Looking Forward to Looking Backward: Best Comments of 2011 January 1, 2012 12:43 AM   Subscribe

In the great tradition ("Bring to our attention that which we may have glossed over" and "Best overlooked comments of 2010") of finding overlooked gems on the blue, green and grey, please share your favorite finds of 2011.

As others have noted, your list should help us all discover great, funny, insightful or otherwise delightful comments that are deserving of more love.

My list:

carsonb's thoughts on sustainability evaluation
deadwax, on being that guy that makes things work
Mo Nickels's explanation of mental filters
seamus's list of meats in pastry
avagoyle's advice on packing for fieldwork
sperose's thoughts on confidence and competence
sepviva explains a little bit about playground design
johnnygunn's distinction between BFDs and OMGs made me smile
darlingbri reminded me that for dogs, quality of life in the moment is all
ocherdraco's memory of being caught between a leg lamp and a flock of angry wild turkeys
Devils Rancher explains community spirits
KokoRyu give us advice on teaching middle schoolers
mygothlaundry makes NPR sponsorship make sense
staggering termagant outlines how to be in the moment with a child
ohshenandoah's list of "Apocryphal Country Song Titles" is a classic
barrett caulk settles my long-running marital dispute about finishing chores by returning things to a state of maximum utility
saul goodman points out that country music once included the left
fatbird lays out how to be good enough

Cheers, thank you and let's see your picks!
posted by MonkeyToes to MetaFilter-Related at 12:43 AM (102 comments total) 137 users marked this as a favorite

Not sure if this meets the criteria of overlooked since it currently has 28 favorites, but nevertheless, I enjoyed witnessing the moment when benito.strauss coined a new and useful word.
posted by marsha56 at 3:04 AM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm too tired right now to do this right. Here's the first half-relevant thing I found.

Modern culture is just a boot stomping on a Human League shirt--forever.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:07 PM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites +]

posted by philip-random at 3:14 AM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Great plan. I'll have a look later when there's time.

We should also have a sub-group of best overlooked one-liners. I (, too,) am not a fan of one-linerism, but I'm definitely a fan of good one-liners once they've happened.
posted by Namlit at 6:05 AM on January 1, 2012

For pitch-perfect "says all that needs to be said" one-liners, I saw few in 2011 that surpassed cortex's observation about the video promoting the technological gee-whizzitude of the Scientology printing center.
posted by Trurl at 7:59 AM on January 1, 2012

Well, FishBike's mistake scale is hardly "overlooked," so I'll instead go with this wonderful little list of Victorian Sexy Slang.
posted by absalom at 9:06 AM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

This year, I liked plinth's pedantry, octothorpe's telling the young'uns about life pre-DVR and -VCR, pracowity's reassuring a Skype user, DU's assessment of the long-term prospects for a dodecahedron made of snow, WhackyparseThis' astute appraisal of why the Star Wars prequels could very easily not have sucked, adipocere's straightforward reasoning for not tossing your DVDs quite yet, atrazine's tart criticism of American valuation of free speech, Devils Rancher's worst gig ever and likewise mannequito's worst gig ever, Empress Callipygos' wonderment at a psychic power developed by a mefite, asparagirl's family connection to a tragic moment in history a century ago, Tin Man's views on the challenges future viewers of period piece TV shows face, and briank's recollection of what fandom was like pre-Fandom Inc.

AS well, there was VTX taking the words out of my mouth on global warming, Sys Rq's explanation of why a recurring pony request will obviously not work, sonic meat machine's perfect takedown of some arrant nonsense about military training, Homeboy Trouble's skepticism about my experiences before the Canadian federal election last year, filthy light thief's caution regarding relying on a dinosaur costume as defensive measure, Justinian's response to a Studio 60 criticism, FAMOUS MONSTER's ur-joke, philip-random's modesty, and dirigibleman's guess as to the end of a long day of grinding.

And because I know people enjoy paragraph breaks: I also liked Legomancer's reassurances to a concerned fan of movie talkers, Alvy Ampersand's word to the wise, Wolfdog's alternate explanation for a triumphant press release about the success of new anti-counterfeit measures, kmz echoing my own thoughts on a question about flags, smithsmith's summing up another mefite's statements on anti-terrorism, Capt. Renault's reminder of what this country lost when Jack Layton died, The Whelk's sublime insight into The Shining, and stinkycheese's frank assessment of Paul Williams' countenance.

There was also en forme de poire's echoing of my own thoughts on a helpful correction, codacorolla's insight into the difference between Captain America and Iron Man, aeschenkarnos' explanation of how Call of Cthulhu should work, a link from pts on how spy satellites worked in the pre-digital age, ShutterBun's reminder that essentially everyone who "was there on opening day" is liar, Bunny Ultramod's inquiry into an unresolved question, sourwookie cutting to the heart of Heinlen's plotting, cortex musing on a Markov-Mix-'n-Match, odinsdream rescuing a link from a deleted thread, shakespeherian expressing a depressingly common view on movies, angrycat expressing a depressingly uncommon view of exes, helmutdog pointing out that a great 1991 movie would have been a crappy 2011 movie, spock questioning a statement from another mefite, ROU Xenophobe's views on the bleakness of BSG, Flunkie's perfect review of Ishtar, and louche mustachio trying to wrap her head around how all the aspects of the marzipan pig work together.

