Maybe we could try not hating people for their economic status? May 28, 2013 8:53 AM   Subscribe

I've noticed what seems to be a trend lately - whenever mention is made of people who have more money than either some people have or some think they should have, we seem to get much less considerate than we are of other topics. The most recent thread where this is on display is First World Problems, Analyzed. However, that is not the only example.

We have people talking about guillotines, sardonically suggesting cannibalism, wishing for their death, talking about the specific degree of richness required before you want to eat them, suggesting they're assholes if they think they have any problems, encouraging people to kill the rich, and more.

To be clear: I am not trying to suggest that mods should or should not have deleted these: I think that's a very small issue compared to the broader topic: do we think this is okay? If so, why? And if not, how can we try to do better?
posted by corb to Etiquette/Policy at 8:53 AM (734 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

I think this is ok.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:57 AM on May 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


I saw a lot of these comments, and for the most part they read like people joking about a topic. Many of the "eat the rich" type comments are some play on old Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal.

Also, the degree to which people will display comments that might seem disparaging seem like opposite reactions to the posts that prompt them. This particular instance, an article claiming two people making $250,000/yr in the Bay Area can barely scrape by is revolting on the surface, so people tend to react to revolting things (yes, I know they explain the high cost of living which is why I personally left the area 10 years ago, but still the first impression is that article premise is nuts).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:59 AM on May 28, 2013 [30 favorites]


do we think this is okay? If so, why?

Because vanishingly few people posting in here make that amount of money, and for the haves to be worrying about their own affairs on the one hand but then turning around and telling the rest of us to "just cut stuff back" when they aren't doing the same is very insulting.

And some of us may have just been laid off (yep) and are NOT in a rational mood right now.

Quite frankly, if you don't like what people are saying in that thread, maybe some self-reflection about why you are so personally offended by it is in order.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on May 28, 2013 [50 favorites]


Oh, i don't mind it overly much.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:02 AM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am rich and deserve to die.
posted by eamondaly at 9:04 AM on May 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


Dibs on eamondaly. I bet he's delicious.
posted by phunniemee at 9:06 AM on May 28, 2013 [41 favorites]


Many of the "eat the rich" type comments are some play on old Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal.

Speak for yourself - I've meant it literally.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:07 AM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I am glad someone is finally speaking up for the wealthy and privileged people in this country, they have been downtrodden for far too long and their rights are often overlooked.
posted by elizardbits at 9:07 AM on May 28, 2013 [177 favorites]


It was hard for me to get too worked up about the talk in that thread since (1) the hating you're linking to read like over the top satire to me; and (2) the people being hated on were a sort of mythical construct created by the WealthFront sales pitch. I concede it's possible that there are some people out there who earn $250k/year and make it their top priority to take out an $800,000 mortgate (!) and send their kids to private school, but, come on, people like that sort of deserve to be made fun of.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:07 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


> do we think this is okay?

I do.

> If so, why?

Because rich people are fucking up the world at an ever-increasing pace.
posted by languagehat at 9:07 AM on May 28, 2013 [132 favorites]


"First up against the wall when the revolution comes" jokes are not new. They're getting more common as income disparity grows and more people are feeling disaffected and cut-off from the wealthy. They'll probably keep getting more common until the revolution comes.

Until such time as people are using these phrases to actually mean 'we should definitely kill and eat rich people to get us through this tough winter without starving' instead of 'man, rich people sure whine a lot about the kinds of problems that most people can only dream of having' I think it's probably not something we need to 'do better'.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2013 [29 favorites]


Many of the "eat the rich" type comments are some play on old Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal.

I didn't get that sense at all. They wouldn't even make sense in that context.
posted by kmz at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Quite frankly, if you don't like what people are saying in that thread, maybe some self-reflection about why you are so personally offended by it is in order.

For clarity, I neither live in the Bay Area, nor make over 250K a year; I have no personal dog in this fight. But one of the reasons I like Metafilter so much is that even though bitter fights and unpleasantness do exist here, they do so in much less number and seem to be the exception rather than the rule. This seems to be one of those exceptions that is pretty consistent - it seems more personally vicious than a lot of the other typical bugbears.
posted by corb at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


Many of the "eat the rich" type comments are some play on old Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal.

As someone who has read A Modest Proposal, I do not understand this "play".
posted by Tanizaki at 9:09 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd like to point out that while we have our share of 'eat the rich' comments, the one highlighted in the 'suggesting cannibalism' link above doesn't really match, I think-- it's joking about the idea that $190k isn't enough to live on such that folks at that income level will starve to death.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:11 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not rich, so it's okay.

If I were rich, I could throw my scraps to some hungry poors and they would keep me safe from the scrapless poors, so it's okay.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:12 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


As someone who has read A Modest Proposal, I do not understand this "play".

In A Modest Proposal, Swift proposes that the world's problems could best be solved by the rich eating the poor. In these jokes, this is turned around to point out that the world's problems could best be solved by the poor eating the rich.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:12 AM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Swift proposes that the world's problems could best be solved by the rich eating the poor.

It is about the population issues in Ireland, not "the world's problems". Perhaps I read a different essay.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:14 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because rich people are fucking up the world at an ever-increasing pace.

According to Metafilter, programmers and other technologists at $125k are "rich", while union machinists or whatever at $100k are "workers".

(here's a hint: both are "workers" since they don't own capital, income != wealth, these aren't the "rich" you're looking for)
posted by downing street memo at 9:14 AM on May 28, 2013 [71 favorites]


Relevant analogy or not, I would please just like to know who it is ok to make gloves out of please. My hands are so cold. So cold.
posted by phunniemee at 9:15 AM on May 28, 2013 [22 favorites]


Corb, have you not been paying attention to the world? The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. The rich are usually getting richer by screwing over someone else.

Animosity through humor is the least of the problem here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:16 AM on May 28, 2013 [35 favorites]


Somewhere along the line the demographic being discussed seems to have turned from a $250k income per couple (per the original article) to $250k per person. Maybe those both seem ludicrously large (I mean, I can't really distinguish between someone worth $2 billion and $1 billion), but they do differ by a factor of two.
posted by dfan at 9:16 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


it seems more personally vicious than a lot of the other typical bugbears

As Mat mentions above, this IS personal for most of us. The people mentioned in that article are in the top 1.5% of earners in the United States and yet are still (completely absurdly!) complaining that they just don't have enough money to make ends meet. For those of us who are representative of the average American and make only a fraction of what they make, this is a very real and intensely irritating reminder of the fact that we are living in increasingly class-stratified times, AND that those at the top of the heap are in no way inclined to be grateful or charitable with their fortunes.

The sorts of rich people mentioned in the article (and they are not middle-class, they are rich) are just totally loathsome, horrifically awful people, and if our snark is the worst thing that happens to them, then believe me -- they will still continue living their charmed, douchey lives with no ill effects. On the other hand, it is their choices in life that cause immense, very real damage to the rest of us. So no, I am not really worried about the effect of our satire.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2013 [53 favorites]


Maybe the issue here is where the line should be drawn on satire. Looking through the whole thread I see a lot of people making wisecracks about it, some are more cruel than others, but I'm not sure if any of them really crossed a line to delete-worthy.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've noticed what seems to be a trend lately - whenever mention is made of people who have more money than either some people have or some think they should have, we seem to get much less considerate than we are of other topics.

Metafilter used to be more welcoming about things like this, but it's started to get really bad these last fifteen years or so.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


Ah yes, I was wondering when someone would arrive to blame the unions.
posted by elizardbits at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2013 [25 favorites]


Ah yes, I was wondering when someone would arrive to blame the unions.

Read this as "unicorns" and was all, "what do unicorns have to do with any of this...oh wait, elizardbits, I guess that makes sense then."
posted by phunniemee at 9:19 AM on May 28, 2013 [21 favorites]

Ah yes, I was wondering when someone would arrive to blame the unions.
Someone mentioned unions. It didn't look like blame to me.
posted by dfan at 9:20 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is about the population issues in Ireland, not "the world's problems". Perhaps I read a different essay.

Or perhaps were not aware of either the satire involved or Swift's intention that it was a reflection of popular anti-poor policies around the world.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:20 AM on May 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Ah yes, I was wondering when someone would arrive to blame the unions.

If this is in reference to my comment - did you actually read it? Or did you just jump to the least favorable, favorite-mongering interpretation oh wait this is metafilter why am I even asking

On the other hand, it is their choices in life that cause immense, very real damage to the rest of us.

Can you talk a bit about how, say, mid-level coders at Google "cause immense, very real damage" to you?
posted by downing street memo at 9:21 AM on May 28, 2013 [28 favorites]


It is a melancholy object to those who scroll through this front page or travel in the Green, when they see the FPPs, the SLYTs, and deleted posts, crowded with posters of the snarky sex, followed by three, four, or six in-jokes, all in rags and importuning every lurker for favorites. These posters, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in trolling to beg favorites for their pitiful sockpuppets: who as they grow up either call-out their fellow users on Meta, or leave their dear native Blue to fight for the subreddits, or sell themselves to Yahoo.
posted by oulipian at 9:21 AM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


dfan: "Ah yes, I was wondering when someone would arrive to blame the unions.
Someone mentioned unions. It didn't look like blame to me.
"

Both that that argument is a "Metafilter standard" and those salary figures for machinists are imaginary, so perhaps this derail isn't worth it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:22 AM on May 28, 2013 [27 favorites]


On the other hand, it is their choices in life that cause immense, very real damage to the rest of us.

I will step up as a 1%er. I am curious to know what choices I have made that have caused immense, very real damage to you.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:22 AM on May 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


do we think this is okay?

Yes and no.

I do not think the thing that you outline -- people reacting unpleasantly to any mention of "people who have more money than either some people have or some think they should have" -- would be great.

On the other hand, the thing that you outline doesn't happen very often here. What you saw in that thread was people reacting unpleasantly to people who were very well off complaining about how little money they have, or an article related to same. Talking about people earning $250K/year as scraping by, when only 15% of households Santa Clara county earn that much even in Santa Clara County, is an offensive thing to do in public. It should not be surprising when people react strongly and negatively to offensive public conduct.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:23 AM on May 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


Making it harder for my neighbors to eat or have health care is still damage to me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:23 AM on May 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


I will step up as a 1%er. I am curious to know what choices I have made that have caused immense, very real damage to you.

I have lost countless minutes of my life reading metatalk trainwrecks. MINUTES.
posted by phunniemee at 9:24 AM on May 28, 2013 [60 favorites]


Since you've started a thread of your own to wring your hands over how badly the rich and powerful are being talked about around here, I'll take the opportunity to note that the mods deleted my comments taking to task your advocacy for the so-called Confederate States of America.

So, you know, keep that in mind next time someone complains about this forum being "too liberal."
posted by octobersurprise at 9:26 AM on May 28, 2013 [27 favorites]


Can you talk a bit about how, say, mid-level coders at Google "cause immense, very real damage" to you?

One word: Reader.
posted by kmz at 9:26 AM on May 28, 2013 [47 favorites]


The people mentioned in that article are in the top 1.5% of earners in the United States and yet are still (completely absurdly!) complaining that they just don't have enough money to make ends meet.

There are no actual people mentioned in the article, so I'm not sure who you are accusing of complaining. The article is talking about hypothetical people and it was written by a partner in a venture capital firm who has an interest in presenting a certain point of view.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:26 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


It is about the population issues in Ireland, not "the world's problems". Perhaps I read a different essay.

If that's what you're choosing to focus on, it seems a tiny bit like you might be willfully choosing to misunderstand the point.

In any case, the phrase 'eat the rich' dates back to at least to Rousseau, if not earlier, so it's likely that people aren't actively thinking 'hey, Jonathon Swift's satirical essay, A Modest Proposal, suggested that the rich eat the poor, but I feel strongly that in the situation we find ourselves in now, the poor eating the rich would offer a much better solution, so I'm going to suggest that.'
posted by jacquilynne at 9:27 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, please do eat the rich -- it will fatten you up for the Bangladeshi who eats you.
posted by brain_drain at 9:28 AM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Talking about people earning $250K/year as scraping by

Can you cite someone in the thread or in the article linked who characterizes $250k as "scraping by"?

The article reads, to me, as "you may have expectations x, y, and z; but your income may not be enough to achieve them all, so aim for jobs that pay in equity stakes."

Reader

Ha, well, I imagine that's something that happened at a level far higher than $125k.
posted by downing street memo at 9:28 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, please do eat the rich -- it will fatten you up for the Bangladeshi who eats you.

