WTF? February 15, 2010 8:35 PM   Subscribe

Holy shit, this got weird.

Hopefully we can bring the derail from the "Real Women" thread here. What a mess.
posted by Space Kitty to Etiquette/Policy at 8:35 PM (408 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Oh, please let it die there.... Yeesh.
posted by zarq at 8:38 PM on February 15, 2010


Yah, Space Kitty, I appreciate your intent here, but I don't know what value a Meta post about this can add.
posted by serazin at 8:42 PM on February 15, 2010


I don't see the usefulness of this meta. People who aren't idiots about gender don't need it, and the people who do need it won't use it. That thread was gone by the second comment.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:44 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


One thing nobody's mentioned is the essentially editorial nature of the post. Women's bodies, how we're supposed to feel about them ("we" being variously men and other women) is a hot-button issue, and while well-intentioned, the post was pretty much avowedly about pushing that button.

Metafilter is a lot like everywhere else. If our culture as a whole is completely fucking weird about a topic, with everyone quite certain that their way of looking at it is perfectly proper and possibly the only proper one, a thread on MeFi is going to be a microcosm of that. I don't see how misha could or should have expected anything else.

She (?) states in a comment that she did have an expectation of how the thread was supposed to go; looking for a sort of community affirmation of her own attitudes. I suppose it would have been nice, (since I more or less agree with her personally) but maybe that's not what Metafilter is for, and the thread pretty much demonstrates why.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:44 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I kinda want to pop him in the nose for his mean bullshit comment to Salamandarous.

I also hate the real women have curves meme.

It does make people feel like shit about themselves (example, a dear friend who is a size 0) so cut it out. Even if you mean well it is still hurtful and not a strawman.
posted by kathrineg at 8:46 PM on February 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


It is good metatalk because I say less nose-popping things in the thread now and it can get back to it's SUPER IMPORTANT discussion of how someone is hot. The best of the internet!

It's fashion week, and what she is wearing is not really at all reminiscent of the underwear-as-outerwear trend which is not showing up that much in the commercially-minded collections that have been showing this week. Because women hate to wear clothes that show their nipples because those clothes are incredibly drafty. Also then people can see your nipples.
posted by kathrineg at 8:48 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


hincandenza needs either a timeout, a nap or SOMETHING. the dude is off the wall offensive in there, right now. that thread has a lot of ignorance and nastiness in it, but he raised it to an entirely new level. I suspect he's drunk.
posted by shmegegge at 8:48 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I flagged some of the randomer comments, but it didn't look like it was letting up. Whether this meta is useful or valuable remains to be seen, but I figure it's better than letting the turd float in the punchbowl, no?
posted by Space Kitty at 8:49 PM on February 15, 2010


This is like the nightmare bizarro twin of the "Whatcha Readin'?" thread. I'm a feminist, and an unabashed one at that, and this thread makes me want to give up, run for the hills, and slam my head against trees. I think closing it would probably not be a bad idea.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:49 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think now that hincandenza has flamed himself out of that thread it will calm down.

It was pretty hilarious when he made that long comment about "I'm such a nice guy why don't ladies like me" and IMMEDIATELY followed up by tossing 6 f-bombs at Salamandrous. Like, gee, why don't you have a better dating history I haven't the slightest idea.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:52 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


nevermind hincandenza, I'm still upset about the FPP's title. Who is anyone to define what a real woman is?
posted by desjardins at 8:52 PM on February 15, 2010 [18 favorites]


Really, everyone, let's just remember: Christina Hendricks was sent to our planet to bring peace.
posted by stammer at 8:52 PM on February 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


Holy shit, this got weird.

Yeah, a lot of threads get weird. A lot of people are unreasonable, unable to step back an inch and consider someone else's point of view, unable to let go of their argument when they probably should. People talk at and past each other and not to each other. But as far as whether a MeTa thread is necessary every time that happens? Personally, I don't think so. I know some will disagree, but, I don't think so.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:52 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


That fpp's a mess and I predict this meTa will be one too.
posted by rtha at 8:53 PM on February 15, 2010


I think some people were trying to say the right things, but they just came out wrong. Somebody started with the "Real women had curves" and then got called out by people saying that women without curves aren't robots. What the first people meant (to me and to many others is that it's natural and average for a woman to have curves. It's also natural and acceptable for women to not have a lot of curves if that's the body that has been gifted to them.

In the end, two groups that were trying to do the right things and stepping on each others' toes as the letters got typed.

Now, on a totally separate issue, there are some people that wanted to talk about breasts and how they thought someone was hot or whatever. Most of these people became somewhat agitated when they were called out objectifying women in a thread about the objectification of a woman. Some of them recanted; some didn't.

The final group were those few that were just running an axe through the thread. They weren't gonna take it any more and they started to become the ultimate 6 hit dice regenerator. They knew what they were doing and just kept plugging away.

The first group just need to try to read the best of intentions into what other people are saying and realize that what they say can sound bad if they don't frame it correctly.

The second group needs sensitivity training and the understanding that women aren't just eye candy. Even an actress or a model is not simply defined by how hard your crotch is getting now.

The final group needs to just get out. Seriously. Get. Out. Troll.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:54 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Nah, Meta threads only turn into a mess when they involve either a couple people with history going at each other or a group of people on one side of a hot button issue against another group, even if its a lot smaller.

Since this is just hincandenza being kind of a butthead I doubt this will go anywhere.
posted by Justinian at 8:55 PM on February 15, 2010


Maybe if one good thing can come out of this meta - can we all agree to never use the words "Real Women" unless talking about androids? All women are real women regardless of what they do or don't look like.

I understand the frustration behind it, but it's poison.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:56 PM on February 15, 2010 [30 favorites]


I love to talk about breasts. Did you know that drinking caffiene can change the way your breasts feel??! How wacky is that?

Also, thrush on your nipples: how much would that have sucked in the middle ages? What would you do, put some straw on it or something? OUCH.
posted by kathrineg at 8:58 PM on February 15, 2010


All women are real women regardless of what they do or don't look like.

Must... resist... snark... about... hypocrites... organizing... Michigan Womyn's Music Festival... but... can't...
posted by Justinian at 8:58 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


can we all agree to never use the words "Real Women" unless talking about androids?

Yes. Co-signed.
posted by kathrineg at 8:59 PM on February 15, 2010


can we all agree to never use the words "Real Women"

I have never used and never will use that term. However, I don't think I'll be able to resist "Formless Carbon Blobs" from now on, and I hope people will forgive me on those occasions when I might use it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:59 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Must... resist... snark... about... hypocrites... organizing... Michigan Womyn's Music Festival... but... can't...

They're not hypocrites, they are pretty serious about woman-born-woman only space and always have been. It's the kind of logic where you say "yeah, that makes complete sense, but wow it makes you look like an asshole"

Every time we bring them up 5 dudes go off on the fact that the music there sucks LOL WIMMIN MUSIC; let's not.
posted by kathrineg at 9:02 PM on February 15, 2010


as far as whether a MeTa thread is necessary every time that happens?

Well from a mod perspective, the one thing it allows us to do is sometimes to delete really insane off-topic shit from the original thread because once the MeTa thread is open we can say "go do this shit there, from this point forward" So I deleted hincandenza's big f-bomb comment. I truly think the guy is haunted and got himself in a little deeper than he was expecting and that just went wrong, but there was a lot of stuff going wrong in that thread. I know misha meant well but it was maybe not the greatest framing for that set of links on this site. And yet not terrible enough to kill, just terrible enough that the thread went bad. So here we are.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:03 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hopefully after androids are granted personhood-status my grandkids won't look back and be like "Wow she was a bigot, but different times you know?"
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:04 PM on February 15, 2010 [20 favorites]


What the first people meant (to me and to many others is that it's natural and average for a woman to have curves. It's also natural and acceptable for women to not have a lot of curves if that's the body that has been gifted to them.

The point is that it's disgusting to talk about what body type is "acceptable" for a woman to have.
posted by desjardins at 9:07 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


or a man for that matter, but that's not what we're discussing here.
posted by desjardins at 9:08 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


katherineg: "In summary, let's talk about boned undergarments."
OK! I'm glad this meta was opened just for this fact. Have you looked through hips and curves? It's mostly for not-tiny-waists but many corsets go down to size 30 and they're mostly cut to be roomier up top, I think. But I bet C 'Ricks gets hers custom-made, or the stylist does.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 9:16 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I tell you what's weird in that thread ... zarq thinks she was better in her second appearance on Firefly? That's bizarre.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:17 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The point is that it's disgusting to talk about what body type is "acceptable" for a woman to have.

Well, I read it more as "Look! It's finally acceptable for a woman of curves to be a model in our present age and time! Curves are acceptable in our society! That's good because most girls have them! Callooh, Callay!" I don't think they were saying that we of Metafilter have to sign off on curves or no curves for them to be acceptable. They were glad that a body type is finally getting acceptability from the culture that surrounds it.

If you're talking about it in that way (which I was), it's not disgusting at all to talk about how certain bodies are becoming more acceptable in our culture. In fact, I would say I'm very glad that we're having this conversation about it.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:17 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Every woman should have six fingers on each hand in order to be properly considered a lady. I graciously accept that a below-average woman may only have, say, five fingers, but they must be of extraordinarily fine character, smooth, lean, and cool to the touch.

Alas, my FPP about this subject has been summarily deleted; it was rather unfair and a certain "cortex" wrote something about fingering that was rather vulgar indeed. I remember a day when Meta Filter was a bastion of high-minded and free-spirited discussion but that day is decidedly done. I will deposit the shining product of my intellect elsewhere. Good-bye, dear friends, and good day.
posted by kathrineg at 9:18 PM on February 15, 2010 [13 favorites]


She was better in her second appearance on Firefly! I'd fight with you about this but I'd rather distract you with my naturally enormous breasts.
posted by Mizu at 9:19 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm still upset about the FPP's title. Who is anyone to define what a real woman is?

Yeah, it's a difficult one. You'd think it was a simple matter of whether somebody has XX or XY chromosomes, but then how do you account for transgender women?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:21 PM on February 15, 2010


Does this mean we can't have an FPP about brawny buff men? Should I stop looking for stills of Hugh Jackman naked?

Screw it. I'm going to look.
posted by anniecat at 9:22 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


I will deposit the shining product of my intellect elsewhere.

I wish you personally well, but what you did at this website was post unmitigated drunken aggro mindscatter. Part of a community website is that we all kind of edit each other in a way, but there has to be restraint or it will just be an energy void. Anyway, good luck to you.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Careful there, anniecat-- some of the naked Hugh Jackman in the Wolverine movie is actually naked digital double Hugh Jackman. I wouldn't want you to be cruelly misled.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:35 PM on February 15, 2010


Well, I read it more as "Look! It's finally acceptable for a woman of curves to be a model in our present age and time! Curves are acceptable in our society! That's good because most girls have them! Callooh, Callay!"

Whether or not I think that's something that expressly needs to be called out, I'd like to thank Lord Chancellor for explaining to me what in the fuck the original intent of the post was in the first place. It honestly looked like (sorry) a naked attempt at tossing gasoline onto the slow-burning fire of our culture's collective gender issues.

Which makes for a kickass tagline, now that I think about it.
posted by Ryvar at 9:42 PM on February 15, 2010


What the first people meant (to me and to many others is that it's natural and average for a woman to have curves. It's also natural and acceptable for women to not have a lot of curves if that's the body that has been gifted to them.

You might like to think that, Lord Chancellor, but I see it get thrown around plenty by people, especially women, who mostly seem to be happy to take a dump on women who are slender or skinny. It's hardly surprising that plenty of people don't look kindly on it, and when it moves to people using the term, having been told that's how it ends up working, and, like misha in thread, continuing to do so and insisting everyone who objects is the one with the problem, it's hard to credit much good intent being involved.

Does this mean we can't have an FPP about brawny buff men?

Geeze, it hasn't been that long since the naked Dolph Lundgren pics.

(I learned he's in proportion all over.)
posted by rodgerd at 9:46 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck yes, is everyone (both men and women) ready to put a bullet in "that girl needs a sammitch" finally? Because degrading someone else to make yourself feel better, or score points with someone who you think will appreciate it, is sad and sick and was tired the moment it began.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:47 PM on February 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Those Prince videos in the other post are pretty awesome.
posted by herodotus at 9:53 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fuck yes, is everyone (both men and women) ready to put a bullet in "that girl needs a sammitch" finally?

Of course not. Judging people on looks is still going pretty damn strong; just check the Kevin Smith vs. Southwest thread.
posted by graventy at 9:55 PM on February 15, 2010


That fpp's a mess and I predict this meTa will be one too.

Well, I personally thought that "Wow she's beautiful" and "Wow, she's a great actress" and "Wow, somebody was snarky to her and her husband stood up for her," was a pretty weak FPP.

But sex sells, even on Metafilter
posted by SLC Mom at 9:57 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Did katherineg just flameout? What is even happening here? hnnnggg
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:58 PM on February 15, 2010


that thread was derailed in an entirely disgusting (and predictable) way. As someone who thinks southwest's policy is perfectly reasonable as long as it's carried out fairly & with sensitivity, I fucking hate being on the same side as those "stop eating so much! I hate fat people! hurf durf!" morons.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:59 PM on February 15, 2010


Well, I read it more as "Look! It's finally acceptable for a woman of curves to be a model in our present age and time! Curves are acceptable in our society! That's good because most girls have them! Callooh, Callay!" I don't think they were saying that we of Metafilter have to sign off on curves or no curves for them to be acceptable. They were glad that a body type is finally getting acceptability from the culture that surrounds it.

This is also how I read it.
posted by rtha at 10:00 PM on February 15, 2010


Did katherineg just flameout? What is even happening here? hnnnggg

wait WHAT? apparently! I thought her post was joking about... what with the fingers and the good day... bah, that sucks.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:00 PM on February 15, 2010


Well, I personally thought that "Wow she's beautiful" and "Wow, she's a great actress" and "Wow, somebody was snarky to her and her husband stood up for her," was a pretty weak FPP.

Like Jessamyn, I didn't think it was great either but didn't think it was quite worth nuking as far as that goes. There's times we wish we had time machines, of course, and could take pictures to bring back with us to explain why we went the way we did on an iffy deletion, but that kind of tech's probably not in mefi's office budget.

Anyway, there's a whole "Christina Hendricks is kind of a favorite of scifi/Whedonry nerds (via Firefly) and TV/vintage nerds (via Mad Men)" angle in all this too, that makes it a bit more on-point with some of the established Things Mefites Like trends around here than Here Is A Random Actress would otherwise be.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:03 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


yeah, I took that six-fingered lady thing as a total joke, and then I was confused by the shame-y response someone gave, and now her account's disabled? aw. wtf indeed.
posted by palomar at 10:03 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did katherineg just flameout? What is even happening here? hnnnggg

I'm honestly not precisely sure what the deal is, but as far as I can figure based in part on the note she left while closing her account, that was not a genuine leaving-and-never-coming-back flameout so much as a jokey temporary departure. I'd like to be able to state that with more absolute certainty and at the same time I kind of want to give her a noogie at the moment for pulling that kind of stunt on what's already been a weird fucking night, but in any case I think this is a Don't Panic moment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:05 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Alas, my FPP about this subject has been summarily deleted

Yeah, there's no deleted post that could possibly be from katherineg, so she's making some sort of statement with the above, but whatever it is makes no sense. 89244 and 89243 are deleted but not from her; there's no 89245 yet and all the others are accounted for.
posted by mediareport at 10:07 PM on February 15, 2010


Did katherineg just flameout? What is even happening here? hnnnggg

*brain explodes, covering the walls and the crowd in strawberry jam*
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:08 PM on February 15, 2010


oh, okay. wheeee, noogies for everyone!
posted by palomar at 10:11 PM on February 15, 2010


the guy is haunted

i think he just ate some bad mold, he'll be fine in the morning

k im off to make another movie
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:12 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


So what, is the world finally safe for voluptuous red-haired actresses again? Can I go to bed now?
posted by nanojath at 10:15 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know about the actresses, but I did my part to make the world safer for voluptuous red-headed narwhals tonight.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:23 PM on February 15, 2010


Yeah, there's no deleted post that could possibly be from katherineg, so she's making some sort of statement with the above, but whatever it is makes no sense.

I mean it was clearly a pretty funny joke meant to lighten the atmosphere, I don't know what Burhanistan was referring to unless that was also sarcasm.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:45 PM on February 15, 2010


I'd just assumed that kathrineg's head had exploded as a result of cognitive dissonance from trying to advance some kind of "WON'T ANYONE THINK OF THE SIZE 0 WOMEN?!" argument.
posted by fleacircus at 10:46 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I mean it was clearly a pretty funny joke

I bow to your superior humor sensory apparatus. From here it just looked weird.
posted by mediareport at 10:54 PM on February 15, 2010


I want katherineg to come back, and I'm going to sit here and hold my breath until I get my way and she does. So there.
posted by jokeefe at 10:59 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I bow to your superior humor sensory apparatus. From here it just looked weird.

katherineg and I must have similarly weird senses of humor, because:

I graciously accept that a below-average woman may only have, say, five fingers, but they must be of extraordinarily fine character, smooth, lean, and cool to the touch.

is one of the funniest things I've read recently.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:09 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yeah, there's no deleted post that could possibly be from kathrineg, so she's making some sort of statement with the above, but whatever it is makes no sense.

I bow to your superior humor sensory apparatus. From here it just looked weird.

Jeepers, given what we know about Cortex's general demeanor around here, I'd think mention of his vulgar 'fingering' deletion-reason would have marked katherineg's comment as pretty unassailably ironic --even if nothing else prior to that did the trick for you.

(Or if you're feigning incomprehension, that's just not nice.)
posted by nobody at 11:18 PM on February 15, 2010


George turned in his saddle and stared back up the mountain road. Just that afternoon, a final Metafilter thread had been posted that smoothly weaved together inflammatory links involving obesity, the use of Macintosh computers, the social history of rape humor, and Sarah Palin. This was the last place from which one could get a clear view of the Metafilter compound. The squat, angular buildings were silhouetted against the afterglow of the sunset; here and there lights gleamed like portholes in the sides of an ocean liner. Electric lights, of course, sharing the same circuit as the Metafilter server. How much longer would they share it? wondered George. Would the site's users smash up the server in their rage and disappointment? Or would they just flame out quietly and begin commenting all over again with disused sockpuppets originally registered to ask embarrassing questions about S&M?

He knew exactly what was happening up on the site at this very moment. Mathowie and pb would be sitting in their silk robes, inspecting the sheets as the junior moderators carried them away from the printers and pasted them into the great volumes. No one would be saying anything. The only sound would be the incessant patter, the never-ending rainstorm, of twenty thousand users in a hundred distant cities clawing out the angry comments that each instant now flashed digitally to the site. The server itself was utterly silent as it flashed through its thousands of calculations a second. Three hours of this, thought George, was enough to start anyone climbing up the wall.

"There she is!" called Chuck, pointing down into the valley. "Ain’t she beautiful!"

She certainly was, thought George. The battered old recumbent bicycle lay at the end of the bike path like a tiny silver sliver. In two hours she would be bearing them away to freedom and sanity. It was a thought worth savoring like a plate of heirloom kidney beans and rooster meat. George let it roll around in his mind as the pony trudged patiently down the slope.

The swift night of the high Cascades was now almost upon them. Fortunately the road was very good, as roads went in this region, and they were both carrying torches. There was not the slightest danger, only a certain discomfort from the bitter cold. The sky overhead was perfectly clear and ablaze with the familiar, friendly stars. At least there would be no risk, thought George, of the bicycle being unrideable due to weather conditions. That had been his only remaining worry.

He began to sing but gave it up after a while. This vast arena of mountains, gleaming like whitely hooded ghosts on every side, did not encourage such ebullience. Presently George glanced at his watch.

"Should be there in an hour," he called back over his shoulder to Chuck. Then he added, in an afterthought, "Wonder if the thread has finished its run and been deleted? It was due about now."

Chuck didn’t reply, so George swung round in his saddle. He could just see Chuck’s face, a white oval turned toward the sky.

"Look," whispered Chuck, and George lifted his eyes to heaven.

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.
posted by killdevil at 11:18 PM on February 15, 2010 [23 favorites]


I kind of want to give her a noogie at the moment

So do I! In the eternal words of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, kathrineg, don't leave me this way!

in any case I think this is a Don't Panic moment

Okay, I won't. I'll just go mope over here and edit my manuscript. So, not panicky, but, yeah, definitely mopey.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:38 PM on February 15, 2010


desjardins (and many others): I'm still upset about the FPP's title. Who is anyone to define what a real woman is?

