I can has donkey? December 7, 2010 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Why isn't "status" an open text field, too?

I think it'd be better to have an open text field for relationship status, because, in my opinion, relationships can be just as complicated as gender. And we're a pretty creative bunch, right? We can come up with all kinds of neat things for that field!

Thanks!

Also, I personally despise the term "taken" because it makes me feel like I am property, but that might just be the crazy talking. Hee haw.
posted by two lights above the sea to Feature Requests at 9:04 AM (182 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Many people have asked for this over the years and the mods seem pretty dead set against it, though it has always seemed a straightforwardly good idea to me.
posted by enn at 9:07 AM on December 7, 2010


This was heavily debated when we first rolled it out. Taken isn't optimal, we know, but essentially we wanted this to have some standard entries so that if we later wanted to run some sort of program "single MeFites near me" or whatever (note: we are not planning this) we could. There are basically four options

- don't use it
- say you're in a relationship
- say you're single
- some version of "it's complicated"

If it were up to me there would be little icons that only sort of implied those variations, but none of us could think of any. This is one of those things where there was a big debate on it, not everyone was happy about it but most people could tolerate it, and changing it would involve the same debate and likely the same outcome. I'd suggest just leaving it blank, as I do, and writing something else in the profile section.

Related: facebook changed their new profiles and there are news headlines saying "facebook profile change angers some" or something and my initial thought was "what could you possibly do to facebook that wouldn't annoy a good fraction of the users at the point at which your userbase is 400 zillion people" and sometimes I feel similarly about things here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:09 AM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think there should be a user design contest for the little icons, and its winner should be The Whelk.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 9:12 AM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't see a "it's complicated" option. There's an open, single, taken, and an option to not use it, it looks like.
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:13 AM on December 7, 2010


I AM OUTRAGED, NATURALLY.
posted by Jofus at 9:13 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Desperate.
posted by special-k at 9:16 AM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't see a "it's complicated" option.

"open" is our version of "it's complicated" it can mean what you want it to mean. We specifically didn't say "open relationship" for this reason. The main reason we even have this at all is because it was a feature people actually were clamoring for and it was easy enough to have it be an added thing that people could use completely optionally and everyone else could more or less ignore. That said, I am not against having it be an open text field, I'm just sort of explaining how it came to be what it is now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:18 AM on December 7, 2010


Leave it a text field and the next thing you know you'll have you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:19 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I personally despise the term "taken" because it makes me feel like I am property, but that might just be the crazy talking. Hee haw.

Ho boy. Wait till you find out what Matt is planning to call the Metafilter dating site (expected to be rolled out in the December 2012).


Answer: әɯәʞɐʇ
posted by special-k at 9:19 AM on December 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


If it were up to me there would be little icons that only sort of implied those variations, but none of us could think of any.

Really? What about:

  • [NULL] (don't use it)
  • 1 (single)
  • 2 (in a relationship)
  • ∞ (some flavor of complicated/unconventional)

    Note: I don't remotely care about this and would opt for [NULL] regardless.

  • posted by Gator at 9:19 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    The conspiracy to normorate our interactions with others continues unabated.
    posted by Burhanistan at 9:21 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    I had no clue what that was about. My status would be "dim".
    posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:24 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Special symbol:

    *

    Thanks Kurt Vonnegut!
    posted by fixedgear at 9:24 AM on December 7, 2010


    Status: Currently unavailable due to DDOS attack but I'm free Friday night!
    posted by special-k at 9:25 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    The box turtle and I are very happy.

    Note to DiscourseMarker: I am making a jokey allusion to a remark by a homophobic Texas Congressman, not calling you a box turtle.
    posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


    Yes
    No
    On the rocks
    posted by bonehead at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    but essentially we wanted this to have some standard entries so that if we later wanted to run some sort of program "single MeFites near me" or whatever (note: we are not planning this) we could.

    So....it's not planned, but won't be changed? Alrighty then.

    If ya'll still want the nice and neat limit of several options, just offer the drop down menu or the text field. Whatever is in the text field would override the drop down menu option. If there was nothing in the text field, then drop down menu wins!

    Yes, it's probably not as simple to code, but still, it's certainly not impossible nor is there any reason we should be stuck with the list that makes it easy for a for a future feature that isn't planned.
    posted by nomadicink at 9:27 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    I'm not a fan of "taken" either. I'd prefer "has."
    posted by Metroid Baby at 9:27 AM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    So....it's not planned, but won't be changed? Alrighty then.

    I am describing a decision that was made years ago. We wanted to leave that option open which seemed like a good idea at the time. As that decision fades into the past it's seeming less and less like something we're going to do. And here we are.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:28 AM on December 7, 2010


    "open" is our version of "it's complicated" it can mean what you want it to mean. We specifically didn't say "open relationship" for this reason. The main reason we even have this at all is because it was a feature people actually were clamoring for and it was easy enough to have it be an added thing that people could use completely optionally and everyone else could more or less ignore. That said, I am not against having it be an open text field, I'm just sort of explaining how it came to be what it is now.

    I see what you're saying. That's fair. Thanks!
    posted by two lights above the sea at 9:31 AM on December 7, 2010


    I'm not a fan of "taken" either.

    "Your cart has 1 item" ?

    And here we are

    Yeah. No doubt there are more important things to do or be concerned about in terms of the site, but that field is always so "WTF MATT".
    posted by nomadicink at 9:33 AM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    So....it's not planned, but won't be changed? Alrighty then.

    See what she said: there's a historical record of how we got to where we are, contradictions in intent sometimes arise as time marches on. See also the Travel subsite.

