in particular are an especially good conservative person). We already know that. Now tell us something we don't know. You know what would be helpful? If you could show us that "conservatives are informed people." So far, I'm not seeing that from you. Rather, you're acting like a person who wants attention and gets attention by making various uninformed rightwing statements cribbed from the right-wing e-mail forwards and various talking points exchanged among insular right-wing friends.

This, of course, is all speculation. I think you're more in the mode of trying to "witness to the godless liberal youth." But even if you're doing that, my point still stands: because "witnessing" requires that you earn something from your audience: respect. And I'm not seeing you making an effort to earn that respect.
posted by deanc at 5:49 PM on January 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


I am speaking to those of you who have such a problem with them. There are plenty of people who don't

Please don't mistake silence for "not having a problem" with your posts.

This needs to be repeated for emphasis:

There will be no joy until Alia on the one hand and the rest of us on the other learn to coexist without bickering about religion and politics.
posted by lysdexic at 5:54 PM on January 11, 2010


As a passionate supporter of the First Amendment, I don't believe that the right to say what you want carries any responsibility whatever, any more than the right to breathe carries any responsibility...

...except for the fact that you breathing at someone does not affect them in any way (unless, oh, you're both underwater and you've got the only oxygen tank). However, you saying something to someone can have an affect on them. Pretending it never, ever does is disingenuous.

But that's precisely why I believe we need to preserve the right -- because saying things DOES affect people. And that's why dictatorial governments try to control what people say.

And one doesn't really have a choice about accepting "the consequences that come FROM saying what you say"; they're going to come, and you're going to have to deal with them, whether or not you "accept" them.

I agree. Which is why wailing "why can't you just ignore what I say if you don't like it?" isn't going to work. You said it, and you'll have to deal with the fact that people are gonna react to it. That's what happens when you say things. That's really what I mean by "accepting the responsiblity" -- talking away and expecting it to either be greeted warmly OR just fall into a void is just not gonna happen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:04 PM on January 11, 2010


Actually, I would be happy if the small subset of posters who have been hectoring me inappropriately would stop that. I don't ask any of you to agree with me, but I think it's not too much to ask that people argue ideas and not personalities.

Please don't mistake silence for "not having a problem" with your posts.

I'm not. I'm thinking more about the people who have memailed me over the years or emailed me or -EVEN CALLED ME ON THE PHONE FROM NEW YORK to try to encourage me. And, I don't think many of you realise just how many people censor themselves because they are afraid they will get jumped on for their opinions here, for one thing, or how many people who tho they do not agree with me think I have been treated very unfairly. Look, there are a whole spectrum of opinions, and we don't have to go trying to quantify them, but it would be good if some of you were to consider that there is no one great metafilter consensus on the subject of "me." Loudness is not the same thing as number. Some people have been very loud over the years. But I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of Metafilter users don't even know who I am.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:17 PM on January 11, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies has a point of view that I'm very familiar with having grown up in the south. Maybe because of this her comments don't seem intentionally inflammatory to me, hard as that may be for some people to swallow.

The funny thing is how rare a bird St. Alia is considering her world view. Just taking the little I've read from her over the years she should by all rights be avoiding Mefi like the plague. It may not seem like a compliment, but her sticking around here is a bit of a tribute to an open mindedness on her part I'm not sure shes willing yet to acknowledge. Maybe for fear she might open a door she won't be able to then shut.
She is (even if she won't admit it) looking for more than what she has been given by her church and her friends and family back home. I think she is testing the metal of her beliefs and the ideas of others here. But I'd bet part of it is an overt attempt to confirm bias by finding faults in ideas not her own. I would really love it if these two worlds could learn to coexist, I think it could be good for all involved. Hope springs eternal.
posted by nola at 6:26 PM on January 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


EVEN CALLED ME ON THE PHONE FROM NEW YORK

nickyskye calls everyone.

We work pretty hard to stop the pile-ons. Specifics will generally help your cause. You need to actively look like you are trying to meet the community at least partway.

