LOLRepublican February 3, 2010 10:39 PM   Subscribe

Are LOLRepublican posts within the bounds of good taste?

I just posted that survey by DailyKos, then immediately thought better of it - I mean it's important to know what the lunatics in charge of half of your asylum are thinking (and yes it affects me, even here in Australia), but is it any better than LOLXtian posts?

I don't think the fact that it's Kos is relevant, the methodology appears sound, not all of us read Kos regularly (I don't for one).

I'm not looking for a thread where the lunacy of hard-core Republican 'base' is mocked, I'm looking for an informed debate of the importance of these views to US and global politics, but I guess that's a naive wish. Is the post legit?

(I know, if you have to ask the question, then simply don't post it, but this anxiety came to me afterwards)
posted by wilful to Etiquette/Policy at 10:39 PM (46 comments total)

That thread is one post old and you ran to MetaTalk about it? It even has a link to a Nate Silver stats breakdown.

I don't think the fact that it's Kos is relevant, the methodology appears sound

So maybe let the thread get going and see what happens with it?
posted by secret about box at 10:46 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm looking for an informed debate of the importance of these views to US and global politics, but I guess that's a naive wish.

You know, I think it is something that most posters want - to have a productive discussion about a topic. But it's been my experience that one will never know how a thread is going to play out. Derails, extra links about subjects and personal stories make predicting how discussion is going to play out extremely hard.
posted by bigmusic at 11:00 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're calling out your own post. Huh. See something new every day.
posted by Caduceus at 11:07 PM on February 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh great, another LOLFPP thread.
posted by mullacc at 11:07 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The specifics of the methodology are very slim and, having worked in research, I wouldn't put too much stock in these findings, just on principle (not that it makes them incorrect, of course). This is pretty standard Kos fare, with overly simplistic, heavily loaded language and rather broad interpretations. I don't think it's in bad taste, but I also don't find it all that revealing.

Ultimately, the problem with surveys like this (even with the best methodology) is that you're really only getting a sample of the people that are willing to take time out of their day to answer a bunch of questions on the phone from a market research firm. My experience in this area (and this is just anecdotal) is that the crazies are much more likely to come out of the woodwork if they feel they have a chance to speak what's on their mind. You're generally going to find a greater percentage of the elderly, recluses, and shut-ins with this sort of polling, which can tend to amp up the crazy a bit.
posted by dhammond at 11:09 PM on February 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


So you called yourself out? FIAMO. Or better yet, ad hominem derail!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:10 PM on February 3, 2010


Are you under some mistaken impression that every FPP needs a corresponding MetaTalk post and since no one made one about yours you decided to do it yourself?
posted by eyeballkid at 11:15 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hah! I didn't notice it was your own thread! Paints this thread in a much different light than I saw when I read the "callout" (which obviously isn't a callout, heh).

Apologies. :)
posted by secret about box at 11:15 PM on February 3, 2010


I don't laugh or cry about posts about the USA's political system. Since I live here, I sigh and occasionally GRAR at my "elected officials". I have my own perspective on the system here. I'd love to change things and know that the chance of that is minimal at best. When I was younger I'd probably get angry at people from another country that made fun of "my country".

Now I just go, "Yeah, whatever."

I am a child of the late 60s early 70s, we were going to change the fucking world. Maybe we changed ourselves. I dunno. But I just can't get excited about politics/politicians anymore.

I voted for Obama. Now he seems to be politics as usual in a lot of ways.

If anyone wants to hold hands around the White House, drop acid, and raise the damn building off of the ground to get rid of Satan... Call me. But not right now. I'm tired.

Really, really tired.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
posted by Splunge at 11:39 PM on February 3, 2010


The post is fine, the batshitinsane tag must go.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:49 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The best solution to political GRAR is to listen to laughing children.
posted by netbros at 11:59 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let me quote shitmydadsays here:
"That woman was sexy...Out of your league? Son. Let women figure out why they won't screw you, don't do it for them."
This applies to many things. In other words, don't call out your own post. If it really sucks, everybody else will do it for you.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:07 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The post is fine, the batshitinsane tag must go.

