Oh goody. Another one of these threads. April 24, 2013 10:36 AM   Subscribe

A comment of mine was just deleted. Normally, meh.

But this one apparently warranted a square-brackets small text stop doing bad things explanation, which doesn't match up to what was deleted.
Deletion notice: [Comment removed, please can we not turn a "here's a nice song" post into a "Israel sucks" debate.]

Full text of deleted comment:
I dunno. This song in the context of Israel leaves a bad taste in my mouth. "This is what you get when you mess with us" comes across a tad more serious in the land of perpetual retaliation.
Completely on topic for a post about a "middle-east-ified" cover of that particular song recorded by Israeli artists. Did not spur any "Israel sucks" debate, nor was it intended to.

I don't mean to be all "CENSORED ALL MY LIFE" here, and I get that I/P is a pain in the ass thing to have to moderate, but, like, I really don't know what to make of this. Are we just flat out not allowed to even imply that I/P issues exist at all, ever?
posted by Sys Rq to Etiquette/Policy at 10:36 AM (125 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Oh, duh: Thread in question.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:37 AM on April 24, 2013


It's a total tonal departure from the content of the actual post, which is about a cover of a song that someone liked and other covers of that song.

I think you are wildly underestimating how much of a provocation toward a nasty argument it is to make one the first responses to "check out this neat music video" a comment about Israel's geopolitical posture. Your comment was getting flagged immediately, this is not just me having some sort of personal moment.

Are we just flat out not allowed to even imply that I/P issues exist at all, ever?

No, and that's an absurd conclusion to draw. There is no shortage of I/P discussion on this site already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:40 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did not spur any "Israel sucks" debate

Yes, because it was deleted. It was posted early in the thread and I would have bet $100 it would have sparked a "Israel sucks/no it doesn't" debate in the thread if it was left up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:42 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I totally get where you're picking up bad vibes from, but there's hope for that thread to be not completely awful and a discussion about Israeli singers echoing a line from a Radiohead song would have snuffed out that hope completely. Not to mention the lyric is meant to sound sinister: it's sung from a person in power who's snuffing out the less powerful. It's not a proud or boastful line.

I'm surprised the opening comment in that thread was allowed to stand, since it seemed like a threadshit right out the door, but everybody else seems to've ignored it and things are going alright. Yay!
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:44 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Characterizing a country as "the land of perpetual retaliation" seems a bit inflammatory, no?
posted by payoto at 10:46 AM on April 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Characterizing a country as "the land of perpetual retaliation" seems a bit inflammatory, no?

Being nice and being accurate are two different things. As for inflammatory, that's subjective and if we delete every possibly inflammatory comment then there's not going to be much left around here.

Although I do sort of get that the site is basically slowly moving towards a complete banning of any discussion of Israel/Palestine which is too bad, but I guess we still get to read profanity-laced sorority tirades.
posted by GuyZero at 10:50 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Although I do sort of get that the site is basically slowly moving towards a complete banning of any discussion of Israel/Palestine which is too bad, but I guess we still get to read profanity-laced sorority tirades.

Hey, if those people can't control themselves, what else can we do?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:53 AM on April 24, 2013


Hey, if those people can't control themselves, what else can we do?

I'm sincerely at a complete loss about how to interpret this comment. Who are "those people" and what exactly should they be controlling?
posted by GuyZero at 10:54 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Israeli sorority sisters, duh
posted by found missing at 10:57 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are we just flat out not allowed to even imply that I/P issues exist at all, ever?

Nope, you just need to be mindful of the fact that this is a topic that has a tendency to start big huge fights on MeFi and so dropping maybe-not-meant-that-way-but-unclear comments early in a thread on a different subject entirely is maybe not the best way to move forward. So, talk about I/P stuff when it comes up and is appropriate. Bringing it up early in a thread that by all accounts is mostly something totally different, not that great.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:00 AM on April 24, 2013


Sys Rq: "Did not spur any "Israel sucks" debate, nor was it intended to."

I got halfway through a "that's kinda inappropriate given the topic of the thread; do you have to drag an I/P discussion where it doesn't belong?" response to you when your comment was deleted. So I didn't bother to finish it. But yeah if it hadn't been axed, I would have been right there discussing it.
posted by zarq at 11:02 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


the site is basically slowly moving towards a complete banning of any discussion of Israel/Palestine which is too bad

If anything, I'd say we're moving towards banning discussions of Israel/Palestine in threads that weren't directly about Israel/Palestine. Seems like a pretty significant difference to me.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:03 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


...but I guess we still get to read profanity-laced sorority tirades.

Why does this keep coming up? Almost every time there's a Serious Issue Deletion MeTa, it is invariably compared to some other (usually innocuous) post that has absolutely zero bearing on the Serious Issue at hand.

MetaFilter isn't the nightly news or a newspaper. We don't have to fit everything into a half-hour or inches of page. There is not a single type of post that is in danger of being crowded out of the site because people like other things.
posted by griphus at 11:03 AM on April 24, 2013 [24 favorites]


Who are "those people" and what exactly should they be controlling?

The people who turn I/P threads into complete messes should definitely be controlling what they type and strive for less emotion driven comments.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:04 AM on April 24, 2013


And for that matter, a Serious Issue post has no more or less right to be on the front page than anything else the community finds interesting.
posted by griphus at 11:08 AM on April 24, 2013


I guess my whole issue is that they could have chosen any song at all to mid-easternize, and they chose that one, which seems like either a) poorly thought out, or b) intentionally inflammatory.

The comment was a criticism of that choice. It wasn't "Israel sucks," it was "This cover of this song makes me uncomfortable, and here's why." If someone with poor reading comprehension were to respond to that with I/P fightiness, then start deleting from their comment. But this wasn't that, and to suggest that it is just seems really weird to me.

My comment was completely, 100% on topic. Just because the OP didn't bring up the context doesn't mean there isn't one.

But yeah if it hadn't been axed, I would have been right there discussing it.