Some of these were brilliant bits of comedy, some were amazing insights, some were other users expressing my views in better words than I could have. And all got favourite counts in single digits. I bring them to your attention for careful review.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:26 AM on January 1, 2012 [23 favorites]

ND¢ blasts threadshitters in the best way possible.
The only comment you need when a Monty Python AskMe accidentally goes to the Blue.
Tucked away as the last comment in a deleted thread, we learn the originator of the Madonna pap smear from Slacker is a Mefite. (This would be where I tip my hat to auto-correct as he had it linked in his profile for a while, but his account is disabled now (?) so the glory is mine!)
Best Harry Shearer Audience Participant contest.
Link to Drunken Monkey video.
Some nice eponystericality from Wolfdog.
Probably too many favourites, but this was my favourite response to the Gaga/Weird Al minifeud.
Neat wordplay in Simpson's newspaper headline I hadn't noticed before.
"I'm so unobservant my shabbos goy is a Jew."
A number (1 2 3 4 5 6) of faves from the recent lame rock star stories thread.

Oof too early. Next time wait a few days. That said I'm glad someone else posted this this year as despite my efforts to favorite more, my list is much shorter and not as awesome as last years.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:38 AM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

The missing 3.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:42 AM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have It's Raining Florence Henderson's misquotation bookmarked for whenever I need a quick giggle.
posted by troika at 9:50 AM on January 1, 2012

I love Meese's comment from "Sucks to be a Straight Guy."
posted by Ironmouth at 10:01 AM on January 1, 2012

Most of my favorites make no sense taken out of context, which makes me like them even more.

Here are a few that stand out in my world:

flarbuse's fantastic plan to save boxing (which have referenced to others several times)
ColdChef's touching "car-to-car" moment
Clinging to the Wreckage's trailer park story in the Meet Benjaman Kyle thread.
robocop is bleeding's toilet paper party game
OmieWise's long distance marathon dog story

But most of my favorites are usually smart-ass comments and oneliners:

Bunny Ultramod's script ideas for Warner
KevinSkomsvold's musical Jeopardy answer
GenjiandProust's chimptastic pun
Miko takes liberties with Johnny Cash
furiousxgeorge's Hurricane Irene shopping realization
The Tensor short and sweet response
flapjax at midnite's Sam the Anonymous Reno Truck Driver lyrics

Damn, I love this place
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:36 AM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

(All of these have fewer than 12 favorites at time of comment)

Bitter Old Punk's idea for a new episode of Celebrity Death Match.
Brandon Blatcher's comparison of MetaFilter moderation and Meerkat Manor.
Rock Steady, eponysterically doing a little East Coast swing.
Apparently only I noticed Spatch's genius here.
Scruss sums up Ticketmaster perfectly in seven words.
TheWhiteSkull occupies the Dark Side.
Herodios, I can't tell you how excited I was to see that someone else knows the "How old Cary Grant?" telegram story. "Old Cary Grant fine. How you?"
2bucksplus could get a job writing for Yakov Smirnoff if he ever told any new jokes.
As JHarris shows, I love any reference to the chicken-fox-grain problem.
.kobayashi. had the best of a great string of literary Dalek jokes. Literary Dalek Jokes is the name of my Paul and Storm cover band.
Wolfdog makes a joke that reminded me so perfectly of Mitch Hedberg, I memailed him to tell him so.
Wolfdog again, with a great library version of Damn You Autocorrect.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:40 AM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Nothing specific, but as I've been spending more and more time away form the site, when I do return, I stop immediately by sonascope's activity page to see what I've missed. If he's commented on it, usually both his comment and the post itself are worth reading.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:03 AM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here's some of the (admittedly relatively few) comments I've favorited over the past year:

jessamyn teaches me the meaning of democracy.
The Grimgrin scale of NSFW.
Holy fuck, Zarkonnen actually did it!
nasreddin on unlocking achievements in the game of academia.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:04 AM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

staggering termagant outlines how to be in the moment with a child

I think that's one of the best comments I've read this year.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:11 AM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

the quidnunc kid
posted by infini at 11:30 AM on January 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

flapjax at midnite at odd moments when only the Far East is awake

it just struck me that its not specific comments so much as the sideways angle, the lateral thought or the flight of fancy that captures my attention
posted by infini at 11:32 AM on January 1, 2012

arrant nonsense about military training

What I said is precisely what I was taught in the military and I stand by my statement as exact and true.

posted by phoque at 11:36 AM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Jessamyn's comment here has meant a lot to me.
posted by mintcake! at 11:48 AM on January 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

yellowbinder's comment in this very thread led me to The tube on you tube which is a fairly amazing thing as long as you are not eating when you watch it because it might cause you lose your appetite in that case.

The tube (metafilter user number 49078)
posted by bukvich at 12:01 PM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Tucked away as the last comment in a deleted thread, we learn the originator of the Madonna pap smear from Slacker is a Mefite. (This would be where I tip my hat to auto-correct as he had it linked in his profile for a while, but his account is disabled now (?) so the glory is mine!)

Still here! But that story is so cool, I think the glory belongs to everyone who stumbles onto it.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 12:21 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

These were some of my favorite favorites with fewer than 25 favorites.

Frowner on tattoos and aging
Meatbomb on the sexiest thing that has ever happened on this planet
Prospero on the most consistently subversive mainstream film director
SaraC on inappropriate historical crushes
Charmcityblues with a genius idea for utilizing double sinks
Pater Aletheias on religious con-men, or the lack thereof
posted by donnagirl at 12:25 PM on January 1, 2012

nicwolff on how to extend your life
furiousxgeorge on geometry and finance
blagerz with the best dating advice ever
yellowbinder with a great feature request
modernserf with some refreshing honesty
howfar explains Michael Bay
posted by no regrets, coyote at 1:35 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

I asked a question about why people listened to the biggest of big hair heavy metal.

Buzzman gave me the answer.

Not just AN answer. THE answer. To everything.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:36 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

auto-correct's story about his high-school teacher and "What is a writer?" .
posted by fings at 2:24 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm vain. I think the highpoint of my year was commenting on men who wear hats indoors.

