Comments Removed November 6, 2010 9:52 AM   Subscribe

[few comments removed - if you want a place for your "fuck America" rant, might I suggest MetaTalk? Seriously, it's like you don't even like MetaFilter.] posted by jessamyn at 11:26 AM on November 6 [+] [!]

The saga begins with an FPP about the rap music scene in New Zealand. Inside, somewhat down the thread, a New Zealander contributes a comment to the effect that he or she considers rap to be a form of cultural imperialism and that this is to be regretted.

Now I usually stay out of rap and hip hop threads because I simply don't like the music. But I do agree wholeheartedly with this New Zealander, about the cultural imperialism part, and so contributed my own comment to that effect -- adding my regret that rap music generally endorsed misogyny and perpetuated negative racial stereotypes.

Neither my, nor the New Zealander's comments were particularly anti-American as they were anti-cultural imperialism and anti-rap. My comment in particular expressed strong disapproval of misogyny and racial stereotyping as part of this cultural imperialism.

So it is, that while I certainly respect the right of Metafilter's monitors to exert some control over posts and comments, I believe that the deletion of my and the New Zealander's comments deprived Mefites of the benefit of a lively discussion of this topic and that the jessamyn might consider restoring these comments.

I would also like to say that jessamyn hurts my feelings by implying that I am anti-American, as I am 1.) deeply patriotic (indeed, patriotic enough to be suspicious of people who set themselves up as Joseph McCarthy-like judges of what is "un-American" and what is not), and 2.) I would never think "fuck America" much less post the words "fuck America" on Metafilter, not only out of respect for my country, but out of respect for the Metafilter community.

Which brings me to my final point, which is the suggestion that I don't even like Metafilter. This really hurts my feelings, because even a cursory survey of my posts and comments since 2001 would show you that while I often express strong opinions in colorful language, I never use profanity, I never make a personal or ad hominum attack on a fellow Mefite, do not engage in vendettas or flame wars, and generally try to be a good citizen of this excellent website and its intelligent and diverse community. The "Faze is a troll" meme that occasionally crops up is not based on any actual record of trollish behavior (boorish contrarianism, name calling, use of capital letters, flaming, profanity, racial or sexual remarks, putdowns, or efforts to make other posters or commentators feel bad about themselves) but derives from expressing certain opinions that are not all that far out of the mainstream (although I admit to being a little farther to the left than most in my support of vegetarianism, pacifism, and dislike of racial stereotypes, and perhaps a little to the right of some in my wish for a smaller government, and my sympathy for people who choose to believe in irrational things like creationism and are skeptical of some forms of authority).

I really would never go on writing about myself in this way, if it were only about the deletion of my own comment (I've been deleted once before. Something about Muslims that the monitor seemed not to like). But it also involved the deletion of someone else's perfectly reasonable comment, and so I take this opportunity to speak for both of us, and with all due respect, suggest that the removal of our comments might have been precipitous, and that it could be fair and appropriate to use a lighter hand in determining what is and what is not suitable for the eyes of the Metafilter community.
posted by Faze to Etiquette/Policy at 9:52 AM (564 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Your comment, in full, reads
I never fail to find this unabashed cultural imperialism—and the general inability of people to call it out for what it actually is—deeply depressing.

Sonny Jim, you got it. 100 percent correct. American hip hop has spread over world like a great stinking wave of diarrhea, dissolving native expression and replacing it with the stylizing barking shallow emotional cripples, stripping the joy from youth, figuratively turning young men into stiff, repressed robots, and fresh young women into desperate, ass-jittering cattle. Liberals and humanists have been silent, as this, this most blatantly and monstrously misogynistic collective expression took hold in America, and its fetishization of wealth, guns, cruelty, anal rape, pimp culture, drugs and murder became mainstream culture, and its coarsest examples made themselves at home in the bedrooms of every 12-year-old. Decent people stood by as the 150-year effort to defeat ugly racist stereotypes and create a life-enhancing African-American culture were crushed by the rap and hip-hop's massive promulgation of the most demeaning racial stereotypes ever launched into the mass media -- characterizations of African-Americans so grotesque, so dehumanizing, so cruelly unfair that they make the caricatures of previous eras -- the eras of lynching, segregation and Jim Crow -- look gentle, and dignified and even desirable. Rap has been a spiritual catastrophe in America, and now we're supposed to stand up and applaud as the rest of the world hurries to corrupt itself in our image. American feminists and liberals are frankly terrified by this army of crotch-grabbing, ape-walking, gun-waving, gold bedizened reactionaries, with their aggressive and violent promotion of the most conservative social vision imaginable, and its imperialist spread around the world. Cowardly liberals and feminists would rather take on some poor jerk in an Uncle Sam suit at a teabagger convention, than then these scary rap exploiters who might actually hurt you if you threaten their wealth, territory or harems.
That is a total holy derail to a thread about rap music in New Zealand, though possibly tenuously connected to the anti-imperialist comment calling America "the most virulently racist nation in history" that preceded it posted by a New Zealander. It's fighty, it's off-topic and it doesn't contribute to the conversation, just takes a dump in the thread and then points to it with wild waving arms. If you want to be part of the community, act like it and participate in the discussion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:59 AM on November 6, 2010 [95 favorites]


METAFILTER -- LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
posted by empath at 10:04 AM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow dude, you're confused.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:04 AM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


You sounded like you were making a reasonable enough argument here, until I read your comment. A little hyperbole goes a long way.
posted by knapah at 10:05 AM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Faze, that comment and this subsequent MeTa reflect a pretty profound misreading of your intended audience (if, indeed, there was any attempt at reading at all). For so sensitive a topic, your diction is crude, brutish and hyperbolic. I think that if you are interested in continuing to participate in contentious discussions on MetaFilter or anywhere else, you ought to keep in mind that the way you express yourself matters.
posted by anifinder at 10:08 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


So your comment could be rephrased as "Rap is bad and you are bad people for liking it."?
posted by demiurge at 10:11 AM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Faze obviously just hasn't heard the right kind of rap music.
posted by koeselitz at 10:14 AM on November 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


I wish crazy reactionary talk radio had less Limbaugh and more Faze. "Ass-jittering cattle!"
posted by enn at 10:17 AM on November 6, 2010 [14 favorites]


Yeah, wow. That comment is actually a crazy kind of brilliant. Good on you, Faze. It absolutely should have been deleted, of course, but I admire that level of bile on a personal level, particularly when thusly freed of any vestige of rationality or cultural awareness.
posted by koeselitz at 10:23 AM on November 6, 2010 [26 favorites]


You're only allowed to be over the top in your arguments if you're trying to out-favourite the other good MeFites in your attempt to agree the strongest. Faze is great because he articulates unpopular views in a reasoned but forceful way, like he's from a parallel universe MetaFilter where the usual posters all share his views and he's just taking part in the discussion.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:24 AM on November 6, 2010 [41 favorites]


Some of you people don't seem to be comprehending the fact that this is a WEBSITE and these are OUR COMMENTS and therefore IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND/OR DEATH.
posted by carsonb at 10:25 AM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


... although it's clearly disingenuous, isn't it, Faze? Do you really believe in "cultural imperialism," hmm? Think that Coca-Cola and blue jeans are destroying the world? I might, but I sincerely doubt you do, having read some of your comments. What, pray tell, do you think is so "imperialist" about the United States? I'd like to hear you discuss our "imperialism" for a while.
posted by koeselitz at 10:26 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"ape-walking"?

"ape-walking"??

you are a troll, faze
posted by pyramid termite at 10:27 AM on November 6, 2010 [17 favorites]


I would also like to say that jessamyn hurts my feelings by implying that I am anti-American, as I am 1.) deeply patriotic (indeed, patriotic enough to be suspicious of people who set themselves up as Joseph McCarthy-like judges of what is "un-American" and what is not), and 2.) I would never think "fuck America" much less post the words "fuck America" on Metafilter, not only out of respect for my country, but out of respect for the Metafilter community.

Are you really saying that jessamyn is "Joseph-McCarthy-like"? We need to add Joseph McCarthy to the list of people that if named in an argument, lose the argument for the namer.

Off the top of my head I've got:

HITLER
JOSEPH MCCARTHY
posted by seagull.apollo at 10:28 AM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


New Zealanders boasting of their Sugar Lumps is coarsening our Amurcan culture!
posted by Scoo at 10:29 AM on November 6, 2010


Faze, this thread will not work out well for you. Ask for it to be closed out of mercy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:29 AM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Man, now I'm curious to see how 'Something about Muslims that the monitor seemed not to like' stacks up against the original comment.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:30 AM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hey look, Faze showed up for a callout! It's a really special day.
posted by WPW at 10:31 AM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, you referred to popular black entertainers as ape like in order to shout down racial stereotypes. Well done.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:31 AM on November 6, 2010 [33 favorites]


furthermore, are you really under the impression that talking in rhythm, with or without music, was actually invented by american hip-hop artists?

that shows an abysmal ignorance of the history of music and poetry
posted by pyramid termite at 10:32 AM on November 6, 2010


" this army of crotch-grabbing, ape-walking, gun-waving, gold bedizened reactionaries, with their aggressive and violent promotion of the most conservative social vision imaginable, and its imperialist spread around the world. "

This is sorta nonsensical and has no relevance to any of the NZ artists cited by Supercrayon and rodgerd (or the ones I just posted) who are articulating pride in, and love for, their neighbourhood and their culture. Or just writing entertaining party songs. Or songs about how New Zealand is quite beautiful and can be a good place to relax with a marijuana cigarette and look at the scenery (I can't speak to the artists mentioned in the original post).

Not sure why you feel NZ artists need to be saved from "imperialism". I suspect they're perfectly capable of adopting the elements of US culture that they like, and modifying them for their own music (back in the 70s it was all Bob Marley, ya know?).

New Zealanders boasting of their Sugar Lumps is coarsening our Amurcan culture!

I'm not quite sure what this means but would like to apologise to my American friends.
posted by Infinite Jest at 10:32 AM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


American feminists and liberals are frankly terrified by this army of crotch-grabbing, ape-walking, gun-waving, gold bedizened reactionaries, with their aggressive and violent promotion of the most conservative social vision imaginable, and its imperialist spread around the world.

Once upon a time, my parents were deeply concerned that I was going to turn into a baby sacrificing satanist because I listened to Judas Priest.

It's more complicated than they, or you, can imagine.

As it turns out, I did not have an adulterous affair with Jessie's Girl, and although girls *do* just wanna have fun, I didn't get pregnant because of "Papa don't Preach" and I have never dialed 867-5309. I never Jumped in the Fire, but there was Anasthesia (pulling teeth) a couple of times.

Point is, music doesn't compel anyone to do much of anything. Give your money to the PMRC if you feel strongly enough, but it's been 30 years of this "Explicit Lyrics" nonsense and the kids are as alright as they've ever been.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:32 AM on November 6, 2010 [15 favorites]


Space Coyote: “You're only allowed to be over the top in your arguments if you're trying to out-favourite the other good MeFites in your attempt to agree the strongest. Faze is great because he articulates unpopular views in a reasoned but forceful way, like he's from a parallel universe MetaFilter where the usual posters all share his views and he's just taking part in the discussion.”

You've (quite understandably, mind) failed to adequately outline the reasons for Faze's greatness. Faze isn't great because he "articulates unpopular views;" the view that hip-hop is fetishizes anal rape, turns young men into robots and "fresh young women into desperate, ass-jittering cattle" – sincerely, has there ever been a more strikingly creepy turn of phrase than that? – is flatly insane, and shows a complete and utter misunderstanding of the subject. Faze is truly great because he's clearly not just an angry old man (of which there are far too few these days) but an angry old man who's been living in hermitage since the Reagan era. All of his comments indicate this; he hasn't really seen or heard anything of the world since around 1989. It's actually a wonder he's posting on the internet.

And that is really and truly great. Because it's a fresh perspective in a deeper and more profound way than I'd have thought possible. I actually begin to think maybe that comment should not have been deleted.
posted by koeselitz at 10:33 AM on November 6, 2010 [21 favorites]


I was one of those who had comments removed because Faze's comment and the one he was responding too were so opaque in meaning and point that I was totally befuddled.
posted by josher71 at 10:36 AM on November 6, 2010


The "Faze is a troll" meme comes from exactly what Jessamyn displayed for all of us. You're incapable of the reasonable expression of a particular view--or rather, as your OP demonstrates, not incapable, you just choose to coat most of what you say in flaming shit. To engage you means first scraping off the flaming shit and hoping there's a reasonable and reasonably engaged perspective beneath it (something that years on the Internet trains anyone not to hope for).
posted by fatbird at 10:38 AM on November 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


"rap is bad" - guy who read about 2 Live Crew in an American spectator sidebar in 1994 and has been afraid to leave the house ever since
posted by Gandhi Knoxville at 10:38 AM on November 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


The bitter irony of it all is that due to the structural integrity and placement of the pin bones, actual cattle of entirely incapable of jittering their asses.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:40 AM on November 6, 2010 [42 favorites]


MetaFilter: Joseph-McCarthy-like

Faze: Your post here is as literal-minded as your deleted comment is exaggerated. If it takes three paragraphs to explain that stuff like "characterizations of African-Americans so grotesque, so dehumanizing, so cruelly unfair that they make the caricatures of previous eras -- the eras of lynching, segregation and Jim Crow -- look gentle" are actually reasonable statements, you are doing it wrong. They call it "heated rhetoric" for a reason. Recognize.
posted by rhizome at 10:42 AM on November 6, 2010


"I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" - wholesome Americana

"I like to smoke weed and play video games + I'm a shaolin monk" - dangerous apeman talk
posted by Gandhi Knoxville at 10:43 AM on November 6, 2010 [104 favorites]


I A'int No Joke!
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I especially liked the part where he railed against ugly racist stereotypes by using ugly racist stereotypes.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:45 AM on November 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


Faze is pretty obviously not a troll. People who consistently express opinions you don't like in a forceful manner are not trolls. I don't think I've ever agreed with a Faze comment, but neither have I ever read one and not thought that he genuinely believed these things.
posted by atrazine at 10:46 AM on November 6, 2010 [12 favorites]


Um, Faze? What you outlined in your post and the actual comment you made are pretty different. I think I'm not alone in feeling as though if you had written with just a tad less vitriol it could have been an OK contribution to the discussion and not a derail into jiggling cow asses.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:46 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


actual cattle of entirely incapable of jittering their asses.

you've never put a cow on a trampoline, i guess
posted by pyramid termite at 10:47 AM on November 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


Anyone who hates modern art can't be entirely .. what's the word I'm looking for ... ?

Worth talking to.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:48 AM on November 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


6:49am on Sunday in NZ right now. Your timing's not so great if your aiming at some Kiwi participation here.
posted by Ahab at 10:49 AM on November 6, 2010


Wu Tang are not Shaolin. The Shaolin and the Wu Tange were bitter enemies.

That's just basic history.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:50 AM on November 6, 2010 [22 favorites]

Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won't know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end'a little girl
So, The Beetles are consistently considered one of the most influential, greatest bands of all time, yet they have a fair number of songs that fall into the territory quoted above.

I'm sure someone must have done a Beetles or Gansta Rap lyrics quiz.
posted by edgeways at 10:52 AM on November 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


There's a case to be made for the cultural imperialism of US rap but unfortunately that thread wasn't it.

There's a difference between taking Barbie dolls and selling them to Afghan children, and taking Barbie dolls, giving them an Afghan sense of fashion and culture and selling them to Afghan children. What happens with music is the same, you get all het up about American Idol taking over the world and it turns out that West African Idol not only takes it and makes it West African but that syncretic culture is often more subversive than the one you intended to displace.

American Indian rap does not tend towards the ass jiggling, for example. Although I'm sure G culture is unironically reproduced by people around the world it is as often used to highlight the jiggling of asses in a derogatory way.

This doesn't even touch on the way music travels geographically, have you ever jiggled your ass to soukous? thank rhumba.
posted by shinybaum at 10:52 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The one thing that really marred Faze's comment there, to be honest, is actually (I think) the thing he's most proud of. It's pretty clear what he was doing; and we can tell from his post here that he was tickled pink at it. He's crying "cultural imperialism," a phrase that liberals are usually known to utter (hell, it smacks of Marxism) and turns it on its head by using it against one of those things that most liberals (well, most people under 40) happen to like: rap music. The irony of using a liberal battle cry against a favored liberal medium was too delicious for Faze to let his comment be lost to history through its deletion.

If he really wanted to be fake-liberal in an ironically reactionary way, he should have done it the way silly, unthinking white people did in 1950s. He should have just referred to all rappers as "Uncle Toms."
posted by koeselitz at 10:53 AM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


We should invite some actual gangsta rappers to Metafilter to participate in the discussion.
posted by a young man in spats at 10:54 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Faze, why not just make a post that addresses your point of view? I'm always torn about this kind of thing, because dissenting viewpoints are valuable and often educational, but I get really tired of hijacked threads in which the original topic is entirely left by the wayside. So many times I've been interested in the defining parameters of a post only to have it turn into a tedious and repetitive flame war about side issues.

I'm always interested in journalism posts, for example, and most of them turn into American politics screeching almost immediately, or, as recently, a massive derail about piracy... or some other subject that the derailer(s) would rather talk about — and their comments are overpowering and provocative enough to entirely sideline any other discussion. I feel that this is somewhat equivalent of bullying, or even abuse — NOOOO!!!! I COMMAND that your attention be HERE!, goddammit!! For me, it's like watching a really interesting film, which is then interrupted by advertising that never ends. Like, okay! I know you were interested in this film, which makes me think that MY PRODUCT will be perfect for you. So now, we are only going to talk about MY PRODUCT. Okay? *smash/bash/pow/oof camera pans to see a stream of blood leaking into a floor drain* OKAY!

I would be very interested to read your post on this subject; why not do that?
posted by taz at 10:55 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whoa, dude. Jessamyn did you a huge favor in deleting that comment and you seem hell bent on digging a gigantic hole to unearth it.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:55 AM on November 6, 2010


atrazine: “Faze is pretty obviously not a troll.”

He was being a troll there, but not for the reasons people think. It's not trollish to hate rap music. It's trollish to disingenuously claim "cultural imperialism," though you clearly believe in no such thing, merely to flummox your audience.
posted by koeselitz at 10:55 AM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


One thing that surprised me several years ago was discovering that cows' asses are not very jiggly. They are, however, blessed with an inordinate amount of messy, splattery poo that requires significant time to clean up. They also just keep pooping whenever and wherever the urge strikes. This is the nature of cows, and must be accepted when you encounter them.

Honestly, the metaphor seems less useful for women who listen to hip-hop, and more appropriate to...other entities.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 10:57 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Faze The "Faze is a troll" meme that occasionally crops up is not based on any actual record of trollish behavior

koeselitz Yeah, wow. That comment is actually a crazy kind of brilliant. Good on you, Faze. It absolutely should have been deleted, of course, but I admire that level of bile on a personal level, particularly when thusly freed of any vestige of rationality or cultural awareness.

Faze has been doing this for a long time as was pointed out in a recent Meta:

I would also like to congratulate whomever is running the Faze sockpuppet on keeping the crazy fresh after all these years.

I have to second this emotion. I actually get excited when I see Faze's name at the bottom of a paragraph-long comment, because they follow an extremely humorous pattern.

posted by mlis at 10:57 AM on November 6, 2010


– Also, it seems more than a little trollish to post this in Metatalk, given the subject of the post two threads down.
posted by koeselitz at 10:57 AM on November 6, 2010


Yeah, I know, MLIS – that Faze is nuts. Always brings the crazy. That's how I like it.
posted by koeselitz at 10:58 AM on November 6, 2010


it's been a full hour and faze hasn't seen fit to rejoin the conversation here

i'm not sure there's much point in leaving this open
posted by pyramid termite at 11:00 AM on November 6, 2010


Faze, you actin' like a punk ass sucka.

*ass jitters out of thread*
posted by nomadicink at 11:00 AM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


The "Faze is a troll" meme that occasionally crops up is not based on any actual record of trollish behavior

Actually, it pretty much is. I've got at best mixed feelings about the usefulness of as nebulous and overloaded a term as "troll" as a descriptor of users in a community environment because of the vagueness and lack of objective consensus on what it actually means, but insofar as there's a general gist to what people intend by it there is no confusion at all in my mind about why the term gets applied to you. It's not because everybody else has a problem with your otherwise sterling behavior.

You have a long habit of dropping provocative drive-by turds into threads. You've had a lot more than one comment removed, and many more flagged but blessedly mostly ignored by other people who opted to instead actually keep discussing the thread itself instead of latching on to whatever bit of baiting chaff you decided to eject into the mix.

You do this sort of thing often. You rarely follow up substantially after first entering a thread. Your comments very rarely substantially respond in a specific and conversational way to what your fellow community members have been saying in a thread.

None of this is against the rules, per se; people can be obnoxious and unresponsive and contribute more heat than light to threads and that's more or less their prerogative. But as a pattern of behavior over time it has made you seem like someone far more interested in stirring shit and taking off than someone trying to contribute in any positive or collaborative way to this place. If you are fond of Metafilter, you have a truly oblique and counter-productive way of expressing it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:00 AM on November 6, 2010 [18 favorites]


ok, koeselitz, we are on the same page brother. Just had to reproduce that comment for any one who might have missed it the first time.
posted by mlis at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The "Faze is a troll" meme that occasionally crops up is not based on any actual record of trollish behavior (boorish contrarianism, name calling, use of capital letters, flaming, profanity, racial or sexual remarks, putdowns, or efforts to make other posters or commentators feel bad about themselves) but derives from expressing certain opinions that are not all that far out of the mainstream

<snip>

I'm only half-paying attention to the blue most the time honestly, but I've seen you a number of times drop little troll-bombs in threads and walk away, brushing your hands, never to comment in the thread again, apparently satisfied your work is done. The "Faze is a troll" idea comes about not just because of what you say in particular but the way you often choose to interact with a thread, which seems basically not to be in good faith. There are plenty of posters here who have radically different political views but are obviously sincere in their intentions. However, when you do stuff like this, or stuff such as the the comment jessamyn removed above, it reads as pretty damn trollish.

Of course, the end result of all of this is that I don't really feel like this MetaTalk post is itself sincere, and I feel like I'm getting trolled right now. Most of the other folks have already jumped to similar conclusions, so I'm probably the odd, naive man out here. In any case, if there is some chance you are actually sincere, have to ask yourself: what are you hoping to get from this community which you say you have such a high opinion of? How do you want to be perceived here? It's a mystery to me.

Honestly though, I'll be surprised if you comment again in this thread. Anyone want to put some bets down on that?
posted by dubitable at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is one of the most puzzling definitions of "cultural imperialism" I have ever heard. Traditionally, it means somebody in power appropriating the culture of someone with less power, and transforming its message too one that is suitable to the imperialist, and in this way the imperialist profits while simultaneously denuding the original cultural expression of its indigenous or subversive content.

But, in this instance, it is culture itself that is doing the conquering. American rap music is sweeping the globe, displacing indigenous cultures with an American one of bling, get-mine, baby mamas ad hoochie shaking, plus guns and ape walking, or whatever. And we're not talking about some record exec coming into, say, a Zambian record store and saying, no more Zam-Rock for you (we'll ignore the fact that Zam-Rock is sung in English and based on British and American rock and roll, and just pretend Zambia is unsullied by outside influence), no, it's nothing but Will Smith albums for you. Instead, what is happening is that the people from these countries are voluntarily incorporating elements of rap into whatever music they typically perform. And this is a bad thing because, apparently, rap inherently brings with it cultural baggage consisting of the most grotesque racial stereotypes that can be packed into a single sentence.

I don't know what to tell you, son. That's not cultural imperialism. It's not even fuck America. It's racism.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:03 AM on November 6, 2010 [14 favorites]

I was one of those who had comments removed because Faze's comment and the one he was responding too were so opaque in meaning and point that I was totally befuddled.
Seriously? I'm the "New Zealander" in question who Faze was responding to, and I'm only just checking in now, but I thought my post was pretty straightforward. Oh well. But yeah. I'm disappointed (but not surprised really) about the deletion, because this is what MeFi has become since the overmodding started in earnest back in '05. But it should have been clear that both Faze and I were in earnest over what we wrote; it's a minority, but sincerely held view that both of us, independently, have put some thought into; and, as such, there should be a place for it somewhere on the site. Do we now specify that every thread on MeFi has to be filled with "helpful," supportive, like-minded comments that don't say the unexpected or unpopular? We conceded AskMe to that logic years ago, but now the Blue too?

In which case, yeah, I retract my former comment and replace it with: "Chur chur bro!" I guess I should know better than to be both brown and GASP! in possession of decent English-language skills and a dislike of hip-hop culture. In future, I shall try to type more ethnically and more supportively of my brah-saying, backpacking, frat-boy overlords.
posted by Sonny Jim at 11:04 AM on November 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


To be fair, people on the left often see false evidence of hypocrisy in the right just as often.

Like you hate abortion but love the death penalty, how hypocritical. Except I like abortion and despise the death penalty, which is consistent with my internal moral universe, so presumably the right's fits in with theirs.

But all rap music isn't gangster rap and even if you like gangster rap it doesn't necessarily conflict with any anti-sexist anti-racist ethics you might have, so yeah. Stupid to try and point out hypocrisy when it all fits in quite well, all it shows is that you don't really understand the liberal mindset.
posted by shinybaum at 11:05 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Faze, I fucking love you. I disagree with almost everything that you write, and I disagree with the manner in which you write it, but those two things aside there's no arguing that you're anything but a master of the inflamed invective.

You're only allowed to be over the top in your arguments if you're trying to out-favourite the other good MeFites in your attempt to agree the strongest. Faze is great because he articulates unpopular views in a reasoned but forceful way, like he's from a parallel universe MetaFilter where the usual posters all share his views and he's just taking part in the discussion.

This is the biggest problem with MetaFilter. Not Faze specifically, but the Fazes on the other side. The jackasses who are so certain they're right that they'll phrase their argument without any attempts to engage people who might disagree with their views, and without any pretense of humility for being wrong. I mean, it's not just our problem. The rest of the Internet mostly has it worse (Reddit, honey, I'm looking at you), as does, you know, cable news and newspapers and politicians and even David Foster Wallace indulged in it sometimes and got me feeling really uncomfortable. But it's a problem here too.

We have people who talk about disliking Obama but phrase it so smugly that it sounds like you're a feeb for daring to think something nice about him. On the other side we have people who are so convinced that voting Democrat (or voting anti-Republican) is the right thing to do that the people arguing with them are treasonous stupid dumbheads. They will say so. Then, once the two sides have been established, the arguments don't resolve themselves (in the "Here's what you think, here's what I think, tell me if I misrepresented you, what else can we talk about now?" sense). They instead become a contest wherein two people attempt to more cruelly bash the other side until we come to MetaTalk and repeat the argument ad infinitum.

MetaFilter's taught me to double-check my own arrogant assumptions, not because the discourse here is necessarily so wise, but because I pretty quickly learned how fucking irritating people are when they argue any other way. Even when they're on my side. I think I've become a better person because I've realized that I'd rather be friends with Christians than assume they're all brain-damaged, and I'd rather not talk about my computer than spend time defending accusations of idiocy when I try and explain why I use the software that I use. I mean, I'd love to have a good chat about religion in society or the nature of open-v-closed software, but I'm pretty sure we're not going to have that here.

Some of our smartest and most eloquent users are the biggest problems, because they seemingly have not learned that a conversation is necessarily a construction of every individual involved; that the only good conversations come out of respecting every voice as if it were your own; that nobody really gives a shit about who's wrong and who's right in a discussion, but rather they care about how well people articulate their views. I don't know what the solution is, but it has to revolve around those otherwise-exemplary characters in our community who at times will drag everybody down in their desperate attempts to change the world by being right on the Internet.

I want to fucking talk with Faze about this instead of just telling him that I disagree. Faze, you've made a habit on MetaFilter of usually dropping out of threads instead of sticking around to defend yourself. I don't blame you, what with the violence of the reactions against you. But I do think you bring that on yourself by articulating your beliefs just as violently to begin with. It's hard for me to ask you to elaborate on your views of hip-hop in society, whether you dislike it simply for the lyrics/culture or if you've also somehow got a problem with the kind of music (can rapping contribute to culture in your mind rather than wrecking it?), if I'm simultaneously repulsed by your tone. But people rarely even post saying they appreciate your part in the conversation, so your exiting so swiftly makes sense to me.

(That's not saying I'm going to end up agreeing with your perspective on hip-hop. But certainly you think things that I don't, and I'd love to hear them, and maybe I'd be able to say some interesting things back.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:06 AM on November 6, 2010 [76 favorites]


It was definitely a derail but man, that was a cracking comment, Faze! Bracing stuff!
posted by Decani at 11:07 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


American Idol taking over the world and it turns out that West African Idol not only takes it and makes it West African but that syncretic culture is often more subversive than the one you intended to displace.


That would be British cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism so well done people...don't even know what culture it came from.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:07 AM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


. . . characterizations of African-Americans so grotesque, so dehumanizing, so cruelly unfair that they make the caricatures of previous eras -- the eras of lynching, segregation and Jim Crow -- look gentle, and dignified and even desirable.

I would like to let Talib Kweli speak for himself here:

We sell, crack to our own out the back of our homes
We smell the musk at the dusk in the crack of the dawn
We go through "Epidodes II," like "Attack of the Clones"
Work 'til we break our back and you hear the crack of the bone
To get by, just to get by

We commute to computers
Spirits stay mute while you eagles spread rumors
We survivalists, turned to consumers
To get by.. just to get by
Just to get by, just to get by

Ask Him why some people got to live in a trailer, cuss like a sailor
I paint a picture with the pen like Norman Mailer
Me Abuela raised three daughters all by herself, with no help
I think about a struggle and I find the strength in myself
These words, melt in my mouth

This morning, I woke up
Feeling brand new and I jumped up
Feeling my highs, and my lows
In my soul, and my goals
Just to stop smokin, and stop drinkin
And I've been thinkin - I've got my reasons
Just to get by, just to get by.


Yep, that is some horrific racial stereotypin' going on there! Good on you for pointing out the terrors of rap lyrics!
posted by Frobenius Twist at 11:08 AM on November 6, 2010 [23 favorites]


On preview:

Anyone who hates modern art can't be entirely .. what's the word I'm looking for ... ?

Worth talking to.


Astro Zombie, you're in the running for Most Consistently Fascinating Writer here, and I think I've given you more favorites than I've received anywhere on this site, but comments like this are exactly what bring MetaFilter down. I'm saying this as somebody who loves modern art, talks about it a lot with people, and tends toward friends who I further have modern art conversations with: Just because somebody dislikes something that you like doesn't give you an excuse to dismiss them from the conversation. Especially not as dickishly as all that.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:09 AM on November 6, 2010 [21 favorites]


There goes your Saturday, mods.
posted by proj at 11:10 AM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


They are, however, blessed with an inordinate amount of messy, splattery poo that requires significant time to clean up. They also just keep pooping whenever and wherever the urge strikes. This is the nature of cows, and must be accepted when you encounter them.

Indeed. Watching a cow shit all over her calf while it's trying to feed is the sort of thing you can never really unsee.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:10 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seriously?

Yes. I don't think your posts are as clear as you think they are.
posted by josher71 at 11:11 AM on November 6, 2010


Oops, I don't watch pop idol or american idol so had no idea which came first. But it all falls under a sort of western cultural imperialism accusation. Pretty sure Barbie is American though.
posted by shinybaum at 11:12 AM on November 6, 2010


"Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man"

So, The Beetles are consistently considered one of the most influential, greatest bands of all time, yet they have a fair number of songs that fall into the territory quoted above.


Actually, the Beatles stole that from Elvis (Baby Let's Play House), and he stole it from Arthur Gunter, a black blues musician. In fact, pretty much the best of Elvis' Sun Studios output was cribbed from contemporary "race" stars, whom he admired greatly.

Also the Beatles' lyric "I used to be cruel to my woman/I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved" was pretty much true of John, with his first wife Cynthia.

Great musicians are not always great humans.
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:13 AM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


I thought my post was pretty straightforward. Oh well.

Just for the record, this is your comment from that thread
Thanks for taking a weak and fairly insulting callout, and pretty much posting the perfect rebuttal.

Yep. The American project of recreating all the world's non-White peoples in the image of Jim Crow is going swimmingly. The most virulently racist nation in history successfully exports its racist stereotypes, which are dutifully internalized by those on the fringes of its imperium. Then the White middle class back in the metropole consumes the results, while patting itself on the back for being so accepting of "diversity." Isn't that a heart-warming story?