I understood it to be a direct reference to the movie Real Women Have Curves, which is about women learning to stay true to themselves, regardless of what family or society tells them they should be.

Maybe most people haven't heard of the movie.
posted by tzikeh at 11:48 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's a crying shame this post wasn't made during Mad Men season, because then the only flame-war would've been between people obsessed with Mad Men and people who are sick of hearing about Mad Men.
posted by creasy boy at 11:56 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


creasy boy - sooooooo... whaddaya think about Mad Men?
posted by tzikeh at 12:00 AM on February 16, 2010


I think that Christina Hendricks plays her character very well, but Peggy is just a thousand times awesomer.
posted by creasy boy at 12:10 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm probably wasting my time even posting this, since MeFi is a very unsympathetic crowd when it wants to be, such as hollers that I'm in an incredibly sexist pig to a blatant troll to jessamyn's wonderfully armchair psychiatric diagnosis of "he's haunted". Thanks, lady!

Honestly, the holier-than-thou people suck. The f-bomb that jessamyn deleted was because someone said "Try looking at the MSW of craigslist and then say that with a straight face". So I did exactly that- after which someone almost immediately said "Oh, are you REALLY using craigslist as an example?!?".

I mean, seriously? It shows the person in question didn't even read the thread to see I was responding to someone- when I even quoted the comment from joannemerriam right at the beginning of that post! How am I supposed to react when dealing with someone who isn't even being reasonable that point? I lost my shit, and then walked away.

It REALLY gets frustrating when not only does every post that is even tangentially about women's bodies quickly have a fair share of posters decrying the objectification and patriarchy and what have you, but that any attempt to suggest that's not a completely fair assessment just gets jumped on. I'm sick of feeling like I have to defend the average guy against accusations that we're all monstrous creatures. Yes, I do lose my shit from time to time, because quite frankly it's incredibly sexist to keep talking about what "men" do, or how every neurotic hangup a woman has about her body is because of something that efffectively I somehow did, when I'm right here reading these comments. And of course, every attempt to defend that gets passive-aggressively ratcheted up with counter-accusations of how horrible I am, or how ridiculous my arguments when they're direct responses to something someone asked.

And not that any of you know me at all, or would even try because you're too busy internet high-fiving, but if you did, and talked to the people who knew me, you'd find a radically different person than you try to paint here. And the cherry picking and intentional mis-reading of comments I've made is equally frustrating.

But really, a MeTa thread? Are we so "haunted" we have to spin up a meta thread to continue a pile-on of how much of a twisted, sexist pig I apparently am- something I'm sure would be a surprise to everyone who actually knows me? I guess I could just ignore the things said about me, but since this thread exists it's obvious that to let things slide would make me singularly unique. So I comment, like every other "haunted" person on Metafilter who feels they and their opinions are the most important voices in the damned universe.

Fucking people fucking suck.
posted by hincandenza at 12:26 AM on February 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


Dude you got cold busted right here.
posted by creasy boy at 12:30 AM on February 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


I just remember the time hincandenza threatened to kick my ass. Or murder me, I think. That was balls. But... I'm somewhat hourglassy. Maybe that's why I'm still alive.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:32 AM on February 16, 2010


Metafilter is haunted. And not by hincandenza.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:50 AM on February 16, 2010


creasy - you're comparing an actress doing a good job to a character being awesome!

PISTOLS AT DAWN!

(Poor Joan. If not for those few scant years between her and Peggy, she would have had the world at her feet.)
posted by tzikeh at 1:03 AM on February 16, 2010


hincandenza, there probably wouldn't be a "pile-on" to talk about how sexist you are if you'd, you know, not been a douche all over that thread. Honest to god, man. You were losing your shit all over the place railing about how people were saying all men everywhere are assholes to women at all times, but no one was saying that at at all. And in your misguided railing against an argument that wasn't being presented at all (except in your own fevered brain), you flailed about and insulted anyone who tried to explain to you that you had gotten the point wrong, calling them crazy, deluded, et cetera.

Frankly, all you managed to do was make a total ass of yourself, as well as make it plainly clear why you're having trouble with the laydeeeez.
posted by palomar at 1:10 AM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm just saying, if I were some dude in the office, like Pete, I would lust after Joan but I would be in love with Peggy.

Whereas in real life, Christina Hendricks seems to be an eminently reasonable woman, and Elisabeth Moss is a scientologist, so...make of that what you will.
posted by creasy boy at 1:10 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wahhhhh I threw my commentary into the thread because it didn't like it was gonna get a MeTa wahhhhhhh!!!

Wait that's the baby, brb.
posted by cavalier at 1:12 AM on February 16, 2010


I don't see the usefulness of this meta. People who aren't idiots about gender don't need it (Hincandenza and others on his side of the argument are idiots)

I kinda want to pop him in the nose
(I want to commit violence against hincandenza, and feel I have the right to announce this to the world at large)

hincandenza needs either a timeout, a nap or SOMETHING.
(Hincandenza has the mental equipment of a child; I feel okay infantilizing my opponents, a technique historically used to belittle women, but now apparently an equal-opportunity slur)

I truly think the guy is haunted (Hincandenza is...what? Possessed? Mentally ill? I can't even imagine what this blast of nastiness was intended to convey)

I guess hincandenza shouldn't have called that lady a frump, but wow. Metafilter's tolerance for nasty language seems pretty variable.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 1:19 AM on February 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


Elisabeth Moss is a scientologist

NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo
posted by tzikeh at 1:23 AM on February 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


I know, right? So disappointing.
posted by creasy boy at 1:34 AM on February 16, 2010


But, of course, it was like totally okay to make fun of that Nevada gigolo's teeth for an entire thread.
posted by Netzapper at 1:59 AM on February 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry for the boner joke, thanks for deleting it cortex.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:05 AM on February 16, 2010


hincandenza needs either a timeout, a nap or SOMETHING. (Hincandenza has the mental equipment of a child; I feel okay infantilizing my opponents, a technique historically used to belittle women, but now apparently an equal-opportunity slur)

So you believe it was okay that women used to be belittled and infantilized. That's a rather unusual position to take. Personally, I couldn't disagree more.
posted by zarq at 3:35 AM on February 16, 2010


Yes, I do lose my shit from time to time, because quite frankly it's incredibly sexist to keep talking about what "men" do, or how every neurotic hangup a woman has about her body is because of something that efffectively I somehow did, when I'm right here reading these comments.

No one was saying that. They weren't even implying it. And they sure as hell weren't saying a damned thing about you personally until you lost your shit.
posted by zarq at 3:36 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one who read katherineg's comment as a tongue-in-cheek allusion to Anne Boleyn? Yes? Oh, ok, I'll just go back to watching The Tudors.

Christina Hendricks would make an awesome Anne Boleyn if she dyed her hair black. Wicked awesome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:47 AM on February 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


No one was saying that. They weren't even implying it. And they sure as hell weren't saying a damned thing about you personally until you lost your shit.

This. Dude, you are bringing a lot of baggage to the discussion, rather than responding to, and reflecting on, what is actually said in actual words on the page.

Seriously, if words on a website are making you this angry, step away and do something else for a while. I've taken breaks before for that very reason. When I can laugh about it instead of cursing, I come back.
posted by Forktine at 4:20 AM on February 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


So you believe it was okay that women used to be belittled and infantilized. That's a rather unusual position to take. Personally, I couldn't disagree more.

Perhaps you think that having men AND women being shat on in a way that was previously mostly used against women is progress; you're entitled to your own opinions on what constitutes improvement. Frankly, I think it's pretty nasty coming from a group of people who pride themselves on being particularly 'advanced' in their political and social notions.

I'm sure you understood that this was what I was getting at; frankly, I'm a little disappointed to see such deliberate disingenuousness from a poster I previously respected as someone who was open, broad-minded and willing to listen to alternative viewpoints.

Actually, to be perfectly precise about my objection, I'd have to say that I'm not bothered by bitchery and rough-and-tumble per se; I am bothered by the double standard that says posters who are outliers to the Metafilter political norm must be very circumspect in how they address others, while the more orthodox are given carte blanche to come out with all guns blazing. I advocate a fair fight, nothing more.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 4:30 AM on February 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


Haunted was a great record by Poe.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:38 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to Poe? It's taking her a while to put out anything new.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 AM on February 16, 2010


hincandenza -

1. Just 'cause someone is being shitty to you doesn't mean you have to be shitty back. You choose your own behavior.

2. You don't have to defend the average guy (what is that anyway?).

3. Much as you're probably different in real life, so are those you're arguing with.

4. This MeTa thread was started for reasons other than you, so don't make it all about you.

5. Hug?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:29 AM on February 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


5. Hug?

Alright, Blatcher, what's your angle?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:41 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's gearing up for the next great enspousening.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:56 AM on February 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


hincandenza, I've never noticed your character on this site before. Occasionally I recognize the name, let out my David Foster Wallace laugh (you know what kind of laugh that is), and move on, but this is the first thread where I actively noticed you as a participant, and you did not come off well.

I'm still kind of new to the posting on MeFi thing, after lurking a whole bunch of years, but one of the things I always enjoyed about the community was how it's willing to call out a bad post, or to discuss issues that maybe not all the members here want to discuss, or feel is necessary. It means taking a step back and saying, "Hey. Maybe a series of stories about a woman's breasts isn't the most interesting story, and maybe the conversation building up here is a little bit offensive to some people."

I'm a fan of Mad Men, and I really don't like that in most discussions of her, there's a significant bunch that goes "I ONLY WATCH IT FOR JOANS TITS" and pats themselves on the backs for reminding everybody how good Joan looks. I mean, the character is brilliantly vivacious, but so's everybody else on the show. It's a goddamn sexy show. And when all that delightful energy gets reduced to "look at the girl with the big boobies" it ruins what might otherwise turn into a deep, thoughtful beanplating, and I'm forced to read other things to intellectually satisfy me, like books. That sucks.

If you don't get that constant reinforcement, then you get Reddit. Does anybody else read Reddit? Because this last day has been pathetic. Somebody staged an elaborate break-up that involved jerking off into her face cream, pretending he was going to propose to her, having her give him oral, and then standing her up in the middle of a restaurant. Right now the top story is called Two girls on Reddit Roulette. See, we do exist! When I read the comments I kind of wish there were the sorts of complainers from MetaFilter over there starting a thousand-comment discussion of sexism. Maybe that's a good thing for a community to have. Maybe it stops them from acting like dicks unintentionally.

Whatever happened to Poe? It's taking her a while to put out anything new.

Forget about Poe, I want her brother to start putting out. Two books in ten years is not enough.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:57 AM on February 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


Somebody staged an elaborate break-up...(grossness snipped)

I want to thank you for sharing such a warm and bright side of humanity from another website with us. It has truly opened my eyes to the beauty and wonder of the humanity.

Thank you for helping my start off the day just so, with that wonderful nugget.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:04 AM on February 16, 2010


I try.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:16 AM on February 16, 2010


Does this mean we can't have an FPP about brawny buff men? Should I stop looking for stills of Hugh Jackman naked?

Screw it. I'm going to look.


Sometimes I am helpful in the weirdest ways ( Shirtless pics, but NSFW site)
posted by The Whelk at 6:27 AM on February 16, 2010


If you don't get that constant reinforcement, then you get Reddit..

Actually, no. It's not inevitable that any group of men, left to their own devices, will become face-cream-jizzing misogynists. You may be offended by some Metafilter men's crude appreciations of C. Hendricks' feminine endowments, and that's cool - you have the right to make your complaints about that. But you have no reason, beyond your own stereotyping of male persons, to suggest that any of those men would ever become as vengeful and hateful as the fellow who made that Reddit post.

Different men are different; they won't always act the same. And there are men who are able to stop themselves descending into complete depravity - with only their own ethics and morals to rely on, and without needing to be policed by women. Men aren't monkeys or fractious tots; women don't have to be zookeepers or governesses. We can be adults relating to one another as adults.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 6:29 AM on February 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Whatever happened to Poe?

AFAIK, she was last seen working with Rhys Fulber's Conjure One project. "Center of the Sun" is one of Poe's tracks.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:30 AM on February 16, 2010


But you have no reason, beyond your own stereotyping of male persons, to suggest that any of those men would ever become as vengeful and hateful as the fellow who made that Reddit post.

Oh, don't get your panties in a wad, mister.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:33 AM on February 16, 2010


Careful there, anniecat-- some of the naked Hugh Jackman in the Wolverine movie is actually naked digital double Hugh Jackman. I wouldn't want you to be cruelly misled.

I WAS CRUELLY MISLED! Like even when he came up and out of the water tank, it wasn't him? Are you sure?

This is turning out to be a fine day grumble grumble.
posted by anniecat at 6:36 AM on February 16, 2010


I wish that every person in that thread (and this one) would just pretend they were having this conversation at a meetup.
posted by thejoshu at 6:38 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I remember a day when Meta Filter was a bastion of high-minded and free-spirited discussion but that day is decidedly done. I will deposit the shining product of my intellect elsewhere.

Have things changed that much since May 2009 when she first joined?
posted by anniecat at 6:39 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Actually, no. It's not inevitable that any group of men, left to their own devices, will become face-cream-jizzing misogynists.

Ah, sorry! I guess I didn't say what I wanted to say very well.

I don't think all men are secretly inner seething misogynists. Actually I doubt very many of them are. However, everybody is somewhat ignorant, and in the case of an online community, a lot of people's individual ignorances can lead to somewhat huge and ugly biases, without some very loud and brave people willing to constantly remind people that they might have been on the edge.

Thing is, I don't think Reddit is a bad community. It still fosters a lot of intelligent conversation, it has some wonderful people in it, and I still very much enjoy reading it. But it uses a threaded conversation system, and it's not moderated, and as a result, there are phases wherein a bunch of people's prejudices build up at once and you get a period of very ugly feelings seething through the site. This one culminated in the post I linked to, and right now there's a backlash of people criticizing that poster for what he's done. But there is no center like there is in MetaFilter, wherein conversations wind their way to MetaTalk and either certain precedents are brought up or new ones are established. So instead you get a slow constant degradation, where every few months somebody lowers the bar a little bit.

So I like how MetaFilter kind of pokes these things when they're swelling up too much. And so I disagree with the people who rant about how they hate the way some MeFi posts lead to boyzone accusations and long discussions about sexism. Not only do I enjoy the actual debates, but I enjoy the result, which is that most people here think before they say anything.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:39 AM on February 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Have things changed that much since May 2009 when she first joined? (anniecat)

I'm pretty sure that, despite her (temporary?) departure, kathrineg was joking.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:43 AM on February 16, 2010


Elisabeth Moss is a scientologist

I DIDN'T SEE THAT i still like the show I DIDN'T SEE THAT i still like the show I DIDN'T SEE THAT i still like the show I DIDN'T SEE THAT i still like the show I DIDN'T SEE THAT i still like the show I DIDN'T SEE THAT i still like the show I DIDN'T SEE THAT i still like the show I DIDN'T SEE THAT...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:45 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I could have lead a perfectly happy life without ever having read these two threads. Thanks for nothing, MetaFilter!
posted by JeffK at 6:46 AM on February 16, 2010


You know that Jayne Mansfield had some big breasts.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:52 AM on February 16, 2010


Is this where we talkin' 'bout the wimminfolk?

I likes me the purty ones.
posted by Max Power at 6:56 AM on February 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


I wish that every person in that thread (and this one) would just pretend they were having this conversation at a meetup.

Are you going to finish off those taters or can I have'em?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 AM on February 16, 2010


jessamyn's wonderfully armchair psychiatric diagnosis of "he's haunted". Thanks, lady!

My apologies. It was late at night and I'd been babysitting that thread all day only to watch it teeter on the edge of falling apart when I was ready to go to sleep. My opinion, which I could have expressed better, is that I think you bring baggage to threads that has more to do with your own.... I don't really know a good way to put it. Your own concerns? Your own inner demons? Your own history with the site?

I think we all do it to some extent but some of us do it with what seems to be a disproportionate rage, and that sort of thing kills threads dead. kathrineg does it with a sense of humor that sometimes only she can understand [and yes I'm sure she'll be back and yes I wish she'd chosen some other thread to make weird mod comments in - welcome to the club cortex!] and a lot of people clearly have different readings of the Real Women Have Curves title, an innocently used title but one that brought a lot of baggage to the table for people.

I really thought that the SW/Kevin Smith thread went pretty well despite the presence of a few [very few] "just eat less!" people and this thread went pretty well despite people calling out people for calling out boyzone antics in a way that wasn't actually happening. I feel that we've got people here who are so attenuated to how these discussions go, that they're saying "oh not THIS SHIT AGAIN" before that shit even shows up. It's homeopathy of some stripe.

I've been trying, and I think cortex has too, to do a closer read of these threads, to be more present, to try to help them not be so wretched. To tell people if they want to have the same old fights they should go to MeTa sooner rather than later. We're actually deleting fewer comments but having a stronger presence. I don't know if it works better or worse, but it's a little time-intensive.

So, again, my apologies for a tossed off comment that didn't say what I meant.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:57 AM on February 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


I will deposit the shining product of my intellect elsewhere.

I take that to mean she's in the can and will be back later.
posted by electroboy at 6:59 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know that Jayne Mansfield had some big breasts.

And I would like to ask you, Joe Beese, personally to try to do a little less of this "stir the pot" sort of thing around here.

It may not be fair that people now see you as "that early threadshtting guy" since you participate in a lot of ways around here, but again, you could do a lot to dispell that notion and appear to be someone participating here sincerely if you'd stop making comments like the one you just did.

If you just want to be here to make lulzy comments and attract favorites, that's your option, but I'd like to not play whack-a-mole with you in threads that are already contentious enough.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:00 AM on February 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


jessamyn: "It may not be fair that people now see you as "that early threadshtting guy" since you participate in a lot of ways around here, but again, you could do a lot to dispell that notion and appear to be someone participating here sincerely if you'd stop making comments like the one you just did. "

By my count, I am the 104th commenter in this thread.

I was not aware that MetaTalk threads could be shat in, as I understand the term - let alone with a Seinfeld quote. I stand informed.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:18 AM on February 16, 2010

Whatever happened to Poe? It's taking her a while to put out anything new.
I get the impression that Haunted didn't do as well as the studio wanted it to, and they declined to record the other albums they'd contracted Poe for. So she's probably in studio limbo where she can't go to another studio because she still technically has a contract, but the studio she has a contract with isn't interested in promoting her.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:32 AM on February 16, 2010


hincandenza, there probably wouldn't be a "pile-on" to talk about how sexist you are if you'd, you know, not been a douche all over that thread.

Yeah, an honest guy would have admitted that men are dogs and not put himself in a situation like that.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:46 AM on February 16, 2010


This seems to be a thread about gender issues. Can I raise an issue? I don't disagree with the deletion of this post, but the deletion reason ("Is this not point-and-laugh-at-the-shades-of-timecube-crank stuff?") trivializes what is actually a fairly widespread point of view. No one with common sense takes Timecube seriously, but there are enormous numbers of people who subscribe to the ideas expressed in the link and I don't think it's right to dismiss that as though it's not a real, and troubling, phenomenon.

I really do not say this to stir shit up, in any way, I just felt like the implication that these ideas are as fringe as Timecube needed to be refuted a little bit?

Since we're trying to be better about this stuff?
posted by prefpara at 7:50 AM on February 16, 2010


By my count, I am the 104th commenter in this thread.

I believe she's referring to the thread this post was about.
posted by shmegegge at 8:00 AM on February 16, 2010


Yeah, Joe, I was going to jump in and mention that most of MeFi is not as ridiculously saturated with Seinfeld as you or I (or, if you can believe it, the recently-departed Zambrano) and there's just no way that comment was going to be understood in its "proper" context by most people viewing it.

I get it, and it's great for me, and I totally believe you had nothing but the best intentions, but just make sure to be sensitive to your audience. Even in MetaTalk, there are plenty of ways to piss people off, even if you had no desire to do so. Anytime I make reference to Seinfeld, Simpsons, Arrested, or whatever else might have replaced normal discourse in my mind, I always pause a moment and make sure that comment will, at worst, be a non sequitur for anyone not familiar with the source material.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:00 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


While I agree that the attitudes expressed in that deleted link are more widespread than we'd like, I think the Timecube-y nature of the link was not going to encourage any sort of useful discussion or "Aha!" moments. It's not that the ideas are fringey Timecube, but the presentation in that link sure was (in my opinion).
posted by rtha at 8:01 AM on February 16, 2010


I don't think it's right to dismiss that as though it's not a real, and troubling, phenomenon.