All due respect, zarq, that's your problem.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:09 AM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Except in practice you cannot abdicate your own responsibility for responses you provoke with your choice of commentary. I don't think you meant harm or anything, Sys Rq, but I think you did a very poor job of reading the room and choosing your moment and manner for taking the thread in that direction. "Everybody else should just not respond to me and then it won't be a problem" isn't workable as a general defense of problematic comments, much as we appreciate people making the effort not to abet derails when they can.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:13 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is not a single type of post that is in danger of being crowded out of the site because people like other things.

I'm not being totally serious, but it's an accusation that the site will slowly slide into only have frivolous posts as opposed to a mixture of things.
posted by GuyZero at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2013


All due respect, zarq, that's your problem.

No, not really. Comments like the one you made can become the community's problem, because they might deliberately drag an inflammatory subject into a thread that doesn't belong there. Every thread about anything Israeli doesn't have to be turned into a discussion of how Israel treats the Palestinians inhumanely.

If I choose to challenge you on something you say, I'll accept responsibility for that. But you made the comment in the first place, and imho, should also acknowledge that your words can (and are perhaps likely to) have a specific effect. As cortex says, you can't abdicate that responsibility. We all have to own our words, yes? You, me, everyone.

We have a very small number of members who have made 'jews acting like nazis" comparisons whenever news from Israel is mentioned. Those comments are rarely allowed to stand. They're inflammatory. The comment you made seems similar to me, even though I have no doubt you made it sincerely. I'm not saying you godwinned the thread. You didn't. But it seems like it's not really a great angle of discussion, and would totally spin the conversation in a direction that's less about the content of the post, and more about people getting their hate on.
posted by zarq at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Everybody else should just not respond to me and then it won't be a problem"

?

There are any number of ways to respond to my comment without getting deleted. "I agree"/"I disagree"/"Who cares it's still cool"/etc. If it's derailed into "Israel is good"/"Israel is bad", well, delete that, and specify exactly what you specified in your little notice in the thread, and problem solved.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:20 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised the opening comment in that thread was allowed to stand, since it seemed like a threadshit right out the door, but everybody else seems to've ignored it and things are going alright. Yay!

Yea I thought it was weird that was allowed to stay.
posted by sweetkid at 11:21 AM on April 24, 2013


Busy morning, I wasn't, looking overly hard at that one. Someone's since referenced it later in the thread so I've been shrugging at it as mildly obnoxious but whaddaya do, mostly.

There are any number of ways to respond to my comment without getting deleted.

Mostly by not engaging the part of comment that was specifically a problem for being derail-bait, yes. I am really not sure what you're trying to argue here beyond that you should be allowed to introduce inflammatory political sidebars into apolitical threads; arguing that we could very well delete the inevitable responses to your comment but that we shouldn't delete the comment itself makes basically no sense and is again just putting the responsibility for what you choose to say on the site on everybody else. That's not workable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:25 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


apolitical threads

If that cover is apolitical, I'll eat my head.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:27 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


what is an israel
posted by shakespeherian at 11:30 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


If that cover is apolitical, I'll eat my head.

That is a bit of a bizarre take, especially given the intent of the original song (which isn't I/P-themed, but is certainly political in its own way).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:36 AM on April 24, 2013


what is an israel

2,500 years of madness, merriment and mirth, deep fried and served with a peanut sauce.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:37 AM on April 24, 2013


Blazecock Pileon: " That is a bit of a bizarre take, especially given the intent of the original song (which isn't I/P-themed, but is certainly political in its own way)."

It's just anti-capitalism, no? Is there a deeper meaning?
posted by zarq at 11:40 AM on April 24, 2013


2,500 years of madness, merriment and mirth, deep fried and served with a peanut sauce. tahini.
posted by GuyZero at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with Sys Rq insofar as that part of the song came across as deliberately provocative to me. I know I/P has a lengthy history of not going well here, but it feels weird to ignore it in a post about a video made very much in that context.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


Just because the OP didn't bring up the context doesn't mean there isn't one.

posted by Sys Rq at 7:09 PM on April 24


Please do not ever think that it is permissible to expand the conversation beyond direct and unambigous reference to what a Mefi post is - at least ostensibly - about. Do not seek to widen the context. Do not make allusions or connections that might be problematical or "triggering". Do not risk offence, or argument, or heated interaction. Do not make waves. Do not rattle the cosy cages. Eat your pabulum; it contains all the nutrients you need and it does not cause acid reflux, indigestion, allergic reaction, nausea or bleeding from orifices. Be a good citizen.
posted by Decani at 11:50 AM on April 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


oh come on this isn't Television Without Pity.
posted by sweetkid at 11:51 AM on April 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don't even own a television.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:52 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


if i were forced to nail it down, i'd have to say that i'm pro-palestine, but i thought your comment was shitty and unwarranted especially so early in the thread. referring to israel as "the land of perpetual retaliation" was a big giant bomb and you're smart enough to know that.

now, if your comment had been "these two specific musicians have shown support for anti-palestinian causes and thinks killing all of them is preferable to finding a joint solution and here's the proof of that" then i think it's more on topic, but i'm betting that info doesn't exist. are you not also troubled by all the american covers of karma police? why not? are americans not responsible as individuals for the actions their government makes but israelis are?
posted by nadawi at 11:57 AM on April 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


what is an israel

Oh man, do I actually get to do this? *glances around*

$20, same as in town!
posted by capricorn at 11:58 AM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Please do not ever think that it is permissible to expand the conversation beyond direct and unambigous reference to what a Mefi post is - at least ostensibly - about. Do not seek to widen the context. Do not make allusions or connections that might be problematical or "triggering". Do not risk offence, or argument, or heated interaction. Do not make waves. Do not rattle the cosy cages. Eat your pabulum; it contains all the nutrients you need and it does not cause acid reflux, indigestion, allergic reaction, nausea or bleeding from orifices. Be a good citizen.

That's not how Fitter. Happier. goes.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:00 PM on April 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


This seems like a good argument for establishing sub-threads, a topic I've seen come up from time to time. I'm under the impression that sub-threading creates a sort of exponential issue for moderators, who aren't exponential.

