Metafilter not Me-Tea(party)Filter October 20, 2010 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Between Miller, O'Donnell, Aqua Buddah, and Ginny Thomas it seems like a politics filter orgy. Much like Sarah Palin, if we pick up every gossip item we could fpp each hour on this. Perhaps we can agree to take a break.

If while were on a break one of us wants to go and get a little something at Kos or Frumm. No hard feelings, it's cool. I get that you have needs. I mean we were on a break. Baby don't look at me that way, you know I still love ya, I just need a little break from the crazy right wingers is all. Maybe we can get together again later for some SLYT loving or a flash game later on.
posted by humanfont to Etiquette/Policy at 12:58 PM (308 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The election is coming up. Maybe just wait it out?
posted by morganannie at 12:59 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I suppose I should start checking MeTa before making FPP's, eh?
posted by zarq at 1:02 PM on October 20, 2010


No fucking way. I want dirt, drama, and dysfunction in my elections.

Quit hating america, ok?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:02 PM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


So post more of the stuff you like.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:03 PM on October 20, 2010 [21 favorites]


I wish you hadn't framed this so kookily, because this will now be a kooky thread instead of a discussion.
posted by Gator at 1:04 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Watching American elections is great, it's like Olympic-level media coverage of the Special Olympics.

But hey, if you're just gonna take off like that at least get me a beer from the fridge first?
posted by carsonb at 1:05 PM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


I suppose I should start checking MeTa before making FPP's, eh?

Or at least do a CTRL+F on the front page for "tea part" maybe.
posted by Gator at 1:06 PM on October 20, 2010


I like political posts, I don't like lego posts, so I DON 'T READ THEM.

Sounds easy huh?

It is.
posted by Max Power at 1:06 PM on October 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


BUT GATOR I ALREADY GOT OUT MY KOOKY HAT AND EVERYTHING LOOK AT THE SHINY TINFOIL BECAUSE I MU-METAL WAS TOO HEAVY AND ANYWAY I THINK THE REPTILIANS ARE EXPECTING THAT
posted by adipocere at 1:07 PM on October 20, 2010


It's getting to the point where there is more than one Tea Party Nuttiness thread every day. That is too many. We may start corralling Tea Party links into one thread at a time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:09 PM on October 20, 2010 [18 favorites]


Is it really that out of the ordinary to have a lot of election-related threads two weeks prior to an election?
posted by morganannie at 1:11 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Or at least do a CTRL+F on the front page for "tea part" maybe.

I was joking. I'm already reading and contributing to both the O'Donnell and Thomas FPP's.

Obviously I felt when I came across this study that it was different and interesting enough to be worth creating a new post over. There's much that could be potentially discussed about the study that has little to do specifically with the day to day shenanigans of a few idiot candidates, including that it was released so close to the election, in what might be an attempt to alter results.
posted by zarq at 1:13 PM on October 20, 2010


Is it really that out of the ordinary to have a lot of election-related threads two weeks prior to an election?

Not an American one, no. It's also not out of the ordinary for Mefites to complain when that happens.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on October 20, 2010


I do realize it's not the site's job to Accurately Reflect The Whole Of Reality, but American political culture is really really really crazy right now, and in the weeks before a very important election, politics is really really really salient for a lot of people. Trying to cleanse Mefi of political nuttiness is thus, inevitably, to reduce the degree to which Mefi reflects what's going on in the wider world.

I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad idea in all cases, but personally I think it would be a pity in this case, especially when the cost of not doing so is merely that a few people have to scroll past a few posts.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 1:15 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's also not out of the ordinary for Mefites to complain when that happens.

The last three words of this sentence are wholly unnecessary.
posted by elizardbits at 1:15 PM on October 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


I need to use CTRL+F to find my tea part too. :(
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait it out, people, there are barely two weeks left until election day! Then we'll have a blissful 48 hours rest before the 2012 election gets going full steam.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


The last three words of this sentence are wholly unnecessary.

Irony!
posted by zarq at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


See? No one cares about the midterm elections.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's much that could be potentially discussed about the study that has little to do specifically with the day to day shenanigans of a few idiot candidates

You are adorably optimistic. (Like when you posted about the torture of that handicapped girl in the apparently sincere hope that worthwhile discussion might follow.) How's that thread shaping up, so far?
posted by Gator at 1:20 PM on October 20, 2010


Perhaps we can agree to take a break.

Agreeing. That's where Mefites are vikings.
posted by bondcliff at 1:28 PM on October 20, 2010


You are adorably optimistic. (Like when you posted about the torture of that handicapped girl in the apparently sincere hope that worthwhile discussion might follow.) How's that thread shaping up, so far?

So far, it seems quiet. Less anger-filled or mocking than most of the other tea party posts I've read so far. It's only been half an hour, though. Perhaps people are reading the links.

I have no control over what happens in the comments of a post after I submit it to Metafilter. And I deliberately try not to steer those conversations these days.

Are you trying to accuse me of something?
posted by zarq at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2010


it is tiresome rolling the rock uphill
posted by clavdivs at 1:35 PM on October 20, 2010


Rolling Rocks on me... for the next ten minutes.
posted by clavdivs at 1:36 PM on October 20, 2010


I suppose I should start checking MeTa before making FPP's, eh?

Or at least do a CTRL+F on the front page for "tea part" maybe.


Well fine, you'll just have to wait until after the election for my post about the history and cultural significance of 19th century galatea partridge dolls and ornaments in 19th century American pioneer life.
posted by notswedish at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Who can really be all that unhappy with the content of the homepage when there's an Aliens post up there?
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's with people in MeTa calling other Mefites "adorable" for having an opinion? This is the second thread in a couple of weeks where I've seen that. It's like a condescending pat on the head.
posted by John Cohen at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


I've got a wicked cold and I'm sort of enjoying the nutty tea party posts. I'm too fogged out by germs and drugs to get upset over their antics, and the comments in the fpps are funny as hell (YnoncoldhavingMMV).

That's my feeling on the matter.
posted by rtha at 1:39 PM on October 20, 2010


You are adorably optimistic. (Like when you posted about the torture of that handicapped girl in the apparently sincere hope that worthwhile discussion might follow.) How's that thread shaping up, so far?

Ah, MetaTalk.
posted by twirlip at 1:39 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bless your heart, John!

please god somebody make me some tea. Actual tea, I mean, not that weird political stuff.
posted by rtha at 1:40 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is that a dare or something Artw?
posted by Mister_A at 1:40 PM on October 20, 2010


It's not even one of mine!
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on October 20, 2010


am I just fucking cracking or does the new republic look like it's been bought out by gawker?
posted by boo_radley at 1:42 PM on October 20, 2010


Humanfont, I'm very sympathetic to your call for less politicalfilter. But the timing of this post is just not ideal. A MetaTalk thread is not going to stop there being a whole bunch of posts on American politics in late October of an even-numbered year.
posted by John Cohen at 1:43 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


This totally reminds me of the time I was on a roadtrip with a friend and he asked to me to stop singing along with the "grrooooosss" part of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down". Except he said "Bruuuce". I didn't like his weird anarchist ramblings or the stinky bubblegum he was cheweing. Long story short, we made to St Louis and back OK.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:43 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wish you hadn't framed this so kookily, because this will now be a kooky thread instead of a discussion.

I see my attempt to bring up a sensitive topic in a gentle and mildly amusing way has failed. Feel free to contribute something thoughtful.
posted by humanfont at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2010


rtha: Thanks for the unique perspective, I'll keep that in mind.
posted by John Cohen at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2010


For expressing annoyance whilst still being funny and not a dick I think thescientificmethhead wins.
posted by Artw at 1:46 PM on October 20, 2010


I went swimming and to the park and to the movies!

Wow, sunlight!
posted by nomadicink at 1:46 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's with people in MeTa calling other Mefites "adorable" for having an opinion? This is the second thread in a couple of weeks where I've seen that. It's like a condescending pat on the head.

I've been called worse things than than "adorably optimistic" in my life. It's not really a big deal, imo.

The torture post he's referring to was deleted rather quickly, but made a few people very angry. (No, I'm not linking to the damned thing. I got enough grief the first time.) I got angry memails, angry emails and was yelled at by MeFites in at least two other non-Mefi forums for posting it. I explained myself back then in MeTa. Gator seems to not believe what I said, which is fine. He's entitled.
posted by zarq at 1:53 PM on October 20, 2010


holy moly.
posted by boo_radley at 1:53 PM on October 20, 2010


Much like Sarah Palin, if we pick up every gossip item we could fpp each hour on this. Perhaps we can agree to take a break.

I misread that as fap each hour...and taking a break from that made a lot of sense.
posted by schyler523 at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2010


I'd rather suggest we go with the tried-and-true suggestion of just ignoring posts on topics one doesn't like. We're on the internet; there is no space limit. As long as it's not actively hurting the community site-wide I don't see the issue of having several posts about distinguishably different political insanities.
posted by flatluigi at 1:58 PM on October 20, 2010


How about you just don't read posts you're not interested in?
posted by modernnomad at 1:59 PM on October 20, 2010


(John, I was riffing. The cold drugs made me do it. My apologies.)
posted by rtha at 1:59 PM on October 20, 2010


Hope you feel better, rtha.
posted by zarq at 2:00 PM on October 20, 2010


(I got it, rtha, and was going to make the same joke. I don't have a cold for an excuse.)
posted by brundlefly at 2:01 PM on October 20, 2010


My only complaint would be that the post doesn't seem to deliver any new information. Kinda boring in that sense.
posted by nomadicink at 2:06 PM on October 20, 2010


[James Lipton voice]Dee-lightful![/a]
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:07 PM on October 20, 2010


(John, I was riffing. The cold drugs made me do it. My apologies.)

I guess you didn't see what I did there.
posted by John Cohen at 2:09 PM on October 20, 2010


no, limit them to one a day (perhaps more if something "breaking" occurs) and keep an extra editor on call. (only one jolt from the mefi super-secret bleeper should be a welcome) Mixed links, smoother texture, to sweeten the pot, i'll stay outta all of them.
posted by clavdivs at 2:10 PM on October 20, 2010


I AM ANGRY ABOUT STUFF

/teaparty
posted by Mister_A at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


As long as it's not actively hurting the community site-wide I don't see the issue of having several posts about distinguishably different political insanities.

Well here's the thing, these sorts of posts, what I call the "look at these assholes" posts do have a sort of cost to the community because they take up a lot of mod time. People behave badly in them, try to make the thread into a referendum on their pet topics [why religions suck, why Democrats are dupes for voting for Obama, why Wicca is an overvalued religion, whatever] and people flag and fight and email us and generally don't behave that great.

So, as mods, we find these threads tiring and tiresome; they take a lot of our time. Add to this that they're not what we see as the site's main purpose -- sharing neat stuff you find on the web with other MeFites -- though we know the site's purpose has shifted over time. However that is the answer to the "Why don't you get more mods if you guys are tired out moderating all these troublesome threads." We'd prefer if people made better posts about these topics with a little less OMG and a little more "this is why this sort of thing is important even to people who aren't super into American politics" and so the threads would go better.

As I said, at this point we've been at a post a day for a few days and that's about enough. People should maybe put Tea Party related links in one of the open threads for a few days and not start Yet Another Thread about this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


How about you just don't read posts you're not interested in?

And let MetaTalk whither and die? Think of the poor flaggers, man!! Where would they announce that they've flagged a given post??!!
posted by coolguymichael at 2:15 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


People should maybe put Tea Party related links in one of the open threads for a few days and not start Yet Another Thread about this.

Unsurprisingly, ericb linked to the study before zarq made the post about it. Small world and all that.
posted by nomadicink at 2:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha! Wither...
posted by coolguymichael at 2:16 PM on October 20, 2010


Perhaps we can agree to take a break.

Or perhaps we could agree to scroll past threads we don't like, which is what we've always supposed to be doing when we run into threads we don't like. I could agree to that, whether it's about politics or any other subject that some people just can't behave like an adult in.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:17 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


My only complaint would be that the post doesn't seem to deliver any new information. Kinda boring in that sense.

Mine? It's a 79 page report, not including the footnotes. Is there no new information in any of its findings?

Ah well. Personally, I actually did learn a few things from it. Among them: It notes that white supremacists on Stormfront and other forums have been attempting to tie their fortunes to the Tea Party (page 59) and that unemployment does not seem to be a factor in whether or not someone joins the Tea Party. (Appendix A.) The latter finding is particularly interesting (to me, at least,) seeing as how many have been saying there is a connection between the two.
posted by zarq at 2:19 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish I could go back 10 years and have a conversation with myself,

"You know in a decade there's going to be on Metatalk complaining about AquaBuddha and Tea Party posts."
"Aqua ... wait what? Tea Party?"
"Yeah Tea Party, they're these crazy right wingers who think our government needs more religion. One of the main candidates was this woman who was on Politically Incorrect. Remember the hot anti-masturbation chick?"
"Oh yeah, wait, what the hell? These are like crazy Waco, Oklahoma City bombing people?"
"No not that kind of right wing nut, these people are mainly pissed that we have a black president ..."
"Wha-"
"Named Barrack Obama"
"Uh"
"Well not just because we have a black president, see we're also fighting this war against Chechen insurgents in Afghanistan ..."
"Wait with the Russians?"
"No, this is all because a bunch of Egyptians and Saudis flew two planes into the WTC and one in the Pentagon but that wasn't as big of a deal for some reason."
"Like Cessnas? "
"No these huge Boeings!"
"Crazy, how did they repair that damage?"
"Get this: they fucking fell. On television, it was pretty fucking epic. Also make sure you buy as much as Google as you can afford."
"Goggles? Buy goggles? What wait where did you go? What kind of goggles? Ah!"
posted by geoff. at 2:20 PM on October 20, 2010 [33 favorites]


I felt pretty bad for Team Mod today.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:21 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mine? It's a 79 page report, not including the footnotes. Is there no new information in any of its findings?