To clarify, Afroblanco is talking about your post in the blue. This MetaTalk post, however, is missing a batshitinsane tag.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:16 AM on February 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


I didn't read the FPP, but I read 538.com every day and love Nate Silver.

His analysis is the opposite of "LOL anyone." It's a fair-minded, statistically-based effort to better understand the "other side," actually.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:49 AM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not looking for a thread where the lunacy of hard-core Republican 'base' is mocked

Then linking to the DailyKos entry which does exactly that, with little other links for discussion, is weak. You know exactly what will happen on Metafilter. It's perfectly acceptable here, but you're doing it wrong if you're aiming for something else.
posted by FuManchu at 1:26 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


How to put this delicately? I know that the US is not as powerful and respected worldwide as we once were, but that what happens here is still pretty important. It's great that people in other countries are interested enough in US politics to read about it and post to MetaFilter abut it. With that said, I can't imagine a scenario where I'd post LOL Aussie Prime Minister or something.
posted by fixedgear at 1:31 AM on February 4, 2010


I'm not calling myself out, you silly dills, I'm checking the validity of the post, since there's not all that much too it than pointing out that republicans believe some insane shit. I'm just checking the sometimes amorphous quality bar. It's not entirely relevant how the thread goes, though it seems to be going fine.

BTW fixedgear, the Aussie PM is no laughing matter. Most boring man in politics - deliberately.
posted by wilful at 2:39 AM on February 4, 2010


"...I'm looking for an informed debate of the importance of these views to US and global politics.."

The survey in the first link of your FPP is a grab bag of different issues so I expect the posts to be as well. Your second link addresses a narrower and more interesting topic and if posted alone IMO would have led to a more focused discussion.

Also, you joined the same day as a lot of us 5 years ago, where ya' been?
posted by vapidave at 3:19 AM on February 4, 2010


I'm checking the validity of the post, since there's not all that much too it than pointing out that republicans believe some insane shit. I'm just checking the sometimes amorphous quality bar. It's not entirely relevant how the thread goes,

Actually, how the thread goes is exactly how you check that out. You post to MeTa and you're just going to get a bucket of cocks personally delivered to you. Especially if you post to MeTa before the thread even takes off. Just chill and let the system work its magic.

Posting to MeTa is like walking into the room with a sign that says "KICK AND THEN PROMPTLY DEFENESTRATE ME" on your forehead. I mean that lovingly, but honestly, this isn't the place to come for honest and balanced analysis. That's what the Blue's for.

(And yeah, the "batshitinsane" tag isn't going to help anything.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:44 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just me, but I get upset when threads like the one on the Blue become "exactly the worst of MetaFilter". It's almost as if people can't help themselves, so they vent their political frustration, stereotypes, and absolute drivel into one glorious thread of crap.

On the other hand, if you bookmark that thread for the future, it's almost like a cheat sheet for who to ignore in better threads.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:57 AM on February 4, 2010


Ne'er the well be mind.
posted by tellurian at 5:12 AM on February 4, 2010


The post is fine. Kos is the primary source and Nate has a good analysis. I'm looking forward to the discussion.
posted by Skorgu at 5:35 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The post is fine, the batshitinsane tag must go.

The poll indicates that 77% of Republicans want literal creationism taught in public school.

The batshitinsane tag must stay. And we need an additional batshitarmedanddangerous.
posted by DU at 5:38 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are LOLRepublican posts within the bounds of good taste?

Not usually, no. Or rather they're within the bounds of good taste but not usually great posts for MetaFilter. Nate's a good guy, but I usually feel like posts like these are some mild way of saying "look at these assholes" and I feel that the people who enjoy that sort of thing already do that sort of thing on other sites. This is not a mod opinion [i.e. this does not form a part of any official or implied policy here] but I think these sort of threads aren't that great and rarely go well.

I'm not looking for a thread where the lunacy of hard-core Republican 'base' is mocked


Then you should have written it differently. Bringing O'Reilly into is is basically begging for a "let's approach this from the crazy angle" You want to talk about the international implications? Put anything at all about that topic into your post.

What goes even less well is posting nearly simultaneous MeFi and MeTa posts. I appreciate that you had second thoughts, but this just seems weird.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:51 AM on February 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


I can't imagine a scenario where I'd post LOL Aussie Prime Minister or something.