What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed
posted by Ideefixe at 2:41 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Whelk's request for a travel buddy cracks me up.
posted by mannequito at 2:47 PM on January 1, 2012

I'm vain. I think the highpoint of my year was commenting on men who wear hats indoors.

Man I love threads like that; it's not often in life that the line between good and evil is so brightly drawn.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:03 PM on January 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

I favourited fewer things in 2011 than I thought I did, and most of them were one-line zingers or links to resources rather than in-depth comments like the ones being linked here. That said, here are my favourites:

Social issues etc:
At 164 favourites, not exactly overlooked, but Tarumba gives a pitch-perfect definition of 'privilege'.
sweetkid quoting Kelly Oxford on the difference in the way girls and boys are socialized to react to perceived setbacks.
Bugbread with a hilarious take on seeing an ultrasound of his kid for the first time.
The Devil Tesla on the lasting effect of the Kaycee Nicole saga.
Halloween Jack, getting fed up at people snarking about the trend of more and more people working from Starbucks rather than in Proper Workplaces.

Pop Culture:
charred husk on the cultural experience of liking Doctor Who back before it was popular.
Lovecraft in Brooklyn on the parallels between Steven Moffat and Amy Pond.
MegoSteve with the best comment about Community being put on hiatus.

Tech stuff:
crush-onastick about what NewNewTwitter means for its business model.
quin appreciating Steve Jobs' inherent tech geekery.
A Propos of Something on Facebook's "Like Culture" and what that means for our outfacing identities.

Human relations:
Medieval Maven, identifying the difference between being perfect, and being "fucking perfect".
reenka, on sometimes giving your partner the benefit of the doubt.
dortmunder, on how to understand the inherent worth present in everybody.

And finally, Greg Nog, with a charming and lighthearted story about an interviewing asking unexpected questions.
posted by Phire at 3:14 PM on January 1, 2012

my list is still kind of long despite repeated attempts to cull. sigh.

le morte de bea arthur on threadshitting
CynicalKnight on solar sails
jerseygirl on banned accounts
Burhanistan on engineering flaws
EmpressCallipygos on how metafilter makes risotto
Dreadnought on machine gun noises
StickyCarpet on interview questions
Mister_A on the awesomeness of genuine enthusiasm
rtha on tickling penguins
Parasite Unseen on the future of diversity
iamkimiam on how to tell the difference between muffins and cupcakes using SCIENCE
fleetmouse on Slayer
FAMOUS MONSTER on death rituals
sageleaf on betrayal by musical kittens
Powerful Religious Baby on afterpantsing
danny the boy on sadly unfulfilled expectations
not that girl on Soviet ice cream
mph on the Star Wars Holiday Special

EXTRA BONUS LOLS - the comment that makes me shriek with wild donkeylike laughter every single time I even so much as think about it, nathancaswell on the infuriating failures of technology

posted by elizardbits at 4:20 PM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

I have a terrible memory for these kind of things, but Cortex's most effective derail is something that still makes me laugh.
posted by litleozy at 4:26 PM on January 1, 2012

flarbuse's method of deciding what to do.
posted by fings at 4:43 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

DancesToBlue's comment about accepting the earthy details of life was quite beautiful, and unexpected in the middle of a post talking about fecal matter.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:51 PM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm super crazy psyched that I made it on Phire's list. Going to look now...
posted by sweetkid at 5:26 PM on January 1, 2012

I love these lists, and thanks to everyone who's contributed -- there's great stuff here I totally missed the first time around. A few of my 2011 favorites, with an emphasis on those that didn't get a ton of favorites and/or space on the sidebar:

Eyebrows McGee provides excellent advice for creative types.
Jessamyn makes with the helpful common sense on decluttering one's life (a very useful link to revisit at this time of year)
Dee Xtrovert's amazing comment on the survivalist mentality, from someone who's already lived through the worst, was much-favorited but doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet and is too good not to include.
Smedleyman (who is pretty consistently one of my favorite commenters) provides lengthy, informed advice, specifically for a woman terrified that her rapist will re-attack her but broadly helpful to anyone interested in self-defense.
Rory Marinich speaks for me on the topic of civility in hot-button internet debates.
Valkyryn on why killfiles are antithetical to civic virtue.
I loved Taz's grace under pressure (responding to this from Brandon Blatcher) in a snarly contentious MeTa thread where she was taking a fair bit of heat.
And FunkyHelix has clearly lived through more than her share of fandom wars, and I salute her as a fellow veteran.
posted by Kat Allison at 6:13 PM on January 1, 2012

Grimbling. "At least things are funny now."
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:37 PM on January 1, 2012

-The best part is that Italian Greyhounds totally walk like AT-ATs if you put boots on them.
posted by rolandcrosby at 8:23 AM

Some others that make not as much sense without context, but-eh, not really on a theme, an odd mix.

-It's just... like, I don't want to sound condescending here, but... it's REALLY REALLY EASY to not upload dick pics to the internet.

-The American Library Association is pretty slack when it comes to verifying titles for new members. So, for the last five years I've been a Colonel.

-Foreign language equivalent to TOEFL?

-"CREATING REPLY INTERFACE". In the future, Microsoft still doesn't get it.

-The demand for transparency assumes that the role of language is/should be simply to accurately reflect/transmit thinking, as opposed to, say, provoke thinking.

-If you want a redemptive, fair prison system, one without unnecessary incarcerations, one with some belief in the power of people to change and without abuses then you have to reconcile yourself with the fact that some of those people who are being redeemed are people whose crimes unsettle you.

-"I don't understand what shutting down the port was supposed to accomplish".
The port of Oakland has a recent history of being a place to protest:

-Anti-pseudonym bingo.

-Back in 2005, when I was midway through my failed attempt to transition from being a cubicle farming government contract drone to being a gentleman craftsman and building contractor, and as the reserves I'd set aside for this project were dwindling, I whipped up a set of spreadsheets and starting running numbers.