Maybe mention or link to the information you cited in your previous comment? IMO, it would have made the post more interesting by noting those specific connections. 'Cause a lot of people don't have time to read a 79 page report.

None of my comments should taken as personal attack, though. They're just suggestions from someone who is interested in politics, but was not interested in that post. Food for thought perhaps, or not.
posted by nomadicink at 2:24 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


In defense of all these posts: we're two weeks away from an election cycle of some importance, being influenced by some of the wackiest fucking people to have entered mainstream American politics in a while. It's like watching a juggler, where every ball in the air is suddenly doing some amazingly bizarre thing. You want to look away, but the moment you do some even stranger thing happens.

I totally sympathize with the fact that this must be incredibly boring for people outside the country, but think of it this way, you're front row at the WTFification of a nation.
posted by quin at 2:25 PM on October 20, 2010


geoff., it looks like Past You was a big dork.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:27 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like political posts, I don't like lego posts, so I DON 'T READ THEM.

Sounds easy huh?

It is.


Yes, until I hunt you down and PUNCH YOU. EVERYONE MUST ENJOY LEGOS. EVERYONE.

/huge, saucy hamburger with a side of hamburger
posted by filthy light thief at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2010


I think I'm close to being evicted from that Aliens post for over-commenting in it, but damn do I love Aliens posts.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on October 20, 2010


Maybe mention or link to the information you cited in your previous comment? IMO, it would have made the post more interesting by noting those specific connections. 'Cause a lot of people don't have time to read a 79 page report.

OK, I can do that, thanks. I've been holding back on commenting in the thread because I didn't want to steer it in any way. But now that they're 30 comments in I guess it should be okay.
posted by zarq at 2:31 PM on October 20, 2010


I have never been so glad that I pledged to stay out of political threads as now.

My stomach doesn't churn and my blood pressure is low right where it belongs.

Gonna go admire my pet sparkly unicorn in the back yard now. Hopefully there will be a double rainbow out there too.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:33 PM on October 20, 2010


And now my previous two comments make no sense because of the way the thread has been edited.
posted by John Cohen at 2:33 PM on October 20, 2010


Oh, never mind. They're there. I still don't know if rtha got my joke though.
posted by John Cohen at 2:34 PM on October 20, 2010


None of my comments should taken as personal attack, though. They're just suggestions from someone who is interested in politics, but was not interested in that post. Food for thought perhaps, or not.

No, no you make a really good point. Not taking it as an attack. Thank you.

I'm a sponge for information and when I have time I tend to pore over posts that are filled with links. But I do tend to forget that most people aren't going to do that, including me if I'm busy.
posted by zarq at 2:38 PM on October 20, 2010


jessamyn: "It's getting to the point where there is more than one Tea Party Nuttiness thread every day. That is too many. We may start corralling Tea Party links into one thread at a time."

OMG FASHISM1!!! DON'T TRAED ON ME!!!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:39 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha! I did now that you pointed them out. (I'm going to blame this cold for my larger-than-usual stupidity today.)
posted by rtha at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2010


Doh. That was to John Cohen. Obviously.
posted by rtha at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2010


This totally reminds me of the time I was on a roadtrip with a friend and he asked to me to stop singing along with the "grrooooosss" part of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down". Except he said "Bruuuce".

Not to get all beep-vs-meep on you, but it sure sounds like "Bruuuce" to me.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2010


THE LITERAL MEEP TAKES OFF
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on October 20, 2010


It's "Grroosss." Possible inspired by Gruß; they recorded the song in Munich.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:46 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I make FPPs about stuff I like and think is the best of the web. I can't do anything about the FPPs I don't like, except ignore them or FIAMO if they're particularly egregious. So I'm not casting stones here if you're into the whole OutrageFilter thing. Evidence suggests most MeFites are into it, as those threads are pretty popular (or at least well-attended). Whenever there's something new I'm supposed to be outraged about, I just try to avoid the vortex. I've been sucked in too many times, mostly on other sites, so I steer clear now. Doesn't always work. I'm particularly vulnerable to PoliceBrutalityFilter.

Look, the point is, I don't want to get angry. I don't want to get frustrated. I want to have a pleasant day without a lot of stress. So when another post pops up about Tea Partiers Campaigning For Mandatory Cat Declawing In The Classroom, I just wander off and look for something cute or funny or maybe both. I know the world's going to hell in a handbasket, but that doesn't mean I want to be reminded of how absolutely screwed we all are every time I get on the internet to look for videos about baby monkeys riding baby pigs. I'll keep posting stuff that cheers me up if you guys can do the same (masochists notwithstanding).
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:46 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


John Cohen: "I guess you didn't see what I did there"

Oh no, we could never figure you out. You're just too clever.
This is the thing, that thing.
posted by boo_radley at 2:52 PM on October 20, 2010


IT'S ELECTION SEASON, BABY! RIDE THE WAVE!
posted by graventy at 2:53 PM on October 20, 2010


So, as mods, we find these threads tiring and tiresome; they take a lot of our time.

I made a post about 'first responders' from New York's Police and Fire Departments who took some time off from their day jobs to read aloud to children at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, as part of the first ever Brooke Jackman Foundation read-a-thon. Someone got pissy in the comments about 9/11.

I made a post about someone who gave $1.4 million dollars to Donors Choose, and people got into an argument about funding public education.

I made a post about a group of disabled kids visiting the Yankees and being treated with extraordinary kindness and respect. The team went out of their way to make sure the kids were taken care of, and didn't turn the event into a PR extravaganza. Someone said in the comments, "Good PR move. If Hitler had done this, maybe he wouldn't be so reviled. In fact, I'm positive he wouldn't be because everyone here's applauding this and yet Derek Jeter is worse than Hitler."

I work hard to create posts that don't editorialize. I try not to moderate my own threads or steer the conversations in the comments. When people threadshit, I am now asking them to go to MeTa rather than derail the thread. I'm truly sorry if you had to delete comments from my thread or if I made more work for you with my most recent post.

But those three posts I note above were probably the most uplifting and inspiring stories I've ever posted to the Blue and people still found a way to threadshit in them. I remain totally unconvinced that any topic is safe from people being difficult. I really do try my best to be cognizant and not to create OMG posts.
posted by zarq at 3:09 PM on October 20, 2010 [21 favorites]


All Tea Party posts should include the words steeped and cozy.
posted by pianomover at 3:15 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was thinking this would be a pointless thread, but thanks to inspiration supplied by rtha, I'm going to make some tea.
posted by pompomtom at 3:15 PM on October 20, 2010


I am certainly able to ignore posts I don't like. I am also not opposed to political posts. I just think having the same basic conversation about the insanity of the tea party in 4-5 active threads on the front page is probably enough. It does become a bit hard to follow. Try joining the existing conversation and see what your fellow site members are saying.
posted by humanfont at 3:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's where I'll pop in to say that while I care not how many tea party threads there are (although I understand the mod's care) I have been increasingly despairing about the insertion of 9/11 truth arguments and Obama sucks arguments. I'm a leftist, but I'm an old leftist, and I find the sledgehammer approach that some are going about these discussions really frustrating in terms of the lack of nuance.
posted by angrycat at 3:20 PM on October 20, 2010


I agree with this callout. "It's election season" isn't a good reason for letting gossipy newsfilter slide. Probably 25% of every four year cycle could reasonably called "election season".
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:23 PM on October 20, 2010


It's remarkable how sensitive to nuance Democrats became after Barack Obama was inaugurated.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:33 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


To be fair, Zarq, the Yankees are so evil, they've made me root for the Rangers.
posted by klangklangston at 3:35 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Apropos of nothing -- or, maybe something kinda related:
"In the works for 2012 is a $25 million museum and three replica ships commemorating the Boston Tea Party, when colonists disguised as Indians stormed a British ship and dumped crates of tea into the water to protest taxes. Historians believe the episode took place in Fort Point Channel. A previous museum devoted to the Tea Party was destroyed in 2007 by a fire sparked by lightning." *
posted by ericb at 3:36 PM on October 20, 2010


ericb - you should post that, and see how long it takes to get derailed.

.
...into Minecraft, probably.
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on October 20, 2010


I see my attempt to bring up a sensitive topic in a gentle and mildly amusing way has failed. Feel free to contribute something thoughtful.

Snark Patrol

Nowhere To Go

Suburban Robots That Monitor Reality
posted by Aquaman at 3:40 PM on October 20, 2010


Has anyone made the Sulaco in Minecraft?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's remarkable how Joe Beese slags his President in Every. Goddamn. Thread.

I do wish he'd stop it.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:54 PM on October 20, 2010 [12 favorites]


As one of the FPP's posters (yay Ginny Thomas) I saw the articles hadn't been posted, and they seemed relevant. Tea Party Activist/Wife of Supreme Court Judge pulls a batshit stunt two weeks before the election (at least that's my opinion of it). Hell, I even tried to dig up a Fox News take on it to be on both sides.
I've only put up a FPP to metafilter twice, and both posts were political due to my reading of the news daily. They've also both tipped off stupidly long discussions.
Anyhow, I'm in the boat of "it's election season, come November 3rd it all washes over."
Only thing I wanna know is how many flags I got hit with on those two posts, just to feed my ego.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:55 PM on October 20, 2010


PS when I mean "stupidly long discussions" the "stupidly" refers to "long" and not "discussions."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:57 PM on October 20, 2010


GRAR (huff puff, wheeze) grar gra....r *wheeze*

Man, I just cannot get it up in MetaTalk any more. I need MetaViagara or something.
posted by GuyZero at 3:57 PM on October 20, 2010


Probably 25% of every four year cycle could reasonably called "election season".

I judge it to be at least 80%. US electioneering seemingly never ends. Little wonder voting turnout is so low: politics on the US is a relentless grind of grandstanding, lying, and hatevertising.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:59 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Between Miller, O'Donnell, Aqua Buddah, and Ginny Thomas it seems like a politics filter orgy.

Well, you know, once you go Aqua Buddha, you never want to go back.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:10 PM on October 20, 2010


this aqua buddha
can it be smoked?
posted by clavdivs at 4:20 PM on October 20, 2010


To be fair, Zarq, the Yankees are so evil, they've made me root for the Rangers

I'm rooting for the Rangers. I hate the Yankees, but also, Bengie Molina used to be a Giant and I still luuurrve him, so, you know, go Rangers! (Go more like yesterday, and no so much like today, okay? Okay!)

Most recent cup of tea was a peppermint/lemon combo. I imagine it's delicious, but I can't taste anything right now.
posted by rtha at 4:26 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chai, baby, chai....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:55 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks to rtha, I went out and got a Chai Tea Latté in the middle of reading this thread. Now I'm enjoying ranty MeTa threads AND hot, chai tea. Thanks, rtha! (Sorry I couldn't get you one).
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:58 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoa, just noticed St. Alia's post above mine. Weird. Doo doo doo doooo
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:58 PM on October 20, 2010



It's remarkable how sensitive to nuance Democrats became after Barack Obama was inaugurated.


This is what I'm talking about.
I'm not sure if you meant it this way, but what this reads to me is: You do not really mean what you say/you are intellectually dishonest.

This is the kind of thing that makes me want to bail on the poli threads, political junkie that I am.

I've been arrested for civil disobedience. I've monitored elections in El Salvador. I've participated in many demonstrations. I was a legal services lawyer for a number of years. These are my leftist credentials.

And so when I am accused of intellectual dishonesty, well, I'm not so much angered as I am, like, fuck this noise, this is not a discussion worth having.

As for the recent resurgence of truther activity -- I didn't lose anybody in 9/11 but knew plenty who did and watched folks walk home covered in the dust of the twin towers. I saw the faces of the people who died on signposts for weeks afterwards. And then I read people talking about how the Afghanistan war was a result of America's small penis size and/or bruised ego and I'm like, fuck this noise.

I think there may be some other folks who are like fuck this noise. Thus the dialogue becomes not so great.
posted by angrycat at 5:00 PM on October 20, 2010 [10 favorites]


I get on the internet to look for videos about baby monkeys riding baby pigs.

Sing it with me, everyone! BABY MONKEY! RIDING ON A PIG BABY MONKEY! BABY MONKEY! BABY MONKEY! BACKWARDS ON A PIG BABY MONKEY!
posted by sonika at 5:05 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed that "Bruce" is a mondegreen, but happy to hear that ELO's adjusted accordingly, because it's clearly the better lyric. Especially because my uncle's named Bruce, and what else am I gonna sing at him?
posted by Greg Nog at 5:10 PM on October 20, 2010


I just heard some fucking bed bath and beyond lounge cover of Fell In Love With A Girl and it made me like physically angry. I got flush and shit.
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


"(Go more like yesterday, and no so much like today, okay? Okay!)"

You mean, like the Rangers today, right? Because the Giants today are doing pretty well.

(One of the great joys of being laid off is watching playoff baseball in the afternoons.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:49 PM on October 20, 2010


I don't know. I can see both sides. I may be too addicted to political threads myself. I still tend though to think that all threads in general have become more fighty, even the ones about art and kitty cats and your favorite band sucks and the sorry state of academia. It's always been the case that political threads and especially election season threads have been fightier. Corraling all the Tea Party discussions into one thread doesn't seem like it's going to do much but make those single Tea Party threads have 600 more fighty comments in them rather than 300. At the same time, I know the mods have a lot of crap to deal with in those threads, and I don't wish more crap on them, so it wouldn't be the end of the world either.
posted by blucevalo at 5:57 PM on October 20, 2010


Thanks angrycat that was awesome.
posted by humanfont at 5:58 PM on October 20, 2010


But those three posts I note above were probably the most uplifting and inspiring stories I've ever posted to the Blue and people still found a way to threadshit in them. I remain totally unconvinced that any topic is safe from people being difficult.