While I agree with you generally, that website was a more-Timecube like approach. Just because someone's got a kernel of a sound idea inside all the crazy does not mean that their website is a good post for MetaFilter. That was, I am fairly certain, what cortex was trying to get across.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:02 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't see the usefulness of this meta. People who aren't idiots about gender don't need it (Hincandenza and others on his side of the argument are idiots)

Not idiots, idiots about gender (as I said.) You can be one without being the other, and calling women delusional and sisters of frumpiness and so on qualifies I believe.

I ought to have used gentler language but I stand by my assertion.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:03 AM on February 16, 2010


Oh - of course any women who say "all men suck rah rah they are rapists" are idiots about gender too. If you find any in that last thread I'd be happy to let them know I think they're overboard, too.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:04 AM on February 16, 2010


This seems to be a thread about gender issues. Can I raise an issue?

Frank Costanza recognizes user #65215.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:07 AM on February 16, 2010


shmegegge: "I believe she's referring to the thread this post was about"

I wondered about that - since I was comment #6 there.

However, the post did say "Here's a picture of X in underwear. X is tired of people talking about her body." Frankly, I do not understand how commenting "If you want people to stop talking about your body, stop posing in underwear" could qualify as "thread-shitting".

Truly, I do not understand.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:09 AM on February 16, 2010


This seems to be a thread about gender issues. Can I raise an issue? I don't disagree with the deletion of this post, but the deletion reason ("Is this not point-and-laugh-at-the-shades-of-timecube-crank stuff?") trivializes what is actually a fairly widespread point of view.

A big part of the problem with that post was that the poster didn't make any clear attempt to try and communicate why this 22-page manifest/screed was being linked or worth working through; beyond that, really, the framing of the post came off to me specifically like "hey check out the various fucked up things this guy is saying".

Which, when there's a specific reason to look or a specific context in which that guy saying that stuff is noteworthy (e.g. is he a public or esteemed figure? Is there some notable historical setting in which he's saying this stuff? Is there a reason to be surprised that this guy in particular is saying it or that it's at this moment that he's holding forth?), that sort of Holy What The Fuck post can kind of make sense (even if they're still often not great and sometimes genuine trainwrecks). But just pointing the site at a gigantic screed with no framing other than in essence "oh hey look at THIS shit" is a really bad way to go about it.

I didn't want to trivialize the issue, but that post was very much rock-and-hard-place territory as moderation goes because it was also really, really not a good way to approach making a post. The Timecube reference has more to do with the guy's pages-long blogifesto approach (and the presiding Jesus Will You Look At That mood of the post) than the specific content of his ideas, however fucked they may be.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:10 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Jessamyn, and I completely understand why that post was not great for MetaFilter. I am just sufficiently troubled by the MRA stuff to be perhaps hypersensitive to any suggestion that it's not a serious social problem, unlike Timecube (which seems to be more of a serious mental health issue for one specific individual). Having expressed my view, I now feel totally heard and hope I have not come across as fighty or critical.
posted by prefpara at 8:12 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


& thanks, cortex. Your explanation makes perfect sense to me. Really I don't mean it as a Serious Problem With Moderation, I just wanted to say my piece about the issue, & I have.
posted by prefpara at 8:14 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I believe she's referring to the thread this post was about

For what it's worth, I'd guess she was referring more to the whole aggregate pattern of behavior to which throwing in a poorly-considered Big Tits reference, early or late, is a constituent. I appreciate that you've been making an effort, Joe, I really do, and like Jess I think you make a lot of totally solid contributions around here, but the "Joe Beese, Guy Who Pokes Shit" thing is hard to shake if you keep poking shit even if it's only a fraction of your participation. I'm not sure what else to say about it other than it'd be awesome to see it not happen if it's something you aren't particularly focused on having be Your Thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 AM on February 16, 2010


No sweat, prefpara, I totally understand.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 AM on February 16, 2010


Frank Costanza recognizes user #65215.

Seinfeld reference, innocuous for anyone who doesn't get it, and a link for anyone who wants to get it.

This, sir, is why you have so many spouses.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:16 AM on February 16, 2010


Frankly, I do not understand how commenting "If you want people to stop talking about your body, stop posing in underwear" could qualify as "thread-shitting".

a)she said she was bored of it happening all the time.
b)she did one magazine shoot after years of simply acting, fully clothed, and the talk about her body predates the magazine shoot.
c)doing a shoot like the one in the magazine IS a response to talk about her body. One thing it says is "I'm comfortable in this body, you can't make me feel uncomfortable about it." which is a perfectly reasonable response to constant critique and scrutiny.
d)what she chooses to wear, either in a photo shoot or elsewhere, is not an invitation to be judged. that people WILL do so is not the point. the point is that judging her body is bad for women, bad for her, and bad for society in general and that behavior is what we're trying to create less of. to say that she's the problem when the problem is how people REACT to her denies agency to the actual problem of sexism, misogyny and objectification in this country and instead blames her for having the audacity to dress how she pleases and be photographed if she wants.

saying "if you don't want people talking about your body, don't do photo shoots in your underwear" is ONLY a reasonable thing to say if you don't actually give it any thought. it's neither intelligent, funny, fair or even neutral. it's just part of the problem. the problem, again, is that women should be able to dress however they want without people constantly judging their shape, size or endowments. posing scantily clad or nude IS a valid way to make that point, and to claim otherwise is defend sexism, misogyny and objectification even if you don't realize it.
posted by shmegegge at 8:22 AM on February 16, 2010 [25 favorites]


Truly, I do not understand.

I feel like you're being willfully obtuse, but she was addressing two separate issues.
posted by graventy at 8:23 AM on February 16, 2010


More on topic, you know what I think part of the problem is? Those who recognize that women are at an extreme disadvantage (their bodies are constantly scrutinized) want to pull all the way back to even it out (never scrutinize a woman's body). That's a common mechanism for social change - you push hard in the opposite direction, go too far, then the pendulum swings back a bit as a reaction, then forward again, and eventually we hope it finds a balance near the center.

In opposition come the people who want to shortcut this and just jump to the middle position (it is natural for people to scrutinize bodies just as we scrutinize all objects and ideas, let us scrutinize male and female bodies equally). The problem with this is that we haven't really evened out the social playing field and our words and actions are still in the shadow of a lifetime of sexist oppression. That's why we have to initially push past the reasonable middle position of equal scrutiny, which is only truly fair in a fair society/context.
posted by prefpara at 8:27 AM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


That's why we have to initially push past the reasonable middle position of equal scrutiny, which is only truly fair in a fair society/context.

Does that mean that I can talk about what men I find hot s'more?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:29 AM on February 16, 2010


Does that mean that I can talk about what men I find hot s'more?

Oh, and I didn't mean to suggest that it would be totally unproblematic for us to scrutinize male and female bodies an equal amount. Obviously, there are OK ways to have that conversation and Not OK ways to have that conversation, and that is true regardless of the gender being scrutinized.
posted by prefpara at 8:30 AM on February 16, 2010


listen: when I said he needed "a timeout, a nap or SOMETHING" I was referring to a MetaFilter timeout, not a child's punishment, and the nap was because (as I said in the part of my comment you DIDN'T quote, choosing instead to actually write words down that I never said) I suspect he was drunk.
- shmegegge

Oh, you were just accusing him of being a drunkard. Obviously, that's much nicer than calling someone a child. I agree you never said some of those words - I was quoting zarq. I should have noted that - my bad. Of course, you could have ctrl-F'd through the thread to check if someone else had said those things, but maybe you were like, high on drugs or something, so it's OK.

Not idiots, idiots about gender (as I said.)
- Solon and Thanks

Yes, and I quoted that part of what you said. I really don't see what difference it makes. I wouldn't call someone an idiot for not knowing how to make a dress or fix a fanbelt; it would be hurtful, even though those are quite specific areas, and the person might be a genius at something else. If hincandenza is unfamiliar with your area of expertise - modern gender relations - you still oughtn't to call him an 'idiot' about it.

and calling women delusional and sisters of frumpiness and so on qualifies I believe.

I don't know that it's either idiotic or clever to think that women can be frumpy; it doesn't seem to be a matter of intellect. Mean and unkind perhaps would be better words - they would express your objection more honestly, and are perhaps less insulting.

I ought to have used gentler language but I stand by my assertion.

Is there a gentle way to call someone a 'gender idiot'?

Oh - of course any women who say "all men suck rah rah they are rapists" are idiots about gender too. If you find any in that last thread I'd be happy to let them know I think they're overboard, too.

Umm, why is the bar so much higher for women? A woman has to think all men are rapists before she becomes a 'gender idiot', but hincandenza becomes one for thinking that some women are too sensitive and react to strongly to men assessing their looks? That's quite a disparity. If you can lower the 'gender idiot' bar to make it equal for patriarchs and feministas, I'm sure I can find some female 'gender idiots'.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 8:32 AM on February 16, 2010


That's why we have to initially push past the reasonable middle position of equal scrutiny, which is only truly fair in a fair society/context.

Does that mean that I can talk about what men I find hot s'more?


Sure, just as long as any men that comment about how degrading it is won't be shouted down for having a minority opinion.
posted by Big_B at 8:32 AM on February 16, 2010


Oh, and I didn't mean to suggest that it would be totally unproblematic for us to scrutinize male and female bodies an equal amount. Obviously, there are OK ways to have that conversation and Not OK ways to have that conversation, and that is true regardless of the gender being scrutinized.

No, I meant it. I really like talking about cute guys. Cute girls, too, but there are fewer opportunities for cute guy talk, on metafilter and elsewhere.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:36 AM on February 16, 2010


I won't speculate as to which body parts on a dude are real, if it helps any.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:37 AM on February 16, 2010


I have it on good authority that Ashton Kutcher's entire body is a thick shell which contains another, smaller Ashton.
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 AM on February 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


The Whelk: "I have it on good authority that Ashton Kutcher's entire body is a thick shell which contains another, smaller Ashton"

Someday society will think that tiny Ashton is OK. We all look forward to that day.
posted by jefeweiss at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, I meant it. I really like talking about cute guys. Cute girls, too, but there are fewer opportunities for cute guy talk, on metafilter and elsewhere.

There have been a few "here are some good-looking gay men in a socially interesting situation" posts in the last six months or so. But really "hot or not" talk is sort of not great for here and people lobbying for their right to do it regardless of gender wearies me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh, you were just accusing him of being a drunkard. Obviously, that's much nicer than calling someone a child.

come on. I was saying he might be drunk, and that if he was a nap might be in order. turn that around into mean name calling all you want, but you're stretching beyond any reasonable bounds.

I agree you never said some of those words - I was quoting zarq. I should have noted that - my bad.

no, you weren't quoting zarq. zarq was quoting YOU, and my response to HIM was out of line and has rightfully been deleted. my response to you paraphrasing me would not have been as GRAR as my response to him unfortunately was. I understand why you were just paraphrasing me, and that doesn't upset me.

what I don't understand is why you're claiming you were quoting zarq when you weren't. that's weird. you were paraphrasing me, and zarq quoted YOU. (it's actually the kind of thing sockpuppets do when they forget which account they're logged into, but for you to be arguing with yourself through sock puppets is not really all that likely, so it's just weird as hell that you'd get this confused.)

at this point, you're sounding desperate to make people into villains. you may want to reconsider this strategy.
posted by shmegegge at 8:43 AM on February 16, 2010


Does that mean that I can talk about what men I find hot s'more?

Ok, so who's up for a "Men of Metafilter" calendar?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:44 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


There have been a few "here are some good-looking gay men in a socially interesting situation" posts in the last six months or so. But really "hot or not" talk is sort of not great for here and people lobbying for their right to do it regardless of gender wearies me.

Aw, sorry jessamyn. That was mostly tongue-in-cheekish. I realize that "I'd hit that" makes for poor conversation.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:45 AM on February 16, 2010


saying "if you don't want people talking about your body, don't do photo shoots in your underwear" is ONLY a reasonable thing to say if you don't actually give it any thought.

You do realise you then went ahead & wrote a lengthy comment about her body, right? It's like the left side of your brain doesn't know what the right side is doing.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:45 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Things would be simpler if we stopped wearing clothes.
posted by Loto at 8:48 AM on February 16, 2010


Colder, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:49 AM on February 16, 2010


Q: Why do readers of Metafilter threads discussing gender politics die young?

A: Because they want to.
posted by unSane at 8:49 AM on February 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


No big deal PhoBWanKenobi but when you say "I mean it" I presume that you do, in fact, mean it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:49 AM on February 16, 2010


you still oughtn't to call him an 'idiot' about it.

Indeed. I believe "Faulknerian man-child" is the preferred term.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:49 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ok, so who's up for a "Men of Metafilter" calendar?

I see what you did there...
posted by Forktine at 8:50 AM on February 16, 2010


Defining women as Real or Fake is, um, weird?, stupid?, pointless? Focussing on women's bodies to the exclusion of their personality, talent, intelligence, humor is offensive. "Hey, look at this beautiful woman with a voluptuous body" is not what metafilter is for. There are many sites where that interest can be indulged. This post is exactly what metatalk is for.
posted by theora55 at 8:51 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


But really "hot or not" talk is sort of not great for here and people lobbying for their right to do it regardless of gender wearies me.

Ok, who's up for "Computers of Metafilter Members" calendar?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:51 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't know that it's either idiotic or clever to think that women can be frumpy;

hincandenza accused women he can't even see (what with the conversation taking place in a text-based medium) of being frumpy because they objected to a particular idea. He was not saying that In General, Sometimes Women Can Be Frumpy. He was saying Hey You There, Who Expressed This Particular Idea: Clearly You Are Disagreeing With This Post Because You Are Frumpy.

It's dumb to call someone frumpy if you can't even see them. It is not such a stretch to call someone or their ideas idiotic if you can't see them, because idiocy translates incredibly well in writing.
posted by rtha at 8:54 AM on February 16, 2010 [22 favorites]


A woman has to think all men are rapists before she becomes a 'gender idiot', but hincandenza becomes one for thinking that some women are too sensitive and react to strongly to men assessing their looks? That's quite a disparity.

eatyourcellphone, I am not masochistic enough to re-read the original thread, so I am holding it open as a possibility/hope that many of hincandenza's more egregious comments may have been deleted and thus your rather surprising defense of him is based on an unawareness of some of the things he actually said. If that is true, you should know that the problems with the tone and content of hincandenza's posts reflects so much more than your summary attribution I just quoted. Because in fact, hincandenza suggested that women are making up the idea of sexual criticism and harassment and are, as a gender, akin to those who think the CIA is bugging their phones, i.e., people who hallucinate and have severely disordered delusions. From that starting point, hincandenza then asserted his own (and his friends) niceness, and represented that they would never criticize women's bodies to their faces. He drew from that assertion (one that was later proven to be false, based on his prior comments) a conclusion that the share of men that do so is so small as to make the problem imaginary.

Regardless of whether you agree with hincandenza, the comments (which frankly got more dismissive and disrespectful from there) clearly indicated that women are either lying or insane if they assert sexual harassment - a well documented problem that many individual women in the thread professed to experience - exists. I made a comment giving hincandenza some benefit of the doubt that this was not his intention, but he later responded very clearly that the implication he made was his deliberate intention.

So I'm now giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that perhaps you have not been able to see some of the meat of that discourse, or that you see someone here and you feel they may be being unfairly piled on and you like to defend underdogs. Which is fine, nothing will be gained by piling on hincandenza anyway, as it will only inflate the sense he seems to have of being downtrodden by those women-liars of the world. But if you are going to represent his sentiments, I want to clarify what they were.
posted by bunnycup at 8:55 AM on February 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


But . . . that was in response to prefpara's comment that seemed to be taking my initial comment as a means of criticizing the idea that women should talk about attractive men. I genuinely do like talking about attractive men. And I genuinely do wonder if greater scrutiny of men's bodies would do anything to raise awareness about issues of objectification. I simultaneously realize that in the current political and sexual climate, constantly making comments about which men one would, or wouldn't hit, is a bad idea, both in real life and on metafilter.

:(
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:56 AM on February 16, 2010


Ok, so who's up for a "Men of Metafilter" calendar?

Totally,

I'll be lounging naked at my computer covered with donut crumbs.
posted by freshundz at 8:56 AM on February 16, 2010


It's dumb to call someone frumpy if you can't even see them.

And more to the point, when people are complaining about the constant criticism of women's bodies, it's even dumber for you to then say: it's all in your heads, certainly me and my friends never do that. And dumber still is to refuse to re-evaluate anything you said once this blatant contradiction is pointed out to you, and instead just to flail all the harder.
posted by creasy boy at 9:00 AM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


what I don't understand is why you're claiming you were quoting zarq when you weren't. that's weird. you were paraphrasing me, and zarq quoted YOU. (it's actually the kind of thing sockpuppets do when they forget which account they're logged into, but for you to be arguing with yourself through sock puppets is not really all that likely, so it's just weird as hell that you'd get this confused.)
- shmegegge

Wait, who's on first, again?

Sorry, I didn't realize you were calling zarq a 'fucking prick'. It is confusing when people on the same side of an argument start swearing at each other; I naturally assumed you were angry at your opponent, rather than your ally. Look, lash out at someone in that foul-mouthed way one more time, and I'll try to get it right!

come on. I was saying he might be drunk, and that if he was a nap might be in order. turn that around into mean name calling all you want, but you're stretching beyond any reasonable bounds.
-shmegegge

If you assume hincandenza wasn't drunk, you might actually consider for a second that he has some reason for his anger. Now, you might eventually decide that he doesn't, but at least you've considered his argument. Deciding off the bat that he must be drunk precludes your having to even consider an opposing viewpoint for a second.

Anyway, telling someone on the internet they're drunk, when you can't see or hear them, is pretty mean, I think. Especially for someone who's having trouble restraining his own temper, with the 'fuck offs' and the 'fucking pricks' and all. Are you drunk? Is that an appropriate question for me to ask, or just you?
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:01 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ok, who's up for "Computers of Metafilter Members" calendar?

This an idea with promise. With a good selection eying variety in particular, solid lighting with a good camera, and a lot of attention to detail, this could really be great.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:03 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


eatyourcellphone, you probably want to cool it at this point. If you and shmegegge really want to keep going over the details there you're welcome to do it in email.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:05 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


...then you get Reddit...Somebody staged an elaborate break-up that involved jerking off into her face cream...

Oh, my. What a thread. Oh, my.
posted by ericb at 9:06 AM on February 16, 2010


Is that an appropriate question for me to ask, or just you?

shmegegge thought the better of his comment here and we deleted it within minutes. If you'd like to continue this, please take it to email. It's hollering at phantoms at this point.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:08 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, and I quoted that part of what you said. I really don't see what difference it makes. I wouldn't call someone an idiot for not knowing how to make a dress or fix a fanbelt; it would be hurtful, even though those are quite specific areas, and the person might be a genius at something else. If hincandenza is unfamiliar with your area of expertise - modern gender relations - you still oughtn't to call him an 'idiot' about it.

I would never call someone out so strongly if I thought they were simply well-intentioned, but uneducated or perhaps a little bit thoughtless. I know that "area of expertise" comment is probably tongue-in-cheek, but really, it requires deliberate, malicious obtuseness above the level of "simply uninformed and thoughtless" to claim that women are all delusionally inventing this whole "patriarchy" thing. .

And to make similar claims over and over again. He makes this point or a similar one in any thread he enters that attempts to discuss women. If I knew nothing about fixing a fanbelt and yet opened up your car and started "fixing" away without anyone asking for my input, only fucking things up more in the process but deliberately ignoring your well-meaning protestations and attempts to explain that what I'm doing is wrong - I'd deserve your scorn.

I'm not really sorry if I was unkind or hurt his feelings, because he's not giving much thought to the feelings of the women he's dismissing as lying/delusional about their personal experiences.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:14 AM on February 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


shmegegge: "saying "if you don't want people talking about your body, don't do photo shoots in your underwear" is ONLY a reasonable thing to say if you don't actually give it any thought. it's neither intelligent, funny, fair or even neutral. it's just part of the problem. the problem, again, is that women should be able to dress however they want without people constantly judging their shape, size or endowments. posing scantily clad or nude IS a valid way to make that point, and to claim otherwise is defend sexism, misogyny and objectification even if you don't realize it"

Foolhardy as it may be for me to argue with someone who has the power of ALL-CAP on their side, I flatly reject your (and others') grouping together of private women walking down the street and a Hollywood actress posing for a magazine cover.

Ms. Hendricks is not campaigning for women's dignity. She is promoting her career. An attendant risk is commentary on the promotional materials.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:14 AM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Shit, sorry jessamyn - I've been writing my comment while you posted that. If I'm included in that "take it to e-mail club" feel free to delete.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:15 AM on February 16, 2010


Deciding off the bat that he must be drunk precludes your having to even consider an opposing viewpoint for a second.