-One of the things that I'm sad will get lost in the swirling chaos of half-educated journalists trying to write clever memorial pieces about Jobs where they'll credit him with inventing the personal computer, inventing the MP3 player, and inventing the tablet-format computer is that, in all that misinformation and complete, knuckleheaded hurried-deadline ignorance is that what they'll almost all leave out is the one thing that I believe is his real, lasting gift to the world.
It's not what he envisioned, or what he said "yes" to. It's what he refused.

posted by infinite intimation at 6:55 PM on January 1, 2012

Ha! I forgot about that comment. Did that calendar ever get made?
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:59 PM on January 1, 2012

Dojie's comment about how her great-grandparents made Santa real for their kids is fantastic.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:16 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

fullerine made me giggle nervously when he gave zoe and joe the what's what.

I like to pretend that I wrote sonascope's comment about off-the-grid daydreams.
posted by ian1977 at 7:37 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oops. I guess 400some favorites isn't exactly overlooked. My bad.
posted by ian1977 at 7:44 PM on January 1, 2012

Thanks, MonkeyToes! I've been looking forward to this year's round of overlooked comments. It's interesting, going through my favorites -- I had a lot of popular stuff favorited this year, but of possibly overlooked comments:

I was amused by ArmyOfKittens on eating tea, sephira's tech-challenged boss, Babblesort on the phallocentricity of Tetris, and Rat Spatula's vision of Sarah Palin when the Elder Things rise.

And in the "right on!" category, I have rogerd on Studio Ghibli (+ DU's comment immediately after) and Frowner on "THAT is why queer spaces."

Also, while it wasn't exactly overlooked, I thought I'd ask if anyone took cortex up on his sampler suggestion before I dust off my needlepoint gear.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:55 PM on January 1, 2012

rock on, little orc. (by troll).
rock on, ben. (lots of my favorites are doled out in MefiChi IRLs).
does the pope live in the woods? (by IRFH)

Professor Derrick Bell and true courage of conviction (by ferdyduke).
a stranger perfectly articulates why the Beach Boys always left me cold (by jakey)
piercing insight into the human condition (by mr adamdschneider)
because words have meaning (by francesca too)

insight with giggles
the way to food madness (by elsa)
posted by crush-onastick at 8:32 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Dear lord. I favorited 9000 comments and posts this year. Sifting through them is gonna take a while.

Here are a few:

Faint of Butt:
"It is pitch black in the Watergate Hotel."
Eideteker on the most important letter in a sentence.

elizardbits LOVES FISH TACOS

bardophile on Benazir Bhutto.

kyrademon on laws with a mostly religious reason behind them. [citation needed] with a followup on laws related to debt and lending.

Iridic: The John Wayne Movie Quality Test

LN on the real meaning of BotP.

norm talks back to the radio in his car....

Odiv answers the age-old question, "Is there a female version of Gonzo?"

birdherder explains why the NYT got rid of Safire.

Cheminatrix nails it.

What Cat Pie Hurts has learned from MeFi. Nanukthedog.

griphus on boring fpp's

Legomancer: "I'm sorry, Mr. Plotnik, but your research has been invalidated..."

Ironmouth doesn't read the link. Then he does.
posted by zarq at 8:45 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

running order squabble fest on Ripley in Aliens.

Rory Marinich on Calvin and Hobbes.

grouse on the metaphor of dying on a hill and how it needs to die. Presumably on a hill.
posted by Drastic at 8:53 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

"It is pitch black in the Watergate Hotel."

You do realize that is a reference to classic comedy around here (or else he just stole the joke, but I doubt that)
posted by furiousthought at 9:19 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Odiv answers the age-old question, "Is there a female version of Gonzo?"

I always thought Absolutely Fabulous had a lot of that.
posted by philip-random at 9:23 PM on January 1, 2012

In chronological order (some of these are less overlooked than others):

-DU has a pithy takedown of alumni contributions to football
-yeti has awesome ROM-facilitated revenge on classic Oregon Trail
-functionequalsform reminds us that Metafilter is responsible for introducing many of us to the wonder that is Prisencolinensinainciusol (oll raight!).
-kagredon has an amusing description of Anonymous
-adipocere puts together a scale so we can know how excited to be by the latest news reports of flying cars and jetpacks
-KingEdRa has an insightful comment about singles and their role in church
-2bucksplus breaks down networking into something understandable and, more importantly, doable
-kittens for breakfast has a hilarious comment in which he coins the term 'godotaur'
-hippybear quotes Eisenhower in a comment on what we lose to a culture absorbed by war
-not that girl explains compromise in relationships through the "My 100% would be" idea
-emjaybee wonders aloud about the wisdom of creating angry, disenfranchised, educated young people
-UboRivas tells us an incredible story of an Australian rugby player who was also an undercover cop at the same time
-jonmc offers a short and not-very-sweet response to high-minded ideas of western travel
-paulsc reminds us that our parents came from somewhere and that somewhere might like to know that they lost one of their own
-GenjiandProust hilariously gives voice to the outraged cat whose human just laughed at it
-Errant explains why a pitcher walking a batter could be disastrous
-Justinian points out that we all look like idiots in one field (computers) or another (dWAR calculation in baseball)
-furiousxgeorge puts to words what a lot of us were feeling about the 9/11 anniversary
-The Whelk describes a common syndrome afflicting Americans in the UK
-straight takes the bullshit out of "men are so clueless about [historically female-gendered task]"
-Memo lays out the thought process of the broke and thrifty
-gauche muses about what his children won't have that his parents did
posted by librarylis at 10:23 PM on January 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Comments I remember from this year that were criminally neglected:
shushufindi's comment asking why San Francisco is the way it is, especially with regard to homeless outreach and SROs in the Mission. I moved to SF this year from the East Coast and this comment really summed up my inability to understand how the city works.