Politics and music are bedfellows, but I do understand the theory: The degrees of separation between any given topic and "Israel Sucks" discussions flow in a straight line, sometimes sans punctuation. This makes defending the deletion of SyRq's post problematic--though understandable--if the grounds are simply to control thread derails. What if the issue raised was goofy costumes? Pre-emptive deletions always suck, even when the reasoning seems to be "for the good of...." whatever is being sheltered. Therefore inspiring my argument for threaded posts. As for the infinity of moderators that would be required...um....I dunno. Seems like somebody needs to be around to deal with threads when they devolve to the neener-neener stage, or to stop the flogging of dead horses.

Anyhow, you have to make a distinction between "Israel Sucks" and "The institutional use of torture sucks" in some reductive form that doesn't resemble Fox News. (or have I gone too far?)

The good news is that moderators are not removed from the line of fire for their decisions.
posted by mule98J at 12:01 PM on April 24, 2013


i am so glad the mods have said no to threaded comments every time it comes up.
posted by nadawi at 12:08 PM on April 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


I think you did a very poor job of reading the room

Sometimes you read the room and sometimes the room, well, it reads you.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:15 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do not seek to widen the context. Do not make allusions or connections that might be problematical or "triggering". Do not risk offence, or argument, or heated interaction. Do not make waves. Do not rattle the cosy cages. Eat your pabulum; it contains all the nutrients you need and it does not cause acid reflux, indigestion, allergic reaction, nausea or bleeding from orifices. Be a good citizen.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
posted by Melismata at 12:23 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are we just flat out not allowed to even imply that I/P issues exist at all, ever?

This is not what it looks like to me, other commenters, or apparently the mods. However, Sys Rq if this is your true and honest interpretation of what's happened, then I think the answer for you is "yes."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:25 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Please do not ever think that it is permissible to expand the conversation beyond direct and unambigous reference to what a Mefi post is - at least ostensibly - about. Do not seek to widen the context. Do not make allusions or connections that might be problematical or "triggering". Do not risk offence, or argument, or heated interaction. Do not make waves. Do not rattle the cosy cages. Eat your pabulum; it contains all the nutrients you need and it does not cause acid reflux, indigestion, allergic reaction, nausea or bleeding from orifices. Be a good citizen.

Oh bless your heart, you're such a rebel, you.

oh come on this isn't Television Without Pity.

God, TWOP moderation was the worst.
posted by kmz at 12:57 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn. I never went on the actual TWOP forums. Was Aaron Sorkin onto something?
posted by Navelgazer at 1:00 PM on April 24, 2013


I guess my whole issue is that they could have chosen any song at all to mid-easternize, and they chose that one, which seems like either a) poorly thought out, or b) intentionally inflammatory.

Unless I'm missing some kind of dog-whistle in the video itself (which is totally possible, and please point out if I am), I don't see how it reads as being pro-Israel. The only connection it has is that it's filmed in Israel, and the musicians are Israeli. So...if you're from/live in a certain country, any art you create must be in support of their policies? What? I know that in Israel's case, just the act of living there has a somewhat more political flavor than in some other countries, but there are plenty of Israelis who disagree with aspects of their government's policies, and saying that being from somewhere politicizes one's art is a really...weird...stance to take.

Or what nadawi said.
posted by kagredon at 1:01 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I enjoyed the video, but I'm not especially knowledgeable about Israeli culture. A couple of the YouTube comments (yeah, I know) suggest that the song is sarcastically mocking Arabs -- the video description also alludes to this, but denies it. However, the issue apparently has been raised, so it seems like bringing up I/P politics in relation to this isn't totally out of left field, maybe. But either way, perhaps providing more context with the comment would have made it seem less incongruous and WTF.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:04 PM on April 24, 2013


Was Aaron Sorkin onto something?

Well, yes, but Sorkin was also being a petty asshole. No real winners there.
posted by kmz at 1:05 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the OP of this thread was pretty clear what is particular issues were with this version of the song when he included the full text of his deleted post.
posted by blue t-shirt at 1:06 PM on April 24, 2013


suggest that the song is sarcastically mocking Arabs

It's a cover, so wouldn't the original song have had to have that same meaning? Short of wearing t-shirts with slogans on it or beating up people in the video...
posted by rosswald at 1:07 PM on April 24, 2013


the youtube comments also include vegans freaking the fuck out over using a horse to pull a cart. do you think a derail in that vein should be allowed?
posted by nadawi at 1:07 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


God, TWOP moderation was the worst.

It wasn't bad at first. I think things went all to hell when Bravo bought it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:07 PM on April 24, 2013


It's a cover, so wouldn't the original song have had to have that same meaning?

I think the criticisms have to do with the singing rather than the content -- the accusation that the song is parodying an Arabic singing style or accent.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:09 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


kagredon: the reason I got the read of it that I did (and please take all of this with a big-ass grain of salt because I'm not as knowledgeable about I/P as a lot of people) was that the cover was done in a style highly evocative of a cultural identity. It's already a sinister song, but when they got to the second refrain they had a larger group of Israelis sort-of convening, defining to me who the "us," in the refrain was referring to, at which point the song went into it's sort-of rocking-out mode.

Again, I'm pretty ignorant here, but it read to me similarly to if there were a Neo-Country version of the song that had that line with a bunch of dudes in t-shirts and cowboy hats in front of the American flag. That said I know that music often involves layers of irony and other subtext that I wouldn't know here, so I have no idea 1.) if I'm at all correct in my interpretation, or 2.) even if I am right, whether it was meant to be taken at face value.

I'm just saying that I got a definite reaction from it. Which is good. Music and film and art of all kinds should give a reaction. The question is about the discussion of such a reaction.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:12 PM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


the youtube comments also include vegans freaking the fuck out over using a horse to pull a cart. do you think a derail in that vein should be allowed?