What a rude and mean thing to say! How do you know that he decided off the bat? Maybe he thought carefully about the Faulknerian man-child's opposing viewpoint and deemed it the sort of thing one was likely to say while drunk. As far as you know, much more care went into his decision than you're crediting him with. Know that I have carefully considered your words here, sir, and rather than conclude that you are congenitally ill-mannered, I will assume that you must be high.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:18 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


But really "hot or not" talk is sort of not great for here and people lobbying for their right to do it regardless of gender wearies me.

And to half seriously follow up on this, I think it would be totally cool and fun to do, if done in a goofy manner.

Using cortex as example*, it would just be him, fully clothed and carefully lit to show off his bulging brain matter, in "The Thinker" pose, before a blackboards of statistical data. For extra in joke goodness, have the stats in the background about Metafilter. There, I've given you genius, now someone else make it happen.

*Sorry, don't mean to objectify or reduce you to a statistic, but you were the first Mefi male I thought of with a recognizable talent/trait/quirk etc. I would NEVER do anything to devalue you as an artist, mod or carbon based form of life. Unless it benefited in a material way, such as free hot wings.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:18 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll be lounging naked at my computer covered with donut crumbs.

I'm afraid I'll need more explicit details. What KIND of donuts? THIS IS IMPORTANT.
posted by elizardbits at 9:20 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


You do realise you then went ahead & wrote a lengthy comment about her body, right? It's like the left side of your brain doesn't know what the right side is doing.

no, I didn't. what are you talking about?

If you assume hincandenza wasn't drunk, you might actually consider for a second that he has some reason for his anger. Now, you might eventually decide that he doesn't, but at least you've considered his argument. Deciding off the bat that he must be drunk precludes your having to even consider an opposing viewpoint for a second.

I didn't assume anything. hincandenza's argument was so incredibly over-the-line and bizarre that I suspected he might be drunk.

Anyway, telling someone on the internet they're drunk, when you can't see or hear them, is pretty mean, I think.

well, it's certainly convenient for you to think so now. Since you didn't even think it was worth mentioning until I clarified I wasn't infantalizing him, I think it's safe to say that what you think is mean on the internet depends on whose side you're on and how desperate you are to make someone into a villain.

Especially for someone who's having trouble restraining his own temper, with the 'fuck offs' and the 'fucking pricks' and all. Are you drunk? Is that an appropriate question for me to ask, or just you?

yup, I can't defend that original comment. I'm happy it was deleted, and I'm not proud for having written it in the first place. you got me there, and if that means that from this point on every thing I say must clearly be wrong because I got angry when I misapprehended a situation, then there's really nothing I can do about that. and yes, it's fine if you ask me if I'm drunk. the answer is "no, though at this point I kind of wish I were."
posted by shmegegge at 9:21 AM on February 16, 2010


Ms. Hendricks is not campaigning for women's dignity. She is promoting her career.

I don't know why you think she can't be doing both.
posted by shmegegge at 9:22 AM on February 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


hincandenza accused women he can't even see (what with the conversation taking place in a text-based medium) of being frumpy because they objected to a particular idea. He was not saying that In General, Sometimes Women Can Be Frumpy. He was saying Hey You There, Who Expressed This Particular Idea: Clearly You Are Disagreeing With This Post Because You Are Frumpy.

It's dumb to call someone frumpy if you can't even see them. It is not such a stretch to call someone or their ideas idiotic if you can't see them, because idiocy translates incredibly well in writing.

-rtha

If his intent was to get a rise out of someone by calling them frumpy, then it wasn't dumb. It was mean, but he got his intended result, didn't he, regardless of the actual 'frumpiness' or otherwise of his opponent? This is what I'm saying; the root of the objection to this phrase does not lie in its truth or un-truth, its smartness or cleverness, but in its general unpleasantness.

Because in fact, hincandenza suggested that women are making up the idea of sexual criticism and harassment and are, as a gender, akin to those who think the CIA is bugging their phones, i.e., people who hallucinate and have severely disordered delusions.
-bunnycup

Hincandenza did not suggest that women are 'making up' the idea of sexual criticism/harassment; he suggested that certain women exaggerate its prevalence in certain contexts - i.e. that women are not subjected to unkind assessments of their looks by strangers on a regular basis. Now you say this is false, and you've every right to say it, and I think you are correct to assert that it is more widespread than hincandenza suggests. It may even be a bad, misogynist thing to say. But you're inflating what hincandenza actually said into a blanket denial of the existence of sexual criticism/harassment, which isn't fair. He admitted that some men do say these thingsl Also, he was talking about a specific kind of harassment - verbal. He offered no comment on other forms of sexual harassment, like unwanted touching, sexual coercion in the workplace, etc.

The CIA thing was very ill-judged, but it was obviously hyperbole for effect. You can take it literally if you so choose, but I think it's a deliberate misreading.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:23 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


actually, whether or not she can be doing both is entirely beside the point. the point is that she doesn't have to be campaigning for women's dignity. she deserves her dignity even if she is promoting her career, and she's not to blame for people objectifying her. the people who objectify her are. in all your substanceless snark, you haven't given any reason why that's not the case. you just continue to defend sexism, which is unfortunate.
posted by shmegegge at 9:23 AM on February 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


shmegegge thought the better of his comment here and we deleted it within minutes. If you'd like to continue this, please take it to email. It's hollering at phantoms at this point.
-jessamyn

Well, he referred to it again in his comment to me, so I was replying to an undeleted comment. But I shan't mention again if that's the ruling laid down.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:26 AM on February 16, 2010


I'm afraid I'll need more explicit details.

Hadn't really though it out that far. Boston Creams and French Cruellrs I guess. I would break them open and let sweet custard drizzle..
posted by freshundz at 9:26 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


he referred to it again in his comment to me

Seriously, if all the two of you are doing is arguing with each other: take it to email, it's not helping anyone else here understand or appreciate anything.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:29 AM on February 16, 2010


cortex: eatyourcellphone, you probably want to cool it at this point.
jessamyn: If you'd [eatyourcellphone] like to continue this, please take it to email.

I really don't understand this. One side of the discussion drops a 'fuck you' on the other and it gets quietly deleted. The recipient of said fuck you continues the discussion in a more respectful tone, but gets told publicly by *two* mods to shut up?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 9:30 AM on February 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


The CIA thing was very ill-judged, but it was obviously hyperbole for effect. You can take it literally if you so choose, but I think it's a deliberate misreading.

What? Really? Anything he says is 'obviously hyperbole for effect' yet you jump all over my word-choice, or shmegegge's, with assertions like "Oh ho so it's not LITERALLY dumb, it's actually very smart! It's just incredibly rude!"

Don't you see what's bad faith about this? This whole thread is us defending individual word choices and sentence constructions, yet you freely acknowledge for other people that maybe they're using hyperbole for effect and that it's a misreading to take them literally.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:30 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not really sorry if I was unkind or hurt his feelings, because he's not giving much thought to the feelings of the women he's dismissing as lying/delusional about their personal experiences.
-Solon and Thanks

I wouldn't expect you to be sorry; he tried to hurt you and you tried to hurt him back. It's all good as far as I'm concerned. But Metafilter claims not to operate by this 'eye for an eye' logic, so I think it's unfair for mods to tolerate viciousness from one side and not another. Is this a snakepit or a drawing room? It can't be both.

I'm also trying to clarify what I think hincandenza said, because I think some people have inflated it beyond what it is. Object to his actual words all you want, but don't make it into something it's not.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:33 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I could name 12 very attractive calendarable mefite men or women off the top of my head, fyi. Not that I'm planning an urbane mixed-gender harem for the end of days or anything.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:33 AM on February 16, 2010


Well, not that it matters and I'm not trying to add fuel to the fire by commenting at all... but yes, in the light of day I'll admit my own comments got way over the top in that thread, and I do personalize things a bit more than I should by letting myself get overly emotionally invested. I still don't think I was wholly wrong, but I agree that this isn't always the right choice to make. :)


Although this? I don't feel I can let *this* slide, so I'll comment and then give the keyboard a rest:
Ambrosia Voyeur: I just remember the time hincandenza threatened to kick my ass. Or murder me, I think. That was balls. But... I'm somewhat hourglassy. Maybe that's why I'm still alive.
That's one hell of an accusation! I believe you're referring to this, since you're the person who (in a thread about 4chan) immediately responded to my comment of some pretty awful people stalking and harassing a woman in real life for the "lulz"... by trivializing it with a "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" joke. I'll let my linked comment and your response stand on their own, because that's as valid a cherry picking of comments as any to ask who trivializes violence or harassment of women.

Now, I did have a deleted response that was purely and obviously a hypothetical "Wow, would you really be this flippant if it was you we were talking about" comment, and yes was probably poorly worded or chosen... but it's a real stretch to call that an actual threat, unless you're trying to score cheap points much later by misrepresenting things I've said.
posted by hincandenza at 9:34 AM on February 16, 2010


eatyourcellphone, as I said, my first instinct was to take the comment as hyperbole or conveying an unintentional conclusion. I did so right until hincandenza said that was exactly what he meant - that the problem was all in women's heads. For example, he said that he thinks the problem is "One guy in a month" makes a comment like "nice breasts". He secondly said that the problem is "overhype" and that it is in fact "reverse sexism" that is "rampant, unchecked, and almost applauded." I am not the only person who has suggested that perhaps his comments have come off very differently than he intended, and rather than clarifying them, he has confirmed they are exactly what he meant. I'm sorry, but I've got to take the man at his confirmed face value.

I would also argue that calling someone frumpy, or fat, or ugly to get a rise during an internet debate, or to discredit their intellect, or statements, or logic, is precisely the kind of behavior hincandenza argues men generally, and he specifically, does not do. I'm not even going to address the argument that that kind of juvenile behavior is not "dumb". You can view it as high-intellect rhetoric tactics if you so choose, but I think it's a deliberate body judgment.
posted by bunnycup at 9:35 AM on February 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


I wouldn't expect you to be sorry; he tried to hurt you and you tried to hurt him back. [...] But Metafilter claims not to operate by this 'eye for an eye' logic, so I think it's unfair for mods to tolerate viciousness from one side and not another.

No, not really. I said I don't really care if I hurt his feelings, not that I was deliberately trying to hurt him.

I wasn't even addressing him. I didn't even name him, though you're right that I consider him among the people whose attitude wouldn't be changed by this thread. I was addressing everyone else.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:39 AM on February 16, 2010


Really? You can acknowledge that you get over-the-top in your personalized attacks in one breath and in the next claim that you're sure that's not what you did some other, long-forgotten time, when someone got seriously offended by it? It's incredible, sir.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:40 AM on February 16, 2010


What? Really? Anything he says is 'obviously hyperbole for effect' yet you jump all over my word-choice, or shmegegge's, with assertions like "Oh ho so it's not LITERALLY dumb, it's actually very smart! It's just incredibly rude!"

Don't you see what's bad faith about this? This whole thread is us defending individual word choices and sentence constructions, yet you freely acknowledge for other people that maybe they're using hyperbole for effect and that it's a misreading to take them literally.


Well, I guess that when people refer to common events like drunkenness, they're more likely to be talking literally than when they say someone is insane and suffering from hallucinations. I didn't say that 'anything' he said was hyperbole, I said that particular very colorful piece of imagery was. That's different. But I guess your 'anything' was another piece of hyperbole, wasn't it? Or do you contend that hincandenza is probably as likely to think the posters he was responding to are actually, clinically insane as shmegegge is to think that hincandenza was drunk?

As I've said on Metafilter before, I don't actually like the use of terms like 'crazy' in a non-literal sense, but the fact is, such terms are commonly used in non-literal hyperbolic ways, much more than words like 'drunk' are.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:41 AM on February 16, 2010


The recipient of said fuck you continues the discussion in a more respectful tone, but gets told publicly by *two* mods to shut up?

The recipient has made a habit of getting into crappy long-haul take-on-all-comers arguments in the past and this is starting to look a lot like more of the same. We'd rather they lay off than get into that sort of dynamic again, as much for their own sake as anything. I'm not hot on going into further detail about it in public, again for their own sake as much as anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:43 AM on February 16, 2010


I was referring less to the "drunk" incident and more things like your taking my "women who say 'all men suck rah rah they are rapists' are idiots too" as literally, a woman would have to say that, and omg why is the bar higher for women than men when I think the whole 'rah rah' part lends itself no obvious non-seriousness and hyperbole.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:44 AM on February 16, 2010


The recipient of said fuck you continues the discussion in a more respectful tone, but gets told publicly by *two* mods to shut up?

If two people are just getting into it with each other in a way that doesn't seem like it's winding down but rather ramping up, we'd prefer that to happen over email once it's left the site's orbit. This is not in any way us telling anyone to shut up, this is us saying that if you're having a problm with one user that does not concern any aspect of site policy or any other MeFite, it's a conversation that needs to happen over email. And what cortex said, some of the backstory is just drama that's not useful here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:46 AM on February 16, 2010


what she chooses to wear, either in a photo shoot or elsewhere, is not an invitation to be judged

Right, so if you show up to an interview for a brank manager's job in a dirty t-shirt and torn jeans, HOW DARE ANYONE JUDGE YOU BY WHAT YOU'RE WEARING OMG FACISM.
posted by rodgerd at 9:51 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


For example, he said that he thinks the problem is "One guy in a month" makes a comment like "nice breasts". He secondly said that the problem is "overhype"

Yes, and that is not a denial of the existence of verbal sexual harassment. It's a denial of its importance, its prevalence, its impact; this may be hurtful, it may be untrue, but it's not a denial of its existence. As I've said, I'm not saying you shouldn't object to what hincandenza said, but he did NOT issue a blanket denial of the existence of verbal sexual harassment.

You can view it as high-intellect rhetoric tactics if you so choose, but I think it's a deliberate body judgment.

I don't view it as a high-intellect rhetorical tactic. I think it's mean and nasty. But mean and nasty is not the same as dumb. And responding to one insult with another is not only unproductive, it is usually discouraged by the mods. I don't see why it has been allowed in this case.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:53 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


if you show up to an interview for a brank manager's job in a dirty t-shirt and torn jeans

That is exactly what I wear at the brank that I manage!

sorry
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:03 AM on February 16, 2010 [18 favorites]

That is exactly what I wear at the brank that I manage!
Brank - That's just... it's...
posted by Karmakaze at 10:10 AM on February 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


eatyourcellphone, I'm happy to discuss the issue with you more and highlight the specific points that contradict your conclusion. But I have a feeling you are not truly interested in a real, open and honest discussion, and would rather simply spat back and forth with whoever is willing to engage you. Not wanting to give you a platform for that kind of behavior, I'll invite you to MeMail me if you are in fact interested in real discussion.
posted by bunnycup at 10:18 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Boston Creams and French Cruellrs I guess.

Way to crush my humble lactose-intolerant dreams, dude. JELLY OR DEATH.
posted by elizardbits at 10:28 AM on February 16, 2010


I was referring less to the "drunk" incident and more things like your taking my "women who say 'all men suck rah rah they are rapists' are idiots too" as literally, a woman would have to say that, and omg why is the bar higher for women than men when I think the whole 'rah rah' part lends itself no obvious non-seriousness and hyperbole.
posted by Solon and Thanks

Right, that's why I asked you to clarify your answer by responding again non-hyperbolically. Your failure to avail yourself of this opportunity is your own affair.

The recipient has made a habit of getting into crappy long-haul take-on-all-comers arguments in the past and this is starting to look a lot like more of the same. We'd rather they lay off than get into that sort of dynamic again, as much for their own sake as anything. I'm not hot on going into further detail about it in public, again for their own sake as much as anything.
posted by cortex

Well, I'll leave the thread then. I think it's slightly unfair to paint me as some kind of horrible troublemaker, when I've been very respectful and non-provocative to 'all comers', while all kinds of very extreme language has been thrown around.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 10:32 AM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes Maam

Jelly it is
posted by freshundz at 10:34 AM on February 16, 2010


.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 10:43 AM on February 16, 2010


I had a banana leche donut the other day, and a quince donut. Both were excellent.
posted by rtha at 10:45 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


A quince donut? Like, filled with quince jelly? Or entirely quince-flavored? Color me intrigued.
posted by palomar at 10:50 AM on February 16, 2010


Quince-flavored donut - not a jelly kind. Just a regular donut-shaped donut flavored (I assume) with quince paste or jelly. I live a five-minute walk from a fantastic donut place, which is wonderful and also sad (for my wallet and my waistline).
posted by rtha at 11:04 AM on February 16, 2010


"Not wanting to give you a platform for that kind of behavior, I'll invite you to MeMail me if you are in fact interested in real discussion."

And if you were, in fact, interested in real discussion rather than scoring points, you could have just started the memail thread yourself.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:07 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Do you all know that today is Pączki Day? We should ALL have donuts!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:19 AM on February 16, 2010


d)what she chooses to wear, either in a photo shoot or elsewhere, is not an invitation to be judged.

Yet a lot of female (and some male) mefites seemed to be okay and totally on board with the Phi Psi handbook of clothing in another FPP and said things like it's inevitable that you'll be judged for what you wear and if you don't want to conform to Psi Phi Phi Psi standards, then don't join the club. But in this thread it's all "don't judge her based on how she looks." Though mainly over in that thread it was muddgirl and a few others who were vehement about the whole thing being a great idea.

You can't peer pressure me into wearing Tory Burch that look like they're from Payless but cost enough to pay half my monthly grocery bill.
posted by anniecat at 11:20 AM on February 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: a snakepit or a drawing room?
posted by ericb at 11:20 AM on February 16, 2010


kathrineg, if that flameout wasn't a joke, then I am truly sorry to see you go.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:33 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yet a lot of female (and some male) mefites seemed to be okay and totally on board with the Phi Psi handbook of clothing in another FPP and said things like it's inevitable that you'll be judged for what you wear and if you don't want to conform to Psi Phi Phi Psi standards, then don't join the club.

I interpreted the sentiment more as "the people joining these sororities probably asked for this kind of advice, because they don't know what things like 'business casual' actually means. It's not coming out of nowhere."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:37 AM on February 16, 2010


The recipient has made a habit of getting into crappy long-haul take-on-all-comers arguments in the past

Maybe this has something to do with mefites' tendency to pile on to anyone who doesn't toe the party line. And maybe the mods' tendency to come down on the people who defend themselves and don't back down has the effect of reinforcing the party line. And maybe the selective enforcement makes people wonder even more whether that's not the intended effect.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:54 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


As usual, if you'd like to point out what you see as constant overarching biases here, please feel free to cite specifics.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:56 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, good! Crabby's here to set us all straight!
posted by graventy at 11:56 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have no problem with gay people.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:59 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Or, Crabby, perhaps it's the tendency of some folks on here to be willfully, obstinately against introspection, because blaming everyone else but themselves is a thousand times easier on the ego.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:00 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


As usual, if you'd like to point out what you see as constant overarching biases here, please feel free to cite specifics.

No. They're pretty obvious. You're looking to change the subject and hoping I'll provide a rhetorical stick for all the self-righteous mefites to beat me with. I'm not interested, as I know how these things turn out (i.e., usually pretty much the way this has turned out for hincandenza and eatyourcellphone).

MetaFilter is in a positive feedback loop now. Its trajectory is beyond the influence of any small minority of contrarian site members. Soon it will be exactly the way so many of you hope it will be. It'll be interesting to see how that works out. It will also be kind of sad.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:07 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Soon it will be exactly the way so many of you hope it will be.

Is the Singularity finally coming? Will there be Pop-Tarts on demand?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

Maybe this has something to do with mefites' tendency to pile on to anyone who doesn't toe the party line. And maybe the mods' tendency to come down on the people who defend themselves and don't back down has the effect of reinforcing the party line. And maybe the selective enforcement makes people wonder even more whether that's not the intended effect.
Maybe this is all horseshit. Maybe this is a passive-aggressive shit-stirring broadside from someone who feels aggrieved about past interactions with the moderators.

Maybe Crabby Appleton's entire screed could best be rewritten as
Maybe this has something to do with mefites' tendency to pile on to anyone who repeatedly makes completely unsupported, sweeping generalizations about MetaFilter readers. And maybe the mods' tendency to ask Crabby Appleton for actual citations of their alleged bias has the effect of reinforcing the party line. And maybe the consistent nature of these requests makes Metafiler readers wonder what the hell Crabby Appleton is on about.
Or, you know, maybe not, as I am clearly part of the groupthink here and can't be relied upon for objectivity.
posted by scrump at 12:18 PM on February 16, 2010 [17 favorites]


Soon it will be exactly the way so many of you hope it will be.