DanCall for suggesting the movie Salesman, which I later watched on Netflix. Thanks!

Bookhouse, for confirming my own sanity: I Am Legend is not about zombies!

tumid dahlia great comment on the Netflix/Quikster fiasco didn't get enough love: Qwikster sounds like a spoon made out of delicious chocolate or strawberry or banana and you put it in your glass of milk and you stir it until it dissolves and you have chocolate milk and one less bit of washing up and you drink it and mmm, chocolate milk!

Hogshead for defending The Life Aquatic in the "When Bad Films Happen to Good Directors" post.

Inspector.Gadget (also in the Netflix/Quikster thread) because I'm a sucker for this kind of shorthand.

Durn Bronzefist, with a comment that still made me giggle right now (George Carlin thread, comment is about Louis C.K.)

falameufilho "outer borough dumbass". I was the only person to favorite that comment but he is absolutely right.

Ad hominem; gets it w/r/t cheap hardware and the future of cloud computing.

threeants: no don't call the big deal law firm you just joined and ask about the dresscode.

griphus for caring about language even in the East Coast Earthquakopolypse thread.

Iron Mouth, preach: I deal with the every day. Tech journalism is incredibly shoddy. What's $3 Billion between friends?

danny the boy: I felt like I was taking crazy pills until I read your comments in the Vodka thread.

Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory lifts the curtain on, well, the nonsense factory.

GuyZero, for my new favorite quote: “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

Gator, I'm glad somebody said it about the poor editing in the Mumbai blasts thread.

Flood, for summing Breaking Bad's faults so I didn't have to.

jacquilynne: It's called a Filter for a reason.

edheil: Sometimes the first comment says exactly what I'm thinking.

furiousxgeorge: I just really liked the tone of this comment. It's something I would say (because I am also a jerk).

Celsius1414: I had just started a new job the week prior, and this well-timed fart joke gave me a giggle fit that was hard to explain.

crunchland wonders where the old mefites have gone. Indeed, one day perhaps we'll all be just a memory.

StopMakingSense: too bad the image is down, anyone remember it? Another U.S. presidential candidates baloney thread.

IjonTichy: real talk about Half Life 2

BitterOldPunk: posted the "right" answer to posted question "how do MeFites keep up with all the content in time to participate in commenting". (And I suspect the underlying question; do people even bother to read the content of posts before commenting. Yes, we did, days ago in our RSS feeders). This comment was largely overlooked but is important to remember.

two lights above the sea, yep MetaTalk can be like that.

Rykey: I keep coming back to this rendition of Van Lennon /Imagine a Jump.

odinsdream for the first big laugh of 2011 (and troll on a pony for not changing the tags after the fact!) Who will deliver the first big laugh of 2012? The answer could be you.
Yikes. I, like the turtle, will expand to fit any space provided to me.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:36 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Interested in many things but master of none? Read the manifesto of nattie's and join the club.
posted by Kerasia at 10:40 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you all for recognizing some of my overlooked comments but there are a lot more and they all need more favorites.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:11 PM on January 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

This is a good thing - I would have never found nor read bardophile's excellent comment otherwise
posted by infini at 11:13 PM on January 1, 2012

EvaDestruction: I thought I'd ask if anyone took cortex up on his sampler suggestion before I dust off my needlepoint gear.

Yes indeed! (And there's even a photo.) Impressive work by piratebowling.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:02 AM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Pogo_Fuzzybutt muses on gay culture and generation gaps.

showbiz_liz, on being a teenager and the benefits of making friends on the internet.

This series of comments between Kikkoman and fraula; each of the individual comments are lovely in their own right, but even better taken as a whole.

malocchio posted an eerie story about Luis Jimenez, sculptor of the giant blue horse in front of Denver International Airport.

deep thought sunstar's comment about living in Erie during the Brian Wells tragedy wasn't really overlooked (it got sidebarred), but if you missed it, go read. Related: obiwanwasabi's weirdly prescient comment from January.

ian1977 had a great one-liner about Real Life Super Heroes Villains.

Highlights from the very long OWS thread during and after the evacuation of Zuccotti Park: loquacious on freedom of assembly; stagewhisper's recounting of events; Stitcherbeast interprets "passive recreation"; kaibutsu shares a song; Durn Bronzefist points out something chilling; formless talks about his dad's story and OWS; and cmyk posts a very insightful comment on why OWS protesters don't look the other way during confrontations with the police.

emjaybee lays down some truth about women and advertising.

potsmokinghippieoverlord tells us about going to see Alien: "All I knew was John Hurt was in it! Yay! I love John Hurt!"

Rory Marinich and NoraReed each posted several great comments about why and how Harry Potter became so important.

sonascope plays Proust, but with grilled cheese instead of madeleines.
posted by kagredon at 12:06 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

My submissions for the less-favourited comments that made me laugh a lot:
  • KathrynT's observations about the parallels between childbirth and cooking
  • the reason no one sits next to dlugoczaj's ex on the bus anymore
  • hal9k's unorthodox but inventive recipe for ortolan
  • The Whelk on anxiety groupons
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:27 AM on January 2, 2012

This is a good thing - I would have never found nor read bardophile's excellent comment otherwise

FYI, that was not the only great comment from bardophile in that thread. Suggest you ctrl-f to read them all, if you're not in the mood to read the whole Bin Laden thread.
posted by zarq at 12:40 AM on January 2, 2012

I have literally thousands of favourites in 2011, but Sonascope's comment and the sense of community support from sharing stories that came about in the bullying thread was a standout and meant a lot to me.
posted by arcticseal at 2:02 AM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've enjoyed these so much I feel obliged to share my own. These are almost all of the comments I favorited from last year, which in the grand scheme of things is not a lot, and certainly doesn't include every good comment - just the ones that seemed particularly funny or touching or important to me.