I guess it's up to the individual to decide what is or isn't a relevant criticism. I want to say I have no dog in this fight but in this context I probably oughtn't.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:12 PM on April 24, 2013


i just think "youtubers are discussing this" is a really low bar to set with regards to what should or shouldn't stay in a metafilter thread.
posted by nadawi at 1:17 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's already a sinister song, but when they got to the second refrain they had a larger group of Israelis sort-of convening, defining to me who the "us," in the refrain was referring to

I feel like the people who feel like this do so because of their emotional frame of reference, and the song, the cover, and the performance are ancillary.
posted by rosswald at 1:20 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's very, very possible.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:21 PM on April 24, 2013


Absoultely ridiculous deletion. On topic comment, without inflammatory language, meaning or intent.
posted by spaltavian at 1:25 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Again, I'm pretty ignorant here, but it read to me similarly to if there were a Neo-Country version of the song that had that line with a bunch of dudes in t-shirts and cowboy hats in front of the American flag.

The song that comes to mind is Warren Zevon's "Play It All Night Long" -- if I didn't understand English and weren't familiar with American culture (or the motivation behind the song), I probably would miss the song's intent.

i just think "youtubers are discussing this" is a really low bar to set with regards to what should or shouldn't stay in a metafilter thread.

Oh yeah, I totally agree -- it's just the fact that a possible sarcastic intent was also referenced in the video description itself (although again, denying the sarcasm) that pushes it into "relevant topic" territory IMHO. It's evidently an issue that has been raised in relation to this cover (or rather, an earlier version of it) at least enough to warrant mention.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:34 PM on April 24, 2013


It's a total tonal departure from the content of the actual post.

This seems a little heavy handed to me, especially since there's plenty of good data to support the idea that tone and the Interwebs/email are often very hard things to mix. Removing posts/comments because of an individuals perception of tone is, of course, within the remit of the mods, but it runs the risk of being a little capricious at times.

I think that the original commentors post here indicates that his comment was meant in the spirit of critical commentary, and not meant to be inflammatory.
posted by scblackman at 1:39 PM on April 24, 2013


Worth noting: the musician is half-Israeli and half-Moroccan. Negative comments about the video on YT may reflect knowledge of this fact.
posted by dhartung at 2:03 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


he could have fleshed out his point a little more, avoided saying things like "the land of perpetual retaliation" and not dropped it as one of the first 5 comments of the thread. if someone had come in later and said "i'm familiar with [niche style/location/genre of music] and as seen in [other examples] there is a history of [problematic thing] and feel like that is going on with the tone of this cover" that would have been on topic and there would be something to discuss. as it is, what we have are people who don't seem to have any unique insight doing the equivalent of "i'm just asking questions, man!"

the lack of specifics, the timing, and the wording makes it more likely to kick off in a general i/p grar-fest. if the post had been framed as an i/p thread it would be deleted immediately, it makes sense the same kind of standards would be applied especially early in the thread.
posted by nadawi at 2:07 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


2,500 years of madness

Ugh, what an incredibly ignorant comment.

The current year is 5773, dammit.
posted by elizardbits at 2:08 PM on April 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


Are we just flat out not allowed to even imply that I/P issues exist at all, ever?

Yes. You should post every tshirt-slogan you can possibly think of.

Because it's totally fucking relevant to a post about a Radiohead cover.
posted by four panels at 2:10 PM on April 24, 2013


When did elizardbits return to us?!
posted by Navelgazer at 2:11 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess my whole issue is that they could have chosen any song at all to mid-easternize, and they chose that one, which seems like either a) poorly thought out, or b) intentionally inflammatory.

So why didn't you say that? It seems like a way more thoughtful, measured way to make your point. It invites discussion, stays on topic and avoids the inflammatory "land of perpetual retaliation".

My comment was completely, 100% on topic. Just because the OP didn't bring up the context doesn't mean there isn't one.

Political motives of song choice is on topic. "Land of perpetual retaliation" is directly about I/P ....and it's a pretty damn fraught, hot way to describe it. Anything you could have said about the song was bound to get drowned out by that one.
posted by space_cookie at 2:14 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Completely on topic for a post about a "middle-east-ified" cover of that particular song recorded by Israeli artists.

Really, it's more like losing your mind in a thread about bagels. WHY DOESN'T ANYONE UNDERSTAND THE INJUSTICE and it's like, dude we just want to talk about bagels.
posted by four panels at 2:15 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's a hole 'nother issue.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:19 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's a total tonal departure from the content of the actual post....

I typically side with the mods when these kinds of "why was I deleted?" threads sprout up. I disagree in this case. But, more importantly, I think this comment that cortex made represents a very worrisome point of view that I really, really hope does not spread to become part of typical mod thought.

If a comment is fighty, then delete it. If a comment is not fighty, but might make other users make fighty comments, I'd rather you not delete them, but a case-by-case basis isn't too bad. If a comment is simply introducing a new frame of thought other than what the OP intended, but is still relevant and not far-reaching, then deleting it is not only wrong, but it actively devalues metafilter.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:20 PM on April 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


Completely on topic for a post about a "middle-east-ified" cover of that particular song recorded by Israeli artists.

Really, it's more like losing your mind in a thread about bagels. WHY DOESN'T ANYONE UNDERSTAND THE INJUSTICE and it's like, dude we just want to talk about bagels.
posted by four panels at 2:15 PM on April 24 [1 favorite +] [!]

I disagree. The post is about a cover song. About 85% of what makes a cover song is the band putting their own spin on it. The original song was already political, and Sys Ryq just pointing it out how now it's got a new political framing due to the band that's covering it doesn't really derail, and isnt that far of a reach.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:23 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


FirstMateKate: "The original song was already political,"

I asked this earlier, and no one responded. Perhaps you can explain? I read the song as anti-capitalist and that's about it. Is there a deeper meaning?
posted by zarq at 2:31 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


FirstMateKate: "it's got a new political framing due to the band that's covering it doesn't really derail, and isnt that far of a reach."

Also, if a band of a particular nationality covers a song, that doesn't automatically change the meaning of that song, or inform us of their political beliefs.
posted by zarq at 2:36 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Filter: makes me happier, less productive.
posted by Kabanos at 2:38 PM on April 24, 2013


How is anti-capitalism not political, zarq? I mean, sure, it's not very specific, but it's still a political stance.
posted by darksasami at 2:42 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


If a comment is fighty, then delete it.