TROPHIC LEVELS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!
posted by Jpfed at 9:30 AM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


I will step up as a 1%er.

This reflects badly on you. No, not the wealth, not at all, but rather the time you devote to trolling metafilter if you are that wealthy.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:30 AM on May 28, 2013 [30 favorites]


This seems to be one of those exceptions that is pretty consistent - it seems more personally vicious than a lot of the other typical bugbears.

Meaning no offense, corb, but I expect that you're more likely to see viciousness and real intent to do harm in statements like the ones you bring up because of your family history.

And, honestly, I think you'd get farther with cooling comments like that by occasionally reminding others and especially mods that eat-the-rich comments can be disturbing to real people here on metafilter whose families really did, in the recent past, have their property expropriated in leftist revolutions that I expect most of us here would have found terrifying to live through.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:31 AM on May 28, 2013 [26 favorites]


Step back down, Tanizaki. You're boring.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:31 AM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


Maybe it's outsourced trolling, though.
posted by elizardbits at 9:32 AM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Really the post should have been deleted because it's basically the equivalent of single link op-ed grar bait.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:32 AM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


The article reads, to me, as "you may have expectations x, y, and z; but your income may not be enough to achieve them all, so aim for jobs that pay in equity stakes."

It is clear that the expectations are intended to read as normal middle-class expectations (a detached home, sending kids to college, a non-poverty retirement), and that frustrating those expectations must therefore mean at best just scraping by.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:33 AM on May 28, 2013


I used to have a boss who would complain in my hearing about how he had to pay so much for his yacht slip it was hard to continue to justify keeping the boat. Meanwhile, I couldn't afford basic health care.

That dichotomy may explain some hostility toward the very rich.
posted by winna at 9:35 AM on May 28, 2013 [47 favorites]


Meaning no offense, corb, but I expect that you're more likely to see viciousness and real intent to do harm in statements like the ones you bring up because of your family history.

And, honestly, I think you'd get farther with cooling comments like that by occasionally reminding others and especially mods that eat-the-rich comments can be disturbing to real people here on metafilter whose families really did, in the recent past, have their property expropriated in leftist revolutions that I expect most of us here would have found terrifying to live through.


None taken, and honestly, I appreciate the advice. It's quite possible that for a lot of people these don't read as actually vicious because they seem like ridiculous suggestions that would never be taken seriously and so thus must be a joke, whereas I read it as verbal viciousness because those suggestions sometimes are taken seriously. I still think it's unpleasantness, but that's a reasonable point.
posted by corb at 9:36 AM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Maybe it's outsourced trolling, though.

Telecommuted.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:37 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will step up as a 1%er. I am curious to know what choices I have made that have caused immense, very real damage to you.

Your mileage may vary, but I find this article quite compelling in answering your question. Here is the central idea:

"Not to put too fine a point on it: as the rich get richer, they can buy a lot of things besides goods and services. Money buys political influence; used cleverly, it also buys intellectual influence. A result is that growing income disparities in the United States, far from leading to demands to soak the rich, have been accompanied by a growing movement to let them keep more of their earnings and to pass their wealth on to their children.

This obviously raises the possibility of a self-reinforcing process. As the gap between the rich and the rest of the population grows, economic policy increasingly caters to the interests of the elite, while public services for the population at large -- above all, public education -- are starved of resources. As policy increasingly favors the interests of the rich and neglects the interests of the general population, income disparities grow even wider."
posted by Frobenius Twist at 9:39 AM on May 28, 2013 [58 favorites]


As ultraviolet catastrophe points out, these are hypotheticals being hated on. I will be happy to eat hypothetical rich people's hypothetical livers any day of the week - and I don't even like liver.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:41 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Frobenius Twist, I'd say political influence being bought and sold doesn't really kick in until you're at some sort of 0.01% of normal income levels. In the last presidential election, I thought I heard a huge percentage of campaign dollars came from something like 150 ultra-wealthy people. So it's really the crazy billionaires at the top ruining things for others, not every person making $380,000/yr.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:42 AM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


That thread was not personal--through my eyes anyway--meaning it wasn't a place where rich mefites were being personally attacked because of their wealth by other mefites who have lower salaries and less wealth. The comments were snarky jabs at "the rich" in a non-personal way. And this happened even though some folks offered fairly specific information about their financial status. Some people were taking some heat for their specific comments, but not because of their financial status. So those "eat the rich" comments didn't bother me.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:44 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually it is telling of the unbelievable concentration of wealth that good arguments can be made it is not really the 1% who are the problem but the 0.1% or even the 0.01%. Poking fun at the coders or even Tanizaki is, sadly enough, missing the real target.
posted by Rumple at 9:45 AM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


I wouldn't have a problem with it if, since languagehat points out, big-R Rich people (who downing street memo is helpful explaining don't work, just grow capital, etc., a distinction most Mefites don't make unfortunately) and the systems they have in place now are fucking things up for everyone, if people would actually say that, specific problems they have with that whole system, as opposed to just being dicks about anyone who makes money at some (varies by person/location, I reckon) cut-off point after which No Humanity Shall Be Granted. And this isn't a super new thing; it's come up before...I forget where, but there was an argument on the Blue years ago where a few folks who made a little over 100,000 annually were lumped in dismissively or whatever, and though I'm not one of those (I'm a freelance copy editor with a very narrow/specialized client base and my husband's a city high school math teacher, so yeeeah) I must've said something that seemed like some defense of them and I got some MeMail from folks who told me they felt very attacked and whatnot, and made the same distinction downing street memo makes (which if you actually care about changing things as opposed to just finding someone to vent your spleen on is important, that focus/distinction). It also kinda smacks of sour grapes at times--when people sometimes are like "these idiots make so much more money than I do and I do a job that actually matters!" or whatever.

And this is a general thing that makes me uneasy lately with Mefi--someone will come in to MetaTalk, mention they feel attacked and dismissed because they're a member of some group the site considers a power elite along some axis (gender, income, race, etc.) OR they don't belong to said group but they just see that happening on the Blue and find it unkind and distasteful, and right away a lot of people are like "I'm playing the world's tiniest violin for you/them, boo hoo, whatever". I get that power imbalance makes it much easier to side/sympathize generally with those on the margins (I'm a nonwhite feminist in a household making less than $60k, blah blah). But this particular thing, where on site, we're like "because you don't have it as bad as women/the poor/black people in life you can withstand us being dismissive and unkind and generalizing all over the Blue" bugs the hell out of me. I don't think it's that hard to just be generally decent/kind/non-dismissive to fellow Mefites, whoever they are or whatever you assume they represent. It doesn't cost you anything not to be a jerk on the site to people, whether they're lawyers or work in an industry you don't approve of or are young white men or anything. Criticize structures, not people flatout, people you know include fellow Mefites. But maybe I'm being too incoherent about this. It's something that turns me off about the site though.
posted by ifjuly at 9:47 AM on May 28, 2013 [115 favorites]


growing income disparities in the United States

I find that "income disparity" is a seldom-examined phrase. For example, say A has an income of 50 and B has an income of 30. After some time, both of their incomes have gone up so that A has an income of 100 and B has an income of 60. The income disparity between them has doubled but B is now better off than A was.

Should B be sad?
posted by Tanizaki at 9:47 AM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


(whoops, quoted instead of commented)
posted by ifjuly at 9:48 AM on May 28, 2013


Poking fun at the coders or even Tanizaki is, sadly enough, missing the real target.

Definitely, and I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to personally attack Tanizaki here. This is a systemic issue, not a personal issue.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 9:49 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find that "income disparity" is a seldom-examined phrase. For example, say A has an income of 50 and B has an income of 30. After some time, both of their incomes have gone up so that A has an income of 100 and B has an income of 60. The income disparity between them has doubled but B is now better off than A was.

That hypothetical is irrelevant because that's not what's happening in the US.
posted by downing street memo at 9:49 AM on May 28, 2013 [49 favorites]


ugh can you fix those italics ifjuly. You still have time!
posted by sweetkid at 9:49 AM on May 28, 2013


oh good
posted by sweetkid at 9:50 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, corb, I worry a little that bringing it up in an already heated thread would just get you the sort of they-deserved-it talk you've mentioned receiving elsewhere. I can only say that knowing that it would stress out someone here would help me avoid being a dick.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:50 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


In re the title question:

Maybe we could try not hating people for their economic status?

It's always going to be a lot likelier that a flip remark disparaging the rich will slide here (vs. one disparaging the poor) because of three things:

1) the inherent power imbalance.
2) there's a lot more poor people than rich people, so the majority perspective will shade towards the poor side of the spectrum
3) metafilter's pretty liberal in general and liberalism tends to be far more concerned with alleviating the suffering of the poor than valorising the achievements of the rich; from that perspective any discussion of the problems of the rich appears trivial, a distraction from the far more important and pressing problems of the poor

Taking all that in, when a comment is laid upon the scales, a snark on the wealthy is far more likely to tip into the "okay to make fun of" zone. {Shrug.} it is what it is.
posted by Diablevert at 9:52 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


but rather the time you devote to trolling metafilter if you are that wealthy.

That's an interesting attitude actually. Aren't the rich supposed to have too much time on their hands? Where should a rich person be trolling if that's their thing? Or is trolling something only poor people do?

Also, speaking as someone in the top 1% worldwide income bracket if I'm going to get a chance to grind my heel into the face of the Chinese factory workers I oppress with my ridiculously unsustainable lifestyle, the Internet is my best shot. It's not like I'm going to ever actually meet the people my selfish choices keep in a state of permanent poverty.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:52 AM on May 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Tanizaki should become a chef - cook up a canard seasoned with chestnuts, maybe.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:53 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Aren't the rich supposed to have too much time on their hands?

No because they work so much harder than poor people, thus justifying the income disparity.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:54 AM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


'For example, say A has an income of 50 and B has an income of 30. After some time, both of their incomes have gone up so that A has an income of 100 and B has an income of 60. The income disparity between them has doubled but B is now better off than A was.'

That hypothetical is irrelevant because that's not what's happening in the US.


I wish we could link to images, because the graph at the top of the article downing street memo linked may also explain some tension.
posted by winna at 9:57 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Should B be sad?

You're putting forward a complete strawman. A rising tide lifts all boats, sure, but the tide is not rising. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. They aren't both getting richer.
posted by Justinian at 9:57 AM on May 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


the mods deleted my comments taking to task your advocacy for the so-called Confederate States of America.

I saw one one these deleted comments during it's brief life. It read to me as pretty much pure personal attack on Corb that contributed nothing to the actual discussion. If you truly believe it was deleted for being "too liberal", you may want to seek clarification from the mods privately. It certainly has no bearing on this thread.
posted by 0 at 9:59 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I felt the snark was sliding towards "eliminate the kulaks as a class," e.g. the implication that living near where you work would be deemed a luxury if that place is extraordinarily expensive. Any meaningful discussion about why it is so hard to afford property etc in the area was drowned out.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:00 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


You're putting forward a complete strawman.

Not at all. I am explaining, apparently successfully, that "income disparity" is not per se a wrong.
posted by Tanizaki at 10:00 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


That thread was far too poisonous for me to consider participating in. Perhaps some of it was meant as good-natured but it didn't come across that way.
posted by Skorgu at 10:01 AM on May 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


(2) the people being hated on were a sort of mythical construct created by the WealthFront sales pitch. I concede it's possible that there are some people out there who earn $250k/year and make it their top priority to take out an $800,000 mortgate (!) and send their kids to private school, but, come on, people like that sort of deserve to be made fun of.

So how's for this one:

If you oppose people sending their kids to private school, you hate women.

RIGHT? No, you're probably not saying that. But here's the argument.

If two (we'll go with hetrosexual, cis parents here, but honestly, it works for everyone) parents both want to work and have kids, then someone needs to look after the kids. Public school is a real pain in the ass for after-school care and around the Bay Area schools get out at 2:30-ish, which is kind of early for one parent to call it a day. So the kids need after care. Which costs money.

private school costs only marginally more than after-school-care and it usually much better integrated with the after care so there's no worrying about covering 10 minuet gaps between when school gets out early one day for some special event and when after care starts. Without private school it is impossible for both parents to work and the stay-at-home-parent is almost always the mother.

Yes, the dad could stay home. But if parents want equal treatment to pursue their careers then private school is a pretty reasonable option.