Eyebrows McGee on how unworried she was about getting flue jabs while pregnant, partly thanks to a choice quotation from Benjamin Franklin about the importance of inoculations.

VikingSword's wonderful rewriting of 1 Corinthians about the passings of social networks.

Nattie on the horror of our relationships with robots.

Salishea's classic story of confronting racism and how "opinions are so often just a front for something else, the yawning abyss of ignorance."

Kirjava's comment on what was lost in the destruction in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. "People often think that once something's been found and put in a museum, that's it's purposed fulfilled. Someone must have recorded it, studied it at some point, right? Wrong."

Stonepharisee's retelling of Paul Churchland's mind-blowing exercise on how to use the planets and moons to remind you where you are, and which way is 'up'.

Mr. Bad Example channels Chaucer and mixes him with his inner comic-reading gamer geek.

Tumid Dahlia on why our Germanic schooling system is more to blame for short attention spans than TV or computer games or the web.

Eriko's classic discursion on where military operation names come from and why it is crucially important to randomise them, as shown by Britain's exploit of Germany's rather too literal operation names.

Ambrosia Voyeur's brilliant imagining of the Alien prequel, Prometheus. Deserves an award for its use of the word 'laserhat'.

FAMOUS MONSTER's ripping yarn about how Cortex cracked yet another criminal mastermind's evil plans. One for the casebooks, indeed!

Wuwei on the importance of simulacra to Americans with regard to violent movies, videogames, and fighting sports, and how that crumbles when faced with actual competence and a genuine threat.

Jessamyn on how ". Real life goes on..."

Poet_Lariat's short but sweet
Time Lord Paradise: "As I walk through the valley of the Shadow Proclamation, I realize there's time for a new regeneration..."

FishBike's use of the Sieve of Erastosthene's algorithm to find primes faster than the other kids in the class, and brilliantly, get a teacher called a fucking idiot. (NB: We used this somewhere in The Code because I thought it was so neat).

Flunkie on Jimmy Carter's quoting of Jesus about having 'lusted in my heart' and how it means that we all have failings, even the best of us.

notion on what it means to be poor. "Poor people aren't worried about antioxidants and a balanced diet. They're worried about having water and electricity and heat in the winter. They are worried about how to miraculously make it through another week without losing their minds, or their children..."

Warbaby on London looters using classic swarm tactics, using T.E. Lawrence's writings on the subject of armies versus insurgencies.

John Wilkins about atheists in church, and why priests were considered secular because they actively participated in the public. Contains a beautiful, haunting final paragraph on "grand dreams about the possibilities of the human spirit".

Valkryryn's thoughtful discussion about the moral problems of debt and how religions have handled it. "First, when dealing with the truly poor, one does not lend at all. One gives, and gives generously. Period. Anything less is actually viewed as a form of robbery, as a violation of the Eighth Commandment." Articulated a lot of things that I agreed with but had trouble expressing.

Smedleyman highly anticipated comment/essay on the epic Marine Expeditionary Unit vs. the Roman Empire debate. Contains the wonderful phrase "But it's f'ing AUGUSTUS CAESAR." Sit back and enjoy the ride, because it's classic Mefi.

Wuwei (again) on what Bitcoin is and isn't, and how the dream world of libertarians wouldn't be all what they want. A good defense of the common good.

Ictus on how the modern protest movement is similar to a cargo cult.

Charlie don't surf about how Doctor Who has become a kiddie show and has precious few moments of genuine wonderment left.

Frowner on the twisted logic of capitalists.

Nickrussell on the neuroscience and psychology of introverts and extroverts.

Nodoby imagines what we'll all be like in 30 years when our 'nearly obsolete nano-implant gets stuck on entertainment mode again'. So kids, don't make fun of your parents and grandparents who don't know how to use computers!

Spitbull's excellent advice on why you should get your kids into music - "don't worry about what music, what instrument, or even whether it's in school or out of school."

Hototogisu's find of an anecdote from Martin Amis about Christopher Hitchens. Probably the best and most fun one I've heard.

Alison, a computational linguist, on how she's bringing up her 10 month old daughter with two languages (a third coming) and sign language. Plus lots of hugs. Note to self: must do this if/when I have kids.

I've been a member of many different online communities back from the days of 2400 baud modems and Echonet, through to Usenet, the Well, countless web forums, and newer ones like Reddit. There are plenty of good communities out there, but Metafilter has been one of the most persistent open communities I've seen, thanks no in small part to the care people take with their comments and the efforts of the mods.

Whenever I hear people worrying about the demise of Mefi, I marvel at how people have written such fantastic comments here for a decade. In my opinion they as funny, as informed, and as thoughtful as anything you'll see casually dashed off in columns and blog posts read by millions (including those dashed off by myself). More people should see what's written here - it would make people's lives brighter and deeper.
posted by adrianhon at 5:24 AM on January 2, 2012 [10 favorites]

Poop - I made an HTML error in the post above, the ones with Jessamyn and poet_lariat should be:

Jessamyn on how "winning and closure are often for fiction and sports. Real life goes on..."

Poet_Lariat's short but sweet Time Lord Paradise: "As I walk through the valley of the Shadow Proclamation, I realize there's time for a new regeneration..."
posted by adrianhon at 5:28 AM on January 2, 2012

adrianhod, the one about ALIEN is from 2008.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:38 AM on January 2, 2012

Nickrussell on the neuroscience and psychology of introverts and extroverts.

Jpfed's take down of the misguided science in nickrussell's comment deserved way more attention than it received.
posted by logicpunk at 6:34 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bookhouse, for confirming my own sanity: I Am Legend is not about zombies

I think you can say that I Am Legend helped to inspire the modern Romero zombie worldview (global pandemic, humans reduced to a tiny minority, extinction of the human race imminent, society totally collapsed) while also acknowledging that it does not itself feature zombies.

Sorry. Geek sidetrack.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:55 AM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Nickrussell on the neuroscience and psychology of introverts and extroverts.

Jpfed's take down of the misguided science in nickrussell's comment deserved way more attention than it received.
posted by logicpunk at 9:34 AM on January 2 [+] [!]

Pffft. Both Nickrussell and Jpfed are talking pseudoscience.
posted by spitbull at 9:40 AM on January 2 [+] [!]

I missed all of that because I had hit my limit earlier on in the thread -- nothing alienates me more on metafilter than the introvert/extrovert debate (I'm an extrovert, but laughing about it, in OKCupid speak) -- but I was glad to see the discomfort about sidebarring nickrussel's comment.
posted by sweetkid at 9:31 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had forgotten about that thread and sidebarring and all of it. "Short pathways" WTF? Unbelievable. I studied visual neuroscience in a department of psychology for 4 years - and had to take most of the psych/social psych courses, too. What nickrussell was posting in that thread was so out there wrong and full of the worst psychology pseudoscience that I actually had to take a walk to keep myself from going after it.

Even the most bullshit-filled of my profs would vehemently disagree with most or all of what was being said. Glad someone went after it because I couldn't have done it without getting ugly. Ivan Fyodorovich said what I would have imagined I could say on a calm day.

Anytime anyone reads something of this nature in a popular magazine or blog this paragraph should echo through their mind:

"The problem with all this is that, in general, the science of the biology of personality and behavior is crap. It just is. What real science there is, is very preliminary and speculative... It's not ... that the underlying theoretical structure of the field is unsound, it's the combination of the fact that the science that's being done is preliminary, the research is often poorly designed and statistically confused, a lot of this sort of research is funded and performed by people with very suspect ideological biases, and, lastly and most importantly, it's inevitably fed to the general public in extremely misleading ways.

So it unfortunately blends smoothly from actual science all the way into superstitious self-help crap. Citations by themselves are not trustworthy in this context because even the established science is not very trustworthy.
posted by fake at 10:32 AM on January 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Perhaps lost in the thousand-comment 12/15 MetaTalk thread was P.o.B.'s comment "I don't know about you guys, but if a muthafucker "beep boop"s in my face then he is one dead robot."

I laugh aloud every time I think about it.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:52 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

TwoFewShoes's simple yet genius advice about thank-you notes

FunkyHelix's lament about superior knitters

Devils Rancher's chili boasting

Flaterik bemoans the limits of his husbandry budget and The Owls speaks on behalf of his peeps and and IAmBroom identifies a new dream job

TurkeyGlue shares a homemade bacon-curing recipe

cmoj shows up with a fancy ass-chair

Namlit offers poetic description of winter darkness in Sweden

litlnemo finds The Cape Coat in the haystack

EmpressCallipygos introduces Sam Yakabootchie to the world
posted by argonauta at 11:35 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Short pathways" WTF?

I tried to come up with a valid interpretation of that, and I suspect he meant something like "a short (in terms of transmission time or in terms of # of interneurons) feedforward path from sensory input to motor output, ignoring feedbacks."
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 11:57 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pffft. Both Nickrussell and Jpfed are talking pseudoscience.
posted by spitbull at 9:40 AM on January 2 [+] [!]

I believe my comment was consistent with the current state of psychology research, but I must admit that my only experience as a researcher was as in a language lab and in a perception lab.

What do you see as problematic in my comment?
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 12:11 PM on January 2, 2012

shakespeherian's initial query, If an average-sized human body were rolled into a sphere, how big would that sphere be? is odd enough to begin with, but metaBugs' Google Interview-style response, It depends how determinedly you're squishing the person, shows just how twisted science can get.
posted by carsonb at 12:16 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

er, take it to MeTa?
posted by infini at 12:32 PM on January 2, 2012

> er, take it to MeTa?

Ha ha infini you are too funny. Someday someone should post a pony request for a meta meta talk talk so proper metatalk discussions can be ported elsewhere and not derail.

Anyway the remarkable think about the short pathway comment was it got sidebarred, then it got un-sidebarred when sidebarring it raised up such a fuss. It was the only time I recall seeing something get un-sidebarred.
posted by bukvich at 12:43 PM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

May be the only time that has happened, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:49 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I got happy when Jessamyn offered links to Sideshow Bob rake noises in two different languages in this comment.. That noise is an instant-recognition thing between me, my son, and one of my cousins, and it was sweet to have it appear here.

And this comment by bondcliff (Legofilter) was nice&witty.
posted by Namlit at 1:40 PM on January 2, 2012

One standout comment immediately sprung to mind for me: holdkris99's incredibly heartwarming story about buying his father part-ownership in the Green Bay Packers*.

* interest in American football not required at all.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:55 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

(OK, that wasn't really overlooked, but it may have been overlooked by anybody not interested in reading a thread about football)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:02 PM on January 2, 2012

This comment from jscott about his work with the Internet Archive among other things is pretty cool.
posted by Sailormom at 2:03 PM on January 2, 2012

I was fascinated by:

- fake's comment about how surviving emergencies can change one's personality
- MuffinMan's interesting description of how in some ways the US right "gets it"
- many comments in this thread on how to listen with empathy including this (not exactly underappreciated) model dialogue by thinkingwoman
- fantasticninety's descrition of how to win respect in the classroom
- IRFH's funny rejoinder to Miko's breakup advice
- diode's guide to being an apartment manager
posted by salvia at 3:36 PM on January 2, 2012

I have assembled my list. I was slackerly and may have included things that were already here, but my hardandfast rule was under ten favorites....