I thought the comment was fighty as presented. I say that as someone with an apparently lower than average level of investment in that fight even. And I'm not even venturing that there's nothing worth exploring about the the geopolitical context of the cover or whatever, I'm saying don't do it like that.

The idea that we're combating bifurcations or topical branches in conversations in general is weird to me because that's never been a big problem on its own and plenty of threads do that just fine. The distinction between that very broad idea and specifically saying "please don't toss e.g. 'land of perpetual retaliation' in as one of the first comments in a thread about a neat musical cover" should be pretty obvious.

There are better and subtler ways to tease out the potentially interesting issues there, not least of which would include showing your work as far as what specifically you engaged with in the song/video and what you've learned about the artists in question, their intentions, their backgrounds, etc, especially since Israeli musician ergo spectre of systemic Israeli retaliation or whatever is a jarring hop and a skip when the framing of the post and the comments so far weren't remotely about any of that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:46 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


This seems like an edge case. Which, I guess, is often true for MeTa posts.

Still, I'm inclined to think that Sys Req's comment was entirely on-topic — it's hard to imagine what else there is to discuss (aside from the obvious: quality and style) about a cover other than the context within which X artist decided to record a cover of Y song.

Very, very often, that relationship is the primary statement of a cover. Sys Req was pointing out a significant aspect of that relationship.

Would disruptive argument likely result from this? Probably. And I guess it's a defensible though questionable decision to delete the comment, anyway. But I don't think it's fair to claim that it was off-topic or a non sequitur.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:56 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a cover, so wouldn't the original song have had to have that same meaning?

No, that's not at all how texts work.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:59 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


darksasami: "How is anti-capitalism not political, zarq? I mean, sure, it's not very specific, but it's still a political stance."

It's not that anticapitalism isn't a political stance. (I do think the song is totally vague about taking that stance, but whatever.) It's that one really needs to perform mental acrobatics to directly connect this song, with its vague anticapitalist message, to the I/P conflict. Which is why I ask if it has a deeper meaning that I might be missing -- as far as I can tell, its message seems irrelevant to the occupation, Israeli foreign policies, etc. Unless I've missed it, the artists haven't expressed any political opinions whatsoever related to their cover. They haven't discussed the Palestinians or IDF or Hezbollah or Hamas or the Occupation, Gaza, the West Bank, the illegal Settlements or any other related topic. If they have or do in the future, then great, we can discuss 'em. But until then I feel like people are trying to make the argument: "Oh, it's a political song whose meaning automatically changes and directly applies to the Occupation because these two women are from Tel Aviv." No, no it doesn't. They haven't said a word that that's what they intended from this cover. It all seems very axe-grindy.
posted by zarq at 3:00 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would also agree that this is an edge case. In fact, it is as close as I have come to agreeing with a deletee on metatalk, but using the phrase 'land of perpetual retaliation' is pretty provocative, and arguably puts the post over the line.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 3:03 PM on April 24, 2013


Unless I'm missing some kind of dog-whistle in the video itself (which is totally possible, and please point out if I am), I don't see how it reads as being pro-Israel.

I never said it did.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:04 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"But until then I feel like people are trying to make the argument: 'Oh, it's a political song whose meaning automatically changes and directly applies to the Occupation because these two women are from Tel Aviv.'"

That's too strict of a standard.

I listen to a few Israeli artists in a few different genres and I certainly don't make the assumption about them that you're caricaturing above. And I don't necessarily agree with Sys Req's reading.

But I don't necessarily disagree, either, because I think the strict test ("Hi, I'm Hank Williams, Jr. and I'm performing a cover of this song to present a jingoist message!") you're advocating is absurd. You don't need to rely upon explicit statement of authorial intent before you can interpret art.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:07 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


When did elizardbits return to us?!

Not her, it's a bot. Get your pulse rifle.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:09 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ivan Fyodorovich: " That's too strict of a standard."

Here's what Sys Rq's comment said:
"I dunno. This song in the context of Israel leaves a bad taste in my mouth. "This is what you get when you mess with us" comes across a tad more serious in the land of perpetual retaliation."
He's clearly linking the singers' nationality with the song's message. Is it warranted? Is there a context of Israeli politics and gov't policies that now suddenly applies solely because the singers are from Tel Aviv? Without any meaningful statement to that effect from the artists themselves, and without any applicable message in either the cover or the original song? I don't think there is.

If a random band from Massachusetts covered the Beach Boys "California Girls" would we automatically assume the new cover now carried a pro-gay marriage, anti-death penalty message? If the band had given no indication that was the case? I highly doubt it.
posted by zarq at 3:17 PM on April 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


I just think in general in situations involving nations or cultures/subcultures not my own, it's important to guard against unconscious ethno/ego-centrism. If I don't perceive a purported connection, it doesn't mean that connection doesn't exist, just that I may not have enough context or knowledge or awareness to recognize it. I assume the mods take that into account when evaluating a comment or post, but I dimly recall "cultural context" coming up in a couple of recent deletion complaint discussions, so I don't know if maybe it's something they want to give more attention to.

(OTOH, maybe it's irrelevant if the goal of preventing flamewars trumps everything else, and so deletions are calibrated to the perspective of the dominant culture(s) of the Metafilter community rather than to the specific cultural contexts of individual posts/comments. Does it matter if a comment is appropriate from the "correct" perspective, if most people reading don't share that perspective, and react in an unintended way? If it were up to me I guess I'd put more weight towards context, but I can see value in either approach.)
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 3:18 PM on April 24, 2013


If someone can find a country+region+ethnicity+etc that the cover authour could have been from that we couldn't make a similar accusation about, I will be very surprised. That's why, without a good explanation, to single out her Israeli-ness doesn't really add anything to the discussion.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:26 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


He's clearly linking the singers' nationality with the song's message. Is it warranted? Is there a context of Israeli politics and gov't policies solely because the singers are from Tel Aviv? Without any statement from the artists themselves, and without any applicable message in either the cover or the original song? I don't think there is.

This is a fair point, and one that I'll be sure to consider in the future, but it's ignoring the fact that I was writing not at all about their intent and entirely about my reaction.