    I personally don't really have a problem with the idea of an open text field for this, but I also don't really have any investment in using that field to express anything other than "yup, I'm married, thanks".
    posted by cortex (staff) at 9:33 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Okay, so, like, what if there were static options and also an "other" option that would open up a text field if selected? Then, the people who reallyreally want MeFi to know they're single can set that, but everyone who doesn't particularly care can have their fun with it. And eat it too. Personally, I'm fine with things as they are, but I'm not saying I wouldn't change mine to quotes from Alien if given the chance.
    posted by katillathehun at 9:36 AM on December 7, 2010


    One of my favourite pound-store finds when I was a student was a crappy Aliens branded pencilcase, which had "STATUS: ALIEN SPACE CASE" written on it in a "computer" font.

    So that's MY Alien related status sorted.
    posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on December 7, 2010


    but I'm not saying I wouldn't change mine to quotes from Alien if given the chance.

    Relationship Status: I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies.
    posted by nomadicink at 9:39 AM on December 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


    i'll be in the kitchen hot tub waterfall waiting for the moment to turn romantic.
    posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:44 AM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    posted by katillathehun but I'm not saying I wouldn't change mine to quotes from Alien if given the chance.

    Relationship Status: It's a robot! It's a goddamn robot!
    posted by mattdidthat at 9:50 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    jessamyn: "open" is our version of "it's complicated" it can mean what you want it to mean.

    I had no idea that was your intent, and I think that word choice is problematic. "Open" has a specific meaning regarding relationships; you can't just say "well, here is means something else".
    posted by mkultra at 9:51 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Status: It's a locator. It doesn't mean we're engaged or anything.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 9:51 AM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


    Aliens quote! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    /points
    posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on December 7, 2010


    Status: It's a locator. It doesn't mean we're engaged or anything.

    That's from Aliens, not Alien HOW DARE YOU SIR.

    I had no idea that was your intent, and I think that word choice is problematic

    It's an imperfect world AND drop down menu.
    posted by nomadicink at 10:01 AM on December 7, 2010


    In the novelisation of my status it's something about parasitic wasps.
    posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Aliens is basically Alien but more so.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:06 AM on December 7, 2010


    Status: Something has attached itself to him.
    posted by dersins at 10:09 AM on December 7, 2010


    ok, Status is now free-form. Go nuts.
    posted by pb (staff) at 10:15 AM on December 7, 2010 [20 favorites]


    I think this is a great idea.
    posted by aniola at 10:15 AM on December 7, 2010


    Also, I don't use the Georgian Calendar. Can I please have an option to present my "Joined On" line in the Julian date format, or in relation to the Unix Epoch?
    posted by schmod at 10:16 AM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    Oh man. So many great Alien(s) quotes! So many nuts to go!
    posted by katillathehun at 10:18 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    I think that word choice is problematic.

    Yes, all word choices are problematic. We're talking about whether we can shift this to a text field [with the default in the text field being whatever you've already selected, if you've selected anything]. Stay tuned.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:18 AM on December 7, 2010


    And on preview, go nuts.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:19 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Aliens is basically Alien but more so.

    You know that is not so.

    It does work for Predator and Predators though.
    posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on December 7, 2010


    more like on pbview amirite
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:20 AM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


    It does work for Predator and Predators though.

    Status: GET TO DE CHOPPAAAAAAH!!
    posted by katillathehun at 10:23 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Aliens is basically Alien but more less so.
    posted by shakespeherian at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2010


    Is Predators any good? Antal's Kontroll is one of my favorite films ever.
    posted by griphus at 10:27 AM on December 7, 2010


    Oh come on. There's only like one of the things in the whole first movie and you barely see it. They might as well have called the movie "Jonesy the Cat" for all the screen time either got.

    If Ridley Scott made a movie about the Titanic it'd be nothing but a bunch of dock workers standing around on the pier yelling at each other and then every once in a while you'd see a corner of a ticket.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:28 AM on December 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


    I take back what I wrote about ya'll on the bathroom wall, thanks!

    Aliens is basically Alien but more so.

    "What kind of animal would do this to a dog?"
    posted by nomadicink at 10:28 AM on December 7, 2010


    Cortex, if David Mamet wrote the film you describe, it'd be superior to Cameron's Titanic in more ways I can name.
    posted by griphus at 10:29 AM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


    You are a bad person and you should feel bad.
    posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on December 7, 2010


    I just wanted to say that while I'm not likely to change my status (although now that I think about it, I might!) I really appreciate the responsiveness. At the risk of seeming sycophantic or saccharine, I very much appreciate being part of a community in which this kind of concern is addressed in such a professional and timely way.
    posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:30 AM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


    > Is Predators any good?

    "Predators" is actually kind of good and almost to be taken seriously right up until it isn't. It does have about 20 decent minutes in it before that happens.
    posted by Burhanistan at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2010


    I very much appreciate being part of a community in which this kind of concern is addressed in such a professional and timely way.

    With bonus Alien vs. Aliens debate.
    posted by katillathehun at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Also I think it's kind of bullshit that the Alien in Alien3 wasn't shaped like a cube. Don't bait and switch me like that, Fincher; I know people at the Better Business Bureau.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


    Is pb off the reservation? Did he just go "Ugh I can't watch these people discuss some minor pointless quibble to death for the 100th time this week. Computer powers ACTIVATE!" and just do something to shut us up? Cause I would be in favor of that.
    posted by ND¢ at 10:32 AM on December 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


    Predators is my fourth favorite Aliens and/or Predators film.
    posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on December 7, 2010


    He was probably going to name it "Jonesy the Cat3" and make it about a spherical dog, though, so I shouldn't complain.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:33 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    If Ridley Scott made a movie about the Titanic it'd be nothing but a bunch of dock workers standing around on the pier yelling at each other and then every once in a while you'd see a corner of a ticket.