I'm aware that it's a difficult line to walk -- providing enough information that you don't seem like you're making drive-by comments versus not making every thread where you have a contrary opinion turn into everyone-give-you-the-second-degree at the expense of the original topic -- but I believe you know what people's issues are and you can decide whether to own your opinions and take the heat people give you, or be squirrelly and circumspect and get heat anyhow.

We can stop the pile-ons for the most part, the rest needs to come from you. I think there are a few grouchy people who have treated you unfairly and unpleasantly in this thread [and for the most part we've spoken to them either now or in the past] but the majority have treated you fairly, in my modly estimation. That's how the community is, telling people to not read your comments isn't a plausible option. You'll need to decide for yourself what a plausible option is for you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:45 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


telling people to not read your comments isn't a plausible option.

And truly, that was only really directed at the "few grouchy people." I think we're good here.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:53 PM on January 11, 2010


I think we're good here.

Famous last words.
posted by special-k at 7:33 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


But I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of Metafilter users don't even know who I am.

I would bet otherwise.
posted by special-k at 7:38 PM on January 11, 2010


But I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of Metafilter users don't even know who I am.

I would bet otherwise.


Metafilter: Mild Simulated Gambling
posted by qvantamon at 8:01 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


> except for the fact that you breathing at someone does not affect them in any way (unless, oh, you're both underwater and you've got the only oxygen tank). However, you saying something to someone can have an affect on them.

In the first place, of course breathing at someone has an effect on them (especially if you have bad breath). So what? And of course saying something to someone can have an effect on them; so what? You have an absolute right to free speech. If your speech has consequences, it has consequences, just like anything else that happens in this world. That has nothing to do with the basic point, which is that free speech, if it is truly free, carries no "responsibilities" whatever. I'm surprised that someone who claims to be a passionate supporter of the First Amendment doesn't see that.

> I would really love it if these two worlds could learn to coexist, I think it could be good for all involved.

Amen.
posted by languagehat at 6:07 AM on January 12, 2010


That has nothing to do with the basic point, which is that free speech, if it is truly free, carries no "responsibilities" whatever. I'm surprised that someone who claims to be a passionate supporter of the First Amendment doesn't see that.

Perhaps I'm making a poor word choice.

What I mean is: there are a lot of people I've seen online who, when they say something offensive/inflammatory/opinionated and other people get all het up, will throw a little tantrum and say "don't criticize me! I have free speech, I can say whatever I want!" It appears to me that these people assume that "free speech" also means "unchallenged speech". They think "free speech" means "NO consequences."

But, as you say, anything you do or say DOES have consequences. "Free speech" doesn't mean those consequences magically go away. THAT'S what I mean when I say "responsibility" -- that the First Amendment doesn't magically make speech CONSEQUENCE-free, the way some people seem to think it does.

That's all I meant. Perhaps "responsibility" wasn't the most accurate word, but as far as the meaning goes, I suspect you and I are on the same page.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:19 AM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


> I suspect you and I are on the same page.

Yeah, sounds like it. "Responsibility" is a poor word to use because many, many people use it to mean "yeah, you can have 'free' speech so long as you watch what you say and don't say anything bad." Many, many people don't really like the idea of free speech (cf. the reaction to the ACLU defending the right of the Nazis to march), and I'm quite sure if the First Amendment were put to a vote today it would be defeated, so I tend to be touchy about it. Thanks for clarifying!
posted by languagehat at 6:22 AM on January 12, 2010


"Responsibility" is a poor word to use because many, many people use it to mean "yeah, you can have 'free' speech so long as you watch what you say and don't say anything bad."

Huh; I think I'd chosen it because it's a response to the whole notion of "I can just sit back and enjoy these rights and everyone has to cater to ME" thing I described. You know -- you have those rights, but you also have to allow other people to have THEIR rights (including the right to tell you they think you're a jackass). To me, "responsibility" spoke of more of a participatory thing (You get rights, but you need to let other people have their rights too, and that letting-others-have-rights-even-if-you-hate-them is part of the same package).