And, for what it's worth, that reaction jumped out of me before I read what part of the Middle East they were from.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:28 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm just here to drop my handful of dirt.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 3:32 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: This is what you get when you mess with us
posted by mazola at 3:37 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: " This is a fair point, and one that I'll be sure to consider in the future,

Okie doke. Thanks.

but it's ignoring the fact that I was writing not at all about their intent and entirely about my reaction."

Ah. Okay, that makes sense. I didn't read it that way at all. I did think you were referring to their intent.
posted by zarq at 3:42 PM on April 24, 2013


posted by elizardbits at 4:08 PM on April 24

This is the best news I've had in a number of weeks.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:46 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


If someone can find a country+region+ethnicity+etc that the cover authour could have been from that we couldn't make a similar accusation about, I will be very surprised. That's why, without a good explanation, to single out her Israeli-ness doesn't really add anything to the discussion.

Doesn't it make it kind of problematic though, or at least more complex, if an Israeli artist is singing this particular song in an Arabic style/accent? I mean, whatever the song really means, many of the words themselves are pretty provocative (it name-checks Hitler for pete's sake), and then on top of that she sings it in such a way as to overtly connect it with Arabic culture. So it's not like the choices that were made with this song are so innocuous as to make the comment under discussion totally left-field.

I interpret the artist(s) intention as being positive and supportive, not sarcastic (again, see the video description posted by the artists), but either way I think the artist(s) national/cultural identit(ies) is not irrelevant under these circumstances. Although I can see how it sours the intended good vibes to bring it up. It would certainly be kind of crappy to express the sentiment if someone played the song during, say, a child's birthday party.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 3:56 PM on April 24, 2013


Hey, I think the lede has been buried here: Matt's willing to make hundred dollar bets that comments will spark debates. While I'm not really much of a gambling man, I'm sure we could find some takers here.
posted by item at 4:30 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doesn't it make it kind of problematic though, or at least more complex, if an Israeli artist is singing this particular song in an Arabic style/accent?...So it's not like the choices that were made with this song are so innocuous as to make the comment under discussion totally left-field.

But is the accent in the song actually different from the singer's usual accent when she is singing in English? Or is that an assumption that some listeners are making?

That is the kind of thoughtful analysis, I imagine, that the moderators would be looking for in a comment that dissects the song with an eye to arguing for some kind of Israel/Palestine message.
posted by muddgirl at 4:31 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Doesn't it make it kind of problematic though, or at least more complex, if an Israeli artist is singing this particular song in an Arabic style/accent?

Isn't this assuming that an Israeli can't have an Arabic style or accent? A plurality of Israelis (including Jewish Israelis) are Arabs or of Arab descent.
posted by lullaby at 4:43 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


zarq:
Radiohead members used to tell one another that they would call "the karma police" on them if they did something bad. The joke was incorporated into the lyrics and title of the song.[10] Yorke explained that the song was about stress and "having people looking at you in that certain [malicious] way, I can't handle it anymore".[11] Thom Yorke explained the idea of the lyrics to The Independent in 2006, saying, "It's for someone who has to work for a large company. This is a song against bosses. Fuck the middle management!"[7] Yorke and Jonny Greenwood emphasised in interviews that the song had a humorous bent; Yorke said, "[It's] not entirely serious, I hope people will realize that."[11] The song includes the line "He buzzes like a fridge/He's like a detuned radio", a reference to the distracting, metaphorical background noise Yorke calls "fridge buzz". Yorke has said that the idea of fridge buzz is one of the primary themes of OK Computer.[12] "Karma Police" also shares themes of insanity and dissatisfaction with capitalism.[13]

from the wiki, if it helps, there may be other, deeper interpretations out there
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:48 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


TOTAL TONAL DEPARTURE IS SO THE NAME OF MY NExt... ah ferget it..
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:00 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: “The comment was a criticism of that choice. It wasn't 'Israel sucks,' it was 'This cover of this song makes me uncomfortable, and here's why.' If someone with poor reading comprehension were to respond to that with I/P fightiness, then start deleting from their comment. But this wasn't that, and to suggest that it is just seems really weird to me.”

This seems like it's really a slanted and selective reading of your comment. Honestly, this would be more complicated and difficult to sort out for me if you'd just said that the choice of song "leaves a bad taste in your mouth." But that is not all you said. You also said quite clearly and directly that Israel is "the land of perpetual retaliation," which is a clear comment on the I/P problem and how you feel about the state of Israel. Like cortex, I don't really have a dog in that race, but you can't really pretend that you didn't express an opinion about the I/P problem pretty directly in that comment, doing so in terms that were pretty much begging questions and demanding a response from people who felt differently.
posted by koeselitz at 5:00 PM on April 24, 2013


You also said quite clearly and directly that Israel is "the land of perpetual retaliation," which is a clear comment on the I/P problem and how you feel about the state of Israel.

Perpetual retaliation is not a one-way thing. I suppose I should have put "reciprocal" in there to drive that home.

And that's the whole theme of the song, so, um, yeah. It seemed relevant.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:13 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did not spur any "Israel sucks" debate

Unless you're talking about Jewish cowboys having debates while wearing spurs. Then go right ahead.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:29 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


How is anti-capitalism not political[?]

The same way as hating guns is not anti-military. You can hate the tool without hating the user.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:45 PM on April 24, 2013


Sys Rq: "Perpetual retaliation is not a one-way thing. I suppose I should have put 'reciprocal' in there to drive that home."