    If James Cameron had made Blade Runner Deckard would have half his face torn off so you can see the robotic skeleton underneath and Tyrell Corp would be represented by a guy with a teeshirt that says I AM EVIL. At the end Roy Batty would spout meaningless one-liners as he and Deckard punched one another from Mechwarriors.
    posted by shakespeherian at 10:34 AM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


    The last two words of this post made me smile so hard that I might just put them in my profile.

    "Status: Hee haw"
    posted by iamkimiam at 10:34 AM on December 7, 2010


    "All these moments, lost in time... LIKE YOUR, BLOOD DECKARD!"

    (Cue Batty's arms, pecs, face turning into ray-guns.)
    posted by griphus at 10:36 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Available
    Looking
    No thanks!

    and my favorite:

    Make me an offer
    posted by Eideteker at 10:36 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    shakespeherian - Pretty sure Ridley Scott will put all of that himself next time re-releases it.
    posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on December 7, 2010


    Make me an offer

    $20 and no, you can't have the change.
    posted by nomadicink at 10:38 AM on December 7, 2010


    Also, just noticed the post title. Ha.
    posted by iamkimiam at 10:48 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Aliens 4 does have the advantage of being the Firefly warm-up lap for Whedon, so there's that. There's a good hour of goofballs and hijinks before it turns into a bad monster of the week episode. I just kinda blank on the aliens stuff for the last reel.
    posted by bonehead at 10:48 AM on December 7, 2010


    Relationship Status: Crush On - Patron silver.
    posted by edgeways at 10:52 AM on December 7, 2010


    PROVISIONAL ALIENS AND/OR PREDATOR QUALITY CHART.

    GOOD

    Alien
    Aliens
    Predator
    Predators
    Alien³
    Alien Resurrection
    Predator 2
    Alien vs Predator
    Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

    BAD

    I'm open to suggestions Re: The reordering of Alien and Aliens, or the reordering of Alien³ versus Alien Resurrection. Arguments based on Whedon fanboism are non admissible.
    posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Also, I personally despise the term "taken" because it makes me feel like I am property...

    How about "chosen"?
    posted by DU at 10:55 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    you can't just say "well, here is means something else

    hamburger
    posted by edgeways at 10:56 AM on December 7, 2010


    I'm already nuts. What am I supposed to do now?
    posted by rtha at 10:57 AM on December 7, 2010


    I SENSED THERE WAS A ALIEN CONVERSATION GOING ON HEY WHAT UP GUYS
    posted by The Whelk at 11:01 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Arguments based on Whedon fanboism are non admissible

    How do you feel about Jean Pierre Jeunet fanboism?
    posted by shakespeherian at 11:01 AM on December 7, 2010


    Aliens 4 has so much going for it but it's all spooky visuals and people grown in a vat and underwater alien fights.

    PLus it's one of Ryders best roles.

    No seriously.

    It is.
    posted by The Whelk at 11:04 AM on December 7, 2010


    And Dominique Pinon, the best sad clown ever.
    posted by bonehead at 11:05 AM on December 7, 2010


    I'm already nuts. What am I supposed to do now?

    Courage Wolf sez:

    GO NUTS. AND THEN KEEP GOING.
    posted by Eideteker at 11:06 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Ah, come on, he's a horrible match for the series and it's easily his worst film. There's a few sparks of ingenuity in there but basically the thing is an unforgivable mess. Alien³ , which isprobably David Finchers worst film if you don't really hate Benjamin Button, has an edge on it in terms of coherance.
    posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on December 7, 2010


    Awesome, thanks pb!

    "married to my motorcycle" it is!
    posted by mollymayhem at 11:09 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Ws it established that the xenomorph was a parasite being designed for deep space travel in a culture with lots and lots of space-travel or did I just convince myself that?
    posted by The Whelk at 11:09 AM on December 7, 2010


    essentially we wanted this to have some standard entries so that if we later wanted to run some sort of program "single MeFites near me" or whatever (note: we are not planning this) we could.

    I'm in favor of this; in fact, I think we should go further and turn gender into standard entries instead of a free-form fields. Until we do that, any kind of dating.metafilter.com wouldn't be optimally effective.
    posted by John Cohen at 11:11 AM on December 7, 2010


    > Ws it established that the xenomorph was a parasite being designed for deep space travel in a culture with lots and lots of space-travel or did I just convince myself that?

    The xenomorph is merely a convenient stand-in for each viewer's own fears.
    posted by Burhanistan at 11:12 AM on December 7, 2010


    I'm afraid of public speaking, heights, and ravenous space monsters.
    posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on December 7, 2010


    Until we do that, any kind of dating.metafilter.com wouldn't be optimally effective.

    oh wheres the fun in that!
    posted by The Whelk at 11:14 AM on December 7, 2010


    turn gender into standard entries instead of a free-form fields

    You just go do that. I'll go get the popcorn.
    posted by bonehead at 11:14 AM on December 7, 2010


    If it were free form, mine would be: "Sorry, ladeeez."