Dude, I can't wait.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:20 PM on February 16, 2010


You're looking to change the subject

Actually I'm not. I apologized pretty publicly to hincandenza and he and I swapped some nice email and I think we're cool. We have swapped a lot of email with eatyourcellphone in the past and I think he knows where we're coming from. You come into MeTa and take vague swipes at us that you never back up with anything substantive. We ask you to be specific because that would actually allow us to understand what you're talking about, or maybe even address it.

It's really easy to sit around and say something sucks. It's much more difficult to say how or why and open the door to some analysis of "Gee, maybe you think this sucks because you don't understand it/are having a bad day/didn't get the joke/can't make friends/don't understand the backstory/whatever."

We actively nurture many contrarian site members, we've discussed this in MeTa before. In the absence of knowing what exactly you're talking about [what is obvious to you is not obvious to me] I'll just move on then.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:23 PM on February 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


Is the Singularity finally coming? Will there be Pop-Tarts on demand?

Of course there will, Blazecock. Anything you want! You are MetaFilter's ideal site member, and I can't imagine an apotheosis of MetaFilter that would not be exactly tailored to all your needs and wants.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:24 PM on February 16, 2010


I'm curious. Why do you care, Crabby? What's your purpose here? The moderators don't understand what you're after. Most of the userbase who aren't you don't understand what you're after. So what are you after?

MetaFilter is pretty obviously not going to change into what you want it to be. Or what people keep trying to guess you might want it to be, because you never really tell us. So we're well and truly into "it wastes your time and annoys the pig" territory here.

Do you just enjoy railing for the sake of it, or is there some actual purpose in your actions that we're missing? Because from where most of us sit, this is like Don Quixote without windmills, Sancho Panza or, frankly, a horse. Mostly, it's just some guy standing on a dike berm yelling YOU GUYS SUCK repeatedly.
posted by scrump at 12:30 PM on February 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


You come into MeTa and take vague swipes at us that you never back up with anything substantive.

Yes. History has shown that providing substance is futile, so why bother with it now?

We ask you to be specific because that would actually allow us to understand what you're talking about, or maybe even address it.

Yes, here's how you address it:

you don't understand it/are having a bad day/didn't get the joke/can't make friends/don't understand the backstory/whatever

If by "address it", you mean "find some way to dismiss it", then I agree. It's also easy to say that I don't understand how you work in mysterious ways your wonders to perform. That's true, I don't. I only know what I see in print here.

I'll just move on then

Okey-dokey. I reckon I will too. Happy Trails!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:42 PM on February 16, 2010


I can't imagine an apotheosis of MetaFilter that would not be exactly tailored to all your needs and wants.

So long as there are Pop-Tarts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:42 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: JELLY OR DEATH

Is this a callout or something?

posted by Jelly at 12:45 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe this has something to do with mefites' tendency to pile on to anyone who doesn't toe the party line.

Dude, no. Here's the deal: MeFi has a lot of users. These users are individulas with individual tastes, ideas, etc. Occasionally, a lot of these individuals will strongly agree about something. It's not a "party line," it's just a general consensus specific to the subject at hand. I promise you, as someone who has been on the receiving end a few times, that the general consensus around here is usually entirely reasonable.

I do agree that the pileons are fucking annoying, though. One well-worded counterargument is usually enough; beyond that, FIAMO.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:46 PM on February 16, 2010


Crabby Appleton is crabby - who'd a thunk it?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:49 PM on February 16, 2010


I interpreted the sentiment more as "the people joining these sororities probably asked for this kind of advice, because they don't know what things like 'business casual' actually means. It's not coming out of nowhere."

You're probably right. I was super mad about the idea of spending $95 on a stupid pair of shoes by someone named Tory.
posted by anniecat at 12:54 PM on February 16, 2010


History has shown that providing substance is futile, so why bother with it now?

Because when you make vague accusations of unspecified wrongs, no one has any idea what you're talking about, your words lose all credibility, and the chance that anyone will learn from your opposing views shrinks to zero.

So if your goal is to be rude and insult people, at least be straight about it instead of acting like some martyr who's been so profoundly wronged etc etc etc
posted by prefpara at 1:03 PM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


if you'd like to point out what you see as constant overarching biases here, please feel free to cite specifics.

I don't want to speak for Crabby and I don't want to imply that I think the mods do anything less than a spectacular job, but since you asked, here's a couple of recent examples of what seem to me to be inconsistent moderation when gender is being discussed:

1) eatyourcellphone being told to take it to memail in this thread. I understand there's some history there, though my recollection of it is pretty fuzzy. But still, you and cortex both felt it necessary to ask him, specifically, to cool it when (in my view) his behavior in this thread has been well within the bounds of reasonable discourse. What happened to Brand New Day?

2) The only person who said boyzone, or rapist, or drooling was you. Go to MetaTalk if you want to start this fight. People make comments like xmutex's all the time where they paraphrase some bingo card stuff that's common on the site (e.g. here, here). Why did you go all modly on xmutux's ass in this case but don't in others?

2) The "men are dogs" comment I linked earlier. Three weeks after flagging it, it's still there. I can't see how it contributes anything to the thread that wasn't already said many times over and so can not see any justification for such blatant gender bias to not have been deleted. (That thread as a whole is great example of how it's always the boyfriend's fault on AskMe, but that's kind of tangential.)

All of these examples could be explained by the simple impossibility of perfect consistency in moderation, and that may well be the case with all of them. But to some of us, it can seem like a pattern, one that is very hard to bring up without catching a lot of shit. Again, you mods are truly amazing and my beef with metafilter (which I generally love) is more with the general atmosphere where guys are routinely called sexist* for simply expressing themselves than with the moderation.

* While, conversely, people who have issues with men are celebrated and no, I'm not willing to into specifics about this right now as I'm already scared of what kinda crap I'll get if I actually decide to post this.

posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:03 PM on February 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


For lack of a better argument, let me be clear. I never claimed to be not dumb, not crazy, not drunk, nor not crazy drunk, not even not crazy dumb. But I am way too crunked up right now to skip
in a competent obviously non-serious hyperbole like this since you got me all hung up on the "Computers of Metafilter Members" calendar. as if.
posted by at the crossroads at 1:03 PM on February 16, 2010


Crabby Appleton is crabby - who'd a thunk it?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:49 PM on February 16

Me.
posted by Sailormom at 1:04 PM on February 16, 2010


And maybe the mods' tendency to come down on the people who defend themselves and don't back down has the effect of reinforcing the party line.

Having participated in several gender threads where I was most certainly was not towing the party line, been loudly angry about something Matt did or didn't do, the mods ONCE came down on me real hard by saying "I love to pieces in a friendly sort of way, but dude, I think you're viewing this situation wrong". It was brutal, they publicly worked me over with soft words. You should have seen the bruised ego I had!

So yeah, I feel your pain, Crabby Appleton, these velvet gloved mods are out of freaking control.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:04 PM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I do agree that the pileons are fucking annoying, though.

Well sure, that one guy is, but the rest of the family are really delightful people.
posted by electroboy at 1:08 PM on February 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


Ok, so who's up for a "Men of Metafilter" calendar?

I nominate all of my spouses.
posted by desuetude at 1:08 PM on February 16, 2010


Ok, so who's up for a "Men of Metafilter" calendar?

I nominate all of my spouses.


I support this product and or service.
posted by The Whelk at 1:16 PM on February 16, 2010


Just to speak hopefully briefly to ahfU.

1. I'm gonna have to do some handwavey "there's some history there" explanation along with saying that we'd emailed with shmeggege and at the time it looked like two people going at it, both were talked to.
2. That was the second snarky comment by xmutex in a super-touchy thread in a few days [the other was along the line of "feminists are irritating"]. The whole boyzone idea now exists more in the minds of people angry about it and not people calling it out. I called out women in that and other threads at around the same time for similar shit. We'd prefer to indicate "Hey if you have overarching problems with the topic, it's better to go to MeTa than GRAR about it here" in-thread and leave comments if we can.
3. Hadn't seen that comment before [the flag queue, it is imperfect] and I deleted it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:18 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, that's all pretty reasonable. Thanks.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:27 PM on February 16, 2010


So, I just had a dilemma. I got the afternoon sweet tooth and didn't have anything good in my desk so I went to the snack machine at this facility. Snack machines are by and large stocked with cardboard and refined sugar, but whatever. Now, when I get to the machine, I notice that there is a pack of Starbursts just teetering at the end of the little coil, meaning that if I made that selection there would be a pretty high probability of getting two for one. Problem is, I don't like Starbursts. They taste like someone tossed some HFCS and spilled orange juice into a vat of adhesive putty. Nasty. But, hey, two for one! It took at least four seconds of intra-cortical rebalancing before I decided that it wasn't a good option and got the Famous Amos cookies instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:29 PM on February 16, 2010


> The problem, again, is that women should be able to dress however they want without
> people constantly judging their shape, size or endowments. posing scantily clad or nude IS
> a valid way to make that point, and to claim otherwise is defend sexism, misogyny and
> objectification even if you don't realize it.
> posted by shmegegge at 11:22 AM on February 16 [8 favorites +] [!]

> at this point, you're sounding desperate to make people into villains. you may want to
> reconsider this strategy.
> posted by shmegegge at 11:43 AM on February 16 [+] [!]

pot:kettle::shmegegge:shmegegge
posted by jfuller at 1:29 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hey is this a good place to ask what everyone thinks about the Blade Runner sequel?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:32 PM on February 16, 2010


I decided that it wasn't a good option and got the Famous Amos cookies instead.

FOOL. You could have bought favors with two packs of Starbursts, you could have had power and prestige, fame and fortune.

But you went for the cookies. Hope they were tasty at least.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:33 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ok, who's up for "Computers of Metafilter Members" calendar?

Well, it's not exactly what you're looking for, but The Desks of Metafilter (page-a-day) calendar is pretty awesome.
posted by carsonb at 1:36 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey is this a good place to ask what everyone thinks about the Blade Runner sequel?

I hadn't heard of until I clicked your link, but I'm pretty sure it is AN ABOMINATION.
posted by rtha at 1:37 PM on February 16, 2010


Hey is this a good place to ask what everyone thinks about the Blade Runner sequel?

From the link: The only definitive sequel to Blade Runner (officially approved by Philip K. Dick's estate)

That anecdote alone should really be the basis for a Supreme Court ruling against family estates controlling an artist's body of work. Terrible.

But you went for the cookies. Hope they were tasty at least.

The cookies were barely OK. I will try this favor currency system you speak of, although I think I previously angered the reception admins when I put out a bowl of candy in my area that was better than the candy they have up front. Politics is messy, but sugary!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:39 PM on February 16, 2010


Hey is this a good place to ask what everyone thinks about the Blade Runner sequel?

It would be fun to explore the world that the original created, but the original is still relevant because it called viewers to ask questions, as opposed to answering them in the story. Other than the spectacle of modern special effects, what would be compelling about a sequel to make it worth making and watching?

For example, if the Tyrell Corporation is an AI headed by symbolic Tyrell clones, and Deckard has to come back to "finish the job", maybe there is scope to ask questions about corporations attaining some sense of personhood, and the possibility of morality when interacting with that entity, that sort of thing. Exploring the idea of what is humanity in a little deeper manner (if that's even possible, given the original).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:44 PM on February 16, 2010


no, you weren't quoting zarq. zarq was quoting YOU, and my response to HIM was out of line and has rightfully been deleted.

shmegegge, I saw both of your responses before they were deleted, but couldn't respond myself because I was handling backstage press at an event for work. (There was a lull. I checked MeFi and then the place turned into a total zoo so I couldn't respond.) No worries. It's fine, and we're good.
posted by zarq at 1:47 PM on February 16, 2010


eatyourcellphone, if you don't mind I'm going to wait to respond to you until I've gotten some sleep. I went to bed last night at 1am, got up at 3:30 and have been running ever since. This is my fifth day keeping that same schedule, and I'm only barely coherent right now.

It's not that I don't want to respond to you. I do. But I'm not going to make any sense until I can close my eyes for a few hours.
posted by zarq at 1:48 PM on February 16, 2010


Friendly advice: It might be healthier to not bookend super long days with MeTa.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:52 PM on February 16, 2010


Wow. I just read these threads, and I just have one thing to say:

Burhanistan, you are very foolish for not taking the starbursts. WTF were you thinking, you imbecile? First, what's your beef with starbursts? I personally find your hatred of them extremely prejudice and batshitinsane. Don't you know that having a preference makes you a bigot? It discriminates the other candies, candies with feelings, candies that have faced years of discrimination, candies that are confused about how they are supposed to taste, candies without choice as to what kind of candy they can be - and your hatred is only shoving them deeper into that abyss of insecurity. Furthermore, with two packs of starbursts, you could have sold them to a coworker for slightly under the machine cost, used the money to get cookies and had money left to buy even more cookies. If you really like cookies like you say you do, this is what you would have done. So clearly, you also hate cookies. Why do you hate cookies so much? Or is it just the tiny, vending machine cookies you hate? Do you like 'regular' sized cookies? Or only huge cookies? What the hell is wrong with you, you ignorant fool!!!! I am calling you out!!
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:52 PM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


the above is a joke, btw. not a thread shit. if that wasn't clear.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:53 PM on February 16, 2010


/me quietly files Lutoslawski's post away in order to later demonstrate his support for human trafficking.
posted by electroboy at 1:55 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Um. Gender war? So there's a lovely MARQUIS DE SADE thread RIGHT OVER THERE. I know he wasn't on Firefly, but damn.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:58 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I trafficked in candy sales in fifth grade (before vending machines in schools became ubiquitous). It was all done on the sly since candy was verboten back then, as opposed to now where Coke is a vegetable on campus. So, I was like a little pusher with a backpack full of bubble gum and Skittles. I made decent money, the little girls were nicer to me, etc. I've been there, I've tasted that rainbow power, and I've tired of the struggle for ascendancy. Nowadays, all I want is that little something that will spike my glucose for cheap thrills. I'm done with being a king.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:59 PM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can;t tell if this is a real candy bar, or some kind of skin job.
posted by The Whelk at 2:00 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Friendly advice: It might be healthier to not bookend super long days with MeTa.

True. But I've been dealing with batshit fashion week insanity since last Thursday, (well, the shows started last Thursday... the craziness started weeks before) so MeTa seems intelligent, tame and well-reasoned by comparison. And it is, actually. Folks here may have their hoppitamoppita hangups and their grindy axes, but for the most part arguments here tend to drift towards a moderate center. On all but the most GRAR topics.
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on February 16, 2010


But does that mean you can share some Fashion Week gossip oh yes oh please?
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on February 16, 2010


It's really easy to sit around and say something sucks.

Man, isn't it though? It's pretty great. Pointing out stuff that sucks makes up a huge portion of my everyday life.

Like this comment I'm making right now. Jesus, it sucks.
posted by Skot at 2:22 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm SO not supposed to do that. :) If I think of anything to relay that won't get my ass fired, I'll pass it on after I've gotten some sleep.

However, I can say that there were a lot of very upset people backstage at the two shows I was working last Thursday morning. Word of Alexander McQueen's death arrived first by text message and email, and then by word of mouth. A bunch of people who had worked with and for him were telling some really incredible stories about their experiences, and it was sad and kinda wonderful.

When I've gotten more sleep, I'll relate something that I witnessed last season, which I don't believe has appeared anywhere although I've never looked. But I was only one of two or three people who watched it happen.
posted by zarq at 2:27 PM on February 16, 2010


Yes, please, zarq! Go sleep now, and then come back and tell us stories about Lee McQueen and other fashion-week-related fun!
posted by rtha at 2:38 PM on February 16, 2010


zarq just became one of my very favoritest mefites. Cannot WAIT for the fashion week dish, but the McQueen stuff is just heartbreaking.
posted by shiu mai baby at 2:54 PM on February 16, 2010


Hey is this a good place to ask what everyone thinks about the Blade Runner sequel?

Holy crap, written by the Eagle Eye guy? I guess that means we're in for two hours of completely nonsensical action.
posted by graventy at 3:03 PM on February 16, 2010


Um, reading that article, it sounds like the chances of that Blade Runner sequel getting made are pretty slim. A guy with no rights and no studio backing writing a spec script? That really doesn't qualify as a news story, even for a blog.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:11 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


JELLY OR DEATH?

Cake or Death?
posted by ericb at 5:30 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ok, so who's up for a "Men of Metafilter" calendar?

In the interim, enjoy the Mormon 2010 Men on a Mission Calendar [video].

Lest we forget -- the Mormon Muffins Calendar.
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why do you care, Crabby? What's your purpose here? The moderators don't understand what you're after. Most of the userbase who aren't you don't understand what you're after. So what are you after?

Oh, I know what he's after. Attention. Pure and simple.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:29 PM on February 16, 2010


....so can we pass some high fives around? Looks like blade runner, snacks and fashion week have brought the runaway train to a screeching halt once again.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:46 PM on February 16, 2010


They're pretty obvious.

You've promised details on your glorious five point plan in the past. Tease!

Soon it will be exactly the way so many of you hope it will be.

You're going to put up or shut up?
posted by jtron at 8:11 PM on February 16, 2010


CA: Soon it will be exactly the way so many of you hope it will be.

*happy tears* ...You promise?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:22 PM on February 16, 2010


I've read so many metatalk threads where ol' Crabby drops oblique hints about his Very Serious Problems with the site... and where people ask him what, exactly, he's talking about... and where he then demurs for unspecified reasons... But you know what? I really do believe that one day, we'll find out what his problem is. And I, for one, can't wait!
posted by moxiedoll at 8:46 PM on February 16, 2010


Jesus Christ, Crabby, are you really doing this again? Seriously, dude, once and for all state directly and specifically what you feel needs to change around here to bring MeFi up to your Very High Standards or quit your vague squawking for good. It was tiresome a year ago and tedious six months ago. You've lapsed into self-parody at this point.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:10 PM on February 16, 2010


*high five*
posted by scrutiny at 9:28 PM on February 16, 2010


Crabby drops oblique hints about his Very Serious Problems with the site... [...] But you know what? I really do believe that one day, we'll find out what his problem is.

I think of Crabby's Very Serious Problems With The Site the same way I think of hardcore taters: They are a divine mystery.
posted by amyms at 9:44 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh, amyms.... I still think about hardcore taters. But I cannot believe that C.A.'s grumps are that kind of ethereal mystery.
posted by moxiedoll at 10:13 PM on February 16, 2010


Contemplating the answer to the Great Mystery of the Hardcore Taters nearly drove me insane, moxiedoll.

And now, even though I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say we're waiting with bated breath for Crabby Appleton's long-hinted-at revelations in his manifesto (rumored title: "Only I, Crappy Appleton, Hold The Knowledge And Wisdom To Make Metafilter A Place Of Perfection," subtitle: "I'll Show Them ALL!"), I fear we'll just have to learn to let go of our need for concrete answers.

Only then can we find inner peace... Ohhhhmmmm.
posted by amyms at 10:36 PM on February 16, 2010


I'm overwhelmed at the revelation that I have so many fans here waiting with baited [stet] breath for my magnum opus. I feel a strong kinship with Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, and George R. R. Martin right now. (I advise all of you to breathe.)

But I have to say that you're a peculiar sort of fans, in that you can't be bothered to read what I actually do write. I've already said (in this thread) that MetaFilter is beyond my help. (Yes, EmpressCallipygos, I promise. I not only promise, I gare-rone-TEE!)

If any of you actually gave a tin shit what I think are the less than optimal aspects of MetaFilter, you could probably put it together from comments I've made here in the past. But it doesn't matter. MetaFilter is basically an overgrown FIDOnet BBS. You pretend not to know what MetaFilter's entrenched biases are while you spend significant amounts of time reinforcing those biases for each other. And I'm supposed to imagine that I could have a substantive conversation with you? Sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you—jock@law's blood is crying out to me from the ground. (Yes, that was over the top, but this could very well be my last comment in MetaTalk, so what the hell.)

Somebody asked me why I care. Somehow, after reading this thread, I can't seem to come up with an answer. And as for what I hope to accomplish, I guess it's pretty clear that the only rational answer to that would be "nothing". I apologize for having wasted your valuable time.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:36 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


jock@law was a smart guy with a lot of contrary opinions who was also, unfortunately, an abusive jerk to a lot of people on MeFi including the mods. It's our assertion that if he'd been able to keep the substance of his comment and alter the style -- something we emailed back and forth with him about for nearly a year -- or even actually indicated that he was interested in remaining on the site and seeing that his behavior was interfering with that, we would have been happy to have him.

As it is he's welcome on the site but he'll need to start over with a new username and that username will have to not be an abusive jerk, same as pretty much everyone else on the site. We'll work with people, a lot, if they're having trouble fitting in here. I wish we could have found a middle ground with jock@law that would have allowed him to stay but the way he treated other users [not publicly often, and not one or two users but many] made that impossible. I don't mean to be all pass-the-buck "my hands were tied!" about this but there's only so much apologizing and "hey man you need to ease back on this" we can do before our efforts trying to work with one user take too much time away from our ability to run the site. I still consider it a bit of a personal failure that we couldn't find a way to make that all work.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:31 AM on February 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


zarq just became one of my very favoritest mefites. Cannot WAIT for the fashion week dish, but the McQueen stuff is just heartbreaking.

Please don't get your hopes up too high about any fashion week gossip from me. I can relate a few stories that have happened over the years, but to be honest none of them are terribly exciting. I only work backstage at a handful of shows each season, and I rarely run into celebrities who aren't models. Unless you count folks who work in the fashion industry and those who report on them as celebs, I suppose. Mostly, I just keep my head down, do my job and enjoy it when possible. :)

I don't really do that much work in the fashion industry, except for event stuff. Most of what I do is scientific and medical publicity. It's a weird mix.

I'll come back to answer eatyourcellphone and post something this afternoon when I return to my office.
posted by zarq at 4:24 AM on February 17, 2010


I apologize for having wasted your valuable time.

"Hello," he lied.
posted by OmieWise at 4:56 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I feel a strong kinship with Harlan Ellison ...

This is my surprised face.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:35 AM on February 17, 2010


If any of you actually gave a tin shit what I think are the less than optimal aspects of MetaFilter, you could probably put it together from comments I've made here in the past.

So this is, of course, jerky and infuriating, and I was going to comment like who do you think you are finger wag, but then I remembered that I did skim through your MeTa comments and you know what, I still have no fucking clue what flavor of crack smoke you're spewing here.

Not sure why you think you're entitled to act like the world's most put-upon noble outcast when you can't even be bothered to tell anyone what your problem is.

I'll lead by example.

Less than optimal aspects of MetaFilter according to prefpara:
1. when people make vague, nonspecific accusations and there is no mechanism by which i can poke them with a stick
2. sometimes I have the perfect answer to an AskMe question but someone else got there first and took all the glory and admiration and I feel a little more certain of dying alone and unloved
3. white background too professional-looking
3.
posted by prefpara at 6:26 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jeez guys I answered the taters question a long time ago.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:26 AM on February 17, 2010


4. my typos.
posted by prefpara at 6:30 AM on February 17, 2010


5. lack of waffle delivery system
posted by desjardins at 6:42 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, EmpressCallipygos, I promise. I not only promise, I gare-rone-TEE!

So when ARE you going to go, then?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 AM on February 17, 2010


6.No Teleport feature for meetups
posted by The Whelk at 6:46 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok, so who's up for a "Men of Metafilter" calendar?

I nominate all of my spouses.

I support this product and or service.


You'd better, honey. Start limbering up for your photoshoot.
posted by desuetude at 6:47 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Geez, zarq, just when I start to get over my Metafilter-induced complex that every other member is way cooler than I could ever hope to be you go and tell us about your (apparently) blindingly hip job. There better be some fabulous fashion week dish on its way to lift me out of my depression!
posted by Go Banana at 7:22 AM on February 17, 2010


Crabby Appleton writes "MetaFilter is basically an overgrown FIDOnet BBS."

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by Mitheral at 7:23 AM on February 17, 2010


So when ARE you going to go, then?

Real soon now. You can trust me. I'm not like the others. (You have no idea how much it hurts a guy like me to have someone named EmpressCallipygos wanting me gone. :-)

Before I go, I just want to say that the mods have been more than fair with me over the years. There have been a few times when I really expected the ban-hammer to come out, but so far it hasn't. Thanks jessamyn, cortex, and mathowie, for your patience. Contrary to the words some have tried to put in my mouth, I don't hate the mods. I think they have a couple of fairly large blind spots, and their vision for the site (and the value hierarchy informing that vision) is different from mine. As scrump said, MetaFilter is not going to change into what I want it to be. It took me a long time (too long) to figure all this out.

I'm not going to disable my account. I'll continue to read, and even post the occasional comment if I think I have something substantive (factual) to add. But I'm out of the "meta" business. Let the revels begin!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:25 AM on February 17, 2010


FYI, the username Happy Bartokomous is still available.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:32 AM on February 17, 2010


Hey, Crabby, your most recent post actually sounds uncrabby. Kudos to you.

MetaFilter is not going to change into what I want it to be. It took me a long time (too long) to figure all this out.

I think there are probably very few people here who think Metafilter is "perfect." And, with thousands of active members, it's impossible for it to be exactly what any single person or single group "wants it to be."

For me personally, there are some topics where I don't agree with the Mefi "conventional wisdom" but I can choose not to participate in those topics or I can try my best to communicate my thoughts and feelings in good faith. The people who choose to voice their disagreements by constantly axe-grinding, and/or passive-aggressively needling don't ever accomplish anything except to annoy everyone.
posted by amyms at 7:45 AM on February 17, 2010


I can hazard a guess at part of what's bugging Crabby, and I think that he has said it before, although he hasn't helped his case by being vague and confrontational in how he presents it.

To approach it obliquely, people have biases. Everyone has a bias, whether they admit it to themselves or not. I would say that if you don't admit that you have a bias, you are likely to be more biased than someone who admits to having a bias. I happen to think that the mods attempt to put aside their biases in the course of making moderating decisions, when they see that they have a bias, and try to make fair decisions. I do think that if two (or more) people are involved in an argument on Metafilter, the person who a mod disagrees with on the substance of their argument is more likely to be seen by that mod as being the source of conflict. From my point of view, this isn't even really a controversial statement; it's a fact of human nature. You might even say that I have a bias towards believing in the existence of bias.

I don't think that this is a particularly bad thing for Metafilter. I don't even notice it except for where I happen to have a different bias than the mods. People who disagree with our community norms are more likely to disagree with moderating decisions and are also more likely to get into conflicts with the established community. Unless there is some kind of established score keeping system within the CabalModSkyNetPlex, the mods probably don't have any way of tracking who called who a name first in any given thread other than their perception of what happened. If you retaliate to name calling with name calling, than you are likely to be considered just as guilty as the person who called you a name.

Crabby: Your real issue with the way things work, as I see it, is that you think that heated conflict on the site should be allowed to persist in the open. I think that you are overestimating the likelihood of heated conflict leading to any kind of positive long term consequences. In the past you have disparaged the idea of community, because I believe that you see this as meaning that the mods enforce some kind of ideological discipline. I think this vastly overstates the case. I do think that if someone is an ideological outlier they are held to a higher standard of behavior by the mods, but I think this is reasonable given the sheer number of people that participate and the discussion of very contentious issues.
posted by jefeweiss at 8:39 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let Crabby's action be a lesson to all you potential flame-outers: Disabling your account is the equivalent of throwing your toys across the room. It is possible to enjoy this site and the benefits that come with having an account without having to participate in the political/meta discussions that go on.

Of course, sometimes that toy pissed you off THAT MUCH...
posted by cimbrog at 8:46 AM on February 17, 2010


I guess we won't have Crabby Appleton to kick around any more.
posted by chinston at 8:50 AM on February 17, 2010


MetaFilter is not going to change into what I want it to be. It took me a long time (too long) to figure all this out.

See, this puzzles me. So what if it's different from how you want it to be?

Metafilter's not exactly how I want it to be, either, at least some of the time. I skip the stuff that bores me, and try to manage the amount of time I spend in threads where the subject matter is interesting to me but I know will be fighty (cf. the recent health reform fpp), and sometimes that means I skip them entirely (or I read the links but not the comments).

On the rare occasions when I've had a serious WTF moment, I've emailed the mods and been as specific as possible about what my problem is. They can't fix things if I'm all handwavey about what I object to.

I think the main problem, Crabby, is that what you object to most about Metafilter is the other users. I think maybe you think that if the moderating were handled differently, that the left-leaning-ness of this site would automagically become less left. That may be true, but would I think require such heavy-handed modding that Mefi would cease to exist as we know it. No amount of modding is going to make lefty Mefites be less lefty.

I also tend to take what the mods say at face value. If I get all cranky about how a particular user is being velvet-gloved (in my perception) by the mods, well, okay, but I don't think they're lying to me when they say "We're handling this in back channels, there's stuff you don't need to know about, but we know about it, and we're working on it." You seem to just have decided that, for instance, poor jock@law was booted because of his politics after a bad comment or two, and that cortex or jessamyn must be, well, lying when they said "Lotta history here, lotta back channel private stuff, no, we're not booting him because of these two comments."

Which makes me wonder why you'd want to spend time participating in a forum where you don't trust the moderators, not to mention not liking the users. To be very clear, this is not me saying "so why don't you go somewhere else then already." This is me being puzzled.
posted by rtha at 8:54 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't disagree that there is some level of bias here at Metafilter, but I want to think about how we would define the bias. Without intending to present an exhaustive review, I would firmly suggest that there is a bias toward respectful, open, accepting speech and attitudes. In my very humble opinion, MeFi is very tolerant of a wide range of opinions so long as they are civilly and thoughtfully expressed. As compared to the outside world, I also see MeFites far more willing to call out speech that, while compliant with the "dominant ideology," is nevertheless cruelly or uncivilly expressed. I'm not saying these systems are perfect, but I think for those who feel they are silenced by bias here at Metafilter, civil and respectful expression of their views, reduction of rhetoric hyperbole, and a less bellicose tone might go a long way. Whether those individuals would ever convert swarms of Mefites to their views is sort of irrelevant, I simply think respectful tone influences respectful audience. Not in every case, not against all odds, not for every view, but often.
posted by bunnycup at 8:59 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


It figures that, after I've made what (for me) might be considered a semi-graceful exit, someone would finally post something intelligent and insightful (but still not quite right :-) on the subject.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:04 AM on February 17, 2010


I do think that if two (or more) people are involved in an argument on Metafilter, the person who a mod disagrees with on the substance of their argument is more likely to be seen by that mod as being the source of conflict.

Counterfactual: St. Alia.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:10 AM on February 17, 2010


Example of what bunnycup is saying from my own experience: MeFi leans left, I agree, and I've noticed a tendency to hate on libertarians. But what happened when, in a civil manner, I noted that I consider myself to be libertarian and don't appreciate the rhetoric? The person who had just made some insulting LOLLIBURTARIANZ remark immediately apologized to me and a warmth spread through my heart and major extremities.

This is to say that I think people who claim their point of view is silenced here are completely full of it. Except CrabbyAppleton. His point of view IS silenced. By himself. Damn it, the fascist mods strike again!

Oh, it also helps that when people disagree with me I don't flip the fuck out.
posted by prefpara at 9:20 AM on February 17, 2010


bunnycup: "I don't disagree that there is some level of bias here at Metafilter, but I want to think about how we would define the bias. Without intending to present an exhaustive review, I would firmly suggest that there is a bias toward respectful, open, accepting speech and attitudes. In my very humble opinion, MeFi is very tolerant of a wide range of opinions so long as they are civilly and thoughtfully expressed. As compared to the outside world, I also see MeFites far more willing to call out speech that, while compliant with the "dominant ideology," is nevertheless cruelly or uncivilly expressed. I'm not saying these systems are perfect, but I think for those who feel they are silenced by bias here at Metafilter, civil and respectful expression of their views, reduction of rhetoric hyperbole, and a less bellicose tone might go a long way. Whether those individuals would ever convert swarms of Mefites to their views is sort of irrelevant, I simply think respectful tone influences respectful audience. Not in every case, not against all odds, not for every view, but often"

I agree with this assessment and it was not my intention to imply otherwise. Part of the problem is that civil discourse is in the eye of the beholder. What reads as mild snark to someone who holds one point of view can be a deadly insult to someone else. This is part of the reason that we end up with MeTa threads like this one.
posted by jefeweiss at 9:25 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It figures that, after I've made what (for me) might be considered a semi-graceful exit, someone would finally post something intelligent and insightful (but still not quite right :-) on the subject.

Ok, either list your concerns in plain English, using bullet points if you wish. But it seems like that you have some kind of vague disdain that you're not able to articulate because when you try to there's nothing there to form a basis. I'm not saying that you might not have legitimate beefs, but the fact that you're so obtusely coy about it suggests that you have some kind of heart-head misalignment thing vis-à-vis site moderation. I'm not "toeing the line" by questioning your argument against mods or community or whatever it is you're talking about, as I have my own issues with what I see as capriciousness and perhaps personal values that I don't share, but the general track record of moderation is quite good.

Anyway, just say it plainly or go away fully. It's hard to see all of your putzing around as anything other than attention whoring.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:30 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


>It figures that, after I've made what (for me) might be considered a semi-graceful exit, someone would finally post something intelligent and insightful (but still not quite right :-) on the subject.

Ok, either list your concerns in plain English, using bullet points if you wish. But it seems like that you have some kind of vague disdain that you're not able to articulate because when you try to there's nothing there to form a basis.


I have a feeling such a list would be:

" * The mods aren't banning the people I personally dislike.
* This makes the mods poopy.
* But if I come out and say the mods are poopy they could ban me.
* So I need to hint they're poopy and maybe someone else will say it.
* And then when that other person says they're poopy other people will agree and overthrow them.
* Then I'll be King and Angelina Jolie will marry me.
* Oh, and maybe I can be a viking, too!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:27 AM on February 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't disagree that there is some level of bias here at Metafilter, but I want to think about how we would define the bias. Without intending to present an exhaustive review, I would firmly suggest that there is a bias toward respectful, open, accepting speech and attitudes. In my very humble opinion, MeFi is very tolerant of a wide range of opinions so long as they are civilly and thoughtfully expressed. As compared to the outside world, I also see MeFites far more willing to call out speech that, while compliant with the "dominant ideology," is nevertheless cruelly or uncivilly expressed. I'm not saying these systems are perfect, but I think for those who feel they are silenced by bias here at Metafilter, civil and respectful expression of their views, reduction of rhetoric hyperbole, and a less bellicose tone might go a long way. Whether those individuals would ever convert swarms of Mefites to their views is sort of irrelevant, I simply think respectful tone influences respectful audience. Not in every case, not against all odds, not for every view, but often.
-bunnycup

While that all sounds very fine and high-minded, the actual content of the thread contradicts what you've said. Or do you really believe that 'I want to bop him on the nose' is the absolute apex of 'civil and thoughtful' expression? Do you really believe that a site mod announcing to her fans that a site member is 'haunted' by 'inner demons' is the best and only way to handle a rogue element? Well, I beg to differ. I know the pile-on was probably deserved, and it was for his own good and the only way he'll learn and so on, but it sure as hell wasn't as nicely and daintily-done as you're making out.

The thing about Metafilter having no bias - except the bias towards just being really, really nice and lovely - did make me laugh, though. You are, of course, completely wrong, but I can't help admiring your chutzpah. It was like a Dame Edna thing - "My problem, possums, is that I care too much!' You certainly play the role of philanthropic grande dame wronged by the ungrateful rabble with great aplomb and conviction.

I like you, bunnycup. What's more I want to BE like you. I will study your future posts as a sort of manual in the deployment of flawlessly cool and subtle bitchery. Teach me, master.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 10:32 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


* Then I'll be King and Angelina Jolie will marry me.

You owe me a monitor. I just sprayed Frappuccino all over this one. :D
posted by zarq at 10:39 AM on February 17, 2010


Or do you really believe that 'I want to bop him on the nose' is the absolute apex of 'civil and thoughtful' expression?

The thing is, eatyourcellphone, that the target of statements like "I want to bop him on the nose" usually behaved somewhat crassly themselves FIRST. I have rarely seen a case where someone came in here and posted something calmly and rationally, and people out-the-gate spoke of clocking them upside the head in response.

I do realize this sounds like a more hifalutin' way of saying "well, they started it," but....there is some wisdom to acknowledging that, in this community, people usually all at least start from a favorable place -- and that the outright catcalling is usually in response to an established pattern of nasty.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on February 17, 2010


> It figures that, after I've made what (for me) might be considered a semi-graceful exit

...you wouldn't actually be gone.
posted by languagehat at 10:48 AM on February 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


The great thing about MetaFilter is that I don't even have to participate. People will make up stuff for me. Often, they'll respond to the made-up stuff as if I actually wrote it. This common rhetorical tactic on MetaFilter makes it a truly pleasant place to have a discussion.

EmpressCallipygos, you got my list almost completely correct! But for Angelina Jolie, substitute Allison Baver.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:52 AM on February 17, 2010


This common rhetorical tactic on MetaFilter makes it a truly pleasant place to have a discussion.

I'm rubber, you're glue.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw, I spent like 60 seconds on that fake comment.

Anyway, Crabby Appleton, it seems you just crossed over into Trollville so enjoy your shit sandwich.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:00 AM on February 17, 2010


I do realize this sounds like a more hifalutin' way of saying "well, they started it,"

It is a hifalutin' way of saying "well, they started it". Which, as I've said, is fine by me. But you all seem to think you're better than that - some of you, like bunnycup, make quite a song-and-dance about how much better than that you are - but you don't actually act better than that.

Also, Mefites, in my experience, fail to 'catcall' people who express approved opinions in nasty ways. I'm constantly amazed by the things that are left to stand on the blue, because Mefites do not flag orthodox sentiments expressed in a nasty way, despite bunnycup's claim to the contrary.

Even if one concedes that a certain level of nastiness is okay as long as 'the other guy started it', Mefites' responses to provocation are so often wildly disproportionate. I realize that hincandenza was very over the top in his posts, but it still bothers me to see how willing Mefites are to suggest that any person who expresses an unusual opinion in a 'bad' way - who lets their frustration or anger get the better of them - must be neurotic, haunted by inner demons, drunk, motivated solely by their own unhappiness, and so on.

This is a common tactic of upholders of the status quo. It says to outsiders 'your anger/frustration couldn't possibly arise, even in part, from any flaw in the society in which you find yourself. There's definitely something wrong with you, and only with you'. It stops anyone from having to concede even the slightest possibility that there might be even a tiny grain of truth in a dissenting critique. It absolves the upholder of the status quo from having to examine his/her own assumptions and beliefs for even a split-second.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 11:06 AM on February 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


But if Deckard is a replicant, why does he have an ex-wife?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:06 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad I installed that usernotes scripty thing before I started reading this thread... but I didn't realize I'd be using the "this person is whacked, do not engage" tag so much.
posted by palomar at 11:09 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Vikings seem like people who appreciate directness (more "Let's go pillage!" and less "Well, I have this idea...but I don't think you guys will understand it or like it, but I'm going to go to great lengths to hint about what the idea may or may not be."), so I don't know if that'd be a good fit.
posted by rtha at 11:09 AM on February 17, 2010


Also, Mefites, in my experience, fail to 'catcall' people who express approved opinions in nasty ways. I'm constantly amazed by the things that are left to stand on the blue, because Mefites do not flag orthodox sentiments expressed in a nasty way, despite bunnycup's claim to the contrary.

A fair point, but...it also strikes me that that's not entirely a province of MeFi. More like, that's a province of human nature.

I think you'll be hard pressed to find people who DON'T unconsciously cut some slack for nastily-expressed opinions, if they agree with those opinions. It's not ideal behavior, no, but -- Mefi is far from the only place where I think you'll find that happening.

And I know that MeFites are awesome, but...perfect, not so much.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:12 AM on February 17, 2010


Perhaps you think that having men AND women being shat on in a way that was previously mostly used against women is progress; you're entitled to your own opinions on what constitutes improvement.

Let me explain my position:

A group was abused by those in power.

Now that group has gained power.

So they turn the tables.

That's not progress. That's the continuation of a cycle of abuse. Which is in no way an improvement.

By saying that you support attacking men who used to be in power because they used to attack women in the same way, you're justifying what those men did to women as acceptable.

I realize this is a controversial position and that I suspect many MeFites won't agree with. But it's how I see things.

Frankly, I think it's pretty nasty coming from a group of people who pride themselves on being particularly 'advanced' in their political and social notions.

Publicists?

I'm joking. :)

If you're talking about men, well... I am one. But I'm not speaking for all of them.

If you're talking about Americans... I'm one of those too. I suppose the only logical response I can make to your accusation is... "advanced" compared to whom? I certainly don't think our political and social system is beyond reproach.

I'm sure you understood that this was what I was getting at; frankly, I'm a little disappointed to see such deliberate disingenuousness from a poster I previously respected as someone who was open, broad-minded and willing to listen to alternative viewpoints.

As you can see, I don't think I'm being disingenuous. I may have been a little flip in my original comment, but I didn't deliberately misspeak.

Actually, to be perfectly precise about my objection, I'd have to say that I'm not bothered by bitchery and rough-and-tumble per se; I am bothered by the double standard that says posters who are outliers to the Metafilter political norm must be very circumspect in how they address others, while the more orthodox are given carte blanche to come out with all guns blazing. I advocate a fair fight, nothing more.

