RIP Elizabeth Edwards December 7, 2010 4:24 PM   Subscribe

This is where we discuss the Elizabeth Edwards obit thread. We've done this a few times before, I think.
posted by Avenger50 to Etiquette/Policy at 4:24 PM (138 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Would like to nominate longsleeves for most self-servingly obtuse reading of a comment in an obit thread. In lieu of dots please donate $5 to mathowie.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:28 PM on December 7, 2010


John Edwards seemed cool. He wasn't.

This is true of him as a politician and a husband.

Let's hope this is not true of him as a father.
posted by k8t at 4:28 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


why do we all need to just put a bunch of periods on a website when someone dies? this should be a site of thoughtful discussion of ones life good and bad. she is not a national icon, not a saint of anything. she had cancer, like many. she died young, like many. she had a distorted (often self-serving) public image. do we tend to prop some up in obit threads and tear down recently deceased in others?
posted by arveale at 4:31 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


do we tend to prop some up in obit threads and tear down recently deceased in others?

Examples, arveale? What is your beef, exactly? It's kinda hard to tell.
posted by blucevalo at 4:33 PM on December 7, 2010


why do we all need to just put a bunch of periods on a website when someone dies?

What good is a newborn post?
posted by nomadicink at 4:35 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Read the nine threads linked above then come back here.
posted by fixedgear at 4:35 PM on December 7, 2010


By the way, this is an erudite, sophisticated, well-travelled crowd. Guess what? Some of us actually knew her, friend.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:37 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


The dot or period denotes a moment of silence and is a long-standing MetaFilter tradition. You don't have to do it, but other people will, and that is okay, actually.
posted by Gator at 4:38 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I missed the comments earlier. What are people insulting each other about?
posted by grouse at 4:43 PM on December 7, 2010


tear down recently deceased in others?

This almost never happens. My standard response is the one I put in this thread but here's a quote form one of the other linked threads that I think stands.
We expect the good and the bad to show up in an obituary thread about controversial people, in fact we tend to find the Meta threads inevitable. We tell people "hey you can't expect everyone to care about the deceased in the same way, MeFi has a lot of different sorts of people here" but we also don't just suspend the "Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand" request just because a lot of people didn't like $DEAD_PERSON
For controversial people, we assume there will be some bumpiness. For people who were not that controversial we assume people won't be tone deaf enough to say "I bet she wasn't a nice person" in a thread full of people who are doing whatever people do in an obit thread. If you don't like the culture of dots here, or the way obit threads go, that's fine but it might be better to stay out of them [or come to metatalk to have a discussion about them] not crap in them because they annoy you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:44 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


When I die I'll be pissed if I don't get a few dots.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:44 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


It does seem that when it's someone MetFilter likes, only .'s and RIPs are allowed lest you get shouted down for insulting the deceased. But when a right-wing politician kicks it, then all bets are off.

It would be nice if people could have a reasoned and (potentially) critical conversation about the deceased regardless of whether they were liked or not while alive. If .'s are all that's allowed, I don't really see the point of having obit threads in the first place.

I don't know what arveale's beef is, but I don't think it's out of line to link to an essay about the deceased in the thread, whether it's critical or not.

(Not American, have no real feelings on Elizabeth Edwards either way).
posted by auto-correct at 4:44 PM on December 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm a bit confused by this meta. What's the complain exactly? We don't exactly need a meta to discuss the thread unless there's a problem with the thread. I think that's a fine obit post.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:46 PM on December 7, 2010


I have to say, I learned a lot about Elizabeth Edwards in the last two hours. While I dont mind the dots I am quite glad there were other things for me to read as it allowed me to gain some perspective. Good or bad, this is why I love metafilter. In short, it should be ok for everyone in this community to express how they feel...
posted by The1andonly at 4:48 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know what arveale's beef is, but I don't think it's out of line to link to an essay about the deceased in the thread, whether it's critical or not.

I agree with you and as he pointed out, it was linked from the NY Times essay [I think?]. The deal is then someone tells him that he sucks, then other people get mad at that person and then we have a huge fight taking place in that thread instead of someone walking away and/or someone coming here. So other people were saying not-so-great things which is also okay but not-great and then other people would start upping the ante getting mad at that person, etc.

The comments I deleted were basically continuing those arguments, not anything about Elizabeth Edwards personally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:48 PM on December 7, 2010


Let's make it an obituary, not a hagiography.

The fact is, Elizabeth Edwards admitted knowing about her husband's affair from a few days after he announced his candidacy in 2006; thereafter, she was as much a participant as her husband in a cynical game that might have resulted in John "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" McCain winning the presidency.

That she's gone is sad for the people who knew her and loved her despite this, but we are not all diminished by her passing.
posted by The Confessor at 4:50 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some of us actually knew her, friend.

Then can you tell us if that airport parking lot story was true?

That was something else.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:50 PM on December 7, 2010


I've been around Metafilter for a while, though not that active, but sometimes I come across some unwritten community rule that surprises me. Like now - I just found out that you can only post positive and nice things on an obit thread, unless of course the deceased was conservative, in which case you can talk about what a shithead he was and crack jokes about pissing on his grave. ALRIGHTY THEN.
posted by falameufilho at 4:51 PM on December 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


When I die I'll be pissed if I don't get a few dots.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:44 PM on December 7


Like funeral flowers and glowing eulogies, the passed on person can't appreciate dots.
Here are some for you to enjoy until the inevitable:
.................................................................................
posted by Cranberry at 4:52 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


People who want to have debates about how MetaFilter deals with obit threads should have that discussion here and not in the Elizabeth Edwards obit thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:53 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry if that thought is as unwelcome as the syntax
posted by Cranberry at 4:53 PM on December 7, 2010


this should be a site of thoughtful discussion of ones life good and bad. —arveale

While I agree with you that thoughtful discussion is probably the best thing about MetaFilter, there is a certain thoughtlessness in dumping on someone in their obit thread. Doing so ignores the fact that there are many, many people who hold strongly to the belief that is never appropriate to speak ill of the recently dead (with possible exceptions for mass-murdering dictators) and who will therefore fervently object to people slamming the subject of an obituary post. This means that when one drops a turd like you did in someone's obituary, you are virtually guaranteed to kickstart a serious shitstorm. Denying one's awareness of this fact would be rather wilfully obtuse.

Needless to say, going around lighting fires and flinging shit is not considered acceptable behavior. Therefore it seems to me that obituary threads are a place where "if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all." "Thoughtful discussion" and spirited debate are great, but MetaFilter isn't a total free-for-all and those virtues don't trump the basic respect and decency which many in our culture feel should be accorded to the recently deceased, especially when violating this convention is guaranteed to start a fight, thus rendering any kind of reasoned discourse on the matter an impossibility.
posted by Scientist at 4:56 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is there a greasemonkey to eliminate the dots? I'd like to pop into an obit thread to read what people have to say about the deceased, for better or worse, without having to wade through the rabbit droppings.
posted by found missing at 4:56 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


People who want to have debates about how MetaFilter deals with obit threads should have that discussion here and not in the Elizabeth Edwards obit thread.

You see? You learn something new every day around here!
posted by falameufilho at 4:56 PM on December 7, 2010


I really, really love the (.) moment of silence. I don't do it often. But I like seeing it.

You damn crazy pinkos have a heart.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:00 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm glad this post went up. I have fairly straightforward feelings about John Edwards, who I think has now clearly been revealed as a narcissistic, untruthful and hypocritical man, but I'm very unsure how I feel about Elizabeth Edwards. I admire the classy, courageous way she handled her husband's adultery and her own illness, and her intelligence and principled stand on policy issues was always clear. I am very sorry that she has lost her brave fight against her disease, and also sorrow for her children.

But I never took to her personally, always found her somewhat acid in tone, and suspect there is plenty of truth to the New York article that showed up in the obit thread.

I for one don't like ripping anyone in an obit thread but it is good to have the gray to talk about our bad or ambivalent views of them.
posted by bearwife at 5:00 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some of us actually knew her, friend.

Then can you tell us if that airport parking lot story was true?

That was something else.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:50 PM on December 7 [+] [!]


I don't know if you're serious, but of course not. I knew her from fund-raisers, not as an intimate, and I obviously wasn't in that parking lot with them. As a bc survivor who went through my illness as my own marriage crumbled, I certainly can imagine, in her shoes, being that distraught.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:02 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Perhaps we could have two threads open for every death, one full of dots, and the other with thoughtful reflections and opinions, sans normative pressure for positive comments only.
posted by found missing at 5:02 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Personally, I can't stand the single dot comments. For some inexplicable reason, it just gets me all hoppitamoppita, to the extent that I wouldn't even read obit posts. Then I tried Tmdean brand "Hide obit comments" greasemonkey script. Now my obit threads are free of spots!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:04 PM on December 7, 2010


Oh, great!
posted by found missing at 5:05 PM on December 7, 2010


Guess what? Some of us actually knew her, friend.

I knew her a little and liked her very much, and like other Mefi obits for people I knew or am interested in, I can't deal with the banal dots. I get that it's a tradition, I get that I can't ask people to cut it out. But I too would love a greasemonkey script to strip them out. Could one of you whizzes whip one up?

On preview: YAY! Thanks ActingTheGoat and Tmdean
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:09 PM on December 7, 2010



I agree with you and as he pointed out, it was linked from the NY Times essay [I think?].


That's a little disingenuous from arveale since the essay is actually an excerpt from the sensationalistic, gossipy post-campaign book Game Change. I wouldn't consider Heileman or Helprin unimpeachable sources.
posted by gladly at 5:11 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am so glad I'm never going to die.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:16 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh viv
posted by clavdivs at 5:22 PM on December 7, 2010


my beef was with the reaction i got from simply providing greater context to the portion of the NYTimes obit that i followed up on. i read the obit, found the part about Game Change interesting, read the except that i linked to, then chose to share it. people are free to have their own opinions about how someone lived their life; i was put off by how idealized this woman was, revered by many--thought highly of by most (including me, by the way) and i had never heard a bad thing about her. i think every story deserves multiple points of view, even obituaries. this is not a Elizabeth Edwards fan club.
posted by arveale at 5:29 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


my beef is with people who don't use caps, but you don't see me bringing that up
posted by found missing at 5:32 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


John Edwards seemed cool. He wasn't.

This is true of him as a politician and a husband.


How do we know he wasn't cool as a politician? FDR and JFK both had affairs.
posted by DU at 5:36 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love the dots. I find them simple, elegant, and surprisingly evocative. It's a way to register respect for the dead in the sure knowledge that we all cross the river eventually.
posted by jokeefe at 5:40 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


my beef was with the reaction i got from simply providing greater context to the portion of the NYTimes obit that i followed up on.

There wasn't a lot of context to your context, though; a pull-quote with no explanation, well-intended or not, is gonna read to some folks as a bit of a driveby snipe. Whether that's fundamentally fair, I'm not going to argue, but realistically that's to be expected when people are suddenly (and it seems that a lot of folks are pretty surprised by the suddenness in this case) confronted with the death of someone they admire or sympathize with.

Obits do not need to be fundamentally positive or cheerful things, and we've in fact had shares of grumping and naysaying in a wide variety of obit threads about people that most folks seem nonetheless to have positive opinions or memories of. But it also should not be surprising that people are a little more bothered by stuff going negative when it's an obit thread vs. a flash game or a photography portfolio or a mcsweeney's article. Emotional stakes are a little bit higher, handling this stuff with a little more care is pretty much always a good idea.

And not to belabor the point, but your comment wasn't deleted, it was just not well-received by some folks. It's the follow-on infighting and metacommentary that we were nixing from that thread, not the saying-anything-negative thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:45 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


people are free to have their own opinions about how someone lived their life

But not of your comment? It seems like you're just crying because a few people told you your comment sucked.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:48 PM on December 7, 2010


Just explaining myself, not crying.
posted by arveale at 5:54 PM on December 7, 2010


Maybe we could, I dunno, instead of being respectful and denoting a moment of silence with a dot...

Maybe we could replace the dots with a name from a list of favorite names. Or be snarky about a dead person that really wasn't a horrible human being. A woman who, in the waning years of her life seemed to get a grasp upon the realities of a short life and a looming death.

Or maybe we should use a person's death from cancer as a reason to bitch about trivialities.

Yeah. That works.
posted by Splunge at 6:12 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just found out that you can only post positive and nice things on an obit thread, unless of course the deceased was conservative, in which case you can talk about what a shithead he was and crack jokes about pissing on his grave. ALRIGHTY THEN.

That's because conservatives more often tend to be true jackoffs.
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:15 PM on December 7, 2010


i favorited your comment, arveale. i've never understood the 'don't speak ill of the dead' mandate, and am always surprised at the double standard with which it's applied.
posted by msconduct at 6:15 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


A moment of silence for the death of capital letters.

.
posted by gman at 6:21 PM on December 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


I made some changes this evening to the Mefi Wiki page on The Period. I need to fill in additional details under some of the categories, including "Criticisms."

Tmdean's greasemonkey script has been added to the page. Jessamyn has now added it to the Wiki's Greasemonkey Scripts page as well.
posted by zarq at 6:21 PM on December 7, 2010


I've already been yelled at today in real life friends for suggesting Elizabeth Edwards could not possibly be the saint she's been made out to be. I guess the feeling is that because her husband is a jackass, we're not supposed to consider that she might have been as well? Or are we just not supposed to admit it, now that she's dead? I don't get it. It's very sad that a 61 year old woman died of a terrible disease and left behind young children who doubtless loved her very much. But that doesn't mean I'm going to pretend to unread the negative things about her that I have seen over the years.
posted by something something at 6:24 PM on December 7, 2010


The woman had enough hard knocks in life, I think it's kinda classless to rag on her now.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:27 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I threw a shot at arveale, and I will throw one at him here now too, for not being big enough of a person to admit that s/he is wrong about throwing up that nasty gossip on an obit post. I'll be the first to admit that this is the first obit post that literally hit close to home, living as I do in Chapel Hill. Once the original FPP went up, I followed it closely, dreading that some stupid noob was going to link to that NY MAG (Not NY Times, please note) piece of crap from a few years ago. Sure enough, arveale fell for the stupid bait and did it. I called him out, then falameufilho for supporting his right to speak ill of the dead, and got myself a delete for it. It was a well deserved delete and I don't begrudge the mods for taking it and subsequent comments down. What really sucks though is now arveale is acting like so many other schmucks before him, willfully obtuse that his nasty link should have brought the clearly intended consequences.
I stepped away from the thread for a few hours, and came back and found that the shouting had moved onto the gray. And it pissed me off enough to comment.

In my humble opinion:

Grave dancing is bad
Threadshitting in obit threads is bad
Periods are an appropriate way to express your complicated feels about someone's passage.
Elizabeth Edwards, for all her shortcomings, got dealt a shitty hand. She handled her public life with grace and class. She was brilliant, driven and kind. She lost a son to a car accident, she lost her husband to... I'm not sure, and now she lost her life, and she did it all with more character in her pinky than I'm sure most people possess in an entire lifetime.
posted by msali at 6:27 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I appreciated the link to the excerpt too, hyperbolic as it was. I would much rather know that she was a real multifaceted human being, who had to deal with many serious things at once and didn't always do so gracefully, than maintain some public idealized image of Saintly Elizabeth the Long-Suffering Lady who Stood By Her Man While Dying With Unsurpassed Class.
posted by casarkos at 6:28 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would much rather know that she was a real multifaceted human being, who had to deal with many serious things at once and didn't always do so gracefully, than maintain some public idealized image of Saintly Elizabeth the Long-Suffering Lady who Stood By Her Man While Dying With Unsurpassed Class.

Yes, this. Exactly. My father died this past summer of cancer and it was tragic and horrible, but there wasn't a soul at the funeral, including the minister, who tried to pretend he hadn't been a drunk his whole life. People can be good and also bad. To me it does a disservice to someone's memory to present them as something they were not.
posted by something something at 6:31 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


But that doesn't mean I'm going to pretend to unread the negative things about her that I have seen over the years.

And you can't find other place to do this than a thread announcing her death from cancer?
posted by nomadicink at 6:31 PM on December 7, 2010


I didn't say a word in that thread, because I knew what would happen if I did!
posted by something something at 6:35 PM on December 7, 2010


oh viv
posted by clavdivs at 7:22 PM on December 7 [+] [!]

I immediately translated that in my head to uiu and then got confused. Am I doing this wrong?
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:37 PM on December 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


actually, I'd like to thank arveale for his link, which lead to this far more interesting thread here on MetaTalk. I think cortex's comment is exactly right, and I also think that alot of the abuse that arveale is getting is unwarranted. When I heard of her death, I also thought first of the portrait painted of her in Game Change, and the incredible contrast with the views held of her by so many like msali.
posted by Auden at 6:40 PM on December 7, 2010


I like the periods--I've left plenty, and I'll leave some more--but I also like the script.

Elizabeth Edwards, I don't know much about (I read Game Change, then I checked out The Candidate but never started it). I'm about to read the obit thread, though, and I'm sure I'll learn some things.
posted by box at 6:43 PM on December 7, 2010


Just explaining myself, not crying.

Well, maybe next time you should try a little tact instead of a lazy drive-by dump into a thread where you know people will be feeling sad. Put some effort in and actually bother to tell us how you feel about the conflict you're seeing in the dead person's life and the obituary discussion. You know, "use your words" and all that.

That said, some folks are taking their annoyance at arveale's unnecessary rudeness and turning it into "we shouldn't post links to negative assessments in obit threads." The mods have been clear about this for a long time: it's either ok to have different opinions about a dead person and post about their flaws in MeFi obit threads or it isn't. You can't do it to Falwell or Reagan and then cry when folks do it for someone you like. Just do it with at least a *tiny* bit of class. That's hardly too much to ask.

It's worth repeating that not just one but two of the links in the original post discuss the book that arveale's link excerpts. The unsourced stories in Game Change have been a part of the Elizabeth Edwards discussion for almost a year now. That they'd appear as a link in her obit thread is not some sort of awful failing of our collective humanity.
posted by mediareport at 6:45 PM on December 7, 2010


I have not always used a tiny bit of class in obit threads myself, I hasten to add.
posted by mediareport at 6:47 PM on December 7, 2010


Being a pecker whisker doesn't have to be obligatory.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:49 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


?
posted by found missing at 6:51 PM on December 7, 2010


I just thought of an analogy.

* The obituary threads are kind of like the funeral parlor. The convention behavior in a funeral parlor is generally respectful, reserved, quiet, and "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything".

* Meanwhile, the gray is kind of like the bar across the street from the funeral parlor, where you'll find the people who would rather, for whatever reason, rather blow off the funeral part and say "fuck it, I'm drinking my way through an entire bottle of Scotch instead".

Sometimes people leave the funeral parlor and come to the bar later on. In fact, I'd wager most people do, because that's where you get the best stories. You may also get the fights, but in a bar...they can handle that. They're braced for that. Once in a blue moon, yes, you do also get people who get completely shit-faced and go from the bar to the funeral parlor and give everyone A Piece Of Their Mind, but...it's generally not cool, and people will get mad at you. So you've got the funeral parlor for the people who want quiet and respectful, and the bar for...everything else.

So that being said: all the mods are saying is that the bar is here, and the funeral parlor is over there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 PM on December 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


I love how the people that are the most eager to get weepy and don't-speak-ill-of-the-dead in obit threads are also the most eager to turn into raging assholes when someone has a different opinion.
posted by nasreddin at 6:59 PM on December 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


To me it does a disservice to someone's memory to present them as something they were not.

To the living we owe respect but to the dead we owe only the truth. - Voltaire
posted by Joe Beese at 7:01 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


all the mods are saying is that the bar is here, and the funeral parlor is over there.

I don't think that's true. You're implying that every obit thread needs a MeTa thread. I doubt the mods would agree. MeFi obit threads are funeral parlors with a cash bar in the corner. The folks who are there to mourn and the folks who are there to drink and hash over the nitty gritty of the person's life just need to be respectful of each other.

But it's the same damn room.
posted by mediareport at 7:12 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


To me it does a disservice to someone's memory to present them as something they were not.

Yeah, but good luck with that here. And I say that as someone who has attended his fair share of funerals for assholes without so much as coughing. Point being: this is not a funeral home. I tried to frame my ambivalence about the whole potential obit double-standard (and I am a pinko commie, etc.!) in a thoughtful way but some here were evidently just itching for a fight, so much so they tried to excerpt my comment sans context to score hypothetical self-righteous points with the (hopefully imaginary?) choir here. Sad all around. I reiterate my dot, since it seemed to be missed in the original thread.

.

* Funerals for Assholes band-name available to first and/or highest bidder
posted by joe lisboa at 7:12 PM on December 7, 2010


She wanted power very badly.

Her death comes on a day when I'm especially unsympathetic to the powerful.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:14 PM on December 7, 2010


So that being said: all the mods are saying is that the bar is here, and the funeral parlor is over there.

Emphatically agree. No one's stopping anyone from discussing "the truth" about a dead person; just where it's done is a matter of tact.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:14 PM on December 7, 2010


So that being said: all the mods are saying is that the bar is here, and the funeral parlor is over there.

I don't think that works so well if you look at the WFB obit thread linked above.
posted by torticat at 7:23 PM on December 7, 2010


She wanted power very badly.

Her death comes on a day when I'm especially unsympathetic to the powerful.


Amen, brother.

Also, EmpressCallipygos, although I disagree with what you wrote for pretty much the same reason as mediareport, I applaud the comparison. But yeah, we need to figure out how to get them in the same room. It'll never happen, but it would be cool if it did.
posted by nevercalm at 7:30 PM on December 7, 2010


oh viv
posted by clavdivs at 7:22 PM on December 7 [+] [!]

I immediately translated that in my head to uiu and then got confused. Am I doing this wrong?


I did the same thing.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:32 PM on December 7, 2010


Boy, that William F. Buckley obit thread was definitely not Metafilter's finest hour.
posted by crunchland at 7:35 PM on December 7, 2010


ActingTheGoat: "I did the same thing"

I only just now got it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:35 PM on December 7, 2010


> I thank Cranberry for my pre-deceased dots. I'll also be pissed if when I die there's not a huge financial memorial!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:56 PM on December 7, 2010


Oh man, the Buckley thread. Did we ever get to see Smedleyman's Penthouse letter or what?
posted by elizardbits at 7:59 PM on December 7, 2010


Let's not forget the Anna Nicole Smith obit thread. V. classy.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


John Edwards seemed cool. He wasn't.

This is true of him as a politician and a husband.

How do we know he wasn't cool as a politician? FDR and JFK both had affairs.


But during the times of FDR and JFK, members of the press (or the general public) weren't falling all over themselves trying to be the first to out politicians' private peccadilloes. Times have changed and Edwards seemed to trying to pretend that he lived in some kind of social vacuum where he could control all the elements which might affect his personal future.

If John Edward had somehow managed to succeed with all the crap being done behind the scenes to hide his affair and his illegitimate child borne of that affair, at least long enough to get on the Democratic ticket for the presidency, the results would likely have been disastrous.

There is no way that stuff would have stayed a secret and his being arrogant and narcissistic enough to think he could keep it a secret just so he could get into the WH (or nearby) was not "cool" to say the least. He not only revealed himself as someone who couldn't be trusted, but also as someone willing to use and abuse his friends, and to take advantage of a woman who was emotionally shaky at best and had the means to derail the campaign at any moment via a simple DNA test.

I'm sorry that Elizabeth had to go through what she did with her health, but her supporting Edwards in his attempted coverup of the mistress and the baby at the risk of the outcome of a critical election was reprehensible.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:20 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


She wanted power very badly.

That makes her unique in American politics in what way?

Give me a break.
posted by blucevalo at 8:25 PM on December 7, 2010


That makes her unique in American politics in what way?

None at all.

I wouldn't dot any of them either.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:29 PM on December 7, 2010


Also, I'm not a huge fan of obits becoming dancing-on-the-grave fests or even cynical outrage fests, and I'd say that even of "conservative" and/or unpopular deaths, contrary to falameufilho's assertion above. At the same time, I'm not sure what I think about this MetaTalk thread becoming a kind of shadow obit thread in which all the negative opinions are vented that aren't "okay" to vent in the original thread. That's a pattern I'm not sure I'd care to see repeated.
posted by blucevalo at 8:30 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Remind me to check with you before I make any posts or comments in the future.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:32 PM on December 7, 2010


That comment wasn't directed at you specifically, Joe Beese. I apologize if it read that way. There are a lot of negative opinions in this thread that aren't in the original thread. What I meant to say is that I wish that those comments could appear in the original thread without people thinking they have to create a separate MetaTalk thread to express them -- not that those comments shouldn't appear.
posted by blucevalo at 8:36 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just to clarify -- when I made my bar-and-funeral-parlor analogy, I wasn't making a personal statement as to what I thought should be the state of affairs -- I was just making an analogy to describe what I understood the mods were saying was the state of affairs. Namely that, if you're gonna talk trash about the deceased, the bar's the place for it rather than the place where the body's laid out. Where that bar happens to be is your lookout (over in the corner, Sid Gray's across the street, whatever).

Personally, I think it's a good policy, but I wasn't making any statement as to whether it is The Platonian Ideal or anything.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 PM on December 7, 2010


Thatcher has got to die sometime.
posted by Artw at 8:39 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Abe Vigoda is gonna tear this place apart.
posted by mediareport at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2010


Thatcher has got to die sometime.

I keep a set of dancing shoes polished just for this very event.
posted by scody at 9:05 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Many a pair of dancing shoes will languish when Thatcher-Brain-In-A-Jar runs for PM.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:08 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


crunchland: “Boy, that William F. Buckley obit thread was definitely not Metafilter's finest hour.”

Well, that thing about tattooing and quarantining AIDS sufferers was pretty harsh, so it's understandable people were upset at him, even if he is dead. The thing about being mad at a dead person, though, is that if you ever actually think about it it just makes you sort of feel pathetic and sad; it's always pathetic and sad to feel angry at people who can't actually do anything to you or for you anymore.

All the stars will glow bright
And my friends will give up the fight
They'll see my work in a different light
When I go

posted by koeselitz at 9:22 PM on December 7, 2010


The obit's headline ("When a politician cheats, his betrayed wife often suffers in silence.") seems a bit disingenuous. I'm not discounting her suffering, but silent she was not.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:41 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thatcher has got to die sometime.

I keep a set of dancing shoes polished just for this very event.


Every so often i read something on here that makes me go "holy shit, thats an excellent idea".

I'm going to post an asterisk when that old bag kicks it. Now im all excited about the death of a human; but not a fellow human.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:46 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thatcher has got to die sometime.
That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with strange aeons even death Thatcher may die.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 1:45 AM on December 8, 2010


Well, the Blue is in good company. Every hypocrite in Washington is also pretending they cared for Elizabeth Edwards.
posted by falameufilho at 4:36 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


For those who express bewilderment about speaking ill of the dead, here goes: it is a cultural remnant of the idea that their spirit or ghost might hear you and take revenge upon you for any expression of spite; i.e. it is superstitious and any vainglorious Nietzschean will take advantage of an opportunity to flout the silly superstition with glee.

I am not a vainglorious Nietzschean today so I am just going to ask why nobody had any dots for Dandy Don?
posted by bukvich at 6:42 AM on December 8, 2010


I am just going to ask why nobody had any dots for Dandy Don?

He's sun-brewing Lipton's with Jesus now.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:03 AM on December 8, 2010


Boy, that William F. Buckley obit thread was definitely not Metafilter's finest hour.

It was civil compared to the one Falwell got.
posted by 6550 at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2010


>>do we tend to prop some up in obit threads and tear down recently deceased in others?

>Examples, arveale?


It wasn't exactly a pile on because there were so few comments in total, but the thread about the drowned NFL players was disappointing, including one multi-favorited comment that confessed "schadenfreude."
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:54 AM on December 8, 2010


including one multi-favorited comment that confessed "schadenfreude."

As highly favorited comments go, six favorites isn't really expressing some sort of groundswell of approval. Bad obit threads are the exception rather than the rule.

We've had something shy of 750 obituaries, going by tags. There are a handful that have gone what I would consider "badly" and a few more that wound up in MetaTalk for various reasons.

My feeling is that people see an obituary post as a "here is where you must honor the dead" sort of implied social obligation. And for people who see MeFi as a place where they comment in most threads they have an opinion on, they show up thinking "well, I don't know how I feel about this, maybe it's okay that they're dead" and then you get those weird "well I won't miss her/him" comments which always seem really strange to me because, well, who cares? Why not just move on?

But to our special breed of geek/nerd there's a tradition-jamming aspect ["you can't tell me how to feel"] as well as a contrary opinion thing ["it's not okay for this to be all GOOD stuff in this thread" you see this a lot on Wikipedia for whatever reason] as well as a general disregard or inability to "read the room" as it were. I've seen a lot of obituaries about people with a lot of good/bad in their lives and most people seem to be able to contribute something, if they feel like it, that isn't necessarily glowing but gets across how complicated or problematic aspects of the person's life were while at the same time groking that there are people who miss the person or who feel bad that they are gone.

Personally I lump this in with other touchy topics only because someone's death seems to stir up emotions in people good and bad, and some of that leaches out in thread trouble, both with people being slightly edgy but also people reacting more poorly to that than they would otherwise. What I don't understand is why people can't see this going into obituary threads and try to ... try harder to not fuck up the site for other people. I've seen a lot of people make many less-than-glowing comments in obit threads that go just fine. People thinking that obit threads are just for "we love you and miss you!" comments are overgeneralizing to a point of absurdity.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:06 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can see in retrospect the "drive-by" nature of my original comment and accept responsibility for not providing adequate context. To be honest, I found the quote so interesting because the sentiment that she was a misunderstood public persona contrasted so directly with how I knew the thread was going. Douchy? Maybe. I apologize to those who were offended by my pointing to that fact, especially those who have a close connection with cancer. There is no doubt that Elizabeth Edwards fought the good fight against a horrible disease.

On a lesser note, I also apologize for not using capital letters before. My bad.

I will try harder to "win" at MetaFilter in the future. I love this site.
posted by arveale at 9:38 AM on December 8, 2010


Bad obit threads are the exception rather than the rule.

Totally agree. Even if a dreaded right-wing politician kicks it I think MeFites generally look for the good. blucevalo asked for examples and that's one I've always remembered.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:38 AM on December 8, 2010


Every hypocrite in Washington is also pretending they cared for Elizabeth Edwards.

Every hypocrite is Washington is also always pretending they care for millions of nameless people who are still alive. How is that different from any other day of the week?
posted by blucevalo at 10:23 AM on December 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Would like to nominate longsleeves for most self-servingly obtuse reading of a comment in an obit thread. In lieu of dots please donate $5 to mathowie.

joe l., I just saw your comment. All I can say is that I was quite genuinely obtuse, and I apologize sincerely for any offence I caused. My comment was soon deleted and I briefly thought about inquiring why, but I just let it go with a shrug.

Maybe don't be so quick to attribute complicated motives to what could also be an honest misconstrual?

Also, If Matt and the other mods are getting $5 per deletion now, they should contact me about possible kickback arrangements. (see now THAT was a deliberate misconstrual.)
posted by longsleeves at 10:35 AM on December 8, 2010


Even though some were outraged that the New York magazine "hit piece" on John and Elizabeth Edwards could be posted in an obit thread, I found the ending to be, truly, the most telling part and something that really showed the human side of the recently departed, who, with all her faults, was still a person who deserves, like all of us, just a bit of respect, dead or not:


"Confronted then with the Enquirer photo of her husband cuddling Hunter’s baby, she insisted to Palmieri that she still believed he was not the father. “I have to believe it,” Elizabeth said. “Because if I don’t, it means I’m married to a monster.”


That's just painful. And probably true. Which makes it all the more painful.

.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:37 AM on December 8, 2010


What made Thatcher so bad? I'm not saying she wasn't; I simply wasn't alive during her reign and know nothing about her. Is she really as awful as Dick Cheney, that other man whom MetaFilter is eager to have die?
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:26 PM on December 8, 2010


Oh Rory, Rory, Rory... get ready for the deluge.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:45 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rory Marinich: "What made Thatcher so bad? I'm not saying she wasn't; I simply wasn't alive during her reign and know nothing about her. Is she really as awful as Dick Cheney, that other man whom MetaFilter is eager to have die"

I'm not British, but coming of age in Reagan's America, here are a couple of things I remember about Thatcher:

1. The Faulkland Islands "War"
2. Decimating labor unions (my dad was a union organizer, so Thatcher was pretty much poison to him).
3. Great cuts to the social welfare system including, but not limited to, cuts made to free milk for primary school children, and closing schools as a cost-saving measure. This I remember because Reagan had also tried to take money away from school lunches.
4. Various and sundry colorful quotes she's made that bely an elitist who sneered at "commoners", though her background was far from glamorous.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:18 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


2. Decimating labor unions (my dad was a union organizer, so Thatcher was pretty much poison to him). [via]
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:06 PM on December 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


5. Being one of the world's most outspoken apologists for Augusto Pinochet, for "bringing democracy to Chile."
posted by scody at 6:18 PM on December 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. The Faulkland Islands "War"
Did she start the war? (And why the ironic quotes?)

2. Decimating labor unions (my dad was a union organizer, so Thatcher was pretty much poison to him).
That's not a bad thing BY DEFINITION, you know. You'll have to elaborate.

3. Great cuts to the social welfare system including, but not limited to, cuts made to free milk for primary school children, and closing schools as a cost-saving measure. This I remember because Reagan had also tried to take money away from school lunches.
You are missing the big picture - look at poverty in the UK then and poverty in the UK now. Again: state cuts of social services are not bad things by definition.

4. Various and sundry colorful quotes she's made that bely an elitist who sneered at "commoners", though her background was far from glamorous.
So she was a snob. And?
posted by falameufilho at 7:33 PM on December 8, 2010


1. The ironic quotes denote how ridiculous and cynical a ploy the conflict was.

2. Yes, it is a bad thing by definition, when workers are stripped of the ability to directly influence labor law and collective bargaining agreements.

3. Ditto stripping the social welfare system. Cuts could have been made in any number of areas. I believe a social welfare system is a societal necessity that should be cut last, if ever, and with as limited application as possible.

4. Eh, not really a major point. Just mentioning one of the things people found galling about her.

You clearly come from another political school of thought, and that's great and all. I'm not really interested in debating these concepts with you, as it's a dance I've done a million times. I was just answering the reasons, whatever merits they might have, for why Thatcher is disliked by some.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:34 PM on December 8, 2010


MetaTalk: I missed the comments earlier. What are people insulting each other about?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:25 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


1. Not sure what's cynical about defending your territory from a jingoistic invasion by a dying dictatorship, but I guess you probably think "las malvinas son argentinas" or something - always rooting for the "underdog", eh?

2/3. If you look at these actions as part of a bigger plan of cutting government spending as a strategy to unburden society to create wealth AND look at the growth in prosperity and the decrease of poverty in the UK in the past 20 years AND consider that these two things are related, you will come to the conclusion that, well, Thatcher was probably right.

Here are two things that happened simultaneously this Fall: First, while France was going to the shitter, the French were out on the street burning cars and disrupting all aspects of everyday life because the government is trying to increase their ridiculously low retirement age by a couple of years. At the same time, the Brits were passing a much worse package of spending cuts, and the public reaction was lukewarm at best. What do you make of that? I don't know, man, maybe it has something to do with Thatcher explaining a very basic thing to people: There's no such thing as public money. If you think that shit's not popular today, imagine what it was when the Soviet Union was still around.

I am also not interested in debating you, believe me. Been there, done that. I just don't want your statements to sit around unchallenged as if they're the truth. But there's always this.
posted by falameufilho at 7:24 AM on December 9, 2010


Protip: Never ever link that tired xkcd strip ever.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:30 AM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


But I like it so much!
posted by falameufilho at 7:44 AM on December 9, 2010


You clearly come from another political school of thought, and that's great and all. I'm not really interested in debating these concepts with you, as it's a dance I've done a million times. I was just answering the reasons, whatever merits they might have, for why Thatcher is disliked by some.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:20 AM on December 9, 2010


Oh wait, never mind. My apologies.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:21 AM on December 9, 2010


Rory Marinich: “What made Thatcher so bad? I'm not saying she wasn't; I simply wasn't alive during her reign and know nothing about her. Is she really as awful as Dick Cheney, that other man whom MetaFilter is eager to have die?”

One thing people haven't talked much about here is Margaret Thatcher's horrifying dalliances with the press. It's possible to make the argument (I certainly believe it) that Margaret Thatcher is almost single-handedly responsible for the rise of one Rupert Murdoch, that conservative antichrist responsible for Fox News, among other various and sundry exploitative conservative media outlets around the world. With classic and time-honored cynicism, Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch forged an alliance when Rupert was still just an owner of a few of the larger newspapers in the UK and Mag was still just a minor minister. Rupert printed nothing but glowing stories about Thatcher, covering her in an overwhelmingly positive way, paving the way for her success in several elections and keeping up a fever pitch of paranoia and irrationality among his readers to aid her during her tenure in office. In return, Thatcher did everything she could to help Rupert, and when he moved into broadcast media she did everything she could to cut down the BBC and "deregulate" the industry creatively so that the monopoly was rearranged to include a nice large share for Murdoch.

An example of the insidious way they worked in tandem can be drawn from the world of soccer. In the mid-eighties, there were some unfortunately incidents at various stadium, some of which had something to do with hooliganism. Thatcher, who was always good at such things, loudly and broadly declared that soccer was being taken over by the hooligans, and made a show of calling together a "War Cabinet" to take care of this awful problem immediately. Murdoch's papers gleefully jumped on this wonderfully exploitative bandwagon, running horrifying (and often untrue) stories about how horrid the hooligans were, how terrible the situation was, how children were dying and everything was going to hell and something must be done right away. Of course it's hard to say how much this was intentional – of course, because no one knows exactly what Thatcher and Murdoch talked about in their private meetings and in the cars they shared and in the meals they had together – but the culmination of all this was that Thatcher, with the help of a pushover in the office of Football Association Chairman, managed to get all of the UK teams banned from competition on the continent for five years. This was utterly unfair, I think, and the damage it did to soccer in the UK has lasted to this day. See, in the wake of that decision, the UK teams struggled to keep going, having even less money than they had before; soccer had before then not been a highly monetized sport, since there wasn't really any way to make a lot of money with it. Without ticket sales for bigger games, without any chance that teams would even make it to the championships, they languished. So that they just happened to be in a perfect mood to sign immediately when Rupert Murdoch's new broadcasting networks started making a play to get the rights to broadcast soccer in the UK. Suddenly, soccer was about money, because Murdoch's broadcasting networks offered large sums. The game declined, and Rupert Murdoch's networks, riding the crest of the fantastic viewership and money that deal brought them, soared.

Because of Thatcher. Because Margaret Thatcher did not hesitate to twist UK law to help her friends and get herself reelected.
posted by koeselitz at 10:29 AM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


1. Not sure what's cynical about defending your territory from a jingoistic invasion by a dying dictatorship, but I guess you probably think "las malvinas son argentinas" or something - always rooting for the "underdog", eh?

Wasting 906 lives in two months to "defend" a few little specks of "territory," thousands of miles away, that most Britons had never heard of, let alone cared about, and which Britain had all but abandoned anyhow?

One really doesn't have to side with Argentina to oppose Thatcher on that one.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:40 AM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should the UK just have given it away, Sys Rq, and ignore the fact that Argentina invaded, unprovoked? "Never mind, we weren't using it?" What about the British citizens who lived on the islands, who owned property there? "Sorry about that guys - you're a matter of Argentinian law now".

It's interesting that, in order to attack Thatcher you choose weird bedfellows, the Argentinian military regime. The enemy of my enemy, I guess, huh?

Not much better than Thatcher herself when she decided to be an apologist for Pinochet.
posted by falameufilho at 2:30 PM on December 9, 2010


Not much better than Thatcher herself when she decided to be an apologist for Pinochet.

We're steadily getting into "I don't understand why you are bristling at my totally logical Nazi analogy territory." falameufilho, I don't know why you have a dog in this fight, but people were just trying to explain to Rory Marinich why people didn't like Thatcher. You are turning it into a fight about Thatcher. It's becoming you vs. everyone and maybe needs to go to email or something.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:35 PM on December 9, 2010


There's a weird trend lately of random, meandering political debate cropping up in MeTa that is only tangentially related to the posts. Not to squelch debate or anything, but maybe people can just relax a bit and let other people hold their horribly wrong views on geopolitics.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:37 PM on December 9, 2010


koeselitz, I don't think you actually read what you wrote. Let me stick to the soccer example, because it's specially puzzling.

You said: In the mid-eighties, there were some unfortunately incidents at various stadium, some of which had something to do with hooliganism.. From there, Thatcher decided to make a big deal out of it, and Murdock jumped on it and blew it completely out of proportion.

From the Wikipedia article on Football hooliganism:
In March 1978, a full-scale riot broke out at The Den during an FA Cup quarter-final between Millwall and Ipswich. Fighting began on the terraces, then spilled out on to the pitch and into the narrow streets around the ground. Bottles, knives, iron bars, fists, boots and concrete slabs rained from the sky. Dozens of innocent people were injured. In March 1985, hooligans who had attached themselves to Millwall were involved in large-scale rioting at Luton when Millwall played Luton Town in the quarter final of the FA Cup. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's immediate response was to set up a "War Cabinet" to combat football hooliganism. On 29 May 1985, 39 Juventus fans were crushed to death during the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels; an event that became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster. Just before kick-off, Liverpool fans broke through a line of police officers and ran toward the Juventus supporters in a section of the ground containing both English and Italian fans. When a fence separating them from the Juventus fans was broken through, the English supporters attacked the Italian fans, the majority of whom were families rather than ultras who were situated in the other end of the ground. Many Italians tried to escape the fighting, and a wall collapsed on them.As a result of the Heysel Stadium disaster, English clubs were banned from all European competitions until 1990, with Liverpool banned for an additional year.
Pardon me, koeselitz, but that doesn't sound like small potatoes to me. Organized bands of thugs from a country are killing citizens of another country in a third. In the good old days, wars were started for much less. Five year ban from international competitions? Sounds pretty fair to me.

But okay - you have a different opinion here. Fine. But then your conspiracy theory takes a turn to the bizarre. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but do you believe that Thatcher and Murdock conspired to damage the reputation and finances of UK soccer clubs so once they hit rock bottom Murdock could offer them a SHITLOAD of money? That makes absolutely no sense. You yourself concede they weren't bought cheap. The English football league is one of the richest in the world, the teams are money making machines, hiring the best players on the planet.

You say the "damage it did to soccer in the UK has lasted to this day". Holy shit, I wonder how large these clubs would be if Murdoch didn't pay them ridiculously large sums of money year after year after year.

Your conspiracy theory doesn't stand. You hate Thatcher? You hate Murdoch? Fine. I bet there's a bunch of negative stuff you can vent about that actually has a footing on reality. But please, let's stick to facts and not to rumormongering like " no one knows exactly what Thatcher and Murdoch talked about in their private meetings and in the cars they shared and in the meals they had together". Please. Nobody knows how much you are being paid to write these stories on the internet (see what I did there?).
posted by falameufilho at 2:52 PM on December 9, 2010


All right, this is where I stop. I got some free time on my hands today, as you can see.
posted by falameufilho at 2:54 PM on December 9, 2010


I think falameufilho is turning into our very own brand new ParisParamus.
posted by msali at 3:06 PM on December 9, 2010


But msali, I thought we were done?
posted by falameufilho at 3:14 PM on December 9, 2010


But msali, I thought we were done?

Ah, the elusive Last Word Warbler. Haven't seen one of those in this neck of the woods for a little while.
posted by scody at 3:21 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think falameufilho is turning into our very own brand new ParisParamus.

Is he wrong about the soccer teams or the Hooligans incident? I don't think he is.
posted by zarq at 3:24 PM on December 9, 2010


EVERYBODY OUT OF THE POOL
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:25 PM on December 9, 2010


msali, that's unfair. falameufilho is definitely further to the right of the political spectrum than most here, but he seems earnest enough. ParisPramus was an outright unrepentant troll. That said, if one holds mostly minority viewpoints they may be better served by learning to dance with the opposition rather than running around throwing elbows. Dialogue versus rhetoric and such.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:31 PM on December 9, 2010


OMG CORTEX PEED IN THE POOL
posted by Burhanistan at 3:32 PM on December 9, 2010


scody, in the immortal words of Walter Sobchak, you're out of your element.
posted by falameufilho at 3:34 PM on December 9, 2010


*Sigh* Oh, well.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2010


Out of what element? The element of the metaphoric woods in which I have spotted a fictional bird? Really, I haven't the foggiest notion what you're on about, but bless your heart for your concern.
posted by scody at 3:57 PM on December 9, 2010


falameufilho: “Pardon me, koeselitz, but that doesn't sound like small potatoes to me. Organized bands of thugs from a country are killing citizens of another country in a third. In the good old days, wars were started for much less. Five year ban from international competitions? Sounds pretty fair to me.”

The stadium was decrepit. That's one of the reasons there was never any inquiry into what happened. Thatcher started screaming, and that was it. It was a horrifying moment, but blaming it solely on the Liverpool fans was political opportunism. Maybe read this for some more perspective; the Heysel disaster was a complicated and difficult event, and Thatcher's response was not warranted. And it's unfortunate that the FA Chairman, Bert Millichip, proved to be so spineless and so unthinking about the future.

“But okay - you have a different opinion here. Fine. But then your conspiracy theory takes a turn to the bizarre. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but do you believe that Thatcher and Murdock conspired to damage the reputation and finances of UK soccer clubs so once they hit rock bottom Murdock could offer them a SHITLOAD of money? That makes absolutely no sense. You yourself concede they weren't bought cheap. The English football league is one of the richest in the world, the teams are money making machines, hiring the best players on the planet. You say the "damage it did to soccer in the UK has lasted to this day". Holy shit, I wonder how large these clubs would be if Murdoch didn't pay them ridiculously large sums of money year after year after year.”

It's pretty clear you don't care much about football here, so it doesn't seem worth continuing here. Are you going to sincerely argue to me that the cup system in the FA is in any way fair? Are you going to sincerely argue that the culture of football is more edifying or worthwhile than it was? It was a massive change. Everybody I know who cares in any way about the game has at least mixed feelings about this. I guess maybe I should let it go at that. Suffice it to say: leagues were shifted, opportunities disappeared, and the way the game was played changed dramatically.

“Your conspiracy theory doesn't stand. You hate Thatcher? You hate Murdoch? Fine. I bet there's a bunch of negative stuff you can vent about that actually has a footing on reality. But please, let's stick to facts and not to rumormongering like " no one knows exactly what Thatcher and Murdoch talked about in their private meetings and in the cars they shared and in the meals they had together". Please. Nobody knows how much you are being paid to write these stories on the internet (see what I did there?).”

But the thing is: this is true. Rupert Murdoch and Margaret Thatcher have always spent lots of time together. It's not some conspiracy theory to say they forged a partnership; both admit it, albeit not incredibly loudly, and neither ever made any serious attempt to hide it. And that is untoward, particularly on the scale on which it happened. What's most interesting about your response to me is that you haven't even touched my central contention: that Margaret Thatcher did big favors for Rupert Murdoch, that she let that have a very large impact on the way she did her job, and that she did so clearly because he could and consistently did help her get elected. I really have no idea how you could argue against that.
posted by koeselitz at 4:05 PM on December 9, 2010


I WANT EVERYBODY WITNESSING ME NOT POSTING ABOUT MARGARET THATCHER ANYMORE
posted by falameufilho at 4:11 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


sorry koeselitz but jessamyn will be angry at me :(
posted by falameufilho at 4:13 PM on December 9, 2010


The only way my grandma could get two dogs who were fighting in her back yard to stop was to get out the hose and spray them good. Now that I think about it, it also stopped them from fucking, too. In either case, I think we need a hose here.
posted by crunchland at 4:17 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Regardless of how we feel about the course of discussion here or in the obit thread, I think we can ALL agree that Fred Phelps trying to picket her actual funeral would be a brass-plated dick move.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:52 PM on December 9, 2010


I WANT EVERYBODY WITNESSING ME NOT POSTING ABOUT MARGARET THATCHER ANYMORE

Thank you. Here is a donut.
                          ___
                       .-"   "-.
                     .'   . ;   `.
                    /    : . ' :  \
                   |   `  .-. . '  |
                   |  :  (   ) ; ` |
                   |   :  `-'   :  |
                    \   .` ;  :   /
                     `.   . '   .'
                       `-.___.-'

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:17 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Jessamyn: Thank you. Here is a donut.


Awesome. Can I have one with sprinklers? Forget Thatcher, I won't even mention Europe.
posted by arnicae at 11:38 PM on December 10, 2010


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