    So, you know, the current fixed-option version has that going for it.
    posted by Zed at 11:14 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    I'm probably more afraid of public speaking than killer space monsters.
    posted by Burhanistan at 11:15 AM on December 7, 2010


    Honestly, the ONLY reason I posted this is because I realized that, after I got married, I couldn't put "MARRIED MARRIED MARRIED" in my status line. So, I guess I have Arrested Development to thank for my new donkey.
    posted by two lights above the sea at 11:16 AM on December 7, 2010


    General consensus over the years seems to be that they're a bioweapon used by the Space Jockey speices.
    posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on December 7, 2010


    any kind of dating.metafilter.com wouldn't be optimally effective.

    Ultimately, yeah. Also.

    MetaFilter: any kind of dating.metafilter.com wouldn't be optimally effective.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:16 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    oh, hey, missed that it had been free-formed. And now the server's melting down.
    posted by Zed at 11:21 AM on December 7, 2010


    "'married to my motorcycle' it is!"

    I don't know who you are but now I must meet you. And we will ride bikes together. Motorbikes.
    posted by Eideteker at 11:24 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    General consensus over the years seems to be that they're a bioweapon used by the Space Jockey speices.

    Given how similar the xenomorphs are in general appearance to the Space Jockey (as far as external ribs, etc) I sort of always assumed they were both bioengineered by someone else.
    posted by shakespeherian at 11:25 AM on December 7, 2010


    I had no idea that was your intent, and I think that word choice is problematic. "Open" has a specific meaning regarding relationships; you can't just say "well, here is means something else".

    But it's MetaFilter! Consider the local definition of "favorite" and "best answer".
    posted by Chuckles at 11:31 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Motorbikes! (I will make sure to look you up when I finally get my act together and ride across the country.)
    posted by mollymayhem at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2010


    Aliens3 gives the answer. They were Space Jockey puppies.
    posted by bonehead at 11:35 AM on December 7, 2010


    Motorbikes

    PJ HARVEY!

    posted by nomadicink at 11:35 AM on December 7, 2010


    Alien: Resurrection is superior to Alien3 by the following metrics:

    - It does not begin with killing off Hicks and Newt
    - It has a sense of humor, instead of being relentlessly depressing
    - Great cast of character actors (Ron Perlman, Dan Hedaya, Leland Orser, Brad Dourif) offsets baffling presence of Winona Ryder.
    - You get to watch Winona Ryder "die"
    posted by mkultra at 11:36 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Given how similar the xenomorphs are in general appearance to the Space Jockey (as far as external ribs, etc) I sort of always assumed they were both bioengineered by someone else.

    Really? They look pretty disimilar to me, or at least as disimilar as two Gieger beasties get.

    In the comics the Space Jockeys just take the Aliens from the hellish Alien homeworld and use them as weapons, basically just dumping them wherever they want to wipe out indiginous life.

    Though in an early version of Alien, back when the spaceship was a pyramid, there was a wall of hiroglyphics depicting the alien lifecycle which suggested the alien we see is just an immature form of a more technologicaly advanced creature, which is closer to your theory.

    Ridley Scott will of course be along to mess with it anytime now.
    posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    you guys, talking about Aliens crashes the server.
    posted by The Whelk at 11:44 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    you guys, talking about Aliens crashes the server.

    Are you saying it's...

    game over, man?
    posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:53 AM on December 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


    I'm saying party over, we're out of time
    posted by The Whelk at 11:55 AM on December 7, 2010


    With a whack-whack here and a whack-whack there, Alien: Resurrection could have been number three on my personal continuum of Alien/Predator movies. It has enough great parts to be there, but the bad, weird parts are so bad and weird that they mess everything up. I still place it above Alien3 and Predators.

    But I also put Aliens in the top spot.
    posted by dirtdirt at 12:05 PM on December 7, 2010


    But it's MetaFilter! Consider the local definition of "favorite" and "best answer".

    What's a "favorite"?
    posted by maudlin at 12:09 PM on December 7, 2010


    TWENTY BUCKS, SAME AS ON LV-426
    posted by cortex (staff) at 12:10 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


    I've always liked Resurrection, probably about as much as Aliens. I'm not sure what people hate about it.
    posted by shakespeherian at 12:10 PM on December 7, 2010


    Why the hell would I want to watch Winona Ryder die?

    Surely I'm not the only one who daydreams about joining her on a cross-country spree of pharmacy robberies.
    posted by box at 12:14 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    I'm not sure what people hate about it.

    Baby Alien and wionna ryder in it. I like Ryder generally, actress wise, but she seemed horribly miscast here. Then again, it felt a bit tiring to see the script twist itself in so many ways just to get Ripley back. Time for an Alien flick without Ripley.
    posted by nomadicink at 12:15 PM on December 7, 2010


    > I'm not sure what people hate about it.

    The biggest flaw with "Alien Resurrection" is that there wasn't a disclaimer at the opening of the film in big, bold letters saying: "FYI: this is a campy space comedy peppered with comic book gore. Adjust your expectations accordingly."
    posted by Burhanistan at 12:25 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    So what would be your Alien movie? It has to have 1) Cramped environments 2) Geographic isolation 3) The Alien.
    posted by The Whelk at 12:26 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    FYI: this is a campy space comedy peppered with comic book gore. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

    Like I said, it's about even with Aliens.
    posted by shakespeherian at 12:30 PM on December 7, 2010


    I liked Alien Resurrection too, but then it's the only movie in the set that I've actually seen all the way through. I tried to watch the original on cable not too long ago and fell asleep before pretty much anything happened. I went to see Resurrection on a date, though (date, not dare), and enjoyed the cast very much, except for Winona. I love Brad Dourif, Leland Orser, Ron Perlman, that guy who played Carla's scuzzy husband on Cheers, and the perpetually awesome Michael Wincott who could read the phonebook and I'd still find him mesmerizing.