And, for those who don't live here, these private schools are largely indistinguishable from public schools. Many are in fact in former public school buildings that were built in the baby boom and are now leased by local school boards to private schools. They're not tony boarding schools where it's all great gatsby parties every weekend. They're pretty boring schools that happen to be private and that offer better integrated care options for younger children.

Anyway. Eat the rich all you want, but honestly, most of these $250K dual-income families are, depressingly, much like you.
posted by GuyZero at 10:04 AM on May 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


Any meaningful discussion about why it is so hard to afford property etc in the area was drowned out.

Right, exactly.

There is actually a very interesting conversation to be had about why Bay Area workers (yes, workers) have a hard time affording real estate within reasonable commuting distance of their jobs. It has a lot to do with unfriendly land-use regulations supported, in large part, by the actual Rich who want to live in their gated communities with palatial views in perpetuity.

But instead we got the usual faux-proletarian bombast and easy snark that unfortunately characterizes most Metafilter discussions of anything remotely political or economic, and that's too bad.

Not at all. I am explaining, apparently successfully, that "income disparity" is not per se a wrong.

No, you're trolling, since your "explanation" is entirely irrelevant to reality.
posted by downing street memo at 10:05 AM on May 28, 2013 [30 favorites]


Poking fun at the coders or even Tanizaki is, sadly enough, missing the real target.

True, but the 0.1% and the 0.01% never come around here.

Maybe we could try not hating people for their economic status?

Also a fine sentiment. However, it's hilarious—for some value of "hilarious" that includes STABBY STABBY STABBY—that you could write this appeal—what?—an hour or so after spouting neo-confederate hogwash.

Yes, by all means, let's not hate on people for their economic status. But before that, can we not defend the wealthy, violently rebellious people who wanted to OWN other people?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:06 AM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


i'm sometimes grossed out by the attitudes here towards rich/celebrities being sexually assaulted and harassed* - like their fame and wealth means that they shouldn't complain (or go be a teacher in iowa if they don't like it) - but when we're specifically talking about money and how the rich have a tendency to hoard it while supporting efforts to stymy healthcare and remove programs that support for the poor, it seems perfectly reasonable that some will be touchy about that. especially if the topic of conversation is about how $250k a year is just not enough.



*psst. if i could just mention for anyone reading along who was in another thread a couple weeks ago where i was shitty about one mr. hamm - could i just say i was having a bad day and it wasn't my finest hour...
posted by nadawi at 10:07 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


One of the complications of discussions like this is the question of what constitutes "rich".

I have a friend who lives in a $450,000 home, and his home is full of big screen TVs, exercise equipment and so on. I think he's rich. He doesn't, and he bristles at the suggestion.

I live in a home worth about half of that, and I'm fortunate enough to be able provide my wife the ability to stay home with our kids. I don't think I'm rich, and I would probably bristle at the notion of it.

I've worked with the homeless and under privileged in Baltimore and New Orleans. Most of those folks would consider me to be rich.

There are folks living in systematic poverty in third world nations would probably look at the resources available to the home less in America and assume that even our homeless were rich.

For most people, "rich" means "anyone who has more money than me".

That's a lousy reason to hate someone.
posted by DWRoelands at 10:09 AM on May 28, 2013 [76 favorites]


The privileged are privileged.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:09 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


My wife and I both work for Silicon Valley companies (although we don't live there) and our household income is certainly within the top 5% and I have zero problems with the negative sentiment against the rich expressed in that thread. I'm not about to ask my company to pay me less but I'm not blind to the income disparities present in the US and how much worse it's gotten in my lifetime.

Two things:

* I hope that I'd never ever complain about how much money I have. If I'd ever bitch about how hard it is to get by on a software engineer's salary, I hope that someone would call me out on it for being an idiot.

* I'm really not worried that ravening hordes of Mefites are going to BBQ me.
posted by octothorpe at 10:10 AM on May 28, 2013 [52 favorites]


it seems perfectly reasonable that some will be touchy about that. especially if the topic of conversation is about how $250k a year is just not enough.

I just want to point out, AGAIN, that no one has actually ever asserted that $250K is "not enough" except for a money management firm that's looking to drum up business. People making $250K have their problems like everyone else, but the assertion that $250K is insufficient is basically the same assertion make by Procter Gamble when it tells you that your whites are insufficiently white.
posted by GuyZero at 10:11 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


are you sure about that? you might taste delicious with a smoked paprika rub (oh, who am i kidding, everything is delicious with a smoked paprika rub).
posted by nadawi at 10:12 AM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


The poor, poor rich. First they have to pay a little tax and now they aren't getting enough consideration!
posted by DU at 10:12 AM on May 28, 2013


"income disparity" is not per se a wrong.

It wouldn't matter if it were, because posting nasty quips on MetaFilter does not right any wrongs. Some people have said that it makes them feel better (venting through dark humor, etc), and other people have said it makes MetaFilter less enjoyable for them. That's the Etiquette/Policy issue, and the difference between having a MetaTalk conversation versus a social-studies class.

Having said that, everybody—including the only mod present—seems to want to have the latter conversation. I'm not sure why or how "What constitutes 'rich'?" is a MetaTalk issue, but so be it.
posted by cribcage at 10:13 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just want to point out, AGAIN, that no one has actually ever asserted that $250K is "not enough"

yes, yes you win the reading comprehension award - but you're high if you think no one has EVER asserted that. it's a pretty popular op-ed topic that comes up every few months - to let all us poorer people know that HOA fees and private school funds and vacations to hawaii are expensive and they might have to give up their 5th car.
posted by nadawi at 10:14 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Everything I say is literally true.
posted by The Whelk at 10:14 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure why or how "What constitutes 'rich'?" is a MetaTalk issue, but so be it.

Yep, I was just popping in to say let's not have the same conversation about income disparity and what "rich" means in this thread, since it's already happening in the original thread.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:16 AM on May 28, 2013


you're high if you think no one has EVER asserted that.

It is always asserted by a third party on behalf of someone. No one seriously ever posts "I make $250K, boo hoo me". Well, everyone complains about stuff from time to time, but generally these posts come from "wealth" managers and anti-tax ideologues.
posted by GuyZero at 10:16 AM on May 28, 2013


I felt the snark was sliding towards "eliminate the kulaks as a class," e.g. the implication that living near where you work would be deemed a luxury if that place is extraordinarily expensive.

I think part of the issue here is a genuine feeling that the "Kulaks" (in this case not the independent, landowning peasants, which aren't really a feature of the modern US political economy; but rather a significant chunk of the middle class, particularly those who used to be able to support themselves through industrial labor, or a skilled trade, or administrative work) are being eliminated as a class. And not by Bolsheviks either, but by a group of people who are becoming increasingly wealthy as a result, and by the economic policies which serve those people. This seems to be contributing in some part to the resentment here.

A class of people in the US have gotten exponentially richer over the last 20 years, while many others have seen their real wages continually fall (through a combination of price inflation combined with lack of wage inflation, or elimination of employment). This is the increasing income disparity that Tanizaki seems confused by.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:17 AM on May 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


* I'm really not worried that ravening hordes of Mefites are going to BBQ me.

I might braise you.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:19 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


People I'll have you know that speaking up against your obvious betters on a web site is a punishable offense.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on May 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


Some people have said that it makes them feel better (venting through dark humor, etc), and other people have said it makes MetaFilter less enjoyable for them. That's the Etiquette/Policy issue, and the difference between having a MetaTalk conversation versus a social-studies class.

And back to that subject, I suppose I wonder if there's any middle ground such that both groups can feel decent about it all?

For those of you who really enjoy that kind of talk, with the venting through dark humor, do you feel like it absolutely needs to rise to the level of "those people should die/we need to eat them/we need to burn them/take their houses" type stuff? Or are the sad violins sufficient? And if not, why?
posted by corb at 10:19 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Less hating would generally be a good idea. That said, I have MeFi directly to thank for my current "up against the wall when the revolution comes" status and I have mixed feelings about this general topic. I feel like any article that is basically suggesting that you should be sympathetic towards people you are generally not inclined to be sympathetic towards has a tendency to bring out naysayers and snark even more than the average MeFi article. And the fact that this isn't something like race or sexual orientation (there's an argument that you can choose your high income, or rather choose not to have it if it's bothering you so much) means that people feel freer to toss around general gleeful invectives.

I agree with mathowie, I didn't see anything I'd delete there among the things you've linked to but I also often find that threads go better when people aren't just spending a lot of time being nasty about other people no matter who they are or how awful they may be (even if people are truly awful, threads that are just about hating them are dull threads).

Also please don't use this thread to rehash discussions that rightfully belong in the MeFi thread. Thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:20 AM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh, GuyZero-by "private school," I meant "private post-secondary education." That was set out in the WealthFront sales pitch, but wasn't clear in my comment.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:21 AM on May 28, 2013


Or are the sad violins sufficient? And if not, why?


Sometimes the world's smallest violin isn't sufficient.

So I bring in another one. And the world's smallest viola. And then the world's smallest cello.


We're going to play some Bach.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:22 AM on May 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


The problem I had with that thread was that I was interested in hearing from folks at various income levels about the economics of living in the Bay Area, e.g. meaningful discussion about why it is so hard to afford property etc in the area. Instead it just became grar-ing at "rich" people, whatever rich may be.
posted by needled at 10:22 AM on May 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


No one seriously ever posts "I make $250K, boo hoo me".

Earning $250,000 Does Not Make You Rich, Not in My Town.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:23 AM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Meh. I could argue that he's simply making an anti-tax screed in the first person.

But whatever. Feel free to hate that guy, but it seems like a stretch to hate on everyone in that income bracket just because there are a few people who are assholes.
posted by GuyZero at 10:25 AM on May 28, 2013


> And the world's smallest viola. And then the world's smallest cello.
We're going to play some Bach.


That is the most obscure pun I have seen in quite a while. Congrats!
posted by benito.strauss at 10:25 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Earning $250,000 Does Not Make You Rich, Not in My Town.

It strains credulity that this needs to be said, but "Not Rich" != "boo hoo me". And I hated the shit out of that op-ed when it came out.
posted by downing street memo at 10:25 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


And the fact that this isn't something like race or sexual orientation (there's an argument that you can choose your high income, or rather choose not to have it if it's bothering you so much) means that people feel freer to toss around general gleeful invectives.

I think also it's worth mentioning that most of the examples that Corb links to at the top are pretty clearly satirical. Perhaps it's a distinction that some people don't care about, but for me comparisons to Marie Antoinette and satirically suggesting that you'll starve to death if you make less than $200,000 are very different than, say, comments to the effect of "I'M GOING TO FIND AND KILL THOSE RICH PEOPLE!" or something like that. The latter would not be a great comment for metafilter, for sure.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 10:26 AM on May 28, 2013


But whatever. Feel free to hate that guy, but it seems like a stretch to hate on everyone in that income bracket just because there are a few people who are assholes.

I don't hate the guy, I just remembered that thread pretty clearly and thought it didn't square with your assertion.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:30 AM on May 28, 2013


The down with the rich comments are truly offensive in the sense that they're really uninteresting.
posted by klarck at 10:30 AM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


"A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public" was primarily about population issues in Ireland. If you're not being disingenuous, I'm going to go ahead and suggest you may have missed some overarching themes.
posted by Hoopo at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just remembered that thread pretty clearly

Yeah, kind of like how I remember having had noro really clearly.
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]



We have people talking about guillotines, sardonically suggesting cannibalism, wishing for their death, talking about the specific degree of richness required before you want to eat them, suggesting they're assholes if they think they have any problems, encouraging people to kill the rich, and more.


do we think this is okay?

YES

If so, why?

Because those examples are ridiculous, clearly satirical, and not serious no not at all and it's kind of funny to post "talking about guillotines" like you're making a real callout.

And if not, how can we try to do better?


er, be the change I guess.
posted by sweetkid at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's not, like, an exact comparison. But at bottom it's about solving a problem by eating people. How pedantic do we need to be about the Swift reference here?
posted by MoonOrb at 10:37 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Asking how pedantic we can be is like asking how large the universe is.
posted by The Whelk at 10:39 AM on May 28, 2013 [41 favorites]


> as opposed to just being dicks about anyone who makes money at some (varies by person/location, I reckon) cut-off point after which No Humanity Shall Be Granted.