But we're getting into a largely intellectual semantics discussion, which is a tangent, so anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:32 AM on January 12, 2010


nickskye never calls me, anymore anyway. I should have paid attention to what they always say in Cosmo.
posted by vapidave at 6:43 AM on January 12, 2010


Why does Rachel Maddow insist on calling it "tweeted". Can't she just say "you posted to twitter.com" instead of "you tweeted"? Let's have some objective language here.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:51 AM on January 12, 2010


You're fighting a losing battle with emergent usage, Burhan.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:18 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You're fighting a losing battle with emergent usage, Burhan," meefed cortex.
posted by everichon at 8:48 AM on January 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Now I'm wondering about the technical German terms for all of this and thinking perhaps "tweeted" might have to suffice.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 AM on January 12, 2010


Tweet
Tweeted
Twat
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, hello gutter! How I missed you.
posted by subbes at 9:41 AM on January 12, 2010


Tweet
Tweeted
Twat


Twit.
posted by zarq at 10:09 AM on January 12, 2010


"omg 3d avatar was teh suxxors!1!", she twote.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:25 AM on January 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I dunno. Whenever a freind of mine posts to Facebook, she says she's blogged about whatever it was.

twaddled?

"I'm gonna tweet this, hold on..."

"I twed that"

"They twed that"

"They twittered"

What's the plural of tweet? A pile of tweets? A set? And tweet "conversations" and "interviews". They're unreadable.

When tweetles fight these twattles in a twottle with their twaddles
and the twottle's on a twoodle and the twoodle's eating noodles...
...they call this a twuddle tpuddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle
bottle paddle battle.*
posted by lysdexic at 10:36 AM on January 12, 2010


Hey, the "font" thing worked in preview.

<pout>
posted by lysdexic at 10:37 AM on January 12, 2010


At least whatever tweaks pb has been doing on the backend keep this long thread loading quickly.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:40 AM on January 12, 2010


Having tweeted, could I be quoted "Twote everichon:...", or would it be, "Twoth everichon:..."?
posted by everichon at 12:21 PM on January 12, 2010


Tweet
Tweeted
Twat


Stephen Colbert: I have twatted.
posted by amyms at 12:32 PM on January 12, 2010


"Twoth everichon:..."

Nevermore?
posted by zarq at 12:48 PM on January 12, 2010


> "omg 3d avatar was teh suxxors!1!", she twote.

Avatar was in fact teh suxxors.

/desperate to get this thread to 1,000
posted by languagehat at 1:53 PM on January 12, 2010


This could be the Avatar MeTa we never had. I'll do my part:

"AVATARD", while hilarious, is not acceptable an acceptable term to denote enthusiasts of the film Avatar. It is an acceptable word to denote a blue leotard that would give an enthusiast a Na'vish appearance.
posted by everichon at 1:58 PM on January 12, 2010


Have we mentioned my kids lately? They're so cute. In that tween-backtalking kind of way.
posted by GuyZero at 1:58 PM on January 12, 2010


Your kids are cute, well-mannered, intelligent, and exemplary children. And they are poopyheads.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:03 PM on January 12, 2010


It just occurred to me to wonder whether Twitter has infected my favorite term from Bambi, and of course, it has. Incidentally, I also learned that there is overlap in the Beatrix Potter and Urban Dictionary fanbases.
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:02 PM on January 12, 2010


So I didn't get around to seeing Avatar. Is it not worth seeing for all its bells and whistles? I'm I missing out or did I manage to save another 8 bucks?
posted by nola at 3:03 PM on January 12, 2010


I enjoyed the 3-D IMAX version but went in with very low expectations. I think that's the key to enjoying it. It will be useless on DVD for anyone over the age of 14.

In other words, if you want to be culturally literate you will have to watch it. If you have to watch it, for God's sake watch it in 3-D IMAX or it will be unbearable.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:27 PM on January 12, 2010


I dunno, I haven't seen it either. Could be both.