    Winona, well, I can't think of anything I've seen her in where I actually enjoyed her performance. She's like Keanu -- matter how many dialect coaches they hire, now matter how many layers of period costume you slather on them, no matter how hard they try, they're still Winona and Keanu. Trying to get them to be anything else is an exercise in futility.
    posted by Gator at 12:31 PM on December 7, 2010


    > it's the only movie in the set that I've actually seen all the way through.

    You have no business here.
    posted by Burhanistan at 12:36 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Half-baked idea:

    You could play off some of the ideas in the last movie and find away around the "What WY wants it as a weapon? STILL?" with some maneuvering.

    Take the isolated all-male environment from 3 and make it what it was supposed to be, a Monastery. Except this monastery's Duties are about monitoring and controlling communications between Deep Space outposts. Kind of an Order of Holy Ham Radio operators. It's the opposite of the Nostromo, bright and white and clean and dry. Some of the Order are in Statis, because W-Y is testing out new way of prolonging statis for even longer pushes out into space and all is fine and dandy until something *happens* and the station goes dark and they have to send in an investigation team.

    Which finds ...a fully operational and functioning station with Monks who have no idea what he's talking about. Nothing has happened ..well ..except for one thing. Some of the people are sick and their bodies are ..changing.

    If the Alien movies are about any specific fear, it's reproduction and body horror and in an all-male environment where people are starting to grow alien appendages and orifices you could go into many disturbing directions. Overall motif - horrid horrid biology creeping into this Apple-Store aesthetic and Black Hole-like exploration of bodies breaking down. WY is trying to isolate aspects of the xenomorph and transfer them to people, in this case the ability to hibernate indefinately - but of course It's Going Terribly Wrong.

    Or is it?

    You'd have to work out the reversals and reveals (Did the monks know before hand? Did they agree? Was the inspector brought here on purpose etc) but that's a starting premise.
    posted by The Whelk at 12:45 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


    nomadicink: "Time for an Alien flick without Ripley.

    Dude, they tried that. Twice. Turns out she's kind of essential.
    posted by mkultra at 12:47 PM on December 7, 2010


    ..and the monks are picked cause they're all clones (different features, phenotypes are way less predictable) and thus a good Control Group.
    posted by The Whelk at 12:49 PM on December 7, 2010


    That wasn't really trying. And I kinda liked Requiem
    posted by nomadicink at 12:50 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Aliens quotes as status? My god the potential here is amazing:

    Status: Kept handy, for close encounters
    Status: Short, controlled bursts.
    Status: In some real pretty shit now
    Status: Nuked from orbit, to be sure.
    Status: Oh dear Lord Jesus, this ain't happening, man... This can't be happening, man! This isn't happening!

    The possibilities are endless.
    posted by quin at 12:51 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    I haven't picked one for my status yet, but I've finally found an answer to my gender field dilemma.
    posted by katillathehun at 12:58 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


    Dude, they tried that. Twice.

    They didn't even try to make a decent Aliens Vs Predator movie, let alone a decent Aliens movie.
    posted by Artw at 1:10 PM on December 7, 2010


    Aliens quotes as status?

    Alien quotes. Ignore cortex.
    posted by Artw at 1:11 PM on December 7, 2010


    Can't, it's inside me.
    posted by nomadicink at 1:14 PM on December 7, 2010


    Perhaps MetaFilter will eventually support decentralized and open dating and relationship search through web standards! (The solution there to the gender problem is interesting.)
    posted by mbrubeck at 1:41 PM on December 7, 2010


    Can we have "Enemying" next?
    posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    PROFILE

    NAME
    BIRTHDAY:
    DATE JOINED:
    USER NUMBER:
    SECRET CABAL STATUS:
    GENDER:
    STATUS:
    SOCKPUPPETS:
    RESENTMENTS:
    ACHIEVEMENTS:
    NEMESIS:
    SPECIAL MOVE:
    RELIC:
    FAVORITE APPLE:
    WEAKNESS:
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE:
    posted by The Whelk at 1:49 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


    Downplay ALIGNMENT why don't you, you 4E loving freak!
    posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


    Status: They mostly come at night. Mostly.

    Oh wait, does it have to be Alien specifically?
    posted by Infinite Jest at 1:52 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    My alignment is Chaotic Internet.
    posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    friend quipped that his boyfriends came quark flavors: up, down, charm, strange, top, and bottom
    posted by The Whelk at 1:54 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


    NAME: shakespeherian
    BIRTHDAY: February 9th
    DATE JOINED: May 24, 2006
    USER NUMBER: 37801
    SECRET CABAL STATUS: Excommunicated
    GENDER: Male
    STATUS: Mrried
    SOCKPUPPETS: The Whelk, klangklangston
    RESENTMENTS: Picked last for kickball
    ACHIEVEMENTS: Just ate a whole pizza
    NEMESIS: Iridic
    SPECIAL MOVE: Roundhouse kick
    RELIC: The Key of Seeing
    FAVORITE APPLE: Jonathon
    WEAKNESS: Water
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE: Shyamalan's secret name
    posted by shakespeherian at 1:57 PM on December 7, 2010


    pb - Thanks for the change. I did not like "taken" and have just posted "married" in my profile.
    posted by Cranberry at 2:04 PM on December 7, 2010



    NAME THE WHELK
    BIRTHDAY: Samuel Addams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scott Pilgrim
    DATE JOINED: September 13, 2008
    USER NUMBER: 80649
    SECRET CABAL STATUS: Double Blind Assassin.
    GENDER: Amazing
    STATUS: Incredible
    SOCKPUPPETS: Shakesperian, klangklangston
    RESENTMENTS: Not enough people like Dory Previn
    ACHIEVEMENTS: Got out of bed, bathed.
    NEMESIS: YOU KNOW
    SPECIAL MOVE: Whiskey
    RELIC: The Claw Of Many Things.
    FAVORITE APPLE: Cigarettes
    WEAKNESS: The kiss of true love
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE: The combination to the safe.
    posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    This is well into IRC territory.
    posted by Burhanistan at 2:10 PM on December 7, 2010


    But the Aliens never actually said much on the movies. I mean, if you wanted to use Alien(s) quotes in your status, it'd have to be something like

    Status: SKKKREEEEEEEYYYYYAAAAHHHHHHAAAGHHHH
    posted by koeselitz at 2:11 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


    This is well into IRC territory.