Oh, come on. Mocking somebody doesn't mean you're Granting them No Humanity. If people have enough money they can worry about their yacht fees, let alone which legislators to buy today, they can stand a little internet flaming. I personally don't have a fixed cut-off point of income or property, but if hearing rich people mocked makes a person nervous or unhappy, that person is either on the wrong side of the line or is foolishly identifying with the oppressor.
posted by languagehat at 10:39 AM on May 28, 2013 [27 favorites]


Sweetkid.....be careful.......some of us have a sweet tooth.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:41 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


They can take a cab and begin to recover on their fourteen carat yacht.
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I deal with people who make high incomes all the time, most of whom are acquaintences. I count many friends and family among them. Some people may even refer to me as one of them. A lot of them generally complain about the disappointments in their lives and many are harboring serious resentments against the rest of their fellow citizens. I have no problem pointing out that they are being whiners and relentlessly mocking their weak-mindedness. Seriously, nothing is more annoying than have to deal with a rich person whining, particularly when they are trying to construct a political system to buttress many of their already-unearned privileges. It's why it is so refreshing when people I meet are doing well economically and are generally happy and satisfied with their lives, because they are pleasant to be around and they are not treating people like me as a threat that needs to be dealt with, as so many of their political advocates and representatives are.

Most of us have moral problems with cannibalism and summary execution, and I think corb is being a bit touchy by whining that the unnamed wealthy must endure the slings and arrows of hyperbole. In any case, though I am not a big red-meat eater, I have heard that you want your meat to be well-marbled, and many of the wealthy are really big into fitness, and thus don't have enough fat tissue to be a truly enjoyable meal.

People who come to America irritated that their desire to recreate the impoverished, neo-feudal kleptocracy they left in their home-countries is not attractive, either.
posted by deanc at 10:42 AM on May 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


Acording to this if you earn more than US $39,000 per annum as a single person, you are then part of the 1% problem.
posted by adamvasco at 10:43 AM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


For those of you who really enjoy that kind of talk, with the venting through dark humor, do you feel like it absolutely needs to rise to the level of "those people should die/we need to eat them/we need to burn them/take their houses" type stuff?

"Need" might be a strong word, but I often find stuff like that funny. And as a resident of San Francisco and a worker in Silicon Valley, I can assure those who might be genuinely concerned that I have never seen evidence of Rich People in Silicon Valley actually being in danger of being eaten/burned out of their homes/etc.
posted by rtha at 10:45 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


And seriously, whether or not we have moral issues with cannibalism is sort of immaterial when it's being used as a hyperbolic statement of dissatisfaction with an unofficial oligarchy. Especially when it's not as though it's a legitimate concern of any class of people in the US. Or like, anywhere.
posted by elizardbits at 10:45 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


For those of you who really enjoy that kind of talk, with the venting through dark humor, do you feel like it absolutely needs to rise to the level of "those people should die/we need to eat them/we need to burn them/take their houses" type stuff?

You're right, that sort of light humor doesn't have occur, but it can be fun when it does.

Or are the sad violins sufficient? And if not, why?

Some people are different than you. If you don't like it, don't read it. If you can point to problem that these sort of jokes are causing on the site, then lets hear it.

Otherwise, stop interrupting my lunch of grilled North Atlantic Rich Person.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:47 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those of you who really enjoy that kind of talk, with the venting through dark humor, do you feel like it absolutely needs to rise to the level of "those people should die/we need to eat them/we need to burn them/take their houses" type stuff?

No it's only funny to talk about eating the poor children
posted by sweetkid at 10:48 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Free range or farmed, though.
posted by elizardbits at 10:48 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Modern oligarchs are such wussies, total testicles, J. P Morgan would've just hired a few Pinkertons to punch these internet commentators on the jaw and then gone back to hoarding vast wealth.
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 AM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]



Free range or farmed, though.


Free range but hopefully they don't run around too much. It makes them tired and stringy.
posted by sweetkid at 10:50 AM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Free range or farmed, though.

Farmed of course. The free range specimens tend to build up too muscle running from police. Makes'em smarter too. Perfect for hunting and trophy stuffing, but not something you want to eat, unless you're training for a marathon.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:52 AM on May 28, 2013


"Eat the rich" is apparently a quote from Rousseau. I haven't thought much about Rousseau since high school, but I vaguely recall he argued with Hobbes about man in the state of nature. I think it's therefore pretty clear he is literally advocating that the poor should eat the rich, on account of nature being red in tooth and claw.
posted by Hoopo at 10:52 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are you sure it's not Aerosmith?
posted by Justinian at 10:56 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


But at bottom it's about solving a problem by eating people.

Who said anything about solving a problem?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:57 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


specifically talking about money and how the rich have a tendency to hoard it while supporting efforts to stymy healthcare and remove programs that support for the poor

As always it's worth remembering that the politics of the rich mirror the politics of the rest of the population. Plenty of rich people who are happy to pay higher taxes and who donate huge sums of money to social causes.

Of course there are also plenty who don't, but tarring everyone with the same brush seems a bit uncool.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:58 AM on May 28, 2013


I thought it was Jello Biafra.
posted by elizardbits at 10:58 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


The problem I had with that thread was that I was interested in hearing from folks at various income levels about the economics of living in the Bay Area, e.g. meaningful discussion about why it is so hard to afford property etc in the area.

Couldn't agree more. This and this were illuminating comments that helped me to understand the situation better. I'd like to read more comments like those.

I don't mind snark and mockery, just please
- don't drown out the signal with the noise
- don't act offended when the target of your snark returns the favor

Most of the time back-and-forth snarkfest easily drowns out reasoned discussion, so I'd personally prefer the snark to be kept to a minimum, or non-repetitive at the very least. If you feel an intense urge to snark, either + a snarky comment or come up with a new angle.
posted by fatehunter at 10:59 AM on May 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


Acording to this if you earn more than US $39,000 per annum as a single person, you are then part of the 1% problem.

To be fair you would have to net that. In the U.S. you would have to earn about $60,000 to get your oppressor badge and be invited to the secret meetings where we conspire to keep the poor in their place.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:02 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Speaking of those secret meetings I found the cheese in the Children Quesadillas a bit gummy last time, can we order from a different place?
posted by sweetkid at 11:04 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


next time stick to the baby burritos
posted by elizardbits at 11:05 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


But at bottom it's about solving a problem by eating people.

Who said anything about solving a problem?
posted by TheWhiteSkull 3 minutes ago [+]


Some people just want to watch the world burn; I prefer it a little over rare.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:06 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]




baby burritos

I believe those are more properly burrirritos. (Or would it be burritotos?)
posted by kmz at 11:07 AM on May 28, 2013


Burrititos, I think.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:08 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


burrititos.
posted by elizardbits at 11:09 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of those secret meetings I found the cheese in the Children Quesadillas a bit gummy last time, can we order from a different place?

Stop holding the secret meetings at Guy Fieri's.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:09 AM on May 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


This thread is currently updating in the grill marks of my cheese sandwich
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rich is not neutral. One person's richness is extracted from the majority of us who are not. I don't think I have any obligation to be pleasant to people who are fucking over the world and me personally.
posted by latkes at 11:13 AM on May 28, 2013


burritinies
posted by sweetkid at 11:13 AM on May 28, 2013


Q: Who run Flavor Town?
A: The 1%. Duh.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:13 AM on May 28, 2013


To be fair you would have to net that.

I did not see an indication in the linked data that the figures were for net income.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:14 AM on May 28, 2013

I did not see an indication in the linked data that the figures were for net income.
It refers to "after-tax income" at the top.
posted by dfan at 11:15 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


To some extent, the up-against-the-wall-or-not? problem is self-solving: If a couple earning $90k and $160k (ie the $250k) really cannot live much more than a middle-class lifestyle in some areas, then the couple will blend right in with the mob and have nothing to worry about.
(Unless the mob is demanding tax returns)

In fact, the giveaway would be bringing your own pitchfork to the revolution - if you're living in San Francisco and you have a back yard and a garden, such that you'd have agricultural implements on hand, then you're probably doing pretty well. Quick - claim to be someone's gardener!
posted by anonymisc at 11:16 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I posted this in the original thread, but holy shit, if y'all want some people to hate on: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/iceberg-homes-make-for-irate-neighbours-in-london/article12183291
posted by GuyZero at 11:17 AM on May 28, 2013


It refers to "after-tax income" at the top.

So it does. Thank you.

I am more familiar with this page (which also uses net income), which gives various comparisons to give a perspective on wealth.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:20 AM on May 28, 2013


I thought it was Jello Biafra.

It wouldn't surprise me really. A lot of people take issue with Hobbes.
posted by Hoopo at 11:20 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rich is not neutral. One person's richness is extracted from the majority of us who are not. I don't think I have any obligation to be pleasant to people who are fucking over the world and me personally.

It's not about obligation, but being decent.
You are one of the rich, by your standard (of more people earning less than you than more). People lower on the global economic ladder than you don't have any obligation to be pleasant to you, sure, but I think it's decent if they recognized that you didn't set out to get them, and gave you some benefit of the doubt.
posted by anonymisc at 11:21 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Meh. I think those comments are annoying to the extent that they're so predictable and not very funny. Clever remarks are always welcomed. Unfortunately, clever isn't all that common in these threads. It's kind of like reading about Odumbo and his libtard followers from the usual numbskulls on other forums. I always wonder if anyone ever thinks such comments are funny.

Generally, I find hating on a class to be unseemly. Hating on a specific person, providing it's justifiable, is fair game.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:23 AM on May 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


burrititos

I think this is technically correct, but I prefer "burritocitos".
posted by LionIndex at 11:24 AM on May 28, 2013


The eat-the-rich-I'm-not-being-funny-seriously-fuck-those-guys crowd seems to have three incorrect memes running.

1) Rich people are all the same, or that a vast majority of the rich are virtually identical in values and mores. This makes no sense at all. They don't put Whole Foods inside the golf country clubs. My father-in-law is a wealthy Republican. He's not interested in driving a Tesla.

2) The vast majority of the rich got that way through unearned privilege. While advantageous race and educational opportunities are indeed present, the secret sauce seems to be simply living within their means.

2) If the poor we're suddenly made rich, everything would be qualitatively better, as the poor are inherently more compassionate people. This feels like a modern spin on the noble savage concept. Just because that dude swings a hammer for a living doesn't make him a saint. The single mother working two jobs needs help. It doesn't make her an expert on foreign policy.

It's those three memes that bother me most of all, because they all display the kind of immaturity that leads to societal misadventure.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:25 AM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


Rich is not neutral. One person's richness is extracted from the majority of us who are not.

Oh, throw that onto the bad meme pile. Economics is not a zero sum game. The economy is not a pizza. If I take two slices, it doesn't mean someone goes hungry. We can make more pizza.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:28 AM on May 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


I'm not in favor of eating the rich, but if we could hunt them for sport....

Seriously, I don't eat red meat, but I could see putting a banker head or two above my gold plated mantel.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:30 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I take two slices, it doesn't mean someone goes hungry. We can make more pizza.

If the size of the pizza doubles, but 99% of the people have pizza slices that are exactly the same size or smaller, I'm going to suspect something suspicious is going on.
posted by deanc at 11:37 AM on May 28, 2013 [29 favorites]



1) Rich people are all the same, or that a vast majority of the rich are virtually identical in values and mores. This makes no sense at all. They don't put Whole Foods inside the golf country clubs. My father-in-law is a wealthy Republican. He's not interested in driving a Tesla.

2) The vast majority of the rich got that way through unearned privilege. While advantageous race and educational opportunities are indeed present, the secret sauce seems to be simply living within their means.

2) If the poor we're suddenly made rich, everything would be qualitatively better, as the poor are inherently more compassionate people. This feels like a modern spin on the noble savage concept. Just because that dude swings a hammer for a living doesn't make him a saint. The single mother working two jobs needs help. It doesn't make her an expert on foreign policy.

It's those three memes that bother me most of all, because they all display the kind of immaturity that leads to societal misadventure.


What? Who is saying any of this?
posted by sweetkid at 11:40 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


2) The vast majority of the rich got that way through unearned privilege. While advantageous race and educational opportunities are indeed present, the secret sauce seems to be simply living within their means.

Oh boy, The Millionaire Next Door. It doesn't surprise me that those who remain millionaires keep a close watch on their money. It doesn't follow that all those who keep a close watch on their money become millionaires.

And living within your means is harder when you lack means in the first place. Poverty is expensive.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:40 AM on May 28, 2013 [41 favorites]


Who is saying any of this?