Hey, in case anybody was wondering, this took me two hours. TWO HOURS. I hope you're satisfied.
posted by koeselitz at 3:29 PM on January 12, 2010


The bonus of seeing Avatar in IMAX 3D is that the movie is preceded by the 3D trailer for NASA's Hubble telescope servicing mission. You will have astronaut booties spacewalk well inside your discomfort zone.
posted by jamaro at 3:56 PM on January 12, 2010


Speaking of urban dictionary I have noticed hoppitamoppita is not listed yet. Someone with a more academic bent than me should rectify that.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:58 PM on January 12, 2010


> went in with very low expectations. I think that's the key to enjoying it.

Yup. If you go in knowing the plot, dialogue, and characters are complete and utter drivel, you'll be free to enjoy the rest of the movie, which is spectacular.
posted by languagehat at 5:07 PM on January 12, 2010


My personal experience has been that any word, acronym, or combination thereof that touches urban dictionary ends up being appropriated to mean some form of sexual act that you'll forever try to bleach from your brain after learning about.

So I vote against listing hoppitamoppita on urban dictionary just yet.
posted by qvantamon at 5:42 PM on January 12, 2010


I agree--urbandictionary appears to be populated largely by coprophilic tween boys with a limited understanding of the actual mechanics of intercourse.
posted by box at 5:45 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's a MeFi tagline if I ever saw one.
posted by Mid at 6:57 PM on January 12, 2010


This is the place where I saw the last message in the thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:14 PM on January 12, 2010


Avatar is worth it just for the 3d computer consoles in within the 3d sets. The mama gaia moralizing just kind of rolls off and you get a lot of neat things to look at. The level of bean plating going on in the active MeFi thread about the movie is almost as astonishing as the realism of the CGI. See it in Imax 3D if you can, otherwise maybe keep that money in your pocket.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:17 PM on January 12, 2010


953, FTW!
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:43 AM on January 13, 2010


The level of bean plating going on in the active MeFi thread about the movie is almost as astonishing as the realism of the CGI. See it in Imax 3D if you can, otherwise maybe keep that money in your pocket.

They have Imax 3D MeFi threads now? I want one.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 5:47 AM on January 13, 2010


You have to wear special glasses, though. And if you thought arguments here were polarized before, well...
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 AM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


You have to wear special glasses, though. And if you thought arguments here were polarized before, well...

Pony request: I'd like to be able to make the gigantic spiders look like they're jumping out of the screen and waggling their fangs menacingly whenever folks click on my last post. Is there any chance pb could get that done by Thursday?

Oh, and it'll need a good soundtrack, too. Can't forget the music!
posted by zarq at 7:18 AM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do.NOT.WANT.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:52 AM on January 13, 2010


One of these threads we're gonna be seeing dinosaurs or Jules Verne or some shit.
posted by everichon at 7:53 AM on January 13, 2010


But the ensuing novel will have an extremely limited audience.
posted by everichon at 7:53 AM on January 13, 2010


First "three hour detour" and now a polarization pun?

You've changed, cortex. You've changed.
posted by GuyZero at 10:16 AM on January 13, 2010


Well, I, for one, refuse to contribute any further towards this delinquent thread's flirtation with 1000. Ta ta and fer fuks sake and all that.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:11 AM on January 13, 2010


B-but---you just inched us closer.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:12 AM on January 13, 2010


Ever
posted by Burhanistan at 11:12 AM on January 13, 2010


I mean... Seriously. You know? It's a drag.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:12 AM on January 13, 2010


so
posted by Burhanistan at 11:13 AM on January 13, 2010


closer.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:13 AM on January 13, 2010


I liked the spousing thread better.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:14 AM on January 13, 2010


It's because I wasn't there. Isn't it? You can tell me.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:16 AM on January 13, 2010


This is how it ends.
This is how it ends.

whimper
posted by GuyZero at 11:33 AM on January 13, 2010


ϱ ϱ ϱ
posted by Burhanistan at 11:44 AM on January 13, 2010


Hey, Marisa, can you post Aya Hirano singing a rock version of the opening theme of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, preferably live in concert?