    As long as we have enough ammo and light we should be fine.
    posted by The Whelk at 2:12 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Uh, about that.
    posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on December 7, 2010


    Status: [Attack pheromone, extra ketones to indicate that the prey is vulnerable]
    posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Status: Spunkmeyer
    posted by nomadicink at 2:19 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Status: *tail whip*
    posted by quin at 2:20 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    > SECRET CABAL STATUS: Excommunicated

    Impossible. The only ex-Cabal statuses are "Terminated" and "Annihilated."

    There is no Cabal.
    posted by languagehat at 2:21 PM on December 7, 2010


    Sounds like someone doesn't know about the Secret High Priesthood.
    posted by shakespeherian at 2:22 PM on December 7, 2010


    The Priests who are Secretly High.
    posted by The Whelk at 2:24 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    PROFILE

    NAME: cortex
    BIRTHDAY: April 26
    DATE JOINED: April 25, 2001
    USER NUMBER: 7418
    SECRET CABAL STATUS: Thinks he's in
    GENDER: Too purty for jail
    STATUS: Cymbal
    SOCKPUPPETS: fishfucker, Lionel Snitchie, quonsar III: quonsarder, Secretariat
    RESENTMENTS: the mesocarp on oranges
    ACHIEVEMENTS: Leaked over 250,000 x-rated videos of himself performing as "Julian ASSange"
    NEMESIS: Secretariat
    SPECIAL MOVE: The "This is not a good metafilter post" sleeper-hold deletion. Shhh, shh, just go to sleep. It'll all be over soon.
    RELIC: Was a terrible movie. But better than Mimic, the other *ic horror film from 1997.
    FAVORITE APPLE: KALLISTI
    WEAKNESS: anything physical
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE: The 9 billion sockpuppets of God
    posted by Eideteker at 2:28 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


    The Priests who are Secretly High.

    Yeah, that's not incense burning in my thurible. Bless you my children, breathe deep and now let us partake of some snacks and come to know the holy teachings of Invader Zim,
    posted by quin at 2:31 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Do NOT watch the Dark Harvest episode while high.
    posted by shakespeherian at 2:32 PM on December 7, 2010


    Mimic was way better than Relic.
    posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on December 7, 2010


    I thought it was funny that Mimic was exactly one tenth of a point higher than The Relic on imdb when I looked it up right before posting that.
    posted by Eideteker at 2:39 PM on December 7, 2010


    Mimic holds up surprisingly well, they did the Alien Formula but used big empty spaces.
    posted by The Whelk at 2:40 PM on December 7, 2010


    NAME: griphus
    BIRTHDAY: REDACTED
    DATE JOINED: REDACTED
    USER NUMBER: REDACTED
    SECRET CABAL STATUS: REDACTED
    GENDER: REDACTED
    STATUS: REDACTED
    SOCKPUPPETS: REDACTED
    RESENTMENTS: REDACTED
    ACHIEVEMENTS: REDACTED
    NEMESIS: REDACTED
    SPECIAL MOVE: REDACTED
    RELIC: REDACTED
    FAVORITE APPLE: REDACTED
    WEAKNESS: REDACTED
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE: REDACTED
    posted by griphus at 2:40 PM on December 7, 2010


    Bless you my children, breathe deep and now let us partake of some snacks and come to know the holy teachings of Invader Zim,
    posted by quin


    If we're going into Zim country, how about "The pig...COMMANDS ME", "WE ARE THE RESISTY" or "The fish is part of the plan"?
    posted by miss-lapin at 2:51 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    So what would be your Alien movie? It has to have 1) Cramped environments 2) Geographic isolation 3) The Alien.

    Categorized as in development.
    posted by nickmark at 2:52 PM on December 7, 2010


    Aliens 4 has so much going for it but it's all spooky visuals and people grown in a vat and underwater alien fights.

    Thank WY for this MeFi serendipity. I was trying to discuss this earlier today with someone who, in the end, hadn't seen the movies.

    Alien 4 starts with a Ripley clone that has human-alien DNA, biotech experimentation and concludes with the wombed Queen and the hybrid alien. There is potential even discounting the 90s slow motion sequences. However, inbetween the film follows a bunch of vagrants no one cares about and shows off the aquarium of the studios that may have cost a lot, but which is introduced in a contrived way that doesn't add to the movie.