Oh, no?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:08 AM on February 4, 2010


Calling out one's own FPP on the grounds that it could be in poor taste is totally Democrat.
posted by applemeat at 6:42 AM on February 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


Needs a "busy-signal" tag.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:01 AM on February 4, 2010


Calling out one's own FPP on the grounds that it could be in poor taste is totally Democrat.

Hey, hey, we're still hoping to push a couple flags through on reconciliation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:11 AM on February 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


If this sort of thing keeps up MetaTalk will need more than just the ten most recent posts on the front page.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:14 AM on February 4, 2010


If "linking to reasonably conducted survey results and a discussion of it" is equivalent to "LOL", then there's something wrong.
posted by Plutor at 7:22 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


If "linking to reasonably conducted survey results and a discussion of it" is equivalent to "LOL", then there's something wrong.

The poll questions included:
Do you think Barack Obama is a socialist?
Do you believe Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Do you believe Barack Obama wants the terrorists to win?
Do you believe Barack Obama is a racist who hates White people?
On a left-leaning website like this, yes, a survey that asks those questions is "LOL."
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:26 AM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not looking for a thread where the lunacy of hard-core Republican 'base' is mocked, I'm looking for an informed debate of the importance of these views to US and global politics, but I guess that's a naive wish.

Once you put something up on that blue screen, you can't control where the discussion will go. I recently posted a link to a story about the battle of Tora Bora back in 2001. I was hoping that that would inspire discussion about the War on Terror, South Asian politics, maybe elicit some personal anecdotes from people who were involved in the Afghan war, etc.

The response was, uhhhhh, disappointing. Yeah, that's a polite way to put it.

But in the case of your particular thread, there really is no way to have a nuanced and interesting debate about that topic here. "Republican" is MetaFilter shorthand for "instant lulz, cheap favorites."
posted by jason's_planet at 8:45 AM on February 4, 2010


The response was, uhhhhh, disappointing. Yeah, that's a polite way to put it.

There are ways to frame and tailor posts to this particular audience that can at least help direct the conversational flow one way or the other. Pull-quotes about strange things occurring in cultures that most Americans [and possibly others] barely understand has been shown to often not elicit the sort of conversation that other approaches might do better at teasing out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:50 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


applemeat: "Calling out one's own FPP on the grounds that it could be in poor taste is totally Democrat"

I was going to say doing this is totally Canadian, but I see the poster is from down under. FWIW, most handwringing about whether a post is in good taste is for naught. You have only your own internal yardstick for this measure; this place won't yield consensus very often (esp. on political matters.) Any decision about matters of taste is better gauged by a firm moral compass and some experience, rather than the winds of MeFi opinion.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:58 AM on February 4, 2010


Yes
posted by Damn That Television at 9:33 AM on February 4, 2010


On a left-leaning website like this, yes, a survey that asks those questions is "LOL."

No, it's a survey, purportedly designed to uncover facts. To me, the two legitimate responses to this are a) to discuss the implications of those facts, or b) to analyze the validity or otherwise of the survey. I'm baffled that people seem to believe, in all honesty, that terrifying facts about a significant chunk of the US electorate should be excluded from Metafilter not because they may not be accurate (that's a debate about survey methods) but because they are so terrifying that laughter is one of the only sane responses.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:57 AM on February 4, 2010


Pull-quotes about strange things occurring in cultures that most Americans [and possibly others] barely understand has been shown to often not elicit the sort of conversation that other approaches might do better at teasing out.

Maybe those Americans [and others] ought not to be so damned provincial. You don't exactly need to have done graduate work in Middle Eastern studies to figure out what someone like bin Laden might mean by a reference to "apostates."

Personally, I think it was a great pull-quote. Here you have Public Enemy Number One, the most excoriated man in the Western world, a man portrayed as a fanatic bent on destroying our civilization, just throwing up his hands and saying "That's it. The battle is lost. It's hopeless. I am giving you permission to surrender. Lay down your weapons. There's nothing dishonorable about it at this point."

I found that image extremely moving. But I suppose there are others out there who do not share my perspective.

Wow, I missed that one when it was posted. I agree, those comments were kind of total suck.