Sure, sure I can.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:48 AM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


How come we can't get MeFi in 3D, huh?
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:49 AM on January 13, 2010


We who?

Anything is possible with enough acid.
posted by qvantamon at 12:00 PM on January 13, 2010


Just for the hell of it....

Peter Schickele: "New Horizons in Musical Appreciation (Beethoven's Fifth)" and PDQ Bach / The Stoned Guest.

Rob Parovian: Pachelbel Rant and a Pagagnini's response.
posted by zarq at 12:03 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


METAFILTER: Anything is possible with enough acid.
posted by philip-random at 12:06 PM on January 13, 2010


How come we can't get MeFi in 3D, huh?

ZALGO, that's why.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:15 PM on January 13, 2010




Anything is possible with enough acid.

Not true, once a room full of trippin' dudes who otherwise could roll joints with one hand in their sleep in the middle of a blizzard had no clue how to roll a joint. True story, man.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


they had more important things to deal with.
posted by The Whelk at 12:46 PM on January 13, 2010


975 comments and we've covered Twitter neologisms, jpop, high school drama, and Mise en abyme. I love this place.
posted by Skorgu at 12:47 PM on January 13, 2010


they had more important things to deal with.

Indeed. That was the first time I took enough for the floor to disappear (6th floor of a dorm, no less) and a giant, swirling technicolor infinite geometry vortex to blissland opened up in its place. Pow!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:49 PM on January 13, 2010


Metafilter: 10 Trolls Every Blogger Will Encounter.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:14 PM on January 13, 2010


I AM DRINKING ABSINTHE RIGHT NOW.

so there.
posted by The Whelk at 1:16 PM on January 13, 2010


Marisa, that Aya Hirano video was SUGOOOIIIIIIII ( ゚∀゚)彡 but do you have any videos of Japanese bands doing rock covers of video game themes, preferably combining cosplay as well?

Wow, man, it's like you're in my Favorites list or something. Here you go!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:21 PM on January 13, 2010


MStPT, how did you live before YouTube existed?
posted by GuyZero at 1:32 PM on January 13, 2010


Absinthe doesn't really do anything good for the consciousness.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:37 PM on January 13, 2010


you say that like it's a bad thing
posted by The Whelk at 1:40 PM on January 13, 2010


Some days you feel like Chiyo-chan, other days you just feel like Osaka.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:44 PM on January 13, 2010


(hey, whelk, did your luggage ever turn up?)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:45 PM on January 13, 2010


I too am rolling joints, drinking absinthe, and dropping acid. It's made my cube a little cluttered, and the smell is probably bothering my coworkers, but I want everyone to know that the meeting we have coming up with the corporate vice presidents is going to be... exciting.

I really hope I find my pants in the next ten minutes or so...
posted by quin at 1:55 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


MStPT, how did you live before YouTube existed?

With a lot more time.
posted by qvantamon at 1:57 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


MStPT, how did you live before YouTube existed?

Oh, you know. Crawling through streaming sites that used Quicktime or Real format, using Ctrl + U to find the direct video link, that sorta thing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:03 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that there was never a time when YouTube did not exist. I don't know what you people are smoking, but I grew up watching YouTube.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:08 PM on January 13, 2010


I really hope I find my pants in the next ten minutes or so...

They're in the fax machine.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:08 PM on January 13, 2010


They're in the fax machine.

Not anymore they're not.

And Steve, turn down the Deep Purple. You're upsetting the IT guy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:10 PM on January 13, 2010


Hey, what's all this about, then?
posted by chinston at 2:13 PM on January 13, 2010


Infinite pants
posted by Burhanistan at 2:15 PM on January 13, 2010


Ah, now the thread is starting to load slowly.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:15 PM on January 13, 2010


Because of
posted by Burhanistan at 2:15 PM on January 13, 2010


1000!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:15 PM on January 13, 2010


Not anymore they're not.