I agree with you that we should be allowed to speak our minds, but I also think we should all be polite and try to treat each other with respect. In my mind, the problem with 'rough-and-tumble' is it too easily devolves into personal attacks and flamewars.

That's simply my opinion, of course.
posted by zarq at 11:18 AM on February 17, 2010


A fair point, but...it also strikes me that that's not entirely a province of MeFi. More like, that's a province of human nature.

I think you'll be hard pressed to find people who DON'T unconsciously cut some slack for nastily-expressed opinions, if they agree with those opinions. It's not ideal behavior, no, but -- Mefi is far from the only place where I think you'll find that happening.


Yes, other people do this. That makes it OK?

And I know that MeFites are awesome, but...perfect, not so much.

Claiming to be willing to attempt to treat people fairly, and then endeavoring to do so, may be difficult, but I hardly think it requires perfection.

And of course, if you're actually not willing to do this, you can be less hypocritical by stopping all the 'we're so diverse and tolerant and nice' cheerleading.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 11:19 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


eatyourcellphone, we've tried to be pretty understanding of the hard time you've had making it work here, but sending abusive email to other members is too much. Spend your time elsewhere.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:23 AM on February 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Yes, other people do this. That makes it OK?

Nowhere did I say this was okay. In fact, I said that this was NOT okay.

But it's also really hard to avoid.

Claiming to be willing to attempt to treat people fairly, and then endeavoring to do so, may be difficult, but I hardly think it requires perfection.

Well, me either. Which is why I cut others some slack when they do slip up rather than railing against the whole of the site. Because, while MeFi is imperfect, it does do a better job of it than other sites I've seen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:23 AM on February 17, 2010


I realize that hincandenza was very over the top in his posts, but it still bothers me to see how willing Mefites are to suggest that any person who expresses an unusual opinion in a 'bad' way - who lets their frustration or anger get the better of them - must be neurotic, haunted by inner demons, drunk, motivated solely by their own unhappiness, and so on.

So hincandenza gets a pass on his over-the-top remarks because he was really frustrated and/or angry, but those who responded to him are not frustrated or angry and do not deserve the same consideration. Okay.
posted by rtha at 11:24 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dammit. Lack of preview.
posted by rtha at 11:25 AM on February 17, 2010


But if Deckard is a replicant, why does he have an ex-wife?

Do we know that he has an ex-wife? We know he has memories of one.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:26 AM on February 17, 2010


eatyourcellphone, we've tried to be pretty understanding of the hard time you've had making it work here, but sending abusive email to other members is too much. Spend your time elsewhere.

cortex, can you give just a touch more detail of the banning here. I think it's important in this case because the thread has turned around whether or not different viewpoints are tolerated here, and there has been the suggestion that eatyourcellphone was already unfairly singled out by the mods during his interaction with shmegge,

I'm not asking for juicy details, just a bit more detail for the record.
posted by OmieWise at 11:30 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


"sending abusive email to other members " seems enough to disqualify him from conservative martyrdom to me.
posted by cimbrog at 11:31 AM on February 17, 2010


cortex, can you give just a touch more detail of the banning here.

Sending fucked-up email to people about their body and their profile pic = crossing a line into serious badness and is a great way to get your ass banned. I'm not comfortable going into more detail than that, no.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:33 AM on February 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


A post from Jezebel reminded me the FPP. It quotes Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill:

And on the topic of feminism: Hanna obviously hasn't stopped growing, both as a feminist and as a musician, and she is unafraid to reflect on this shift. In a moment of self-reflection, she discusses the pitfalls of her earlier brand of politics:

[]I got really caught up in some horizontal oppression stuff, some petty intrigues, at the expense of real productive dialogue... I mean, a lot of arguments that were based in semantics more than action, and people's insecurities being played off as though they were political dialogues when really they were just personal things that were recast in a political light as a way to gain power for themselves.


Makes me think I might think about it later.
posted by anniecat at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


can you give just a touch more detail of the banning here.

Sending harassing abusive email to members of the site will get you banned. This has nothing to do with eatyourcellphone's opinions and everything to do with how they were expressed.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sending fucked-up email to people about their body and their profile pic

Wow, cute.
posted by Skot at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2010


Ugh. I assume y'alls collective certainty that eatyourcellphone was not framed is pretty high? I am not asking except for the reasons omiewise stated above - it's a lousy, lousy coincidence that the last guy pushing an unpopular opinion in a fairly fighty thread about the acceptance of dissenting viewpoints does something that is both assholish enough to get himself banned and invisible to the general public.

Sorry that you guys have to eat this particular shit sandwich today.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:02 PM on February 17, 2010


Framed how? Someone hacked eatyourcellphpone's account and mefimailed another user from it? Come on.
posted by rtha at 12:05 PM on February 17, 2010


Nobody said anything about mefimail.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:08 PM on February 17, 2010


That is more detail, and all I was asking for. Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 12:08 PM on February 17, 2010


But I'm out of the "meta" business.

No you're not!
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on February 17, 2010


eatyourcellphone has been banned? Well look at that.
posted by jokeefe at 12:12 PM on February 17, 2010


Ugh. I assume y'alls collective certainty that eatyourcellphone was not framed is pretty high?

For god's sake, yes. I'm sure that's not intended as a slight or anything, but this is our job and we don't really fuck around when it comes to banning or do so lightly.

eatyourcellphone is by far not the only person on this site to have had something to say about the pressure of local bias on unpopular opinion, and it's a worthwhile topic and one that as mods we're actively concerned about. Most of the folks with something to say on the topic also manage to get along decently with their fellow users; I don't know what the fuck eycp's problem is, exactly, but that was where he parted ways with the bulk of the userbase, repeatedly and then today especially badly, and that's what got him banned.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:13 PM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think eycp was/is a middle aged woman.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on February 17, 2010


dirtdirt: are you suggesting the mods invented this email? Or that the recipient invented it?

Do you think that theory is more likely than this:
"someone with a well established track record of public inappropriate fightiness/jerkiness sent a private piece of inappropriate fightiness/jerkiness"?
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:15 PM on February 17, 2010


At least some of the harassing memail in question came my way. Which is peculiar, since this is the only interaction I ever had with eatyourcellphone. I've been not around much for months.

At this point though, I've been graced with enough florid nastygrams out of the blue that I've decided to make reporting them, and blocking the senders, a policy. I know I don't merit the kind of abuse I get. I don't talk to other people on the site that way, not even close.

I figure the profile pic I've had for so long encourages them, it's something like the last straw for the bannable types. She's so.. PUDGY... but HAPPY... about METAFILTER! RAAAAAAGE!!!!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:21 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody said anything about mefimail.

True. I assumed mefimail.
posted by rtha at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2010


I never received harassing email from eyct, but I have from others. I'm glad to know that banning people who do this is actual policy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:24 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


There seems to have been a lot of really balls-out energy-drink-drinking flame-out threads this year. Has it been three or four since January? What up with 'dat? It is almost like everyone's new years resolution was to be more ornery.
IANYD but take a chill pill y'all Do some yoga or get some exercise (it worked for me!)
posted by fuq at 12:25 PM on February 17, 2010


Huh. I've never received even so much as an impolite Memail in the correspondence I've had here. I'm sorry that others have; it's not fun to be on the other end of somebody's abuse.
posted by jokeefe at 12:28 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least some of the harassing memail in question came my way. Which is peculiar, since this is the only interaction I ever had with eatyourcellphone. I've been not around much for months.

I regret posting that damned Meta. The road to hell is paved....
posted by zarq at 12:28 PM on February 17, 2010


I got an abusive memail a long time ago, which is weird because no one even knows who I am.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:35 PM on February 17, 2010


eatyourcellphone has been banned?

Watch! This is my other surprised face.

I think eycp was/is a middle aged woman.

I doubt that. Which makes it even weirder.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:36 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh, I didn't even realize eycp was the mommy hating dude. god, that was weird.
posted by shmegegge at 12:41 PM on February 17, 2010


Ugh. I assume y'alls collective certainty that eatyourcellphone was not framed is pretty high? I am not asking except for the reasons omiewise stated above - it's a lousy, lousy coincidence that the last guy pushing an unpopular opinion in a fairly fighty thread about the acceptance of dissenting viewpoints does something that is both assholish enough to get himself banned and invisible to the general public.

How would it be "coincidental" that someone acting jerky in public is also acting jerky in private?
posted by desuetude at 12:44 PM on February 17, 2010


are you suggesting the mods invented this email? Or that the recipient invented it?

No, not at all. But I AM saying that in a case where we can't get any details about what happened, where normally EVERYTHING is visible for all eternity, the more explicitely things can be stated the more comfortable I am. It pains me horribly to have Cortex feel the need to state that he doesn't think I meant my question as a slight (because I realize it could be seen as one!) and, lordy, I really really really didn't mean it as a slight. For the mods to say "Yes, we checked out all the angles, we are sure" is enough to make me feel better about it. I know it can be assumed (and I do assume it! I do!) but I still feel better seeing it in black and white.

But I'm also sorry for asking.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:46 PM on February 17, 2010


There seems to have been a lot of really balls-out energy-drink-drinking flame-out threads this year. Has it been three or four since January? What up with 'dat? It is almost like everyone's new years resolution was to be more ornery

I'm going with

1) Larger user base
2) Severe Winter In the U.S is makin' everyone cranky and cabin fever-y
3) The slow drip of Our Terrible Economy
4) Crazy pills in the water.
posted by The Whelk at 12:48 PM on February 17, 2010


The thing about Metafilter having no bias - except the bias towards just being really, really nice and lovely - did make me laugh, though

I'm not going to respond to eatyourcellphone's ridiculous screed at me further, except to say for the purpose of whatever useful discussion was happening about bias (and I believe a worthwhile discussion was being had), that I never suggested MeFi had no bias, or that MeFi had no bias other than toward respectful tone. Nor did I suggest that the respectful tone happens one hundred percent of the time. I did suggest that more often than not, those who are the victim of a pileon (something we are all moving away from participating in, no matter how righteous, if I understand correctly) have committed the offense not just of a non-majority opinion, but an uncivil expression. I have far less frequently seen - not to say its never happened - a pileon heaped at someone who spoke respectfully, but with whom others here disagreed.

I have a lot of trouble taking points about my thoughts on the impact of respectful tone, however, from someone who called me a bitch or bitchy 4 times in 24 hours and told me to fuck off at least once (both between this thread and MeMail). I find it pretty disingenuous that someone who speaks with that level of disrespect and aggressiveness really feels "pop his nose" or whatever is beyond the pale.
posted by bunnycup at 12:53 PM on February 17, 2010


4) Crazy pills in the water.

That's the problem right there. Crazy pills are supposed to go in your beer and/or whisk(e)y, duh.
posted by rtha at 12:54 PM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


How would it be "coincidental" that someone acting jerky in public is also acting jerky in private?

Maybe I chose the wrong word. He was railing and being fairly jerky in this thread, but not jerky enough to get banned, but then he WAS banned because of something he did outside of this thread, and I wish that he had done it more publicly so that it wouldn't push the fiction that dissenting viewpoints are eventually banned.

to be clear: I believe that he deserved to be banned. I don't believe that opposing viewpoints are silenced. I believe the mods take this all very seriously and were very, very sure. I don't believe anybody forged anything. I just wish this had happened in a way that there was not even the possibility of doubt.

But to the "Jerky in public/jerky in private" question, I think a person can hold unpopular viewpoints, and even be a bit of an asswipe, without being the sort of person who sends harassing emails, and I think we should remember and be clear that the banning was not for the viewpoints, it was for the harrassing.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:59 PM on February 17, 2010


Crazy pills

Possibly drug interactions... Off label use of crazy pills can be dangerous, especially when mixed with taters and/or hamburgers.
posted by fuq at 1:02 PM on February 17, 2010


ah, dirtdirt, sorry for misconstruing what you said.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:07 PM on February 17, 2010


A Hamburger, taters and crazy pills. That describes my lunch perfectly!
posted by cimbrog at 1:08 PM on February 17, 2010


No, not at all. But I AM saying that in a case where we can't get any details about what happened, where normally EVERYTHING is visible for all eternity, the more explicitely things can be stated the more comfortable I am.

Yeah, and I can understand that dirtdirt and I'm sorry if my response came off as a little spiky. The thing is, there are some situations where there's a pretty solid conflict between wanting that transparency (which we're pretty big believers in, so I'm right there with you) and not wanting to take private ugliness and make it unnecessarily public. In those cases we're likely not to want to broadcast the fine details of what went down.

To that end, a lot of what we do as far as communicating with users about problems doesn't get laid out in detail in metatalk because it doesn't help anything to do so—and most of that stuff is more along the lines of constructive trying-to-make-it-work stuff with users than this sort of gross extreme failure of good faith interaction. Part of our job is to be responsible for dealing with that stuff, and making those tough calls about what's enough and where to draw the line and so forth, so that it doesn't have to turn into a public spectacle to the detriment of the site and the folks directly involved.

When there's something like abusive private mail, it's pretty much a given that (a) we're going to verify things carefully and (b) we're not going to go copypaste the whole thing into metatalk without a really, really good reason.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:09 PM on February 17, 2010


> I just wish this had happened in a way that there was not even the possibility of doubt.

Yeah, well. Lots of people get banned or leave for things that are unclear to the public userbase, don't they? And there's no reason to put their private behavior on display, nor to interpret their absence as meaningful to the public.

Not that I wouldn't love to tell all about what jerks people have been. But that's just talk.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:10 PM on February 17, 2010


OK... this now seems like a really weird place to talk about past and present fashion week incidents. :P
posted by zarq at 1:11 PM on February 17, 2010


No it's not!
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on February 17, 2010


zarq, I have been watching this thread for something like 24 hours waiting to hear those stories. Please share them!
posted by bunnycup at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think eycp was/is a middle aged woman.

I doubt that. Which makes it even weirder.


Well, in this trainwreck she indicates she is. Who knows, or who cares? Anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:23 PM on February 17, 2010


Lots of people get banned or leave for things that are unclear to the public userbase, don't they?

Absolutely, and rightfully so. But this is a case where he was publicly banned in a thread that he had basically made into his lonely crusade about how the minority viewpoint is stifled, and even though the banning was for something unrelated to his lonely crusade, it could serve to further his dumb cause, so long as you don't look at it too closely.

But yeah, please: make with the Fashion Week stories. DO YOU KNOW TIM GUNN?
posted by dirtdirt at 1:24 PM on February 17, 2010


Yeah zarq! I wish I was working fashion week but I long ago, uh... fell out of favor... with certain employers.
posted by fuq at 1:24 PM on February 17, 2010


But this is a case where he was publicly banned in a thread that he had basically made into his lonely crusade about how the minority viewpoint is stifled, and even though the banning was for something unrelated to his lonely crusade, it could serve to further his dumb cause, so long as you don't look at it too closely.

Yeah. And part of staying sane in this job is being willing to accept and live with the fact that folks who want to not look too closely and instead assume the worst can't be prevented from doing so. At the end of the day that's a bummer but it has approximately fuckall to do with the healthy parts of this community, so I try to make my peace with it and leave it at that and the people who want to draw ugly conclusions or seethe or whatever can do what they have to do as long as they can manage not to fuck with other people here in the process.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:28 PM on February 17, 2010


zarq, spill! I'd love to hear any fashion week tales you have to tell.
posted by palomar at 1:30 PM on February 17, 2010


zarq, come on! Please tell! Either you tell stories or we start talking about pie again. And I love talking about pie, but I'd love to hear Fashion Week stories even more.
posted by rtha at 1:47 PM on February 17, 2010


Me too, actually.
posted by OmieWise at 1:49 PM on February 17, 2010


Speaking of pie, I just played the demo for PB Winterbottom. Damn mischief-making, trickery causing pies.
posted by bunnycup at 1:54 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the clarification, mods. Because just on the evidence of this Meta thread itself, and not having ever noticed that user before, eycp has been very polite, if not absurdly, ostentatiously over-polite. I think you're doing a great job, but the twin brushback comments against eycp -- and none that I saw to shmeggege until later -- did surprise me and seem a bit one-sided (at the time). I mean, "take it to email" messages should kind of automatically be addressed to 2 people IMHO.

In that context, eycp's public vs. private two-facedness almost seems like an attempt to create an incriminating public record to be pointed at later.

Also: having been a mod myself elsewhere I understand that most problems are best worked out in private (ie email), and there is a tricky balance between showing enough publicly to communicate why someone was banned, vs. not publicizing ugly things or seeming to ask for group approval or revealing how someone else was victimized in a way they almost certainly don't want known.
posted by msalt at 1:55 PM on February 17, 2010


I just wish this had happened in a way that there was not even the possibility of doubt.

Yep, me too, seriously. I don't think it's being too chatty to say this was a user that we'd had problems with in the past [under a different username, with similar problems] and that the Brand New Day policy wasn't working out very well. I'm really sorry this sounds a little like "I could tell you but I'd have to kill you" but when we have a situation where a user is really unhappy in a way that's slopping over into personal emails and mod emails, we'd rather say less than more.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:58 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


none that I saw to shmeggege until later

As I indicated upthread, I had already emailed shmeggege before most of this happened and we already had an email exchange going on that didn't seem like it needed to be repeated in MeTa just for the sake of appearances.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:00 PM on February 17, 2010

But I'm out of the "meta" business.

No you're not!
I'm semi-retired.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:08 PM on February 17, 2010


As I indicated upthread, I had already emailed shmeggege before most of this happened and we already had an email exchange going on that didn't seem like it needed to be repeated in MeTa just for the sake of appearances.

Ok. I'm not trying to second guess you or anything, just saying how it struck me. In a way, anything posted here (vs email) is for the sake of appearances.
posted by msalt at 2:32 PM on February 17, 2010


I got an abusive memail a long time ago, which is weird because no one even knows who I am.

shakespeherian, had my momma not raised me right, you definitely would have felt the wrath of an angry MeMail from me following your taters "explanation."
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:38 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


In a way, anything posted here (vs email) is for the sake of appearances.

True, the same goes for pretty much any comment we make that isn't explicitly personal or explicitly about policy. And the fact of the matter is, we have different relationships with different members of the site. I'm personal friends with some people, have swapped postcards with other people, some people wrote me nice notes when I was going through my last break-up, some people have sent me t-shirts in the mail, some people I hang out with almost every week, some people I have asked to "cool it" and have responded with a lot of abuse, some people have picked me up at foreign airports, some people give me helpful answers to my questions, &c.

So, deciding what might be the most effective way of communicating with people is informed by that as well as "what helps the community more?" Sometimes it's important to make a public statement that people can see you making, sometimes things go more smoothly if you just send someone a private email. Sometimes one or the other of us has to email or comment because that person has a less-problematic relationship with a particular user. If things are really sticky, we say "talk to Matt" We have to make a lot of choices, under sometimes-stressful conditions, about what we think is right. This gets doubly-hard when someone has been banned because they can't reply and they no longer have access to MeMail for interacting with users directly. In many cases banning someone from the site effectively keeps them from communicating with members and only leaves them the option of communicating with mods. This is problematic, but sort of part of managing an online community.

I'm often happy to chat a little bit more openly about the inside baseball of the thing over email because I don't have to worry about 10,000 people looking over what I wrote with a fine toothed comb and might say things that I wouldn't say publicly. People who have contacted me directly know I'm honest but also tend to be discreet. I don't want to be all "you don't know how it is" complainy, but there's an element of trust here that we can't really create if at some level it's not there already.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:49 PM on February 17, 2010


As I indicated upthread, I had already emailed shmeggege before most of this happened and we already had an email exchange going on that didn't seem like it needed to be repeated in MeTa just for the sake of appearances.

for anyone who's wondering: Yeah, I'm aware of my part in creating the problems in this thread. I'm really sorry about that, to everyone. The whole thing was pretty fucked up, and my part in that is basically indefensible. So, I'm sincerely very sorry for what my behavior contributed to this. It's not okay and my takeaway from this is to be extremely careful in how I respond to people and what I read into what people say.
posted by shmegegge at 3:01 PM on February 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


ROFLMAO

OK.... my last show was today, and I'm *still* running on very little sleep, so I'm probably going to post whatever I can think of several times over the next day or three when I'm not... you know... unconscious and recovering.

This incident happened last year. I tried to check if it had been posted anywhere else online last September (other than on my Facebook status when it happened,) but didn't come up with anything. Sorry if it's a little choppy.

Some background:
André Leon Talley is Vogue's Editor at Large. He's been around for quite a while. Worked for WWD in the '70's. Was in the documentary "The September Issue" and is a bit of a character. To say the least. He's a BIG guy, in both height (he's 6'7") and girth. He makes me look small. (I'm 6'3.) He also walks with a limp, wears mostly Louis Vuitton clothing as well as full-length satin capes in a variety of colors, which sometimes have fur linings or collars. What all this means is simply that if you've ever met him before, you'd remember. He has a flamboyant, distinctive style that is utterly unique.

He's also not a person you mess with. He's Anna Wintour's indispensable right hand, and one of a select group of people who have serious influence over whether a designer becomes or remains successful or not. He's also joining the cast of America's Next Top Model starting next year as a judge.

So what happened backstage last year at the Herrera show was rather amazing and horrifying to watch: ATL walked backstage without his credentials with a photographer and videographer in tow. Security stopped him from entering the changing area. And then the security guard stood his ground as Talley had a near meltdown.

He had been issued credentials. Of course he had! But he was running late and decided to bypass the check-in desk. This wouldn't have been a problem if the models hadn't already started changing. But they had, and designers who show under the tents in Bryant Park have become very careful about protecting their models' privacy. If you haven't been given access credentials in advance, you can't get in. If the models hadn't been changing, the show's production crew would have been accessible. But they weren't. They were in with the models.

Why was André late? I don't know for sure, but I can speculate. For the past couple of seasons, the Herrera show has been scheduled at nearly the same time as the Zac Posen show. Editors tend to go to Posen first, as that show is scheduled to start at 9:am, and Herrera starts at 10. But Posen always runs late. Every show runs late. But when a show starts at 9:35 and ends at 9:45, and it takes five minutes to run to the next tent, it's likely that the models will already be changing and lining up for First Looks.

So.

He arrives. Walks in. The security guard is probably 5'7". Looks up. And up.

"Andre Leon Talley. Vogue."
"You can't get in without credentials, sir."
"I'm from Vogue. It's okay."
"You can't get in without credentials, sir. Please go back to the front desk, get your credentials and come back to me."
"There's no time. I'm supposed to...."
"I'm sorry, but you can't get in without credentials, sir."

It rapidly went downhill from there.

About a minute in, I suddenly realized that I could save the day. I reached for my credentials, intending to remove my pass from my neck to give to André. I normally have changing area access. But I had handed mine to a photographer. Crap. I poked my head in between them and said to the security guard, "He really is extremely important. You need to let him in."

"If he's so important, he should have credentials."

Okay. I figured that was reasonable. So I ran to get them passes. But no one from the show was manning the check-in desk anymore. Helpful Guy Waiting on Line: "They'll be right back!"

So I ran back to the backstage area. By this point, Talley had reached Thundering Epic Diva Rant status:

"DO you KNOW who I AM??!"
"No. You can't get in without credentials, sir."
"Do you know who I am!?!?!?" (this was repeated at least 10 times) "I'm from VOGUE! These photographers are from VOGUE! TWO photographers!" *points* "ONE! TWO! If Carolina doesn't get covered in Vogue because WE weren't allowed backstage, YOU will never work here or any other show again!"
"Sir, I'm just doing my job. You cannot get in without credentials."

Just as I was thinking that the security guard had a death wish, someone on the production crew spotted what was happening from within the changing area. So they leaned over the guard and dragged him past the curtain and security.

Crisis Averted.

For six months, I've been telling this story to friends, and they pretty much all thought it was funny. After all, Talley's been a backstage fixture for more than a quarter of a century. To think that he would get turned away from a show he attends religiously twice a year is completely ludicrous.

So, yesterday....

I arrived backstage at the Herrera show with three 35lb boxes in my arms. Very heavy. I've walked through the slush and snow with them and my arms, legs and back are killing me. So I bypassed the check-in desk and went straight backstage. I figured I'd set the boxes down and go get my pass.

I trust y'all see where this is going....

"Can I see your credentials please, sir?"
"I have to go get them. Am just dropping these very heavy boxes here and will be right back."
"You can't leave that here."
"What?"
"I need you to go to the check-in desk to get your credentials first, before we can accept any packages."
"That's silly. I do this all the time. Let me just...."
"Sir, I need to see your credentials before I can let you in here."
"But can I just leave...."
"No sir. You need to get your credentials right now."

I couldn't help it. I laughed. The great André Leon Talley couldn't talk his way past these guys, but you think you're going to? Ha! :)
posted by zarq at 3:07 PM on February 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


jessamyn - I thought your last comment was pretty interesting in terms of how you decide to moderate specific users or specific comments. You mentioned earlier that you and cortex are taking more of an active role in some recent threads (rather than just deleting inappropriate comments). I tend to think that's a useful strategy in terms of reminding everyone present that there are community standards to uphold. It helped me think about that anyway.

One benefit of a private email though is it helps people save face - maybe makes it easier for the person to back out of a fight? I've had good experiences doing that as a user when in conflicts with other users anyway. When I've seen you or cortex ask someone to "cool it" in a thread, I've wondered if you guys specifically want everyone to see that - so we all get a reminder - or not. I'm curious, if you guys see something off the wall in a thread but you don't necessarily have a big history with the person, how likely are you to send them a private message vs a public one?

I'm not sure if private messages are more work or if there are other pitfalls of the private message that I'm not thinking of either.
posted by serazin at 3:13 PM on February 17, 2010


DO YOU KNOW TIM GUNN?

No, I don't know him. I've met him briefly two or three times, backstage at shows.

I don't hang out with famous people and I'm not friendly with celebrities, although I've met a bunch in passing thanks to my job. And I'm SO NOT leading some hip cool lifestyle! Twice a year I happen to work backstage during fashion week and then see some shows.
posted by zarq at 3:28 PM on February 17, 2010


When I've seen you or cortex ask someone to "cool it" in a thread, I've wondered if you guys specifically want everyone to see that - so we all get a reminder - or not.

Yeah, the decision of whether to say something in public or not is pretty context sensitive. If I see someone just having kind of a bad moment but they aren't getting carried away or picking up steam, or if I've established communication with them before and know that they're good about checking and being responsive to email, I'll often just drop them a line and keep half an eye on the thread and leave it at that. We don't generally want to have to pick a bone with someone specifically in public if we don't have to.

But we're more likely to say something in-thread if, among other things
- one or more people seem to be really digging in and not letting it go
- we've had to remove some stuff from a thread and want to be clear that it's not something we want recurring
- someone is being unresponsive or antagonistic to prior mod activity or private communication
- there's a history of that sort of problematic behavior from a user
- there's some sort of specific weird dynamic in the thread in general that we're hoping some more explicit mod presence my help quell or defuse

Sometimes the above involves addressing a specific person ("hey, cut that out") or people ("you two/three/howevermany need to take this elsewhere immediately"). It kind of sucks to have to put people on the spot—nobody likes being in that position and we don't like putting them there—but sometimes it feels necessary.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:46 PM on February 17, 2010


zarq: great story, but I feel that a security guard is not paid to make discretionary decisions, but to follow the rules they have been given. If those rules mean "no entry without credentials" then that's it. He was following his job to the letter & good on him.

If the rules themselves are so badly set up that a VVVIP gets pissed off & ruins the designer, then it's the rules that are broken & need fixing - eg by issuing people with photos of all the no-questions-asked VVVIPs.

Also, anybody who ever says "do you know who I am?" is a wanker & should be shot.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:50 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Zarq, you just made my day. Thank you for coming through with the goods, because that is a fabulous story.
posted by shiu mai baby at 3:59 PM on February 17, 2010


Because just on the evidence of this Meta thread itself, and not having ever noticed that user before, eycp has been very polite, if not absurdly, ostentatiously over-polite.

He was indeed polite. He was also, with polite words, defending some extremely vile concepts: namely, he tried to claim that hincandenza's ugly, horrifically misogynist screeds were nothing but differences of opinion. He equated denouncing hateful speech with attacking those who are "outliers to the Metafilter political norm." I don't care if he said those things in a respectful fashion: he still defended some hateful, disgusting stuff, even if he did it in a polite way.

Ugh. I assume y'alls collective certainty that eatyourcellphone was not framed is pretty high?

You have to be kidding. Considering that eatyourcellphone was all too willing to defend some toxic, woman-hating shit, it is in no way surprising to me that he also did some unpleasant stuff that got him banned. Newsflash: Dude that defends hate speech might also be capable of hate speech himself.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 4:07 PM on February 17, 2010


Makes sense cortex - thanks.
posted by serazin at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2010


zarq: great story, but I feel that a security guard is not paid to make discretionary decisions, but to follow the rules they have been given. If those rules mean "no entry without credentials" then that's it. He was following his job to the letter & good on him.

In general, they're flexible when they want to be. It depends on the guard, the instructions they've been given by production and the situation. I'm okay with that, and I don't condemn them for doing their jobs. But security didn't even blink at me when I walked into other shows' backstage areas carrying boxes this season. If they're going to enforce the rules, they should do so equally. I think that's only fair.

If the rules themselves are so badly set up that a VVVIP gets pissed off & ruins the designer, then it's the rules that are broken & need fixing - eg by issuing people with photos of all the no-questions-asked VVVIPs.

Totally agree. Production has a lot of other problems that can all be boiled down to "severely overworked and poorly planned."

Also, anybody who ever says "do you know who I am?" is a wanker & should be shot.

Heh. In his defense, he's Mr. Vogue. No one is more instantly recognizable backstage. He's probably used to being able to do whatever he wants.
posted by zarq at 4:21 PM on February 17, 2010


Frobenius Twist-

Really? Can you pick some more extreme language? He wasn't declawing cats in front of an altar. This is the kind of talk that is creating some of these problems. Everybody turn down your sensitivity meter just a tad and realize that your opinions may not be shared by others.
posted by Big_B at 4:23 PM on February 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


shiu mai baby, you're very welcome. :)

I'll try to post more tomorrow. After I've gotten some rest.
posted by zarq at 4:23 PM on February 17, 2010


Newsflash: Dude that defends hate speech might also be capable of hate speech himself

As hoary and noxious as discussions about stuff like hate speech can be, and as much as folks digging in in defense of such stuff can sometimes themselves have some ugly personal motivations or beliefs, I want to be clear that that is not the premise on which we go about making these decisions. I have problems with how eycp engaged with the site, but his choice to defend an unpopular opinion is not itself one of them.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:32 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like the part of the thread where we talk about fashion week.
posted by The Whelk at 4:33 PM on February 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


if you guys see something off the wall in a thread but you don't necessarily have a big history with the person, how likely are you to send them a private message vs a public one?

Often if there's someone who I've talked to before [IM, email, MeMail, in person] and I know they're making a good faith effort on the site but may have "tone problems" I'll sometimes drop them a personal note "Um, that thing you do? You're doing it now..." because they've said it's helpful. Otherwise cortex sort of got it with me. In other cases where we've talked to someone a bunch of times before, we have no sense that they're trying to work on anything, and/or they've been abusive to us personally over email, I'll often go for a more in-thread note. Or, sometimes, I think someone is just on a tear and maybe a note in-thread would help tone stuff down quickly where MeMail might not get read. Or sometimes it's a low-level deal that involves a few people and a note to everyone in-thread beats MeMail. Or sometimes I just want to drop a note that says "Look I get what you're saying, and I think you're right but you really need to leave this alone now" [because I think sometimes people feel that they're not being misunderstood and that causes them to get a little shrill]

The big risk with MeMail is that sending one person a personal note has no real impact for anyone else in the community [i.e. is not any sort of teachable moment for anyone else, which is often helpful from a community standpoint], and sometimes people are pissed off and want to get into a big back and forth about something that we'd rather not go back and forth on in private. Often these MeMail exchanges end with me suggesting that if they're still pissed off, they might want to go to MetaTalk with their concerns.

And serazin, I want to apologize to you personally since I did get your MeMail [and wanted to write a "hey thanks" note back] but I'm trying to put my 70 year old Dad on a plane to Mexico at the crack of dawn tomorrow and I've been spending a lot of today being like "No, you can fold your own damned shirts." "You know eye drops are a liquid, put them in the baggie" "What do you mean you're not taking your cell phone?" "Why can't you clean up your own cat's barf?" and I haven't had a lot of discretionary time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:44 PM on February 17, 2010


dirtdirt, I get your drift. S'okay, we iz all on the same page now.

(Erm, "all" is obviously not exactly inclusive, of course.)
posted by desuetude at 5:10 PM on February 17, 2010


This is the kind of talk that is creating some of these problems. Everybody turn down your sensitivity meter just a tad and realize that your opinions may not be shared by others.

You know, this is honestly just confusing to me. Again, we aren't talking about a difference of opinion here. Hincandenza completely dismissed women's experiences of being harassed and assaulted by men as, essentially, hysterical delusion. I don't know what women you know, or what planet you live on, but I've known plenty of women who were assaulted or harassed by men, and to claim that this is not an endemic problem but rather that it's just mass delusion on the part of half of our fucking species is not a difference of opinion but rather gross misogyny and a complete denial of reality.

So yeah -- I am fully aware that my "opinions" aren't shared by everyone, and although you might think it weird, I'm still going to comment on it. I think sensitivity to misogyny is good. I think sensitivity to assholishness is good. I think that there needs to be more sensitivity here, and the more sensitivity there is, the sooner we'll reach the horrifying day that Crabby Appleton is so very terrified of, the day when these sorts of virulently anti-woman screeds aren't tossed around.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 5:19 PM on February 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


zarq, thank you so much! I look forward to more when you're not unconscious!
posted by rtha at 5:19 PM on February 17, 2010


I want to be clear that that is not the premise on which we go about making these decisions.

Yeah, that definitely makes sense -- my intent was only to respond to the strange "BUT HE WAS SUCH A POLITE UPSTANDING FELLOW WHY WERE THE MODS SO MEAN TO HIM" comments.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 5:20 PM on February 17, 2010


Thanks for the info Jessamyn - that seems like a very sound approach.

And no apology needed re: the message. I assumed you were busy and I didn't necessarily need a response - but thanks and good luck with your dad (ugh!)
posted by serazin at 5:33 PM on February 17, 2010


FT: I think sensitivity to assholishness is good.

But you're not being sensitive to your own assholishness. Here's a starting point: being right, or on the side of good and justice, or thinking that you are, doesn't justify being an asshole.
posted by msalt at 5:35 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


"BUT HE WAS SUCH A POLITE UPSTANDING FELLOW WHY WERE THE MODS SO MEAN TO HIM"

Well, for starters, he was a she.
posted by electroboy at 5:43 PM on February 17, 2010


Hincandenza completely dismissed women's experiences of being harassed and assaulted by men as, essentially, hysterical delusion.

Well, this is a bit of an exaggeration of hincandenza's comments, which seemed to me more to claim that women put too much importance on these experiences of men commenting negatively on their appearance, relative to their commonness, and relative to what he sees as the general physical admiration of men for women. (I do agree that he is a) wrong, and b) not in a position to make that judgment.) And then, I don't think eycp was defending that position, but saying that people were attacking hincandenza too violently and, yes, misstating his comments.

Let me assure you, though, that I have views that surely make me a member of hincandenza's sisterhood of frumpiness, whatever I look like, and also that I sort of wondered whether eycp had any pregnant ladies in his basement.
posted by palliser at 5:49 PM on February 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, for starters, he was a she.

Not that it makes much of a difference for any practical purpose, but his she-ness is as far as we can tell from mod-eyes-only infromation a random pose, and she is in fact a he.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:13 PM on February 17, 2010


Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world.
posted by Sailormom at 6:42 PM on February 17, 2010


Got your mother in a whirl
she's not sure if you're a boy or a girl.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:44 PM on February 17, 2010


Girls who like boys
Who like boys to be girls
Who do girls like they're boys
Who do boys like they're girls
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:51 PM on February 17, 2010


Boys keep swingin'
Boys always work it out
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 PM on February 17, 2010


Jet Boy, Jet Girl!
I'm gonna take you 'round the world.
posted by invitapriore at 8:11 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]




My kids are keeping me up. Thought I'd comment here again.

I posted an abbreviated version of this to my own blog in September 2008. (Cheating a little here -- it's easier to cut & paste and fill in details from memory.) Even though it happened a year and a half ago, it's one of my favorite backstage stories....

I am deliberately leaving out the name of the show, the model and her handler. If anyone really wants to know them, shoot me a MeMail.

At a show on Wednesday, one of the models walked in carrying a paper bag from McDonalds.

The majority of the models at the shows I work come from either Ford Models or IMG. Designers typically only use one agency's models at a time, and that agency usually sends at least one handler along.

Handlers are supposed to make sure that models arrive on time (which never happens -- not their fault, they're usually running from a previous show,) eat (which doesn't happen often, unless someone's decided to classify "Red Bull" as a food group,) and aren't abused backstage (keeping in mind that torture at the hands of a hairstylist, makeup artist or clothing stylist ≠ abuse).

OK, so the eating thing is a bit of an exaggeration. Every show is catered, and the food ranges from delicious to disgusting. Jokes aside, most models do eat backstage. They don't usually eat much, but they eat. But sometimes, their handlers keep a close eye to make sure that what they are eating is appropriate. If a designer is serving salad and cookies, they may "suggest" the former would be a better choice, rather than the latter. Models often have to fit into size zero clothes, and that means maintaining a steady body weight and shape until fashion week is over.

Back to Wednesday's show, which was being held at an off-site (away from the tents) location. We were in a non-ventilated backstage area the size of a damned shoebox.

I've worked fashion week for years, but this was my first experience watching a bag from McDonalds arrive backstage. Apparently, two things happen when you bring delicious-smelling junk food backstage, but don't bring enough for everyone:

1) The models get angry. These are girls (and infrequently guys,) who have probably survived the week on the aforementioned Red Bull, water, cigarettes, adrenaline, fruit or daily single servings of potato chips. Fortunately, it was already mid-week and they seemed too weak to do anything but glare across the room at the offending bag and it's owner.

2) Handlers freak out.

In this case, her handler was *incensed*. The rather uptight Frenchman in a fashionable two-piece suit scared me half to death by bellowing "WHO GAVE HER ZAT DISGUSTING TRASH FOOD????" in my ear.

Then he stalked through the styling area and tried to take it away from her.

Now, I have never tried to get between a starving model and her food. One might assume from appearances that because they weigh 110lbs, are 5'9" tall and you can see their collarbones, hipbones, ribs and vertebrae, that they are weaklings.

Looks can be deceiving.

It was a total throwdown. She went from cute and whiny to total badass in ~20 seconds.

"I bought it myself! I wuz huuuuuunnnnngry!"
"Gif me zat bag. Stop eating zat! Zere are lettuce wraps on ze table outside!"
"OH, HEEEEELLLLL NO YOU DI'NT! THAT'S MINE!"

Lettuce wraps. Pffft. I had five of those damned things and one of my coworkers had at least ten. An inch in diameter and half an inch high, the wraps were a slice of a paper-thin tortilla wrapped around a slice of a leaf of Romaine lettuce and a speck of avocado.

That girl had fries and a couple of cheeseburgers. Given the choice, which would you choose?

He was lucky to escape with his skin intact.
posted by zarq at 10:52 PM on February 17, 2010 [22 favorites]


As for this season, things were actually pretty calm, and I didn't hear about or witness too many incidents.

The biggest complaint I heard from editors were over makeup artists and hair stylists who refused to be interviewed close to show time, and conveyed that to journalists who were eager for a quote by snapping at them.

You hear those stories every season, and it's always the same culprits: certain editors who arrive late from other shows and certain stylists who don't handle pressure well. Oddly enough, it's never the nail artists who go diva. But anecdotally, it seemed to happen pretty frequently this season.

Usually these stories were preceded by with the phrase "He/She is SUCH an ASSHOLE!"

I did watch a very famous French hairstylist get screamed at by a production manager, though. She was smoking as she worked even though she'd been asked not to repeatedly, because smoking inside buildings in NYC is illegal. Finally, someone snapped and reamed her out. "We have told you multiple times that you CAN'T SMOKE IN HERE!" etc.,etc. Sort of a bold choice there: losing one's temper and unloading on a show's lead hairstylist. They were lucky she's a professional. If she had walked, they would have been totally screwed.
posted by zarq at 11:10 PM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]




I strolled back to this thread to catch up on any drama (omg j@l !) but really, honestly and truly, zarq, those are some juicy and wonderful stories! Thank you!
posted by cavalier at 7:59 AM on February 18, 2010


^^ yeah, zarq FTW in this thread. thanks!
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:37 AM on February 18, 2010


You're welcome. :)

I'll try and post more over the weekend. It's been a long, long week!
posted by zarq at 2:08 PM on February 18, 2010


Yay!
posted by rtha at 2:25 PM on February 18, 2010




Thank you zarq! You're the bestest.
posted by Go Banana at 3:29 PM on February 18, 2010


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