Quite a lot of people were making little or no distinction between the two-working-parent family from the Bay and the kind of people who don't need to labor to put bread on their table. That's a lot of #1 right there.
posted by anonymisc at 11:47 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Would it kill us to say "idea" instead of "meme"?
posted by thelonius at 11:47 AM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Would it kill us to say "idea" instead of "meme"?

And if it did, who would eat us?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:53 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


who would eat us?

strawmen on a societal misadventure
posted by Hoopo at 11:55 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's a lot of #1 right there.

Mmm maybe but I still don't know what "They don't put Whole Foods inside golf clubs" is supposed to mean.
posted by sweetkid at 11:56 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well have you ever cracked open a golf club to see what's inside?
posted by MoonOrb at 11:58 AM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yes. Overpriced mediocre lunch entrees.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:59 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


And the blood of the proletariat.
posted by elizardbits at 12:00 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Considering that one of the ways the rich are defended is by saying that "(poor) people are not entitled to food, housing, and health care, you have to earn those things" I'm not feeling too badly for rich people being the subject of hyperbole like "they should just die in a fire." Because nobody is actively advocating programs that prevent rich kids from getting breakfast. Or keeping rich kids out of doctors offices. Or forcing rich parents to move their kids from the mansions on the bay into cardboard boxes. (because those kids earned their waffles, right?)

And yet, we have some very well heeled Americans, attempting to do exactly those things to poor children. Except change "mansions on the bay" to "outdated public housing in bad neighborhoods."

So. As long as the policy discussions in this country have as much input as they do from libertarians, I'm perfectly fine with a bit of snark directed at the ostentatious displays of people (considered to be) wealthy. Because it's pretty damnable to claim you can't make it on 250,000 in the bay area when there are people there working minimum wage jobs.
posted by bilabial at 12:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [41 favorites]


Our family would qualify as rich based on the adults being a doctor and a well-paid government contractor.

I don't mind any of those comments.

I think I'd go well with some sort of chili-based dry rub? I'm a bit fat so I'd crackle up nicely.
posted by gaspode at 12:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Generally, I find hating on a class to be unseemly. Hating on a specific person, providing it's justifiable, is fair game.

You can finesse the issue of hating on a specific metafilter poster by hating their inferred class. So some of this might by systemic to the site.
posted by bukvich at 12:02 PM on May 28, 2013


Come gaspode, let's eat caviar off the backs of the oppressed! We told them it was an internship!
posted by The Whelk at 12:03 PM on May 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


This post reminds me of the cries of "misandry!" that come from the mens' rights assholes on reddit.
posted by desjardins at 12:04 PM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


well, mens' rights assholes EVERYWHERE, but reddit just sprang to mind.
posted by desjardins at 12:05 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


The real question here is how to sauce misandrist tenderloin.
posted by elizardbits at 12:07 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I thought the mods frowned on recipe threads.
posted by desjardins at 12:08 PM on May 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


Would it kill us to say "idea" instead of "meme"?

No, you can tell they're memes. You can tell because they're running.

♫ ♬ Did you ever see a meme running?* ♩ ♪
posted by octobersurprise at 12:08 PM on May 28, 2013


I guess this is a good place to announce that the name of my new band is "Pedantic Cannibals".

Also is there a wrong way to sauce tenderloin?
posted by selfnoise at 12:09 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


What if you started out really, really poor (as in catching and eating spiders for lunch) and then became rich? How does one best prepare a scrawny, malnourished core surrounded by a recent layer of fat?

And yet, we have some very well heeled Americans, attempting to do exactly those things to poor children. Except change "mansions on the bay" to "outdated public housing in bad neighborhoods."

We also have a ton of poor people doing exactly that. I don't mind the jokes, and I certainly have no need for sympathy. But I've been very, very poor, and now I'm rich, and in my experience, while most people of all economic classes are generally decent people trying to do the right thing, the ugly parts of human nature are equally represented at all levels. If you want to argue that evil rich people can do more damage, that's fine, but it's not the "rich" states that are passing the most punitive laws toward the poor.
posted by snickerdoodle at 12:10 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Pedantic Cannibals

Fucking Hannibal man.
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It does indeed seem to be the wealthy representatives of the special interests in those states that are responsible for the punitive laws, though.
posted by elizardbits at 12:12 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Come gaspode, let's eat caviar off the backs of the oppressed! We told them it was an internship!

Whole thread worth it for this.
posted by sweetkid at 12:13 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Will no one think of the beautiful people? We have problems too, you know.
posted by shothotbot at 12:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The real question here is how to sauce misandrist tenderloin.
posted by elizardbits at 12:07 PM on May 28 [+] [!]


I thought the mods frowned on recipe threads.
posted by desjardins at 12:08 PM on May 28 [2 favorites +] [!]


and the word "butthurt," too.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:14 PM on May 28, 2013


But it's not the "rich" states that are passing the most punitive laws toward the poor.

This is always interesting to me. I think it has something to do with aspiration and also exposure. Many people are not voting their current self interest, but their future self interest. When they become millionaires, they'll be damned if they are going to pay "high" taxes. Additionally, the wealthy people in those states have an enormous unbalanced amount of power, education and, surprise! resources with which to make laws that further increase their power and resources. And if you can keep your minimum wage minions working two jobs, they don't have time to go lobby for anything, even if they can get access to a senator.

I think there's also something to be said for states with a more balanced mix of incomes also having an understanding that when everyone does better, everyone does better.
posted by bilabial at 12:16 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Who is saying any of this?

Quite a lot of people were making little or no distinction between the two-working-parent family from the Bay and the kind of people who don't need to labor to put bread on their table. That's a lot of #1 right there.


Not to mention not making any distinction between those rich people who are entitled assholes with an I've-got-mine-so-bootstrap-yourself attitude, and those rich people who grew up as lower or middle class kids, experiencing a lot of financial instability, who got STEM degrees on a combination of financial aid and scholarships, who by virtue of a full time programming job are now facing the prospect of being one half of one of these evil rich Bay area couples, a little overwhelmed with the money, but feeling relieved to not only have financial security and thus no longer burden their parents, but also to be able to help their parents, friends, etc out when needed, maybe donate to a few good causes, and look forward to not passing on various financial insecurities and neuroses to their future children. Yes, lucky and privileged without a doubt on a number of levels, but not exactly stuffing money in their ears and using the poor for footstools while defunding public education and drinking martinis with the Koch brothers.

Chances are the only real politicking folks at this income level are doing is being able to afford to take a paid (or even unpaid) day off to go canvas for the grassroots candidate or cause of their choice.

Yeah, the FPP link was a little ridiculous, as is every NYT article about how it's so tough to make it in Manhattan on $250k a year, but while I fully support making fun of ridiculous framing, I guess I never expected my engineering school classmates and I to be the first ones against the wall when the revolution comes.

Count me in as one of the people bewildered by the "eat the rich" response to this particular demographic.

On preview: like sweetkid, I did laugh my ass off at The Whelk's internship comment though.
posted by olinerd at 12:17 PM on May 28, 2013 [23 favorites]


Considering that one of the ways the rich are defended is by saying that "(poor) people are not entitled to food, housing, and health care, you have to earn those things"

Indeed. I managed to refrain from making a meta about the poors-hating rhetoric some people were spouting in every thread, so the shoe being on the other foot being a case for outrage has been a source of amusement for me this day.
posted by winna at 12:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


If you're upset about being mocked for your riches, the solution is to send me your money - i promise to concoct a suitably engaging and heart-rending tale of woe to accompany it later, but for now - just send me your money.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:20 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


It does indeed seem to be the wealthy representatives of the special interests in those states that are responsible for the punitive laws, though.

Most of the wealthier, more educated people in those states tend to skew more progressive. It's the lower income, less educated folks (the ones who are bearing the brunt of this economic recession) that tend to vote overwhelmingly Republican. And not old-school corporatist Republican, but mean, bigoted Republican. The more powerless you feel, the more likely you are to buy into the politics of scapegoating and fearmongering. The people taking advantage of that aren't necessarily wealthy (although they can certainly became wealthy off of that).

And that's the root of my discomfort about this thread. Sure, mock my privileged, first-world problems (had I really understood how life in America worked when I was living in a refugee camp, I would have mocked pretty much every single AskMefi thread ever). But leaping to the satisfying-but-lazy conclusion that the "rich" are the problem... well, I'm Vietnamese, and let's just say that I've already seen how well that goes.
posted by snickerdoodle at 12:27 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, the FPP link was a little ridiculous, as is every NYT article about how it's so tough to make it in Manhattan on $250k a year [...] Count me in as one of the people bewildered by the "eat the rich" response

it's almost as if the response were related to the post.
posted by nadawi at 12:27 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


it's almost as if the response were related to the post.

But I didn't see any "eat the financial planners" responses.
posted by olinerd at 12:30 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not to mention not making any distinction between those rich people who are entitled assholes with an I've-got-mine-so-bootstrap-yourself attitude, and those rich people who grew up as lower or middle class kids, experiencing a lot of financial instability, who got STEM degrees on a combination of financial aid and scholarships

... and become entitled assholes with an I've-got-mine-so-bootstrap-yourself attitude. Because, honestly, let's face it, there are a lot of those people, too. Building yourself up from a more middle class background to become rich doesn't guarantee that you'll be a decent, happy person at the end. You might just as likely end up becoming paranoid and guarded about your wealth, complaining that it's not quite as much wealth as your expected, as well as deciding to fulfill an ambition to finally be able to mock your economic lessors, or at least be resentful of their desire to expect to have a decent job that pays the bills.

I'm all for the rich to "be the change you want to see in this world" on this matter.

Most of the wealthier, more educated people in those states tend to skew more progressive.

It actually has everything to do with income inequality. If you are somewhat wealthy and live in a wealthy state, then you might skew slightly more conservative, but not by much, and could be just as likely to fall down on the more liberal side of things. If you even so much as a middle class or upper middle class person in a very poor state, you will almost invariable skew far, far to the right of the average American.
posted by deanc at 12:30 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I won't apologize for harboring certain Hannibal Lecter-ish impulses where the 1% are concerned -- or at least the more arrogant and self-entitled members of that group. And I tend to reserve my concern and sympathy for people who lack the resources to insulate themselves from most of the crap that human beings have to contend with in life.

On the other hand, I acknowledge that hating on the rich feels good but doesn't accomplish anything of value. In fact, I think it's counterproductive, insofar as attacking people reinforces their separation from you, and I don't think wealth is the problem so much as the idea that wealthy people are not part of the same human community as everyone else.

Those of us of a more progressive mindset want the wealthy to take on their share of the burden of maintaining a country worth living in. But increasingly, the wealthy don't even acknowledge that they are responsible for that burden. And really, why should they, if the society we're asking them to participate more fully in has made it clear that we hate them and don't want anything from them except their money? I can't think of any community I'd feel inclined to participate in that expressed open hostility towards me.

This isn't an argument I'd make about most situations involving privilege, but in this case I do perceive a vicious circle of hostility that increases divisions among people when we really should be trying to foster the awareness that we do not all live in sealed bubbles, but are fundamentally interconnected. We can't "eat the rich" without being mortally harmed as a consequence, nor can the rich "eat the poor" without undermining themselves.

Yeah, a lot of rich people are assholes, because wealth is a corrupting influence that makes it easier for people to be assholes, but you may as well rail against earthquakes as against rich assholes. I think it was Jesus who said "the assholes are always with us."

I mean I hate to get all kumbaya and shit, but it seems like it's more helpful to acknowledge and affirm other people's humanity rather than to cause them to close off from it. Empathy tends to disarm people's defenses whereas anger merely bolsters and justifies them.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:35 PM on May 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


In terms of income percentile, you really want to aim for the 30s to 40s. Those people are poor enough that they're still pink, almost red, in the middle. Poorer than that and you risk them being cold in the middle and not as flavorful. Upper middle class or even merely rich? Well, you probably don't really appreciate human meat, so you might as well just go with a cheap cut. And the upper 1%? That's just silly. Might as well just eat charcoal.
posted by mullacc at 12:38 PM on May 28, 2013


By people I assume you mean corporations, e.g., Apple which hid billions offshore to avoid paying tax. Of course we consumers have to make up for the loss of corporate tax-paying by paying the short fall ourselves.
posted by Cranberry at 12:38 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The real question here is how to sauce misandrist tenderloin.

It's worth considering that human tenderloins wouldn't actually be that tender. We do WAY more bending and twisting of our backs than say a pig. Not to be a kill joy or anything, but the human, especially a wealthy human (who has money, time, and education to stay lean) isn't going to be great eating if you treat it just like the comparable cut from another animal.