Well, I mean - I don't think this is really about what you intended, is the thing. As we've seen here, there are just a lot of ways people could interpret the comment. The mods are pretty good at sensing when folks are going to take something and run in a weird direction with it, and the multiple readings in this thread show (I think) that they were right, in this case, to suspect that that comment would have touched off an argument.
posted by koeselitz at 6:02 PM on April 24, 2013


It does seem like people are reacting to "land of perpetual retaliation" as though Sys Rq had written "nation of perpetual disproportionate military response." And perhaps that misreading is inevitable, in which case the deletion might have been worthwhile for that reason alone, but -- that said -- it seems Sys Rq is maybe justified in being a bit miffed at the deletion notice tsk tsking him for something he didn't even imply?
posted by nobody at 6:11 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mega shiny cello, tho...
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:39 PM on April 24, 2013


Thread police, delete the post
He talks in grar
He trolls like a kid
He's like a redditor

Thread police, delete the post
Her Hitler hairdo is
Making us derail
And Godwin crashed the party

This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get when you mess with us

Thread police
I've flagged all I can
It's not enough
I've flagged all I can
But we're taking it to MeTA

This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get when you mess with cortex

And for 5 minute window, I edit myself, I edit myself
And for 5 minute window, I edit myself, I edit myself

And for 5 minute window, I edit myself, I edit myself
And for 5 minute window, I edit myself, I edit myself
Phew, I had a typo, I edit myself.
posted by humanfont at 8:59 PM on April 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


"mefi police", surely. Scansion above all else.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:37 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Hi, just dropping by to be baffled at what in that song's lyric could possibly be construed as "anti-capitalist."
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:45 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


If anything it sounds to me like he's complaining about the music business and sleazy people therein, but even that doesn't come across strongly enough to say it's "about" anything in particular exactly some vaguely menacing imagery.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:48 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


if we're voting, i think it was a good deletion.
posted by empath at 1:04 AM on April 25, 2013


I sort of feel like nearly every artist / group / performer / author, etc. is complex and interesting, usually in many different ways, and we could probably go directly down some political rabbit hole with almost any of them, but then you end up with yet another of hundreds (scores?) of I/P, Gender, Sexism, Racism, Religion threads versus one that actually talks about the work in more specific and insightful ways. Some topics seem almost parasitic in that they can easily tend to smother and kill off other lines of discussion, and as a user, I've often regretfully stopped following what had been fascinating discussions about interesting subjects because they've devolved to the same old generalist argument about a hot button topic.

People ought to be able, and are able to address pertinent and related charged issues in terms of how it informs a specific artist's work, but a lot depends on the care and timing the person puts into their comment whether it results in a tired derail or a deepening of the existing conversation. Timing is important. Once a thread has some legs in terms of discussing the actual post topic, there is usually enough fodder for discussion that people are able to respond to and build on comments about the song, book, film or performance, as well as support a reasonable amount of digression about the charged topic, especially in the specific ways it relates to the work. If one of the first comments is not about the work, but about the hot button topic, most ensuing comments will respond to that.

It does also help to present information rather than an automatic emotional response. Something like, "some people have questioned the appropriateness of X, given Y; the author has responded in this linked interview. I feel like blah, blah," is better than, "Wow, I don't know anything about their background, intention, or politics, but this really just strikes me as [BAD THING]."

Again, such a comment is really not necessarily a big deal if the discussion about the music or whatever has been allowed to get on its feet, and ideally someone else will fill in with info they've found about the artist's background, intentions or politics, and the already ongoing discussion of the music (or whatever) can also continue.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:48 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Characterizing a country as "the land of perpetual retaliation" seems a bit inflammatory, no?"

How the heck is the idea that the Israel Palestine region "the land of perpetual retaliation" even remotely controversial? This is like an almost non-sequitor style bald statement of fact.

I totally understand mod skittishness on the comment, but really it was utterly banally unoffensive and the discussion about how relevant it was to the artist we are currently having now in this thread is a good one that really should belong in the original metafilter thread.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:11 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Being nice and being accurate are two different things.

Actually...well, I will, once again, defer to Mr Pratchett on this one:
Anathema had learned to read from The Book.

It didn't have any apples and balls in it. It did have a rather good eighteenth-century woodcut of Agnes Nutter being burned at the stake and looking rather cheerful about it.

The first word she could recognize was nice. Very few people at the age of eight and a half know that nice also means "scrupulously exact," but Anathema was one of them.

The second word was accurate.


The first sentence she had ever read out loud was: "I tell ye thif, and I charge ye with my wordes. Four shalle ryde, and Four shalle alfo ryde, and Three sharl ryde the Skye as twixt, and Wonne shal ryde in flames; and theyr shall be no stopping themme: not fish, nor rayne, nor rode, neither Deville nor Angel. And ye shalle be theyr alfo, Anathema."

Anathema liked to read about herself.
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Good Omens - or, the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:33 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've had a few things deleted, and once had something deleted that I thought was a funny joke, but either a moderator didn't get it, didn't find it funny, or didn't think it was appropriate for that point in the thread. My thing is that even if I disagree I generally could care less. Like you wrote, meh.

One comment, in one thread, by one person, on one portion of one website wasn't going to change the course of history. So who cares? It's not like someone burned the only copy of of the last J. D. Salinger manuscript. Then again, I could be wrong, maybe someone's literary career and discovery hinged on one deleted comment.

Personally, I had no problem with the comment. Has an opinion that seems informed. Am I going to wrong my hands that it was removed to give a thread a better chance of not being a cluster fuck? Hell no.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:38 AM on April 25, 2013


If it's the year 5773, why don't I have a jetpack or hand-held railgun or robot butler? Eh?
posted by Mister_A at 7:29 AM on April 25, 2013


Is there a context of Israeli politics and gov't policies that now suddenly applies solely because the singers are from Tel Aviv?

Yes. If you're anti-Semite.
posted by Dasein at 8:05 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Without the last six words: bad deletion.

But with the last six words, and them's the words on the screen: sensible deletion. Not having a go at the commenter; quite like a lot of what Sys Rq writes.

Like cjorgensen a few comments up, I've had a few things deleted and it's "meh". If anything, I wish with hindsight and sobriety that the MetaFilter mods had deleted more of my borderline / inappropriate (especially) / unfunny comments, so there is less of a permanent online record of my general fuckwittery within this community.

I hope the commenter isn't being disingenuous in doing a MetaTalk post about it, so as (a) to start an I/P argument here and/or (b) draw the wrong kind of attention to the original FPP.