I think there may be some other folks who are like fuck this noise. Thus the dialogue becomes not so great.

This is precisely why I, and quite a few people I know, never make posts here. In fact, of my friends who are members of metafilter, I am pretty much the only one who ever comments here. Even that is pretty limited and sporadic, and for much the same reasons.

I come online and read metafilter to entertain myself, and be enlightened. I can do those things quite effectively without necessarily participating, and when one's comments are met with angry and unwarranted personal attacks; well ... there are plenty of other ways one can spend one's leisure time. I have discussed this at length with quite a few people, and I strongly suspect that this is probably also the case for the vast majority of the users of this site. Certainly its seems to me that there are maybe a couple of hundred commenters that are here pretty much constantly, and tens of thousands who are never heard from at all

But ... my real takeaway from all of this is that I am pretty frikken surprised to learn after all these years that it's not Bruuuuuuuce!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:04 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you don't like it, skip it.

And shut the fuck up while you're at it.
posted by bardic at 6:48 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I made one of the Tea Party threads today (the one about Moe Tucker.) I was on the fence about it. Finally, my reasons for posting were:

1. It seemed somehow interesting and useful to grapple directly with Tea Party enthusiast who was, at least in some obvious ways, not at all well-described by the cultural stereotype of a Tea Partier. Not a rebranded Republican, not a crypto-racist, not a hick, not a stranger to "culture."

2. This wasn't all over the web already, as far as I could tell.

That said, the thread ended up being the usual fighty stuff with some funny Velvet Underground jokes mixed in. So I'm not sure whether I was right to post it.
posted by escabeche at 6:59 PM on October 20, 2010


It's remarkable how sensitive to nuance Democrats became after Barack Obama was inaugurated.

I've just been flagging you in every other thread, ever minute of every day, and it seems to work, as a lot of your Obama comments have been removed, and you have been chastised, as though you care. But this is MetaTalk, and the rules are different, and so, if you decide to toss out one of your Obama derails here, flagging it will probably do nothing.

But, then, the rules are also that I get to respond.

When it started, I thought you were just obnoxious. Then I thought maybe you were trolling. Now I wonder if you haven't suffered traumatic brain damage. I've worked with people who had brain damage, and a lot of them get fixated on a subject, and can't let it go, and talk about it obsessively, and ignore whatever is going on around them in favor of their topic, and become really aggressive when challenged. Not all, of course. Brain damage can have all sorts of effects. But enough that it's a pretty common signifier of traumatic brain damage.

Is that the issue? If so, I'll just ignore you, because you can't help that your brain got broken. But, if that's not it, what's your fucking problem, man? MetaFilter is not your exclusive domain to take over any political thread, or, often enough, any thread at all, to ride your hobby horse and rehash the same four or five anti-Obama arguments. And I don't even know what the point is. You're so hostile and contemptuous, it's obviously not to convince anybody else. Whatever it is, it's a problem, the mods have told you it's a problem, you know it's a problem, and then you just continue.

Seriously, guy. It's bad online behavior, and please stop. Unless your brain is broken and you can't help yourself, in which case, I understand.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:02 PM on October 20, 2010 [24 favorites]


Sonofabitch. It's not Bruce. I had a red transistor pocket radio when that song came out. With a monaural earphone so I could listen when I was supposed to be sleeping.

Kenobi65 on another site here says:
"Yes, "grroosss" is the actual word (taken straight off the lyric sheet). Jeff Lynne says it's just a word he made up, although Mack (the German engineer who worked on this album) noted that it sounded kind of like the German word for "good morning." Most folks think it sounds like they're singing "Bruce;" for that reason, when the song is performed these days, Jeff will sing "Bruce" instead."

I bet tens of thousands of Bruce's were disappointed when they learned this.
posted by vapidave at 7:02 PM on October 20, 2010


And shut the fuck up while you're at it.

Oh man, it's that sort of tone that the site, even the rough and tumble world of Metatalk could use less of.

Seriously, we're a community. It may be a weird community, a screwed up community or any other odd label you can think of, but it's still a community. We hang around here 'cause we like it here and like most of the people here. To tell people to 'shut the fuck up' doesn't help that community, it just breaks it a little and helps turn it into just another crazed shithole on the web. Let's not do that, okay?
posted by nomadicink at 7:07 PM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


I've just been flagging you in every other thread, ever minute of every day, and it seems to work, as a lot of your Obama comments have been removed, and you have been chastised, as though you care.

Me too, or if not flagging, at least rolling my eyes. Especially because when you contribute in non-poli threads, your posts are pretty damned awesome.
posted by Think_Long at 7:12 PM on October 20, 2010


It's bad online behavior, and please stop. Unless your brain is broken and you can't help yourself, in which case, I understand.

And to add a mod note where it's appropriate and not be chiding in the MeFi threads where it's not: Joe Beese, turning every thread about politics into a "this is what you got when you voted for Obama, Democrats" hectoring has to stop. You have been getting flagged heavily and consistently for days, and we have been deleting some of your comments and I guess it's time for another polite request. If you are having a conversation with other people in the thread, by all means go ahead, even if your opinions are unpopular. However, being "that guy who always shows up and starts talking shit about Obama even in threads where no one has mentioned him yet" is not really the role I think you want to play on the site.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:12 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear -- I have never flagged your Obama comments when they made sense in the context of the discussion. But that's increasingly rare.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:18 PM on October 20, 2010


I'd be interested to know if the flags Joe is getting are coming from the same people over and over, and if there's been a concerted effort by a group of people on the site to stifle him and his repetitive one-note tune.
posted by crunchland at 7:21 PM on October 20, 2010


There's no cabal, if that's what your hinting at.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:22 PM on October 20, 2010


its not a concerted effort; its a movement
posted by found missing at 7:24 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


hey, who stole my apostrophes?
posted by found missing at 7:25 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless your brain is broken and you can't help yourself, in which case, I understand.

That doesn't make it any less of a problem though.
posted by nomadicink at 7:25 PM on October 20, 2010


and if there's been a concerted effort by a group of people on the site to stifle him and his repetitive one-note tune.

HAHAHAHAHA, you think we could agree on something, that's rich.
posted by nomadicink at 7:26 PM on October 20, 2010


Watching American elections is great, it's like Olympic-level media coverage of the Special Olympics.

That's really fucking offensive and uncalled for.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


that's rich. --- I wouldn't think it would take much to get 20 people to consistently flag a particular user's comments so that the mods would take notice and action. And I'll admit, I don't delve into the comments on the site like I used to, so I haven't really noticed Joe's contributions, and if they are showing up in non-political threads and are basically derails, then, yeah, they should be flagged and removed. But I trust that the mods wouldn't intentionally let even a small mob mentality silence a minority voice, regardless of how tiresome.
posted by crunchland at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2010


I'd be interested to know if the flags Joe is getting are coming from the same people over and over

I've been checking a medium amount and it doesn't seem to be. More often it's the people who have been active whatever the thread is. We can usually tell when people are trying to shut someone up just for being themselves.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:32 PM on October 20, 2010


I bet tens of thousands of Bruce's were disappointed when they learned this.

Ahem. I had some botanist friends who had a certain strain of plant clones which they had named Bruuuuuuuuce. They are going to be really unhappy to hear this.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:35 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a non-American (Canadian), I don't mind all the US politics threads, I just wish that the US politics shit would stay in the US Politics threads and not bleed all over the cool and unrelated threads.
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:37 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should have an ocean behind your eyes.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:40 PM on October 20, 2010


It's remarkable how sensitive to nuance Democrats became after Barack Obama was inaugurated.

St. Alia, did you favorite this from your iPad while you were in your garden studiously ignoring politics in favor of cute widdle bunnies and unicorns?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:48 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'M GOING TO MURDER EVERYONE
posted by Burhanistan at 7:51 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can I finish my beer first?
posted by jonmc at 7:53 PM on October 20, 2010


brandonb's looking awfully lonely over at PoliticalFilter.

(Hint, hint.)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:54 PM on October 20, 2010


St. Alia, did you favorite this from your iPad while you were in your garden studiously ignoring politics in favor of cute widdle bunnies and unicorns?

Please do not do this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:57 PM on October 20, 2010 [17 favorites]


I'M GOING TO MURDER EVERYONE

Promises promises.
posted by rtha at 8:03 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a great thread up now about UK spending cuts. No witches or imaginary Constitutions, just links to analysis about spending policy. I like it better.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:07 PM on October 20, 2010


St. Alia, did you favorite this from your iPad while you were in your garden studiously ignoring politics in favor of cute widdle bunnies and unicorns

She's not commenting on political threads, as asked. Is she now not allowed to favorite comments in Meta, too?

Who are you, the Favorites Gestapo?
posted by zarq at 8:08 PM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


[pulling on leather gloves] Ve haff vays to make you click.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:10 PM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sorry, Jessamyn. Posted without previewing. The function doesn't work well on my Blackberry.
posted by zarq at 8:11 PM on October 20, 2010


I'M GOING TO MURDER EVERYONE

Oh yeah? You and whose ar
posted by hangashore at 8:19 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


To be fair, Zarq, the Yankees are so evil, they've made me root for the Rangers

I'm a Mets fan and hate the Yanks with a passion. But that's no excuse to Godwin a thread, you know? My point is simply that no matter how nice a post topic might be, someone is still gonna be capable of sparking a derail.
posted by zarq at 8:20 PM on October 20, 2010


I'd be interested to know if the flags Joe is getting are coming from the same people over and over

I'll bet this is true. It's the same bullies over and over, in the thread comments at least. If the bullying stopped that would be awesome.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:29 PM on October 20, 2010


Yes, yes. It's the bullies.
posted by found missing at 8:31 PM on October 20, 2010


I don't need to ask who flags me. Everytime it happens, I feel a stinging sensation in my behind and I hear their username sung in a doo-wop style basso voice.

I'm on to you...
posted by jonmc at 8:32 PM on October 20, 2010


Yes, yes. It's the bullies.

You'd certainly be one of them, if deleted comments are anything to go by.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:36 PM on October 20, 2010


Once, I took such a huge shit that I was afraid all day that the FBI or EPA or someone was going to come arrest me.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would be, except I've never flagged one of his comments. I have commented on them. And, rolled my eyes.
posted by found missing at 8:39 PM on October 20, 2010


(maybe not never, but I can't recall flagging one)
posted by found missing at 8:40 PM on October 20, 2010


Another time, after a few Clif Bars, I took such a big shit that the Universe actually weighed more afterward.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bullies? Oh, for Christ's sakes. Perhaps you agree with him, but if you believe people are just being bullies and trying to silence a minority opinion because they have little patience for one user trotting out a well-ridden and thoroughly beaten-to-death hobby horse on every possible opportunity ... if that's what you're saying ... well, I don't know what to say.

Flag it and move on is what we're supposed to do, to let the mods decide. They've deleted quite a few of the comments, too, and made a point that it's really gotten to be too much. Are they part of this gang of bullies as well?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:44 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess what I'm saying is, my shit is the secret mechanism that counters entropy and the heat death of all existence.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:45 PM on October 20, 2010


Burhan, if you don't want to talk to people about anything but your own shit, maybe go someplace else?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:46 PM on October 20, 2010


I have no idea where one would go to talk about that.
posted by found missing at 8:48 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Flag it and move on is what we're supposed to do, to let the mods decide. They've deleted quite a few of the comments, too, and made a point that it's really gotten to be too much. Are they part of this gang of bullies as well?

No, they're part of the cabal. DUHHHH!


:-P
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:49 PM on October 20, 2010


Perhaps you agree with him

It's not that I agree with him, although I do on some issues, it's that I always see the same damn people call him a troll for expressing and thoughtfully defending a different point of view. It's meant to intimidate him into being quiet. It's a part of Metafilter that reflects badly on the site.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:52 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have no idea where one would go to talk about that. --- If it can't be talked about here, the standard alternative has always been Metachat.

Are they part of this gang of bullies as well? --- As far as the mods are concerned, anything that gets flagged and needs their attention is a problem. If bullies did decide to game the flagging system, then it might be perceived to be a bigger issue than it actually is. Squeaky wheels get the grease and all. Clearly Jess has indicated that it's not the case with monotonous Joe's Obama-bashing.
posted by crunchland at 8:54 PM on October 20, 2010


I flag Joe Beese's tiresome Obama schtick pretty regularly. I can assure you that it's not in concert with anyone else. I'm a daily visitor, but I rarely contribute outside of AskMe, and even more rarely interact with other Mefites, and that interaction is certainly not to conspire to intimidate another user. The persecution complex on his behalf is pretty ridiculous.

I noticed that it had died down for a while, and I was glad because he can be a good contributor otherwise. But the closer we've gotten to the election, the more often he's bringing out that ax to grind and it's annoying and non-productive. So, I flag it and move on and let the mods deal with it as they choose.
posted by chiababe at 9:11 PM on October 20, 2010


what this reads to me is you are intellectually dishonest... I'm not so much angered as I am, like, fuck this noise, this is not a discussion worth having.

Why did the Salvadorans need your help in having their election monitored? Because their militarist government was engaged in torture and murder.

And now your militarist government is engaged in torture and murder.

That's what you called it when George W. Bush was President. [I assert this so confidently on the basis of your leftist credentials - which I sincerely acknowledge as putting mine to shame.] And if you will not call it that now - if you will not denounce it as passionately - then you are a political partisan.

Political partisanship is intellectually dishonest.

being "that guy who always shows up and starts talking shit about Obama even in threads where no one has mentioned him yet" is not really the role I think you want to play on the site.

In this thread, I replied to angrycat saying "I have been increasingly despairing about the insertion of 9/11 truth arguments and Obama sucks arguments. I'm a leftist, but I'm an old leftist, and I find the sledgehammer approach that some are going about these discussions really frustrating in terms of the lack of nuance."