Which is why I object to the eat the rich jokes, they never seem to take into consideration the qualities of the ingredients. It's the worst part of the trend following part of foodie culture combined with the worst part of revolutionary rhetoric. It's like crappy peanut butter and cheap chocolate.

I do think we need to seperate out the "Eat the _____" rhetoric from the "_____ should all be shot" for one simple reason, believability. It's believable that someone will be motivated to go out and have an armed revolution where the wealthy are shot, guillotined, hung, whatever. Those things have all really happened, some in very recent history, so I'm actually going to agree with Corb that sort of rhetoric should be discouraged. I like to be on the side of not encouraging violence as much as possible.

It's not believable that people will start going out and eating the rich, that's why it's such obvious humor. I don't think that's such an unreasonable line to draw, and I wish people would maybe address the rest of what the complaint was rather than just focusing on the low lying meat.

so the shoe being on the other foot being a case for outrage has been a source of amusement for me this day.

I actually think Corb deserves a lot of credit for the way she phrased things, and not responding to some pretty vicious attacks.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:44 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


This isn't an argument I'd make about most situations involving privilege, but in this case I do perceive a vicious circle of hostility that increases divisions among people when we really should be trying to foster the awareness that we do not all live in sealed bubbles, but are fundamentally interconnected. We can't "eat the rich" without being mortally harmed as a consequence, nor can the rich "eat the poor" without undermining themselves.

Yeah, a lot of rich people are assholes, because wealth is a corrupting influence that makes it easier for people to be assholes,


I see your point, but the fundamental reason it's easier for you to be an asshole when you're rich is that everyone is giving you a pass and being nice to you because of your money, so you can act however you feel. On the other hand, if you realized that when the food runs out, you might be valued for your nutritional value, maybe you'd learn to tamp down your assholishness.

Sure, I suppose rich people have as much right as poor people not to be hated on, but we kind of accept it as an occupational hazard of being poor and wanting not to be, but it's considered some kind of moral offense to do something other than to slobber over rich people for how great they are. I mean, heck, it's like some people expect MeFites to say stuff like "thank you for your service" in threads about NYT articles involving rich people.
posted by deanc at 12:48 PM on May 28, 2013


À propos of nothing, I have four pounds or so of minced...um...pork. Should I do Napoletana-style meatballs with pine nuts, a traditional goulash, or a tortière?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:50 PM on May 28, 2013


that depends are you inviting over an unstable serial killer profiler?
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


À propos of nothing, I have four pounds or so of minced...um...pork. Should I do Napoletana-style meatballs with pine nuts, a traditional goulash, or a tortière?

The answer is always whatever involves pine nuts. (If you can afford them, they are straight up $40/lb in my area.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 12:54 PM on May 28, 2013


WILL WILL

will

i made you dinner but i eated it

of course it was pork
posted by Kitteh at 12:57 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The answer is always whatever involves pine nuts. (If you can afford them, they are straight up $40/lb in my area.)

people just don't understand how hard it is to stretch a few hundred thousand when there are pine nuts to be bought
posted by kagredon at 12:58 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I actually think Corb deserves a lot of credit for the way she phrased things, and not responding to some pretty vicious attacks.

I considered some of the comments she's made about poor people not being entitled to food, housing or health care pretty vicious attacks, particularly while my father was dying of cancer and the only reason he hadn't died years ago being his VA benefits. But I give her credit: she is unparalleled at making horrific claims in the blandest way so as to avoid deletion or even notice by those she's not targeting with her rhetoric.
posted by winna at 12:59 PM on May 28, 2013 [67 favorites]


For Heaven's sake.

Corb, you're already flirtatiously dancing around whether or not you disapprove of slavery on the green right now. Is that not enough attention for one day? What the Heck are you going for, here? What hole gets filled with this stuff?
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:00 PM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


I would suggest making Roulade with it. Because roulade is the meal one makes when one looks at a rump steak and says, "What this needs is ... um ... pork."
posted by frimble at 1:00 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


See between all these threads and tumblr, i just really want to eat someone off the bone while watching Ravenous.
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


We have people talking about guillotines,

Yeah, I thought that was a dumb statement. Some guy typing on a laptop in his mother's spare room, comparing himself to Robespierre and the Sans-Coulottes.

Laughably dumb.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:03 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some guy typing on a laptop in his mother's spare room, comparing himself to Robespierre and the Sans-Coulottes.

In his defense, he might well be sans culottes.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [38 favorites]


What bothers me from a MeFi-discussion perspective is when the prevailing attitude toward the wealthy gratuitously bleeds over into other topics of discussion, like whenever someone feels the need to point out that (random example, but this happens all the time) the members of Vampire Weekend come from well-to-do backgrounds and therefore deserve our contempt and resentment.
posted by eugenen at 1:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I do think we need to seperate out the "Eat the _____" rhetoric from the "_____ should all be shot" for one simple reason, believability.

The getting shot part is very believable; the armed revolution against the rich about as much as actual cannibalism. Now keeping "And X should be shot!" from becoming a common currency around here is probably a good thing, if only because it isn't really that funny. But, here's an idea: some of the effort we put into not talking about shooting people? What if we put that into actually keeping people from being shot.

I know? Crazies, right?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:07 PM on May 28, 2013


Corb, you're already flirtatiously dancing around whether or not you disapprove of slavery on the green right now.

While I happen to disagree with corb's analysis of the prime cause of the Civil War, I think that this statement is a rather uncharitable read of her participation in that thread.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:08 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


running order squabble fest: "Corb, you're already flirtatiously dancing around whether or not you disapprove of slavery on the green right now."

If you're going to make such an incendiary accusation, could you please at least link to the original comment? Without an original source link all we can respond to here is your interpretation of what she said.
posted by zarq at 1:12 PM on May 28, 2013


Yeah, so uncharitable that I had to confirm whether "on the green" was a typo or not. I thought maybe she actually AskMe asked (flirtatiously) about slavery.
posted by 0 at 1:13 PM on May 28, 2013


This thread, zarq.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:17 PM on May 28, 2013


No zarq, run away and save yourself. Trust me.
posted by elizardbits at 1:18 PM on May 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


I mean, yeah, the corb show is a shitshow, but since you're interested in the smell ...
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Corb's analysis in that thread seems to be "The Civil War is complicated and simplistic labels of "traitor" don't do the conflict justice, and online liberal purity contests to denounce Confederate soldiers don't take into account why soldiers do what they do, which is frequently disconnected from the larger geopolitical aims of elites."

Is that fair? I admit I only skimmed the thread, is there an actual defense of slavery there?
posted by downing street memo at 1:20 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: "No zarq, run away and save yourself. Trust me."

From personal experience, rosf has a lousy track record when it comes to accurately interpreting other people's my comments.

I'd rather see the original source than blindly trust his or her word.
posted by zarq at 1:22 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thread is actually worse.
posted by elizardbits at 1:23 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


is there an actual defense of slavery there?

No more than any other modern neo-confederate ever makes actual defenses of slavery. Yet. Just a lot of lost-cause/war-of-northern-agressionism.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:24 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uh, that looks blue to me.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:25 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


No more than any other modern neo-confederate ever makes actual defenses of slavery. Yet. Just a lot of lost-cause/war-of-northern-agressionism.

On that note, some relevant context: the corb show on re-enslavement after the war.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:30 PM on May 28, 2013


Is that fair? I admit I only skimmed the thread, is there an actual defense of slavery there?

I think, and I could be wrong, people may be thinking that I defend slavery because a pile-on started, with a lot of questions and comments, and the "Do you support slavery" was one of those I did not respond to. If there's any concerns, no, I do not support slavery - I figured those questions were primarily fightbait and I was trying to avoid them and focus on comments with actual substance.
posted by corb at 1:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not venturing into that thread. I spent too much time arguing about the cause of the Civil War in the last such thread (spoiler alert: slavery).

Can't we keep this thread as a place to discuss whether we think it is cool to suggest that rich people should be eaten and/or guillotined? I don't see what the two topics have to do with one another.
posted by Area Man at 1:35 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe not so much gang up on Corb here and more the issue at hand? Which I see as being less mean to rich people on the internet.
posted by shothotbot at 1:35 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Tanizaki: " While I happen to disagree with corb's analysis of the prime cause of the Civil War, I think that this statement is a rather uncharitable read of her participation in that thread."

She's trying to prove her points by cherry picking secession source documents and ignoring their actual references to slavery. The idea that slavery didn't have anything to do with the Civil War is an argument frequently used by white supremacists.

I highly doubt she's pro-slavery and truly don't believe she's a white supremacist, but it's really not a great hill for her to be planting her flag on.
posted by zarq at 1:35 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


No, actually, they're sincere questions about something that is not at all clear to many people reading your comments in defense of the confederacy.
posted by elizardbits at 1:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


downing street memo: "Corb's analysis in that thread seems to be "The Civil War is complicated and simplistic labels of "traitor" don't do the conflict justice, and online liberal purity contests to denounce Confederate soldiers don't take into account why soldiers do what they do, which is frequently disconnected from the larger geopolitical aims of elites." "

Help me out here... Are you really using the phrase "online liberal purity contest" to describe people who (a) object to the U.S. continuing to honor generals who took up arms against the United States in a war primarily (though not exclusively) fought to defend slavery, and (b) disagree with the notion that Southerners were entitled to financial reparations to compensate them for their ill-gotten wealth? For real?

Bonus points for whitewashing "generals" down to "soliders" to obfuscate the fact that the people who these forts are named after were almost exclusively of a high enough rank that it would be disingenuous to characterize their participation in the war as just tagging along and following orders to try to feed their families.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


I am not a 1%-er, but I would like to invite you all to eat me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [28 favorites]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "I am not a 1%-er, but I would like to invite you all to eat me."

How do you taste with a side of fava beans and a nice chianti?
posted by zarq at 1:37 PM on May 28, 2013


salty
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:38 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Help me out here... Are you really using the phrase "online liberal purity contest" to describe people who (a) object to the U.S. continuing to honor generals who took up arms against the United States in a war primarily (though not exclusively) fought to defend slavery, and (b) disagree with the notion that Southerners were entitled to financial reparations to compensate them for their ill-gotten wealth? For real?

Well, no, I was attempting to sum up an argument based on five minutes of skimming a hella-long thread, thinking, as appears to be correct, that the interpretation presented here was wildly uncharitable.
posted by downing street memo at 1:38 PM on May 28, 2013


guys guys good news, the civil war thread is still open, we don't have to have the same conversation in a completely different thread
posted by kagredon at 1:38 PM on May 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


If you're just joining us, welcome to one of the the most surreal metalk threads I've seen in a while....
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:38 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


But, here's an idea: some of the effort we put into not talking about shooting people? What if we put that into actually keeping people from being shot.

I know? Crazies, right?


Explicate in what I said was the assumption that we shouldn't talk about shooting people because it could actually lead to people getting shot (that's the "not encouraging violence" part). So, the effort I'm putting into not talking about shooting people (which is very minimal, I mean, really it's not that much work for me to think of non-violent ways to express my disapproval of things) is in fact part of the effort I'm putting into keeping people from being shot.

It's a little weird to me that you think I'd be concerned about violent rhetoric and then be okay with violence. We agree on this one, no need for snark or anything.

But I give her credit: she is unparalleled at making horrific claims in the blandest way so as to avoid deletion or even notice by those she's not targeting with her rhetoric.

Please allow me to amend my praise with "in this Meta." I disagree with much of what she says, and think that most of the stuff she advocates would be and is disastrous and cruel in the real world. However, I just can't read what the way she's acted about this one particular topic as outraged. Compared to some other recent Metas discussing how badly conservatives may be treated on Metafilter, that's an improvement.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:40 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


In retrospect I feel like corb would probably rather us all talk about cannibalism some more.
posted by elizardbits at 1:40 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Question specifically asked here and not answered beyond "people can MeMail me", AFAICT. A tremendously long build-up to that - any number of people can provide highlights. And, on preview, already have.

To be clear, I don't really care whether Corb feels that her highly personal politics precludes slavery - I think the closest we got was that states should be able to secede in order to remain slave-owning states, but slaves should also have felt able to secede if they were not happy being slaves. Which what.

However, I would have thought that would be enough negative attention for one day. It genuinely weirds me out that there's a parallel fight-starter over here as well about being nicer to the 1%. This feels like a huge soliciting of negative attention, is all.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:41 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


The only thing I remember from Morse code is how to say "eat me" -- from a popular radio show host show at the time I took my test -- so if I were ever in trouble, I would be attracting cannibals instead of real help.

Or zombies.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:45 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This may be a shocker, but it's entirely possible to think that we can have a civil conversation about the subject of how we treat people's economic status without it starting fights. It did happen for about a hundred comments or so, after all.
posted by corb at 1:45 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyway, I'm not a fan of the ho-ho-ho-eat-kill-and-shoot-the-rich comments, even having once mentioned my idea for a movie in which a gang of terrorists shoot members of the .01% (for the record, I conceived of these terrorists as bad guys, which they self-evidently would be if they really existed). They don't add much to the conversation. Better to swat down the misconceptions of those who would apologize for the current state of things, who inevitably show up in such threads.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:47 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, remember Uncle Max from the Sound of Music?

Max: I like rich people. I like the way they live. I like the way I live when I'm with them.
posted by discopolo at 1:49 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a little weird to me that you think I'd be concerned about violent rhetoric and then be okay with violence. We agree on this one, no need for snark or anything.

Hey, actually, I didn't/don't think that. Or, rather, I assume you're anti-violence. I don't know differently. I'm happy to give you the benefit of the doubt on that one.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:50 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


corb, which comment do you point to as the beginning of the fight here?

And can you take a moment to clarify why you feel it's different to obliquely imply that poor people should die (by way of not being entitled to food, housing, or health care....because while you are obviously an intelligent person and understand the link between food and life, you have asserted that food, housing, and health care are things people must earn...)?

Is the fact that your hostility toward poor people is slightly veiled what makes it ok? Or do you feel that poor people really deserve the derision because they haven't "earned" respect?
posted by bilabial at 1:54 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me… but I can’t help it that I’m so popular.”

— Gretchen - Mean Girls


I, for one, am willing to attempt to be less unintentionally dismissive of the rich for $500/wk. I will defend the rich actively in my comments for a $2000/ week.
posted by discopolo at 2:05 PM on May 28, 2013


There's a huge difference between "let's kill the rich" and "it's OK to let the poor die." The former advocates taking an action to cause a death and the latter is against forcing an action to prevent a death.

You can't create a positive right without violating a negative right.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:12 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


By the way, I got that job working for Max Kennedy this summer on his Cape Cod yacht. He negotiated me down to bread and water, but only if I take my daily beating like a man.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:12 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


(And yes. Green/biue blindness there, indeed.)

This may be a shocker, but it's entirely possible to think that we can have a civil conversation about the subject of how we treat people's economic status without it starting fights. It did happen for about a hundred comments or so, after all.

Fair enough, corb - perhaps this is all just a crazy coincidence. Just... I don't know. Negative attention from people you don't care about can get a little bit addictive.

And if, just hypothetically, I were looking for negative attention, then a way I might go about it might be, after noting that one of my previous negative response loops had concerned the right of the poor to welfare benefits and healthcare, by starting a MetaTalk thread asking people to stop being mean to the wealthy.

Because that is pretty much guaranteed to open some wounds.

So ... maybe think about what you're getting out of this? I have no real agenda, here, and I am happy to accept that there is no conscious motivation. But today, specifically, seemed kind of mind-blowing (to the point of inducing color blindness) when viewed from a distance.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:12 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


yea I sort of can't believe that someone who thinks that food, shelter and healthcare for the poor is "unicorn sky candy" level frivolous, unearned nonsense can really think they should start a topic about "hating people for their economic status"
posted by sweetkid at 2:12 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


There's a huge difference between "let's kill the rich" and "it's OK to let the poor die." The former advocates taking an action to cause a death and the latter is against forcing an action to prevent a death.

Also, one is just talk and the other is policy.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [83 favorites]



Also, one is just talk and the other is policy.


Nailed it.
posted by sweetkid at 2:15 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I used to think it was hypocritical for me to reflexively dislike anyone who has massive amounts of money given that I have massive amounts of money compared to most people in the world. But eventually I decided that it's pretty reasonable for most of the world to reflexively dislike me too.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:17 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I cannot bring myself to agree with the premise inherent in the creation and crafting of this thread.
posted by infini at 2:17 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a huge difference between "let's kill the rich" and "it's OK to let the poor die." The former advocates taking an action to cause a death and the latter is against forcing an action to prevent a death.

When you find yourself making this kind of distinction, it's probably time to walk away from the thread for a while.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:17 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Pointing out a standard philosophical conception of rights that's taught in Political Science 101 means that I should walk away from the thread? WTF?
posted by Jacqueline at 2:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is the fact that your hostility toward poor people is slightly veiled what makes it ok

And now a word about "hostility towards poor people". Despite the preening that is done over who can most sympathize with the poor, the great majority of people spend most of their waking hours working so they can make enough money not to live around the poor and certainly not send their kids to the same school as poor kids.
posted by Tanizaki at 2:21 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's a huge difference between "let's kill the rich" and "it's OK to let the poor die." The former advocates taking an action to cause a death and the latter is against forcing an action to prevent a death.

It used to be that everyone had their own agricultural land on which they could plant and grow food, allowing them to feed themselves if only they were willing to work their land. Later, we decided as a matter of policy that this wasn't efficient and moved people off the land so they could work in factories, leaving agriculture to be pursued by larger, more efficient farmers. But there was no guarantee you would be able to have a job that would give you money to buy the food that you would have otherwise been able to grow yourself.

So I do think the government of an industrialized economy of any urban society is obligated to provide food for the people.

Pointing out a standard philosophical conception of rights that's taught in Political Science 101 means that I should walk away from the thread? WTF?

Yes, when you're discussing killing people (oh, I am sorry, "allowing them to die") as a matter of detached philosophical inquiry, then, yeah, you probably want to go for a walk.
posted by deanc at 2:22 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I will step up as a 1%er.

For a small price, I'll favorite that comment.

Also, how come you never invite any of us over for sandwiches?
posted by discopolo at 2:23 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


"advocates taking an action"

We do have people actively legislating stopping subsidized school lunch programs, getting children off the medicaid rolls, evicting families from housing.

These are actions. These are actions with a very clearly delineated end of hungry, sick, and homeless people. Children.

This isn't just about "letting people die," it's about "making it harder to live." What do you call it if I lead you into a room with a CO2 leak, and don't help you? If it were me in the room, I'd be inclined to think someone was killing me.

As far as basic human rights goes, "not getting shot" is pretty much next to "having a meal and a place to sleep that prevents the wolves from eating you." One is not more a right than the other.
posted by bilabial at 2:23 PM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


The difference is that many on the left also work via politics to make the poor better off, while many on the right work via politics to make the poor worse off.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:23 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I cannot bring myself to agree with the premise inherent in the creation and crafting of this thread.

I do. It bothers me that so many working stiffs are turning on other working stiffs as their systemic enemy on the ground that some working stiffs are better off, when there is a whole other class of super-minority that need not labor at all and yet owns and runs most of the country. I think the trait that this thread called out is one that further erodes the worker solidarity and gains that have all but vanished over this last generation.
posted by anonymisc at 2:24 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Actually, Tanizaki, the great majority of people--say, about 99%--spend most of their waking hours working so they can send their kids to school at all, and have a roof over their head, and don't give a single flying fuck what their next door neighbor makes.
posted by kagredon at 2:25 PM on May 28, 2013 [24 favorites]


And now a word about "hostility towards poor people". Despite the preening that is done over who can most sympathize with the poor, the great majority of people spend most of their waking hours working so they can make enough money not to live around the poor and certainly not send their kids to the same school as poor kids.

I'm not altogether convinced that you understand what the word "majority" means.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:25 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]



Also, how come you never invite any of us over for sandwiches?

Here, have some ladyfingers.
posted by The Whelk at 2:27 PM on May 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Yes, the left did a great job in Eastern Europe. Clearly, anyone who is to the right of socialists is objectively a bad person and is doing something just as bad as shooting civilians.
posted by Area Man at 2:27 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here, have some ladyfingers.

Been waiting to use that one in here haven't ya?
posted by RolandOfEld at 2:28 PM on May 28, 2013


And now a word about "hostility towards poor people". Despite the preening that is done over who can most sympathize with the poor, the great majority of people spend most of their waking hours working so they can make enough money not to live around the poor and certainly not send their kids to the same school as poor kids.


I have to say, I don't care if some people vote and put their political energy toward social policies that benefit the poor while secretly thinking poor people smell or don't want their kids near them or something. Because the benefit still goes toward the poor and is badly needed.
posted by sweetkid at 2:28 PM on May 28, 2013 [13 favorites]



Here, have some ladyfingers.

Been waiting to use that one in here haven't ya?


we are only supposed to be talking about killing and eating children
posted by sweetkid at 2:29 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


And now a word about "hostility towards poor people". Despite the preening that is done over who can most sympathize with the poor, the great majority of people spend most of their waking hours working so they can make enough money not to live around the poor and certainly not send their kids to the same school as poor kids.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:21 PM on May 28 [1 favorite +] [!]


Before this, even the desperately poor will work very very hard to get their kids into schools (and even more preferred, schools that give them an actual chance to not be poor when they grow up, see Waiting for Superman) of course for networking purposes, it's better if your kids go to school with kids who are already wealthy. But the focus of formal education in America at least is so focused on "find an answer and then stop looking" that the social aspects of the endeavor are vastly discounted.

As much as people dislike hanging around poor people, they especially have nightmares about being or remaining poor, and the myth that learning enough will get you out of the hole is particularly insidious.
posted by bilabial at 2:29 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


(I make an exception for working stiffs who are both well-off and actively engaged in tearing down other people's nice things - some of the bad apples in lobbying, some of the bad apples in finance, etc.)
posted by anonymisc at 2:30 PM on May 28, 2013


Mefites, Be happy with what you have. Do not ask for 'more' gruel.
posted by Cranberry at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Despite the preening that is done over who can most sympathize with the poor, the great majority of people spend most of their waking hours working so they can make enough money not to live around the poor and certainly not send their kids to the same school as poor kids.

It's so far from 'I want to live in a middle-class neighborhood' to 'I think basic subsistence is a privilege, not a right' that you can't even seen the one from the other without a telescope. But lovely false equivalence, sir! You win a toaster and an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas!
posted by winna at 2:32 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yes, when you're discussing killing people (oh, I am sorry, "allowing them to die") as a matter of detached philosophical inquiry, then, yeah, you probably want to go for a walk.

I don't agree with deanc's point, but I do think it cuts to the heart of the matter. For some people, political discussions are a very thoughtful place - often abstract, often rooted in ideas rather than practice. For other people, political discussions can only be about practice and impact. I think that sometimes bad things happen when people from the former belief engage in political discussions with the latter.

I disagree with Peter Singer's arguments on drowning children/relief work in other countries, for example. That doesn't mean I want people to die, it means I philosophically disagree with his interpretations of morality. But I think for deanc, it's a lot more personal than that.

I think though that assuming that the first group of people are not only wrong but should actively leave is problematic. Jacqueline is explaining, in an internet forum, her moral philosophy on active vs passive choices, not standing and debating the point while someone dies in front of her.
posted by corb at 2:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, the left did a great job in Eastern Europe

Seems to be that the Warsaw Pact fell to a bunch of social democracies with an extensive public health system, high margina incomel taxes, and strong unions, both public and private. I can only assume that if you are against these things, it is PROBABLY because you hate freedom. This is generally my experience when I encounter people who have a problem with these policies. They share with Communist dictators a hatred for the policies of western civilization that made it successful, and are more or less on their same side.

But you don't see me starting threads on MeTa about how I would rather that the libertarians and republicans on MeFi stop expressing such hostile contempt for western civilization and western political/economic society of the sort we have not seen since the Cold War communists threatened to destroy us.
posted by deanc at 2:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


ou win a toaster and an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas!


And inside that toaster is a Whole Foods
posted by sweetkid at 2:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not with my tax dollars there isn't.
posted by elizardbits at 2:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, corb, I will suggest this: The money thing is a huge hot button because America has increasingly moved towards a society where money is "everything." If you don't have it, fuck you. That wasn't always true.

Historically, fulltime jobs were much more likely to include family healthcare and other family-friendly and people-friendly perks and policies so that you could get your needs met (housing, healthcare, etc) without scads of dough. Housing was different and life was different in ways which are hard to adequately explain. There used to be more of a middle class, which was rooted in access to rights and services rather than cash. A polarized society divided into rich and poor with a vanishing middle class is a defacto "them against us" situation.