Also hoping this subject of derail doesn't opportunistically occur during the Eurovision Song Contest thread in a few weeks time.
posted by Wordshore at 8:08 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like cjorgensen a few comments up, I've had a few things deleted and it's "meh". If anything, I wish with hindsight and sobriety that the MetaFilter mods had deleted more of my borderline / inappropriate (especially) / unfunny comments, so there is less of a permanent online record of my general fuckwittery within this community.

I totally agree. I honestly do not care one whit that my comment was deleted. Deletions are a good thing about MetaFilter. It's the why I needed clarification on. (And, while I don't fully agree with the reasoning, I understand it well enough at this point to find it satisfactory; you can close this up anytime as you see fit, mods.)

I hope the commenter isn't being disingenuous in doing a MetaTalk post about it, so as (a) to start an I/P argument here and/or (b) draw the wrong kind of attention to the original FPP.

Not at all. I just thought it was weird that what I considered to be a completely innocuous statement of my own reaction to a piece of art (which it seems wasn't quite as innocuous as it could have been) was canned for the reason given. I still feel like the thread could have gone on just fine with the notice and without the deletion, but, well, I'll survive.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:32 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there a context of Israeli politics and gov't policies that now suddenly applies solely because the singers are from Tel Aviv?

Yes. If you're anti-Semite.


I'm sorry -- are they Jewish? That'd be news to me. I was talking about rockets, not religion, and made no declaration of what side I preferred, if any.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:38 AM on April 25, 2013


a completely innocuous statement of my own reaction to a piece of art

I was thinking about this on the train this morning, and I don't believe that "it is just my emotional reaction/perspective" is a great defense.

I have seen posts that are primarily about a woman who does something interesting, but is also highly attractive, and some people's first reaction may be "what a hottie" or "I'd hit that." These tend to get deleted.

Just because you thought it or felt something that doesn't necessarily make it a good contribution to a thread. Someone may have a visceral-pleasurable response to the events in Boston, but unless the comment is incredibly well written I doubt that would stand either.
posted by rosswald at 9:00 AM on April 25, 2013


Dasein: " Yes. If you're anti-Semite."

Sys Rq is not an antisemite.
posted by zarq at 10:10 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


There certainly valid socio-political interpretations of the music video, I got a sense that it was critical of certain government policies. But it may have had a more historical interpretation, such as the deportation of the singers family from Morocco. The deleted comment was short on clarity and balance. Hmm..

Pony request: A checkbox to forward a potentially problematic post or comment to team of volunteer editors to help tune for clarity, language and reasonableness.
posted by sammyo at 10:44 AM on April 25, 2013


Follow-up comment in the original thread, from donttouchmymustache (thank you! you're welcome!):
I really liked the instrumental backing, but somehow the over-the-top vocals really turned me off earlier today when I listened to this. I revisited it again just now to challenge myself to understand what I didn't really like about this, and came across the artist's official soundcloud page.

In their own words: "A satirical arrangement recorded with an exaggerated Arabic accent..."

There it is! It sounds like it's mocking the particular style and accent! It's a real shame, because I thought it had great promise. Maybe it's because I don't want to laugh at it; I just want to get into it! It's just that this kind of attitude gets in my way.
Not really sure what that means, but heightens my sense that there is some kind of possibly-political context to the song that I don't get.
posted by grobstein at 10:46 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you're anti-Semite.

I don't have much of an opinion on the subject at hand - I didn't get that far into the video because I really don't like that kind of singing* - but it feels to me that responses like the one quoted or variations thereof like 'Yes, if you're a racist/misogynist/troll/such-and-such' are on the upswing and a really nonconstructive way of communicating. When there's push-back against that it's often followed up with 'No, I wasn't calling [MeFite] a bigot/misogynist/troll/such-and-such, I was responding to their question'. Which may well be sincere, but it would be nice if people were more careful in their responses, rather than going for the slam-dunk-boom-shut-you-down, which is a conversational dead end and leads to bad feelings all around.

*Possibly because I'm an anti-Semite. Or just that I find it annoying.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:53 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not a fan of this deletion. Art is meant to evoke, and context matters. If we can't share our honestly evoked responses to a performance that deliberately exaggerates Arabic accents because the responses are too political (or too political too early in the thread), then I think we're actually doing a disservice to the posted art (and the original art the performance is based on).

Is "the land of perpetual retaliation" potentially inflammatory? Probably, but it is also framed to reflect the lyrics of the song (and doesn't imply criticism of any particular position in the regional and historical conflicts). In my opinion, "a satirical arrangement recorded with an exaggerated Arabic accent" is potentially inflammatory in and of itself, and Sys Rq's response was actually pretty measured. We should be able to discuss this aspect of the posted material even though the resulting conversation might not end well, because it is a legitimate framing of the material posted (maybe even the framing intended by the artist). Just one member's opinion.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:02 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


You never know what you've got till it's gone. Even then you may not know what you've had.
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 12:08 PM on April 25, 2013


is there anyway to know how many comments of your own have been deleted? also is there a limit to how many deleted comments you get before you are booted off the internets forever?
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 9:31 PM on April 25, 2013


People can contact us and we can tell you. You've only had one comment deleted from the blue, and that was an "oops, please delete this" thing. There were a couple more from Ask Me, that we can tell you about if you'd like (but they were all unremarkable).

We don't use deleted comments as a basis for banning. People who comment a lot more might be more likely to have more comments deleted overall, but have a low or average rate of deletion. Some people have more regrets, and ask us to delete more comments. Some people make more errors (malformed links or whatever) that we fix and delete the comment they made correcting their mistake. Etc. So number of deletions is just generally not that useful for us. If we are making a lot of deletions because of specific problems, we're already aware of the possible issues.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:32 AM on April 26, 2013


I totally appreciate that Sys Rq made his comment in all good faith, but culture is complicated. The song is actually riffing off Mizrahi music, not Arabic. I suppose you could say that Mizrahi music is fundamentally Arab, but then Jews were famously popular as providers of musical entertainment in the Arab world. I very much doubt that anyone in Israel would even think that she was referencing Arabs: the joke, to the extent that there is one, is that she's performing it in a style "your dad" would listen to.1

1)O, how we roared.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:43 PM on April 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


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