The Mo Tucker post quotes her criticism of Obama's deficits. After dozens of comments of how stupid she is, I made a comment to the effect that it was a valid criticism. The mods deleted it.

In the "O'Donnell doesn't know the First Amendment" thread, I linked to a prominent cartoonist's commentary on the liberal ridicule directed towards her. When Ironmouth followed the link and saw Obama included in the cartoon - although it wasn't even a direct criticism of his administration - he complained in the thread that I was criticizing Obama. After more negative comments about O'Donnell, I quoted a blogger who said that the reason Democrats attack her for the witch nonsense is because they can't attack her as an enemy of the poor - being enemies of the poor themselves. The mods deleted it.

My point being that in each case, I believed myself to be replying to something brought up by someone else first.

When it started, I thought you were just obnoxious. Then I thought maybe you were trolling. Now I wonder if you haven't suffered traumatic brain damage. ... You're so hostile and contemptuous, it's obviously not to convince anybody else.

Hostile and contemptuous, you say.

Here's the thing. On the subject of the current administration, I obviously disagree with you very strongly. Yet you'll notice that I feel no need to make that disagreement about you personally. I could angrily argue with you about Obama all night long without ever proclaiming the right to dismiss whatever you say because you have some personal defect. I would feel no compulsion to silence you.

You speak of my "taking over" any political thread. But all I am doing is stating my opinion. And I am not interfering in the slightest with anyone else doing the same. In other words: your sense of affliction at my presence in a thread is not related to the actual degree of that presence.

If I am off-topic, flag me. If I am dully repetitive, ignore me. If my assertions are disprovable, disprove them. But you can skip the Emanuel-esque "fucking retarded" insults. Because they do not persuade me that I am doing anything worse than being unpopular.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:39 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


My point being that in each case, I believed myself to be replying to something brought up by someone else first.

And our point being essentially that you seem to be doing a pretty poor job of being mindful of whether or not you're effectively jumping at excuses to go there. Because you seem to keep finding excuses to go there, and it's genuinely obnoxious, and this is a conversation we've been having off and on for a pretty long time now.

From the mod side of things, we don't care what your politics are or about which things you agree and disagree with which other members of the site. You're welcome to your opinions and your politics and I'd be happy to not have a clue what they are on account of not having to wade into yet another thread to clean up after the latest ruckus. But as a basic behavioral thing, this is an ongoing problem.

However well-justified you may personally consider any given one of your Obama tangents, the sum total of the behavior is more a frustrating running bad joke at this point than anything that's easy to see as restrained good-faith participation in conversations. You want to defend a specific comment on the merits, it helps if that specific comment is some isolated incident rather than just of a piece with a whole resume of similar interjections and derails. I honestly can't tell if you really don't get this or just don't care, but man is it a tired fucking dance at this point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Seriously, we're a community."

You have a very watery understanding of what a real community is.

And I love me some metafilter, but it isn't a community. To believe that is to disparage actual communities everywhere.

But it's metatalk son. Get a helmet. And don't clutch your pearls so hard.
posted by bardic at 10:16 PM on October 20, 2010


people call him a troll for expressing and thoughtfully defending a different point of view

You are clearly not reading the same MeFi as I've been reading.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:20 PM on October 20, 2010


You are clearly not reading the same MeFi as I've been reading.

Okay.

People here don't seem to like anything that even tangentially mentions Obama in the slightest negative light, even if it's incidental. It's been that way from the start.

I've been reading the same MeFi. And the bullying is just a way of life for a few people here, and lately it is directed at someone who doesn't deserve that ire.

The bullying sucks, and the sooner it stops, the better.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:37 PM on October 20, 2010


I was in a relationship for five years where I was a step-dad with a younger girl and an older boy. They were 5 and 10 when we became a family. The girl, Emily (her real name) would get agitated and start yelling - she was a very loud person - pretty soon the situation would spread and escalate and all four of us would be yelling at each other about everything. The weird thing is that it took me 3 years to recognize the pattern.
posted by vapidave at 10:38 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why did the Salvadorans need your help in having their election monitored? Because their militarist government was engaged in torture and murder.

And now your militarist government is engaged in torture and murder.
"

You're full of shit again, Joe.

You make a bunch of assertions that are pretty flatly wrong, like that the Salvadorans need their elections monitored because their government was engaged in torture and murder. While their government did engage in torture and murder, that's not the direct reason that they need election monitors. El Salvador had a twelve-year civil war that only ended in 1992 and that killed 75000 people, roughly 10 percent of their population. They have a over a hundred-year history of coups and historically lack a peaceful transfer of power, and that a liberal candidate was likely to win meant that the government (which was conservative, but no longer overtly militarist in any meaningful sense) was going to have to transfer power.

To assert that they have a militarist government engaged in torture and murder is simplistic to the point of lying.

Further, the implied parallel, that the US government is as bad as El Salvador's former junta, or that a meaningful comparison can be drawn is insulting both to anyone who has a reasonable view of American politics and to the thousands of people who died in El Salvador's civil war.

Now, think about this: Refuting the bullshit you trotted out there in a blasé three lines took a solid paragraph full of reply. Multiply that by the number of times that you comment, and you begin to realize that correcting every insulting bit of nonsense you spew is practically a full time job, and so far Obama's just not socialist enough to pay me for it. It's compounded by the fact that pointing out that your shit does in fact stink like a baby diaper will not make you any more hesitant to post it in every thread whether it's got anything to do with the topic or not (which does make people pretty jumpy about just attributing more axe-grinding to you even when it may feel like an innocent, unrelated comment to you).
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 PM on October 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


I was in a relationship for five years where I was a step-dad with a younger girl and an older boy. They were 5 and 10 when we became a family. The girl, Emily (her real name) would get agitated and start yelling - she was a very loud person - pretty soon the situation would spread and escalate and all four of us would be yelling at each other about everything. The weird thing is that it took me 3 years to recognize the pattern.

Well, she was 5, you needed to recognize your reaction and how it made you feel before you started yelling. But thanks for the charming little anecdote.
posted by mlis at 11:04 PM on October 20, 2010


Holy cats, there are people who still use Special Olympics as a punchline? That's sort of adorable, in a shitty and sad sort of way.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:07 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Sorry, that should be around 1 percent of their population, what with the pop being just over 7 million, not 700000.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 PM on October 20, 2010


That and Astro Zombie and his Traumatic Brain Injuries rant made me uncomfortable. I understand how frustrating Joe Beese can be but that was not taking the high road.
posted by mlis at 11:17 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, sort of scummy, even with the 'I work with...' caveat. Between that and the diagnoses in the AskMe-related MeTa two posts down, MeFites really need to start enrolling in med school or cutting it the fuck out with the DSM-IV shtick.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:22 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


The bullying sucks the same amount as Joe's constant derails and distortions.

"Thoughtful defense of a different point of view" is not how I'd describe his behavior.

Obsessive off-topic sniping, yes.

Thoughtful discourse regarding Obama's many failings in appropriately-focused threads, not so much.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:53 AM on October 21, 2010


To be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with anybody who suffers brain damage. I'm saying this behavior is consistent with that if people I have known who have brain damage, and if there is a medical reason for it, well, so be it. Failing that, it's beyond obnoxious.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:58 AM on October 21, 2010


I'm saying this behavior is consistent with that if people I have known who have brain damage, and if there is a medical reason for it, well, so be it.

You're a lovely guy, and one of my favourite contributors, but you really need to let this one drop. It's completely uncool.
posted by Wolof at 3:29 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Astro Zombie: "To be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with anybody who suffers brain damage. I'm saying this behavior is consistent with that if people I have known who have brain damage, and if there is a medical reason for it, well, so be it. Failing that, it's beyond obnoxious."

Except that offering that up as an alternative really wasn't necessary because I'm pretty sure you don't actually think Joe Beese has any form of brain damage.
posted by gman at 3:30 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can tell you why I repeat things, IRL. It's when I feel people aren't listening. And I reiterate when I feel like people are unnecessarily dismissing my point of view. Though, in cases of pet peeves --- like when someone says me, when they ought to say I ("Jamie and me went to the liquor store.") --- I realize I have to stifle myself from reacting, because I realize that it is something that bothers me more than it should, and my wife just thinks I'm a spaz to get so worked up about it.

I think this is a lot like what has happened with Joe. I bet he feels like people aren't listening to him, and it's turned into a pet peeve of his.

There's a perfectly rational explanation for it, without the insulting and dismissive insinuation of brain damage.
posted by crunchland at 3:51 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why did the Salvadorans need your help in having their election monitored? Because their militarist government was engaged in torture and murder.


just to clarify, I was in El Sal with CISPES, or the Comm In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. The sentiments of the group are in accord with the name on the tin. So I wasn't there propping up a right-wing gov't.

People here don't seem to like anything that even tangentially mentions Obama in the slightest negative light, even if it's incidental. It's been that way from the start.


The most recent Obama thing I've thing from Joe was in the C. O'Donnell thread, where Joe posted a link to a Ted Rall cartoon that drew an equivalence between O'Donnell and Obama. So that was tangential, yes, but to the discussion, and was a pretty direct Obama slam.

I've been reading the same MeFi. And the bullying is just a way of life for a few people here, and lately it is directed at someone who doesn't deserve that ire.

I'd rather not be a bully, but don't know what you're talking about in terms of specific behavior here. What do you define as bullying? Saying, "You're wrong Joe?" You, Blazecock, point out the wrongness of people all the time, seemingly. So I'm confused as to what your objection is.
posted by angrycat at 4:21 AM on October 21, 2010


Sorry Joe, rereading your comment I see I misunderstood your El Salvador comment.

But, like the posting of the Ted Rall cartoon that drew an equivalency between O'Donnell and Obama, you've now drawn an equivalency between the really bad old days of El Salvador and the Obama administration. You don't believe they're the same, truly, do you?

I think that you might be engaged in hyperbolic comparisons to make a point. But that hyperbole, I think, is a big part of the problem, in terms of the tenor of the discussion.
posted by angrycat at 4:32 AM on October 21, 2010


I'm not saying there is anything wrong with anybody who suffers brain damage. I'm saying this behavior is consistent with that if people I have known who have brain damage, and if there is a medical reason for it, well, so be it.

Well, publicly wondering if people who repetitively disagree with you have brain damage is clearly a symptom of Asperger's syndrome.

And constantly seeing Asperger's syndrome all around you is obviously suggestive of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Confusing offensive diagnosing with OCD means that your hypoglycemia is fucking with your moods.

Medicalizing someone's bad mood? That's one step away from Munchhausen's-by-proxy, you abusive bastard.

I blame the whole thing on too much House, M.D..
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:46 AM on October 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Joe Beese has lupus?
posted by crunchland at 4:50 AM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


You have a very watery understanding of what a real community is.

If thinking that giving people a general "Fuck off" is watery, then call me Aquaman.

If I am dully repetitive, ignore me.

I'd love to in terms of political threads, but you keep popping up. You keep demanding to be disproved if you're wrong. You keep equating Bush and Obama. You're coming off like an annoying kid who keeps demanding attention. If you can't understand that will eventually get you lots of negative attention, I don't what else to say you.
posted by nomadicink at 5:19 AM on October 21, 2010


It's not that I agree with him, although I do on some issues, it's that I always see the same damn people call him a troll for expressing and thoughtfully defending a different point of view. It's meant to intimidate him into being quiet.

I have to ask, if this is actually the case, and Joe Beese isn't misbehaving in any way other than having a different point of view, why isn't your name, BP, brought up along with his, since you seem to agree with him on many of the pertinent issues? I, for one, don't have the same complaints about your behavior as I do of Joe's. It seems to me that it's a difference of behavior that is the problem, not of opinion.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:20 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


People here don't seem to like anything that even tangentially mentions Obama in the slightest negative light, even if it's incidental. It's been that way from the start.

I don't personally care about anyone else's criticisms of Obama. I'm fully capable of making my own opinion and agreeing with his policies sometimes and feeling frustrated by them at others. Someone not liking the President is no skin off of my personal nose.

However, I will agree (and I do flag his comments) that when Joe Beese trots out anti-Obama sentiments (or sentiments that are vaguely veiled anti-Obama sentiments) in every thread concerning US Politics whether the Presidency has any bearing on it or not, it gets really old. Not because I don't like what he's saying, but because it's completely irrelevant. And old. And annoying.

I would honestly feel the same way were he praising Obama in every politics thread. It's not a "what he's saying" issue, it's a "time and place and you've made that point to death already" issue.
posted by sonika at 5:40 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who are you, the Favorites Gestapo?

Who are you, the MetaTalk Minister für Volksaufklärung?
posted by octobersurprise at 5:50 AM on October 21, 2010


Except that offering that up as an alternative really wasn't necessary because I'm pretty sure you don't actually think Joe Beese has any form of brain damage.

No, I am really starting to wonder if there's some medical reason.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:22 AM on October 21, 2010


Who are you, the MetaTalk Minister für Volksaufklärung?

I fancy myself more of a Viking, actually.
posted by zarq at 6:55 AM on October 21, 2010


I have a likely-to-be-ignored suggestion for the Tea Party about what can be done to prevent daily posts about the Tea Party doing stupid things.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:02 AM on October 21, 2010


It's been 18 hours. The post I made yesterday now has 59 comments (3 of which are mine,) of which a few are snarky and a few are in-depth and rather interesting. It also has 10 favorites, which is sort of a meaningless statistic but worth noting, I guess.

I don't know if the mods have had to delete any comments. I'm guessing that even if they did, the thread didn't need much babysitting or meet a threshold because the Mods didn't post a "behave or take it to MeTa" admonishment in the thread.

My answer to you, Gator, is that the thread is going just fine.
posted by zarq at 7:15 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, I am really starting to wonder if there's some medical reason.

Maybe you should just keep this to yourself then.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on October 21, 2010


[Comment removed. AEflwine, take a week off, last chance.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:31 AM on October 21, 2010


I bet he feels like people aren't listening to him, and it's turned into a pet peeve of his.

On the contrary. I would be far happier if I were ignored.

Please consider this an open invitation to one and all. The next time I repeat one of my tiresome criticisms of Obama - which I will do my best to keep leashed until there is a proper context for doing so - do not engage me. If you think I am trolling for attention, deny it to me.

klangklangston, let's say for the sake of argument that my bringing angrycat's mention of her election monitoring in El Salvador into a discussion of Obama's human rights abuses is historically ignorant and morally depraved. Someone Is Wrong On The Internet!

Why do you find it necessary to "refute my bullshit" - despite the wearying effort you say it requires? Why is my comment not beneath your contempt? Why must you, personally, extirpate the infamy of the comparison? To defend the honor of MetaFilter? Of the Obama administration? Or is it simply for the pleasure of demonstrating how wrong I am? Whatever the reason, it would be nice if you owned up to your personal motivation - rather than posture that it's some kind of slave labor I've imposed on you.

you've now drawn an equivalency between the really bad old days of El Salvador and the Obama administration. You don't believe they're the same, truly, do you?

It depends on what you mean by "the same". If you want me to give the Obama administration credit for not running body dumps, fine. Credit is so given.

But of course what I said is that the Obama administration is engaged in torture and murder. I included links and everything.

Notably, you do not reply "That Open Society Foundation report of ongoing prisoner abuse at the secret Bagram facility is illegitimate" or "The abuse in that report does not meet the legal definition of torture". You reply "You're accusing me of being intellectually dishonest" or "Your comparison to El Salvador is specious". With all due respect, you are changing the subject.

I have asserted, on the basis of the linked report, that the Obama administration is torturing prisoners. Do not tell me that he is not torturing as many people, or as brutally, as the government of El Salvador did. Tell me why the assertion is false. Or tell me why you support the administration in spite of the assertion being true. Or ignore me altogether. But please do not try to make it about me - because it's not.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:52 AM on October 21, 2010


I don't completely disagree with Joe on some of his less strident points, but it's reached a level where I want to take an opposing view simply because of the volume. I now find myself disagreeing with him simply because I'm tired of hearing about it.

Put another way, according to a quick site search, I've said the word "fuck" in 325 comments thus far. Joe has said "obama" in 459.

And I use the word fuck all the time. Constantly. It's something I view, very nearly, as a personal failing. And when I'm getting metrically trounced, something is wrong.

So I'm going to use the word Fuck a lot more and I'm going to hope Joe uses Obama a little bit less.
posted by quin at 7:55 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Are you a viking detective?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:56 AM on October 21, 2010


Astro Zombie: "To be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with anybody who suffers brain damage. I'm saying this behavior is consistent with that if people I have known who have brain damage, and if there is a medical reason for it, well, so be it. Failing that, it's beyond obnoxious."

I keep looking at the comments you've made here about brain damage and I have to admit I'm quite surprised that you're the one expressing them. You're one of the folks I look up to around here, for your eloquence, wit, and the deft way you encourage civility and respect between Mefites.

MLIS has it right. That wasn't taking the high road. Lord knows I'm not the most diplomatic person around here, and am not in a position to throw stones. But respectfully, perhaps there are ways you can criticize Joe without sounding so insulting.
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you a viking detective?

Well, I don't like to brag, but I am the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about....
posted by zarq at 8:16 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"On the contrary. I would be far happier if I were ignored."

Then don't comment. That will make you easy to ignore.
posted by klangklangston at 8:31 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


flatluigi writes "I'd rather suggest we go with the tried-and-true suggestion of just ignoring posts on topics one doesn't like. We're on the internet; there is no space limit. As long as it's not actively hurting the community site-wide I don't see the issue of having several posts about distinguishably different political insanities."

There is a limit to the attention users will spend on the front page. Even moving on takes time. There will be thresholds where any particular user not interested in American Politics will just stop visiting the front page rather than skipping dozens of posts. It's especially annoying this cycle because the stuff I'm skipping appears to be almost entirely "look at the batshit insane assholes".

geoff. writes "'Get this: they fucking fell. On television, it was pretty fucking epic. Also make sure you buy as much as Google as you can afford.'
"'Goggles? Buy goggles? What wait where did you go? What kind of goggles? Ah!'"


Apple. Buy as much Apple as you can.

quin writes "In defense of all these posts: we're two weeks away from an election cycle of some importance, "
Mister Fabulous writes "Anyhow, I'm in the boat of 'it's election season, come November 3rd it all washes over.'"

I bet the Wacky Tea Party posts do not end November 3rd unless it's mod edict. I'd wouldn't even be surprised if it doesn't even abate. There is way too much source material being generated everyday.
posted by Mitheral at 8:32 AM on October 21, 2010


I don't completely disagree with Joe on some of his less strident points, but it's reached a level where I want to take an opposing view simply because of the volume. I now find myself disagreeing with him simply because I'm tired of hearing about it.


If your plan is to turn him into St. Josephia of the Beeses, I don't think there's a really high track record of that resulting in your kneejerk opponent disappearing.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:42 AM on October 21, 2010


But of course what I said is that the Obama administration is engaged in torture and murder. I included links and everything.

This totally reminds me of one time in college when my roommate said "It must be true! I saw it on Fox News!" and then realized what she had just said.

I'm sure you're smart enough to see that "links and everything!" doesn't really mean all that much on the internets. You can find links to back up any point of view. I'm not saying you're wrong, or that your links are wrong, but that "having links and everything!" pretty much means nothing.
posted by sonika at 8:45 AM on October 21, 2010


If you're not going to take pity on us, Joe, could you please at least shape up for the sake of the mods?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:49 AM on October 21, 2010


I don't completely disagree with Joe on some of his less strident points, but it's reached a level where I want to take an opposing view simply because of the volume. I now find myself disagreeing with him simply because I'm tired of hearing about it.

Just imagine how he must feel about the volume of comments telling him to shut up and go away.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:49 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Frankly, shouting someone down for daring to criticise the President of the United States seems a bit . . . Freepy.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:55 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The next time I repeat one of my tiresome criticisms of Obama ....do not engage me.

Why can't you try to keep a reign on your own damn self?

I mean, look at the DADT thread: you just took it over, posting what seemed like every other comment. You have annoyed me with your relentless stridency for a very long time now but I had no problem ignoring you - until that thread, when you seemed determined to drown out any other discussion. You have every right to your opinion, just please dial it back.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:57 AM on October 21, 2010


why isn't your name, BP, brought up along with his, since you seem to agree with him on many of the pertinent issues

I hate this smeary kind of language. It gets exactly to the root of the problem with Beese's attackers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:58 AM on October 21, 2010


No, I am really starting to wonder if there's some medical reason.

This is something for you to quietly wonder about in the comfort of your own mind, I think. I can buy that you just didn't think it was a weird thing to say or that your intent wasn't nasty, but repeated volleys of "are you braindamaged?" are sort of gross on a couple of fronts and, like the Ha Ha Special Olympics comment upthread as well, really not cool.

Just imagine how he must feel about the volume of comments telling him to shut up and go away.

Imagine how we feel about having to deal with both. We'd like less of both. Joe really needs to take responsibility for his half of that equation; people reacting in grumpy fashion to his axe-grinding need to take responsibility for theirs. The existence of one does not exonerate or excuse the other, in either direction. But the person doing the same thing over and over again to the point of establishing a firm That Guy reputation is causing a fixable problem on an individual basis and needs to do that fixing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:04 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what you mean. My point is that you claim Joe Beese is criticized and bullied because he criticizes Obama; however, you (and many others!) agree with him on several of his points re: Obama, and have said so in multiple threads, and yet you and these others are not subject to the same 'bullying' that Joe Beese is. Doesn't this indicate that the criticism directed towards Joe Beese is not entirely because of the nature of his opinions?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2010


"Why do you find it necessary to "refute my bullshit" - despite the wearying effort you say it requires? Why is my comment not beneath your contempt? Why must you, personally, extirpate the infamy of the comparison? To defend the honor of MetaFilter? Of the Obama administration? Or is it simply for the pleasure of demonstrating how wrong I am? Whatever the reason, it would be nice if you owned up to your personal motivation - rather than posture that it's some kind of slave labor I've imposed on you."

Of course, you can't simply say that you were wrong, can you, Joe?

My motivation is that I generally enjoy discussions on MetaFilter and because you are actively making MetaFilter worse in fairly specific ways, I would like you to think more before you comment and not to take a lack of rebuttal as endorsement of your views. I should think that was clear, Joe. I've been pretty open about it.

But let's take a moment to examine your motivations, since you feel that's the appropriate topic (and aren't, of course, simply seeking ad hominem dismissal). In what way do you feel that you're making political life better? In what way do you think your hectoring hyperbole either convinces or impels action? What could possibly be your motivation for consistently being insultingly, stupidly wrong on the internet, despite being told as much again and again and again?

Is it your ego, Joe? Is it the sense that you're bringing us out of Plato's cave, that you have the real shit that justifies your offensive comparisons and your inane bloviation?

"It depends on what you mean by "the same". If you want me to give the Obama administration credit for not running body dumps, fine. Credit is so given.

But of course what I said is that the Obama administration is engaged in torture and murder. I included links and everything.
"

You did indeed. Did you read them? Characterizing the "Confinement Conditions at a U.S. Screening Facility on Bagram Air Base" report as indicative of torture is, again, the type of misrepresentation that borders on intentional lying, Joe. The report not only cites progress being made under Obama's administration (though the amount Obama or the general "government" have to do with a military prison in Afghanistan is debatable), but simply documents ambiguous subjective statements that mainly deal with environmental concerns. Calling it torture to not provide water for the ablution rituals (especially when there's a similar dust ablution ritual available) or to make new detainees strip for a medical exam is to cheapen the word "torture." The report is a serious one, and the recommendations they make good, but given that they had the opportunity to report it as torture and didn't should show you that your characterizing it as such is misleading and inflammatory.

Likewise, citing a New Yorker op-ed on whether or not Al-Awlaki should be added to a list of people whom the US believes it's OK to kill is not the same as proving murder. You would think with the gymnastics you go through to defend Al-Awlaki's due process that you'd be more sensitive to the distinction. This does not mean that the US would not be better served by pursuing civil justice against Al-Awlaki, but simply defining it as "murder" when it hasn't happened yet and is of dubious legal standing is bullshit.

You're full of shit again, Joe. Not only do your links not say what you say they say, but then compounding that with a comparison to El Salvador is craven and manipulative nonsense.

That's why the discussion is about you and your behavior, Joe — the craven and manipulative nonsense.

We recognize here that simply dumping out the Holocaust every time something is bad is poisonous to the discourse. But what you don't seem to have figured out is that it's bad not because of the special status of Hitler and the Holocaust, but because the comparisons are absurd and overwrought. But by comparing Obama's administration to El Salvador's, you've committed essentially the same fallacy of scale and are arguing an emotional, rather than reasonable, stance. And you're doing so in a way that is dishonest, in a way that is toxic, and in a way that you've been asked to stop repeatedly. Again, that's why the discussion is about you — many of us agree (at least broadly) with stopping the things you'd like stopped. But that doesn't mean that we agree with the time, place or manner of your expression.
posted by klangklangston at 9:07 AM on October 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Imagine how we feel about having to deal with both. We'd like less of both. Joe really needs to take responsibility for his half of that equation; people reacting in grumpy fashion to his axe-grinding need to take responsibility for theirs.

Okay. Go ahead.

(Just sayin'.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2010


But let's take a moment 667 words....

Joe Beese isn't on my radar and I have absolutely no opinion of the guy, AT ALL, and I'm starting to feel bad for him. Isn't this the kind of thing cortex was referring to, re: people taking responsibility for their reactions to him?
posted by Gator at 9:14 AM on October 21, 2010


Isn't this the kind of thing cortex was referring to, re: people taking responsibility for their reactions to him?

Not really, no. MetaTalk is where we have these conversations. cortex was pretty specifically referring to the way Joe Beese has been interacting or not interacting in threads on MeFi. And just as a related note, he's totally fine in AskMe, helpful, asks interesting questions etc.

It's really one of those weird issues where by the time we have to step in as mods to publicly talk about something--something we try not to do unless really there's a pervasive problem that doesn't appear to be being addressed or improving-- there's usually some sort of a situation. Pile-on jerk behavior is not okay even in MeTa but talking back and forth about what the problem more or less is, is sort of part of the deal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:22 AM on October 21, 2010


In what way do you feel that you're making political life better? In what way do you think your hectoring hyperbole either convinces or impels action?

I do not recognize that either of these are requirements for commenting on MetaFilter.

I comment to express myself. Same as you. Same as everyone else.

You believe I am wrong to say the treatment of Bagram prisoners constitutes torture. I believe you are wrong to say it is not. The difference is that I don't consider "klangklangston Is Wrong On The Internet" a reason to personally insult you as craven, manipulative, full of shit as baby's diaper, etc. And I believe that kind of chest-shoving rhetoric "makes MetaFilter worse" far more than even the most demonstrably incorrect political opinion ever could.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:31 AM on October 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


And I believe that kind of chest-shoving rhetoric "makes MetaFilter worse" far more than even the most demonstrably incorrect political opinion ever could.

Could you address the folks who have said that it isn't the content of your opinions but the presentation and context of same that is the problem? I believe this contingency of folks includes mods.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:34 AM on October 21, 2010


Yeah, I'm not crazy about political axe grinding, but the response to Joe Beese in this thread has been really unacceptably petty and low brow. There are lots of people who post wrong or inflammatory bullshit on this site and don't get nearly the level of intense scrutiny that Beese does. I won't bother speculating on why that is, just would politely request people chill out.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


(Just sayin'.)