And before you jump all over me: I'm a New Zealander of Polynesian descent and I never fail to find this unabashed cultural imperialism—and the general inability of people to call it out for what it actually is—deeply depressing.
Again, this was a thread about music and you stepped into it to call America the most virulently racist nation in history. Even if that's a true statement, it's a fighty derail in a thread about music. This is not about whether you or Faze sincerely hold the beliefs that you are commenting about, it's whether you're able to determine when is a good time to start a conversation about those particular beliefs and when isn't. And whether you can talk to other people about them or just fling poo.

In future, I shall try to type more ethnically and more supportively of my brah-saying, backpacking, frat-boy overlords.

One of the things that's nice about MeFi is the ability to get away from some of that stupid posturing and share the things that we enjoy together. None of the mods of this site fit your nasty stereotype at all, in fact most of the people on this site don't. Save your disdain for people who deserve it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:14 AM on November 6, 2010 [26 favorites]


If you'd like to discuss my assertion about modern art, go ahead and memail me, but I'm not going to back down from it and I disagree that comments like that bring the site down. Oh my goodness, how can a group of adults survive Astro Zombies' disapproval of their blanket dismissal of more than a century of art? How will Faze, especially, ever recover?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:15 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


But, anyway, this is not a thread about Fazxe's contempt for modern art, but instead his contempt for rap music, and in that way I was starting a little derail based on something that irritated me, and I regret that.

I shall save my comments about modern art for the moment when it becomes appropriate.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:19 AM on November 6, 2010


Jessamyn, the "overlords" comment you quote totally wasn't a go at you and the other mods; it was just a stupid, throwaway bit of in-joke-recycling. That you would take it that way didn't even cross my mind: that's not what I meant at all. Sorry.
posted by Sonny Jim at 11:20 AM on November 6, 2010


The most virulently racist nation in history successfully exports its racist stereotypes, which are dutifully internalized by those on the fringes of its imperium.

You could say you don't like the spread of rap as a musical genre and that it's killing traditional music, but where was the racist stereotype also exported in the examples given? People talking about X were derailed by someone complaining about the Y.

I love yoghurt, here is some yoghurt
Disgusting! yoghurt has strawberries in it!
This yoghurt is rhubarb
STRAWBERRIES ARE EVIL.
posted by shinybaum at 11:20 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you'd like to discuss my assertion about modern art, go ahead and memail me, but I'm not going to back down from it and I disagree that comments like that bring the site down. Oh my goodness, how can a group of adults survive Astro Zombies' disapproval of their blanket dismissal of more than a century of art? How will Faze, especially, ever recover?

You're doing it again. There's a difference between disagreeing and even disapproving of Faze's mindset, and outright dismissing him from the conversation in a way that suggests it's his beliefs, rather than his tone, that you disapprove of.

I think that people who dislike modern art and can express their dislike clearly and without belittling people on the other side should be welcome to discuss modern art. I'm not saying Faze is doing that. What I am saying is that a useful response to Faze would be criticizing the way he says things rather than the things he says.

You have a gift for snidely insulting others that I've spent a year or two emulating in my conversations with friends. I'm really grateful. And you've spent a fuck of a lot of time here calling out other users who make MetaFilter an unwelcoming place for others. But that doesn't make your comment there pleasant or welcoming, and I trust you're not too hurt by my saying so.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:22 AM on November 6, 2010 [20 favorites]


Fell free to memail me. This is not the Astro Zombie thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:24 AM on November 6, 2010


There are trolls who troll for the lulz and there are those who simply communicate in a way that shuts down mature, adult conversations. A textual Backpfeifengesicht if you will. Thusly, under the "sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice" rule I've filed Faze under 'troll' in my internal mental bucket for a few months now.

Which is fine, as cortex said you're allowed to be (percieved as) a jerk here. You're not really allowed to derail threads like that into slapfights however, so thanks Mods for the deletion and I'm going to read about rappers from the other side of the planet now.
posted by Skorgu at 11:27 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sonny Jim: “... this is what MeFi has become since the overmodding started in earnest back in '05.”

You and I both know that's silly; Metafilter was a different place then, to be sure, but it had its fair share of shit. For one thing, I remember that AskMe was still pretty much unusable for most things in 2005; I mean, you could do some stuff, but it was overrun by silliness, by snark, by noise, and by random shit. It only became what it is today through that same "overmodding." Wring your hands about something else, Olbermann.

“But it should have been clear that both Faze and I were in earnest over what we wrote; it's a minority, but sincerely held view that both of us, independently, have put some thought into; and, as such, there should be a place for it somewhere on the site... I guess I should know better than to be both brown and GASP! in possession of decent English-language skills and a dislike of hip-hop culture.”

Ha. Reread Faze's comment a few more times before expressing solidarity; it might serve you well, since I have a feeling you haven't noticed the chief features of his little diatribe. Maybe what you mean is that you should know better than to be "ape-like" and dislike hip-hop. I have a feeling that's how Faze might put it.
posted by koeselitz at 11:31 AM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


That comment is flat-out nuts, and the disconnect between his description of it and the actuality of it is marvelous. But I have to say that this:

desperate, ass-jittering cattle

is my new favorite phrase. It deserves to be the name of a band or of a novel, or at least to be the subject of a Congressional investigation. (I'm thinking that a "McCain-Boxer Desparate Ass-Jittering Cattle Bill" would be the best demonstration of bipartisanship we could ever dream of.)

But yeah, the actual comment? Vivid writing, but a crappy contribution to the site.
posted by Forktine at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm completely confused.

the new cultural imperialism (coke, blue jeans, the pill) is dominant logic btw. whoever said the OP was stuck in 1989 was correct. the wall came down that year
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Reread Faze's comment a few more times before expressing solidarity; it might serve you well, since I have a feeling you haven't noticed the chief features of his little diatribe. Maybe what you mean is that you should know better than to be "ape-like" and dislike hip-hop. I have a feeling that's how Faze might put it.
Good point, koeselitz. I've got a bunch of Shakespeare essays I'm supposed to be reading right now, and don't exactly have the time or headspace to parse Faze's opinions for deviations from mine right now. But, yeah. We have different takes on the issue, certainly.
posted by Sonny Jim at 11:36 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think Faze was looking at a really dull weekend, and now he doesn't have to worry about being bored.
posted by rtha at 11:37 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


He could be less bored if he came back here and had it out for a little while. I promised we'd be gentle.
posted by koeselitz at 11:38 AM on November 6, 2010


I'll repeat what I said in response there before it all got pulled:

Have you guys actually clicked the links I posted?

Half the stuff I linked is music explicitly railing against Imperialism. If your goal is to criticize cultural imperialism, you could probably start by NOT accepting the oppressor's depictions of the oppressed people's culture as an accurate source of information.

If all you understand of hiphop is thuggery, you've bought into the system you're supposedly against. Everywhere you can find hiphop, it doesn't take a lot of searching to see one of the major sources of worldwide popularity is hiphop's history as liberation music.
posted by yeloson at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2010 [26 favorites]






Sorry folks, I had to go work out. Now that I'm back, and have had a chance to read everyone's comments, I appreciate the many points of view expressed here, and I sincerely hope that I can continue to participate in Metafilter discussions without triggering future deletions.

Please know, that I have been part of this community for a long time, even before the $5 charge (I lucked out and got registered back when these little windows used to open up for a brief time), and before that, I was a lurker. Let it be said, and I'm sure some old-timers will agree with me, that there used to be a little more tolerance for wider range of expression here -- and by that, I don't particularly mean the views expressed, but the manner in which they are expressed -- I mean, there were some weird and opaque posters out there, and I loved imagining them knocking out their strange comments in the dead of night, and I was grateful that there was place like Metafilter where all kinds of views could be expressed in all kinds of voices.\

Now the responses in this thread really run that gamut of people who take issue with my views on rap (certainly a topic on which there can be many reasonable views), people who take issue with the vehemence of my address (once again, I point out that while I may use colorful language, I would never say anything cruel, profane, or intentionally hurtful to a fellow Mefite), and people who don't think I should not have the opinions I have.

I couldn't possibly answer ever angry accusation. But let me say that, in contrast to some of the people commenting in this thread, I don't consider Metafilter to be a community of like-minded people who come onto the blue to have their preconceptions validated by people who think just like them. I love the diversity here.

I come to Metafilter to see what OTHER people are thinking, to be exposed to ideas that are different from mine, and to contribute points of view that I think are missing from some discussions. I love the people who take the time to disagree with me -- the five fresh fishes and Astro Zombies of the world. Often, they manage to change my mind. But I don't come to Metafilter expecting unanimity of opinion and mode of expression. And I hope you don't either.
posted by Faze at 11:42 AM on November 6, 2010 [29 favorites]


The disconnect between your MeTa post, this most recent comment, and the comment you posted in the MeFi post is stunning.
posted by proj at 11:44 AM on November 6, 2010 [16 favorites]


Sorry folks, I had to go work out.

Classic.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:45 AM on November 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


You have a long habit of dropping provocative drive-by turds into threads....You rarely follow up substantially after first entering a thread.

Faze is another one of MeFi's apparently polarizing figures about whom I have no opinion, the guy's pretty much not on my radar at all, but the above sentiment is starting to bug me more and more every time I see it pointed at somebody. If someone's going to "drop a turd in a thread" as we so charmingly say, isn't it preferable that they disengage from whatever fightiness ensues and move on, as opposed to coming back and "taking all comers," as we have sometimes accused people of doing? I know that neither of those is exactly the Platonic Ideal of MetaFilter participation, but I don't get why people disapprove of someone choosing to disengage. I thought disengaging was a good thing and that the mods would actually like to see more of it instead of pile-ons. If we want people to take things less personally and not be so worried about losing an Internet argument, why give them grief for not responding in contentious threads? If it's just "because they started it," well...I thought we were all pretty much responsible for our own responses to such things, right?
posted by Gator at 11:46 AM on November 6, 2010 [14 favorites]


drop a turd in a thread

Can we just call it "dropping the kids off at the pool"?
posted by found missing at 11:48 AM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I come to Metafilter to see what OTHER people are thinking, to be exposed to ideas that are different from mine, and to contribute points of view that I think are missing from some discussions

Hi Faze,

Did you actually click any of the links I posted?
posted by yeloson at 11:48 AM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


That is a wild comment. I would like to see it posted in a very different thread and there, rebutted.
posted by salvia at 11:48 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is not the Astro Zombie thread.

Why is this thread different from all other threads?
posted by dersins at 11:50 AM on November 6, 2010 [33 favorites]


I did not expect to hear that Faze appreciates my comments.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:51 AM on November 6, 2010


Why is this thread different from all other threads?

Ouch. Well played.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:52 AM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


But American Indian rap often references oppression, there's a lot of serious/religious Muslim rap (percussion only) and not every woman in rap is talking about how great the brain is, so you were talking about a form of rap everyone else wasn't.
If you want to present an argument against popular or gangster rap, do it in a place people are talking about it, or make a post. Otherwise you're talking about how shit Britney Spears is in a thread on kd lang, cos they're both white women.
posted by shinybaum at 11:53 AM on November 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


The English language, African music, the Unitarian Church, and Chinese food are unkillable, they will consume, incorporate, and assimilate all contenders until they are the only culture left in this world.
posted by idiopath at 11:53 AM on November 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


That comment is flat-out nuts,

Nah. Flat-out nuts would mean that there were no, shall we way, less than civil sentiments getting expressed by the stupider edge of the gangsta thang. What Faze's comment is, is even dumber than the stuff he's trying to call out. Because rather than encouraging us to focus on these less than civil sentiments of hip hop, he's got us circling the wagons around the entirety of the culture, including those extremely DUMB (albeit successful) fringes who really are presenting some of ...

the most demeaning racial stereotypes ever launched into the mass media -- characterizations of African-Americans so grotesque, so dehumanizing, so cruelly unfair that they make the caricatures of previous eras -- the eras of lynching, segregation and Jim Crow -- look gentle,
posted by philip-random at 11:54 AM on November 6, 2010


Faze: “ Let it be said, and I'm sure some old-timers will agree with me, that there used to be a little more tolerance for wider range of expression here”

Some of us won't, though. I say rancid shit here all the goddamned time, really insulting stuff, and somehow it doesn't get deleted. Maybe it's because I usually don't overtly flirt with a sort of weird racism.

“I love the diversity here.”

'cept for those crotch-grabbing ape-walkers, of course. Can't have that. Oh, but you were only saying that they 'perpetuate the stereotype,' I'll bet.
posted by koeselitz at 12:00 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The disconnect between your MeTa post, this most recent comment, and the comment you posted in the MeFi post is stunning.
posted by proj at 2:44 PM on November 6 [3 favorites +] [!] Other [2/2]: «≡·


just shows what a good sweat can do for ya ;-) (true, not snark)
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:00 PM on November 6, 2010


If someone's going to "drop a turd in a thread" as we so charmingly say, isn't it preferable that they disengage from whatever fightiness ensues and move on, as opposed to coming back and "taking all comers," as we have sometimes accused people of doing?

What's preferable is people not dropping the turd in the first place.

If someone has a contentious opinion that they're willing to substantiate in a productive way, great; it might be a bit bumpy but generally if everybody can make an effort to keep cool it can make for good discussion of differing perspectives. If they've got an opinion (or dose of devil's advocacy) that they don't intend to stick around and actually discuss in a meaningful way, it'd be better if they don't empty that particular bucket of derail into a thread in the first place.

I know that neither of those is exactly the Platonic Ideal of MetaFilter participation, but I don't get why people disapprove of someone choosing to disengage. I thought disengaging was a good thing and that the mods would actually like to see more of it instead of pile-ons.

Disengaging is a thing to do when you realize you've dug into something that you're not going to deal with well. As a way to short circuit a bad dynamic you've gotten yourself into, it's often a good way to deal with the situation. But it's triage; it's a mitigating tactic for a bad situation.

Hit-and-run stuff is not this-got-out-of-hand triage, it's willfully disruptive behavior. As a one-off, it's annoying. As a pattern of behavior, it's genuinely problematic and does not look anything like good-faith participation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hi everyone, sorry I'm late. I was out all morning walking around in the sunshine and having coffee and croissants down at Milk & Roses. If I'd known all this would be happening I would have come home hours ago.

Faze, who were you directing your comment toward in that thread? It reads as if you suddenly sat straight up in bed and puked all over yourself -- I recommend that in the future you sleep with a trash can next to your bed, if you'll pardon the metaphor. Pour your barely-digested mass straight into the garbage rather than forcing other people to mop it up.

I often enjoy your contributions to the site, but in this case your comment was the wrong idea, in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the most disturbing thing to me is its declarative nature. Unless you really want to hear what other people think, or state your opinions in a way that leads people to think you are open to a discussion, you are wasting your time here. Don't park your jeremiads in our threads and think that you are speaking for anyone but yourself -- as the wise, ape-walking, gold-bedizened folk poet Jay-Z once observed: "What you eat don't make me shit."
posted by hermitosis at 12:03 PM on November 6, 2010 [12 favorites]


also: for interested parties - taqwacore: the birth of punk islam
posted by nadawi at 12:05 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


> to contribute points of view that I think are missing from some discussions

...in deliberately offensive language, crafted to guarantee visceral responses. That's why people call you a troll, and rightly; you've never addressed this and I'm sure never will, because you're so confident that your avoidance of actual "profanity" puts you on the side of the angels. But you're not on the side of the angels, and you're not just contributing "points of view ... missing from some discussions," you're someone who deliberately drops what many people rightly call "turds" into otherwise thoughtful and interesting discussions, with the obvious intention of derailing the discussion into yet another shit-flinging exercise (which you can feel smug about because you're too high-minded to utter the word "shit"). That's trollish behavior, and it hurts MetaFilter. God knows I'm not always at my best here, and I've been taken to task for it, but if I found myself arousing a tenth the opprobrium you get—and especially the repeated reprimands from the mods—I would seriously rethink my participation here.

That said, "desperate, ass-jittering cattle" is a terrific phrase. Why don't you use your powers for good rather than evil?
posted by languagehat at 12:06 PM on November 6, 2010 [31 favorites]


Also, I missed your comment while I was writing, Faze, but:

I would never say anything cruel, profane, or intentionally hurtful to a fellow Mefite)

Never presume to know who may or may not be a fellow mefite.
posted by hermitosis at 12:14 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]

yeloson: Half the stuff I linked is music explicitly railing against Imperialism. If your goal is to criticize cultural imperialism, you could probably start by NOT accepting the oppressor's depictions of the oppressed people's culture as an accurate source of information.
Sure, but the formal constraints of hip-hop as mode impose their own limitations, and convey their own information. It's repackaging what is in fact the homogenization of culture as diversity.
If all you understand of hiphop is thuggery, you've bought into the system you're supposedly against. Everywhere you can find hiphop, it doesn't take a lot of searching to see one of the major sources of worldwide popularity is hiphop's history as liberation music.
Again, fine. But "liberation" itself is metropole talk. And the idea of achieving cultural independence or transcendence through the assumption of imported cultural forms is kind of delusional. You're still bound up in the world system after all.
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:22 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


American feminists and liberals are frankly terrified by this army of crotch-grabbing, ape-walking, gun-waving, gold bedizened reactionaries, with their aggressive and violent promotion of the most conservative social vision imaginable, and its imperialist spread around the world.

what

Hiphop, as a cultural movement, is a direct descendant of the American New Left of the 1960s -- the exact opposite of Reactionary Conservative Imperialists, and indeed the movement from whence modern Feminism also arose. (Seriously, do you even know what any of those words mean?)

The family tree of Rap is as follows: Blues -- Jazz Poetry -- Beat Poetry -- Black Arts -- Rap. The music has changed, but the lyrical content of Rap is still strikingly similar to that of its forbears: "The living situation in which I find myself is rather less than ideal; here, let me tell you about it."

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the vast, vast, vast majority of Rap is a reflection on contemporary society. As long as people are pushed into a position such that their career opportunities are limited to a) criminal or b) corpse, there will be MCs reminding us that it is so.

If you find the images depicted in Rap (please note that depiction and promotion are two very different things) to be undesirable, then perhaps before advocating that the voices of the oppressed be silenced, you should first try actually listening to those voices, understanding what they're saying and why it needs to be said, and then doing everything in your power to create a society in which those things don't need to be said.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2010 [19 favorites]


What's preferable is people not dropping the turd in the first place.

Yeah, obviously, that is the Platonic Ideal, I guess. I'm just saying, chastise people for that, not for walking away. This Faze character may be someone who deliberately likes to stir people up and watch the ensuing trainwreck, I don't know. But I've seen plenty of other people express an apparently genuine but unpopular opinion (the anti-pot lady comes to mind, as well as Certain Other More Famous MeFites), get mocked or yelled at by the crowd, and decide not to come back to the discussion, only to get the same accusation of "dropping a turd" and leaving "without backing up their claims" or some variation thereof. It feels like bullying. If somebody walks away from a fight, whether or not they meant to start it, why not let them?
posted by Gator at 12:32 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Damn. Despite his bizarre and belligerent comment in the original thread, he's being perfectly civil here.... I was hoping for a good flameout...been ages since we've had one of those.
posted by schmod at 12:32 PM on November 6, 2010


Just logged in at the office to say that in my mind, any trollish or uncivil behavior on the part of Faze has been permanently and unconditionally pardoned by the existence of this comment.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:36 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


If somebody walks away from a fight, whether or not they meant to start it, why not let them?

Well, I guess like because if the person comes back, they have a chance to shift the fight into a not-fight by saying "oh, sorry I came off that way, what I meant was X." It seems like there is something disingenuous in dropping a statement into a post that is almost designed to spark discussion without feeling any obligation to engage after the initial catalyst.

Granted, it takes to sides to create a derail, but...it takes two sides to create a derail.
posted by dubitable at 12:36 PM on November 6, 2010


The English language, African music, the Unitarian Church, and Chinese food are unkillable, they will consume, incorporate, and assimilate all contenders until they are the only culture left in this world.

♫ One of these things is not like the others ♫
posted by Sys Rq at 12:39 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


If somebody walks away from a fight, whether or not they meant to start it, why not let them?

I think I'm familiar with the general trend you are talking about, where people who were embroiled in a back and forth dispute have one person walk away and then other people are like "Come back here!" I agree, that's annoying. Worse when it's one person defending an unpopular viewpoint and a bunch of people grousing that they didn't get to eviscerate their arguments solidly enough before the person walked away.

However, this is a situation where there was no fight until Sonny Jim and Faze came into the thread with a derail about American imperialism in a thread about music. Faze often does this in threads, showing up with a super-edgy ranty comment and then not engaging with people in the thread. It does not seem like a good faith method of interacting with the community. This happens often enough that it's on our radar as "gee we'd like to see less of that" and so when it came up in MeTa, we mentioned it.

So, I agree with you in spirit, but this is not that sort of situation. The problem here is the comments, not the walking away. The walking away just make the comments seem less an awkward attempt to interact than they might otherwise.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:41 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Again, fine. But "liberation" itself is metropole talk. And the idea of achieving cultural independence or transcendence through the assumption of imported cultural forms is kind of delusional. You're still bound up in the world system after all.

I'm not saying there isn't a case that lots of young people wholesale adopt the values of pop culture, they do and it is often at the expense of their own culture. I think a lot of the time you also get code switching and adaptation as well though, which isn't such a bad thing. The examples in the original post were more like that, as far as I read it.
posted by shinybaum at 12:44 PM on November 6, 2010


Isn't this supposed to happen on Friday nights?
posted by buzzman at 12:44 PM on November 6, 2010


Thanks, jessamyn. Like I said, I don't have an opinion of Faze in general, and I don't have an opinion on this specific situation, I was just bothered by the "and you don't even come back to follow up" attitude, especially coming from a mod.
posted by Gator at 12:47 PM on November 6, 2010


Don't park your jeremiads in our threads ...

There is something classic about that line.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:47 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm just saying, chastise people for that, not for walking away.

Respectfully, you're reading to me out of my own book and from the wrong chapter. People unfairly harrying someone for respectfully stating an unpopular opinion sucks, and when we see it happening we try and do something about it.

This is not that. This is a different pattern of behavior entirely, and it's not some new thing from Faze where the question of whether it's just the passing artifact of one bad day is a reasonable one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:49 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Respectfully, the part of your comment that I quoted, "You rarely follow up substantially after first entering a thread," is the part I was bothered by, because it felt the same as those unfair "come back and justify yourself" pile-ons that I mentioned. If I misunderstood you, I apologize. Again, I don't have an opinion on Faze or this specific situation or pattern of behavior and I'm not arguing with you about your handling of it. I was simply bothered by that comment, and the way it came across to me.
posted by Gator at 12:54 PM on November 6, 2010


I had never heard the "Faze is a troll meme", but after reading this MeTa post and then the original comment jessamyn quoted, I don't need to have.
posted by XMLicious at 12:57 PM on November 6, 2010


I find it very refreshing how americans tend to grab their crotches, wave their guns and bedeck themselves with gold. So different! And they do it with such inimitable gusto.
Never change, you crazy americans!
posted by joost de vries at 12:57 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think it was good of faze to come back to this thread and I laud him for it especially as he usually gets hounded for his comments. (I have been guilty of this). The original deleted comment had some grist in it which was overshadowed by the racist remark and didn't seem to fit in that thread.
Rory Marinich raises some interesting points. It is frequently more interesting and educational to disagree than to agree but it also takes a lot of balls to get into the meta shit storm.
AZ you are better than that.
I think maybe because it's Saturday and the mods seeing lots of flags, see its faze and so obliterate it so that they can get on with their weekend lives. Problem gone. Maybe it's time for another mod to relieve the pressure on the other two. (I know about vacapinta the midnight mod, and pb "el genio"). Cortex and Jessamyn do most of the patrol work and I think maybe the load is getting a little heavy.
posted by adamvasco at 1:02 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


And the idea of achieving cultural independence or transcendence through the assumption of imported cultural forms is kind of delusional. You're still bound up in the world system after all.

But that's not what you said with your original comment (now deleted). You were talking about hiphop as an American project to transform all non-white people into Jim Crow stereotypes.

It's disingenuous for you to act as if my point is there's no cultural shift happening, when your initial point is that hiphop is primarily a vehicle of exporting internalized racism. Which you brought up in a thread with posts where half the music is about surviving and rejecting racism.

So what part of the mode of the music naturally causes internalized racism? Does the boom & bap automatically produce minstrel-like shuffling? Does the call & response format typical to traditional music around the world cause people to become violent stereotypes?

If you want to talk about the issues of cultural imperialism, it's a strange way to start by ignoring the long history that any culture under, and post-colonization makes use of the fractured culture they have, sometimes to great effect - such as Christian liberation theology and it's role in independence movements around the world.

The fact that you've ignored both a major part of the hiphop movement (both historical and current) and the realities of cultural imperialism as more complex than just displacement, makes me think your issue isn't the latter as much as "Get off my lawn!" about the music.

After all, if you were, you'd have watched some of those links and had something more thoughtful to say instead of "Hiphop = Jim Crow training".
posted by yeloson at 1:04 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Although, I have to say, when I visited SF they failed to live up to their reputation even when prodded.
posted by joost de vries at 1:04 PM on November 6, 2010


I think maybe because it's Saturday and the mods seeing lots of flags, see its faze and so obliterate it so that they can get on with their weekend lives. Problem gone. Maybe it's time for another mod to relieve the pressure on the other two. (I know about vacapinta the midnight mod, and pb "el genio"). Cortex and Jessamyn do most of the patrol work and I think maybe the load is getting a little heavy.

Are you really taking the position that Faze's comment quoted above should have been left in the thread?
posted by zarq at 1:07 PM on November 6, 2010


"fresh young women into desperate, ass-jittering cattle"

"American feminists and liberals are frankly terrified"

Faze, as a woman and feminist, these statements are offensive. While it may not be your intent to combine (unconscious?) misogyny in with the unpleasant racism of your comment, if you're actually questioning why this comment was deleted, I think you need to take a look at your language.

This is why I'm offended:

1. Apparently, if I'm a woman who likes hip hop, I began as a "fresh young wom[a]n," and have become a piece of livestock.

2. Thus, if I like hip hop, I am not a participant, I am an innocent victim of something I can't control.

3. Further, in my fear and lack of understanding, I am doomed to remain a victim, and be transformed into something that you, at least, find disgusting, in order to protect myself of the predation of the rappers. The scary, scary rappers.

4. If I'm a feminist, I don't like hip hop. I'm frightened by it. I am afraid of the scary black people who promulgate hip hop.

5. But I am powerless to comment or do anything about it. Because I am a feminist? Because black people are dangerous?

Faze, this is what came across to me from your comment, above and beyond the disgusting racial stereotypes that were its main feature. If this is what you're sending out into the world, don't be surprised if no one wants to engage in a calm and rational discussion about whether hip hop is or is not cultural imperialism. Especially in a thread about the awesomeness of some underexposed forms of non-American hip hop. Your use of hyperbole (dear god I hope it's hyperbole) is not amusing, it is not thought-provoking, it is offensive.

However, this meta thread has some great songs.
posted by freshwater at 1:08 PM on November 6, 2010 [37 favorites]


And it led me to this ask thread, which is all kinds of brilliant. So yay.

(no punjabi recs is weird though?)
posted by shinybaum at 1:12 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


>> drop a turd in a thread

> Can we just call it "dropping the kids off at the pool"?


Just so long as you don't take the ball and go home.

This is the part where you'll need to imagine a public swimming pool full of confused and disappointed young poops in water polo caps.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:16 PM on November 6, 2010


Indeed. Watching a cow shit all over her calf while it's trying to feed is the sort of thing you can never really unsee.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:10 AM


I sympathize with your trauma, Alvy, and I'm sure I'd share it if I saw that, but I'm also pretty sure that's a feature, not a bug.

That calf has to be inoculated with cellulose digesting and nitrogen fixing organisms before it can eat grass successfully, and I can't think of a better way for that to happen without risking picking up pathogenic soil organisms. Can you?

Except for the "ape-walking", which I'm willing to put down to mere unawareness rather than even the slightest racist intent, and some rather deep-seated and less excusable confusion about the Jim Crow era (It was a brutal reign of terror), I think Faze's deleted comment is fairly brilliant and deserves contemplation point-by-point from any fan of rap music or proponent of exporting American culture, and I don't see how it could possibly be properly characterized as off-topic.
posted by jamjam at 1:17 PM on November 6, 2010


... people who take issue with my views on rap [snip], people who take issue with the vehemence of my address [snip], and people who don't think I should not [?...] have the opinions I have.
None of these, for me. Look here:
American hip hop has spread over world etc. etc.

It's the misrepresentation of agency that irks me here. A musical phenomenon doesn't get disseminated like a water-baloon's content when dropped out of a third-floor window onto a playground, wetting down innocent by-standers at random. Music gets offered and bought; if people are uninterested, the latter doesn't happen, and vice-versa. The whole "hip hop has done this that and the other" bit is an example of imprecise history writing, based on sloppy sociological thinking (as in 'the bad ones are the actors and the others are the victims'). There aren't even any grounds to engage with your arguments that way; the only thing one can do is to GRAR about some of the formulations you use.
posted by Namlit at 1:18 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hiphop, as a cultural movement, is a direct descendant of the American New Left of the 1960s -- the exact opposite of Reactionary Conservative Imperialists

Quite the contrary, hip-hop as a cultural movement squirted like a watermelon seed from the lips of Ronald Reagan and the explosion of smug materialism that accompanied his presidency in the pin-striped, big shouldered 1980s. It was a piece with other reactionary art, like "Animal House", which used the sexual and racial freedoms won in the 1960s as tools to reinforce the patriarchy and re-establish wealth as a measure of human worth. Young African American men were invited to join the conga line of greed, to fill their mouths with gold, their noses with cocaine, and their souls with cold violence. Young African American woman ... well, I've said that already. The N-word, which had pretty much been quashed by 1980, was revived, plated in stainless steel like a Jeff Coons balloon dog, and placed on a pedestal, a worshiped as a perpetual generator of benefit-producing grievance by a political generation too cowardly to take responsibility for themselves and their community and do the hard work of creating the world. The New Left was a destructive and negative social movement, on the whole, but where it sought to dignify African Americans in the eyes of the nation, where it endeavored to destroy sexual and racial stereotyping, where it encouraged local cultures and the freedom of people to enjoy cultural idiosyncrasy , rather than than have their native expression flattened by the booming bass of distant, leering overlords, champing their grills, rubbing their fat, diamond studded fingers, and crushing women's hopes of ever being considered anything more than an anus on stilts, the New Left is the exact and precise opposite of rap and hip hop and everything it stands for.
posted by Faze at 1:20 PM on November 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


No zarq. What I mean is that some things the children have to sort out on their own.
posted by adamvasco at 1:21 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


What.
posted by Namlit at 1:22 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Just... wow.
posted by koeselitz at 1:27 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sitting here trying to decide if the misspelling of Jeff Koons as "Jeff Coons" was a typo or a rhetorical flourish.
posted by koeselitz at 1:28 PM on November 6, 2010 [25 favorites]


hip-hop as a cultural movement squirted like a watermelon seed from the lips of Ronald Reagan and the explosion of smug materialism that accompanied his presidency in the pin-striped, big shouldered 1980s. [...]
Heh. That doesn't really make sense to me. But I applaud your verbalisation.
posted by joost de vries at 1:29 PM on November 6, 2010


I think maybe because it's Saturday and the mods seeing lots of flags, see its faze and so obliterate it so that they can get on with their weekend lives. Problem gone.

That didn't work out so well for us then, did it?

I deleted those two comments knowing full well they'd likely wind up here. I also emailed the two people who had responded to the two deleted comments in the minute before I left my comment in that thread saying "oh hey I removed your comment because it's replying to a now-deleted comment but if you want to comment agai, feel free to, sorry about the timing." I also responded to this thread minutes after it was posted and then talked to cortex about it some before coming back and commenting some more.

If this is the conversation faze wants to have, he needs to have it here in MetaTalk. And this is where other people can talk about faze's comment in this thread and his other comments if they want to. You implying that we'd delete comments because it's in some way more convenient for us is amusing. If we were moderating this site on the basis of what was convenient for us, it would look much different than it does now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:29 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


hip-hop as a cultural movement squirted like a watermelon seed from the lips of Ronald Reagan and the explosion of smug materialism that accompanied his presidency in the pin-striped, big shouldered 1980s. It was a piece with other reactionary art, like "Animal House", which used the sexual and racial freedoms won in the 1960s as tools to reinforce the patriarchy and re-establish wealth as a measure of human worth.