Thank you. I agree with your assessment. My mistake was to have misread the mood of MetaFilter. At the time of posting, MetaFilter's energies were focused on the iPad discussion. I should have recognized that and postponed the posting.

All of which is to say: you can't control how people will react to what you put on the Blue. You just can't.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:22 AM on February 4, 2010


Maybe those Americans [and others] ought not to be so damned provincial.

Perhaps. That said, I feel that you (and a few others) often come in to MeTa exasperated that MeFi is this or that way. Which is also sort of the topic of this larger MeTa thread. While I understand that, yeah, MeFi is frustrating sometimes, I don't think it's really changed terribly much over the years.

So, I like to point out when I think it's appropriate that people who are forever frustrated here by the site's responses to things, responses that I think are entirely predictable, could possibly benefit from some self-assessment as to why they think doing the same thing here is likely to somehow result in a different result.

Not pointing at you specifically j_p, but this is a recent example. Your comment above explains much more to me why I might be interested in a quote from bin Laden, interested enough to go read the article, than I might have thought about on my own. I didn't know what he meant by apostates. If that makes me provincial in your assessment, fine.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:38 AM on February 4, 2010


Genuinely curious how this imaginary post would go over:

"What Democrats believe - a poll of 2000 self-identified Democrats by FreeRepublic.com. With a little elucidation of some of the polling numbers by John Hinderaker of Powerline."
posted by deern the headlice at 11:57 AM on February 4, 2010


deern the headlice: "Genuinely curious how this imaginary post would go over"

Daily Kos didn't perform the study, Research2000 did (under contract from Kos). If Freep contracted a well-regarded non-partisan polling organization to ask self-identified Dems questions like "Did GWB know about 9/11 ahead of time?", "Was GWB AWOL during the Vietnam War?", and "Do Republicans have horns?", I'd like to think that we could have a reasonable discussion about whatever the results were.

If it was a web survey that showed 95% of Democrats thought Republicans talked with a drawl, I think the reaction would be the same.
posted by Plutor at 12:33 PM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whoops. That last sentence should be: "I DON'T think the reaction would be the same"
posted by Plutor at 12:34 PM on February 4, 2010


don't think the fact that it's Kos is relevant, the methodology appears sound, not all of us read Kos regularly (I don't for one).

I'm not looking for a thread where the lunacy of hard-core Republican 'base' is mocked, I'm looking for an informed debate of the importance of these views to US and global politics, but I guess that's a naive wish. Is the post legit?


I think some of your disappointment over the direction of the discussion stems from two things.

1. Not knowing how Americans and also everyone else views the political leanings and presentation styles of Daily Kos. I consider myself to be very liberal but I often think Daily Kos is too extreme and Fox News like. Regardless of personal politics that sort of news reporting style tends to get people into a confrontational mood. Bringing O'Reilly into the mix didn't help either.

2. Metafilter appears to have very high standards for research methodology and how results are presented. At first glance I really don't think this poll makes the grade. The mocking commentary under every poll result doesn't help either. Also only conservatives were polled. What about moderates and liberals? Often the poll results are shocking regardless of political affiliation.

I think the basic subject "this is what Americans believe based on this poll data" is a good front page post topic. Results from a larger and more respected pollsters like Gallup Poll that are presented with neutral commentary and maybe a few articles related to poll data would probably lead to a better discussion. Maybe some polls from other countries would be an interesting addition as well.
posted by Procloeon at 2:40 PM on February 4, 2010


I just wanted to point out that's it's not too late for wilful to go to AskMe and ask "Was posting to MetaTalk about a Metafilter post a good idea?" to complete a rare trifecta.

Then I guess he'd have to write a song about the whole experience.
posted by lore at 3:11 PM on February 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Posts quietly to Projects.
posted by fixedgear at 4:08 PM on February 4, 2010


I didn't know what he meant by apostates. If that makes me provincial in your assessment, fine.

So you were doing third-person-plural-as-first-person? "Americans [and others]" = "me"?

Wonderful. Now I've insulted someone I respect. Could this day get any fucking better?
posted by jason's_planet at 8:49 PM on February 4, 2010


At least someone gave the mods a Palin post for Friday.
posted by smackfu at 8:41 AM on February 5, 2010


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