I find it a lot more helpful when people actually write substantially about whatever it is they're thinking than when they write "Just sayin'" instead. You're Just Sayin' nothing in lieu of actually saying something. If you have a specific comment about or disagreement with my comment, please actually make it clear.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:42 AM on October 21, 2010


(Just sayin'.) If you have a specific comment about or disagreement with my comment, please actually make it clear.

Ooh! Ooh! On a similar note, I HATE when people start their disagreement with "Not really." It's a weak, wishy-washy way to begin a disagreement. If you disagree, say "No" or "I disagree." (And I'm not just sayin'. I'm fucking SAYIN'.)
posted by coolguymichael at 10:06 AM on October 21, 2010


Could you address the folks who have said that it isn't the content of your opinions but the presentation and context of same that is the problem? I believe this contingency of folks includes mods.

I accept the mods' judgment that I have been wrong in assessing when the context is appropriate. I also accept that my many errors in that regard have cost me the benefit of the doubt. Though they will probably find it hard to believe, I do not ever wish to make their difficult job any more so - so I will try to be even more mindful of my unfortunate tendencies in that respect.

That said, I do not believe that the content of my opinions has nothing to do with the level of rancor directed at me. No doubt I am annoying when I derail - and I do apologize for that. But note that klangklangston is not telling me "Stop being annoying" as much as he is saying "Stop being wrong. I've proved that you're wrong. Now admit it."

Though I have no proof, I believe this kind of clenched-jaw insistence on stamping out what I've said - rather than simply ignoring or flagging - is more about them, and their defensiveness about Obama and his party, than it is about me.

I do not believe that klangklangston would care so passionately, if at all, if I said something "misleading and inflammatory" about George W. Bush.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:14 AM on October 21, 2010


I used to have a generally favorable opinion of Joe Beese. And I do take seriously the claims he has made, and I learned long ago--through personal experience--not to take the word of my government at face value, so a report that Things Are Getting Better does smack to me of telling me what I want to hear, while probably being much much worse. Probably not worse to the extent that Abu Ghraib entailed, but it has been my learning curve that First Executives rarely if ever give back power grabbed by their predecessors, and I find Obama no exception.

I am disappointed in Obama, but probably not for the reasons or to the extent that Joe Beese holds. That said, while I try to ignore first, FIAMO second, between Joe and aelfwine eveningstar (if I got the name right) I find that I am enjoying MetaFilter less and less.

Joe Beese, you may argue that it is your right to harangue the left, the right, the center by simply expressing yourself, but at base, MetaFilter is a business, and if people start finding other venues to spend their time at because they Just Can't Stand The Relentless One Note Johnny stance, I think it is MetaFilters right to--as they apparently have--tell you to tone it down. And rightly so, to tell your equally vocal down-shouters to chill as well. Still, and I may be wrongly attributing this--I find that the person more responsible for a fight is the one who picks it, not the ones who respond, though both need addressed. I say that as someone who routinely has to peacefully intervene in the daily scuffles of teens and youth. Who seem to have the same fights, day after day, after day. Eventually, I ban them from the center. For a day, then a week, then the grading period, then the year. They are young enough that next year, they may have learned, grown, changed. I hold out the same hope for those--and here I am not singling out Joe, for there are many people who have their own Relentless Focus Issue that they use a cudgel rather than suasion--who bring the vitriol rather than the vibe to grow, and learn, and change.

Honestly, if it's a political thread, and I see Beese or Aelfwine, I'll read a sentence or two and then I go---oh crap. No fun for me.

That said, what keeps me around is seeing the mods responses in what I consider to be a considered, lets-be-adults-please way. That does more for me than seeing posts removed without the accompanying MeTa discussions.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:21 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and Joe, I have had many, many more arguments with klangklangston than you ever will, and, yes, at times he will--as his grandfather said--stir the turd and accept only that he is right and you are wrong. (In our arguments, I will concede that he is right better than 50% of the time, but I often can't see that immediately, because he is smarter than I am. Like on homeopathics. But I get to be more right because I am older, and his father and I insist on deference.) But--and he will kill me for saying this--he is actually a thoughtful and fair person, and will admit when he is wrong, but never, ever, ever, if he is being shouted at. He'll just shout back.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:27 AM on October 21, 2010


Yes, I acknowledge that some of the blowback directed at you is related to the content of your opinions, and I personally think that blowback is stupid. As you have said many times, some objections to your comments would never have been raised had your comments been about George W. Bush. I find this just as inane as the constant cries that conservative members are trolls, or should be banned, or whatever.

That said, however, there is a significant degree to which blowback directed at you is related, as I said, to the presentation and context of your opinions. I'm glad to see you acknowledge the context problem, and I don't expect you or anyone else to be 100% on-point or perfect at all times, and I'm glad to hear you say that you'll pursue mindfulness. Thank you, honestly.

There hasn't been much conversation here, by the way, about your presentation, though. You said earlier that you don't see your disagreeing with someone as license to insult them, which I find commendable, but not entirely accurate with regard to your past conduct. Often you are sarcastic, patronizing, and all too eager to accuse those with whom you disagree of acting in bad faith or outright dishonesty. This sometimes adds an unpleasant veneer of smugness to your comments. Other times you've presented as having something of a martyr complex w/r/t your comments about Obama; I think that disagreement is best done without sarcasm or condescension, especially when one holds a minority opinion. Speaking frankly and with respect to those with whom you disagree would, I think, do a lot for your earning complementary respect.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:28 AM on October 21, 2010


I just don't know.
posted by jtron at 10:35 AM on October 21, 2010


This is something for you to quietly wonder about in the comfort of your own mind, I think.

Good point, and good points all. I apologize.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 AM on October 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


> That said, I do not believe that the content of my opinions has nothing to do with the level of rancor directed at me.

For what it's worth—probably not much, as far as you're concerned—I largely agree with you about the sins of the Obama administration (though I'd never go so far as to equate them with far worse regimes, because that would make me look stupid and cause people not to take me seriously). And yet I roll my eyes when I see your name on a comment and scroll down to where I can read something new and interesting. I don't like saying this, because I enjoy your posts and used to enjoy a lot of your comments, but you really have become That Guy, and I wish you could really understand that and stop doing it, but one of the marks of That Guy is that he honestly can't see he's become That Guy, he's sure he's simply saying what needs to be said. But if you can't cut back, I'm guessing you're going to wind up banned (and no, not for having Bad Opinions but for being a consistent problem for the mods), so the problem will resolve itself one way or the other.
posted by languagehat at 10:40 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


>>>Imagine how we feel about having to deal with both. We'd like less of both. Joe really needs to take responsibility for his half of that equation; people reacting in grumpy fashion to his axe-grinding need to take responsibility for theirs.

>>Okay. Go ahead.

>>(Just sayin'.)

>I find it a lot more helpful when people actually write substantially about whatever it is they're thinking than when they write "Just sayin'" instead. You're Just Sayin' nothing in lieu of actually saying something. If you have a specific comment about or disagreement with my comment, please actually make it clear.


I'm just sayin' your initial reaction in this thread was somewhat grumpy in fashion; if you'd like less of that sort of thing, you might want to ponder your own responsibility re: actively contributing to the grump-fest. Which is not to say you're wrong, nor that your grumpiness isn't entirely warranted, nor indeed that the grumpiness itself is the problem; rather, the problem is that it's being aired publicly, in view of those who may interpret your agreement that Joe Beese is indeed a consistently obnoxious threadshitter as validation of their continuing mission to spread their grumpiness here and wherever else Joe Beese pops up.

If he's a problem, deal with him privately. Public pile-ons are bad for MetaFilter.

Just sayin'.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:56 AM on October 21, 2010


Yeah, yeah, I'm testy because I'm a shill for the Obama administration. Just like how I was testy in 2005 because I was a shill for the Bush administration. Ad hominem reasoning never gets old, and I never passionately advocate for my honest views, and my honest views are never that hyperbolic axe-grinding is both stupid and bad for MetaFilter, and I haven't been saying the same thing about similar stuff for as long as I've been here. I've never gotten into internet fights with BP, I've never defended Dios and ParisParamus, I've never pointed out that it's always possible to state your views forcefully, convincingly and factually, and never called out anyone for misleading links or facile interpretations of their linked content. I've never disagreed with Obama, and prepare for bed every night by trying to imagine just what he smells like.
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cedar.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:03 AM on October 21, 2010


LOL
posted by Sys Rq at 11:03 AM on October 21, 2010


I don't totally disagree that the public-grumpiness thing has its problems. I try not to be too grumpy in public too much of the time. I was tired last night and not showing as much restraint as I'd like, so, well, mea culpa. I'd rather say what I mean with a minimum of unnecessary grumpiness, but I fail on that front sometimes.

That said, the do-it-privately thing works only so far as it actually works from both ends. And that's the route we prefer to take and generally do take when trying to deal with a new bit of problematic behavior from someone.

But we've had plenty of conversations with Joe Beese at this point, and the familiar pattern of "talk about it, he eventually says 'I'll try harder', and then it starts all over again a while later" makes it difficult to usefully keep it private, in part because people see him doing the same thing again and again and wonder (privately and publicly) where the hell we are on this situation.

The idea that we can just be publicly silent on the issue of someone's public ongoing bad behavior until such time as, in the worst resolution of the situation, we ban him without explanation, is not one I can really get behind. That's not how this place has really ever worked, and talking this stuff out in public is traditionally how persistent site problems has been handled. I'll continue to try and mind my grumpiness on that front but we're going to have to discuss a lot of this stuff in the open at times.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:05 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


... and will admit when he is wrong, but never, ever, ever, if he is being shouted at. He'll just shout back.

A lot of people respond that way.
posted by nomadicink at 11:17 AM on October 21, 2010


If he's a problem, deal with him privately.

As cortex said, we have done that repeatedly. At some point we have a responsibility to the larger community to, as politely and decently as we can manage, move some of this stuff into the public arena when the private one isn't working.

I know there are a bunch of MeFites for whom mod-criticism of users feels particularly unfair or unseemly and we try to do this sort of thing pretty rarely, but insofar as the guidelines only really exist as they're enforced by us, sometimes we feel that we have to be a little more clear about What We're Doing in a given situation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:48 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Joe I'm curious what your story is. I mean libertarian, anarchist, right wing agitprop, sockpuppet, troll, nadarite? Where are you comming from? Grad school, grade school, hard knocks, or what? What's the persona or who's the person behind the crusade?
posted by humanfont at 11:19 PM on October 21, 2010


No doubt I am annoying when I derail - and I do apologize for that.

It would be more reassuring if you could refrain from derailing so predictably in the first place, Joe Beese. There will be FPPs on the political topics you care so deeply about, but until then, this behavior does the community discussion no good whatsoever for you to try to turn other threads around to your preoccupations. Several people in this MetaTalk thread have said that your persistent derailing has alienated them despite agreeing with you on points.

You once posted, "I am farther along the autism spectrum than most of you." Perhaps you could reflect on how the symptomatic narrowed interests and poor communication skills might undermine your conversational role when you are trying to express your deeply held opinions. Otherwise, your strident derails, though you end up apologizing in MetaTalk, will continue to undermine your standing in the community and the patience of the mods and your fellow MeFites.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:30 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not comfortable with the possible mental issues of a user being publicly trotted out, there isn't a strong reason for it, especially in the context of chiding them. These sort of things can be said privately if one feels they need to be mentioned at all.
posted by nomadicink at 6:41 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree. Joe Beese is clearly an intelligent person who knows how to read, and is better at putting together comments than many of us. Let's not do this.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 AM on October 22, 2010


Point taken. On reflection (and another cup of coffee), I'd cut out that second paragraph from my comment if we could edit after posting. For my own part, I ought to hold off from early morning commenting in the first place.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:56 AM on October 22, 2010


It's probably because you have AIDS.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:58 AM on October 22, 2010


Okie doke, that's pretty much totally enough of that all around.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:01 AM on October 22, 2010


Thank you, Cortex.
posted by zarq at 8:12 AM on October 22, 2010


Thank you zarq, for thanking cortex.
posted by nomadicink at 8:22 AM on October 22, 2010


Joe I'm curious what your story is. I mean libertarian, anarchist, right wing agitprop, sockpuppet, troll, nadarite?

I would have been about 10 or 11 when, intrigued by the newfound knowledge that you could actually address mail to the White House, I wrote President Carter to say that I thought the newspapers were unfair when they criticized him. I received a reply bearing the signature of his press secretary, Jody Powell, thanking me for my support.

I was first eligible to vote in 1988. I registered as a Democrat without needing to give it a moment's thought. On Election Day, R.E.M. released their first major-label record and I voted for Michael Dukakis. They proved to be equally disappointing.

In 1992, I voted for Ross Perot - because he wasn't beholden to special interests. It turned out that he wasn't beholden to sanity either - but we'll leave that for now.

In 1996, I voted Libertarian, I think. Or maybe one of the other third-parties. I wasn't online yet - so there was no one to insult me for it.

In 2000, I voted for Ralph Nader - because there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between Bush and Gore. If I could travel back in time, I would tell my younger self, "You're going to get a lot of shit for this someday. But you won't regret this."

In 2004, I voted Green.

In 2008, I approached the Diebold planning to vote for Cynthia McKinney. I stood there thinking for 5 minutes - the first time I had ever hesitated in a polling station. I voted for Obama. I didn't smile when I did it.

After Obamacare* passed, I submitted the paperwork to change my registration from Democrat to Independent.

The Beese political platform is anti-war, anti-torture, anti-police state. I shall see if the name "Pony Party"** is available.

* - I know that Democrats find that term perjorative. I suggest you ask yourselves why.

** - I now realize that John Cole and his like are right to sneer at this position as "wishing for ponies". Those are now utopian mirages. In my defense, they weren't so in my formative years. And I guess I'm too old to change.

posted by Joe Beese at 8:27 AM on October 22, 2010


Obamacare i think has become pejorative because it's mostly heard out of the people who watch or on Fox News.