Limiting things to 1988 in particular, I'd say yes, this does maybe speak for NWA, but definitely not Public Enemy. You need to not be so emphatic in your wrong-headed dismissal of an entire arc of culture. It's just not that simple.

If you don't see how this sorta attitude might rile people, you don't see very well.
posted by philip-random at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


distant, leering overlords, champing their grills, rubbing their fat, diamond studded fingers, and crushing women's hopes of ever being considered anything more than an anus on stilts,

As performance art, this is extraordinary. As sincerely held belief, it is execrable.
posted by dersins at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2010 [17 favorites]


American hip hop has spread over world like a great stinking wave of diarrhea, dissolving native expression and replacing it with the stylizing barking shallow emotional cripples, stripping the joy from youth, figuratively turning young men into stiff, repressed robots, and fresh young women into desperate, ass-jittering cattle.

This comment is confusing form with content.

Sure, the form of hiphop has spread throughout the world, but each culture has adapted the content to suit its own values, principles & cultural context.

The comment speaks of women portrayed in hiphop as "ass-jittering cattle". This is an American experience, not the way that rap music is in New Zealand.

Or maybe the Kiwi nuances have been misunderstood or lost in 'translation'. For example, even if a foreigner correctly understood "youse" as the antipodean plural equivalent of "y'all", they'd probably miss the point that the MCs are actually rapping about ewes, not cattle.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:31 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, no.

desperate, ass-jittering cattle is not a fantastic choice of words. It is of the same brand as ape-walking.

Do not give this guy the satisfaction that any part of his diatribe was worth the time it took him to type it.
posted by morganannie at 1:32 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


That calf has to be inoculated with cellulose digesting and nitrogen fixing organisms before it can eat grass successfully, and I can't think of a better way for that to happen without risking picking up pathogenic soil organisms. Can you?

IANAVeterinarian, but I don't see how shit down the back of a calf's head and neck would be an efficient manner of introducing those organisms, unless they could be absorbed through the calf's hide. The cow's teats would be a much more effective vehicle for inoculation, I think.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:32 PM on November 6, 2010

The fact that you've ignored both a major part of the hiphop movement (both historical and current) and the realities of cultural imperialism as more complex than just displacement, makes me think your issue isn't the latter as much as "Get off my lawn!" about the music.

After all, if you were, you'd have watched some of those links and had something more thoughtful to say instead of "Hiphop = Jim Crow training".
Dude. I'm from New Zealand. This is my culture. I'm Pasifika. You don't have to school me on this, OK?

Having said that, though, that's a thoughtful, well argued comment and it's a pity there's no space for it in the original thread. What I would say is that the music is, to some extent, a distraction. Hip-hop's just the latest in a long historical series of African-American-inflected musical modes to hit the Pacific. It's more about the implied position of performer and audience in the cultural and social hierarchy, when those roles are occupied by indigenes (outsider, underclass, criminal, liminal). My point is that there's no real way for indigenes to "win" by adopting this culture as their own, as they are simply accepting the terms of their own defeat. As with liberation theology, politically speaking it's a disastrous cul de sac.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Faze, could you please start a blog? Prose that purple must perforce be preserved.
posted by Gator at 1:34 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what Faze is going for, here.

It's like the end of Andy Kaufman's career.
posted by winna at 1:37 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Watermelon seed? Seriously? I was uncomfortable with the racism implicit in the earlier stuff, but when you put it out there like that it's just out of control. Please stop saying racist and sexist shit.
posted by prefpara at 1:37 PM on November 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


Oh my God, there he goes with the modern art stuff again.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:38 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Jessamy, Cortex, I admire you.

From this thread it looks like Faze is a banning waiting to happen. You two tolerate way, way more than I ever would, and you continue to see more good in people than I ever would. As I age, I become more cynical, and it's great to see that others don't share that progression.

I would love to be proven wrong about Faze on this - he's got lots of opinions I disagree with, and reading things I disagree with is a way for me to grow. I'd hate to see him banned because he's unable to do the minimum fitting in in this community to be allowed to stay, and that's what I'm afraid is going to happen here.

But, as I said - you haven't done the banning yet, and that makes you two better persons than I would be. My hat's off to you two.
posted by DreamerFi at 1:38 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure what Faze is going for, here.
For another walk?
posted by Namlit at 1:41 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Quite the contrary, hip-hop as a cultural movement squirted like a watermelon seed from the lips of Ronald Reagan...

This is some mind-boggling bullshit.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:44 PM on November 6, 2010


See, now we're getting to some really genius trolling. Hip hop as Reaganism? Yeesh.
posted by koeselitz at 1:45 PM on November 6, 2010


I'm not sure what Faze is going for, here.

180 lbs, dead-weight lift. A few squat thrusts, if there's time; maybe some jumping jacks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:46 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


I mean if you know thing one about hip-hop history, Faze's diarrhea of the mouth doesn't even make sense from the get.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:48 PM on November 6, 2010


Well in view of those seeds squirting out of Reagan's mouth, I think that my previous comment about the mis-representation of agency needs revision. I Had No Idea.
(goes to kitchen, practices squirting of watermelon seeds. Not so easy)
posted by Namlit at 1:49 PM on November 6, 2010


anything more than an anus on stilts

Wasn't that a painting by Dali?
posted by Sailormom at 1:50 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


DreamerFi have you run out of apples?
posted by adamvasco at 1:50 PM on November 6, 2010


NOOOO, let's not talk about Dali too. The watermelon is enough.
posted by Namlit at 1:51 PM on November 6, 2010


no, I think it was a character in a book by KW Jeter
posted by The Lady is a designer at 1:51 PM on November 6, 2010


Faze, I think it's sort of funny that after everything you've said today, all I have walked away with is: "...Ape-walking...squirted like a watermelon seed...Jeff Coons..."

Also, with regards to "anus on stilts," if you want to get up in arms about the objectification of women, that's fine -- but why does rap music in particular make you so angry? My god, man. That practice runs rampant through every aspect of pop culture, and even so there are people (both men and women) fighting against it and struggling to turn back the tide, even with the rap genre.

You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know what you're talking about.
posted by hermitosis at 1:52 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Paragraphs, Faze, paragraphs.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:53 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


winna: “I'm not sure what Faze is going for, here.”

Blazecock Pileon: “180 lbs, dead-weight lift. A few squat thrusts, if there's time; maybe some jumping jacks.”

He's like the Henry Rollins of trolling.
posted by koeselitz at 1:55 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I dunno, but I want to thank Faze for the words which brought forth in my mind an image of Kirk Johnson's oddly-evolved (as well as extruded) rectum, disembodied, clutching a pair of chopsticks with rank folds of muscle and unnatural dexterity, stalking across my table, dancing to "Baby Got Back."
posted by adipocere at 1:56 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hey, Faze, I'm pretty sure you're a troll. But then, I'm just an anus on stilts.
posted by freshwater at 1:56 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have no horse in this race but now must speak up. this is the first grey thread in a long time where I'm picking up darker undercurrents than usual. why is there an image of the lord of the flies in my mind?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 2:01 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Faze, I completely disagree with what you have to say. But the way you say it is like watching really bizarre performance art. I feel repulsed and fascinated at the same time. You really do need to GYOB.
posted by white_devil at 2:04 PM on November 6, 2010


Oh sweet zombie Jesus. Someone please tell me he's kidding.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:05 PM on November 6, 2010


"IANAVeterinarian, but I don't see how shit down the back of a calf's head and neck would be an efficient manner of introducing those organisms, unless they could be absorbed through the calf's hide. The cow's teats would be a much more effective vehicle for inoculation, I think."

OOO!!! OOO!!! I did a couple of years working with E. coli and its viruses isolated from cattle feed lots. Cow shit ends up everywhere, everywhere... At least in captivity its like a herd had one giant complex of rumen because of ridiculous fecal-oral contamination

Hancock D, Besser T, Lejeune J, Davis M, Rice D. The control of VTEC in the animal reservoir. Int J Food Microbiol 2001; 66:71-8.
LeJeune JT, Besser TE, Rice DH, Berg JL, Stilborn RP, Hancock DD. Longitudinal study of fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in feedlot cattle: Predominance and persistence of specific clonal types despite massive cattle population turnover. Appl Environ Microbiol 2004; 70:377-84.
Cornick NA, Booher SL, Casey TA, Moon HW. Persistent colonization of sheep by Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other E. coli pathotypes. Appl Environ Microbiol 2000; 66:4926-34.

posted by Blasdelb at 2:09 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Quite the contrary, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a cultural movement squirted like a watermelon seed from the lips of Ronald Reagan and the explosion of smug materialism that accompanied his presidency in the pin-striped, big shouldered 1980s. It was a piece with other reactionary art, like "Muppet Babies", which used the sexual and racial freedoms won in the 1960s as tools to reinforce the patriarchy and re-establish wealth as a measure of human worth. Young television viewers were invited to join the conga line of greed, to fill their mouths with pizza, their noses with cocaine, and their souls with cold violence. Young girls ... well, I've said that already. The N-word (ninja), which had pretty much been quashed by 1980, was revived, plated in stainless steel like a Jeff Coons balloon dog, and placed on a pedestal, a worshiped as a perpetual generator of benefit-producing grievance by a political generation too cowardly to take responsibility for themselves and their community and do the hard work of creating the world. The Real Ghostbusters was a destructive and negative social movement, on the whole, but where it sought to dignify television viewers in the eyes of the nation, where it endeavored to destroy sexual and racial stereotyping, where it encouraged local cultures and the freedom of people to enjoy cultural idiosyncrasy , rather than than have their native expression flattened by the booming bass of distant, leering overlords, champing their grills, rubbing their fat, green, diamond studded fingers, and crushing girl's hopes of ever being considered anything more than a secretary, The Real Ghostbusters is the exact and precise opposite of The Ninja Turtles and everything they stand for.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:10 PM on November 6, 2010 [25 favorites]


crushing women's hopes of ever being considered anything more than an anus on stilts

?
posted by Forktine at 2:11 PM on November 6, 2010




Faze, I completely disagree with what you have to say. But the way you say it is like watching really bizarre performance art. I feel repulsed and fascinated at the same time.

It's not like watching really bizarre performance art. It IS really bizarre performance art.

The very first comment from Faze on the blue.

The sorry thing about it is that it's such a bad likeness. I actually met Mickey Mouse once, at (appropriately enough) Disney World. He was walking about greeting children, and I approached and introduced myself. Like most famous people you meet, he looks quite different in person. Unlike most movie stars, though, he is much taller in person than he appears on screen. In fact, he is about six foot two, and constructed entirely of fabric stretched over some kind of rigid matrix. He carries a man inside of him, who is a good deal smaller than himself. At the time of our meeting, neither he nor the man inside of him could be induced to speak, which was a shame, since I'm sure he has many fascinating stories to tell about Hollywood in the 1930s. The upshot of it is, that this statue is more likely to be valued for the material it is made of than for any great feat of verisimilitude on the part of the artist, I can assure you of that.
posted by winna at 2:24 PM on November 6, 2010 [12 favorites]


First, for god's sake, nobody play any narcocorridos for Faze, or all hell will break loose.

Second, weird as it is, that comment would have been fine in a thread that focused even tangentially on either cultural imperialism or misogyny/violence in popular music or the exportation of American ethnic stereotypes. I don't share its views, but Faze is right that it is at least respectfully delivered and doesn't attack people with differing opinions. But whether he intended it as a contribution or as a thread-shattering rock, it was a big-ass derail and needed to go.

However, about the "trolling" charges, I get sort of sick of the "I don't think what you think; in fact, it contradicts all my unexamined assumptions; therefore, nobody could possibly sincerely think what you think; therefore, you are a troll" approach to debate that crops up around here sometimes. Y'know, some people genuinely do believe wildly unusual or unpopular things. Sometimes they may not wholly believe them but do find those views or angles worth exploring in discussion -- and that doesn't make them trolls.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:29 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sometimes they may not wholly believe them but do find those views or angles worth exploring in discussion

I usually expect people who are interested in exploring something in discussion to do so in a manner that encourages other participants in the discussion to engage with them in such exploration. Perhaps that is an unrealistic expectation.
posted by bardophile at 2:32 PM on November 6, 2010


To be fair he also posts comments that run against a thread consensus but make sense, there was a recent one about the forgotten brutality of 60s/70s politics. So he isn't just a troll, he's participating in whatever weird way.
posted by shinybaum at 2:33 PM on November 6, 2010


hip hop and everything it stands for

You know what, faze? And I mean this with all due respect, as honest advice from one imperfect human being to another: Dude, seriously, just shut up.

You quite clearly haven't the slightest notion at all of the nature of the topic you've aligned yourself against, and you're only serving to embarrass yourself at this point.

Hiphop did not start with Reagan, and it absolutely, positively, most certainly was not in any way, shape, or form, for God's, Pete's, and fuck's sake, pro-Reagan. I mean, really? That is the most profoundly ignorant chunk of outright cuckoo baloney I have ever scanned my eyes over in my entire life. Did Reagan have an effect on hiphop? Fuck yes. You've got it just a tad backwards, though.

Granted, there is a small but vocal (and, most of all, incredibly MTV-friendly*) minority of rappers who were and are a little bit too much into spinning rims, but that's less to do with Greed Is Good than the simple fact that in certain circles (most circles, I think you'll find), the people with the money are the people with the power. Vulgar displays of wealth in music videos--when they're not ironic (if you're not sure, you could always try listening to the words)--are not meant to taunt the poor, or even to disregard the poor, but to serve as a warning to the rich and powerful overclass: "I have money too, now. I have power too, now. You can't push me around anymore." It's a flawed notion, but there you have it. Of course, a very large segment of the hiphop community (the only reason I stop short of saying "a huge majority" is that I don't have Gallup numbers in front of me) adamantly abhors that kind of conspicuous consumption and isn't too shy to say so.

*MTV-friendly. This is a HUGE issue that cannot be overlooked. If all the hiphop you've ever been exposed to is on TV, well, I hate to break it to you, but TV is a business, and its success is driven by ratings. Sex sells, full stop. That's a problem with music videos in general, and has--I cannot stress this enough--ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL to do with hiphop in particular. Singling out hiphop while ignoring rock (Van Halen!), pop (Madonna!), country (Dolly Parton!), or any other genre that is just as guilty of using female sexuality to sell records and ad time smacks of prejudice.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:36 PM on November 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


He carries a man inside of him, who is a good deal smaller than himself. At the time of our meeting, neither he nor the man inside of him could be induced to speak, which was a shame, since I'm sure he has many fascinating stories to tell about Hollywood in the 1930s.

Okay, that's funny.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:37 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Singling out hiphop while ignoring rock (Van Halen!), pop (Madonna!), country (Dolly Parton!), or any other genre that is just as guilty of using female sexuality to sell records and ad time smacks of prejudice.

But the post was about Hip hop, not the other genres, I'm sure he has mouthfuls to say about those too.
posted by Max Power at 2:47 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have to say, when I visited SF they failed to live up to their reputation even when prodded.

Did you ask them to "get hyphy"? Maybe that's what you missed.

As performance art, this is extraordinary.

Whatever topic Faze chooses to comment on, you can count on his opinions being exactly perpendicular to whatever opinion is being expressed in the thread or in the post. Always. This man (or woman) is a master of WTF-contrarianism. But it just breaks my heart to watch him toil for nothing here at Metafilter when he could be making the bucks for his work at Salon.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:48 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]



But the post was about Hip hop, not the other genres, I'm sure he has mouthfuls to say about those too.


Well, we certainly wouldn't want to go off topic.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:49 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Haha, Faze, you own hard. Please post more: an entertaining writer is worth a thousand hand-wringing righteous choristers.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 2:49 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


posted by Faze hip-hop('s) . . . fetishization of wealth, guns, cruelty, anal rape, pimp culture, drugs and murder became mainstream culture,

Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches, and bling were never part of the Four Elements, and never will be.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:51 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Young television viewers were invited to join the conga line of greed, to fill their mouths with pizza, their noses with cocaine, and their souls with cold violence. Young girls ... well, I've said that already. The N-word (ninja), which had pretty much been quashed by 1980, was revived, plated in stainless steel like a Jeff Coons balloon dog, and placed on a pedestal, a worshiped as a perpetual generator of benefit-producing grievance by a political generation too cowardly to take responsibility for themselves and their community and do the hard work of creating the world.


Hiphop did not start with the Shredder, and it absolutely, positively, most certainly was not in any way, shape, or form, for God's, Pete's, and fuck's sake, pro-Shredder. I mean, really? That is the most profoundly ignorant chunk of outright cuckoo baloney I have ever scanned my eyes over in my entire life. Did the Shredder have an effect on the Ninja Turtles? Fuck yes. You've got it just a tad backwards, though.

Granted, there is a small but vocal (and, most of all, incredibly Cartoon Network-friendly*) minority of ninja turtles who were and are a little bit too much into blimps with their faces on the side, but that's less to do with Greed Is Good than the simple fact that in certain circles (most circles, I think you'll find), the people with the money are the people with the power. Vulgar displays of wealth in crime-fighting--when they're not ironic (if you're not sure, you could always try asking Splinter)--are not meant to taunt the poor, or even to disregard the poor, but to serve as a warning to the Shredder: "I have money too, now. I have power too, now. You can't push me around anymore. Radical." It's a flawed notion, but there you have it. Of course, a very large segment of the Ninja Turtle community (the only reason I stop short of saying "a huge majority" is that I don't have Gallup numbers in front of me) adamantly abhors that kind of conspicuous consumption and isn't too shy to say so.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 2:51 PM on November 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


Dammit, Hiphop=Ninja Turtling. My carefully crafted illusion is shattered!
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 2:51 PM on November 6, 2010


But the post was about Hip hop, not the other genres, I'm sure he has mouthfuls to say about those too.

*cough*
posted by Sys Rq at 2:52 PM on November 6, 2010


Way to bring turtles and rap into it, as if Vanilla Ice wasn't a powerful demon who appears at the mere mention.
posted by shinybaum at 2:54 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


The N-word, which had pretty much been quashed by 1980 [...]

what
posted by stennieville at 2:57 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


did not start with the Shredder, and it absolutely, positively, most certainly was not in any way, shape, or form, for God's, Pete's, and fuck's sake, pro-Shredder.

If you know thing one about Ninja Turtle history, Uppity Pigeon's Irradiated Green Goo of the mouth doesn't even make sense.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:01 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you know thing one about Ninja Turtle history, Uppity Pigeon's Irradiated Green Goo of the mouth doesn't even make sense.

Yeah, but, uh. Shut up.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 3:02 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


He carries a man inside of him, who is a good deal smaller than himself. At the time of our meeting, neither he nor the man inside of him could be induced to speak, which was a shame, since I'm sure he has many fascinating stories to tell about Hollywood in the 1930s.

Written on September 1, 2001. There's something funny, a little tragic, and at the same time so profoundly right about that.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:02 PM on November 6, 2010


I have a complaint.

Some of you are obviously smokin' some primo shit and not sharing with the group. That's just not right, man. It's against the spirit of Metafilter, even. Dude, we're supposed to share all our cool stuff around here! Plus, how are the rest of us sober unfortunates supposed to get the full, you know, surreal effect of your bitchin' comments?

Don't bogart that shit, dudes.
posted by zarq at 3:05 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yeah, but, uh. Shut up.

Oh, yeah? You... shut up!
posted by P.o.B. at 3:06 PM on November 6, 2010


No zarq. What I mean is that some things the children have to sort out on their own.

Ah! OK. Carry on, then. :)
posted by zarq at 3:08 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or at the very least, share with Team Mod. After threads like this, they probably need a good toke a lot more than the rest of us.
posted by zarq at 3:11 PM on November 6, 2010


Everyone knows that when you italicise you shut up, that makes it not totally assholish, right?

Right?

Oh. Sorry about that. Just got a bit carried away in the GRAR-valanche. I'm not the boss of you, faze; feel free to open and shut however and whenever you please, and in any direction.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:14 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


*your
posted by Sys Rq at 3:15 PM on November 6, 2010


Dude, we're supposed to share all our cool stuff around here!

WE DO!!!
posted by nomadicink at 3:17 PM on November 6, 2010


Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won't know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end'a little girl
So, The Beetles are consistently considered one of the most influential, greatest bands of all time, yet they have a fair number of songs that fall into the territory quoted above.


First of all, the band is the Beatles.

Second, if someone did a post about the song you're quoting ("Run for Your Life"), it'd be fine with me if people said it's a loathsome expression of macho aggression and violence. And I say this as a huge Beatles fan; I wish they hadn't recorded that song. There's nothing wrong with criticizing it.

But you're wrong that the Beatles "have a fair number of songs" like that. "Run for Your Life" is unique. The closest other Beatles song is "Getting Better," with its verse about how "I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her" (written by John, even though Paul is the lead singer). But notice: "used to be." This isn't an endorsement of domestic violence; they're renouncing domestic violence: "Man, I was mean, but I'm changing my scene."
posted by John Cohen at 3:23 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Don't bogart that shit, dudes.

And you never paid for drugs!

Not once.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:23 PM on November 6, 2010


As performance art, this is great stuff.
posted by proj at 3:37 PM on November 6, 2010


First of all, the band is the Beatles.

Next thing you'll tell me is Anus On Stilts is actually called Kings of Leon. Get real, square.
posted by setanor at 3:38 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


After threads like this, they probably need a good toke a lot more than the rest of us.

I'm drinking black tea and building a .243 km2 Sierpinski Carpet in Minecraft out of 215 blocks of cobble. Fractals are a very soothing drug.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:41 PM on November 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.

Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
posted by clavdivs at 3:43 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


1) It's ad "hominem," not "hominum." I guess New Zealand has shitty schools as well as no musical style it can call its own (leaving aside Maori traditions).

2) A non-Maori New Zealander decrying American racism or cultural imperialism has his head stuck way up his ass and is mistaking his own feces for a pleasant view.

3) Rap is world music, thematically as diverse as the hundreds of cultures where it is developing. Your comment displays only ignorance, not any concrete knowledge of the huge global diversity of musical styles and lyrical themes associated with the simple act of rapping.

Also, the idea that American hip hop is imperialist is really amusing, given that it is the culmination of an exceedingly long history of African American musical protest and cultural resistance.

I favor the ban hammer for faze.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:45 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm drinking black tea and building a .243 km2 Sierpinski Carpet in Minecraft out of 215 blocks of cobble. Fractals are a very soothing drug.

I've been drinking coffee (just switched to blueberry green tea) and am sorting laundry for my monthly laundry trip. Earlier today I dusted things and folded all my aprons and started some batches of vanilla sugar so they'll be ready in time for the holidays. I think I take the same joy in getting my house sorted that cortex takes in Minecraft fractals. We're both pretty pattern-oriented. I got a 35 on that AQ test. We're cool, but thanks for thinking of us.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:48 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I favor the ban hammer for faze.

It's "Faze," not "faze."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:52 PM on November 6, 2010


Capitalization is a sign of respect. I ain't got none. Fuck faze.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:53 PM on November 6, 2010


Coffee and Tea are both products of commercial imperialism, you mods are just making this worse.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:53 PM on November 6, 2010


building a .243 km2 Sierpinski Carpet

One question; does it tie the room together?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:55 PM on November 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


2) A non-Maori New Zealander decrying American racism or cultural imperialism has his head stuck way up his ass and is mistaking his own feces for a pleasant view.

Perhaps you missed Sonny Jim saying that he is Pasifika? Which may or not mean that he is Maori, but would still make your comment kind of ridiculous.
posted by bardophile at 3:55 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, sorry, I just thought you were into that whole "correct people on the internet" thing. My bad.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:56 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


The internet could do with less vicious, condescending, immediate dismissals of other people's ideas.
posted by kbanas at 3:57 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Say what you like about the tenets of Lorenzian chaos theory, P.o.B., at least it's an ethos.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:59 PM on November 6, 2010 [14 favorites]


"Capitalization is a sign of respect. I ain't got none. Fuck faze."

See. This is what I mean. Just stop for a minute. Why would you talk to another person like that?
posted by kbanas at 3:59 PM on November 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


See. This is what I mean. Just stop for a minute. Why would you talk to another person like that?

Because it gets favorites.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:01 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


This was a bad deletion of an acceptable comment.
posted by meehawl at 4:05 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The internet could do with less vicious, condescending, immediate dismissals of other people's ideas.

Hear, hear. Eager willingness to totally dismiss a person's entire worth based solely on their choice of words is not a commendable trait. When I read a comment with which I disagree violently, I think "Huh. That sure isn't the way I see it, but it's an interesting perspective that I would not otherwise have been exposed to." It takes all types to make a world, and who am I to judge someone before I've walked a mile in their shoes.
posted by Go Banana at 4:05 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Why would you talk to another person like that?

There is some sort of general misunderstanding on the internet that if something is really unlikeable you are allowed to be similarly unlikeable in your response to the unlikeable thing or person. We'd prefer people didn't do that here, it's obnoxious and rarely leads to a better situation than whatever the existing situation is. You've got private hate for people? You can MeMail them [and risk banning] or email them directly [and risk being ignored]. Keep it off of MetaFilter generally, it's toxic.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:06 PM on November 6, 2010 [12 favorites]


kbanas: "Why would you talk to another person like that?"

Faze is not a person, it is a performance project. For better or worse the policy of MeFi's moderation is to value community cohesion and mutual respect over entertainment value and odball button-pushing.
posted by idiopath at 4:09 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


There needs to be a new word here.

"Troll" infers the verb "trolling," as in using subterfuge to indiscriminately fish for a reaction. The phrase "don't feed the troll," and usage of the word "troll" as a noun is coincidental. The word origins in these two different usages are not the same. We are merging metaphors -- troll the noun, and troll to fish -- so to speak.

There is a different behavior, in which you really ARE the jerk you appear to be. There's no subterfuge, there's no reward gotten from trolling.

I suggest "ogre."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:10 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


i've decided we need to get organized
posted by clavdivs at 4:12 PM on November 6, 2010


This thread is horrible, is Metafilter just going throug a faze?
posted by Elmore at 4:14 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good vibrations to all.
posted by Splunge at 4:19 PM on November 6, 2010


Setting aside any aesthetic explanation surely you have some teleological reason for the carpet, eh cortex?
posted by P.o.B. at 4:22 PM on November 6, 2010


I favor the ban hammer for faze.

Count me as a voice against, then.

He's barely on my radar. I think I've had one interaction with him in any thread during my entire time here.

But if were to be banned solely for routinely being a contrarian who holds unpopular opinions, then I daresay my time of feeling welcome here would also end. That said, I doubt it would happen unless he stepped much further over the line. Team Mod isn't at all prone to hairtrigger banhammering. (For further reference, see Job, Patience-Of-.)

If they were to ban everyone who made their lives difficult we'd have about 10 users left. And no, I wouldn't be one of 'em.
posted by zarq at 4:24 PM on November 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


Say what you like about the tenets of Lorenzian chaos theory, P.o.B., at least it's an ethos.
posted by cortex


Lorenz died back in 2008 and did not get an FPP.
posted by jamjam at 4:24 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I read a comment with which I disagree violently, I think "Huh. That sure isn't the way I see it, but it's an interesting perspective that I would not otherwise have been exposed to."

Yeah, but when I make the effort to craft a post and initiate a conversation, and someone jumps in to vomit barely-related, obviously-personal-agenda-y comments into it for the sake of stirring up pointless controversy, I think, "GO AWAY."
posted by hermitosis at 4:24 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Neither my, nor the New Zealander's comments were particularly anti-American as they were anti-cultural imperialism and anti-rap. My comment in particular expressed strong disapproval of misogyny and racial stereotyping as part of this cultural imperialism.

Nobody forces New Zealanders to listen to rap. You guys buy it and listen to it in a free marketplace. Regretting your own countrymen's music listening styles isn't the result of cultural imperialism.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:26 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


While I certainly don't agree with Faze, it strikes me as poor taste and probably counterproductive to call for the ban of another member in public.

I agree that it's possible to dislike or even hate something without being dismissive.

If you're getting into arguments out of sheer boredom, there's this jessamyn posted this lovely list of things you could be doing. (That is, if you don't play Minecraft like the sensible people :))
posted by yaymukund at 4:29 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I could have one dream for this thread, it would be that someone would buy April Henderson a gift account on MetaFilter, and let her come in here and talk to us about hip-hop and the Pacific Islands.

Her PhD dissertation was titled "Gifted Flows: Engaging Narratives of Hip Hop and Sämoan Diaspora", and she recently published what I suspect is at least a good part of it in The Contemporary Pacific 22(2) (Fall 2010): Gifted Flows: Making Space for Brand New Beat.

The really remarkable thing that Henderson starts to touch on in her work is the extent to which US-derived hip-hop meshes with and complements some traditional Polynesian modes of discourse, singing, and story recitation. Many traditional Polynesian cultures at the time of contact had people whose role in society was to remember stories, genealogies, myths, and songs, and these were often remembered in the forms of songs and recitations. There are tons of books from the 19th century by missionaries, Europeans explorers, and other travelers that are recordings and translations of them, and in the first half of the 20th century the Bishop Museum (Honolulu) started publishing books with musical transcriptions of their melodies and rhymes.

Hell, let me flip open volume one of Krämer's The Samoa Islands and find a song .... Here we go, page 609, from "Traditions and Stories of Manu'a", is one verse of The Kava Song / 'O le Solo 'Ava. This song was traditionally sung about distinguishing between nine kinds of kava.
4. This root, this trunk, / Le 'ava le'ia, le ata le'ia,
That is the kava, the le'a'ula, / 'O le 'ava lea, 'o le le'a'ua,
Pulled up, throw it down before the gathering / Atia pa'uu i le talaluma,
So that the chiefs and their orators distribute it at once; / Se'i pule ane ona ali'i mona tula 'ua tutusa;
Bring it to crabs for a snack, / Ia talata ni fono ni ula,
And let us eat up young coconuts, too. / 'A e fanogutu i luaamu'a.
So the English translation seems a bit stilted, but it's based off a 100+ year old German translation of the original Samoan, but I like to think it gets the point across about ways in which hip-hop can work as a fascinating adjunct in contemporary Polynesian societies to traditional songs and tales. This song goes on for nine verses, each talking about how great each kind of kava is and the peculiarities of preparing and serving each (the tenth kind of kava was stolen by a demon, so no access anymore!).

But even that aside, treating hip-hop and rap in Pacific Island countries solely as an imperalistic American force, wiping away all trace of Polynesian culture does a genuine disservice to those many Polynesians who are navigating, incorporating, and finding their own use for aspects of colonial entanglements. It's not some monolithic force bearing down on people who are being forced to change into mirror images of Americans, but rather parts of it are being incorporated into some contemporary Polynesian identities and parts of it are not. Cultural change is a cultural constant, as usual, and while many folks in these contemporary societies are seeing clashes between African-American hip-hop and faka Tonga/fa'a Samoa/tikanga Maori there are also a great deal who are certainly not, and are navigating these cultural dynamics in meaningful and potentially enduring ways.

Henderson has written about it better than I'm doing here, so I'm gonna give her the last word (but the emphasis below is mine):
In “The Contest,” the flying fox represents what, for Wendt, remains an absolutely vital component of the native Pacific: the power of imagination. It is this figure of indigeneity, the pe‘a [flying fox], that facilitates imaginative travel and access to an alternative world outside the Pacific, and it is the possibilities presented in this alternative world that subsequently enable Vela to resolve his very local predicament. The “new beat” netted in Vela’s “gifted flow of dream” can be read as both destroying and preserving the indigenous knowledge, power, and tradition signified by Alopese’s awesome voice. “The Contest” suggests that indigenous Pacific futures can be understood in relation to urban, postindustrial, Afro-diasporic popular cultures, but the poem also implies that such cultures necessarily already influence the contemporary articulation of indigenous Pacific pasts. Narratives of the past, in other words, are already being delivered with new vocabularies, over new beats and new rhythms.
(Henderson, "Gifted Flows: Making Space for a Brand New Beat", page 297)
posted by barnacles at 4:41 PM on November 6, 2010 [44 favorites]


Capitalization is a sign of respect

WHEN DID CAPITALIZATION BECOME A SIGN OF RESPECT?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:42 PM on November 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


Well, I'm glad that Faze isn't the kind of poster who likes making threads all about him.
posted by holgate at 4:43 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


2) A non-Maori New Zealander decrying American racism or cultural imperialism has his head stuck way up his ass and is mistaking his own feces for a pleasant view.

While I have completely disagreed with Sonny Jim's opinion on both hip-hop and American cultural hegemony, this is a shockingly ignorant thing to say, especially to someone who is Pasifika. I suggest you educate yourself about the complex relationship New Zealand has had with the pacific islands and their people because there is some context here that you are clearly missing.

1) It's ad "hominem," not "hominum." I guess New Zealand has shitty schools as well as no musical style it can call its own (leaving aside Maori traditions).

And seriously? Correcting someone's spelling or grammar is the stupidest goddamn form of critique pretty much ever, and further you don't need to trash this country because you're pissed of at one person in it.
posted by supercrayon at 4:44 PM on November 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


Ironmouth: Nobody forces New Zealanders to listen to rap. You guys buy it and listen to it in a free marketplace. Regretting your own countrymen's music listening styles isn't the result of cultural imperialism.

Faze is an American.

Fourcheesemac: 1) It's ad "hominem," not "hominum." I guess New Zealand has shitty schools as well as no musical style it can call its own (leaving aside Maori traditions).

Faze is an American, as is pretty damn obvious from his post. I guess America has some shitty schools too, eh bro?

New Zealand has some perfectly good indigenous musical styles other than Maori traditions (the folk tradition, the Flying Nun sound, Pacific hiphop).

2) A non-Maori New Zealander decrying American racism or cultural imperialism has his head stuck way up his ass and is mistaking his own feces for a pleasant view.

An American, of course, is totally qualified to talk about New Zealand. Ever been there? When has New Zealand ever engaged in cultural imperialism?
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:53 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Except for the "ape-walking", which I'm willing to put down to mere unawareness rather than even the slightest racist intent,

Yeah, I'm...not.

Dude is comparing (predominantly black) rappers to apes, invoking some well-worn racist imagery used to deny the humanity of black people. That doesn't happen by accident, especially given that dealing with that denial of humanity and the racist construction as violent, animalistic savages is a recurring theme in the rap he hates so much.
posted by Marty Marx at 4:55 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Having read this entire thread I have to say, I'm a bit upset. It seems that one or maybe two persons here have brought out the bad in a whole bunch of people here. If Fazed is a troll, he or she has succeeded in a way that I would not have expected possible. If this thread somehow comes out into the general internet, I would be ashamed to be considered a Mefite.

Of course I'm a nobody here, but I like to point people that I know to MetaFilter on occasion, to show them "how it should be done." Not this thread, though. Fuck no.

No disrespect to the mods. Seriously. Not their fault.

But this thread stinks on ice.
posted by Splunge at 4:55 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


whoosh.
posted by futz at 4:55 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can almost (if not quite) give him a pass on the racist imagery -- it's just within the realm of possibility that he was either unaware of what he was saying or was trying to be ironic. The misogyny, however, was really over the top and there's nothing accidental about it. That isn't someone bravely standing up for an unpopular or seldom-heard viewpoint -- that's someone crapping in the punchbowl.
posted by Forktine at 4:59 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


IJ, those comments were not responses to faze.
posted by futz at 4:59 PM on November 6, 2010


futz: I will take your word for it and apologise to Ironmouth and fourcheesemac on that count if so, but both of them appear to quote Faze's first post in this thread. Was a post in here deleted? Either way, fourcheesemac's attack on a whole country is, frankly, shitty and ignorant.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:04 PM on November 6, 2010


The only thing we deleted in this thread was someone linking to Faze's twitter account which isn't linked to his profile and seemed a little stalker-y to post here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:08 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If Fazed is a troll, he or she has succeeded in a way that I would not have expected possible

in the trade this is refered as a double-troll.
A double(XX) troll trolls in order to break the noise to be heard, having been heard such tactic is justifed because of the knowedge imparted upon the greater good, seemingly.
example:

{waves at holgate, makes Campion reference}
posted by clavdivs at 5:09 PM on November 6, 2010


What happened here?

Is Faze this week's sacrificial goat to the god's of political correctness?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:16 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Complaining about watermelon and apeman imagery is a bit short of the "Oh you darn PC police!" area, or am I crazy? He isn't being attacked for not calling black skinned New Zealand rappers African Americans.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:19 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Faze, I disagree strongly with you. But I like you. I actually like you a lot better than the people I usually agree with. Welcome to my private hell.
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on November 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


My bad moderator types, but how could I resist?
posted by Max Power at 5:36 PM on November 6, 2010


I basically agree with Faze.
posted by unSane at 5:41 PM on November 6, 2010


I will have to read this thread later, because right now I'm at a Janelle Monae show & she is CRUSHING IT.

Srsly.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:42 PM on November 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


I hope that Faze speaks IRL the same way he writes on MetaFilter. It would be entertaining to hear him just order at a restaurant.
posted by brundlefly at 5:46 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want to hear his posts as read by Keith Olbermann...hey may need a new job.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:48 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


You can be an erudite iconoclast without being a complete moron.
posted by Splunge at 5:48 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


2) A non-Maori New Zealander decrying American racism or cultural imperialism has his head stuck way up his ass and is mistaking his own feces for a pleasant view.

Whoa, what? Firstly, the Maori came here from somewhere else, just like the rest of us. They weren't even the first ones here. Secondly, since when do you get to say who is or isn't a real New Zealander worthy of opinions about our country? My family has been here eight generations (or possibly seven, I lose count) and I have opinions about the influx of other cultures which don't involve viewing my own faeces.

Or were you saying that all non-Maori New Zealanders indulge in cultural imperialism too? In which case, the Moriori may have something to say about your exclusion there, plus the bit where you missed that Sonny Jim isn't white (and yeah, there are a whole lot of other cultural issues there which I totally can not speak to, but at least I'm smart enough to know not to lump everyone together).

It's not some monolithic force bearing down on people who are being forced to change into mirror images of Americans, but rather parts of it are being incorporated into some contemporary Polynesian identities and parts of it are not.

I think this goes for many parts of American, and other, culture that is being imported and also for many parts of New Zealand responding to that culture. There aren't many of us and much of what we consume comes from elsewhere, always has. But we still somehow make it into something our own. And I liked the original post that spawned all this because it showed that, even though I don't listen to a lot of hip hop in general.
posted by shelleycat at 5:57 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


(oh, also I guess 'here first' depends on if you consider the Chathams truely part of New Zealand or not, which I realise could be debated)
posted by shelleycat at 6:02 PM on November 6, 2010


They weren't even the first ones here.

Not to derail too much, but that hypothesis has been debunked for about 40 years now. It's usually only trotted out when people want to justify mistreatment of and systemic bias against Maori people with a tired "but they did it too!" - an argument which doesn't work in any place outside kindergarten.
posted by Paragon at 6:06 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


which I realise could be debated

Well, given that the Moriori settled the Chathams from New Zealand (at least according to the best current evidence), it's a moot point.
posted by Paragon at 6:07 PM on November 6, 2010


W/R/T troll: Recently I've been reading The Power of Now, and yeah yeah it's basically: ENLIGHTENMENT NOW! But it's mostly rehashed eastern philosophy with sprinkings of Idealism and Existentialism. The simplistic way it's written is like chuggin' pixie stix. So I've been munching my way through it every now and than like it's a snack. I got to a page where he was talking about the idea that we "make" or define ourselves through conflict, which I find kind of interesting. So I was reminded of this earlier because I was looking up Troll (Internet) earlier and I ended up on the Anonymous (group) page. Which is funny, right? A troll usually builds awareness through the friction and conflict they can create but in the same sense they want the anonymity so they can continue to get away with it. Which is certainly dichotomous.
Anyway, a) I think Anonymous is a funny name for a griefing/troll group
and b) Faze is probably not a troll. He may like to express unpopular opinions, which may push him close to troll territory but he probably would be just as happy if everyone: stopped, smacked themselves on the forehead, and proclaimed "Holy shit, you are right Faze!"

Or maybe, like most of us, he has something he needs to workout. And it ain't no Deadlifts.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:10 PM on November 6, 2010


Eager willingness to totally dismiss a person's entire worth based solely on their choice of words is not a commendable trait.

For crying out loud.

Nobody is reacting to just this one Faze comment. Faze has been doing this exact thing for years — taking a ludicrous position, writing a one-paragraph jeremiad excoriating the rest of us for being so stupid as not to see the obvious truth of that position, and disappearing from the thread, never to be seen again, while the thread goes completely off the rails as people fall all over themselves to argue that hip-hop is not actually designed to spread the economic policies of Ronald Reagan, or whatever. There is no ideological consistency to his contrarian positions except their contrarianness and tendency to rile people up. He has this shtick down to a science. This comment wouldn't even make the top 50 of Faze WTF comments.

It would behoove people to familiarize themselves with Faze's actual posting history before coming in here full of righteous indignation on his behalf that he's being SILENCED ALL HIS LIFE by POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN AMOK.
posted by enn at 6:19 PM on November 6, 2010 [16 favorites]


It makes me sad when a mefite acts out in clear attempt to get negative attention. They're obviously working under the "negative attention is better than no attention at all" framework of the neglected child.

It also makes me sad when so many respond by not only giving them that attention, but adding a, "well, you shouldn't have hit your sister, but Dang, that was a great uppercut". There are plenty of members who give us gorgeous language treats without the bitter vitriol underneath.

On the other hand, the reasoned responses of the mods and many other mefites make it all worthwhile. That and the cow poop derails.
posted by ldthomps at 6:28 PM on November 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think the whole cultural imperialism argument actually has a kernel (or more than a kernel, depending on your perspective) of truth- it's just that Faze's comment was pretty close to being the worst possible argument that you could make for that case. (I have to admit, the guy can definitely turn a phrase, though.) I don't even care for hip-hop as a general rule- there's some I like, but it's all pretty far on the avant-garde side of the scale- but obviously it's as valid, diverse, and rich a genre of music as any other. However...

Namlit: Music gets offered and bought; if people are uninterested, the latter doesn't happen, and vice-versa.

Ironmouth: Nobody forces New Zealanders to listen to rap. You guys buy it and listen to it in a free marketplace. Regretting your own countrymen's music listening styles isn't the result of cultural imperialism.

I don't think it's as simple as these comments imply. Why hip-hop (or metal, or European classical music, or whatever) rather than, say, gamelan or khoomeii or whatever else? There's no simple and easy answer to that question, but it seems pretty obvious to me that to the extent American/Western artistic forms are adopted by the rest of the world, it's not because they're more inherently appealing or attractive on some basic artistic level. A large part of the appeal is based in what Western culture represents to those both outside and inside it- and, though it's not precisely a deliberate process, this is where the cultural imperialism comes in. There's no "free marketplace", or at least not a fair one- in terms of the money and power behind them and the cultural cachet these things bring (which are entirely different matters from artistic quality), the cultural products of the West are an 800 pound gorilla going up against a marmoset. Hip-hop is probably the most mainstream and popular form of music in America right now, and as such I think it can be an especially powerful vector for the spread of Western culture, and by extension the homogenization of world culture as a whole. This is, of course, not all that it is and not all that it does, and this is not to single out hip-hop- I would say a similar effect applies with Western pop, and even Western classical music, in the latter case one of cultural prestige. Not to speak for Sonny Jim, but I think this is part of what he's getting at- and I think his perspective here is a valuable one, and one worth treating seriously and respectfully. (I also think fourcheesemac owes him an apology. Several of them, in fact.) It's not the end of the argument by any means, and many people have offered the other side of it here, but it shouldn't be dismissed.

I should say here, I actually listen to a fair amount of music that blends the Western and non-Western in various ways, musically and/or lyrically, so I'm certainly not condemning the existence of it. My personal opinion is that some pretty amazing sounds can result from it, and generally I see it as more an expression of cultural pride and the preservation of traditional artistic forms than an example of the triumph of Western cultural imperialism. But it's not a binary thing- without the existence of that cultural imperialism, it probably wouldn't exist, or not to the same extent, and that's something worth keeping in mind with all of this.
posted by a louis wain cat at 6:28 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wish I was at a janelle monae show. Instead I'm at a mediocre production of the Magic Flute whose stage director obviously thought 'should I go modern or traditional? Hell, I'll split the difference.'
posted by winna at 6:42 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


a case were mozart was not robbed but merely overspent
posted by clavdivs at 6:51 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I knew this thread was going to have to happen someday, but I always hoped I would be dead by then.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:57 PM on November 6, 2010


I knew this thread was going to have to happen someday, but I always hoped I would be dead by then.

Give me a break, I had a busy week.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:01 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's as simple as these comments imply
I'm with you there, as far as I am able to judge. I guess I had to start somewhere...
And I admit that I remain suspicious of cultural-imperialism arguments because I suspect that it is much much more complicated than even that. The concept of large sweeping influences that afflict the world doesn't ring entirely true to me (but I admit that I've read a bit of Bruno Latour lately and am still digesting)
posted by Namlit at 7:04 PM on November 6, 2010


I am now an official Faze fan. Reading his comment in this thread was like watching an awesome Michel Gondry music video made out of words. If he wrote a book of poetry I would read it. (A political manifesto, maybe not so much.)
posted by shii at 7:09 PM on November 6, 2010


I don't think it's as simple as these comments imply. Why hip-hop (or metal, or European classical music, or whatever) rather than, say, gamelan or khoomeii or whatever else? There's no simple and easy answer to that question, but it seems pretty obvious to me that to the extent American/Western artistic forms are adopted by the rest of the world, it's not because they're more inherently appealing or attractive on some basic artistic level. A large part of the appeal is based in what Western culture represents to those both outside and inside it- and, though it's not precisely a deliberate process, this is where the cultural imperialism comes in.

I think it's even more complex than this, because hip hop in particular (as do other forms of "western" music, also) draws on non-western music traditions. I'm no music historian, but it doesn't take an expert to notice how rap pulls from West African sources (some via US slavery, some via slavery in the Caribbean, some directly from Black Power connections and African immigration in the 1960s and 1970s) as well as modern Caribbean music (dancehall in particular) and probably other sources (North African, maybe, or even Indian sub-continent, or Brazilian?) that I'm not aware of.

So yes, part of the appeal is what you describe, but another part of the appeal is that there is a lot in this musical genre that people find familiar and can connect with traditions and sources that have long been parts of their own culture. It was already theirs from the very beginning.

Authenticity is a really tricky thing to try and nail down, and it's not always clear in what direction "cultural imperialism" is happening. Rap music (like the blues, rock, and other genres before it) gets dismissed as "jungle music" -- both a racist reference and a recognition of the broad range of sources it is pulling from. And then you have really complex reworkings of the genre (like in some of the links in the original post), some of which end up returning to this country and changing the genre yet again. It's far, far more complex than a simplistic "we provide, they suffer the cultural change" would suggest.
posted by Forktine at 7:14 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Great thread to mark setting the clock backward.
posted by effluvia at 7:33 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Faze really is my favorite mefi commenter. I disagree with him about a whole lot, but it always surprises me when he says something and I think "hey that kind of made sense" because I sort of thought I had him figured out. And the quality of his writing is absolutely astounding; I read that "watermelon seed" comment like six times, just cackling the whole time. Faze is the best.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 7:39 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


actually fazes' view on rap-hop on the blue is known
now with a different tou-tone.

{George Plimpton raps}
'the province of Percy Dovetonsils'...heh
posted by clavdivs at 7:40 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Interesting.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:45 PM on November 6, 2010


We're having real concern about hip hop and rap this week, aren't we?
posted by Askiba at 7:49 PM on November 6, 2010


actually fazes' view on rap-hop on the blue is known
now with a different tou-tone.


Oh okay. That resolves that then.
posted by shinybaum at 7:50 PM on November 6, 2010


No joke, not trying to be funny, and not trying to accuse Faze of anything at all.

BUT

I have heard people who were in the Klu Klux Klan bad mouth rap music, and it was LESS racist than that post.

Jus sayin.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:15 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Neither my, nor the New Zealander's comments were particularly anti-American as they were anti-cultural imperialism and anti-rap. My comment in particular expressed strong disapproval of misogyny and racial stereotyping as part of this cultural imperialism.

Believe it or not, but even the white man's rock and roll includes misogyny and racial stereotyping.

Put your beatles and rolling stones into that pipe and smoke it.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:40 PM on November 6, 2010


If thoughts such as black men apewalking or woman-as-anus-on-stilts has never occurred to you count it among your blessings; having such thoughts is its own punishment, but choosing to express them publicly -- when you might as easily have said something else, or nothing at all -- reveals this fellow's of respect for the community here (none) and his character (lacking).

If it were my site I'd have evicted him ages ago, life's too short to waste much time on those who won't behave properly.
posted by hoople at 8:41 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


on the blue, i once defined hip-hop from a 1953 copy of Great Lakes Naval academy graduation book 'The Keel' and i cant find it the comment.

'brown eyed girl' is now ruined
thank you hal_c_on
posted by clavdivs at 8:43 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I would like to comment that new zealand is awesome, and you shouldn't consider the (non-kiwi)OP's rant representative of NZers.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:43 PM on November 6, 2010


'brown eyed girl' is now ruined
thank you hal_c_on


It was released as a single in mid-June 1967.[11] Originally titled "Brown-Skinned Girl", Morrison changed it to "Brown Eyed Girl" when he recorded it. Morrison remarked on the original title: "That was just a mistake. It was a kind of Jamaican song. Calypso. It just slipped my mind. I changed the title."[12] "After we'd recorded it, I looked at the tape box and didn't even notice that I'd changed the title..I looked at the box where I'd lain it down with my guitar and it said 'Brown Eyed Girl' on the tape box. It's just one of those things that happen."[13]

Rock n Roll is so racist we should ban it.

Also, if you listen to it you hate america...AND support northern ireland.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:49 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hip-hop is probably the most mainstream and popular form of music in America right now, and as such I think it can be an especially powerful vector for the spread of Western culture, and by extension the homogenization of world culture as a whole.

You can say that in the middle of a paragraph with a huge "probably", but that doesn't make it true; it just makes it look true.

Why not look to see who sells out madison square garden in 5 minutes, and which concerts always have tickets left. Then you'll realize that the most mainstream and popular form of music in america is NOT rap/hiphop.

Not by a fucking longshot.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:53 PM on November 6, 2010


You know, pile-ons are pretty much equally unseemly when they are deserved as when they are not.
posted by Justinian at 8:55 PM on November 6, 2010


"ape-walking"?

"ape-walking"??

you are a troll, faze


The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was [almost] convincing the world he didn't exist.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:58 PM on November 6, 2010


ah
" Hip-Hop is not defined in any dictionary, but to recruits at Great Lakes, the term means marching to classes, drilling on the "grinder", marching in review...through this medium he develops precision and habits of alertness, improves his posture and military appearance, and learn to function effectively as a member of a group...but to the recruit it all adds up to Hip Hop."

not a bad read that thread
posted by clavdivs at 8:59 PM on November 6, 2010


Hip-hop is probably the most mainstream and popular form of music in America right now

i don't know what mainstream is anymore, but this survey says the most popular radio musical formats are

1 - country
2 - contemporary christian
3 - spanish

according to the riaa, most popular genres -

1 - rock
2 - country
3 - rap/hip-hop
4 - r&b urban
5 - pop
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 PM on November 6, 2010


Rock n Roll is so racist we should ban it.

In March 2009, former US president Bill Clinton picked "Brown Eyed Girl" as top pick on his list of favorite ten tunes included on his signed iPod donated for a charity auction for musical victims of Hurricane Katrina.

and lets go after BANG records
and start moratorium about sand midges.
posted by clavdivs at 9:13 PM on November 6, 2010


"The aim of jazz is the mechanical reproduction of a regressive moment, a castration symbolism. 'Give up your masculinity, let yourself be castrated,' the eunuchlike sound of the jazz band both mocks and proclaims, 'and you will be rewarded, accepted into a fraternity which shares the mystery of impotence with you, a mystery revealed at the moment of the initiation rite."

-Theodor Adorno
posted by Falconetti at 9:17 PM on November 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


I prefer music that doesn't cut my testicles off.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:22 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I realise this is totally not the most important part of this thread to address, but I would like to clear something up:

New Zealanders boasting of their Sugar Lumps is coarsening our Amurcan culture!

I'm not quite sure what this means but would like to apologise to my American friends.

You're welcome.
posted by lollusc at 9:26 PM on November 6, 2010



Gangsta rap is heartbreaking because at it's core, the rappers have nothing but contempt for their audience. Your comments make me somewhat sad, faze, because it feels like you don't have any respect for the people you are trying to have a conversation with either.

Take away the wrapping paper of your slick words, or gangsta rap's slick beats, and it's all the same. A wall of sound dripping with contempt, and all it's doing is making ears bleed.

I admit it's a pet peeve of mine that when people get busy speaking truth to power, they think it gives them to speak at - not even to, but "at" - others like they are 3/5th of a person. One doesn't get extra points for leaving civility for others at the door, even if they are right, and it would help if many of us stopped acting like we're getting double miles for it or something.

I think you are raising important and compelling issues, but the noxious gas of your tone is knocking me out before I can get anywhere near the discussion. Honestly, even when soulja boy belts out Crank That, it's that I know he is not "ape-like" that makes my heart break and want to ask him what his mother thinks of the song. My point is that everybody has the capacity to belittle, and demean others - it's not special, no matter how eloquent the turn of phrase. The real gift to be able to channel righteous anger into a connection, into a conversation, and hopefully, into change. Everything else is just sound and fury, signifying nothing...of importance.
posted by anitanita at 9:30 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Adorno doesn't like the cinema, either. So he's pretty much off my list.
posted by Wolof at 9:49 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


actually fazes' view on rap-hop on the blue is known
now with a different tou-tone.


Aha! The plot thi... remains the same.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:54 PM on November 6, 2010


Not that I know enough about the subject to have an informed opinion on the substantive question, but I can't see how a comment about a musical-genre-as-cultural-imperialism in a thread about said music can be too much of a derail and hence I don't support the deletion of SonnyJim's comment.
posted by Abiezer at 9:55 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


This springs to mind. Also, can somebody please tell me at what exact moment the grey became ten billion times more entertaining than the blue, because apparently I missed it.
posted by phaedon at 9:57 PM on November 6, 2010


he probably would be just as happy if everyone: stopped, smacked themselves on the forehead, and proclaimed "Holy shit, you are right Faze!"

Next time, let's just all do this. It would be really really funny.
posted by hermitosis at 10:07 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Also, can somebody please tell me at what exact moment the grey became ten billion times more entertaining than the blue, because apparently I missed it.

It's been going on for a while. When I'm too busy to check the site frequently, I start here, see what's sending people over the edge and go to those threads.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:26 PM on November 6, 2010


>he probably would be just as happy if everyone: stopped, smacked themselves on the forehead, and proclaimed "Holy shit, you are right Faze!"

>Next time, let's just all do this. It would be really really funny.


Well, let's try.

*smack* "Holy shit, you are r..."

*pause* "You're ri..."

*runs hand through hair* "Okay, you might not be entirely wr..."

*sigh* Nah, can't do it.
posted by Lexica at 10:26 PM on November 6, 2010


why are Jimmy Page and Joan Baez hot-wiring the Mystery Machine?
because velma was quite expicient, no gas money, no sleuthing.
posted by clavdivs at 10:27 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Faze melted my Mad Libs.
posted by klarck at 10:40 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Trawling. Fishing by dragging huge nets is trawling.

Trolls are so called on the Internet because they are solitary people with nothing better to do than jump out from their bridges and demand attention. It is a hermit-like and antagonistic stance, hence the moniker, as trolls were generally known to be solitary and unsocial beings.
posted by Scattercat at 10:54 PM on November 6, 2010


Fishing by dragging a net is, indeed, trawling.

Fishing by dragging a baited line through the water is trolling.

Trolling can be phonetically confused with trawling, a different method of fishing where a net (trawl) is drawn through the water instead of lines

I have always thought that trolls are related to our sub-bridge dwelling, goat-eating friends.
Wikipedia seems to believe that, "Is thought to be a truncation of the phrase trolling for suckers."
Who knows?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:12 PM on November 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Forktine: It's far, far more complex than a simplistic "we provide, they suffer the cultural change" would suggest.

Oh, absolutely- nothing about this issue can be reduced to simple binaries, and it's very true that hip-hop itself draws from non-Western sources (and a good point about there being a familiarity to it for many people in those cultures it drew from) and that the cultural transaction isn't just a one-way imposition. It's an enormously complex issue all around, and as said, I appreciate a lot of products of this sort of cultural transaction myself- I just think it's important to remember that it's very far from being a level playing field. And as far as this discussion goes, I think it's really unfortunate that people seem to have gotten Faze's comments and Sonny Jim's sort of blended together. I mean, I feel like if someone of Polynesian descent who clearly has put a lot of thought into his position says that he feels that the effect of hip-hop on his culture is one of cultural imperialism- well, one doesn't have to agree, but it's a point of view that should be respected and taken seriously, and I wouldn't tell him he was wrong in his views anymore than I would, for example, tell someone of Native American descent that they were wrong to be upset about New Age appropriation of their religious traditions. (Faze, on the other hand... I think this thread has gone into enough detail on what was wrong with his comments that adding to it would just be piling on, but calling them ill-informed hardly begins to describe it.)

pyramid termite: according to the riaa, most popular genres -

Okay, it looks like I was wrong on that- mea culpa. (That RIAA chart is pretty surprising in a bunch of ways, actually. I would have guessed pop would be higher than that, and the age statistics somehow aren't what I would have expected either.) I had remembered hearing a while back that hip-hop had surpassed rock in album sales, but that was clearly something that I should have verified first. And I should say again, I wasn't singling out hip-hop, by any means- the argument I was making applies just as much to rock, or Western classical music, or whatever else. Indeed, going by those RIAA numbers, it might apply most of all to rock, in fact.
posted by a louis wain cat at 11:13 PM on November 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Gangsta rap is heartbreaking because at it's core, the rappers have nothing but contempt for their audience.

Can you actually reference some new "gangsta rap" artists that would be examples of your viewpoint? I don't think you can.

Seriously, this kind of speak drips of the same kind of underlying message "blacks are gangsters". Thats all your post said.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:25 PM on November 6, 2010


Trolling. Fishing by dragging fishing lines is trolling.
posted by Sparx at 11:37 PM on November 6, 2010


On failure to preview: Dammit - this is what happens when I give up drinking for a week.
posted by Sparx at 11:39 PM on November 6, 2010


{hides trawler under bridge, shreds typographical bait}
posted by clavdivs at 11:42 PM on November 6, 2010


Faze: once again, I point out that while I may use colorful language, I would never say anything cruel, profane, or intentionally hurtful to a fellow Mefite

This is only true if you're working under the assumption that none of your fellow Mefites were 10 year old African American males in 1980, and also in posession of a view of Hip Hop so profoundly different than yours that there was literally no other way to take what you said than cruel, profane and hurtful.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:14 AM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


enn It would behoove people to familiarize themselves with Faze's actual posting history before coming in here full of righteous indignation on his behalf that he's being SILENCED ALL HIS LIFE by POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN AMOK.

I meant to link to klang's comment earlier. It is interesting to see Rory's earnest post without any of Faze's history mentioned (Rory, just curious, have you read any of Faze's comments, or followed any of the links in this thread?)

I would also like to congratulate whomever is running the Faze sockpuppet on keeping the crazy fresh after all these years. I mean, you'd think that everyone around here would know not to respond to him when he's parodying the extreme fuck-you-got-mine mentality (or when he's off on his burlesque of vegetarianism, or when he's slagging any band you happen to like because he hates them all), but he keeps matching his game to the posts and, man, it's worth some respect to see how consistent he is in provoking everyone. On some level, though this'd be deep game and (all due respect)
posted by mlis at 12:21 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Faze once wrote a comment so hilarious I literally Rolled On the Floor Laughing (note for Faze-watchers: comment includes early use of the word 'jittering').
posted by Ritchie at 12:24 AM on November 7, 2010


A Ritchie, I concur. A wonderfully phrased comment scorning the crazed while painting a figure so beautifully exaggerated that I would have been on the floor laughing.

Unfortunately the responsibilities just went to bed.

Damn it. Can never have fun anymore now that I have responsibilities.

Well back to my marijuana.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:33 AM on November 7, 2010


Faze once wrote a comment so hilarious I literally Rolled On the Floor Laughing

there's a fine line between genius + stupidity. Faze crossed it when he chose to write off an entire culture based on the sloppy behavior of a few of its LOUDEST members, which is no different really than yrrr average Tea-Partiers and their issues with so-called militant (visible) Muslims.

Faze, you owe the majority of humanity some kind of an apology. Otherwise, carry on making sense of Mickey Mouse for me, because that asshole has always creeped me out, a eunuch if ever there was one.
posted by philip-random at 12:48 AM on November 7, 2010


He's like the Henry Rollins of trolling.

Henry Rollins is the Henry Rollins of trolling.

Actually, no, he's really quite earnest, much like Faze; it's very sweet. Earnest about benchpressing nerds, granted, but still.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:07 AM on November 7, 2010


The famous linguist Roman Jakobson wrote this stunningly brilliant paper called "Linguistics and Poetics." It's shows how there is poetic structure underlying not just our crafted prose, but our very spontaneous speech. His writing IS the example itself (the actual topic of the article deconstructs poetry and idiomatic phraseology for poetic structure) and this double messaging starts to click halfway thru. After that, you can start to see poetics everywhere. It zeroes right into this almost magical quality we understand as the power of oratory skill. For me, it's beautiful in written speech, as you pack in this extra layer of orthographic parallelism that just doesn't get realised in spoken environments.

Anyways, part of what I think people are responding to here is the ease at which Faze taps into this poetic structure and complexity in his writing.* It IS pretty awesome, but IMHO, it comes at the cost of too many unignorable intents of communication (ex. being cooperative, not racist/misogynist, and being sincerely committed to the propositions put forth). I personally do not think Faze is a troll (I think he lacks intent), but I do believe that he was attempting some severely twisted hipster-like ironic hyperbole that fell completely flat. And there's no point in defending that. Which, if my assumption above is true, he realises as well.

*"ass-jittering cattle" is a great example of this poetic parallelism. There's coherence at multiple levels...orthographic parallelism in the double letters (ss-tt-tt), alliteration in those same sounds, sound symbolism in the semantic associations of the sounds, rhythmic syllable structure, and a violation of expectation (the setup to humor) with the contrast between the meaning of "jittering" juxtaposed with "cattle"...even its placement (between "ass" and "cattle") is brilliant. Phrases like this aren't accidents, but they are usually spontaneous and delightful.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:32 AM on November 7, 2010 [27 favorites]


Having said that, though, that's a thoughtful, well argued comment and it's a pity there's no space for it in the original thread....

My point is that there's no real way for indigenes to "win" by adopting this culture as their own, as they are simply accepting the terms of their own defeat. As with liberation theology, politically speaking it's a disastrous cul de sac.


1) Do you see how what you just said there is in no way communicated by the statement that "hiphop is a tool for transforming people into Jim Crow stereotypes"?
2) In a thread started about Asian/Pacific Islander American hiphop... that is, people who live in the US, possibly for several generations, then talking about the issues of external displacement?

If you want to have a reasoned conversation, you don't start with crazy hyperbole, in a not-exactly related thread, in a way that gives no indication you've clicked any of the links.

That said, if you decide to drop any FPPs on cultural imperialism, I'd like to read that and see what conversations rise from that. I disagree that all those options of taking up oppressor's culture must be political dead ends, though obviously not as ideal as keeping an intact cultural base- but again, we're talking best tools available under shitty situations.
posted by yeloson at 1:34 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with hal_c_on.

ask him what his mother thinks of the song.

And if Mother likes the song, what then? Is she to be dismissed like so much ass-jittering cattle?

Such a superior standpoint to take.
posted by morganannie at 3:44 AM on November 7, 2010


I think I'll take this thread off my recent activity and expunge this memory of the "community"
posted by The Lady is a designer at 4:15 AM on November 7, 2010


At least no-one called anyone else 'unpleasant'.

The pearl clutching on MeFi is my least favorite thing about the site. If certain commenters had their way, every post would be pleasant, helpful, tactful, on-topic, and would not be capable of any construal which could potentially cause offense, real or imagined, to any possible segment of the community, real or imagined, (unless of course, they are members of the perceived power order, in which case go nuts).

It would be about as much fun as it sounds.
posted by unSane at 4:36 AM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


The relentless paranoia about a supposed cabal of political correct language cops is my least favorite thing about the site.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:51 AM on November 7, 2010 [20 favorites]


How did the restless ghost of Alan Bloom find Metafilter? This dude is awesomely wrong.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:05 AM on November 7, 2010


You know what I miss? cut-off-my-hand jokes. Got a SILENCED ALL MY LIFE up there, which was nice. Anybody got a good hand-cutty joke for me?
posted by Kwine at 5:42 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Faze seems to me to be in the tradition of quonsar. Not exactly troll but crazy.

I do think that categorizing discussion about cultural imperialism as derail for the Pacific Rim hip hop thread wasn't that cool. I keep saying the mods do fine work but I also still think that the modding blind spot that categorizes civil rights style dissent in thread as derail is short-sighted in that it puts the dissenters at a severe disadvantage to the majority by essentially silencing them within the topic.
posted by kalessin at 6:00 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not nice to make fun of the mentally ill.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:01 AM on November 7, 2010


Just coming in to say maybe we should start using the phrase "ass-jittering taters" now and then.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 AM on November 7, 2010


The pearl clutching on MeFi is my least favorite thing about the site.

Why not find a way to criticize the site without using language like "pearl clutching"? There are these really loaded phrases (usually involving "hysterical," "shrill," etc) that keep being trotted out by the anti-PC brigade, and although I certainly appreciate the layered tone-deafness and cluelessness as a form of performance art in its own right, it isn't really all that awesome.
posted by Forktine at 6:13 AM on November 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


You make my point for me, Forktine.
posted by unSane at 6:20 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I do think that categorizing discussion about cultural imperialism as derail for the Pacific Rim hip hop thread wasn't that cool. I keep saying the mods do fine work but I also still think that the modding blind spot that categorizes civil rights style dissent in thread as derail is short-sighted in that it puts the dissenters at a severe disadvantage to the majority by essentially silencing them within the topic.

The distinction I would draw is between "I have an opinion about this" which is generally fine if not done poorly, and "this reminds me of something about which I will now state my opinion" which is less good much of the time. It's the difference between contributing to an ongoing discussion and interrupting a discussion to get on a soapbox; regardless of the content, the effect it has on the discussion is a lot different in the two contexts.

There are lots and lots of threads on mefi. That not every thread that nominally touches on a topic is a natural home for every thought related to that topic may be superficially restrictive but in practice it's not any more anti-dissent than it is anti-recipes or anti-pictures-of-my-cat (though on that last front mefites seem to be willing to make more of an exception). As has been mentioned many times in this thread, if someone wants to put together a good post on cultural imperialism and pop music, they can totally, totally do that and then there will be an actual on-topic home for discussion of same. The lack of such a post on the front page at the moment does not, however, make it okay to inject that sort of thing (or weird tangent hopping follow-ons from same) into a thread from which it is a significant departure in tone and content.

The pearl clutching on MeFi

Feels like there's a lot of pearl-clutching about pearl-clutching lately, if we want to go there. Actual mefi policy moves pretty damn slow and is far more alike policy from ten years ago than it is different; people have argued about things they think are offensive since the very early days of the site, and it mostly leads to the general evolution of the active metatalk-reading userbase's collective view of that topic more than it does to any shift in enforcement of what's actually allowed or disallowed on the site.

"I wish there was less of x" is a fine and sometimes important thing to talk about, but talking about it (and individual mefites thinking about it and maybe choosing to reflect that in their personal behavior in the future) is largely the limit of the practical effect of those conversations. That holds true whether x is "some phrase I perceive as offensive" or "the idea that I would have to worry about someone else's being offended". And those two sorts of ideas will always exist in tension here because we're a big mixed crowd that doesn't agree on much. But I wish there was a bit less of folks belittling the idea that things bother other people.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:33 AM on November 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


For comparison: Allan Bloom on Mick Jagger:

This strong stimulant, which Nietzsche called Nihiline, was for a very long time, almost fifteen years, epitomized in a single figure, Mick Jagger. A shrewd, middle-class boy, he played the possessed lower-class demon and teen-aged satyr up until he was forty, with one eye on the mobs of children of both sexes whom he stimulated to a sensual frenzy and the other eye winking at the unerotic, commercially motivated adults who handled the money. In his act he was male and female, heterosexual and homosexual; unencumbered by modesty, he could enter everyone's dreams, promising to do everything with everyone; and, above all, he legitimated drugs, which were the real thrill that parents and policemen inspired to deny his youthful audience. He was beyond the law, moral d political, and thumbed his nose at it. Along with all this, there were nasty little appeals to the suppressed inclinations toward sexism, racism and violence, indulgence in which is not now publicly respectable. Nevertheless, he managed not to appear to contradict the rock ideal of a universal classless society founded on love, with the distinction between brotherly and bodily blurred. He was the hero and the model for countless young persons in universities, as well as elsewhere. I discovered that students who boasted of having no heroes secretly had a passion to be like Mick Jagger, to live his life, have his fame. They were ashamed to admit this in a university, although I am not certain that the reason has anything to do with a higher standard of taste. It is probably that they are not supposed to have heroes. Rock music itself and talking about it with infinite seriousness are perfectly respectable. It has proved to be the ultimate leveler of intellectual snobbism. But it is not respectable to think of it as providing weak and ordinary persons with a fashionable behavior, the imitation of which will make others esteem them and boost their own self-esteem. Unaware and unwillingly, however, Mick Jagger played the role in their lives that Napoleon played in the lives of ordinary young Frenchmen throughout the nineteenth century. Everyone else was so boring and unable to charm youthful passions. Jagger caught on.

In the last couple of years, Jagger has begun to fade. Whether Michael Jackson, Prince or Boy George can take his place is uncertain. They are even weirder than he is, and one wonders what new strata of taste they have discovered. Although each differs from the others, the essential character of musical entertainment is not changing. There is only a constant search for variations on the theme. And this gutter phenomenon is apparently the fulfillment of the promise made by so much psychology and literature that our weak and exhausted Western civilization would find refreshment in the true source, the unconscious, which appeared to the late romantic imagination to be identical to Africa, the dark and unexplored continent. Now all has been explored; light has been cast everywhere; the unconscious has been made conscious, the repressed expressed. And what have we found? Not creative devils, but show business glitz. Mick Jagger tarting it up on the stage is all that we brought back from the voyage to the underworld.

...

Rock music provides premature ecstasy and, in this respect, is like the drugs with which it is allied. It artificially induces the exaltation attached to the completion of the greatest endeavors - victory in a just war, consummated love, artistic creation, religious devotion and discovery of the truth. Without effort, without talent, without virtue, without exercise of the faculties, anyone and everyone is accorded the equal right to the enjoyment of their fruits. In my experience, students who have had a serious fling with drugs - and gotten over it - find it difficult to have enthusiasms or great expectations. It is as though the color has been drained out of their lives and they see everything in black and white. The pleasure they experienced in the beginning was so intense that they no longer look for it at the end, or as the end. They may function perfectly well, but dryly, routinely. Their energy has been sapped, and they do not expect their life's activity to produce anything but a living, whereas liberal education is supposed to encourage the belief that the good life is the pleasant life and that the best life is the most pleasant life. I suspect that the rock addiction, particularly in the absence of strong counterattractions, has an effect similar to that of drugs. The students will get over this music, or at least the exclusive passion for it. But they will do so in the same way Freud says that men accept the reality principle as something harsh, grim and essentially unattractive, a mere necessity. These students will assiduously study economics or the professions and the Michael Jackson costume will slip off to reveal a Brooks Brothers suit beneath. They will want to get ahead and live comfortably. But this life is as empty and false as the one they left behind. The choice is not between quick fixes and dull calculation. This is what liberal education is meant to show them. But as long as they have the Walkman on ' they cannot hear what the great tradition has to say. And, after its prolonged use, when they take it off, they find they are deaf.


Sometimes one can be incredibly wrong on all details and intentions, and yet magically unerringly correct about the big picture. In this case (maybe not all cases of either critic) Faze and Bloom are onto something-- a baleful modern horror that we can't see because of our modern eyes--even though, Cassandra-like, their prophecies sound like madness. Maybe it is just our ears that are already poisoned, or maybe it is their curse that the nuggets of wisdom in their rants are obscured by their own looming prejudices and lack of research. But either way, usually it's good for a culture to get bit by that kind of fly. I hope Faze sticks around.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:39 AM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, not really, unSane. "Pearl clutching" is often (and I totally understand that you may not be using it as such in this thread) a dog-whistle for "chicks are ruining our boyzone." So you may be paying someone else's bill on this one, but it's a bill that's been run up a lot lately.

But what do I know? I've lost all hope of being considered anything other than an anus on stilts. Apparently, that was Ronald Reagan's fault.

Or a watermelon's. I don't even know.

I am seconding whoever it was upthread (paisley henosis?) who said, in effect, "Jesus Christ, I haven't heard this overwhelming a load of stone racism from actual white supremacists"--and I've interviewed Tom Metzger.

I don't have any opinion about Faze or banning him or her or whatever; I just don't want to see oceans of racist and misogynist stereotypes here, because I get far too much of that elsewhere on the Internets. So thanks, mods, for keeping back that ocean as much as you can.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:48 AM on November 7, 2010 [16 favorites]


Maybe it is just our ears that are already poisoned, or maybe it is their curse that the nuggets of wisdom in their rants are obscured by their own looming prejudices and lack of research.

Or maybe it's just Dunning-Kruger Syndrome.

Or maybe the rest of us aren't hungry enough to pick through shit for nuggets.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:50 AM on November 7, 2010


A wise person I saw on TV once said, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself."
posted by anniecat at 6:55 AM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


And those two sorts of ideas will always exist in tension here because we're a big mixed crowd that doesn't agree on much. But I wish there was a bit less of folks belittling the idea that things bother other people.

Just to chime in. I presume that this tension is always going to exist and no one is ever going to get the exact MetaFilter that they want, but there are a lot of people who try to shift the site more towards the way they like it.

It would be helpful to us as mods if people were a little more cognizant about their own position in the herky-jerky mobile that makes up the userbase, and also what the general site rules/guidelines are about things. So unSane, you're welcome to your opinion about what you think is wrong with the site, but you're sort of way out on one end of the spectrum between "everyone be nice to each other always" and "everyone act exactly how they want to act at all times." We've certainly seen some MetaTalk threads that go the other direction lately, asking for consideration in cases where many people feel it's too much to ask for. Okay. It happens.

Despite all these discussions, no actual policies have changed on the site. Having long MeTa threads about how people feel about things is how people in the community find out how other people in the community feel about things. People who want to be mindful of others' offense or hurt feelings or whatever might decide they may want to do things differently. Other people may decide that either they don't care or they disagree or whatever else and decide to keep doing what they've always been doing. Both of those are totally okay decisions in the absence of any new policy on the matter. And people keep pulling the tug-o-war rope closer to their side, or trying to.

But that's the process. And the threads are easy to skip. It may be easier for me to rest assured that there are no policy changes in the making because, hey, I am a policy maker. But really, mostly we're just talking, taking the temperature of the people who choose to weigh in on a subject and providing a place where people can be heard.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:11 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sorry folks, I had to go work out.

Promise me this? During your next workout, Faze, 'Don't Sweat the Technique.'
posted by ericb at 7:17 AM on November 7, 2010


...we should start using the phrase "ass-jittering taters" now and then.

Way ahead of you, boss!
posted by nomadicink at 7:22 AM on November 7, 2010


Just coming in to say maybe we should start using the phrase "ass-jittering taters" now and then.

An "ass-jittering tater" is a "hardcore tater". In my humble opinion.
posted by ob at 7:43 AM on November 7, 2010


Sailormom: "anything more than an anus on stilts

Wasn't that a painting by Dali?
"

I'm thinking Hieronymus Bosch.
posted by jquinby at 7:48 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I discovered that students who boasted of having no heroes secretly had a passion to be like Mick Jagger, to live his life, have his fame.

*snickers* - you don't even know who the coolest rolling stone is, do you, alan?

Rock music provides premature ecstasy and, in this respect, is like the drugs with which it is allied. It artificially induces the exaltation attached to the completion of the greatest endeavors - victory in a just war, consummated love, artistic creation, religious devotion and discovery of the truth.

rock music isn't art? - oh, really, now ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:52 AM on November 7, 2010


Shit. 10:15 and I've already used my favorite limits for the day. Can somebody favorite iamkimiam's comment like five more times for me?

I meant to link to klang's comment earlier. It is interesting to see Rory's earnest post without any of Faze's history mentioned (Rory, just curious, have you read any of Faze's comments, or followed any of the links in this thread?)

I know Faze by reputation, I've read through a bunch of his comments on occasions where his name comes up, certainly I've been frustrated at how much I flat-out disagree with some of the things he says. There was one comment about suburbia in particular which I can't find now but was particularly grar'd up about.

It's not that I always think he's a healthy part of the site. His initial comment that sparked up this thread was bothersome in a lot of ways — bothersome's a polite way of putting it; it made a caricature of a type of culture and of the people who practice it, using language that seemed pretty racist. I was considering a snarky put-down in thread that I'm glad I decided not to use. I can't find it, but I rather suspect I've called Faze a troll myself in some thread or other. But in a case like that, I think I'd be trolling Faze and not the other way around.

The people who sincerely believe Faze is a troll I suspect have not used the Internet in very many contexts. I have. I've owned somewhere between three and six forums-slash-community-engines, I've been on the moderation staff for two or three others, and I've been a member of probably a hundred or two others, active in a few dozen of those. If Faze is a troll, then he's a more devious one than I've ever seen before. Consider how many of his comments aren't remotely trolllike. This one is brilliant. The one posted above about his five pounds of fat is just great.

If you want to catch a troll you look at his use of a site's mechanics. A troll wouldn't have the patience to favorite seven hundred things. Just wouldn't. Considering everybody calls him a troll anyway, there's no practical advantage to pretending to be an active member. So I think it's safe to say Faze is an earnest contributing member, one whose stylings fill me with glee and whose thoughts fill me with occasional rage.

I think also that it's hard to fully appreciate how difficult it is to adhere to a community's rules if you're not somebody prone to trampling those rules by default. My first forum was a nearly-neverending flamefest, full of tubgirl and lemonparty and people who used language that would make MetaTalk blush and/or post a thousand-comment thread. The first time I wrote a thousands-word essay online, it was flaming a kid on the forum who went to the same middle school I did. (Kid totally was asking for it, kthx.) So on a site like MetaFilter I sometimes write things which to me seem absolutely harmless but to which everybody else takes offense. My first month as a member here, somebody said I was one of the most insensitive people here, and I think I also got called a troll; I thought I was being good-natured and useful so it rather stung.

When I see other users pissing a bunch of people off, like Faze, or St. Alia, then my inclination is to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to assume these are people whose Internet norms are simply much different than ours. I think it's useful to call them out, but only only only if that callout focuses on the nature of their posting rather than on their nature as a poster. If you insult somebody they're going to dislike you for it. If you criticize their methods then they might assume you're saying something worth reading. Certainly I still blanket-ignore posters here who've stooped to insulting me personally; on a site this big I can afford petty grudges without missing out on content. Surely a lot of other people think the same way.

People are idiots in a lot of spectacular ways. If you want to stop them being idiots you have to be gentle and empathetic and not assume that they know you think they're stupid and are just deliberately pissing you off. Not easy stuff. The guy I live with, for instance, has a bad habit of getting stoned and calling people beneath our balcony "serfs", and it's fucking offensive even to his friends, and we have no idea how to get him to stop doing it. He's a wonderful person, generous even, and one of my closest friends; he's just also a privileged asshole.If somebody knows how to get him to stop doing that I'd be really grateful is what I'm saying, but until then I'd rather be his friend than shun him for occasionally being a real fuckwad.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:59 AM on November 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


Promise me this? During your next workout, Faze, 'Don't Sweat the Technique.'
posted by ericb


Self-link!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:03 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aha! Found his suburbs comment. As somebody who grew up in but hated a beautiful mountain suburb, and now lives in Philadelphia, I both miss the beauty of where I come from and know just how much I'd hate still being there. I miss the stars.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:09 AM on November 7, 2010


Plus, I submit this comment as ultimate proof that Faze is fucking awesome and beautiful and banhammerproof. His are comments that I read and occasionally even try to live by, which is rare even on a site so full of genius writing as this.

Why is it that so many people here loved quonsar (who I've never quite understood the love for) but don't love Faze? I mean, besides the racism and perhaps classism and the impulse to post controversial things and then leave the thread. Actually, you know what, never mind, I think I get it.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:14 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Y'all better quit clutching me...

(harumph!)
posted by pearlybob at 8:32 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


hal_c_on. There are several examples of rap music where contempt is at the lyric's core.

I'm in the US, and am a part of the black community, so rather than pointing out to other communities about how they ought to live their lives, I try to just focus on my own. Just off the top of my head, I think the worst examples include an incredible amount of bile about women, and some women assume that the artist is talking about 'other women'.

- Most of Snoop dog's "Doggystyle" album
- AMG's 'bitch better have my money'
- Sir Mix-a-lot's "put them (titties) on the glass'
- Notorious B.I.G's "big booty ho's"
- Soulja boy's "crank that (superman them ho's)

....Or music where the artist is insulting men, usually about possessions the artist has, and the listener doesn't. Many men listen, once again assuming that the artist is calling some other man a coward, a Nigger or a motherfucker:

-Mystikal's "I ain't playing (wit your bitch ass)"
-Snoop dog's "pump that"
-DMX's "I run shit" and "Party up (Y'all going make me lose my mind)"
-Lil Wayne's "watch my shoes"

And it what you are getting from my comments is contempt, then I clearly am not expressing myself well. It isn't contempt I feel, it's unmitigated sorrow. When men in my community feel that they have to express and assert themselves by degrading others - others in their very own community - it's saddening. It's saddening because it's an example of a community eating itself alive. All of these men could be using their gifts and talents to protect and uplift others, but they aren't. Yes, there are all sorts of social and economic factors for why they aren't, but anyway you look at it, they aren't. What I feel contempt for isn't these men, it's the waste.
posted by anitanita at 8:38 AM on November 7, 2010 [16 favorites]


If certain commenters had their way, every post would be pleasant, helpful, tactful, on-topic, and would not be capable of any construal which could potentially cause offense, real or imagined, to any possible segment of the community, real or imagined, (unless of course, they are members of the perceived power order, in which case go nuts).


Certain commenters? That's pretty vague and politically correct. Name names if you think there's a serious issue.
posted by nomadicink at 8:39 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Faze - maaaaaate! - you do the moral panic thing more eloquently, and with less apparent self-awareness, than any writer I've ever seen. Never change.

If it were not for your wonderful WWF-style smackdown of all those naughty gangstas, I would not have been reminded of this in order to post it here. So thanks for that.
posted by flabdablet at 8:42 AM on November 7, 2010


In this case (maybe not all cases of either critic) Faze and Bloom are onto something-- a baleful modern horror that we can't see because of our modern eyes--even though, Cassandra-like, their prophecies sound like madness. Maybe it is just our ears that are already poisoned, or maybe it is their curse that the nuggets of wisdom in their rants are obscured by their own looming prejudices and lack of research.

Or maybe it's just that neither of them recognized the deep necessity of learning to laugh at yourself when you notice you actually do loathe the rubbish all the kids are listening to these days.
posted by flabdablet at 8:54 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


> When I see other users pissing a bunch of people off, like Faze, or St. Alia, then my inclination is to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to assume these are people whose Internet norms are simply much different than ours.

Rory, that's a generous inclination, and I applaud it; I try to practice it myself when I remember. But both Faze and St. Alia have been around here for too many years to get off with the "different Internet norms" card. Nobody could possibly spend as much time here, make as many comments, and get called out as many times as Faze and somehow not be aware that they're not fitting in with the site. I call to witness (...dramatic pause...) you yourself. By your own admission, you started out with "different Internet norms" and made a muck of things; I myself got pretty peeved with you more than once. But you noticed, learned, and adjusted. (And a good thing too, because I like your prose.) There is no reason on God's green earth why Faze can't do the same; it's clear he doesn't want to. You're right that he's probably not a troll within the meaning of the act, and I shouldn't have given in to the lazy impulse to use the term; what he is is a cranky old fart who glories in the image of being a cranky old fart and loves pissing off what he doubtless views as a collection of ignorant young fools in desperate need of his wisdom (which they will learn to appreciate as they grow older and give up their youthful infatuation with sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, and ass-jittering). As a cranky old fart myself, I resent his giving my demographic a bad name.

The sad thing is, when he manages to restrain his impulse to shove our collective head into the toilet of his ("ironic"? clueless?) racist/sexist phraseology, he can be effective, hilarious, even moving. I wish very much that he would let go of his joy in playing the Bad Boy and just participate. He could be a beloved member of the site, and people might actually learn from him and think about his points of view. It's something of a tragedy that he prefers things as they are.
posted by languagehat at 8:58 AM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Cultural imperialism? How does that work? Has the US been invading countries and forcing them to like [insert bad cultural thing here] at gunpoint?
posted by gjc at 9:00 AM on November 7, 2010


As a cranky old fart myself, I resent his giving my demographic a bad name

Word!
posted by flabdablet at 9:10 AM on November 7, 2010


You know what's especially ridiculous about all this?

1. Worldwide best-selling NZ single of all time = Most laid-back, nonthreatening rap single of all time. How Bizarre.

2. If there's a line between newfangled hiphop and traditional haka, surely it's a connector, not a divider.

3. Scantily-clad women wiggling their pelvises to music: Is that really something Pacific Islanders can blame on foreign influences?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:16 AM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


When blues musicians play Stagger Lee, they are legitimizing murder over hats.
posted by klangklangston at 9:23 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Faze:

It's not like have an encyclopedic knowledge of everything you've ever typed here, but i never had a reason to call you out on anything if you get my drift. I agree with you in a lot of ways on rap, but I think you got a bit too florid in your comment, and I think Jessamyn was right to zap it for the reasons she cited, and if nothing else to maybe protect you from the avalanche of shit that has rolled over you here. Your comment, while valid in spirit, was poorly executed. It's the same way maybe a zapped FPP was a good thoughtful topic, but deserved a better presentation

If your feelings were hurt, I just don't know what to say. How do you walk out your door everyday without knowing the world really doesn't give a shit about your, my, or anyone's feelings? that's just what's outside your door, here on the blue and gray, it's the entire world. That is why as humans, we tend to have a close group of people we share our lives with, a medium group we may not agree with, but still like and tolerate, and the outer limits of people whom, when they die, we arent going to shed a tear. It's just the way it is.

I haven't noticed any swing towards censorship, or narrowing of opinion from the mods over the years. The only change I can really notice is that they tend to put out small fires fast, before they turn into a conflagration that turns the whole site into a shitstorm. For example, a post on animal abuse, with cites/links to relevant stories/cases/laws will provoke some discussion. Posting a video of someone dowsing a box of kittens in gasoline and throwing in a match with little or no comment, will not.

I am a bit dissapointed that this thread has gone on so long, because I think it is just embarassing to our community. Let it go man. Live to fight another day.
posted by timsteil at 9:36 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shotgun quotes, comin' up!

Blazecock Pileon: He's like the Henry Rollins of trolling.

Henry Rollins is the Henry Rollins of trolling.


I said that last night, right out loud.

anitanita: Gangsta rap is heartbreaking because at it's core, the rappers have nothing but contempt for their audience.

"Gangsta rap" isn't a real thing any more than "hip hop" and "rap" refer to two separate types of music. What you are really saying is "rap music that I don't like is like this," which is fine, I suppose, but it isn't productive to couch it in such a divisive way.

Scattercat: Trolls are so called on the Internet because they are solitary people with nothing better to do than jump out from their bridges and demand attention. It is a hermit-like and antagonistic stance, hence the moniker, as trolls were generally known to be solitary and unsocial beings.

That's how I always took it too. I thought "trolling" for fish was like "chomping" at the bit, it's crazy that trolling and trawling are both types of net fishing. Learn something new every day, I guess.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:37 AM on November 7, 2010


Paisley henosis, I consider gangsta rap to be a subgenre of hip hop. I also understand that you don't think the distinction is important, but I think it is. I also note that many of those who engage in the subgenre, Ice T, Ice cube, and others, do themselves see it as something specific and distinct.
posted by anitanita at 9:49 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


it's crazy that trolling and trawling are both types of net fishing.

They are not. As stated upthread, trawling is fishing by dragging a large net behind a moving boat in hopes of catching up an unaware school or two of fish.

Trolling, on the other hand, is fishing by aimlessly dragging a baited hook behind a moving boat, in hopes that some clueless fish will rise to the bait and actively bite the hook. It is this that USENET usage of "trolling" [for n00bs] is derived from.

Troll as noun--as in the solitary monster under the bridge-- is a later use of the term in internet communities, and wasn't part of the original usage in places like a.f.u., a.r.k., etc.
posted by dersins at 9:52 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I crush Ice Cube, I'm cool with Ice-T, but NWA ain't shit to me.
posted by box at 10:10 AM on November 7, 2010


At least no-one called anyone else 'unpleasant'.

Meanwhile, community members who commented in that thread mostly disagreed with Ouisch's read of the word, "unpleasant," as a sort of dog whistle, and said so. Including a number of women and feminists.

Note that she had originally asked for a sort of reality check from the community at large in that thread. She felt the word was problematic, and asked for women and feminists to weigh in and tell her how they felt about it, presumably so she could tell if she was overreacting.

So your problem, as apparently with felix betachat in that thread, is that you didn't like an innocuous question. Not that you felt she was trying to impose her will on the community, since she never asked for the word to be censored, and never even asked the mods if they would consider doing so hypothetically.

If you really want to have a conversation about pearl-clutching, perhaps examining your own overreaction to someone who didn't call for censorship, but merely tried to discuss a discussion on a topic you didn't like.
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Last sentence in my last comment should read: If you really want to have a conversation about pearl-clutching, perhaps you should first consider examining your own overreaction to someone who didn't call for censorship, but merely tried to discuss a discussion on a topic you didn't like.
posted by zarq at 10:15 AM on November 7, 2010


that is refreshing news
posted by clavdivs at 10:17 AM on November 7, 2010


news for the box that is
posted by clavdivs at 10:17 AM on November 7, 2010


atrazine: “Faze is pretty obviously not a troll. People who consistently express opinions you don't like in a forceful manner are not trolls. I don't think I've ever agreed with a Faze comment, but neither have I ever read one and not thought that he genuinely believed these things.”

I've reread this thing and thought about it a bit; Rory and iamkimiam really pointed up a side of this I think people are missing. In the light of what they've said, it's occurred to me that this comment by atrazine is probably the worst thing that anybody's said about Faze in this thread – the image of him as a wide-eyed, earnest moralist, genuinely befuddled by rap music. Rory's summary of his history here makes this clear. Faze has been here a long time. This seems to be part of a turn he's made on the site, and I sincerely doubt that someone as eloquent as himself makes such a decisive turn unintentionally or without any forethought.

At the very least, though it seems simplistic, it seems like we all could do with an appreciation of how valuable people like Faze are. I appreciate all the benefits of a metafilter where there are fewer quonsars, and I know that there were some drawbacks to the old ways; in fact, I can see why racially confusing and somewhat divisive comments like the one this post is about might need to be deleted. I don't envy moderators their task. However, the value of eloquent opponents – have we thought much about that here? The value of an intelligent enemy, even a brilliant enemy, who challenges you in the strongest language, and who continually forces you to listen to confusing and offensive rhetoric that flies in the face of everything you hold dear! Everybody here – even myself – has taken the easy route and ponderously lectured Faze about how little he understands rap music, about how he's being 'ignorant,' et cetera. But that clearly doesn't cut to the heart of his biting criticism, which none of us seems to want to touch; he's lobbing all these words and phrases at us that we all find so offensive – 'ape-walking,' etc – that we're reduced to sputtering at him and demanding that he be banned because we'd rather not even have to talk about that stuff. So those decent, modern citizens among us like fourcheesemac spare no effort to loudly proclaim that Faze is not worthy of respect, and clamor for his removal from the community so that his offensive rhapsodies need not be endured any longer, asking the authorities to silence these frivolously offensive and yet ornate diatribes of his.

Given the parallels between what's happening here and the actual subject matter of this debate, I suddenly find this irony quite enjoyable. It is pretty amusing when you think about it. Rap is all about eloquent enemies. Maybe Faze thought it needed one itself.
posted by koeselitz at 10:52 AM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


But that clearly doesn't cut to the heart of his biting criticism, which none of us seems to want to touch; he's lobbing all these words and phrases at us that we all find so offensive – 'ape-walking,' etc – that we're reduced to sputtering at him and demanding that he be banned because we'd rather not even have to talk about that stuff.

Those lobbed words and phrases detract significantly from the efficacy of his communiqué, and are therefore precisely the opposite of "eloquent."
posted by Sys Rq at 11:07 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am at this moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:13 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


*makes note to use "pearl clutching" on a regular basis. *
posted by eyeballkid at 11:21 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those lobbed words and phrases detract significantly from the efficacy of his communiqué, and are therefore precisely the opposite of "eloquent."

Exactly. If how you say something gets in the way of what you're saying, then communication has failed. Audiences differ; what works for some will not work for others.

What kind of cheese do you use, jenkinsEar?
posted by rtha at 11:30 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: “Those lobbed words and phrases detract significantly from the efficacy of his communiqué, and are therefore precisely the opposite of ‘eloquent.’”

rtha: “Exactly. If how you say something gets in the way of what you're saying, then communication has failed. Audiences differ; what works for some will not work for others.”

I never said Faze was doing well at "communicating." I don't think that's what Metafilter is for.
posted by koeselitz at 11:56 AM on November 7, 2010


The value of an intelligent enemy, even a brilliant enemy, who challenges you in the strongest language, and who continually forces you to listen to confusing and offensive rhetoric that flies in the face of everything you hold dear!

New profile contact status:
☐ Idiot enemy ☑ Brilliant enemy ☑ Arch-nemesis ☐ Enemy spouse
posted by XMLicious at 12:04 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I also note that many of those who engage in the subgenre, Ice T, Ice cube, and others, do themselves see it as something specific and distinct.

I would bet good money they don't think it's distinct type of music from Hip-Hop. And what's even more interesting if you go back you can see these distinction were not formed in the community but rather by MTV. MTV came up with the term "ganster rap". MTV came up with the distinction of category between Rap and Hip-Hop so they could give away another award. There is no difference. Rap is a part of Hip-Hop.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:04 PM on November 7, 2010


Would someone please summarize this, with •• bullet •• points and 20 important "quotes", on two screens or less... 'cuz I have to go work out walk the dog and don't have time to read all this.
posted by HuronBob at 12:05 PM on November 7, 2010


• Ass jiggle

• GRAR.
posted by Mid at 12:29 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never said Faze was doing well at "communicating." I don't think that's what Metafilter is for.

Metafilter is for many things. For some people, it's about one or two things, and for other people it is about a whole lot of things. Nobody is wrong. Communication is one of the things that Metafilter is for (else why post links or ask for advice or post your song?), for many people. For others, I guess not so much. But people type stuff in boxes for a reason, and whether or not they intend to "communicate," a lot of us kind of assume that writing words so that other people can read them has a communicative intent.
posted by rtha at 12:30 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


As someone who has spent most of her adult life wearing pearls, I can testify that pearl-clutching is, indeed, a very bad thing. The dirt and sweat from your hands can erode the silk string between the pearls (let's assume that you have wisely chosen a knotted pearl necklace) and cause the pearls to lose their luster. REMEMBER, PEARLS ARE NOT ROCKS. They must be treated delicately.

Please do not clutch your pearls.
posted by Evangeline at 12:38 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


However, the value of eloquent opponents – have we thought much about that here? The value of an intelligent enemy, even a brilliant enemy, who challenges you in the strongest language, and who continually forces you to listen to confusing and offensive rhetoric that flies in the face of everything you hold dear! Everybody here – even myself – has taken the easy route and ponderously lectured Faze about how little he understands rap music, about how he's being 'ignorant,' et cetera. But that clearly doesn't cut to the heart of his biting criticism, which none of us seems to want to touch; he's lobbing all these words and phrases at us that we all find so offensive – 'ape-walking,' etc – that we're reduced to sputtering at him and demanding that he be banned because we'd rather not even have to talk about that stuff.

What, precisely, is the value you take away from this poster's contributions to the site?

In the comment that started this thread, he/she made the following claims about hip hop culture:

- that it destroys cultural expression
- that rap music lacks artistic value ("stylized barking")
- that rappers are psychologically damaged ("shallow emotional cripples")
- that male rap fans are psychologically damaged and subhuman ("stiff, repressed robots")
- that female rap fames are psychologically damaged and subhuman ("desperate, ass-jittering cattle")
- that rap music promotes promotes greed
- that rap music promotes gun violence
- that rap music promotes cruelty
- that rap music promotes anal rape
- that rap music promotes pimping
- that rap music promotes drug abuse
- that rap music promotes murder
- that rap music promotes racism
- that rap music has defeated the civil rights movement
- that rap music has caused more harm than segregation, lynching, and Jim Crow
- that rap has damaged American spirituality
- that feminists, humanists and liberals are cowards
- that participants in hip-hop culture are vulgar animals
- that hip-hop culture constitutes a reactionary army
- that rappers are cynical opportunists
- that rappers are dangerous
- that hip hop is imperialist

There's not an argument here. Where's the "reasonable" opinion that Faze claims to have presented? Where's the "biting criticism" of which you speak? I don't see it.