    I'm off to pick an Alien quote now.
    posted by ersatz at 2:57 PM on December 7, 2010


    NAME: Iridic
    BIRTHDAY: September 18
    DATE JOINED: July 20, 2006
    USER NUMBER: 40395
    SECRET CABAL STATUS: Plenipotentiary
    GENDER: ✓+
    STATUS: Quite well, thanks for asking.
    SOCKPUPPETS: Your Disapproving Father (emeritus)
    RESENTMENTS: Ressentiment
    ACHIEVEMENTS: Once won five straight games of Masterpiece. It was incredible.
    NEMESIS: Chuck Palahniuk.
    SPECIAL MOVE: The Sternum Splitter.
    RELIC: Book club first edition of Bellows' Herzog
    FAVORITE APPLE: Braeburn
    WEAKNESS: Bowling
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE: This great little restaurant on Dearborn. Good coffee, good wine, good grilled cheese, good everything.
    posted by Iridic at 3:05 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Now can we have a free-form field for sexual orientation? Because those are my best jokes.
    posted by NoraReed at 3:21 PM on December 7, 2010


    NAME: lonefrontranger
    BIRTHDAY: 1 August
    DATE JOINED: 24 January 2006
    USER NUMBER: 32624
    SECRET CABAL STATUS: beanplate microanalyzer
    GENDER: inboard
    STATUS: juggling live wildcats
    SOCKPUPPETS: The Whelk, loquacious, Burhanistan
    RESENTMENTS: what, you want me to pick just one? Jesus wept.
    ACHIEVEMENTS: 22-year-long unbroken streak of crashing fixed gear bicycles.
    NEMESIS: Twitter
    SPECIAL MOVE: *trackstands*
    RELIC: myself, according to some undergrads I coach
    FAVORITE APPLE: Fuji
    WEAKNESS: that goddamn hill on campus
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE: chain whips
    posted by lonefrontranger at 3:36 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Status: you're talkin' about a thermonuclear explosion and "Adiós, muchachos."

    Status: Oh, great. Wonderful. Shit!

    Status: It just doesn't make any goddamn sense.

    Status: It's paranoid delusion. It's really sad. It's pathetic.

    Status:Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade!

    Status: Hot as Hell in here.

    Status: Oh, you want some of this? Fuck you!

    Status: We always have a synthetic on board.

    Wow, Aliens IS just a goldmine, isn't it?
    posted by misha at 4:00 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Status: Get away from her you bitch!
    posted by The Whelk at 4:02 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    Oh wait, does it have to be Alien specifically?

    A status statement from Alien, and a gender one from Aliens.
    That's how I'm spliting this up, anyways.
    posted by never used baby shoes at 6:42 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    NAME: ocherdraco
    BIRTHDAY: same as John Cusack
    DATE JOINED: 11/19/2007
    USER NUMBER: 63166
    SECRET CABAL STATUS: .
    GENDER: Has only seen the first five minutes of Aliens
    STATUS: Hasn't seen any of Alien
    SOCKPUPPETS: Troll 2
    RESENTMENTS: The Whelk
    ACHIEVEMENTS: The Whelks
    NEMESIS: The Whelk3
    SPECIAL MOVE: The Whelk Resurrection
    RELIC: The Whelk vs. The Bizzaro Whelk
    FAVORITE APPLE: Honeycrisp
    WEAKNESS: The Whelk vs. The Bizzaro Whelk: Requiem
    HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE: H̵̦̼͎̜̼̪̜̟͇͈̲̖̥̝̲͠ͅÈ̱͙͚̜͍̮̱̙̩͙͈̪͇̹̭̣͝ͅ ̶͙̙̹͕̥̞̹̖̜̜̹̫̩̟͉̭͇͖̕͡Ć̵̴̢̳͚̘̲͍̗̫ͅͅO̙͔̖͕̜̪͕̩̻͔̟̮͙͔͕̕M̧̧̠͉͙̭̜̖̬̲̗͎͈͕̫É̶̙͍͓̹̝̯͖̖̲̼̮̞̕̕͢ͅS̷̛̱͕͉͙̣̯͚͖̹͠
    posted by ocherdraco at 6:59 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    When I was a kid, my family used to go to a pizza place that had a Cabal machine. I loved trackballs, even then. But I used to pronounce it 'cable.' Nobody ever corrected me.
    posted by box at 7:12 PM on December 7, 2010


    We are the Whelks
    posted by The Whelk at 7:13 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    There are many copies
    posted by The Bizzaro Whelk at 7:14 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    and we have a plan
    posted by The Owls at 7:14 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


    posted by misha Wow, Aliens IS just a goldmine, isn't it?

    Well, at its core, Alien is about a bad relationship, and the plot is basically a scenario to which many of us can relate.

    It's like you and your friends have this awesome pad, and you all work together. On a day like any other, you wake up, go to work, and afterwards you all hit the bar, where your friend meets an incredible, exotic woman, like wild foreign accent Heidi Klum European fashion babe. She latches on to your buddy, kissing him all crazy, like she's totally hot for him. Score, dude! So your buddy brings this woman back to his room at the house.

    The next morning, you discover this woman is off--like, whoa dude, way off. The dining room is a mess--it looks like someone threw pizza sauce and spaghetti everywhere. And this woman is really clingy--like holy-shit-psycho-crazy-girlfriend clingy. To make matters worse, your buddy--whose name is on the lease--tells you "Uh yeah dude, I invited her to move in." Uh oh.

    Overnight, the house is a disaster. Everyone's freaking out, and your other buddy is defending this crazy woman. Who made $900 in phone calls to North Korea? Who broke the XBox? Who deleted all the programs on TiVo? Who is building a meth lab in the basement? What are these green acid burns on the couch? I don't know what you're talking about.