Anyway, Joe, I'd like to work with you on a closing Gitmo project*. Maybe others here would be too.

*If we can do it w/o talking about Nader, Perot, or whomever McKinney is.
posted by angrycat at 8:36 AM on October 22, 2010


I think "Obamacare" is going to back fire on the anti-universals. The current situation in the states has lots of parallels with 1960's Saskatchewan and Tommy Douglas is currently seen as one step removed from $deity in no small part because of his push of universal coverage. By popularizing the term they've really hurt their propaganda campaigns against Obama in the future.
posted by Mitheral at 9:03 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I couldn't see any difference between Gore and Bush--still think I made the right call on that--and now you should subscribe to my newsletter about the difference between Bush and Obama.
posted by found missing at 9:42 AM on October 22, 2010


Mitheral: only if Obama actually gets around to implementing universal healthcare.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:04 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


[Obamacare] * - I know that Democrats find that term perjorative. I suggest you ask yourselves why.

This is exactly wrong with the way you comment. You suggest I ask myself why because what... In my heart I know you're right? Because I'm a shill for Obama who can't admit the truth? Because I bought into Obama-mania and can't see things clearly any more?

I'd say a majority of your posts about Obama have this tone. It's insulting and, for most people here no doubt, totally untrue. What do I know when you "suggest" I ask myself questions? I know that you're often wrong. I know that your posts read as simplistic and evangelical. I know that the high place you speak down to us from is not a place I hold in any esteem.

For the record, "Obamacare" is found to be a perjorative in the same way that "Democrat Party" is found to be perjorative, or the way "liberal" is said with a sneer.
posted by spaltavian at 10:25 AM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


An anecdotal point: My hick friend uses "Obamacare." He is actually desperate for it to be implemented, because he has a spinal cord injury. But he listens to Fox News, so it's "Obamacare." /shrug
posted by angrycat at 11:59 AM on October 22, 2010


In 2004, I voted Green.

So, in '04, with evidence everywhere of the catastrophic disaster the Bush administration was, you chose to cast a vote for a candidate who couldn't possibly win over a candidate who nearly defeated Bush. I'm not blaming you for that, I hasten to say; I'm not even criticizing you for it. I'm marveling. There's something remarkable about the purity of your determination to vote for candidates with no chance of ever holding office. It's just a shame you spoiled a nearly perfect record by voting for Obama.

But, I ask this question seriously, why bother? Why waste your time with the Greens and the Libertarians and the Perotistas, all of them merely boutique versions of the same power- seeking political mentality that characterizes the big two, after all, when you could write yourself in every time and cast a vote for your perfect candidate? If your vote is worthy only of the ideal candidate, if it is an affirmation of all that is best in humanity, if it is a search, again and again, for a way to live the truly good political life, then shouldn't your name be the one on that ballot?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:13 PM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Who the hell wants to be president.
posted by Mitheral at 5:20 PM on October 22, 2010


There is only one "r" in "pejorative." I suggest you ask yourselves why.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 5:57 PM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Joe Beese, do you realize the candidates you support are only free to take such awesome policy positions because they know they don't have to worry about actually winning?
posted by John Cohen at 8:11 AM on October 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


BTW, I say that as someone who's fairly sympathetic to the point of view that Obama's been a big disappointment as president and we should repeatedly criticize him for it. Criticize the status quo? Fine. But utopianism as an alternative is not fine.
posted by John Cohen at 11:22 AM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a non-American (Canadian), I don't mind all the US politics threads, I just wish that the US politics shit would stay in the US Politics threads and not bleed all over the cool and unrelated threads.
posted by 1000monkeys at 3:37 AM on October 21 [+] [!]
As a final word in this thread, I'd just like to say this: The most common suggestion to the complaint that there are too many US politics posts, is to not read those threads. I would agree with 1000monkeys that the frequency of politics threads DOES have a spillover effect throughout Metafilter. Comments are frequently made in otherwise unrelated threads, attempting to say things about aspects of the US political scene that are otherwise irrelevant to the topic of the post.
This only happens to a minor degree and I am thankful for that but, I still cannot avoid comments about teabaggers or whatever no matter how careful I am at choosing non-politics threads to read.
Would those comments still appear even if there were no politics threads at all? There would always be some, probably. But the frequency is what matters.
And this is the big question; does the frequency of politics posts correlate with the frequency of politics comments overall on Metafilter? I'd say yes. Does the frequency of posts CAUSE the frequency of comments? I suspect yes but can't figure out a way of knowing.

At any rate it is annoying and the upshot is that I cannot read Metafilter without reading about US politics. Sometimes I want to read about it and then I go and look at the posts and then at some point I get tired of them and want to read something else. It's annoying then all the time to be 'dragged back in' and not being able to get away from it without quitting Metafilter.
So as a request, please try not to make a us politics themed comment in a non us politics themed post, thank you.
posted by Catfry at 4:55 AM on October 25, 2010


You're welcome.
posted by languagehat at 7:48 AM on October 25, 2010


> As a final word in this thread, I'd just like to say this:

LAST WORD
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 AM on October 25, 2010


So as a request, please try not to make a us politics themed comment in a non us politics themed post, thank you.

I understand the annoyance to you, but I don't know why you think people would comply with this request.

Most Mefites are American. People are bad at thinking about "politics" in general. When people think about politics, they think about politics in their specific cultural context. Therefore, Mefi threads about politics will tend to focus on American politics.

For example, I have a Facebook "friend" who's Australian. He posts a lot of interesting insights about politics and economics to Facebook. I like reading them. But guess what -- as long as he's showing up in my Facebook feed, I'm going to be seeing a bunch of comments about Australian politics (not just by him but by his Australian friends too). And I'm not interested in Australian politics because I'm American. Too bad for me. I have a choice: is it worth it for me to keep reading his content, even though a lot of it is about Australia? I've decided it's worth it. But I can't just tell him to stop writing about Australia. He is always going to write about Australia. If I want to avoid comments about Australian politics and economics, the only thing to do would be to unfriend him.

You just can't tell people what to write about. They'll write about what they find interesting.
posted by John Cohen at 8:30 AM on October 25, 2010


And the flipside of that coin: By all means, feel free to interject with some international context in threads about US politics. It's nice to see the grinding monotony broken up by something new.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:05 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


John Cohen writes "I don't know why you think people would comply with this request."

Because it's often a derail to the thread. Heck there is even a flag option for it.

Metafilter is distinctly not a facebook wall. It's not there for people to pound out what ever thought may be passing through their mind when they come to the posting box. It's expected that comments are to be at least somewhat on topic or relevant. Even in Metatalk gratuitous noise (like recipes) are deleted.
posted by Mitheral at 9:50 AM on October 25, 2010


Mitheral, I actually know what a derail is, and I know that a Metafilter thread is different from a Facebook wall. I was not trying to give a comprehensive list of criteria for whether a comment is appropriate for Metafilter. If a comment about American politics is irrelevant to a political thread, of course it should be deleted as a derail. That doesn't mean we should all be instructed not to bring up American politics in a thread that doesn't announce from the beginning that it's going to be about American politics.
posted by John Cohen at 11:10 AM on October 25, 2010


I'm an American politics junkie. I love my U.S. politics in my metafilter. Otherwise it would be like drinking decaf. And who does that?
posted by angrycat at 11:18 AM on October 25, 2010


Joe, I know you're a busy guy around here, but I'm disappointed that you've chosen to ignore my question so far. I am genuinely curious to know if you think that voting for a candidate with no chance of holding office if preferable to voting for yourself and if so, then why?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:48 PM on October 25, 2010


In my experience, it's best not to try to pursue that argument. A person who continues to congratulate themselves on deciding there was no difference between Bush and Gore is unlikely to be a person who will discuss the viability of third parties with any cogency. Let it go.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:50 PM on October 25, 2010


Meta
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese - Jesus. You hate Obama. We get it. Give it a fucking rest already.
posted by Artw at 5:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


Trolls and how to deal with them.
posted by morganannie at 5:10 PM on October 26, 2010


Well that didn't take long. At all.
posted by kafziel at 5:20 PM on October 26, 2010


Sigh. Derail accomplished.

Well done Joe, you dick.
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on October 26, 2010


Look, you could call it a derail, but what if Obama had posted that comment? What if Obama paid five dollars, signed up with the screen name MessiahBro61, and posted the exact same comment? Probably something very different. Probably people wouldn't even get mad. Probably it would even get sidebarred, because he's the President.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:28 PM on October 26, 2010 [21 favorites]


It may look like he's digging *down* with that shovel, but it's more properly seen as him unearthing the correct level where the conversation should be. Also notice how the thread was not previously about him? That's fixed now.
posted by Artw at 5:31 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that's really disappointing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:33 PM on October 26, 2010


Look, you could call it a derail, but what if Obama had posted that comment? What if Obama paid five dollars, signed up with the screen name MessiahBro61, and posted the exact same comment? Probably something very different. Probably people wouldn't even get mad. Probably it would even get sidebarred, because he's the President.

This is probably true.
posted by empath at 5:33 PM on October 26, 2010


Don't you know MessiahBro61 is just InsuranceGoon's sockpuppet?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:43 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Look, you could call it a derail, but what if Obama had posted that comment? What if Obama paid five dollars, signed up with the screen name MessiahBro61, and posted the exact same comment? Probably something very different. Probably people wouldn't even get mad. Probably it would even get sidebarred, because he's the President."

Not only is it probably true, but actually made me laugh out loud.
posted by jaduncan at 5:52 PM on October 26, 2010


Joe Beese - Jesus. You hate Obama. We get it. Give it a fucking rest already.

From the 'Rand Paul Head Stomping' FPP/thread:
[A couple comments removed. Joe Beese, you are done in this thread and we are basically one more episode away from you taking the week off. We have talked to you too many times and way too recently about this shit.]

posted by cortex at 8:46 PM on October 26 [+] [!]
Sympathies with the mod team for having to continue to deal with his bullshit.
posted by ericb at 5:53 PM on October 26, 2010


Yeah, that's really disappointing.

Sometimes the best way to deal with a thorn in one's side is to finally admit that the "I'm going to count to three" method doesn't work, especially when one has found oneself counting "two-and-three-hundred-and-seventy-eight-three-hundred-and-seventy-ninths," and that maybe it's about time to find some tweezers already.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:00 PM on October 26, 2010


We have a process. The process involves more second chances and "I'm not going to tell you again"s than the average user would want to deal with. That said, it works for us and makes it crystal clear that the user is indeed having a problem interacting with the site as opposed to a bad day or a complicated misunderstanding.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am genuinely in awe of your patience.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:11 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that's really disappointing.

So why is it not yet deleted?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:13 PM on October 26, 2010


So why is it not yet deleted?

Because in their collective rush to respond to him people folded it all into the developing thread enough that removing it all would have been a pain in the ass. I've left a note and deleted the most recent stuff and that's the end of that if Beese has any kind of desire to be here anymore.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:16 PM on October 26, 2010


I really have to give credit to the mods for keeping a level head. The only times I ever agree with Joe are in threads not related to politics and in those he makes many constructive posts. While I do find his harping on the president and his administration to be tiresome, I can't really fault him for it.

The problem I have is that he often has toxic arguments and is clearly intelligent enough to know that many of the points he makes have no evidence to back them up. The DADT thread was a big example of that.

He derails threads and honestly he seems to try to be rude to anyone he argues with. That really saps my enjoyment of any political thread I read, but even then I don't think banning is the right choice.

It's just unfortunate that there is no middle ground. Luckily I don't have to figure out what to do in such cases, so good luck mods.
posted by Allan Gordon at 9:40 PM on October 26, 2010


Joe, I gotta say that I really didn't mind much of your anti-Obama campaign here (except for when you compare him directly to far more insidious types), but this was just really tone deaf. If I try to look at that thread objectively as someone who has never visited the site before, it would really just seem like you were straight up trolling. I know you're not, and I like you even though I've posted a callout here about you awhile back. But, damn, please just put the rage boner down once and for all.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:47 PM on October 26, 2010


Well, he's got a week. Then he can have his victory dance or whatever and presumably after that he'll calm down a bit.
posted by Artw at 9:55 PM on October 26, 2010


If while were on a break one of us wants to go and get a little something at Kos or Frumm.

The reason I think threads looking in shock or horror at the Tea Party are acceptable is that I think such shock and horror is the neutral position, not a Left-leaning position. To say we can get that kind of thing over at avowedly liberal websites so we shouldn't post it here is to say it's of no interest to the average person, whatever that would look like.

You don't have to be politically active to know the Tea Party is full of crap; you just have to have your eyes open and know a bit of context. By forbidding those story from MeFi, you're biasing the front page against the politically knowledgeable.
posted by JHarris at 2:34 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Joe Beese - Jesus. You hate Obama. We get it. Give it a fucking rest already.

Okay, just curious because I missed this entire thread because I spent all of yesterday playing Red Dead Redemption and this is the first time I read any of it... did Joe make a comment that is now deleted or something where he directly attacked Obama or Obama voters again? Because while I disagree with his comment I don't understand all the suggestions that he launched into another anti-Obama tirade or derailed the thread because he wanted to play "devil's advocate."

I mentioned this a while back but I guess it's official now- Joe is basically our left-wing St. Alia isn't he? By that I mean a significant number of people are just going to automatically grar at everything he says? Because I'm gonna get sick of all those MeTa threads too. Probably even faster because for all my aggravation with her I for one have never accused St. Alia of being mentally disabled.

I was talking about this story all day yesterday on a different site, and dealing with some actual trolls in it. And I'm furious that this curb-stomping asshat isn't in jail already. But I don't understand how Joe got both barrels for that comment other than "because he's Joe Beese" and frankly I find a massive pile-on in that particular thread for challenging the majority somewhat ironic.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2010


He got a different reaction than he would if he didn't pull the exact same derail in everything single thread, yes. And his deleted comments are as exactly as you would imagine them to be.
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on October 27, 2010


We specifically said that his relentless "turning political discussions that are not about Obama into discussions about Obama" thing needs to be dialled way back. Then in an unrelated post, he brings Obama in as a metaphor for something and tosses in a dig about how, were the situation reversed and this were being done by Democrats.... blah blah. This is sort of standard operating procedure. We left that comment [and a lot of people flag it, maybe because he is who he is, despite those flags we leave his comment]. A few people engage him on this. We left his next comment.

The following comment contained yet another "Democrats are like THIS amirite?" jab, making over the top fighty Republicans vs Democrats comparisons that are, at this point, seeming obsessive or trollish depending on your perspective. A few people engage him. Joe Beese launches a full-on defense of his comments making the thread simultaneously about him and his feelings about Obama and at that point we stepped in [except for a comment I left earlier in the thread] removed some comments and left a note in the thread.

And again, this isn't about whatever opinions he holds. This is about his inability to express those opinions at the right place/time and the fact that he seems to show up in threads and make snarky-seeming "you all are like THIS" Homer-Simpsonesque comments which, we've explained over and over, are derailing discussion and contributing to the toxicity of political threads. We've asked nicely and not so nicely and at this point we're at the "If you are not being a troll, it is on you to be able to make that clear with your words and actions on the site" point.

I'd prefer not to be here either. We're aware that there's an auto-grar effect and we're keeping an eye on it. But there's a problem that expands well beyond the "he's got unpopular opinions" outline.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2010


To say we can get that kind of thing over at avowedly liberal websites so we shouldn't post it here is to say it's of no interest to the average person, whatever that would look like.

I hear you. On the other hand, the threads we get out of posts about this stuff aren't notable for their abstract average person contributions; they're a pain in the ass to moderate at micro and macro levels in large part because they get hot and loud on the strength of contributions by people who are not apolitical at all.

So the dynamic is more complicated than that; the people who generate probably the most work for us in response to these posts are precisely the people who would not be awash in confusion getting their info from some explicitly politically-oriented site.

The line we're likely to keep trying the draw is a compromise somewhere between "here is a neutral and really important bit of politically-related news" and "here's the latest political grar-bait for us to chat about". The former is generally okay though the threads tend to be a bit crap a lot of the time thanks to people who would probably like a whole lot more of the latter than we want to have. The latter is not great but to some extent it's what some people want and so we try not to be total hardasses about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:36 AM on October 27, 2010


This meta is really disappointing. So it's now ok to question the sanity of another member just because you happen to disagree with him or her? I would have hoped that the mods would have deleted this comment. Joe Beese, even if he is guilty of trolling which I don't think he is, doesn't deserve to have his sanity questioned and then have that shitty shitty comment stand here for everybody to see.

Joe has been open about his autism in the past and to let AZ bully him in this way is beyond despicable. I would think that AZ, who in all fairness did later apologize, would want this comment deleted as he is now on the record in a public space calling an autistic person mentally "broken". All because Joe dares question our fearless leader.

For me the really disappointing thing in all this is that it isn't until the next day that cortex gets around to giving AZ what amounts to a slap on the wrist for what in my opinion is a display of the worst of metafilter behavior. Jessamyn seems to tacitly support this type of behavior when she quotes AZ and then berates Joe on how he needs to watch it with the Obama schtick. In my opinion the mods, AZ, and everyone who favorited that comment owe Joe Beese an apology.

That being said I don't envy the mods very difficult position. I usually agree with their decisions and I know you guys have a tough job trying to moderate but in this case I think you guys got it very wrong. Hopefully I won't get the +5 perma-banhammer of smiting and/or have my mental capacity questioned for expressing this opinion.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:11 AM on October 29, 2010


Hopefully I won't get the +5 perma-banhammer of smiting and/or have my mental capacity questioned for expressing this opinion.

I'm sorry you don't like the way things are going here, but you seem to be unclear about how MetaTalk works. We pretty much never delete comments. It's the part of the site where talking about things that cause fights elsewhere on the site is acceptable. There's a line, but it's not there. Joe Beese can and does take care of himself on MetaFilter. I think AZs comment was not cool but cortex's response covered what I had to say about it. I shouldn't have quoted that line in my response to Joe Beese.

It's very difficult when we have a situation that is visible to everyone--someone's behavior on the site--and then people's assumptions about the cause of that behavior, to try to balance what's an appropriate amount of discussion. We have users on a weekly basis who we know are drunk, off their medication or otherwise in life-affecting circumstances (problems at home, toothache, sick pet) that can have a severe negative effect on how they interact here. We try to keep people's private business private, but there are expectations to how people interact with each other as well, regardless of the reason, and people sometimes cross that line.

While we try to act as intermediators between someone's personal situation and its effect on the site, we're not always successful and beyond a certain point there's only so much we can do. People delve into why, and sometimes they go too far. I think AZ made a mistake. Joe Beese is still responsible for his own actions on the site, regardless of their cause.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 AM on October 29, 2010


All because Joe dares question our fearless leader.

This is hyperbole for the sake of shit-stirring, I realize, but, personally, if I thought someone around here genuinely believed this, I'd question their sanity.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:41 AM on October 29, 2010


I know you guys have a tough job trying to moderate but in this case I think you guys got it very wrong. Hopefully I won't get the +5 perma-banhammer of smiting and/or have my mental capacity questioned for expressing this opinion.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar


Did I read correctly elsewhere that AElfwine Evenstar had a week's vacation from the stress & strain of MetaFilter? Odd--to me--that soon after returning, one of his first comments is to rush to the aid of Joe Beese.

I think I said it in this thread, but it's been too long to be sure, that I tend to agree or at least am open to the arguments that Joe Beese and Aelfwine Evenstar make, but I object to the thread-jacking and seemingly obsessive argumentativeness.

Qualitatively, I'd miss them both if they stopped contributing. Quantitatively, I could do with less hectoring. Assume we can read.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:01 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did I read correctly elsewhere that AElfwine Evenstar had a week's vacation from the stress & strain of MetaFilter? Odd--to me--that soon after returning, one of his first comments is to rush to the aid of Joe Beese.

You did read that; in this thread in fact. My ban-worthy comment was in response to the people publicly labeling a member of our community, who happens to be on the autism spectrum, as mentally "damaged". I don't see why one would find it odd that I would return to the thread to continue to "defend" Joe which is what I was trying to do(although inappropriately) in the first place.

I'd question their sanity.

Well that didn't take long.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:01 AM on October 29, 2010


I don't think it's wise to return to the same thread you were apparently punished in and do the exact same thing you were punished for.
posted by flatluigi at 10:06 AM on October 29, 2010


All because Joe dares question our fearless leader.

I don't question your sanity at all, although I do question whether you mean this sincerely and simply haven't at all read anything in this thread. It has been stated numerous times in here by numerous people, including mods, that it is not Joe's opinions on Obama that are the problem. If you missed that, I don't know how. If you didn't miss it, then you are deliberately obfuscating.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:07 AM on October 29, 2010


Sorry let me clarify: All because Joe repeatedly, and in an apparently very annoying manner, continues to derail threads by questioning the current incumbent of the White house.

Notice that I am not trying to keep anyone from questioning Joe's methods or behavior. Please just don't engage in the type of behavior exhibited in this meta while doing so. That is all.

Just to clarify jessamyn. Publicly labeling someone with a disability as mentally, bodily, or otherwise as "broken" and or damaged is not crossing any lines which would precipitate any mod action other than a verbal slap on the wrist?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:33 AM on October 29, 2010


Is that clarifying? You said 'So it's now ok to question the sanity of another member just because you happen to disagree with him or her?' The issue is not one of agreement.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:37 AM on October 29, 2010


Clarification 2: So now it's ok to question the sanity of another member just because you happen do be annoyed by his posting habits?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:40 AM on October 29, 2010


Well that didn't take long.

What didn't take long?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:40 AM on October 29, 2010


> What didn't take long?

AElfwine Evenstar (what the hell does that mean anyway?) was confusing a general statement with a specific question about a particular user re: questioning sanity.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:44 AM on October 29, 2010


This thread will self-destruct in 3....2...
posted by morganannie at 10:44 AM on October 29, 2010


Oh, Tolkien. Ok.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry let me clarify: All because Joe repeatedly, and in an apparently very annoying manner, continues to derail threads by questioning the current incumbent of the White house.

First, the last nine words of that sentence—and this is the thing we keep having to return to for some reason—are superfluous. We've had to talk to people about axe-grinding on any number of topics over the years, many of which stand in ideological conflict to one another. Repeated, obnoxious derailing and axe-grinding is a problem, period.

Second, that AZ went in the weird crappy direction of "I will speculate about your mental health" is different from any sort of collective community reaction; people specifically pushed back on that. I fully understand that you are bothered by those comments. I made it clear I am too. We may be stuck disagreeing about the proper mod response to that, but the set of options we have more severe than "any mod action other than a verbal slap on the wrist" are actually pretty small and we don't pursue them often. Someone saying something crappy and getting called on it is how it works almost all of the time around here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:50 AM on October 29, 2010


Publicly labeling someone with a disability as mentally, bodily, or otherwise as "broken" and or damaged is not crossing any lines which would precipitate any mod action other than a verbal slap on the wrist?

Incorrect.

I very seriously don't want to dig into this particular issue in a thread that is now over a week old and hundreds of comments long. Astro Zombie apologized upthread. I have no idea how much he did or did not know about Joe Beese's own personal history. Having knowledge that someone has a disability and taunting them about it is generally not okay, correct. That said, we have a lot of people who throw around words like crazy, insane, aspy, OCD, schizophrenic and idiot without knowing if people are actually clinically described by those terms. And other people who object to this. It's a constantly contentious issue on MetaFilter and one which we pay attention to. I don't mean to say that this is all AZ was doing. I am saying that it's not totally far afield for typical MeTa discourse. And that yes we thought it crossed a line and said so.

Our job, generally speaking, is to manage this community and keep it running smoothly. If people have issues that they feel need to get addressed outside of the magnifying glass that is MetaTalk, they can contact us privately, together or separately, and we respond promptly. We deal with issues on a case by case basis, so I'm not going to be making any wider policy statements about this. Again, I'm sorry if that bothers you but again, I feel that you don't quite understand the purpose of MetaTalk and the role we serve as moderators.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:52 AM on October 29, 2010


Further--and cognizant that we have moved into the flogging a dead horse zone--if Aelfwine had taken the time to read this thread he would have seen that AZ apologized, that the community in general and mods in specific told him he was out of bounds in his original comment. Instead, he (AElfwine) uses what by now is a hallmark rhetorical trick to build his strawman and then act offended and or petulant.

Rather glad I'm not a mod on this site--I don't have that kind of patience.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:59 AM on October 29, 2010


Cortex I am not questioning the critique of Joe's posting merely the behavior exhibited by some posters in the process of that critique; that is all.

Let me start over. Erase everything I have typed from you memories. Okay? AZ's behavior and the people favoriting his comment is, in my opinion, very shitty. In my opinion his comment should have been deleted right away. That is my opinion and I am expressing it. Apparently most people don't agree(that the comment should have been deleted) so we can leave it at that.

I feel that you don't quite understand the purpose of MetaTalk and the role we serve as moderators.

I think I am pretty clear on the purpose of Metatalk and your role as moderators. It just happens that in this case I happen to disagree with your(the mods) decision about a certain issue. But as you have given as much clarification as I'm going to get the matter is settled in my mind. Thank you for taking your time to humor me.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:04 AM on October 29, 2010


beelzbubba you haven't read my comments have you. I noted the apology by AZ and I also noted cortex's castigation. I was banned for a week for telling AZ and the people favoriting his comment where they could go and what they could do. At this point I was merely stating my opinion on the matter and asking for some clarification. I'll make sure to run it by you next time that I make a comment just to make sure you approve and that I am not flogging any dead horses or building any strawmen, okay ;) As far as I am concerned I got my answer and the matter is settled in my mind as I stated above.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:12 AM on October 29, 2010


In my opinion his comment should have been deleted right away.

We often don't have the luxury of "right away" especially when things haven't been flagged much as Astro Zombie's comment wasn't.

This is the downside to a site that is generally lightly moderated. Sometimes we're right on top of things, as we are today, and sometimes comments are made when we're at lunch or dinner or asleep. Since we don't edit comments [except in rare cases at the commenter's request] our choices are limited to doing a massive and controversial pruning or leaving a comment or two and keeping a close eye on things which is what we have been doing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:14 AM on October 29, 2010


> Erase everything I have typed from you memories.

I only wish that were possible.
posted by languagehat at 11:40 AM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


AZ's behavior and the people favoriting his comment is, in my opinion, very shitty

This is the second Metatalk thread I'm saying this in, in as many days:

Many of us use favorites in different ways. Often, I use them as a sort of memory marker to flag something that I'd like to devote my attention to later, like a video I can't watch at work, or a comment I want to address when I have more time on my hands. I've favorited a lot of comments that pissed me off and I completely disagreed with, just because I wanted to rebut them later. Please don't assume that people are saying "I AGREE!" or offering approval when they favorite something. And even if they are, please don't then assume that every sentiment being expressed in a comment is being approved of. We only get one flag or favorite per comment. Sometimes, that's not enough.
posted by zarq at 12:00 PM on October 29, 2010


>Erase everything I have typed from you memories.

I only wish that were possible.


You can borrow my huff rag once I'm done with it. 'Wipe Your Brain Clean!'
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:02 PM on October 29, 2010


yeah I favorited AZs comment many moons ago, for everything but the mental health bit (which I was unfortunately insensitive to). AZ acknowledges that it wasn't cool, we all agree it wasn't cool.
Everybody agrees derails aren't cool. So, what is the what here?
posted by angrycat at 7:19 PM on October 29, 2010


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