- every time I get a little crabby with hal_c_on, I go back and read this sweet comment.
- beschizza speaks the truth "Haha, our mods would totally delete this."
- SpacemanStix made me giggle for days for some reason with this simple ASCII pic ò_ó --> o_o
- MattRainwaters shows up to say thanks to people who appreciated his photos of people and their catfish.
- katillathehun is who I want by my side in a jungle full of angry tigers.
- Rhaomi has the perfect answer to the "Should I climb the statue of liberty" question.
- jewzilla's "is this the flu" resolving comment "Everyone gets a correct answer, except me, I am going to bed."
- XMLicious managed to "avoid being the TMI guy." Excellent.
- Bwithh had a good "how to get started with Wikipedia" comment that I refer to.
- Because: "I do reptile rescue and own eight snakes myself (oh be quiet, they're small)"
- A sweet comment by SamanthaK about not always doing what the vet suggests [pet death story, fyi]
- Galaxor Nebulon states: The other 90% of your brain is used for storing penguins.
- yeti talks about seeing the Presidents of the United States of America show and how they totally owned it.
- PhoBwankenobi talks about learning to give up desires for things you will not get, and how wishing is the opposite of zen.
- TwelveTwo suggests eating a bear.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:20 PM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

jessamyn: every time I get a little crabby with hal_c_on, I go back and read this sweet comment.

Oh geez, that's just about the sweetest thing ever.
posted by Kattullus at 6:23 PM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

I would like to point out that my weird stupid AskMe question was actually research for a weird stupid story I was writing at the time.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:58 PM on January 2, 2012

I am disappointed that it was not personal supervillainy research.
posted by elizardbits at 7:15 PM on January 2, 2012

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:24 PM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.

I also expect you to exhale completely, this thing's only got a 10 inch radius.
posted by Think_Long at 7:48 PM on January 2, 2012

"You're completely mad, Scorpio!"
"I wouldn't point fingers, you jerk!"
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:06 PM on January 2, 2012

I also expect you to exhale completely, this thing's only got a 10 inch radius.

Is that a deathray in your pocket or
posted by shakespeherian at 9:19 PM on January 2, 2012

I knew this post had to be here. I been losing favorites all day as people trade up and favorite better shit.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:39 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Guess I shouldn't feel bad about getting un-favorited, not like I got un-sidebarred.

Still, feels bad man.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:51 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Come come now, Mr. Bond, we both know you derive just as much pleasure from posting comments as I do.
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:50 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Horace Rumpole on the mod code.

pb responding to the charge of mundanity because he takes a lunch.

flapjax at midnite on what we get when we get access to everything all the time.

alby on FTL.

The Dune/Big Lebowski mashup had me rolling. cortex's comment particularly hit it.
posted by OmieWise at 7:01 AM on January 3, 2012

ohshenandoah's list of "Apocryphal Country Song Titles" is a classic

Oh great, I some how mercifully missed a "hokiest country music"(and the ensuing day listening to terrible country music) thread the first time around, only to hear about it months later.

The over-under on how many times I listen to "Chatahoochie" today is 12.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:23 AM on January 3, 2012

I'd like to apologize to the state of Georgia for that spelling of Chattahoochee. In my defense, it's early on what's effectively a Monday.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:31 AM on January 3, 2012

This comment from Jessamyn, and the pamphlet it links to, has helped my marriage. I'm constantly dealing with clueless users at work, and that's part of my job, but when I get home and my wife is having trouble with something on her computer often the last thing I want to do is deal with another problem and I'm often impatient with her. She's not a very easy user to work with as she shuts down and gets emotional when she's frustrated. So you have a tired, impatient me and my frustrated wife and it makes for an explosive combination.

Reading that comment and pamphlet has taught me how to approach things differently and to deal with her computer problems much more patiently. Since reading that I haven't grabbed her mouse or keyboard once!
posted by bondcliff at 9:12 AM on January 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

reverend john made me laugh
posted by The Whelk at 8:03 AM on January 5, 2012

Late to the thread I know, but the wifi in west Texas where I've been sojourning for the last week is unpredictable. Things I've "bookmarked":

Skygazer's take on Ayn Rand
syzygy: You've been CADDO'D (because he beat me to the punch)
msalt with a warning about Nickelback
bilabial talks about addiction in the generally excellentCaught between Recovery and the Coffin thread
rain: I'm grateful for these year-end best of lists. It would be shameful to like the wrong things.
Linda_Holmes notes that Someone made KnittingWithDagmarAndLaura.com into a real site.
So many times in the last year I've heard/seen teabaggers ask "but where do we draw the line?" Flunkie has a pretty good response.
I've always generally loved it when MetaFilter is described or explained in rhyming verse, and SpiffyRob does that well here.
I'm a sucker for a good pun - stebulus: Whatchacallit, a loot bicker.
Poet_Lariat provides some good old righteous indignation.

That's just back through november.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:25 PM on January 5, 2012

It'll take me a long time to make a meaningful contribution to this thread (I favorite things pretty promiscuously), but until I can construct that, I loved justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow's explanation in the Doctor Who Infographic thread that Barbera, one of the original companions, sort of is the original Doctor.
posted by JHarris at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2012

justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow is clearly another Time Lord as s/he posted that comment in 2012.
posted by arcticseal at 11:38 PM on January 8, 2012

Ah, true. I guess I can wait a year.
posted by JHarris at 2:38 AM on January 9, 2012

I've been thinking about this for a few days, and probably the one comment that has most stuck with me this year is this comment by unSane in the null terminated memorial thread. I find few things more touching than seeing someone grapple with a state of mind or point of view that is foreign to their way of thinking, in this case null terminated's feelings about the abuse he suffered. Sincere attempts to understand other human beings are beautiful.
posted by Kattullus at 8:56 AM on January 16, 2012

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