Really? They were just-- Who brought a fucking goat in here?!
posted by shakespeherian at 2:16 PM on January 13, 2010


To celebrate the crossing of the 1000th comment threshold, Madame Rin's Restaurant of Hell.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:19 PM on January 13, 2010


You cheated, Burhanistan.
posted by nola at 2:20 PM on January 13, 2010


All's fair in longboats and callouts.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:20 PM on January 13, 2010


Except for, you know, being assy and suchlike.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:21 PM on January 13, 2010


Who brought a fucking goat in here?!

I don't know, but the necktie and comical giant sunglasses were a nice touch.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:22 PM on January 13, 2010


Hey, has anyone seen a goat round here? Fucker stole my tie and prescription glasses.
posted by subbes at 2:23 PM on January 13, 2010


Now, now. This isn't some kind of Robert Anton Wilson novel where everyone has the same trip together. That goat is clearly an accounting temp.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:24 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope that wasn't a ruminant-ist statement.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:28 PM on January 13, 2010


There's a window you can use to see into its stomach cavity.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:26 PM on January 13, 2010


If you stare too long into the goat's stomach cavity, the stomach cavity will stare back into you.
posted by GuyZero at 3:28 PM on January 13, 2010


So, we are staring at goats now?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:10 PM on January 13, 2010


I'm pretty sure that there was never a time when YouTube did not exist. I don't know what you people are smoking, but I grew up watching YouTube.

That was the bube tube
posted by lysdexic at 6:49 PM on January 13, 2010


If you stare too long into the goat's stomach cavity, the stomach cavity will stare back into you.

OH MY GOD IT'S FULL OF CANS!
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Woah!
posted by languagehat at 6:44 AM on January 14, 2010


Woah is Noah's long lost twin brother. He's featured in genetic memory flood stories in Bizarro Earth history.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:48 AM on January 14, 2010


BIZZARO DELUGE MADE OF SAND, HAD TWO OF EVERY PLANT.
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM on January 14, 2010


Genetic Memory Heresy

No that would not make a good name for a band. Never ever say something would make a good name for a band.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:07 AM on January 14, 2010


Dave Barry beat good-name-for-a-band jokes to death in 1990.
posted by box at 8:15 AM on January 14, 2010


Ironically, he beat it to death with a dead horse.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on January 14, 2010


I am not making this up.
posted by box at 8:26 AM on January 14, 2010


I saw them a few times back in high school. I didn't even like their music, it was just an excuse to mosh.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:29 AM on January 14, 2010


The pits at those Rock Bottom Remainders shows are brutal.
posted by box at 8:50 AM on January 14, 2010


IT WASN'T A ROCK!
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on January 14, 2010


it was a rock... rock...
posted by scody at 9:44 AM on January 14, 2010


Judging by the violence in those pits, it was probably someone's ear.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2010


So. Who won?
posted by tkchrist at 5:10 PM on January 14, 2010


Is this thread not dead yet????

or is it an undead thread? Because I can totally see it lurching around looking for braaaaaiiiiinnnnnnzzzzzzz
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:26 PM on January 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Dave Barry beat good-name-for-a-band jokes to death in 1990" is going to be the name of my band.
posted by qvantamon at 10:50 PM on January 14, 2010


I am an alert reader.
posted by lysdexic at 5:05 AM on January 15, 2010


I think we're all pretty sure there aren't any brains to be found in this thread.
posted by GuyZero at 9:51 AM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Soylent Thread is brains.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:57 AM on January 15, 2010


Who brought a fucking goat in here?!
posted by jock@law at 1:40 PM on January 15, 2010


Some days you feel like Chiyo-chan, other days you just feel like Osaka.

I have it on good authority that these words translate into "Almonds" and "Coconut covered in chocolate," respectively.
posted by jock@law at 1:45 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


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