    So you and your roommates try to talk some sense into your friend, but he's like screw you guys, and he moves out, and sublets his room to the Crazy Lady. Now you have to get this woman the hell out of your pad but she's not gonna leave until the whole place is empty, and hers. One by one your roommates move out, until it's just you and her. And then finally you're like fuck this shit, and you grab your cat and your spearfishing gun and jump in the Camry and as you peel out you look in the rearview mirror to see her chasing you down the street, just as her basement meth lab blows the place to pieces.
    posted by mattdidthat at 7:43 PM on December 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


    I could be the Whelk - I'd still have to bum rides off of people.
    posted by miss-lapin at 8:38 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


    mattdidthat you forgot when your girlfriend's baby bursts out of your roomate's chest and then tries to kil you.

    I mean we've ALL been there.
    posted by The Whelk at 8:40 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


    Status: In the pipe, five-by-five.
    posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:00 AM on December 8, 2010


    and we have a plan

    If it's The Whelk, more like a baking pan.
    posted by nomadicink at 4:51 AM on December 8, 2010


    We are the Whelks

    I read this to the tune of We are the World. Now I have an earwhelk. Thanks a lot.
    posted by rtha at 6:44 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


    TROTHED
    posted by usonian at 9:18 AM on December 8, 2010


    mattdidthat: Well, at its core, Alien is about a bad relationship, and the plot is basically a scenario to which many of us can relate.

    Not only did you succeed at making yourself look like a boor with that misogynist reinterpretation, you've completely validated what the metaphor of Alien really is, which is the male fear of being dominated by a powerful woman. Dan O'Bannon, who wrote the screenplay, pretty much spells it out:
    O'Bannon argues that it also functions as a metaphorical dramatisation of the male fear of penetration. He says that the oral invasion of Hurt's character was 'payback' for all those horror films in which sexually vulnerable women were terrorised by rampaging male monsters.
    There's a reason the basic pattern of Alien movies is that men die, women survive (another reason Alien3 should be disregarded as a daydream Ripley has while relaxing on vacation with Hicks and Newt).
    posted by mkultra at 10:52 AM on December 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Xenomorph don't have no gender studies degree.
    posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on December 8, 2010


    "Xenomorph don't have no gender studies degree."

    Oh man, now I want to do a takeoff on the twitterHulk phenomenon and have a bunch of Xenomorph twitter accounts.

    Grammar Xenomorph: "SSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssSSSSSssssss!!!"
    Feminist Xenomorph: "SSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssSSSSSssssss!!!"

    etc.
    posted by Eideteker at 11:15 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Important Alien Status Update!
    posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on December 8, 2010


    (I have to say that Aliens: Paradise totally sounds like a Dark Horse one-shot back in the day. Probably involving a seemingly idyllic space station/research vessel/outpost on a remote planet that is secretly researching the aliens for bioweapons/drugs when everything goes horribly wrong)
    posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on December 8, 2010


    By now, readers of this blog know that Noomi Rapace has been the front-runner for the role

    Hell, I'm astonished to learn that there's someone named Noomi Rapace, which sounds like one of those anagram games on a slide to entertain you before the movie starts.

    He starred as Forrest Gump: SHANK MOT
    posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:53 PM on December 8, 2010


    Noomi Rapace is great. You need to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
    posted by Artw at 4:56 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


    (In the remake she will be replaced by the girlfreind from The Social Network, which is bewildering)
    posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on December 8, 2010


    It almozt makze you wonder; could aliens, the dialogues, be synthesized from out-with 'metafilter', comments and stuff... 1000 super monkeys andcetera mostly. You know I expected more from you - I thought you'd be smarter than this. Well, I'm happy to disappoint you.
    Could use that site that crawls the subtitle files (or, I bet there are several people who have written it out, by hand, several times, who could scan that, and OCR, like lady Macbeth washing her hands, trying to just get that engram out, spot out.. Or a wordle, showing the distribution of script elements (removed of common connector words like, and, but), weighted by number of appearances on the list of parts of the script on the site; mostly.
    posted by infinite intimation at 2:17 AM on December 9, 2010


    The big question is (OMGWTFBBQ), would the Aliens movies be venerated today if one of the victims had been Jonesy the cat? Could the movies ever have rebounded from a feline fatality?

    I mean, sure, they made a dog into an alien in the third one, but it was so obviously not a dog in any sense of the word once it became a voracious predatory killing thing that you could easily put the fact that it had ever even existed as a canine previously completely out of your mind.

    It's not like the dog-Alien humped anyone's leg or anything, after all.

    But a cat killed by aliens would be emotionally traumatic. Poor Little Kitteh!

    And a cat turned into an alien would still be way too catlike not to be disturbing. Consider the similarities: Cats are mostly nocturnal, aliens mostly come out at night. Check. Cats are predators, aliens are predators. Check. Cats are carnivores that rely on humans to provide them with food, aliens are parasites that feed off of a human host. Close enough.

    Once you come right down to it, the biggest distinguishing factor between the cat pre-alien metamorphosis and post-alien metamorphoses would be the subsequent lack of fur.
    posted by misha at 7:09 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Oh fuck! They're already among us!
    posted by quin at 7:56 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


    Aww, look, the widdle kitty is hugging my face! Who's a cute kitty? Who's a cute kitty?
    posted by Zed at 10:12 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Nuggles!
    posted by Artw at 10:32 AM on December 10, 2010


    Apparently it is now.
    posted by madcaptenor at 8:50 PM on December 10, 2010


    As you can see, I didn't actually read the thread before posting this! So I discovered status was free-form when I went to update my preferences for other reasons.

    ("bibliophilic", because I've been reading too much lately.)
    posted by madcaptenor at 8:56 PM on December 10, 2010


    « Older Dear AskMeFi users. Here are the fifty most...   |   sufficiently Newer »

    You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments