How to Talk About "How To Talk To Little Girls" June 28, 2011 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Say, is it possible to talk about either any Huffington Post link or anything having to do with talking to children without derailing the convo by, respectively, reflexively labeling them as "stupid" or as possessing a "pedovibe"?

I think that a conversation about girls, their self-esteem (and how it's being challenged by social and commercial forces), and how to reinforce it is worth having, and that Lisa Bloom's article is at the very least a decent jumping-off point for such a convo, but Keith Talent wants you to know how stupid he thinks the article is--repeating "stupid" three times, in case you missed it the first two--and seems to assume that Lisa Bloom believes that Maya is kept awake by "visions of literary awards and writing in a cabin beside a misty lake with a steamy mug of coffee at your side wearing rugged yet fashionable outdoor performance fleece". In a strong gambit to wrestle the derail away, Renoroc labels Bloom's friend's daughter as a "random girl child" and hints at something unseemly at their reading Purplicious together.

Really, is it that goddamn hard? Look at crush-onastick and Salamandrous if you need refreshers on how it's done. FFS.
posted by Halloween Jack to Etiquette/Policy at 11:51 AM (222 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Apparently, yes, it is possible.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:54 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


MrMoonPie, unfortunately that search reveals you as an IE user, which may jeopardize your credibility in this discussion.
posted by proj at 11:57 AM on June 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


There have been a couple of people saying that it's pedophile-ish and/or stupid. The rest of that thread has mostly been everyone else saying the opposite or talking about some other point entirely.
posted by katillathehun at 11:58 AM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


As with many things, most people are being decent, someone asked the "pedovibe" question which, I felt, was responded to decently and patiently by people. I wish Keith Talent had been able to make his same point without pushing so many people's buttons because it would be great if that thread did not turn into talking to one crabby person about why they are crabby.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:59 AM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


The important thing about talking to crabby people is to talk with them about what they're interested in, and not automatically go to telling them how pretty their crabbiness is.
posted by Drastic at 12:00 PM on June 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


It looks to me like many people like to assume certain problems don't exist, just because they haven't experienced them. I have seen this a lot in MeFi, and I think it's a way of protecting yourself from harsh realities you don't like. I have felt this way too, by the way.

My advice if you feel this way is to first put things in perspective (one human being isn't very likely to know everything or to have experienced everything ever), and to embrace other people's opinions as an opportunity to learn and if not change your own opinion, maybe strengthen whatever your opposing beliefs are.

In conclusion, if somebody speaks about a problem, the last thing a listener/reader should do is flat out deny it. This attitude rarely helps!
posted by Tarumba at 12:03 PM on June 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


Talking to little girls is easy. They don't ask me questions. They don't want to scold me.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:05 PM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


talking to one crabby person about why they are crabby.

This happens here an awful lot. No one person owes the rest of us pollyannas a non-crabby outlook on life, but it sure gets tedious after a while.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:06 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I actually dropped out altogether as I detected my personal grar-levels rising to an uneasy level. (I also tend to do that when someone makes a personal attack. Better to just disengage.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:07 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conversations don't always go how you'd hope they would. People can disagree with the worth of things like Huffington Post articles, even when the "message" of the article is a good one. I think Keith Talent posted a ranty comment that would have been better left one his side of the server, but I think it's reprehensible that EmpressCallipygos essentially accused him of being a misogynist just because he didn't like the article. The former's behavior is annoying, the latter's behavior is mean-spirited and insulting.
posted by OmieWise at 12:08 PM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


No one person owes the rest of us pollyannas a non-crabby outlook on life, but it sure gets tedious after a while.

So do the pollyannas.
posted by enn at 12:09 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


It seems like this violently crabtastic response happens with nearly any post that's even slightly prescriptive. "Who the fuck are you to tell me how to live my life?"
posted by Pants McCracky at 12:09 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


However, omnie, I note that Keith didn't seem to say he felt I was accusing him of "misogyny." Only you did.

So unless you can prove that you are his personal representative, kindly drop the personal fucking attacks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:11 PM on June 28, 2011


enn, surely there's a middle ground between "OMG mee too!!" and "Everything is Broken," where a conversation can take place.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:11 PM on June 28, 2011


> it sure gets tedious after a while.

It sure does. Threads like that are part of what make me spend less and less time on MetaFilter. There have always been people who just have to show how superior they are to everything posted and/or to everyone else in the world, but with the growth of the site their collective numbers are turning more and more threads toxic.
posted by languagehat at 12:11 PM on June 28, 2011 [33 favorites]


Oh, I'm sorry -- that should have been directed at omie.

The "drop the personal fucking attacks" still stands.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:11 PM on June 28, 2011


I think crappy people talking about why they are crappy would make for a pretty good series of podcasts.
posted by ignignokt at 12:12 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Look at crush-onastick and Salamandrous if you need refreshers on how it's done."

But! They're both beautiful ladies with amazing hair!
posted by Eideteker at 12:12 PM on June 28, 2011


Ungh. In a community this large consensus will rarely be achieved. Not every comment has to be in agreement with a thread's thesis, and the conversation would suffer if they were. Some people even, heaven forbid, think the thesis is stupid. Let's not get fussy when that happens.

Intelligent responses to disagreement are the solution, not callouts and scolding and so on. And most importantly, a fundamental respect for your fellow MeFites, an understanding that not everyone is where you are or shares your experiences in life. We guide each other along, not tear each other down. If you have difficulty with that, maybe you should take a break from the thread and go outside for some fresh air.

Obviously, if a comment is trollish or incisive toward another commenter, that should be approached differently. That doesn't seem to be the issue here though, Halloween Jack.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think crappy people talking about why they are crappy would make for a pretty good series of podcasts.

Finally! A career!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:15 PM on June 28, 2011 [16 favorites]


I would subscribe to CrabCast.
posted by Pants McCracky at 12:17 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can confirm that crush-onastick does have amazing hair, but she also likes anchovies on her pizza, so it's a toss-up as to whether I want to be her friend.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:17 PM on June 28, 2011


kindly drop the personal fucking attacks.

I'm not personally attacking you, I'm disagreeing with you. That you cannot seem to tell the difference may be part of your problem here.

I don't need Keith Talent's permission, or yours, to determine that you were accusing him of misogyny. You wrote Do you perhaps believe that little girls shouldn't hear about books? Or that grownups shouldn't ask little girls about what they like to do? Or that little girls should be seen and not heard?. This begs the question for misogyny like "When did you stop beating your wife?" begs the question for domestic abuse.
posted by OmieWise at 12:17 PM on June 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


I think it's a way of protecting yourself from harsh realities you don't like.

It's also a great way of rationalizing untenable beliefs. But yeah, this is trivial.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:18 PM on June 28, 2011


"I can confirm that crush-onastick does have amazing hair, but she also likes anchovies on her pizza, so it's a toss-up as to whether I want to be her friend."

*knocks the dithering shakespeherian over to sit down at table with crush-onastick and her pizza* YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE

"kindly drop the personal fucking attacks."

Yes, let's please stick to impersonal fucking, like proper WASPs. "Prescott, would you please ask your mother to kindly pass the lubricant? Thank you."
posted by Eideteker at 12:25 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


And most importantly, a fundamental respect for your fellow MeFites,

We have a pretty large segment of the membership here that sees absolutely no reason to show respect to the fucking nitwits that disagree with them. The problem is, they have a personal right to be that way, whether or not it provides for a simulating exchange of ideas. So what to do? Ignore, or not participate seem to be the options for someone who values respect and decorum, I s'pose.

I'm going with ignore, because I don't want to shout, and I refuse to be run off. I'm afraid I'll eventually get drowned out, but I rely on the mods to define limits to the phenomenon.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:26 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Disagree with me all you like, but do not steal my anchovies. Spiffy is still in pain from that mistake.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:30 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


o what to do? Ignore, or not participate seem to be the options for someone who values respect and decorum, I s'pose.

You don't ignore bullies, you stand up to them, whether you're person being bullied, or their "personal representative" or otherwise.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:30 PM on June 28, 2011


visions of literary awards and writing in a cabin beside a misty lake with a steamy mug of coffee at your side wearing rugged yet fashionable outdoor performance fleece

That is funny. Your hand-wringing is tedious. Let the comments fall where they may FFS. You really need a callout cos someone doesn't like your article?
posted by dontjumplarry at 12:30 PM on June 28, 2011


I'm not personally attacking you, I'm disagreeing with you

Actually, you are personally attacking her, OmieWise - although you are also disagreeing with her. These phrases are attacks on her person:

I think you're looking for a fight, and are very uncivil for making unwarranted accusations about people with whom you disagree.

You are a terrible interlocutor.

You may feel them to be warranted personal attacks, but these are still phrases intended to communicate a negative perception of EC's person. This isn't even rhetoric, really. It's just grammar.

Personally, I found that Keith's opposition was incoherently expressed - by the end, with the stuff about log cabins and performance fleeces, it was pretty much impossible to work out what he was trying to communicate with any confidence. My best guess was "it's so common for toddlers not to go to sleep that someone has recently written a humorous fake children's book called 'Go the Fuck to Sleep' - it is hubris for Bloom to think that she excited a child by suggesting she might write a book one day, when the child was actually exhibiting perfectly ordinary sleeplessness." But that's a guess. Asking what he was talking about didn't seem particularly out there in terms of responses.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:31 PM on June 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


[That said, I'm not sure what this MetaTalk is for - except, I guess, to bleed off pointless circular arguments from the thread itself. Which is probably a worthwhile aim in itself.]
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:34 PM on June 28, 2011


I'm not personally attacking you, I'm disagreeing with you. That you cannot seem to tell the difference may be part of your problem here.

Telling me directly "You are a terrible interlocutor" is not "disagreeing with me." It is a direct attack. (I also note it appears to have been removed by the mods, so it clearly crossed some line; I'd thank you not to re-cross it, is all.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:42 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I've noticed that wide-eyed, excited earnestness tends to get slapped down a lot here. I used to have a toy poodle who would get all hyper and run around in circles barking, and whenever he did that, one of my cats would immediately run over and smack him in the face, hard. That cat? Metafilter.
posted by Pants McCracky at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2011 [44 favorites]


Ah, well, I would have said that I was criticizing her, as "attack" used in this context (by EmpressCallipygos) seems to paint me as the aggressor and her as the victim in a way that I did not intend, and don't think is accurate. In thread, EmpressCallipygos used the word "insult" to describe my criticisms, which I also rejected for the same reason. But, you're correct.

(Incidentally, you misquoted me in a comment that was deleted from the thread. While I'm not thrilled about the deletion I'm not thrilled when people repost the-thing-that-got-deleted in MeTa threads.)
posted by OmieWise at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2011


I labeled part of the article as stupid, but I didn't do it reflexively ;)

I also thought the pedovibe tangent was odd.
posted by diogenes at 12:45 PM on June 28, 2011


"You are a terrible interlocutor" was not a "misquote". it was a direct quote.

And it was a personal observation that was negative. If you want to call that something other than an "attack," so be it, but it was not cool.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2011


Kind of, r.o.s.f., although I'll admit that I was a little meta-cranky about the derails; the Huffington Post seemed to have displaced Boing Boing as the blog that automatically triggers a Two-Minute Hate here (not that the HuffPo doesn't have problems, we understand), and the pedovibe thing was just the last straw. In other words, everyone still needs a hug.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:50 PM on June 28, 2011


The article itself isn't really pedovibey. I think it's just the title. "How to Talk to Little Girls" sounds disturbingly similar to those "How to Talk to Chicks" type douchestruction manuals.
posted by Pants McCracky at 12:55 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear, I might be wrong, but I think I used a different adjective to modify "interlocutor," although the sense was the same. I think I said "rotten" interlocutor, but I may be wrong.

I don't think that's fundamental to your being, or anything, or I didn't, but I think your behavior in that thread was shitty and demeaning.
posted by OmieWise at 12:59 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't think that's fundamental to your being, or anything, or I didn't, but I think your behavior in that thread was shitty and demeaning.

Whether or not you believe that what you said was "fundamental to my being" is not the point. Because you don't get a vote in how I respond to what people say about me. I am the only one who does. That's the way it works when you say something about someone's character.

And I found what you said about me "shitty and demeaning". And I consider it even more demeaning that you are appear to be taking the position that I have no grounds to be insulted by what you said because it wasn't "fundamental to my being". Honestly, this is a riduclous phrase, one that I can only assume is an attempt to make me feel like I'm taking what you said too seriously. But, again, you don't get a vote in that. I am the only one who does, and you know what, it bothered me, and it was shitty and demeaning.

Now, I'd be happy to acknowledge that what I said may have also been, "shitty and demeaning" if you are willing to do the same. That's all I was asking for. And then we can turn a new page.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:05 PM on June 28, 2011


Metafilter: Just to be clear, I might be wrong, but I think I used a different adjective to modify "interlocutor," although the sense was the same. I think I said "rotten" interlocutor, but I may be wrong.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:20 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly, this is a riduclous phrase, one that I can only assume is an attempt to make me feel like I'm taking what you said too seriously.

Your assumption is incorrect, but I was probably unclear. Of course you can feel any which way about what I’ve said. It's not for me to judge how you take it. I was pointing out that my comments were strictly situational, and that I don’t need to “turn a new page,” as my comments about your behavior in that thread (and now this one) were, as far as I’m concerned, specifically about that thread. In other words, they were not about you as a person, about anything fundamental to your being, but about specific behaviors in a specific situation. Again, you’re free to feel any way you’d like about that.

Now, I'd be happy to acknowledge that what I said may have also been, "shitty and demeaning" if you are willing to do the same. That's all I was asking for.

I didn’t see you asking for that anywhere, but I may have missed it. Regardless, I don’t think my comments were shitty, I think they were accurately descriptive. I do think my later comment about your status as an interlocutor was demeaning. But it doesn’t really matter what I say about my own comments, if you think yours toward Keith Talent were out of line then you should acknowledge that.
posted by OmieWise at 1:24 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, you lost me when you said "convo." Twice.
posted by dhammond at 1:27 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I suppose that's as good an apology as I'm going to get.

But it doesn’t really matter what I say about my own comments, if you think yours toward Keith Talent were out of line then you should acknowledge that.

I'm actually waiting for Keith to tell me himself that he was offended by what I said. Then I'd be happy to apologize to him directly. As far as I've seen, he hasn't.

I may have gone a bit far in the back-and-forth with you, though, and I accept your apology and extend my own regarding my behavior towards you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:30 PM on June 28, 2011


"That said, I'm not sure what this MetaTalk is for..."

[IMG]
posted by Eideteker at 1:33 PM on June 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


My favorite part of the thread was the repeated use of the word "sheeple".
posted by scrump at 1:33 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


and I accept your apology

I don't think he apologized to you.
posted by andoatnp at 1:33 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think he apologized to you.

He did acknowledge that calling me "a rotten interlocutor" was demeaning. I'll take that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:34 PM on June 28, 2011


He did acknowledge that calling me "a rotten interlocutor" was demeaning. I'll take that.

It reminded me of this situation:
Wis. Justice Prosser: I Called Chief Justice A 'Bitch,' 'But I Think It Was Entirely Warranted'
posted by andoatnp at 1:36 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm actually waiting for Keith to tell me himself

This may not be significant, but I'm fairly sure Keith isn't his real name. It's a character from a Martin Amis novel. A pseudonym that I wouldn't take as too much of a signifier of moral probity, but a pseudonym nonetheless.
posted by Grangousier at 1:38 PM on June 28, 2011


This may not be significant, but I'm fairly sure Keith isn't his real name. It's a character from a Martin Amis novel. A pseudonym that I wouldn't take as too much of a signifier of moral probity, but a pseudonym nonetheless.

....erm, I gathered that. Similarly, I assume most people take it as read that my birth certificate does not actually read "Empress Callipygos."

We do not generally refer to each other on here as "Empress Callipygos (which by the way is a pseudonym)", and I trust that people take it as read that we are all using pseudonyms.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:40 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Omiewise: Ah, well, I would have said that I was criticizing her, as "attack" used in this context (by EmpressCallipygos) seems to paint me as the aggressor and her as the victim in a way that I did not intend, and don't think is accurate.

Dude, this is your first post to the thread. If you didn't intend to look like the aggressor, I think your epideixis may need some work.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:41 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, you lost me when you said "convo." Twice.

Sorry to read that. We should discuss this at the next oppo.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:44 PM on June 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


One way of momentarily acting as a rotten interlocutor is to insist on interpreting others' words in the worst possible light. Implying that another person's criticisms are motivated by misogyny is fairly uncharitable, in a way that is not conducive to further discussion. In that moment, EC committed an act of rotten interlocution.
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:46 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I found out that shakes was never my friend and crush is the reason I've been in constant pain for the last year. What a Tuesday!
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:47 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


No problem, it's just you were referring to him by the first name, which seemed unpseudonymmy somehow, and for some people their username is their name. Couldn't blame anyone for not knowing about Martin Amis characters if they didn't, as that would signify a greater level of selectivity and taste than I've ever aspired to.
posted by Grangousier at 1:47 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: "I actually dropped out altogether as I detected my personal grar-levels rising to an uneasy level. (I also tend to do that when someone makes a personal attack. Better to just disengage.)"

That's why I didn't bother commenting in the thread in the first place. Sometimes it's simply not worth trying to hold a conversation above the noise.

On the other hand, this thread isn't doing much better....
posted by zarq at 1:50 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


One way of momentarily acting as a rotten interlocutor is to insist on interpreting others' words in the worst possible light. Implying that another person's criticisms are motivated by misogyny is fairly uncharitable, in a way that is not conducive to further discussion. In that moment, EC committed an act of rotten interlocution.

....Actually, claiming that I implied that his criticisms were motivated by misogyny could itself be arguably a case of interpreting my words in the worst possible light. No?

All I said was, "do you see a problem with asking girls about something other than clothes?" Which was what the whole fucking article about, an article that Keith said was "stupid." I just wanted to know what he thought was stupid about asking little girls about what their favorite book was.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:51 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: " We do not generally refer to each other on here as "Empress Callipygos (which by the way is a pseudonym)", and I trust that people take it as read that we are all using pseudonyms."

People don't call you by your mefi username in public?
posted by zarq at 1:51 PM on June 28, 2011


Zarq, Thanks, but I got this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:52 PM on June 28, 2011


claiming that I implied that his criticisms were motivated by misogyny could itself be arguably a case of interpreting my words in the worst possible light

That is certainly how I interpreted them. It was the "seen and not heard" bit, specifically, that drove it home for me.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:53 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I found out that shakes was never my friend and crush is the reason I've been in constant pain for the last year. What a Tuesday!

This is probably somehow tied to the curse of Osama bun Ladin.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:55 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


That is certainly how I interpreted them. It was the "seen and not heard" bit, specifically, that drove it home for me.

Then I plead to getting a little strident in my word choice, and extend regrets for that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:56 PM on June 28, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: "Zarq, Thanks, but I got this."

I was simply trying to lighten the mood. ;)
posted by zarq at 1:58 PM on June 28, 2011


Metafilter: Thanks, but I got this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:03 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


People don't call you by your mefi username in public?

All the time! But uh, I picked a username based on what people call me in public. I may have Done it Rong.
posted by sonika at 2:03 PM on June 28, 2011


"People don't call you by your mefi username in public?"

I call her Callie but I think I'm the only one.
posted by Eideteker at 2:05 PM on June 28, 2011


people call me "crush" in real life; have for years; i strongly prefer it to other things people call me.

I missed the second coming of Pequod's--with anchovies--and I am still sad and still looking for someone to blame. any takers?
posted by crush-onastick at 2:11 PM on June 28, 2011


I'm sorry, you lost me when you said "convo." Twice.

Heh. Convo is my personal, annoying abbreviation of choice, but just for you, I'm going to start using "confab."
posted by mrgrimm at 2:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is now a TINCC thread.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:27 PM on June 28, 2011


TINCC

This stands for...?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:30 PM on June 28, 2011


My real name is actually Gringo Butthole.
posted by Mister_A at 2:35 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've said too much.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:36 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


something something something Chicago something
posted by fyrebelley at 2:37 PM on June 28, 2011


Neither Huffington Post nor Fox News belongs on the front page, for the same reason each.
posted by Ardiril at 2:43 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Neither Huffington Post nor Fox News belongs on the front page, for the same reason each.

False equivalency. Huffington Post are assholes. Fox News are lying assholes.
posted by Pants McCracky at 2:48 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Neither Huffington Post nor Fox News belongs on the front page, for the same reason each.

I think they're OK for supporting links, but rarely good on their own.

What's "the same reason?"
posted by mrgrimm at 2:49 PM on June 28, 2011


There Is No Crayola Conference
posted by adamdschneider at 2:58 PM on June 28, 2011


This Is Not Christchurch, Clearly
posted by shakespeherian at 2:59 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The pedovibe is awesome! I have an analyst who's also my therapist, and a few months ago, he suggested that I buy one. In that time, I've lost weight AND I've become more relaxed. I'm a much happier person now! Of course, I shouldn't feel all that special -- my analrapist gives everyone a pedovibe. After all, who couldn't benefit from a treadmill with a built in massager?

Three cheers for the pedovibe!
posted by Afroblanco at 3:06 PM on June 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


....Actually, claiming that I implied that his criticisms were motivated by misogyny could itself be arguably a case of interpreting my words in the worst possible light. No?

All I said was, "do you see a problem with asking girls about something other than clothes?"


This is pretty disingenuous, and you couldn't directly quote yourself and still make this point. Your questions were rhetorical and invoked broad misogynistic tropes. You didn't ask, "Do you still beat your wife?" but you might as well have.

Keith's point was that this was a self-congratulatory article trying to sell a book, not really a good guide to eliciting interesting, empowering conversation from girls. The book may well contain useful information, but the article did not, and it doesn't bode well for the book.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:07 PM on June 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Afroblanco: The pedovibe is awesome! I have an analyst who's also my therapist, and a few months ago, he suggested that I buy one. In that time, I've lost weight AND I've become more relaxed. I'm a much happier person now! Of course, I shouldn't feel all that special -- my analrapist gives everyone a pedovibe. After all, who couldn't benefit from a treadmill with a built in massager?

You should try and get your hands on one of those humourinjectors.
posted by gman at 3:20 PM on June 28, 2011


Metafilter: You should try and get your hands on one of those.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:23 PM on June 28, 2011


Yeah, and when you have to resort to the defense that the target of your attacks hasn't shown up yet to complain that they are, in fact, attacks (which is pretty clear to others), then your defense is pretty weak indeed.

This is a community weblog. If you want to have a private conversation with Keith Talent where he is the only one who is allowed to react to your insinuations, then take it to private mail.
posted by grouse at 3:24 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


There have always been people who just have to show how superior they are to everything posted and/or to everyone else in the world, but with the growth of the site their collective numbers are turning more and more threads toxic.

I think we could maybe nip this in the bud if we just came up with a sitewide shorthand acknowledging that while, sure, [MeFite who tries to show how superior they are to something that was just posted and/or to everyone else in the world] sure is superior and all, MetaFilter has already designated [MeFite who is designated as being actually superior to everything posted and/or to everyone else in the world] as being superior to you in every way, so maybe STFU and let us get back to our regularly scheduled squabble fest (to borrow a phrase).

I'm thinking of something along these lines:

MeFite trying to be Superior: Blah blah look at me blah blah
Everybody else: Tell it to madamjujujive, asshat
MeFite trying to be Superior: ???
Everybody else: link to FAQ entry containing version of this comment that actually makes sense
Everybody else: As we were saying
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:31 PM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


I support making madamjujujive our Mother Superior.
posted by grouse at 3:32 PM on June 28, 2011


If you want to have a private conversation with __________ where __ is the only one who is allowed to react to your insinuations, then take it to private mail.

Not really chiming in on the specific situation here, but this is generally good advice in most threads on MeFi. Specific exception for asking questions of the OP in AskMe, but that whole interrogation of other commenters thing is quite often a "this is when things started going badly" indicator in AskMe and MeFi.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:33 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I would bet that the thing that sparked the irritation was not the source or the topic itself which shows that people can't talk politely about it, but it was about the perceived tone of the article that came across as a bit too self-important, or with a self-appointed authority, and people get rankled by that. In essence, the response that seemed like it was against the topic was really a way of saying that they don't agree that the author had won the right to bring this topic to the table in the first place, based on the way the topic was broached, and not that it isn't worth talking about.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:42 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]



I support making madamjujujive our Mother Superior.


I get to be Sister Bertrille!
posted by doctor_negative at 3:44 PM on June 28, 2011


You should try and get your hands on one of those humourinjectors.

You should get a sense of humor.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:45 PM on June 28, 2011


Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convo!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:49 PM on June 28, 2011


I support making madamjujujive our Mother Superior.

Why? Did she jump the gun?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:52 PM on June 28, 2011


You should try and get your hands on one of those humourinjectors.

And also, if you're going out of your way to tell someone their joke isn't funny, you should at least do it in a way that is actually funny.

You don't need a sense of humor. You need a brain transplant. And also a penis that spends less time exploring sheep rectums.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:57 PM on June 28, 2011


And also a penis that spends less time exploring sheep rectums.

Yes, go on...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:05 PM on June 28, 2011


What is with you, Afroblanco? First analrapist, and now this?

Take a walk, pat a puppy, but, man, you need to take a break or something.
posted by scrump at 4:06 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


First analrapist, and now this?

It's a reference.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:07 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, gman likes to go around metatalk griefing on me, because of a petty, long-held grudge.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:09 PM on June 28, 2011


Also, gman likes to go around metatalk griefing on me, because of a petty, long-held grudge.

The civilized thing to do is let it go. Otherwise it looks a lot like bi-directional griefing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:10 PM on June 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


Also, gman likes to go around metatalk griefing on me, because of a petty, long-held grudge.

Have you ever considered ignoring him instead of bringing up that one particular night which you both admit mistakes were made on the farm?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've seen him do it to others, too. It's not cool.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


You don't ignore bullies, you stand up to them, whether you're person being bullied, or their "personal representative" or otherwise.

This may strike you as odd, but is actually against my religion to argue with people on the Internet. I may engage from time to time, but it's a proscribed activity.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Have you ever considered ignoring him instead of bringing up that one particular night which you both admit mistakes were made on the farm?

Damn straight mistakes were made. It was my turn with the rooster -- MY TURN DAMNIT! -- and still he accuses me of cock-blocking him.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:16 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, no need to go on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:23 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have managed to participate widely in this thread solely by the use of favorites. If I hadn't wrote this, that is. Time for popcorn!
posted by cavalier at 4:25 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


bi-directional griefing

Sometimes I wish I was bi-directional. I'd totally be polygriefous.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:28 PM on June 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Afroblanco: Also, gman likes to go around metatalk griefing on me, because of a petty, long-held grudge.

I do it because you're fuckin' annoying beyond belief. I do it because you send me ridiculous emails that I don't respond to and you don't seem to get the hint. I do it because you seem to take pride in writing "I fucking hate memes." all over MetaTalk as if we care. And I do it because you started a blog called atleastitsnotmetafilter.com, but yet here you are.
posted by gman at 4:30 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dudebro, if you're making puerile jokes while the adults are trying to work out their contentions, nobody needs to try to be clever when they're telling you you're being a douche.

This is MetaTalk and that conversation was in no way "adult." Adults deal with their problems by swallowing their emotions and dying of stress-related heart disease, not by lobbing snippy you-said-no-you-said comments at each other.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:41 PM on June 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Everyone needs a hug group therapy.
posted by hermitosis at 4:49 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okay, now I'm in trouble, because I have this persistent mental image of gman and Afroblanco as some sort of deranged MetaFilter Romeo and Juliet, only not the classical one, one of the modern, "updated" ones directed by Hype Williams where they're TOTALLY into each other only, like, there's this THING with this total gender-nonspecific HOTTIE and OMG, DRAMA and someone please kill me with fire
posted by scrump at 4:49 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a job for General Polygriefous.*

*yes, I'm too lazy tonight to create the sockpuppet
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:52 PM on June 28, 2011


You need a brain transplant. And also a penis that spends less time exploring sheep rectums.

Let's leave the Welsh out of this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:01 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, gman likes to go around metatalk griefing on me, because of a petty, long-held grudge... I've seen him do it to others, too. It's not cool.

There are people who regularly talk crap on MeFi and MeTa. There are people who like to regularly tweak the noses of and take the piss out of people who like to talk crap on MeFi and MeTa. The active userbase on MeFi MeTa is fairly small, and practically microscopic on MeTa.

I'm no probabilititian, but doing the 'OMG He's Grudgy/Stalking Me' thing is pretty silly when one does the math.

There have always been people who just have to show how superior they are to everything posted and/or to everyone else in the world, but with the growth of the site their collective numbers are turning more and more threads toxic.

Granted I am not going on a lot of sleep here, but I can't tell if languagehat is talking about the Pollyannas or the Crabs.*


*Best Gang Fight EVAR
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:05 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


gman, I'm flattered that you took the time to read my blog. My first assessment of you was correct, after all. You are weirdly obsessed with me.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:06 PM on June 28, 2011


You need a brain transplant. And also a penis that spends less time exploring sheep rectums.

Let's leave the Welsh out of this.


That's pretty racist. I believe the prefered term is Ram Glove.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:07 PM on June 28, 2011


I apologize. This all started I sent gman a copy of Tiger Beat with Afroblanco on the cover (dreamy and streamy!). It went all downhill from there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:11 PM on June 28, 2011


That's pretty racist. I believe the prefered term is Ram Glove.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:07 AM on June 29


I think you'll find it's Welsh Rarebit.
posted by Decani at 5:13 PM on June 28, 2011


I do it because you seem to take pride in writing "I fucking hate memes." all over MetaTalk as if we care.

Maybe Afroblanco is trying to start an ironic "I fucking hate memes" meme?
posted by troll at 5:17 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I understand.
posted by clavdivs at 5:21 PM on June 28, 2011


Is it too late to say that The Huffington Post is, in fact, really stupid?
posted by Decani at 5:35 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm not personally attacking you, I'm disagreeing with you. That you cannot seem to tell the difference may be part of your problem here.

Saying that someone's actions were "reprehensible" is not simply agreeing with them about a fact.


I don't need Keith Talent's permission, or yours, to determine that you were accusing him of misogyny. You wrote Do you perhaps believe that little girls shouldn't hear about books? Or that grownups shouldn't ask little girls about what they like to do? Or that little girls should be seen and not heard?. This begs the question for misogyny like "When did you stop beating your wife?" begs the question for domestic abuse.

I don't think you understand how 'begging the question works.' Begging the question involves posing a question that cannot be answered without accepting the question's premise. Each of the questions she posed can be answered very simply: "No." They were perhaps pointed questions, but they were not a trap.
posted by verb at 5:39 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't think you understand how 'begging the question works.' Begging the question involves posing a question that cannot be answered without accepting the question's premise. Each of the questions she posed can be answered very simply: "No." They were perhaps pointed questions, but they were not a trap.

The definition of "begging the question" is shifting (although your definition is still in use in logic), and popular usage now includes something closer to "forcefully raises the question."
posted by Bookhouse at 5:44 PM on June 28, 2011


Hey, I thought the Afro/gman beef got squashed weeks ago. Did that get retconned? Or am I mixed up between "what actually happened" and "my MetaTalk fan fiction" again?
posted by jtron at 5:58 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huffington Post sounds like a place to go to inhale spray paint fumes.
posted by bwg at 5:59 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It sounds like where Edwardian toffs go to inhale spray paint fumes.
posted by jtron at 6:01 PM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


I offered to bury the hatchet, an offer which he apparently refused.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:03 PM on June 28, 2011


Ha! Afroblanco, I can't believe you call your blog "atleastitsnotmetafilter". I mean, whaaaat? Um... so... people are supposed to be interested in it because it's not Metafilter?

What a thoroughly odd way to announce your intentions, and to go about talking to the world. It's kinda like starting a band and calling it At Least We're Not [insert name of band you don't like].
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 PM on June 28, 2011


It's okay to just bury a hatchet by yourself, and maybe put a little rock on top of the hole, some rock that you picked up because you thought it was neat looking.

And then if you see the other guy wandering around carrying a hatchet, and you feel like maybe you need to go dig up your hatchet too, when you get back to the hole you dug you can see that rock. And you can think, hey, it's that rock! That rock that I thought was neat, that I put by that hole I dug. That's a pretty great rock.

It is a pretty great rock.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:09 PM on June 28, 2011 [47 favorites]


I offered to bury the hatchet...
posted by Afroblanco at 2:03 AM on June 29 [+]


In his skull, amirite?
posted by Decani at 6:09 PM on June 28, 2011


I thought the Afro/gman beef got squashed weeks ago

I think they were having chicken, although, yes, squash might have been a side dish. I'm thinking it was okra, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:10 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cortex totally rocks.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:11 PM on June 28, 2011


flapjax : it was an idea that clearly didn't take hold. You will see I haven't posted on it since October of last year. So not only is gman referring to something that took place a year ago, he's also admitting to reading the blog of someone he allegedly finds "fuckin' annoying beyond belief"

But anyway, I was trying to do more independent writing, so the idea was I was going to post there instead of metafilter. The name was mostly a joke.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:12 PM on June 28, 2011


(and, wow, this is the most attention that blog ever got. this is kinda funny)
posted by Afroblanco at 6:14 PM on June 28, 2011


It's okay to just bury a hatchet by yourself, and maybe put a little rock on top of the hole, some rock that you picked up because you thought it was neat looking.

Does the dude under the rock rise after three days?
posted by smackfu at 6:16 PM on June 28, 2011


"an offer which he apparently refused."

Whoa, we can do that? I'm gonna have a talk with the Don tomorrow!
posted by Eideteker at 6:17 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


The definition of "begging the question" is shifting (although your definition is still in use in logic), and popular usage now includes something closer to "forcefully raises the question."

Be that as it may, his other example of begging the question -- the classic "When did you stop beating your wife" -- was a genuine example of begging the question. he compared a 'forceful question' to a logic trap, suggesting that he either didn't understand the difference between the two, or was deliberately muddling the difference.

One can argue that it is rude and combative to ask questions pointed questions, but it's not the same as setting a rhetorical trap, a "no-win scenario," for someone in a discussion.
posted by verb at 6:18 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sooo...you're not supposed to throw the rock, is that it?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on June 28, 2011


Didn't read all the comments here, but this was just about one of the dumbest, stupidest, most brain-dead things I've ever read on HuffPo. Not pedo-licious, just idiotic. Anyone who liked it is dead to me. Dead.
Lisa Bloom's self-promoting crap would be the last thing I would expect to read on the Blue.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:21 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


You pick the rock up and put it in your pocket. Then you have yourself a pocketrock.
posted by Sailormom at 6:33 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does the dude under the rock rise after three days?

If I learned anything from that Comparative Geology class I took in college, there are a wealth of different opinions on this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:36 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now, I'd be happy to acknowledge that what I said may have also been, "shitty and demeaning" if you are willing to do the same. That's all I was asking for. And then we can turn a new page.

Pretty slick how you've been able to create a moral equivalence between your baseless and noxious accusations of misogyny and someone's criticisms of the same.
posted by spaltavian at 6:48 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


If I learned anything from that Comparative Geology class I took in college, there are a wealth of different opinions on this.

Indeed, there's been an avalanche of commentary pointing toward numerous fissures. Seismically violent reactions from some have even been seen, and true consensus would appear to be coming at a glacial pace. There appear to be great crevices (or chasms, if you will) of opinion, and it's hard to determine who is at fault. As the poet might say, our troubles are not ore. But at the very least, a crystallization of some key arguments and a stratification of ideas may help in keeping the whole discussion from running through our fingers like sand.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:54 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


cortex is totally right. When you've been all "hatchets at dawn" for awhile, there's no way the other guy is going to expect you to burry your hatchet and then bash him over the head with your neat rock. Works every time.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:24 PM on June 28, 2011


flapjax : it was an idea that clearly didn't take hold. You will see I haven't posted on it since October of last year.

Don't fall for his tricks! If you look at it, you'll clearly be in creepy stalker lurve with him!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:24 PM on June 28, 2011


...but doesn't everybody want a rock to wind a piece of string around?

(I've never known what the string was for before now--it's so you can remember why you decided to bury the hatchet in the ground and not someone's Internet head.)
posted by smirkette at 7:25 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher Sooo...you're not supposed to throw the rock, is that it?

. . .
posted by mlis at 7:54 PM on June 28, 2011


I thought the Afro/gman beef got squashed weeks ago.

Apparently "squash it" means different things to different people.
posted by -jf- at 7:59 PM on June 28, 2011


I fucking hate mimes.
posted by staggernation at 8:36 PM on June 28, 2011


I don't have the patience to read all this thread -- but I 'm glad to see it here. That pileup was such a mess. And it is beginning to be a pattern; Metafilter seems not so metafilter these days.

Some days it feels like metafilter is an anthill with the armies just waiting to sting someone who ventures into a thread. Rarely are the attacks in any way related to the content -- they seem to be stinging for the fun of stinging. And the attacks are about minutia - rarely about the substance of the fpp.

This has probably been said above, but, once again for the Ones Who Need to Learn Metafilter Ettiquette ...
1.) Don't assume certain problems don't exist, just because you haven't experienced them.
2.) If you know you hate huffington post or [insert whatever] - don't read the thread
3.) You really don't know as much as you think you know. Just lurk once in a while.
4.) Get out more; get a life.
posted by Surfurrus at 8:40 PM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Those silent motherfuckers.
posted by Sailormom at 8:43 PM on June 28, 2011


I'd really appreciate it if one of you would take the hint and start hate-griefing my blog already. It's getting kinda lonely, here in this hatchet cavern. :c
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:25 PM on June 28, 2011


Does the dude under the rock rise after three days?

Are we talking silica-based or something more ignatius.

because you have your Horta and Loyola.
posted by clavdivs at 10:30 PM on June 28, 2011


BTW it's really telling that people think of commentors on websites as "bullies" and the act of disagreeing with them as "standing up" as opposed to "ignoring" them. I'd like to suggest that instead you think of a book of all your own comments placed in a row, without reference to any other person's. What do you want that text to say? Find the people and the places who are making that music, and make it with them. If a thread has nothing to offer but ugly back and forth, make some positive statements to correct the course here are some examples:

Bunnies are the best racecars!

I saw a head floating in a jar once, but I've never been to a funeral like that!

Nuclear energy is a...oh wait never mind here are some pictures of superhero goldfish!

And other coherent remarks, preferably in with lots of italics and bold thrown in. ʘ‿ʘ
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:38 PM on June 28, 2011


It sure does. Threads like that are part of what make me spend less and less time on MetaFilter. There have always been people who just have to show how superior they are to everything posted and/or to everyone else in the world, but with the growth of the site their collective numbers are turning more and more threads toxic.

This. Also this:


Yeah, I've noticed that wide-eyed, excited earnestness tends to get slapped down a lot here. I used to have a toy poodle who would get all hyper and run around in circles barking, and whenever he did that, one of my cats would immediately run over and smack him in the face, hard. That cat? Metafilter.


I've quickly learned not to post about anything I have much of an emotional investment in, and if something like that does turn up here to dig in and try to defend it from people who need to assert their superiority over everybody.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:40 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lol I just realized how hilarious it is that you watch "Supernatual" lol.

Actually I love that show too mostly for the soundtrack and my hetero man crush on Dean.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:50 PM on June 28, 2011


The one thing that bugs me is how people don't see through their FBI aliases. I mean some are pretty obscure but you figure they'd twig to 'Agents Jagger and Richards'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:52 PM on June 28, 2011


Yes that is the most unbelievable thing about that show apart from the demon magic.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:56 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I fucking hate mimes.

Actually, one of the teachers at the place I take improv classes is a mime. His space object work is fucking phenomenal. Never again will I say a negative word about mimes.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:56 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I know what you mean because the demon magic is actually fucking sweet.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:56 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


MimeFilter: the demon magic is fucking sweet
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:57 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


sorry, wrong thread. this was meant to be in the Supernatural thread
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:04 PM on June 28, 2011


The mime workers union decided I was somewhere between wheezy and raspy, they denied me and left me alonen with a canary and tin snips.
posted by clavdivs at 11:10 PM on June 28, 2011


Wow somehow in this thread I became an old nun.

I need to rethink the image I am putting forth. I was going for something with a little bit more je ne sais quoi.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Clavdivs and I are working on an scholarly article entitled "How to Talk to A Mime" but we can't find a publisher for it anywhere who will print it in its original gestures (though admittedly some of those might border on both "stupid" and "pedovibey").
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:16 PM on June 28, 2011


Clavdivs and I are working on an scholarly article entitled "How to Talk to A Mime" but we can't find a publisher

Reference material for your project: dead mimes.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:26 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I've quickly learned not to post about anything I have much of an emotional investment in, and if something like that does turn up here to dig in and try to defend it from people who need to assert their superiority over everybody."

Oh, now, that's silly.

I know that plenty of other folks already realize this, but people can dislike different things without trying to "assert their superiority." It's a pretty annoying response to criticism and I see it a lot, especially for a place that complains about ad hominem reasoning —it's a way of dismissing criticisms without engaging them because of the perceived ulterior motive of the critic.

I mean, sure, if you can't stand to be told that earnestness is not a requirement for good art, maybe you shouldn't post earnestly on it, but most people should be able to survive the kinds of comments things get here — the snark's usually half-assed ("oh I see you also read the onion during the '90s iceburn") and the criticisms are often worth listening to. Being able to articulate and defend your taste both makes you more secure in it and better at talking about it with others.

Until then, lighten up, Francis.
posted by klangklangston at 11:29 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I know that plenty of other folks already realize this, but people can dislike different things without trying to "assert their superiority." It's a pretty annoying response to criticism and I see it a lot, especially for a place that complains about ad hominem reasoning —it's a way of dismissing criticisms without engaging them because of the perceived ulterior motive of the critic.

It's not perceived, though. There were things like the Spoiler Wars, where a few people said "If you need to be surprised to enjoy a work, its an inferior work". From one of the threads this discusses:

It's the sort of writing that, if you assume an adult wrote it, comes across as profound and insightful. However, knowing that a 7-year-old wrote it, it comes across as childish and uninspiring. Funny how that works.


I'd rather read gibbering digressions from a seven year old than from David Foster Wallace, but I'd rather stuff thumbtacks in my dick than do either so....


There are a few other examples here and there. It seems like most things are met first with reflexive snark.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:36 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow somehow in this thread I became an old nun.

If it's any comfort, I was personally thinking more like Bene Gesserit ninja.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or a nun/vixen hybrid, possibly a Nixen.
posted by taz at 12:08 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


If it's any comfort, I was personally thinking more like Bene Gesserit ninja.

No way...ninjas dream of being Bene Gesserit. Those are some bad ass chicks.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:17 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


put your hand in
posted by clavdivs at 12:27 AM on June 29, 2011


You pick the rock up and put it in your pocket. Then you have yourself a pocketrock.

Suzanne Vega YouTube link.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:24 AM on June 29, 2011


I was going for something with a little bit more je ne sais quoi.

Oh, I think you know exactly what.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:11 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I saw this article on FB recently, I knew that it was only a matter of time before metafilter got bent out of shape about it.

I've actually started making over/under bets with my wife about these exact situations. It started with the great word wars of '10 and '11 but has now started to bleed into almost all posts...

Me: Saw that Giant Metal Chicken blog on metafilter today....
Katy: Really? What did they find to complain about on that one?
Me: Oh, they've decided that she's a horrible shrew and he's an abused husband and she wastes her money on metal chickens...
Katy: Well, guess I win that dollar then, huh?
Me: *Sigh*
posted by schyler523 at 5:21 AM on June 29, 2011 [24 favorites]


Well I think the problem there is that people are posting articles they saw on FB.
posted by Ritchie at 5:44 AM on June 29, 2011


verb: I don't think you understand how 'begging the question works.' Begging the question involves posing a question that cannot be answered without accepting the question's premise.

You may be right, I may have misused the term here, but I’m not sure that I did. I’m not sure that “begging the question” always refers to a logical trap. In my understanding, begging the question is a fairly broad term meaning to assume the unproven premises that the question is seeking to interrogate. In this case, the larger question “Why do you dislike the article so much?” is begged by the rhetorical questions that answer that by assuming misogyny on the part of Keith Talent. This is different in rhetorical structure from simply asking, “Do you hate the article because you’re a misogynist?” The latter is a straightforward question, the former assumes the answer to the larger question and rhetorically frames the issue such that the answer is assumed in the premise. Other possibilities are not rhetorically countenanced, hence my belief that this is begging the question.

The “beating your wife” question is, of course, a classic illustration. However, it’s no more a logical “trap” than are the questions we’re talking about here. If asked, the innocent husband can simply say, “I have never beaten my wife,” just as Keith Talent could say “no” to the questions under discussion here. Again, I may be wrong about my understanding here, but I’m not sure you’ve convinced me that I am. Perhaps you can explain in a bit more detail why I’m wrong.

(Note: I am definitely not using the term as if it meant “raising the question,” which is the more common (mis)use of the term.)
posted by OmieWise at 6:02 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huffington Post sounds like a place to go to inhale spray paint fumes.

And a "HuffPo" sounds like a regular.

And you can think, hey, it's that rock! That rock that I thought was neat, that I put by that hole I dug. That's a pretty great rock.

I didn't know you spoke basic rock.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:13 AM on June 29, 2011


Perhaps you can explain in a bit more detail why I’m wrong.

You're not wrong. The classic spousal abuse question is technically a "fallacy of the complex question," since it seems to demand a simple yes/no answer but a more elaborate response is generally required to be accurate. However, it also "begs the question" in the technical sense because it assumes a premise that it is actually the thing it is arguing for: at some point, you abused your spouse. EC's questions did something similar using the disjunctive "or."

Do you perhaps believe that little girls shouldn't hear about books? Or that grownups shouldn't ask little girls about what they like to do? Or that little girls should be seen and not heard?

So EC is proposing various interpretations of Keith's response, all of which require Keith to choose some bad character trait. She's asking: "Are you just a misogynist, or do you hate all children equally?" So again, it's the fallacy of the complex question, and again, it begs the question by assuming rather than proving the matter up for debate: that Keith's objection was rooted in a desire to avoid empowering discussions with girls rather than a disgust at the quality of the insights on display in the article.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:18 AM on June 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


After reading this whole thread I would have felt the slightly anxious and gnawing emptiness you get after having awkward and kind of bad sex with a person you don't care much about except for that r.o. squabble fest introduced me to the word "epideixis", so instead it's that same feeling except the sex was pretty o.k.
posted by generalist at 8:24 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I see your problem, Lovecraft In Brooklyn. You've made the classic mistake of assuming that stuffing thumbtacks in one's dick is meant to be read negatively. If you've never tried it, how were you to know that it's actually an ancient form of meditation intended to realign the khan chakra. So rather than the criticism you perceived, "I'd rather stuff thumbtacks in my dick" is actually better translated as "tell me something good (tell me, tell me, tell me)."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:04 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I think the problem there is that people are posting articles they saw on FB.

That's actually a good point. Not the part about not cross-posting from FB, but the part that implies that the post is weak and should have been deleted.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:07 AM on June 29, 2011


Not to worry Potomac Avenue, your lack of a publisher is o.k. The other stuff, your secret is safe with me, be rest assured.
posted by clavdivs at 9:12 AM on June 29, 2011


So EC is proposing various interpretations of Keith's response, all of which require Keith to choose some bad character trait. She's asking: "Are you just a misogynist, or do you hate all children equally?"

To be fair, the title of both the article and the thread was "how to talk to little girls". The article is specifically about talking to little girls, as an activity with complication distinct from talking to little boys. It's not totally insane that Empress Callipygos mirrored the phrase "little girls" in her questions to Keith Talent.

If the article had been about talking to children, and Empress Callipygos had inserted the phrase "little girls", that would have really stuck out. As it is, however, it seemed odd to jump to "you are implying that Keith Talent is a misogynist", rather than, e.g., "you are implying that Keith Talent has failed to make a coherent point about what's wrong with Lisa Bloom's advice on how to talk to little girls".
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:26 AM on June 29, 2011


If it's any comfort, I was personally thinking more like Bene Gesserit ninja.

I was thinking more like the Sisterhood of the Kunoichi Attentives.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:03 AM on June 29, 2011


Bene Gesserit ninja nun-chucks are timeless!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:34 AM on June 29, 2011


Where is Duncan Idaho?
posted by clavdivs at 10:38 AM on June 29, 2011


He's commenting in the no-thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:42 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Link?
posted by clavdivs at 11:20 AM on June 29, 2011


...oh
posted by clavdivs at 11:20 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


put your hand in

No way. I don't want to know what it feels like to have it burn down to the bone.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:51 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


So EC is proposing various interpretations of Keith's response, all of which require Keith to choose some bad character trait. She's asking: "Are you just a misogynist, or do you hate all children equally?" So again, it's the fallacy of the complex question, and again, it begs the question by assuming rather than proving the matter up for debate: that Keith's objection was rooted in a desire to avoid empowering discussions with girls rather than a disgust at the quality of the insights on display in the article.

Or, Keith could have said, "Wow, is THAT how I'm coming across? Wow, that wasn't what I meant at all, let me rephrase what I was getting at, which is that the word choice really got under my skin" or whatever, and that would have been perfectly hunky-dory.

In online fora like this, when I do that kind of "are you saying [foo] and [baz] and [blarp]" kind of thing, what I mean is "this is how you're coming across with what you wrote, but before I get pissed off at you can I check whether that's really what you meant in case I'm reading you wrong?" That's why I phrased my comment as a question ("are you saying that...") rather than a statement ("so, since you are saying that...").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


You put your right hand in
You take your right hand out
I do the gom jabbar
And then you die
Like an animal
And that's what it's all about, child
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:03 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


In online fora like this, when I do that kind of "are you saying [foo] and [baz] and [blarp]" kind of thing, what I mean is "this is how you're coming across with what you wrote, but before I get pissed off..."

I think you may not be aware that you can sound like you're already pissed off by the point at which you are doing this. Not that everyone shouldn't give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but it's clear to me that this line of questioning touched a nerve in at least a few people so you may want to look into how that sort of thing is coming across, whether or not you're confident what you mean when you are talking that way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:07 PM on June 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


Not that everyone shouldn't give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but it's clear to me that this line of questioning touched a nerve in at least a few people so you may want to look into how that sort of thing is coming across, whether or not you're confident what you mean when you are talking that way.

The pileon I got made that BLINDINGLY clear in retrospect. No worries.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:15 PM on June 29, 2011


Sian Phillips gets all the power roles.
posted by clavdivs at 12:52 PM on June 29, 2011


*yes, I'm too lazy tonight to create the sockpuppet

My suggestion: It's Raining Florence Henderson's Crabs
posted by y2karl at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:12 PM on June 29, 2011


So, the FIAMO thing really needs to be addressed here, I think. There's been complaints that lately the automatic first response to an FPP you don't like is just dismissive snark in the thread (I feel like this has maybe ramped up a bit as well). But those snarky comments stand because no one flags them, right?

I feel like there's been a lot of Metatalks about really trivial issues lately, and I think it ties together with people not using the flags. I even saw a comment recently like, "I never flag anyone. I'm a good girl."

And that struck me as a weird thing to say. Like flagging was the problem instead of the response. If someone is mucking up a thread with personal attacks or derails or whatever, flagging seems more civil than piling on.

But then I thought back, and when I first started here I really didn't flag anything, either. I didn't know what FIAMO meant. I'd come in here and gripe instead until I learned better.

But even though I know that, now, the whole flagging issue is frustrating because sometimes the reasons don't fit, and I'm not sure I'm having any effect, anyway.

The best example of that I can think of recently was when we had a Bin Laden thread that was just maddeningly full of link dumps, a lot of which were completely irrelevant to the discussion and/or from really questionable sources. Just whole posts made up of 6, 7 links that had no place in the thread.

And there was a particular user who was the source of this, and as it was already a really long, comment-heavy thread to try to keep up with, people were getting seriously annoyed and attacking that user, and those attacks cluttered up the thread, too.

So I'm thinking, 'I shouldn't pile on the user, I'll just flag those link dumps. But how do I flag them?! Are they "Noise"? Do they "break the guidelines" or "derail"?' I really didn't know what to do, so I chose "other" and went with that.

I KNOW this was a real problem in that thread, and I KNOW other users thought so, too, but I don't think any of those link dumps were deleted. So, the flagging accomplished nothing.

Those snarky comments that amount to no more than, "This sucks," are those "noise"? Or do they "break the guidelines"? I'm not sure. Half the time I choose "other" there, too.

When someone attacks another user in the thread, is that "breaks the guidelines" or, because sometimes the attacks are accusing the other user of being sexist or a misogynist, are they "offensive/sexism/racism"? Back to "other".

So, anyway, I think the flags could stand reworking. Because I never know if I'm picking the right one, or if any of my flags are having any effect at all, really, and that's frustrating me.

And I definitely think users, especially new ones, need to know that flagging is the site-preferred way to handle stuff like, for example, the comments this Metatalk thread complains about.
posted by misha at 1:30 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, anyway, I think the flags could stand reworking.

The flags are never going to fit everyone's use-cases for when something needs to be flagged. We should probably find a way to be more clear that people should just flag with something that seems close and let us worry about it, but even if we have a flag for link-dumping and a thread for threadshitting it won't really change the system on our end which breaks down to

- look at this quickly
- look at this when you have time
- fix this

Reworking the way we handle flags is more likely to confuse the people who are already using the system and I don't think will really solve people's "how should I categorize this" conundrums. We try to be clear in MeTa that we expect people to use the flagging system. We also try to be clear that people shouldn't dwell on "which flag is the perfect one" but we're in a community of finicky people. This is not to say that we should never change anything, but it is to say that we have to have a fairly good reason and "people not flagging enough" isn't really reaching the point where it's decreasing the quality of the site, to my mind. If one person is doing something over and over, that's a good case for emailing us anyhow.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:39 PM on June 29, 2011

...but I don't think any of those link dumps were deleted. So, the flagging accomplished nothing.
If it helps, that's not always a sign that nothing's happened. There are all sorts of mod actions short of deletion, including keeping an eye on things to make sure they don't get worse or dropping a note to the offender letting them know they're pushing it. While it's frustrating to feel like nothing is happening, I think overall the mods' reluctance to delete things and the invisibility of low-level intervention are features, not bugs.

I see flagging as saying, "hey, this looks like a thing" and don't worry about being exact. if enough flags of any type are set, a human being will come look, and then I trust them to know what they're looking at.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:41 PM on June 29, 2011


I see flagging as saying, "hey, this looks like a thing" and don't worry about being exact. if enough flags of any type are set, a human being will come look, and then I trust them to know what they're looking at.

Exactly. I flagged a whole post recently -- not because I thought it should be moved or deleted, but because a kind of unusual online/real world crossover happened in the middle of the thread and I thought the mods may want to at least be made aware of it in case that was something they wanted to keep an eye on. Ultimately, they left it alone.

But that's all my flag meant was, was "hey, in case you missed it, this looks weird."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:52 PM on June 29, 2011


Exactly. I flagged a whole post recently -- not because I thought it should be moved or deleted, but because a kind of unusual online/real world crossover happened in the middle of the thread

We're unlikely to intuit that sort of thing by a post being flagged. You can either flag the weird comments or, again, drop us a note via the contact form which is super. Less awesome contact form messages include "Why didn't you delete this!!" which is sometimes a case of FIANMO, but that's also okay, we can check something out and let the person know [and in some cases, delete something we didn't see]. We pretty much check out every single flag in AskMe and the non-MeFi/MeTa subsites. MeFi we check out flags that seem to be accumulating and in MeTa we only check out things that are getting very seriously flagged. It's all a pretty surprisingly manual process, but it seems to Mostly Work.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:13 PM on June 29, 2011


in MeTa we only check out things that are getting very seriously flagged

This explains a LOT. My MeTa flags have always been only somewhat serious. And things around here don't get changed to my liking very often. From now on, I won't even smirk a little bit when flagging coments in MeTa. My MeTa flags will all be very serious. Like this comment.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:23 PM on June 29, 2011


misha: " The best example of that I can think of recently was when we had a Bin Laden thread that was just maddeningly full of link dumps, a lot of which were completely irrelevant to the discussion and/or from really questionable sources. Just whole posts made up of 6, 7 links that had no place in the thread.

And there was a particular user who was the source of this, and as it was already a really long, comment-heavy thread to try to keep up with, people were getting seriously annoyed and attacking that user, and those attacks cluttered up the thread, too.

So I'm thinking, 'I shouldn't pile on the user, I'll just flag those link dumps. But how do I flag them?! Are they "Noise"? Do they "break the guidelines" or "derail"?' I really didn't know what to do, so I chose "other" and went with that.

I KNOW this was a real problem in that thread, and I KNOW other users thought so, too, but I don't think any of those link dumps were deleted. So, the flagging accomplished nothing.
"

It's pretty clear that the mods aren't going to delete dissenting opinions. In cases like that, I think it really is appropriate to start a MeTa thread. It can encourage people to move an argument that isn't really related to the topic at hand into another thread where they can hash out the things they disagree with. Which is part of the purpose of MeTa: as an escape valve, to let off pressure.

I thought the links being added to the Bin Laden thread were on topic. But still, they managed to entirely shift the conversation's focus, and that was obviously pissing people off. A separate MeTa thread wouldn't have been out of line, I don't think.
posted by zarq at 2:27 PM on June 29, 2011


It's pretty clear that the mods aren't going to delete dissenting opinions.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:31 PM on June 29, 2011


REDACTED and that's all I have to say on the matter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:09 PM on June 29, 2011


"And nothing of value was lost." just showed up on the MySpace thread. I flagged it, but I reckon that phrase should be automatically deleted.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:44 PM on June 29, 2011


Why?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:45 PM on June 29, 2011


Indeed.
posted by clavdivs at 4:00 PM on June 29, 2011


Ritchie: "Well I think the problem there is that people are posting articles they saw on FB."

I guess you could say that but I would argue that recently, most links on Metafilter have been usurped by my FB friends...and never have those links (on FB) been swamped with threadshitting.

I think that a good link is a good link, whether you find it on FB or you find it on Metafilter.

Sometimes, I take a hiatus from Mefi when people get bent out of shape on what I think are ridiculous things...and spend more time on FB. When I come back and comb through threads I missed and find that usually I missed nothing.

The recent "Such Hawks, Such Hounds" thread is an exception...fantastic stuff.
posted by schyler523 at 4:09 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why?

It's smug noise.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:52 PM on June 29, 2011


Much of human interest is.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:55 PM on June 29, 2011


And sometimes I read back through my comments to find that I have no writing skills...
posted by schyler523 at 5:03 PM on June 29, 2011


Much of human interest is.

Huh?

"And nothing of value was lost" is right up there with "Is this something I'd need a TV to understand?" and "First". It adds no value to anything.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:09 PM on June 29, 2011


*sigh* "Much of human interest is" wasn't really s'posed to mean much of anything, LIB. I was answering accusations of empty comments with an empty comment. As an example. Man - somedays it just doesn't pay to be empty noise around here!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:15 PM on June 29, 2011


I think that a good link is a good link, whether you find it on FB or you find it on Metafilter.

Absolutely, but my argument is that stuff that is doing the rounds on FB has already been seen by nearly everybody with a FB account, or will soon have been seen by nearly everybody with a FB account. I'm not even on FB, but the bloggess link was emailed to me by someone who is. From the guidelines (emphasis is mine):
A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.
Sometimes it feels like people are joining those three criteria with an OR rather than an AND. I suppose you could do a straw poll of mefites to determine if my reasoning has no basis in fact - that a link could be on FB for a week, say, and still be something that most mefites hadn't seen before - in which case I'll shut up about it.
posted by Ritchie at 5:18 PM on June 29, 2011


I dunno Ritchie... there are things that were making the rounds on FB that became big posts here. Not everybody's Facebook friends overlap.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:20 PM on June 29, 2011


*raises hand*

A link could be on FB for a decade and still be something that I hadn't seen before. I've never seen anything on FB.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:22 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I dunno Ritchie... there are things that were making the rounds on FB that became big posts here. Not everybody's Facebook friends overlap.

That may well be, although I have to say that in my own personal experience, there have been several occasions that I've seen something on FB that I wanted to post to Mefi, but the links have always (OK 90% of the time) already shown up here. I think Mefi is generally ahead of FB, slightly. YMMV.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:54 PM on June 29, 2011


I guess you could say that but I would argue that recently, most links on Metafilter have been usurped by my FB friends...and never have those links (on FB) been swamped with threadshitting.

Me too. I see a lot of stuff from my friends show up here, and I'm always disappointed.

I always advocate a very light moderation hand, but I think MetaFilter would do best to avoid single-link fluff blog posts, especially from such mainstream outlets.

In other terms, this place doesn't work as well when functioning as a newspaper site message board. imo.

A link could be on FB for a decade and still be something that I hadn't seen before. I've never seen anything on FB.

Oh, but you have. These are also the "Most Emailed" or "Most Commented" stories on the New York Times or Huffington Post (or the Atlantic, or Engadget, or Science Daily, etc. etc.) ...

I much prefer posts that put something together. The one-link op-eds and news of the weird post feel farky. I'm almost surprised so many haven't been deleted.

I think Mefi is generally ahead of FB, slightly. YMMV.

Well of course (the YMMV, not MeFi ahead of Facebook). It depends on how cool your FB friends are. ^_^ If you have enough friends and pay attention to them, Facebook will always be first with pretty much everything.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:01 AM on June 30, 2011


Also, if you are a "fan" or whatever connected to any of the sources used for posts here, they will always be first on Facebook for me.

If anyone posts a Mother Jones link, or Democracy Now, or TruthOut link, or Alternet link, etc., it will always be in my FB news list.

The problem of Facebook, of course (or at least one of them) is that items can pass through your feed so quickly that you miss 99% of the good stuff. Attention and lists/filtering can help, but MetaFilter searches and archives much better.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:14 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you have enough friends and pay attention to them, Facebook will always be first with pretty much everything.

Oh.

OK then.

I guess I just don't... *sniff* ... have enough... *voice trembles slightly*... f-f-friends, then...

I ... I ... *bursts into tears, runs out of room*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:04 PM on June 30, 2011


I've got friends who compliment me on the links I post on FB, half of which are from MeFi.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:07 PM on June 30, 2011


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