What I see is inflammatory rhetoric, hysterical reactionary claims, ignorance and bigotry.

More to the point, this poster has been provided with multiple opportunities to engage in substantive discussion of the original topic, and even, generously, his/her own agenda. The poster has also been supplied with patient, reasonable critique of his/her manner of expression. The poster has engaged with none of this, instead characterizing all of these attempts to communicate as evidence of a failure on the part of this community to engage with a minority/dissenting opinion.

Personally, this violates my standard for determining whether someone is sincerely interested in dialogue and worth paying attention to. Folks get one chance with me, regardless of what I think of their original opinion. Once a reasonable critique has been offered, I look at their next comment to see whether or not they've engaged it. The pattern here is one we've seen a million times--ignoring critique and claiming close-mindedness and group-think and cowardice on the part of the community. Personally, this is my definition of a troll, but regardless of what you call it, it seems to me--obviously so--that this is the opposite of a constructive contribution. To the contrary, this failure to engage with substantive and reasonable critique, makes it pretty clear that this and other like posters are more interested in hearing themselves speak than in anything else.

So, Faze, I'm calling you out. If you are, as you claim, interested in having a discussion in good faith, then feel free to engage with any one of the many reasonable critiques offered in this thread, or to point out where you've already done so.

As for those of you who are, essentially, egging Faze on. I think all of your arguments in support of Faze boil down to the simple fact that you find Faze entertaining. Very well, but I ask you to consider the cost to the discourse and to this community of indulging such entertainments. It promotes anal rape and cannibalism.
posted by flotson at 12:38 PM on November 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


Also, jenkinsEar has nailed it.

"Oh Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, I am strapped to your wheel."
posted by flotson at 12:42 PM on November 7, 2010


koeselitz: "I never said Faze was doing well at "communicating." I don't think that's what Metafilter is for."

What is MetaFilter for?

As I have said above I am pretty sure Faze is not a person but a performance project. I think that this flies in the face of MetaFilter's community norms. I think that most people expect that a MeFi username generally represents an actual person and the comments attributed to that name represent the views, opinions, and circumstances of that said person. Rather than various experiments in creative writing injecting themselves into a community's discourse.

I kind of like the idea of a name representing a literary experiment in public performance, and can imagine enjoying taking part in a place where this is the norm, but MeFi is not, and should not, be that place. And realistically we would quickly get bored by our quirky little ghetto and the absence of straight-men to bounce our zaniness off of.

I could be off the mark here, but I seem to gather that most people here kind of expect that when someone makes a comment they are making a good faith effort to communicate something, rather than playing artistic games and attempting to manipulate an audience to prove some kind of point.

Evangeline: "REMEMBER, PEARLS ARE NOT ROCKS. They must be treated delicately."

Also, I think rock clutching would be a great insult to describe the indignation of men at the slightest hint of feminism.
posted by idiopath at 12:45 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


flotson has a list that could be sending Hip-Hop to Belguim
posted by clavdivs at 12:50 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The family tree of Rap is as follows: Blues -- Jazz Poetry -- Beat Poetry -- Black Arts -- Rap.

I'm guessing Jamaican Sound Systems and The Dozens have a greater claim to paternity than any of those alleged precursors. I'd be surprised if many of the early rappers had actually heard The Last Poets, they were kind of obscure and kind of highbrow. I can see how later rappers would have sought them out, but I can't see them having much influence on partying kids in the Bronx.

Jamaican Sound Systems

Also, DJ Kool Herc was Jamaican
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:53 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


flotson: “What, precisely, is the value you take away from this poster's contributions to the site?”

I shouldn't even have to answer that question; Rory already did, and handily. If you disagree, I'd like you to go read this or this and then come back here and answer it yourself.

“In the comment that started this thread, he/she made the following claims about hip hop culture... There's not an argument here. Where's the "reasonable" opinion that Faze claims to have presented? Where's the "biting criticism" of which you speak? I don't see it.”

And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love. Not one. Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to. There are one or two recommendations of things Faze is supposed to listen to, and that's all well and good, but I'd hoped for something more, frankly. I wish I weren't leaving for a wedding in five minutes, or I might give it a go myself.

At the very least, though: you want to know what Faze has given to Metafilter with this comment? Scroll back up and read the comment above by barnacles; that comment alone was worth this entire thread, worth the callout, worth everything. That comment is valuable. And how did it come about? As a reasoned, thoughtful response to this instance of Faze's invective.

Do you really not see the violence and sometime misogyny of rap music as a problem? Is there truly nothing wrong with things like "Bitches Ain't Shit" to you? Seriously? I remember a lot of us white liberals made this mistake back in the day – still make it – when confronted by something like Dr Dre's work with NWA; we enthusiastically accept outright hatred of women, for example, because the person spouting it happens to come from a disadvantaged black community. But that's utterly disrespectful, I think; the respectful thing to say to Dr Dre is: "fuck you. This shit doesn't fly." But none of us white liberals have ever said that to him or his kind. We're generally too worried that it'll make us look like racists. And say what you want, there is a lot of group-think here. You don't have to hate the music, or the community, to find this stuff a bit unpalatable; and I think any sane, moral person has to be a bit taken aback by Eazy E's stuff, for example. But is that art? Or is that encouraging injustice?

And I don't mind Faze being loud and obnoxious in stating his point, nor do I mind the fact that he tears people down a bit to do it. That can be part of the thing of it.
posted by koeselitz at 1:09 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love.

Really? Earlier in the thread I posted an example of a song that I love, one that doesn't involved Reagan's anus on stilts or whatever the fuck. I think that's a pretty good defense. But I'm not going to do any more than that, because Faze, no matter how much other people protest otherwise, is not arguing in good faith. Not even remotely. To respond seriously to him would be an utter waste of my time.

The thing is, Faze is not expressing an opinion. He's not. An opinion would be something to the effect of, "I don't like rap music," or even, "I think rap music is, on the whole, damaging to black culture." I would disagree with the second statement (and I would think the first one is just sad), but those are statements of opinion, and as such we could discuss them. But Faze did not make statements of opinion. He made statements of fact. I quote:

Liberals and humanists have been silent, as this, this most blatantly and monstrously misogynistic collective expression took hold in America, and its fetishization of wealth, guns, cruelty, anal rape, pimp culture, drugs and murder became mainstream culture . . . . characterizations of African-Americans so grotesque, so dehumanizing, so cruelly unfair that they make the caricatures of previous eras -- the eras of lynching, segregation and Jim Crow -- look gentle, and dignified and even desirable.

That is not a statement of opinion. He is stating what he believes to be a fact: that ALL rap, not just some, traffics in dehumanizing, unfair caricatures. Yes, some rap does do that. So do some movies. So does some of the music that white people make. But to state that all rap does this is not just wrong, it is wrong and racist. It is so hyperbolically wrong that I feel cheaped addressing it, because that means I have actually taken his horrifically incorrect drivel seriously for the length of time it took me to type this. This is not about discussing opinions: this is one person saying, "2 + 2 = 5!" and a bunch of other people saying, "WELL AT LEAST WE HAVE TO RESPECT HIS OPINION!"
posted by Frobenius Twist at 1:30 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Scroll back up and read the comment above by barnacles; that comment alone was worth this entire thread, worth the callout, worth everything.

Let's go hyperbolic: by your measure, could we justify WWI by saying it gave us "In Flanders Fields"?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 1:34 PM on November 7, 2010


And nevermind my poor taste in poetry: Guernica for the Spanish Civil War.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 1:36 PM on November 7, 2010


What flotson said -- that's eloquent. And exactly what I would like to say.

koeselitz -- what exactly would be the point of telling Faze what I do and do not like about hip hop? That's the thing about his comments. He comes across as a loud, angry bigot. I have no interest in sharing my thoughts with a bigot, because he has already made clear that my thoughts are valueless.

That, in my opinion, is what makes him a troll. He takes a space which was created for thoughtful discussion -- look at this hip hop, what's good about this particular kind of hip hop, what's not -- and reframes the conversation so that it becomes uncomfortable for anyone he's included in his rant to contribute. Maybe I would like to talk about the misogyny present in much of rap, but I am now a subject of his misogyny, so what's the point? I'd have to defend myself against his accusations about me -- as a woman, a feminist, a liberal, a white person -- before I can engage on any points that might exist under the poison.

For the record, I'm happy to engage with you about this. I think Dr. Dre and Eazy E are still incredibly important, because they give us an opportunity to recognize the interplay of medium and message. I don't listen to much of the 80's-90's gangsta rap, because it is misogynistic. But their talent with pushing rap's limits made it possible for later virtuosos to make incredibly powerful songs, and amazing beats, that don't relay on those values. I won't listen to Snoop, or Ice Cube, though I love their style, but because of how much visceral pleasure their songs provide, it drives me to seek out rap music that does express positive or neutral views about women. And, also for the record, I am not afraid to distinguish between racism and calling out misogyny. If we're going to generalize, I don't think many third wave feminists (being aware of intersectionality) are hesitant to make that distinction loudly.
posted by freshwater at 1:40 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


when confronted by something like Dr Dre's work with NWA

Dre made beats. That's it. He didn't write any of the lyrics for the Chronic either. As a matter of fact go back and listen to The Chronic, his flow is complete shit.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:49 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Faze writes endless culture-war malarky. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's not.
posted by telstar at 1:52 PM on November 7, 2010


Once you know that Dre's rhymes are almost always ghostwritten, it's fun to think of who he was hanging out with at the time and guess who wrote them (Cube, Snoop, Jay-Z and Eminem, among many others).
posted by box at 2:32 PM on November 7, 2010


Do you really not see the violence and sometime misogyny of rap music as a problem?

Honestly? No, I don't; or at least, not as universally and especially problematic when compared to "Parchman Farm," or David Allan Coe, or Don Giovanni.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 3:00 PM on November 7, 2010


I thought MeFites only knew 90s-style socially conscious hip-hop like Mos Def and The Roots? Huh.
posted by desuetude at 3:05 PM on November 7, 2010


He comes across as a loud, angry bigot. I have no interest in sharing my thoughts with a bigot, because he has already made clear that my thoughts are valueless.

That, in my opinion, is what makes him a troll. He takes a space which was created for thoughtful discussion -- look at this hip hop, what's good about this particular kind of hip hop, what's not -- and reframes the conversation so that it becomes uncomfortable for anyone he's included in his rant to contribute.


Here's the thing though -- the definition of "Troll" is not "someone you disagree with." Nor is it "someone you don't like to talk to." The definition of "troll" is quite specific -- it is "someone who deliberately says offensive things ONLY because they know it will get everyone all het up and they get their rocks off that way."

The reason why everyone now assumes that "troll" is "someone I disagree with" is because too many people were using the term as a cheat to get people to stop paying attention to people they disagreed with. But that's intellectually dishonest -- because, like it or not, people DO disagree with us all, and they DO seriously really believe what they believe.

This isn't to say that I think the people who say offensive things shouldn't be called out on it -- quite the contrary. This is only saying that I would be wrong in calling them trolls. For the same reason as they would be wrong for calling ME a troll.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:06 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think Faze is more of a derail artist than a troll. That is, he lobs a verbal grenade in a thread -- and he believes what he throws -- and he knows it's likely going to make the thread about whatever the grenade was, and not about whatever was being discussed before.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:15 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let's go hyperbolic: by your measure, could we justify WWI by saying it gave us "In Flanders Fields"?

that could be a violation of The Hidden Law.
posted by clavdivs at 3:17 PM on November 7, 2010


I have no opinion about the suitability of it as a comment in that thread, but I do think that was a pretty fine rant.

I do appreciate good workmanship.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:22 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


As for those of you who are, essentially, egging Faze on. I think all of your arguments in support of Faze boil down to the simple fact that you find Faze entertaining.

I do find Faze entertaining.

If people realize that the opinions they are so angry about are coming from someone who has consciously, over a decade, been an agent provocateur without a cause, well, then who is the fool for getting angry? He's doing it on purpose, and he's doing it very well. I have no idea what the over-arching ideological construct is behind this little art project of his - for it to have gone on so long there must be some meaning, even if only in his mind. But I can tell you that one of its goals appears to be to force people to look ridiculous defending a reasonable position.

And it works brilliantly.

There's no point to getting angry with Faze. Indeed, getting angry with him is masturbatory. You know he's not going to defend what he's said. You know that no one can possibly believe his argument is convincing. But people consistently fall over their own feet to argue with a Swamp Fox, because he is so wrong. And the very next time he does it, people will argue with him again.

I don't admire the meaning of his eloquent prose, and I feel guilty because it is not community-spirited to enjoy his comments when they're crafted to goad and annoy. But there is no denying that it takes a certain amount of skill to ride the line like Faze does and be so consistent. If he were to be exactly the same person, with exactly the same spiraling-outward-from-rationality comments, but argue for things held dear in the community rather than against them, he'd be the king of metafilter and people would adore him. He's deliberately choosing to be a pariah and choosing it again with every comment he makes. It is quite funny.
posted by winna at 3:36 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


If you disagree, I'd like you to go read this...

Whatever, the comment is a 70/30 mixture of shit and reasonable advice that has been grown in a narrow field, harvested with single scythe handed down from a 1950s father and then consumed with unthinking thought for a life time. It written by a person who seems to been been fed a single line of thought and finding themselves excelling at it, have decided it is some eternal truth. It's lazy and one sided and the championing of it is disheartening.
posted by nomadicink at 3:38 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Faze, with so many flourishes and twists, tongue twisting rhythms, allusions and slurs,
consider and regard your subject. What is the initial impetus of this debate? Ask that.

I thought about it for several long hours, taking pause.

It's not you. It is not your method nor your tone. The subject is this place and time.
Your lyrical prowess is blinding. Few can see your meaning beyond your words. It's sad.

If I could think right now of a colorful and descriptive honorific to give to you I would,
except I fear the carefully crafted satire you would spit out would shame me in this crowd.

So, with that out of the way, the question remains. Was DJ Screw
any good? Or not? I need your reassurance. You know what I'm sayin'?
posted by at the crossroads at 5:45 PM on November 7, 2010


Faze is a classic Right Wing Troll account and it continually astounds me that he hasn't been banned yet.
posted by DU at 6:26 PM on November 7, 2010


Come on, Faze. You know as well as I do that if, instead of hip hop, it were Tin Pan Alley-style songs and Broadway show tunes that young musicians all over the world were copying and incorporating into their music, your talk of "cultural imperialism" would vanish like a wisp of smoke in a hurricane.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:35 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The definition of "troll" is quite specific -- it is "someone who deliberately says offensive things ONLY because they know it will get everyone all het up and they get their rocks off that way."


Ok, isn't that exactly what he did? Derail artist? Isn't that exactly what that is too?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:39 PM on November 7, 2010


So hung up on the definition of troll-- How have you forgotten satire so swiftly?
posted by at the crossroads at 6:56 PM on November 7, 2010


> The definition of "troll" is quite specific -- it is "someone who deliberately says offensive things ONLY because they know it will get everyone all het up and they get their rocks off that way."


Ok, isn't that exactly what he did?


No. Faze posted someting he does believe because he really wanted to say that. If he really was a troll, he wouldn't have "gone to work out", he would have stayed put and watched the thread unfold. He wouldn't have necessarily believed what he said, he would have thought, "ooohh, watch this, I know, I'll say all this and that'll REALLY get people upset." He wouldn't have been able to resist throwing in more stuff to say and arguing with everyone OVER AND OVER AGAIN about how right he was and how dumb we all were.

He didn't do that. He said what he had to say and took off. He really believed what he said, and he wanted to say it -- because it was his opinion.

That's not a troll. That's someone who's saying something he believes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love. Not one. Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to.

I think there a quite a few comments that make reasoned arguments, and also point to an obvious love and more than passing knowledge of Hip Hop. I could write thousands of words defense of Hip Hop, and my perspective on it, but I don't really see how it helps this discussion. In my mind this thread seems to be more about how we talk about this thing than the thing itself.

My problem with His rebuke of Hip Hop wan't what he said, or how he said it. It was with his perception of who he thought he was saying it to. And It's a problem that also applies to a lot of people here who's views I agree with as well.

I am s often reminded of the old sitcom cliche where one character will spout off about another, unaware that the subject has entered the room behind them. On TV it's funny. The longer they go on unaware, the funnier the joke is. On TV.

We aren't on TV. In polite society, that's not a funny joke. It's a pretty fundamental break in the part of social contract that says that a person's presence in our mind holds weight as if they were physically present. The best way way humans have to absolve themselves of that empathetic responsibility it to create a class of "others" and place those they don't wish to consider into that class. For me to open my soul and explain what Hip Hop means to me as a primary cultural influence makes the conversation about me, and who I am. This is a conversation about Faze and what he did. Hip Hop didn't take a steaming dump in that thread. Faze did.

We keep having these conversations on this site, and I guess we'll keep having it until everyone gets it. If someone comes here and tosses out something that's offensive to certain segments of this community, and someone in that group calls them on it, why do we then have to spend hours and days and hundreds of comments defending our right to question their point of view?

Forcing us to do so over and over again is basically forcing us to accept one point of view as default, while all other viewpoints somehow need to pass some rigorous philosophical debate and review before even being considered. I reject that notion, and shall continue to do so.

So until Faze can come here and convince me that I should accept his reduction of me into the 2 dimensional stereotype that he put forth, I don't have to defend a goddamned thing.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:04 PM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


I know it's only rock and roll but I like it.
posted by nola at 7:16 PM on November 7, 2010


No. Faze posted someting he does believe because he really wanted to say that.

Prove it? If the troll definition is wants attention and offensive what Faze did clearly fit the bill. Again, APEMEN AND WATERMELON is not borderline language, it's straight up offensive. About the only way it could be more clearly racist stereotyping is if he posted via a webcam in blackface eating fried chicken.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:18 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Prove it? If the troll definition is wants attention and offensive what Faze did clearly fit the bill.

It's that "wants attention" part. He wouldn't have posted what he did and then LEFT for several hours. He would have stayed and basked.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:24 PM on November 7, 2010


Again, I'm not saying it's not offensive as HELLfuckall. I'm just saying it's not trolling. The reason I'm making that distinction is that if you call someone a troll, it makes it easy for other people to dismiss and ignore what they say. If they AREN'T a troll, then they DO take what they say seriously, which is all the MORE important why you need to speak out against them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:25 PM on November 7, 2010


The distinction I would draw is between "I have an opinion about this" which is generally fine if not done poorly, and "this reminds me of something about which I will now state my opinion" which is less good much of the time...

And yet any Mefi thread on events in countries that aren't the U.S. will contain anecdotes about how things are done in the U.S., frequently so many that it becomes the de facto discussion. And no one bats an eyelid.

Also, Faze is not someone I always agree with, but his comments are of a consistently high calibre and usually make me rethink my position on whatever he's talking about. As far as I'm concerned, he's one of Metafilter's most interesting posters. This thread has me rethinking the sophistication of the site and its membership in general, it's sad to see.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:28 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can you really look at his history and claim he doesn't write comments to attract attention? Everyone does so to a degree I guess, but if you do so with offensive apeman and watermelon language that IS TROLLING.

I'm not saying ban him for one troll comment, I've posted plenty of what I would consider troll comments. I say keep him around, but that was as clear a case of trolling as I have ever seen.

(And for all you know he could have been watching and laughing all day, trolls can lie, not saying he did!)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:32 PM on November 7, 2010


This thread has me rethinking the sophistication of the site and its membership in general, it's sad to see.

Ha, those singing the praises of Faze's comments has me feeling the exact same way. Yet the site will go on, remember that.
posted by nomadicink at 7:32 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


(And for all you know he could have been watching and laughing all day, trolls can lie, not saying he did!)

Most trolls can't resist commenting again and again, making fun of the people who respond to their comments.

Can you really look at his history and claim he doesn't write comments to attract attention? Everyone does so to a degree I guess, but if you do so with offensive apeman and watermelon language that IS TROLLING.

No, it's word choice you find offensive. Some people use ugly words and mean them. The people who use ugly words and mean them are not trolls, and dismissing them as trolls tells people "we don't have to pay attention to this person."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 PM on November 7, 2010


The people who use ugly words and mean them are not trolls

So...not a troll, just a racist. If you want to go that way...but I personally don't think he meant it.

Most trolls can't resist commenting again and again, making fun of the people who respond to their comments.

Heh, not the masters, and if Faze is one he is a master. More the Adequacy type, not the common forum troll. Trolling is about provoking the reaction. The best trolling score comes from the most reaction for the least comments. Anyone can go to *local sports team board* and post *local sports team* sucks over and over and get a reaction.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:43 PM on November 7, 2010


And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love. Not one. Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to.

Hm. I started listening to hip hop in the early 80s. I was exposed to it through my family's frequent trips to New York, where they came from. I found a local soul station that played hip hop very late at night, for about two hours. I stayed up and listened, and recorded the songs on a tape player, and memorized them. I can still do almost the entirety of "Jam On It."

I'm not generally challenged to defend other music I listen to -- country murder ballads, or Cubans sons, or Yiddish theater music. And I certainly am rarely challenged to defend music I have been listening to for three decades -- nobody demands to know why I like new wave. But I suppose it is worth discussing.

The appeal of hip hop for me, when I was younger, was that it felt very contemporary. Radio music back them -- especially pop radio, but including soul, was very processed. Rap was stripped down. And it seemed to alternate between an almost cartoonish sensibility -- rappers would discuss fighting Superman, as an example -- and a near-documentary look at life in poor neighborhoorhoods. I remember the first time I heard "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash. There was absolutely nothing like it, anywhere. It was just brutally honest.

And there was a great lyrical playfulness, coupled with a rhythmic sensibility that has just grown more and more complex. So much music is set to just a plodding 4/4 tempo, but because rap prided itself on the rhythmic expressiveness of its presentation, suddenly there were complex polyrhythms, and syncopation that created a sort of second rhythm atop the beat box, and one that was given almost unlimited freedom. It's a bit like the use of the bongo in Cuban music -- it provides a constant counterpoint and commentary on the main rhythm. That's just terrifically exciting to listen to.

Additionally, I was, and remain, hugely attracted to its origins. It was a poor person's art -- it was quite literally reassembled from existing elements, making it musically something like a collage, which was a very rare thing in music back in the 80s -- it really did look to the future, to now, when collage is one of the defining aesthetics.

But I may have been biased, as I was also a break dancer -- another of the three basic elements of hip hop, and, when it came out (and, to my opinion, to this day), one of the most radical innovations in popular dance of the 20th century, borrowing from mime, martial arts, and, for a while, Egyptian art about equally. Break dancing just suited rap, and vice versa. And, again, it was a low-cost undertaking -- some parachute pants and a flattened cardboard box and you're good to go. It was a musical expression created for almost nothing by people who were denied access to the professional machine of culture, representing their own experience and making use of what they had access to. And indigenous developments of culture such as this is always something special, especially here in America. Because the real cultural tragedy of America is that we are a nation of consumers. We have been trained to define ourselves based on how cleverly we purchase. But here was an art for that was homemade. These weren't people looking to spend their money in a way that showed how excellent they are. It was a collection of people who had something to say and were going to find a way to say it. And I think that's why it's become so popular worldwide. Because hip hop can always be made again, like rock and roll, on the cheap and in the image of its creators. Sometimes that image will be pretty unpleasant -- there are some bad people in the world. But often it will be revolutionary.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:45 PM on November 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


This thread has me rethinking the sophistication of the site and its membership in general, it's sad to see.

*Dons cummerbund, tries to give a shit*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:52 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love.

I like it, Dick. It's got a good beat! You know, like, you can dance to it. I'll give it an 8.

Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to.

Well, yeah, of course. I mean, hell, you can't even get a driver's license here in Japan unless you can quote at least 5 lines from Wu-Tang.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:03 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who's interested in starting a Mefi hip hop crew? We're gonna call it Comments Removed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:12 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


And yet any Mefi thread on events in countries that aren't the U.S. will contain anecdotes about how things are done in the U.S., frequently so many that it becomes the de facto discussion.

It happens sometimes. It's not always great when it does happen. There's a pretty important difference, however, between individual folks in a large group engaging in innocuous independent acts of conversation, and a single user repeatedly and apparently willfully playing the same hand again and again and again. One's an issue for discussion, certainly, and things like the emergent negative effects of group dynamics do get discussed here sometimes ("no one bats an eyelid" is very, very far from the truth); the other's an issue of bad-faith use of the site.

> Faze posted someting he does believe because he really wanted to say that.

Prove it?


The mind-reading required to prove any such thing in either direction, and the lack of any real consensus about what "troll" means, and handful of other complicating factors in trying to suss out the intentions of someone with a history of disruptive behavior on the site is a big part of why, as I said upthread, I'm pretty unenthusiastic about latching onto "troll" or any other such term when talking about this stuff.

I frankly don't give a shit whether Faze falls under one person or another's definition of troll; I care that people here don't make a habit of operating in apparent bad faith or treat the site primarily as the staging ground for their own personal amusement without regard for the great big crowd of people they're in theory supposed to be sharing the place with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:19 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing Jamaican Sound Systems and The Dozens have a greater claim to paternity than any of those alleged precursors. I'd be surprised if many of the early rappers had actually heard The Last Poets, they were kind of obscure and kind of highbrow. I can see how later rappers would have sought them out, but I can't see them having much influence on partying kids in the Bronx.

Herc was a pioneer of the music of hiphop. His work on the mic had more in common with a square dance caller, than what one would consider a rapper; "wave 'em like you just don't care" kind of stuff. Hype-man shtick.

Meanwhile...
posted by Sys Rq at 8:25 PM on November 7, 2010


Not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love. Not one. Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to.


Personally, Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" is pure artistry. I love this song. I LOVE this song. In it, he just explains the relentlessness of the poverty in his community, and the effect it has on him personally. It's both a cry against human misery, and also a statement about resilience. Everyone who lived in my neighborhood was singing that song, and it was on every radio, every stereo and in every basement party. People would sing that song to each other, making eye contact and snapping fingers, like they were in communion. That's because in under 5 minutes, Grandmaster Flash encapsulated what people lived with every day, but didn't know how to describe. It was the equivalent of a brokenhearted girl listening to patsy cline lyrics and thinking, "Exactly. Exactly. It's just like that."

You can dance to it, it's catchy, the words are impassioned, the beat isn't manic - it's smooth and slow, almost languid, and it takes til the third or fourth verse before you realize that the very relentlessness of his telling of the day to day moments of living in poverty are actually an element of the song, and it's meant to overwhelm you. Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" was a counterpoint to something equally popular at the time, but more joyous, like "Rapper's Delight". When I hear both of those songs on an old school jam set on the radio, I always think of Maya Angelou's "Weekend Glory", about the joy of being young and black on a Saturday night.

Anyway, first verse and chorus of Grandmaster Flash's The Message. It is Hip Hop Gold:

Broken glass everywhere
People pissing on the stairs, you know they just don't care
I can't take the smell, I can't take the noise no more
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with the baseball bat
I tried to get away, but I couldn't get far
Cause a man with a tow-truck repossessed my car

Chorus:
Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head, ah huh-huh-huh
[2nd and 5th: ah huh-huh-huh]
[4th: say what?]
It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under
It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under
posted by anitanita at 8:25 PM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


ah huh-huh-huh

That's the best part.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:48 PM on November 7, 2010


How I keep from going under

the particular ethos makes this a fine example of current economic conditions and arts ability to convey thought outside what society calls "The Norm". Even more, as a former towtruck driver, the lyric is very accurate when repossession occurs thus validating a sense of economic angst from said lyric.
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 PM on November 7, 2010


I can also posit that bumping 'Cypress Hill' in the towtruck has saved this ass a cap.

it has also yielded some fine cultural benefits.
posted by clavdivs at 9:10 PM on November 7, 2010


There has to be a mod awake somewhere who can end this.
posted by timsteil at 9:18 PM on November 7, 2010


End what? I like hip-hop.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:20 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love. Not one. Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to.

It's because not many people can be both passionate and reasonable at the same time.

Secondly, hip hop (the music and the culture) is huge. Any comprehensive critique by one person would be their lifetime's work. It's so vast that I defy anyone to say honestly that they hate all of it or love all of it.

The best rebuke for the aspects of hip hop you don't like is simply not to participate in those aspects. I can ignore 50 Cent because I have De La Soul. If I wanted to win people over to liking (some) hip hop, it isn't difficult to simply follow them around with armloads of singles asking "Do you like this? What about this? How about more stuff like this?"
posted by Ritchie at 9:22 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to."

Well, certainly, that's why I like it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:08 PM on November 7, 2010


How many times did the Batmobile catch a flat?
posted by at the crossroads at 10:16 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


AnitaAnita, it's interesting you bring up The Message. I also remember when that song came out. It was as much a revelation as you describe and more. It's not much of a stretch to say that pretty much the entirety of hip hop from that point forward is simply a restatement of Melle Mel's perfectly prescient final verse from that song.

A child is born with no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind
God is smilin' on you but he's frownin' too
Because only God knows what you'll go through
You'll grow in the ghetto livin' second-rate
And your eyes will sing a song of deep hate
The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alleyway
You'll admire all the number-book takers
Thugs, pimps and pushers and the big money-makers
Drivin' big cars, spendin' twenties and tens
And you'll wanna grow up to be just like them, huh
Smugglers, scramblers, burglars, gamblers
Pickpockets, peddlers, even panhandlers
You say I'm cool, huh, I'm no fool
But then you wind up droppin' outta high school
Now you're unemployed, all non void
Walkin' round like you're Pretty Boy Floyd
Turned stick-up kid, but look what you done did
Got sent up for a eight-year bid
Now your manhood is took and you're a Maytag
Spend the next two years as a undercover fag
Bein' used and abused and served like hell
'til one day, you was found hung dead in the cell
It was plain to see that your life was lost
You was cold and your body swung back and forth
But now your eyes sing the sad, sad song
Of how you lived so fast and died so young.


The story it tells may not be pretty. Like any communication there is a lot of noise obscuring the signal, but at its core, it is as accurate a telling of our story as there is. There is a reason Hip Hop has spread the way it has. It gives voice to those who have none. Many on the outside can appreciate it through scholarly discourse and music theory, or even simple enjoyment of the artform. But it also serves as a message to to any who need to hear it that "yes, you can tell your story, and someone out there will listen to it" It tells the otherwise invisible that they indeed take up space in the world. It tells the endangered that their stories will be told and their existence remembered.

Some people look at Gangster Rap and see a promotion of violence. I see a memory of it. I hear the stories of those of us who were seduced by the evils of the world that seemed to be in much greater supply for some of us than it was for others. Yes, I am saddened by the lost potential of the many who couldn't escape or survive, but I also can listen to Snoop, or Mobb Deep and know that I never have to forget them. I know that if anyone wants to know who they were and where they where, and why they were, their story can be told. It can be told beautifully, and it can be told with humor, irony, and sadness, and even ugliness. it has a right to be told in it's entirety. It is a story that is not above criticism. However, in criticizing it, don't make the mistake of reducing it to a simple negative stereotype. Hip Hop, just as the people who's story it tells, has the right to be measured on the same scale as the rest of humanity, in all of it's capacity for both blindness and enlightenment.

Most of all, if we are to address hip hop in full and give it the benefit of full measure, we have to take into account it's ability to grow and mature. A lot of people hate on Kanye West, but he possesses a level of complexity that wasn't allowed to shine as brightly in the past. He's been massively successful as the embodiment of the question as to how much insecurity is behind Rap's default macho stance. How difficult it is to stand on two feet not as some sort of stereotypical analogue for everyone who looks like you, but as an individual who is both massively talented and completely prone to all of the excesses and missteps that come with simply being human. Every few years the outside world looks at Hip Hop and says "oh, these people are like THIS" And then Kanye comes along and the point of reference is not the boilerplate urban narrative. Instead of thug, pimp, or sensitive backpacker, we get narcissistic modern furniture enthusiast. When one of the biggest rap acts of the day seems to have stepped whole cloth out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel, that might not be growth in the right direction....but it's growth.

In my mind one the least defensible aspect of Hip Hop is it's misogyny. And I can't so much defend it as simply say that it is unfortunate that it's such a big part of the story. Hip Hop may have spouted way too many bitches and hoes, but it also brought us Common's The Light

"If Heaven had a height, you'd be that tall"... it just doesn't get better than that.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:31 PM on November 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


A CALL FOR PAPERS!
posted by clavdivs at 10:52 PM on November 7, 2010


fligglity-floo a gaffy gone stray turns symposium.
posted by clavdivs at 10:56 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dear Cabal,

If you don't mind, we are trying to have our [Comments Removed] "fuck America" rant right now. Please take your fliggity-floo-derailleurs talk to MeMail. Thanks.
posted by at the crossroads at 11:50 PM on November 7, 2010


I think the main thing I come away from this long series of comments with are the few folk who focused on Faze's "eloquent" words - and it's probably just me, but having actually tried to take in the subject matter of those words, I'm repulsed. Probably has something to do with the years I lived in the deep south and heard people tell me their feelings about people with darker skin - but it was ok to tell me, because of course I'm white, thus I must feel that way too. Uh, no. Just no. Not going back there.

You can wrap it in any words, call it performance art - but I don't want to go back to hearing that shit about apes and watermelons and what have you. I personally disagree with and want nothing to do with people who use such phrases - I don't want to rob them of their right to pontificate or tilt at windmills - but I've heard it before, nothing new here, and I'm not impressed or amused.

You don't have to ban anyone. I'm cool with just ignoring and moving on. But this is a level of ugly I don't tend to enjoy, even were this a trolling sockpuppet trying to make a theatrical statement of some kind.
posted by batgrlHG at 12:39 AM on November 8, 2010 [8 favorites]


Derailleurs? We only ride fixies. In fact, We own the worldwide patent on all fixed gear bicycles.
posted by the Cabal at 1:57 AM on November 8, 2010


yes but we control the roads.
posted by clavdivs at 2:19 AM on November 8, 2010


clav, there's not really much need for 19 semi-literate comments from you in this thread. It's all noise, just like that terrible music nobody likes.

Toodles,
Livia
posted by Wolof at 2:24 AM on November 8, 2010


Einsturzende Neubauten?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:39 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Like it or not, it looks to me like Faze egged on some really good conversations.
posted by kalessin at 2:48 AM on November 8, 2010


You know what's even more annoying than racists?

People who are overquick to accuse others of being racists.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that if you those of you who are with hankies a-flutter so blithely accusing this guy of being racist (and who knows, the cranky fucker just might be) from the single phrase 'ape-walking', I think that you are pretty much full of shit.

I think Faze is a troll, and I don't think he believes much of what he says, nor do I care for much of it -- I think he's word-drunk and enjoys getting a rise out of people as much as anything else -- so this isn't me defending him or his ideas. But unless there's some other evidence that he's an Evil Racist on the table that I've missed, I must suggest that you put away your pitchforks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:27 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Haha, whoever runs the Faze account is a fucking virtuoso. Good stuff.

Stavro, he threw in like 5 different racist stereotypes in one off-topic rant. There were watermelon seeds, apes, and ironic misspellings that resulted in "coons" being dropped. It was expertly crafted to give maximum offense. I don't actually think that he or she is racist. Most actual racists are so sensitive about the matter that they only bust out the Watermelon/Fried Chicken humor in email forwards they naively believe to be private. Dude, Faze is a class A troll, and brilliant to boot. I sympathize with those that are pissed off some of us are entertained and egg him on, but fuck. It's funny. Sorry.

I also get a trip out of people that get all semantic about "troll". For some reason the only way the person can qualify as a "troll" is if they don't actually believe what they are saying and are secretly on your side, or some shit. No. A troll is someone who says stuff to piss everyone off. It doesn't matter whether they believe it or not or are secretly liberal or whatever nonsense. Whoever owns this sock posts this (really well-done) horse-shit to get a response like you see here. That is a troll.
posted by cj_ at 4:26 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


But isn't "troll" itself rather racist? It's a kind of ad hominem attack that reduces the commenter to a form of subhuman status; a mean & rough creature that doesn't have a real home, but instead subsists beneath bridges, frightening & preying on passersby: just like a meth addict or a gypsy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:11 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


No it doesn't. Look up the meaning of troll. It has nothing to do with the bridge dwellers, but is a fishing term, similar to trawl.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:23 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


It has nothing to do with the bridge dwellers, but is a fishing term, similar to trawl.

Actually, you have to consider that both meanings come into play in relation the term: the under-bridge dweller, and the trawling. Cause folks wouldn't say "don't feed the troll" if they weren't associating the meaning with a troll, like the one from the billy goats gruff tale.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:13 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love. Not one.

I can't say that I love hip hop as a genre, with its overbearing focus on words and flow as opposed to music and words mixing together to create more than either. But I do love certain songs from, things in the De La Soul or Roots mode, stuff like Serengeti's Dennehy, a lyrical love poem to Chicago and daily life. It's sort of the opposite of The Message, which I admire greatly for its flow and images that convey a sense of frustration and anger, but to me it and other depictions of DA HOOD and it being the authentic black experience just doesn't resonate with this suburban bred black guy.

Still, selected blaring of some good beats with "GET OUT MY FACE BITCHES" attitude does wonders for the soul at times. A personal and long time favorite of mine is the soundtrack to the movieGhost Dog. There's something about those particular beats, ryhmes and attitude interspaced with Forest Whittaker reading quotes from "The Way of the Samurai" that just hits the spot.

I know, I know the "GET OUT MY FACE BITCHES" attitude can seem troublesome. The interesting thing to me is that that CD was often blared in a mixed environment of races and sexes, but we were united in one purpose (production staff for a newspaper) so the 'bitches' wasn't women, but rather the all others outside of our department who were 'giving us shit', making our jobs harder, etc, etc. The usual inter-office attitudes that can occur in any office situation, particularly newspaper departments (Oh God, those fucking salespeople, AMIRITE). It was harmless fun that united us together in an Us vs the World (at least that no nothing editorial dept), despite the lyrics seeming to be relentlessly negative against a certain segment of the populace. But I think a lot of people can relate to that feeling of 'Us against the World', which probably accounts for the popularity of hip hop among teenagers and young adults.

Hip hop is art, no question. Some of can be off putting and seemingly threatening, but like any art, once it's left the artist, parts of society interpret it however they want or more importantly, need to. Established society sees it as threat, because they've grown accustomed to their particular way of life and culture and view attacks on it, however justified or right, as a threat to their foundations (which it is), while youth see it as call to action or attitude (which it is), because they want to tear up or least spray paint those same foundations.

What does bother me about hip hop though is people classifying it as one type of music, with single particular sound. That's just ignorant and reflects the shallow depth of thought of anyone who spout such nonsense. Hip hop became more than that years ago and even I, a very casual observer of the genre, realize that. So no, Faze's comment comes off as just another variation of blind, willful ignorance. He's a member of society for years now, so he see's any sort of attack as threat to a way of life he had come to enjoy and even love. His own confrontational and bravado stye of writing is just the flip side of a coin he claims to dislike, while failing to take into how closely he (wait for it) apes it in his own attitude.

Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to.

Please tell me you're were not serious when you wrote this. Because it's one of the stupidest things I've ever read anywhere, and I've read "Atlas Shrugged" and VC Andrews.
posted by nomadicink at 6:32 AM on November 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


Has there ever been a case of a troll falling into the river from beneath his bridge only to be snagged by a passing troll who was out trawling?
posted by Sailormom at 6:35 AM on November 8, 2010


Has there ever been a case of a troll falling into the river from beneath his bridge only to be snagged by a passing troll who was out trawling?

Happens all the time.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:42 AM on November 8, 2010


Most fishermen have to spend at least 12 hours a week repairing nets that get snagged on trolls and billy goats. Occupational hazard.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:58 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


> And I don't mind Faze being loud and obnoxious in stating his point, nor do I mind the fact that he tears people down a bit to do it. That can be part of the thing of it.

Uh, this is not a rap video, this is MetaFilter. Can you tell the difference? With respect, I think you've gotten so caught up in your delightfully contrarian Defense of Faze that you've lost sight of some basic points.
posted by languagehat at 7:00 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Uh, this is not a rap video, this is MetaFilter.

You tell'em pops, we do mind jittering around these parts!
posted by nomadicink at 7:26 AM on November 8, 2010


When we make the Metafilter rap video, I wanna see languagehat bustin' some Hungarian, is what I wanna see. I know he's gonna tear that shit UP!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:34 AM on November 8, 2010


There's a pretty important difference, however, between individual folks in a large group engaging in innocuous independent acts of conversation, and a single user repeatedly and apparently willfully playing the same hand again and again and again. One's an issue for discussion, certainly, and things like the emergent negative effects of group dynamics do get discussed here sometimes...

Except it wasn't a single user, was it? Sonny Jim - who has no record or reputation of 'playing the same hand again and again and again' - also had a comment removed as being racist.

And yes, the 'negative effects of group dynamics' do get discussed here sometimes. The overriding membership opinion in those discussions is something along the lines of We're Mostly Americans Here So Of Course It's Like That - If You Don't Like It, Get Your Own Site.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:44 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am someone who shares Faze's prejudice: that hip-hop is a body of music that glorifies violence, racism and sexism. I am SURE my view comes from near total ignorance. For one thing, any style that generates as much content as hip-hop does is SURE to be varied. So I'm aware that I'm wrong. I'm just being honest about my knee-jerk response.

I would love to become better educated about the genre, but I doubt that's going to happen to me if I start by listening. I am very old-school when it comes to music and don't even like most rock and roll. Most of what I listen to was composed pre-1950. As I live in the 21st Century, I
HAVE been exposed to a certain amount of the the hip-hop sound, and I'm sorry to say it grates on my ears. I really AM sorry about it, and perhaps it's something I can get over, but that would take a lot of work -- and it's work that I'm not sure how to do. How do you make yourself like broccoli if you don't like it?

A much better way in for me would be through the lyrics -- seeing them in print. I love great writing and strong word-smithing. There must be collections of great rap lyrics. Where are they? Where can I read them?

Having said that, I can't say I'm thrilled with the "The Message" lyrics posted upthead. Of course, I'm seeing them totally out of context. I'm not hearing the music, and I don't know anything about the composer or performer.

But here are my issues with it:

Broken glass *everywhere*
----- a bit general. It would be better to have an image of broken glass in some specific place: broken glass under my toes, broken glass near the baby's chair, etc. The feeling, when I get to the end of the next line, is that everywhere is mostly used to rhyme with "care."

People pissing on the stairs...
----- "people" also doesn't conjure up much of an image, though I guess the writer used it because it's alliterative with "pissing." My main objection here is the jarring near rhyme of "everywhere" and "stairs." It should either be a true rhyme or it should be moved further away from the "where" sound, so that it doesn't seem like a clunky error.

... you know they just don't care
----- This is mostly padding for meter and a device to rhyme "everywhere." If there's broken glass everywhere and people are pissing on the stairs, it's obvious they don't care. Stating it is redundant and a textbook example of "telling rather than showing."

The next three lines are great (fantastic imagery) ...

Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with the baseball bat

... except for "back" and "bat" which seem like close-but-no cigar rhymes. Again, they should be true rhymes or sounds that are much further apart.

The last couplet is great, as is its rhyme. It's simple and understated (far/car), so it doesn't call attention to itself. But it's a true rhyme, and it expertly moves the verse forward to its conclusion.

Here's my attempt to rework some of the verse. Of course, I'm an upper-middle-class white boy who has never experienced anything like this song's story. So my changes are bound to be silly. I am focusing here on the mechanics more than anything else.

Shattered glass, broken chairs,
Fuckers pissing on the stairs, tire screeches, car alarm blares
I can't take the smell, I can't take the noise no more
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the bedroom eating the dead cat.
Junky in the alley with a baseball bat.
I tried to get away, but I couldn't get far,
Cause that man with the tow-truck repossessed my car.

It also might be better without rhymes (or near ones) -- or with fewer of them

Shattered glass, broken chairs,
Piss in the playground, rusty needles in the gutter.
I can't take the smell. I can't take the noise no more.
Got no money to move out. I guess I got no choice.
Rats chase my sister. Roaches chase her brat.
Junky in the alley with a baseball bat.
I tried to get away, but I couldn't get far,
Cause that fuck with the tow-truck repossessed my car.

These could be improved with some effort -- more than the ten minutes I spent on them.

I guess the counter-argument is that the near-rhymes are take polish away and make it more raw. I disagree that they do this. I think they just make it seem like someone is trying to rhyme but can't figure out how to do it right. For a raw feeling, I'd move away from rhyme altogether.
posted by grumblebee at 7:46 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


had a comment removed as being racist

As mods, we don't call anyone racist. Sonny Jim's comment was removed because it was going on a tangential rant about the US in a thread about music. A similar comment in a thread about US imperialism might have been okay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:50 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: I've read "Atlas Shrugged" and VC Andrews.
posted by jquinby at 7:51 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sonny Jim - who has no record or reputation of 'playing the same hand again and again and again' - also had a comment removed as being racist.

It was not removed as being racist, but you're probably more interested in exercising that hair about America you've got up your ass than having a factual discussion anyway.

And yes, the 'negative effects of group dynamics' do get discussed here sometimes. The overriding membership opinion in those discussions is something along the lines of We're Mostly Americans Here So Of Course It's Like That - If You Don't Like It, Get Your Own Site.

Ding-ding!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:55 AM on November 8, 2010


Here's my attempt to rework some of the verse.

You're denying the experience of the person and rewriting the words? Um, wow.

I know you're not being racist or anything remotely similar grumblebee, and you're probably just interested in the mechanics of things, but it would be very easy to see how some people would offended and accuse you of all sorts things based on the way you seem to be cavalierly dismissing a classic rap song. The song was from the 70s so "car alarm blares" just doesn't fit.

And this comment; "These could be improved with some effort -- more than the ten minutes I spent on them" is like nails on a chalkboard in my opinion. You're implying there was something wrong with the original song and that's, well, fighting words to a lot a people.
posted by nomadicink at 7:59 AM on November 8, 2010 [11 favorites]


How do you make yourself like broccoli if you don't like it?

Try it a variety of ways. Most food biases have been found to be the results of impressions made when somebody was very young, sometimes after exposure to food that was canned or poorly prepared. Studies have repeatedly found that people who claim to hate a food can enjoy it very much if fooled into eating it by manipulating the presentation.

I suspect music is similar.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:12 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I would argue you've actually diminished the song by rewriting "broken glass everywhere." It's an apocalyptic image -- a city completely covered by shattered glass, calling to mind a world after an earthquake or riot. And, having been in The Bronx in the 1970s, you did pretty much see broken glass every single place you looked. The city looked like a bomb had been dropped on it.

I could go through the rest of your revision similarly, but do not have the energy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:16 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would love to become better educated about the genre, but I doubt that's going to happen to me if I start by listening.

Actually, I think you do have to listen, and see. And also realize that just as something like jazz runs the gamut from Louis Armstrong singing scat in the 1920s to John Coltrane expanding the limits of the known universe in the 1960s, hip-hop covers A HELL OF A LOT of ground. For instance, cLOUDDEAD (which I linked to in the other hip-hop thread). Call it weird, call it surreal, call it experimental -- but don't try to say it isn't hip-hop.
posted by philip-random at 8:17 AM on November 8, 2010


I guess the counter-argument is that the near-rhymes are take polish away and make it more raw.

I guess only Yeats is allowed to employ slant rhyme.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:17 AM on November 8, 2010


These could be improved with some effort -- more than the ten minutes I spent on them.

This is a weird and too-lengthy attempt at a joke, right? I mean, I sure hope so, because otherwise that was just very clueless and rather sad.
posted by aught at 8:22 AM on November 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


The main thing Faze is right about is that modern pop-rap is about as far from Stagger Lee and murder ballads as possible. Not 'gangsta rap', lol that term is 20 years old and completely inapplicable. Current stars like Waka Flokka Flame, Rick Ross and Gucci Mane are corporate supported minstrelsy, with a violent background and copious nihilistic overspending replacing agrarian naivety.

And actually, what about those murder ballads? One of the first popularizers of blues, Leadbelly, was renowned for being a prison inmate "saved" by white record producers from a life of crime and made to sing murder songs his whole life, when the truth was more like: he was a great and nuanced musician playing the role that was open to him. That his music is amazing is undeniable, but what more could he have done freed from the constraints of white-posted boundaries of authenticity? He could have been the Duke Ellington of blues.

I mean I hate to drag this out but when Faze uses images like ape-walking and watermelon seeds, he isn't being a racist (no, not even a little bit). He's describing the ugly racism that secretly gifted artists like 50 Cent have to buy into and perpetuate in order to sell records. De La Soul? Are you serious? Ask those guys about the state of hip hop as an international product. I'm sure you won't get a cheery approbation of the Top 10 and a rubber stamp on how the culture has been largely co-opted as primitive fantasy grist for white teenagers. Hell Pharcyde knew what time it was in 1993.

Does that mean I agree with his assessment of the whole genre? Of course not. I know and appreciate the good new stuff with a brain like Drake and Wale and Lupe and Chip Tha Rippa and so on and so on. But whether hip hop on the whole, in the mode that it is made now, is a net good or a net evil for everyone, black or white, well...the jury is still out on that.

As a counterargument to everything I just said: New Zealand rap is on the whole quite good I see. More downunder goodness: Macromantics.

posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:28 AM on November 8, 2010 [8 favorites]


"A much better way in for me would be through the lyrics -- seeing them in print. I love great writing and strong word-smithing. There must be collections of great rap lyrics. Where are they? Where can I read them?"

You know that we've had a bunch of recent threads about the Anthology of Rap, right? One of them was helpfully titled, "I realized it is basically insane to make any kind of judgment about rap without hearing it.

Also: "Should I kill myself? Maybe it's better to do something than to whine, but man, who knows what happens after you're dead. There could be spooky shit. Maybe it's better to put up with a lot of shit. I could stab myself, but I guess I don't want to. Pray for me, Ophelia!"

There. I fixed Hamlet by taking out all the bullshit mincing and made him talk normal.
posted by klangklangston at 8:31 AM on November 8, 2010 [11 favorites]


How do you make yourself like broccoli if you don't like it?

I, for one, have found that while I couldn't stand broccoli as a child, and continued to avoid it as much as I possibly could through college, approaching it from other, similar flavours that I do like (like cauliflower) led me to like it tremendously.

However, more directly to the point about learning to enjoy music that one doesn't automatically like, I have a personal story to tell.

Freshman year at college in an introductory level music history course at the conservatory (all the way from Gregorian chant up to John Cage and contemporaries), we had to listen to a piece called Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (I haven't checked out how good the link is), by Krzysztof Penderecki. I sat through the piece with my hands over my ears, because I felt tortured, honestly. I couldn't fathom why anyone would consider that music.

Over the subsequent three years, I continued to take a variety of musicology courses (none of them about 20th century music), but more importantly, attended an awful lot of concerts where one or more pieces was post 1950s Western art music.

My senior year, I was taking a course in the pedagogy of music listening. In one demo, the prof played a 20th century piece that I listened to with great interest, enjoying the varying textures, the dissonances, etc. When her demo was done, she put up on the board, as was her standard procedure, the names and sources of the recordings she had used. The piece that I had been so enjoying (and did not at all recognize) was, as you may have guessed, Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima.

So yeah, repeated exposure, combined with learning more about it, combined with approaching it from a new angle, can really change how you experience a genre of music that you aren't initially comfortable with.
posted by bardophile at 8:34 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


There. I fixed Hamlet by taking out all the bullshit mincing and made him talk normal.

Yo, that was fly.
posted by nomadicink at 8:41 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey, nomadicink, I think you might be being a bit harsh on grumblebee; I don't intend to speak for him, but I think that all he's doing is saying what would make The Message more like something he'd like. I can appreciate it maybe seems like he's saying "silly Grandmaster Flash, this is what you SHOULD have done", but I'm pretty certain that's not what he's getting at.

That said, I think, grumblebee, that you're maybe missing the point of hip-hop lyrics. Like the book critic in this FPP, you might be making what I think is a crucial misjudgment in attempting to divorce the lyrics from their performance. It simply doesn't work. For instance, take the lyrics from The Message you quote above - I'm not the world's biggest head, but I know it quite well. The very first line:

Broken glass everywhere

Writing that down doesn't get the cadence of Flash's delivery, which is a bit more like this:

Broken glass - EV!erywhere

Or even better, more like this. And moving on to another point, most hip-hop rhyme schemes rely much more on assonance than exact rhymes. I can hopefully illustrate this better with this track which I've been listening to an awful lot over the past month or so, specifically the first verse, where the rapper is Peedi Crakk (a.k.a. P Crakk/Crakk Daddy).

So, the first couplet you hear isn't even really part of the verse, but just an introduction to the performers:

Meek Mill and Crakk Daddy
The heater's automatic

But you've got two assonant rhymes at the start and end of the lines, binding them together at both ends (/i/ in Meek and heat-, /a/ in Dad- and -mat-). Incidentally, I'm gonna go for IPA for the rhyming vowels here, but I've got a terrible ear for them so if anybody wants to correct me go for it. Anyway, the assonant pair for the first quarter of the verse itself (i.e., the first four bars) is /ʊ-ə/, although there's liberties taken at one point which I'll point out, so listen out for it:

I'm a trooper, and everything I ride super
And my producer, that n*gga just flew in from the future
And I'm loose - off goose - and bout to get looser
And you can catch me in Bermuda moving with a shooter


So we've got that pair in trooper, super, producer, future, looser, you can, Bermuda, moving and shooter, and in addition we've got a mirroring of /ʊ/ by itself in flew, as well as in loose - goose. Now, loose-goose breaks both the paired assonant rhyme and the flow, because it's been pretty continous up to then but he makes it staccato for half a bar, bringing in a parallel disruption of the rhyme and the cadence.

And it carries on like that - there's basically one of these vowel pair assonances for each four-bar chunk of the verse, but I'm not going to go on much more about it, partially because I don't understand a lot of the next four bars. That's actually part of what I love about hip-hop, is when rappers deliver lines with so many references and so much vocab I don't know, and do it so fast, that I can't understand them at first and need to listen over and over until I puzzle it out - it's a great feeling when I suddenly realise a line I don't understand has, for instance, a word break in a totally different place than the one I'd assumed, and everything starts to fall in to place. And there are other aspects as well; for instance, I love P Crakk's weirdly nasal and prissy voice.

I hope that was helpful; I've gotta run.
posted by Dim Siawns at 8:41 AM on November 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


Hey, nomadicink, I think you might be being a bit harsh on grumblebee;

You need to spend more time with my special snowflake comment, I think.
posted by nomadicink at 8:53 AM on November 8, 2010


You're denying the experience of the person and rewriting the words? Um, wow.

I know you're not being racist or anything remotely similar grumblebee, and you're probably just interested in the mechanics of things, but it would be very easy to see how some people would offended and accuse you of all sorts things based on the way you seem to be cavalierly dismissing a classic rap song. The song was from the 70s so "car alarm blares" just doesn't fit.

And this comment; "These could be improved with some effort -- more than the ten minutes I spent on them" is like nails on a chalkboard in my opinion. You're implying there was something wrong with the original song and that's, well, fighting words to a lot a people.


I'm pretty baffled by that, but I'm sorry if I caused offense. I don't expect anyone to agree with my tastes (they're mine, not yours -- and no one's tastes is universal). But I don't understand how it's offensive to write my own version of a lyric (as a Shakespeare lover, I'm not offended by people's rewrites of his verses.)

I absolutely don't understand how rewriting is "denying" someone's experience. I'm not censoring his words. I'm not telling him things didn't happen the way he said they did. I just write my own version, and I'm dissatisfied with some of the mechanics in his version. You are free to be dissatisfied with the mechanics in my version. Language, in my view, is the most fun playground in the world, and everyone is invited to play with it.

"You're implying there was something wrong with the original song and that's, well, fighting words to a lot a people."

I don't know what to say. In my view, there are mistakes in "King Lear" (my favorite piece of writing), "The Bible", "The Great Gatsby" (my favorite modern novel) and so on. I don't believe there are perfect works. Certainly I've never written anything remotely perfect. I haven't written anything I'd even call good. Anything I've written -- or anything anyone else has written -- is, in my view, open to criticism, rewrites, fixes, etc. That's how we grow and learn.

(I realize there are legal issues, e.g. copyright stuff, but I'm just talking about ethics and aesthetics here.)

If you feel that some works can't be criticized, then ... I guess we can't be in the same conversation.

And I devoutly believe that we should welcome criticism of anything by anyone. If an uneducated teenager thinks he can fix problems in "Moby Dick," more power to him. I don't have to agree with him, but his opinion does not hurt Melville or his novel, which exists in its original form for anyone who wants to read it.


"but it would be very easy to see how some people would offended and accuse you of all sorts things based on the way you seem to be cavalierly dismissing a classic rap song."


Regardless of our tastes, the above quote is very, very scary to me. If I say that I think a word in Jane Austin's writing is a poor choice, does that make me sexist? Yikes!
posted by grumblebee at 9:05 AM on November 8, 2010


In my mind, THIS is the sort of discussion worth having when someone suggests a rewrite of a lyric:

That said, I think, grumblebee, that you're maybe missing the point of hip-hop lyrics. Like the book critic in this FPP, you might be making what I think is a crucial misjudgment in attempting to divorce the lyrics from their performance. It simply doesn't work. For instance, take the lyrics from The Message you quote above - I'm not the world's biggest head, but I know it quite well. The very first line:

Broken glass everywhere

Writing that down doesn't get the cadence of Flash's delivery, which is a bit more like this:

Broken glass - EV!erywhere


NOW we're getting into interesting stuff -- not worshiping sacred cows.

But I don't wish to offend people any more than I already have, so I'll scram.
posted by grumblebee at 9:08 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


But here are my issues with it:

thou shalt not judge song lyrics by the aesthetics of poetry - they are two entirely different art forms and work quite differently

one difference is that poets are often trying to say something new, that hasn't been said or thought before - songwriters, though, are often trying to say something that many people have felt or thought - and they have to say it in a form that the listener could feel that he would say

Shattered glass, broken chairs,
Fuckers pissing on the stairs, tire screeches, car alarm blares


that's not how the average person would put it

Broken glass everywhere
People pissing on the stairs, you know they just don't care


this is
posted by pyramid termite at 9:09 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


The main thing Faze is right about is that modern pop-rap is about as far from Stagger Lee and murder ballads as possible

Except Faze wasn't calling out modern pop-rap in particular; he was saying the entire genre is [likethisgrosshorriblething], which is vastly ignorant and just plain wrong.

And, grumblebee....um. No, thank you. I don't know a huge amount about rap, but one of the things I learned early on (around the time The Message came out, in fact) is that reading the lyrics isn't nearly enough. What might look bad on the page is transformed in performance (which is a true thing about an awful lot of music, not just rap).
posted by rtha at 9:14 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I absolutely don't understand how rewriting is "denying" someone's experience.

Hey, I get that you're trying to be offensive, I personally am not offended, just noting how what you're doing could appear to some people, noticeably blacks.

To make a long story shot, being part of sub culture that has a lot taken from it, having a presumed member of the majority say that a classic anthem is wrong and then having that person set about rewriting it to make it "right" could be seen as arrogant and dismissive, despite whatever innocent intentions you have may have.
posted by nomadicink at 9:20 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


> I wanna see languagehat bustin' some Hungarian

Döglégy for Prezident!
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]




Seems like Faze isn't the only one able to go on "fuck america" rants.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:32 AM on November 8, 2010


Pants on the Ground!
posted by ericb at 9:33 AM on November 8, 2010


Döglégy for Prezident!

Thanks for that. Of course, I didn't really know what the hell it was about, but it was pretty cool anyway.
posted by ob at 9:39 AM on November 8, 2010


> These could be improved with some effort -- more than the ten minutes I spent on them.

Matt Groening wrote a parody of/tribute to "The Message" in an old "Life in Hell" cartoon, back when Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were still contemporary artists. Going from memory, I would say that it may be the only parody of/tribute to/revision of "The Message" written by somebody who was not, as they called it at the time, "street", that deserves to remain in the public record.

I am willing to reevaluate that opinion if somebody else can find a copy. My google-fu was too weak. But I'm pretty confident.
posted by ardgedee at 9:40 AM on November 8, 2010


Faze obviously doesn't believe what he wrote. If he does he is an kinda ignorant. Like anything Rap isn't monolithic and trying to pigeonhole it as all one thing is kinda stupid. No one needs to address what faze has said because it is, at face value, false. Not to say that certain artists don't display the traits he outlined, but then that is true of pretty much any genre of music you look at.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:40 AM on November 8, 2010


as a Shakespeare lover, I'm not offended by people's rewrites of his verses
...
I don't believe there are perfect works.

Oh, come on. You can't see the difference between klangklangston goofing on Hamlet, an enshrined and venerated classic, and your uninformed off-the-cuff rewrite "improving" lyrics from an underclass subculture that has been maligned and dismissed at every turn of its development?
posted by contraption at 9:52 AM on November 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


"The main thing Faze is right about is that modern pop-rap is about as far from Stagger Lee and murder ballads as possible."

If you can't connect Gimme The Loot with Stagger Lee and Signifyin' Monkey in, like, three steps, you fail African American pop culture.
posted by klangklangston at 10:03 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Quite the contrary, hip-hop as a cultural movement squirted like a watermelon seed from the lips of Ronald Reagan and the explosion of smug materialism that accompanied his presidency in the pin-striped, big shouldered 1980s. It was a piece with other reactionary art, like "Animal House", which used the sexual and racial freedoms won in the 1960s as tools to reinforce the patriarchy and re-establish wealth as a measure of human worth. Young African American men were invited to join the conga line of greed, to fill their mouths with gold, their noses with cocaine, and their souls with cold violence. Young African American woman ... well, I've said that already. The N-word, which had pretty much been quashed by 1980, was revived, plated in stainless steel like a Jeff Coons balloon dog, and placed on a pedestal, a worshiped as a perpetual generator of benefit-producing grievance by a political generation too cowardly to take responsibility for themselves and their community and do the hard work of creating the world. The New Left was a destructive and negative social movement, on the whole, but where it sought to dignify African Americans in the eyes of the nation, where it endeavored to destroy sexual and racial stereotyping, where it encouraged local cultures and the freedom of people to enjoy cultural idiosyncrasy , rather than than have their native expression flattened by the booming bass of distant, leering overlords, champing their grills, rubbing their fat, diamond studded fingers, and crushing women's hopes of ever being considered anything more than an anus on stilts, the New Left is the exact and precise opposite of rap and hip hop and everything it stands for.

I'm only reposting this because I don't know what to do with it and I have to do something. This is... Animal House... Regan... Time Cube... stilts... This is mind blowing. I think I need to go google chemtrails.
posted by cmoj at 10:05 AM on November 8, 2010


Hey, I get that you're trying to be offensive

Oops, that should read "you're NOT trying to be offensive...

But I don't wish to offend people any more than I already have, so I'll scram.

Sorry, that wasn't my intent when I wrote what I wrote, but in retrospect, I can see how one would just choose to stop talking about it.

To be clear, it's possible to have that conversation you're talking about, where you're rewriting classic rap songs, but I do think it needs to be had with the knowledge and understanding of how it could be perceived so that people having the conversation either don't offend or keep the offense to a minimum.
posted by nomadicink at 10:10 AM on November 8, 2010


I used to get quite bothered by Faze's posts in threads. He seemed to nearly ALWAYS be taking the most extreme view against the prevailing attitude of the thread, and often felt like it was being done just for kicks.

Then I realized that he's probably a contrarian performance artist of some sort. He writes well, but he's too consistently anti- to be taken too seriously.

Now I read his stuff, but never ever respond to it, because it seems like he's kind of the MetaFilter equivalent of a really hard-core extreme political pundit. He says things in order to pull the conversation out of the track in which it had been running, hoping that by being so far to one side or the other, he can make what was previously a mildly slanted stance seem middle of the road.

I don't know about banning him, but I don't really see that he adds too much of value to the general conversation of any thread he contributes to.
posted by hippybear at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grandmaster Flash is the only guy and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five who doesn't rap.
posted by box at 10:24 AM on November 8, 2010


Seems like Faze isn't the only one able to go on "fuck america" rants.

As much as I love KRS and Mos Def, they got infected with the Nations of Gods and Earth/NOI claptrap that was the hallmark of "educated" rappers in the 90s. All conspiracy theories and ahistorical nonsense.
posted by electroboy at 10:28 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grandmaster Flash is the only guy and in Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five...
posted by box at 10:32 AM on November 8, 2010


True. Properly, we should be crediting "Duke Bootee" Fletcher and MC Melle Mel, who wrote the song and performed the song. Grabdmaster Flash and the remaining Furious Five were apparently disinterested in the song and had nothing to do with it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2010


Faze obviously doesn't believe what he wrote

that just rattles my brain a bit. if he did believe it, why write it? even if to convey his thought and emotions. I trust other mefites and the Mods could gauge his comment better then i as i don't know his posting history. Ignorance is too subjective. chalk it up to anger? The point is what happens from 'here' on...that is up to faze (and the mods) not us.
posting anger enmasse is not good and i can vouch from for this.

rap/ hop-hip was just the ride faze used to express is anger.
and i find it neat when mefis can make lemonade in the grey despite the ugly remarks.

the poetic license, IMO, is invalid. Would you blare hip-hop in an public elevator? most likely not because it has its place and the most important issue is that it is stated in mefi guidlelines that is not acceptable. Sure some of us push it, but this was shovel.

It is not for us to decide if Faze gets a penalty, so really, other then expressing an opinion, there nothing in this thread to discuss on any definitive level, except change course, talk about something related.

that is all
posted by clavdivs at 10:43 AM on November 8, 2010


I wrote a rap song Friday afternoon and posted it to music. I am not a New Zealander, though.
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:52 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Say what you like about the tenets of Lorenzian chaos theory!

This may be the first tagline I've ever done here. But Christ, this cracked me up.
posted by norm at 11:09 AM on November 8, 2010


Matt Groening wrote a parody of/tribute to "The Message" in an old "Life in Hell" cartoon

"I'm not a slave, I dig New Wave
I'm gonna dance to the Go-Gos on your grave
It's like a party sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep myself so slender."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:20 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


grumblebee: A great deal of the glory of hip hop comes from how they say it. Some amazingly banal lyrics and words that are only hints of rhymes just WORK with the pronunciation or various tongue twisting techniques the MCs use. This doesn't work well or connect for everyone. Some people can't abide mispronouncing a word to turn it into a rhyme, but often I absolutely love it. Some hip hop works because of wordrepetition or alliteration that looks boring and uninteresting on the page.

I would suggest if you are actually interested in liking hip hop, a good way in is finding a beat that you like. Liking the sound of a song is the gateway in for a lot of people.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:41 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Dangerous Apeman Talk.
posted by Mister_A at 11:52 AM on November 8, 2010


To be clear, it's possible to have that conversation you're talking about, where you're rewriting classic rap songs, but I do think it needs to be had with the knowledge and understanding of how it could be perceived so that people having the conversation either don't offend or keep the offense to a minimum.

Rewriting hiphop is a long standing tradition within hiphop, but the flipside of that is also that it's being done within the space of still interacting with the community - not, say, exporting it and appropriating it.

Adam Mansbach of Angry Black White Boy fame, had a really good point at a panel where he pointed out after hiphop started getting more play in mainstream mass media, you had the growth of "hiphop fans" who actually had no connection to the hiphop scene.

By itself, it's not too bad, but when you pour on stuff like white privilege, it starts becoming problematic. And that early on, when the scene was more participatory (as in, attending parties/shows), you couldn't act too out of pocket or people would kick you out.

A lot of this is pretty much my issue with stuff like nerdcore- when you have folks like Wu-Tang Clan calling themselves "Tony Stark" etc. or Del dropping Deltron 3030, or Missy Elliot dressing up as Megaman, the split between nerdcore and what they imagine to be "hiphop" seems less like a musical choice and more one of demographics and appropriation.
posted by yeloson at 12:23 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I saw this FPP summary, and thought "oh this will be interesting", then saw it was Faze, and thought "oh this will be pointless and stupid", then decided that as long as I'm home recuperating from a cold, pointless and stupid will be just fine, thank you, and so I'm here. How are y'all today?
posted by davejay at 12:37 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Current stars like Waka Flokka Flame , Rick Ross and Gucci Mane are corporate supported minstrelsy

I'm not sure if these guys are really considered stars but to see why these guys are popular you have to go back to the late nineties or so when the southern rap started breaking out big time. There's been subgeneres of rap that have pretty much frozen in time due mostly to lack of talent and that, for obvious reasons, the same things that sold back than still does. If you want some good starting points go ahead and check out Master P/No Limit Records and Big Tymers/Cash Money Records. It's like Drum N' Bass, where it sounds like they keep rehashing and reusing the same beats and elements over and over.
I don't mean to lump all souther rap groups together because you could easily look at the Geto Boys and Outkast and see what I'm saying doesn't really apply. But if you're aware of the craptons of clones the aforementioned groups spawned than you would see there is definitely correlation between what those guys put out at their height and what you've linked to.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:38 PM on November 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Have the makers of Kung Fu Panda acknowledged where they got the name "The Furious Five" from?
posted by Joe Beese at 12:40 PM on November 8, 2010


If you can't connect Gimme The Loot with Stagger Lee and Signifyin' Monkey in, like, three steps, you fail African American pop culture.

That's why I said "modern pop-rap" not enshrined "hip-hop classics." Connect Stagger Lee and some boring dumb 2007 rapper grunting about the Traaaaap and how he Mooooooves weight and about how he has more gats than Jesus (hint 4 rappers: jesus has 0 gats), and you come up way short of anything redeeming other than a dull, phony celebration of death. Yeah, I get that to take on a genre you have to battle its best elements, but the criticism was cultural, not artistic.

Attack: Hip hop's crass commercialism indoctrinates lower class youth into a life of debt or crime.
Defender: But Sage Francis is a great poet who writes about all kinds of social and political issues therefore you don't know what you're talking about!
Crowd: Booo/zzzzz

Nobody yet has offered a defense or even any examples of the rappers (the famous ones) who constitute what the majority of what the world thinks of as Hip Hop Culture nowadays not being exactly the kind of insidious carnival that Spike Lee wrote about in Bamboozled, which is where I connected with Faze's argument in the first place.

If someone could explain why Faze's accusations don't describe Gucci Mane or Soulja Boy Tell Em or even any number of good rappers like Ludacris or Jay-Z when they're at their worst, I'd be much obliged. Cuz I really don't want to agree with Faze, cuz I love hip hop and I always have.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:47 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure if these guys are really considered stars

Read the charts. Also all of those guys are not from the South except Rick Ross who is from Florida.

These current superstars (and those southern guys you linked to) are in many ways what most people think of when they hear Hip Hop. It's sort of how most people in other parts of the world hear "American Movie" and they think "Transformers 2". Sure there are movies made in Hollywood that have substance and heart and balls, but not according to what folks are going to see in China and Equador.

Now I kind of just want to compare pop-rappers to Blockbusters

Kanye = Avatar
Lil Wayne = Harry Potter
Kid Cudi = Juno
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:55 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rewriting hiphop is a long standing tradition within hiphop

But Slick Rick's version of La Di Da Di will always be better than Snoop's.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:15 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want some good starting points go ahead and check out Master P/No Limit Records and Big Tymers/Cash Money Records. It's like Drum N' Bass, where it sounds like they keep rehashing and reusing the same beats and elements over and over.

Yup. Nothing against the great Southern rappers, but listen to most of what's wrong with rap today and you'll find that the vast majority grew out of the Dirty South movement from 95-00. Shit, No Limit single-handedly put about about 50,000 horrible records with the same style of over-blinged cover art in just a couple years.
posted by rollbiz at 1:19 PM on November 8, 2010


And I know this because my step-brother owned them ALL.

Regarding the cover art, here's a small sample...
posted by rollbiz at 1:21 PM on November 8, 2010


That's why I said "modern pop-rap" not enshrined "hip-hop classics."

This argument so reminds me of my dad: "You can't call groups like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones 'real' music. Compared with the kind of quality material people like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole produce, that's just a racket.

And what with their drugs and their long hair, they set a terrible example for the youth of today to live up to."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:23 PM on November 8, 2010


Shit, No Limit single-handedly put about about 50,000 horrible records with the same style of over-blinged cover art in just a couple years.

First and probably only time I will ever have a constructive contribution to a conversation re: the hip hop.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:25 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


i bought master p's first tape from a budget bin and listened to it all the time in high school (the Ghettos Trying to Kill Me (nsfw cover)) because it was so bad I thought it was some homeless dude who paid for studio time. The rhymes were childish and the rhetoric was essentially "I Am Dumb Yay." the next thing I know the bamma is on mtv riding a gold tank. My mind is still reeling at that shit.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:27 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


First and probably only time I will ever have a constructive contribution to a conversation re: the hip hop.

Woah, don't know how I missed that the first time through, but I'm so glad you brought it to my attention. I totally owe you a beer.

The rhymes were childish and the rhetoric was essentially "I Am Dumb Yay." the next thing I know the bamma is on mtv riding a gold tank.


Make 'em say UUUUUHHH... :)
posted by rollbiz at 1:35 PM on November 8, 2010


Just popping back in to say I've learned a lot from you folks. Thanks. I still don't know a way-in for me when it comes to the music part of rap, which, no matter how many times I hear it, sounds like noise to me. I am aware that this is my loss.
posted by grumblebee at 1:35 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


PeterMcDermott: That analogy makes no sense. If your Dad was comparing Lulu and the Monkees to Frank Sinatra he might actually have a good point. Lots of popular things are bad. Some are good. Also your Dad sounds like a pretty chill bro I would like to hang out with him.

More pop-rapper/movie comparisons:

Fabolous = Resident Evil
Eminem = Twilight
Ludacris = Shrek
Ke$ha = A Tyler Perry movie
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:38 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Make 'em say UUUUUHHH... :)

I was at a toy store some years back and found a Master P doll where you pulled the string and it said his catch phrase. Only the UHHHHH wasn't quite right and it sounded like the "moo" from the kid's toy with the barnyard sounds.
posted by electroboy at 1:40 PM on November 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Read the charts. Also all of those guys are not from the South except Rick Ross who is from Florida.

And now they're superstars? I'm not going to agure about what makes a star, but having a hit song doesn't make you a star in my book. Those guys aren't even close to a Jay-Z or an LL, but if you insist they are than I guess that would show how much you do know about hip-hop.
I didn't say they were from the south either. I'll make what I said simple for you though; all that stuff you linked to is reprocessed garbage from the late nineties.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:50 PM on November 8, 2010


I still don't know a way-in for me when it comes to the music part of rap, which, no matter how many times I hear it, sounds like noise to me.

I've flipped more people with older Lyrics Born than all others combined. This track isn't really rap but is a good break-in to LB. Then you could try this, which is kind of fun. Or my personal favorite, which features a verse that, when delivered with LB's incredible flow, always brings a smile to my face:

Well abracadabra
I saddled up a camel, traveled the Sahara
And the avenues of Casablanca
Ran into the Family snackin' on an Abba-Zabba cabbage patch
And practicin' the macarena with - who?
Santana, Santa, a panda, my grandma, Dracula, Aladdin, and the Dalai Lama
Beretta and a mannequin
Then I slipped on a banana
Landed on a hammock in Havana
Sippin' on a can of apple Fanta
Bit by a piranha when I swam into Atlantis on the back of a manta
I paddled with a spatula back to Atlanta
Where I had a hamburger with Hammer's manager
Afterwards he handed me eleven laminates for
The Tropicana where I had a romantic encounter with
Janet, Pamela, Tamara, Selma, Anna, Calamity Jane, Samantha Vanity, Miss Japan Canada and Bananarama in the back of an Acura


Your mileage, of course, may vary.
posted by rollbiz at 1:52 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


to is reprocessed garbage that sprouted from the "dirty south" movement from the late nineties
posted by P.o.B. at 1:54 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Forgot the last link. Here it is.
posted by rollbiz at 1:55 PM on November 8, 2010


jessamyn: As mods, we don't call anyone racist. Sonny Jim's comment was removed because it was going on a tangential rant about the US in a thread about music. A similar comment in a thread about US imperialism might have been okay.

Still a terrible deletion IMHO and, if taken as some kind of precedent (which no doubt you will remind us it isn't), about half the comments made in Metafilter threads would be gone. Frankly, I'm kinda mystified that mods would justify a comment's removal b/c it went "on a tangent".

C'mon now, that's ridiculous on its face*. No (disputably) off-topic tangential comments allowed in threads on the blue? The blue is chock full of them.

*Please note that I think Jessamyn is wonderful and there's no way I could do a mod's job here without flipping out in a matter of weeks, if not days.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:02 PM on November 8, 2010


It's not that he went on a tangent. It's that he went on a tangential rant about something likely to start a huge shit-storm.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:03 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


One more thing about Master P. If you listen to his first few albums you can clearly tell how much West Coast had influenced what he was making. Then a few albums later he sped up the beats added a bunch of clanging and startled to make his garggling sounds and that's when he really took off. You can still hear the G-Funk influence in the background though
posted by P.o.B. at 2:10 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


the same style of over-blinged cover art

Definitively parodied on Kool Keith's Dr Dooom.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:20 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


C'mon now, that's ridiculous on its face.

No, it's not. I'm not sure what part of "don't derail threads with highly charged departures from the topic" is anything other than fairly obvious conversational etiquette.

Tangents certainly happen, and when it's mild conversation drift or bifurcation which isn't gonna cause other problems, that's usually not an issue on the blue. But there's a big pile of context and a matter of degree that comes into this, and that's where the difference comes in between "tangential comments" as some shruggably okay fact of life and significantly derailing thread-bombs. Sonny Jim's comment, much as it might have been fine in a thread where cultural imperialism was the topic, was a pretty disruptive thing to drop into that thread.

That said, most of this thread here has had more to do with Faze's tangent-on-a-tangent rant and his past behavior in other threads, so it's possible you're reading some of what we've been talking about re: his behavior as a commentary on Sonny Jim, about whom I've really had nothing negative to say here other than "that one comment wasn't in the right place".
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:30 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is all really unfortunate. I'm a fan of Faze, even with his/her sometimes truculent attitude. (Indeed, his/her comments on suburbia and growing up/old are ones that have definitely stuck with me.) It's really hard to tell if s/he was being truly racist with his comments (which I doubt), or was just a little too cutesy & clumsy while playing with some extremely flammable issues (more likely), but I this clusterfuck leads to more positive (although not necessarily agreeable) contributions to the site.
posted by slogger at 2:58 PM on November 8, 2010


How do the Red Hot Chili Peppers (pre-Californication) fit into rap/hip hop, if at all? Seriously.
posted by Splunge at 3:01 PM on November 8, 2010


Among other interpretations, the 80s funk-punk (like old RHCP) can be seen as early rap-rock. In fact I'd say RATM was pretty much a passing of the torch. Wikipedia is OK on the issue.
posted by rhizome at 3:27 PM on November 8, 2010


How do the Red Hot Chili Peppers (pre-Californication) fit into rap/hip hop, if at all?

Incorrectly.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:38 PM on November 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Still can't see how a person of Pacific Island extraction commenting on Pacific Island hip-hop as it is where he's from counts as a tangent. Certainly considering the wider cultural implications in a country other than the US (where I believe the bands mentioned in the FPP are all based bar the last mentioned) is taking the topic to a meta-level, but still in the same ballpark surely?
I should add that I don't think this is some outrage/end-of-the-world situation and I can see the decision's been made this time. Just somewhat bemused as I thought Sonny Jim wasn't randomly bringing in the subject of cultural imperialism, rather that was the particular aspect of Pacific Island hip-hop he wanted to comment on. Should a similar situation arise in future would hope it will still be acceptable to look beyond the surface of cultural issues.
posted by Abiezer at 3:50 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


By Jove, I've got it! It suddenly occurred to me what Faze was talking about! This
posted by ob at 4:14 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


flapjax at midnite: "How do the Red Hot Chili Peppers (pre-Californication) fit into rap/hip hop, if at all?

Incorrectly
"

::sigh::
posted by Splunge at 4:47 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Certainly considering the wider cultural implications in a country other than the US (where I believe the bands mentioned in the FPP are all based bar the last mentioned) is taking the topic to a meta-level, but still in the same ballpark surely?

"Hiphop is America's project to transform all non-white people into Jim Crow stereotypes" doesn't read to me as an honest attempt to talk about wider cultural implications.

Check out the interchanges between me and him in this thread- after I do just that- talk about wider cultural implications, he shifts goalposts from that ridiculous statement to whether colonized cultures gain or lose by taking up other cultural tools in the face of colonization - see how the initial thing is threadshitting and the latter is something you can have a conversation about?

Not only that, it would be damn on point, especially given the original bands and groups I linked- the issues of mother tongue and culture, and being the perpetual foreigner are excellent topics that are mirrored and flipped when we're talking colonization and the institution of hierarchies based on cultural markers.

But that's not what we got- we got a blanket statement that is ridiculous and makes as much sense as statements about Islam if your only source of info was Fox News.
posted by yeloson at 4:58 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh aye, he certainly went in guns blazing, but the other side of your exchanges here is that it ended up being a launching point for something more interesting and substantial. As I said earlier, I don't pretend to be informed enough to judge the issue myself, but seems to be that even after an over-the-top start there was room for a conversation. My point here is that even less-than-ideally-expressed contributions that are sufficiently on topic ought to be permitted, much as I can also see how annoying they can be when you've worked on a post about something you want to share and it looks like a complete dismissal.
posted by Abiezer at 5:18 PM on November 8, 2010


Any interesting conversation that came out of this has to be viewed in the context of 500 comments (so far) of mostly meta commentary and arguing, that signal to noise ratio is not acceptable in the blue.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:53 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


AH FINALLY A PLACE FOR MY "FUCK AMERICA" RANT
posted by Mister_A at 7:10 PM on November 8, 2010


'Fuck America' could be the next big reality TV ratings hit with the right mix of participants.
posted by Abiezer at 7:29 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like the rest of the world?
posted by Splunge at 7:30 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nobody yet has offered a defense or even any examples of the rappers (the famous ones) who constitute what the majority of what the world thinks of as Hip Hop Culture nowadays not being exactly the kind of insidious carnival that Spike Lee wrote about in Bamboozled, which is where I connected with Faze's argument in the first place.

I would start by pointing out the baseline idiocy of mainstream popular culture as a whole. From Sextape wielding celebutantes to The Jersey Shore to Soulja boy, that insidious carnival crosses many cultural lines. Hip Hop as mainstream entertainment certainly has it's place in that three ring circus of stupidity.

However, If you ask me, the problem isn't negative hip hop, it's the ability of some to only see the negative as being "authentic", while dismissing all of the positive that has come out of the culture as a whole.

Hip Hop has always had dual messages. Go all the way back to the movie Wild Style. That movie had stick up kids, Busy Bee with his ladies, champagne and 100 dollar bills. But you could also look at it and see the sheer unmitigated joy of the "let's put on a show" finale. See what you choose to see. Do we pay attention to the grimness of Nas' hood tales on Illmatic, or are we simply amazed at the astounding lyricism with which he tells those stories? Or are we complex enough as audience make a place for both options? I would say that for the majority of Hip Hop's audience the answer is yes.

I dont really see a point in defending the worst of hip hop, so much as making a plea to judge it as a whole. What "the world thinks of as Hip Hop culture" always seems to accentuate the negative, while finding some way to separate the positive out as being something else. If Hip Hop can be blamed for every rapper in jail, it also gets to take credit for Will Smith and Queen Latifah. The Roots are the house band on late night show. They are as hip hop as it gets. Outkast wrote what is arguably the best pop song of the past decade, and not a bitch, ho or gun or negative stereotype to be found anywhere near it. Those points go on our side of the board. Kanye closed out the last MTV awards show, not Soulja Boy. Of the top ten bestselling rap albums of all time* only 2 artists ( Notorious BIG and 2pac) come close to representing the negative aesthetic that people get so worked up about. And the deaths of those two artists did serve as a cutionary tale that led to a major de-escalation of the violent themes in hip hop. What most people think of as Gangsta Rap died with those two. Didn't do much for the rampant commercialism and misogyny, but after that there was a definite opening in the genre that led to artists like Missy Elliott and The Neptunes, which has led to the rise of artists like Kid Cudi and Drake and Lupe Fiasco who are influencing a whole subgenre of hip hop kids way more interested in skateboards and skinny jeans than guns and bling.

Finally, if you look at the hip hop acts that have lasted, are revered and loved, and in some cases still out there playing shows around the world, it isn't any of the early 90's NWA wannabees. It's people Like LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Tribe called Quest, Biz Markie. Run DMC. Negative hip hop may give the culture a bad name, but Positive hip hop endures.

*according to the RIAA
1.Outkast: "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below."
2.MC Hammer: "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em."
3.The Notorious B.I.G.: "Life After Death."
4.Eminem: "The Marshall Mathers LP."
5.Eminem: "The Eminem Show."
6.Beastie Boys: "Licensed to Ill."
7.2Pac: "All Eyez on Me."
8.2Pac: "Greatest Hits."
9.Will Smith: "Big Willie Style."
10.Lauryn Hill: "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:52 PM on November 8, 2010 [8 favorites]


Nobody yet has offered a defense or even any examples of the rappers (the famous ones) who constitute what the majority of what the world thinks of as Hip Hop Culture nowadays not being exactly the kind of insidious carnival that Spike Lee wrote about in Bamboozled, which is where I connected with Faze's argument in the first place.

Nobody particularly needs to defend hip hop culture. It doesn't need to be defended. If you don't approve of it, consider that perhaps it's not for you or about you.
posted by chrchr at 11:09 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Your post was hilarious and awesome, Faze.

She's cryin over me and she was feelin blue
I said, "Um, don't cry, dry your eye
And here comes your mother with those two little guys"
Her mean mother steps then says to me "Hi!!"
Decked Sally in the face and punched her in the eye
Punched her in the belly and stepped on her feet
Slammed the child on the hard concrete
The bitch was strong, the kids was gone
Somethin was wrong I said, "What was goin on?"
I tried to break up, I said, "Stop it, just leave her!"
She said, "If I can't smoke none, she can't either!"
She grabbed my closely by my socks
So I broke the hell out, and I grabbed my sack of rocks
But um, they gave chase, they caught up quick
They started cryin on my shoes and grabbin my dick
and sayin....

Why don't you give me a play
So we can brake it down the Long Beach way
And if you give me that okay
I'll give you all my love today
Doggy, Doggy, Doggy, can't you see
Somehow your words just hypnotize me
And I just love your jazzy ways
Doggy Dogg, your love is here to stay

And on and on and on she kept goin
The bitch been around before my mother's born!
I said, "Cheer up!" so I gave her a hit
I said, "You can't have me, I'm too young for you bitch!"
She said, "No you're not," then she starts cryin
I says I'm nineteen, she says, "Stop lyin!"
I says, "I am, go ask my mother
And with your wrinkled pussy, I can't be your lover"
Yeah, uhh, tic toc you don't stop
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:42 AM on November 9, 2010


Man, Will Smith is on the list. Boy oh boy. Will Smith but no Public Enemy. Anyway, shouldn't he be called "Ill Will Smith" or "Ill Smith" or something? I guess he was in hip-hop before it was ill.
posted by Mister_A at 6:43 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If Hip Hop can be blamed for every rapper in jail, it also gets to take credit for Will Smith and Queen Latifah.

Are you sure hip hop wants to take credit for Will Smith and Queen Latifah? I know I wouldn't.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:59 AM on November 9, 2010


Did you know Queen Latifah was in Bringing Out the Dead?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:05 AM on November 9, 2010


Are you sure hip hop wants to take credit for Will Smith and Queen Latifah?

They're both competent rappers.

Certainly more skillful practitioners in their milieu than, say, Taylor Swift is in hers.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:07 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the intention was that they're both highly popular film stars.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:21 AM on November 9, 2010


Random question: Have there been any hip-hop dramas? By that, I mean plays or movies done entirely in rap?

It seems to me that rap battles would fit comfortably in a Shakespeare adaptation, and the way that rappers mold and warp English to fit the needs of verse is somewhat Shakespearean as well.
posted by empath at 7:25 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


You'd probably dig A Prince Among Thieves, empath.
posted by box at 7:29 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah Queen Latifah is dope-ass. Step off, sucka.
posted by Mister_A at 7:30 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was Carmen: A Hip Hopera starring Beyonce, which was a re-imagining of the Otto Preminger film Carmen Jones, itself a re-imagining of the opera Carmen.

But it's really terrible. Like, humiliating. For example, instead of having Carmen die tragically at the hands of her jealous ex-lover, in this version she is accidentally killed by a police sniper. Not kidding. It's as if the filmmakers missed the point of every single element of the story as they went.

For example, the moment when Carmen receives a grim prediction from a fortuneteller (played by a sly Pearl Bailey) is pretty much the climax of Carmen Jones. In Beyonce's version the fortuneteller is a dreadfully miscast Wyclef Jean, who sort of pointlessly Cosby-shouts at her until the scene (mercifully) ends.
posted by hermitosis at 7:34 AM on November 9, 2010


There's A Day in the Life (2009), a film entirely in rap. Directed by Sticky Fingaz, starring Sticky Fingaz, Mekhi Phifer and Omar Epps.

There was also R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet.

Kanye West is tending towards storytelling now, I dunno if you'd call it a drama film but Runaway is a sort of surreal fairy tale where he runs over a phoenix and falls in love with it. Also it's 34 minutes long.
posted by shinybaum at 8:42 AM on November 9, 2010


Are you sure hip hop wants to take credit for Will Smith and Queen Latifah? I know I wouldn't.

Sorry to be a huge dick, but if I called myself "Aelfwine" I'd be careful about thowing culture-bombs at stereotypes.
posted by rhizome at 10:16 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


billyfleetwood: Finally, if you look at the hip hop acts that have lasted, are revered and loved, and in some cases still out there playing shows around the world, it isn't any of the early 90's NWA wannabees. It's people Like LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Tribe called Quest, Biz Markie. Run DMC. Negative hip hop may give the culture a bad name, but Positive hip hop endures.

I don't think it's that binary, and I don't think that hip-hop is served well by saying that it's only the positive parts of it that endure. Some positive hip-hop endures, so does some negative. Snoop Dogg (just one example) is enormously popular, even if he's not a million-seller like he was in the 1990s, and he's fairly often presented as an instance of everything that's "wrong" with hip-hop, or at least the archetype of it. Many hip-hop acts that I loved in the 1990s that were the epitome of positivity and righteous rage at the commercialization and commodification of the music are gone, and in some cases, dead (Gang Starr's Guru being the example that pops to mind). The popular ones are not always the positive ones. But that's not just true of hip-hop. I don't see anybody wailing about "positive country music" or "negative country music" even though there are plenty of both to go around.

koeselitz: And yet not one person has offered an impassioned, reasoned defense of hip hop as something they love. Not one. Apparently people only like hip hop here because they feel they're required to.

I find it odd that somehow there needs to be a defense made for liking or even loving hip-hop. What the hell is that about? Is anyone who likes any other genre of music asked to defend liking it?

As for me, I grew up listening to hip-hop, it was blasting out of the houses in my neighborhood, it was blasting on boom boxes on the buses I rode in high school, it was blasting in dorm rooms in college, it was blasting on my car stereo when I was in my twenties, and now it's occasionally blasting on my laptop when I'm in the mood for it. My like of hip-hop is not just liberal group-think.

I don't see any point in mounting an intellectual defense of hip-hop -- why is one necessary? As others have said, it doesn't need to be defended. Read some Jeff Chang, Tricia Rose, or Nelson George, or even some Sasha Frere-Jones. I don't dismiss the misogyny, homophobia, and other degrading elements in hip-hop -- any more than I dismiss those elements in any other popular music.

As for Faze, I have found something fascinating in many of his comments over the years. But he's been awfully cranky and belligerent/confrontational lately, and has really gone off on some martial "slam the New Left" kick. The comments he's left in this thread are mind-boggling in their ignorance -- and in the way that they gloriously revel in that ignorance as if it's the opposite of ignorance.

Lauding what he's said here as some sort of amusing performance art is beside the point. You don't have to love hip-hop to find his posturing in this thread offensive.
posted by blucevalo at 10:58 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Certainly more skillful practitioners in their milieu than, say, Taylor Swift is in hers.

But in the world of heavy metal she totally stands up.
posted by davejay at 1:15 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had to look up the original version to realize how awesome that video is, davejay.
posted by micayetoca at 5:52 PM on November 9, 2010


bluecevalo. I agree with you, I was definitely making a somehwat simplified point in response to that specific question. I don't see it as an absolute. I still listen to much 90's era gangster shit. I think Doggystyle is the best Hip Hop album of the early 90's (and Snoop pretty much defies all logic, rules and reason. He's like some sort of amoral zen koan) . I don't even really see the culture as being divided on a positive/negative axis. But for the sake of the discussion at hand I'm ok framing the argument along those lines. Maybe i'd restate my case as follows. Among the handful of artists with universal appeal, I think they tend to break one way and not the other.

Are you sure hip hop wants to take credit for Will Smith and Queen Latifah? I know I wouldn't.

Why not? Both of them got their start as successful influential Hip Hop artists. And Summertime is awesome.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:09 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everyone in this thread is wrong.
posted by doublehappy at 1:08 PM on November 10, 2010


Do you always have to have the last word?
posted by Splunge at 1:34 PM on November 10, 2010


Yes. Yes, I do.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:02 PM on November 10, 2010


I agree with you, I was definitely making a somehwat simplified point in response to that specific question.

Sorry -- I didn't mean to come off fighty in response.
posted by blucevalo at 2:32 PM on November 10, 2010


"I think Doggystyle is the best Hip Hop album of the early 90's."

Word? Better than Illmatic, Enter the Wu-Tang, Death Certificate and The Low End Theory?
posted by box at 4:41 PM on November 10, 2010


Or Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, Cypress Hill, 93 'til Infinity, Naughty by Nature, Ready to Die, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, The Sun Rises in the East, or even Enta da Stage? Doggystyle was great and all, but your setting aside a lot of groundbreaking stuff.

Are you sure hip hop wants to take credit for Will Smith and Queen Latifah?
Why not?
Latifah - Ladies First
Dj Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince - (pick one)
posted by P.o.B. at 7:31 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


All this talk of nineties hip-hop takes me back.
Camp Lo
Digable Planets
posted by P.o.B. at 7:38 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will say this, though: Doggystyle is a better album than The Chronic.
posted by box at 8:03 PM on November 10, 2010


box: I will say this, though: Doggystyle is a better album than The Chronic

Pff, absolutely.

Go ahead, some time, and listen to The Chronic, but skip all of the songs with Snoop on them. Then listen to it again, and skip all the songs without Snoop.

I have no idea why people think that The Chronic is such a seminal album, as Doggystyle 1.5 it is solid, but as a whole work it really isn't.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:48 PM on November 10, 2010


Do I look like a mother-fucking role model? To a kid looking up to me, life aint nothing but bitch's and money.

Ya'all realize black men are capable of irony, right?
posted by cj_ at 5:41 AM on November 11, 2010


First time I've ever seen y'all spelled with two As.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 AM on November 11, 2010


I think it is the pluralization of y'all, a contraction of y'all-all, alternate form y'a'al.
posted by idiopath at 10:23 AM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ya'all and y'all are different. "Ya' all" and "yawl."
posted by cmoj at 11:01 AM on November 11, 2010


I think it is the pluralization of y'all, a contraction of y'all-all, alternate form y'a'al.

The plural of y'all is "all y'All."

At least, it is in Texas. I can't speak for what they do in the lesser Southern states.
posted by zarq at 12:18 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


zarq - close, but not quite.

in texas, and much of the south, the plural is all-a-y'all - or, more commonly - allay'all
posted by nadawi at 12:37 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


What are yinz talking about?
posted by chinston at 12:41 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


It is possible that the two yutes...
posted by Sailormom at 1:31 PM on November 11, 2010


in texas, and much of the south, the plural is all-a-y'all - or, more commonly - allay'allin texas, and much of the south, the plural is all-a-y'all - or, more commonly - allay'all

Not when I was growing up in North Texas. But I bow to your superior knowledge.
posted by zarq at 1:40 PM on November 11, 2010




Ha ha see it's funny because rappers would never listen to NPR so it doesn't matter if we're shit at rhyming.

Did they have Grumblebee pen that?
posted by klangklangston at 10:00 AM on November 16, 2010


Heh. Jay-Z is on Fresh Air today.
posted by rtha at 11:51 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The RZA was on a few years back.
posted by electroboy at 1:16 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is nothing more painful than listening to Terri Gross suck up to somebody she thinks is really cool. Ugh.

zarq: “The plural of y'all is "all y'All." At least, it is in Texas. I can't speak for what they do in the lesser Southern states.”

nadawi: “zarq - close, but not quite. in texas, and much of the south, the plural is all-a-y'all - or, more commonly - allay'all”

zarq: “Not when I was growing up in North Texas. But I bow to your superior knowledge.”

I can't believe neither of y'all seem to get the more important bit here, which is that Texas is not in the South.

Meanwhile, one should point out that up in Detroit, it's clearly "all y'all."
posted by koeselitz at 10:16 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Texas is not in the South

Quoted for truth.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:36 PM on November 17, 2010


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