A lot of this is rooted in what went down in WWII and the years which followed it. The legacy of that era is now a burden we bear, not an asset like it once was. The policies and institutions left in its wake no longer serve a nation with a different demographic, among other things. If people with money and power don't want this kind of hostility, they need to give other people reason to trust them and like them. Feelings come from somewhere.

(Please note I did not participate in the thread in question and I have no desire to eat the rich. I watch my diet carefully and I strongly suspect the rich would not be nutrionally dense, kosher, etc. Thank you.)
posted by Michele in California at 2:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah, a lot of rich people are assholes, because wealth is a corrupting influence that makes it easier for people to be assholes,

In my experience wealth isn't a corrupting influence, it's an enhancing influence. People who were unpleasant become assholes, people who were nice gain the power to be nicer.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


And inside that toaster is a Whole Foods

Wrong: inside that toaster is a golf club. Inside the golf club is a Whole Foods.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:37 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


corb, when people discuss reality and real consequences, it behooves the other person in the conversation not to retreat to an abstract discussion of hypothetical philosophy 101 to defend yourself. At that point, it is time to "go for a walk" because you are going down a bad path.
posted by deanc at 2:37 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


For some people, political discussions are a very thoughtful place - often abstract, often rooted in ideas rather than practice. For other people, political discussions can only be about practice and impact. I think that sometimes bad things happen when people from the former belief engage in political discussions with the latter.

This is a good point, but it misses that for many people--including a lot of MeFites--economic policy, and especially the gutting of the safety net in the US, is not at all abstract or ideological.
posted by kagredon at 2:38 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


There's also a difference between actions that are morally obligated and actions that are morally praiseworthy.

Should one be morally obligated to sacrifice some of one's own wellbeing to help another person? No.

Is it morally praiseworthy to sacrifice some of one's own wellbeing to help another person? Often, yes.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:38 PM on May 28, 2013


The existence of a public safety net for those less fortunate than myself in no way detracts from my personal wellbeing.
posted by elizardbits at 2:39 PM on May 28, 2013 [42 favorites]


That's why I hate saying out loud "bottom of the pyramid" or even the friffly fraffly "base" of the pryamid insert nasally Nigel or Cyril sounding voice here, Jeeves, won't you?
posted by infini at 2:41 PM on May 28, 2013


Should one be morally obligated to contribute to their social system, even if that benefits others? Yes.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:41 PM on May 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


Wrong: inside that toaster is a golf club. Inside the golf club is a Whole Foods.

And inside the Whole Foods, a toaster! BWAAAWWWWWW!!!(audio)
posted by winna at 2:42 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


And inside the Whole Foods, a toaster! BWAAAWWWWWW!!!(audio)

But inside that toaster is a blueberry muffin wrapped in 14 carat gold foil.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:43 PM on May 28, 2013


deanc,

Are you pretending the US wasn't in NATO? Also, I didn't start this thread, so I'm confused by your references to starting threads.

I think there is room to disagree in good faith regarding the size of government and the role of the state. I guess you don't?
posted by Area Man at 2:43 PM on May 28, 2013


I know this is late to the conversation, but I believe that MOST Americans on average live better than Kings and Queens of Old did on a daily basis. As a society we are all Richer than say a king in 1000 AD, and most people forget that, or never realized it in the first place.

I am not a 1% but I hold my head up proudly when I think of how much richer I am than King James I was, or any number of other world leaders throughout history.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:45 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


*mutters something about damn peacekeepers interfering again, thanks, go away now and let us fight it out again for 2000 comments*
posted by infini at 2:46 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Worse things happen at sea.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I cannot bring myself to agree with the premise inherent in the creation and crafting of this thread.

I do. It bothers me that so many working stiffs are turning on other working stiffs as their systemic enemy on the ground that some working stiffs are better off, when there is a whole other class of super-minority that need not labor at all and yet owns and runs most of the country. I think the trait that this thread called out is one that further erodes the worker solidarity and gains that have all but vanished over this last generation.


That's what bothers me as well about much of the rhetoric in the thread in question and made me think about the Thomas Frank book, "What's the Matter with Kansas?". Astonishing that those who are truly in power (the .01 percent) can so easily get those with the most to lose to do so much of their "work" for them. Astonishing and horrifying.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 2:46 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


But inside that toaster is a blueberry muffin wrapped in 14 carat gold foil.

And inside that muffin is FRIENDSHIP.
posted by elizardbits at 2:46 PM on May 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


oh man! elizardbits kindness ruins the game
posted by sweetkid at 2:47 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're conflating friendship with blueberries.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:48 PM on May 28, 2013


And inside that muffin is FRIENDSHIP
The pony
posted by shothotbot at 2:48 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


> "The existence of a public safety net for those less fortunate than myself in no way detracts from my personal wellbeing."

If the public safety net is funded through mandatory taxation, then it's detracting from someone's personal wellbeing. They could have used the confiscated resources to better their own lives.

Some people like to debate how much the government should be allowed to hurt one person for the purported goal of helping another person. Other people believe that the government should never be allowed to do this.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:50 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


QueerAngel28: "I know this is late to the conversation, but I believe that MOST Americans on average live better than Kings and Queens of Old did on a daily basis. As a society we are all Richer than say a king in 1000 AD, and most people forget that, or never realized it in the first place. "

Even giving you a pass for your curious transition from "MOST Americans on average.. live better" to "we are all Richer", I don't buy this for a second. A lot of poor people have cell phones, and royalty in 1000 AD didn't have cell phones, but a cell phone doesn't put food on anyone's table. In absolute terms, our society is more productive, does more with less, etc. but we still have a very large underclass that has nothing close to what the servants of royalty had a thousand years ago, much less the royals themselves.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Are you pretending the US wasn't in NATO? Also, I didn't start this thread, so I'm confused by your references to starting threads.

Shrug. I guess you hate modern western civilization and want to destroy it, just as the communist countries did. Not really my problem, but there it is. I would prefer that MeFi did not have so man advocates of destruction of western society and that there was not so much seething hatred for the very social democratic system that faced off against the Warsaw Pact and created the free society we live in today, but I recognize that people do so.

The United States had many of these government processes and programs and funding that were designed specifically to help us ensure our society could stay strong against Communist dictatorship and demonstrate the superiority of our way of life. And if you hate that and everything it stands for, that is your right. But such a belief system is much more barbaric and hateful than a few "eat the rich" comments.
posted by deanc at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some people like to debate how much the government should be allowed to hurt one person for the purported goal of helping another person. Other people believe that the government should never be allowed to do this.

Well that latter group of people are going to have a lot of fun in their collapsed civilisation, I guess.
posted by hoyland at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


They could have used the confiscated resources to better their own lives.

marginally utility pretty much guarantees that reallocating some amount of money will increase net utility. Clearly reallocating zero money does nothing as does reallocating all money. But only hardline libertarians deny that reallocation is intrinsically bad.
posted by GuyZero at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


And inside that muffin is FRIENDSHIP.
posted by elizardbits


*barfs and falls sick on elizardbits shoes, i gave you that name dahlink, i believe in ms. alsop's class*

I could be wrong.

*shuffles off into suitable sunset*
posted by infini at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2013


If the public safety net is funded through mandatory taxation, then it's detracting from someone's personal wellbeing.

I'm okay with those people not paying their taxes as long as they do not reap any benefits of modern society funded by anyone else's taxes and also as long as they admit in writing that they are bad people and that I am awesome.
posted by elizardbits at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2013 [27 favorites]


I don't agree with deanc's point, but I do think it cuts to the heart of the matter. For some people, political discussions are a very thoughtful place - often abstract, often rooted in ideas rather than practice. For other people, political discussions can only be about practice and impact. I think that sometimes bad things happen when people from the former belief engage in political discussions with the latter.

A political debate in which practice is not contemplated is not meaningful: We understand what does and doesn't work by practice and experience. Consider how many totalitarian communists got a respectable hearing in the thirties and forties, and how few of them get the same now. The definition of "work" is the detail where the devil's hiding, but don't pretend that lordly indifference to fact is necessarily the healthy version of political discourse.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jacqueline: " Some people like to debate how much the government should be allowed to hurt one person for the purported goal of helping another person. Other people believe that the government should never be allowed to do this."

Then those other people need to read Article I, Section 8 of our founding document in regards to the collection of taxes and spending those taxes, and figure out whether their distaste for this policy is something they can reconcile with their love of America.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


but a cell phone doesn't put food on anyone's table.

Hallo, I must pretend these are all caps in 140 chrs again and strongly say you are wrong on the internets.
posted by infini at 2:53 PM on May 28, 2013


Actually, Tanizaki, the great majority of people--say, about 99%--spend most of their waking hours working so they can send their kids to school at all, and have a roof over their head, and don't give a single flying fuck what their next door neighbor makes.

This is comical. In the United States, 12 years of education are provided to everyone, including illegally present non-citizens, at public expense. It takes zero hours of work to send a child to school.

And yes, people care about what their neighbors make because they care about how their neighbors behave. Don't believe me? Do you live in the poorest neighborhood you could find or the best you could afford?
posted by Tanizaki at 2:53 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


If the public safety net is funded through mandatory taxation, then it's detracting from someone's personal wellbeing. They could have used the confiscated resources to better their own lives.

I disagree, actually. The purpose of government is to organize the resources of its citizens to better the society for all. I benefit when the kids in my neighborhood--all of them, not just the ones with wealthy parents--are educated and fed. I benefit when the ill and unlucky are cared for. I do not particularly relish the prospect of living in a society where elderly people are slowly dying on the curb because they can't provide for themselves and have no family willing to provide for them. The government can stretch the money that I'm taxed to accomplish that way more effectively than I can.
posted by kagredon at 2:54 PM on May 28, 2013 [29 favorites]


Do you live in the poorest neighborhood you could find or the best you could afford?

For some of us there's no difference!
posted by shakespeherian at 2:55 PM on May 28, 2013 [40 favorites]


But only hardline libertarians deny that reallocation is intrinsically bad.

I was going to edit this, but I just wanted to point out that I double-negatived there by accident and I didn't want anyone to get bent that I changed the meaning of what I wrote.

"only hardline libertarians insist that reallocation is intrinsically bad." is what I should have written. I have some sort of typing disorder where my fingers don't do what my brain thinks they're doing.
posted by GuyZero at 2:55 PM on May 28, 2013


This is comical. In the United States, 12 years of education are provided to everyone, including illegally present non-citizens, at public expense. It takes zero hours of work to send a child to school.

You - I mean - this is not a good faith comment.
posted by sweetkid at 2:56 PM on May 28, 2013 [27 favorites]


> "...but we still have a very large underclass that has nothing close to what the servants of royalty had a thousand years ago, much less the royals themselves."

You must be severely undervaluing the worth of being able to reasonably expect your children to live to see adulthood.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:56 PM on May 28, 2013


And yes, people care about what their neighbors make because they care about how their neighbors behave. Don't believe me? Do you live in the poorest neighborhood you could find or the best you could afford?

Yes, because poor people are that way because they're less well-behaved, right? Go on, you can say it. We know you're thinking it.

And the poorest neighborhood I could find was the best I could afford. I think living there is probably a lot better than being homeless would be, so it's all good.
posted by kagredon at 2:56 PM on May 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


You win a toaster and an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas!

A very good indicator of one's class is how familiar one is with Las Vegas.
posted by Tanizaki at 2:56 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yes, people care about what their neighbors make because they care about how their neighbors behave. Don't believe me? Do you live in the poorest neighborhood you could find or the best you could afford?

I'm pleased to learn poor people are badly behaved. (I bet that's why they're poor, huh?) You move to a nicer neighbourhood so you can have things like access to a supermarket, a better maintained apartment with a landlord who maybe fixes things when they break, have the city actually plow your street when it snows, better bus service, etc.
posted by hoyland at 2:57 PM on May 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


If the public safety net is funded through mandatory taxation, then it's detracting from someone's personal wellbeing. They could have used the confiscated resources to better their own lives.

Yeah folks just combine this with Tanazaki's thing about no one wants to live next to poor people-- can you maybe see how helping out all the people around you is good for your own damn self?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:57 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


A very good indicator of one's class is how familiar one is with Las Vegas.

Now you're just being ridiculous.
posted by elizardbits at 2:57 PM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


You must be severely undervaluing the worth of being able to reasonably expect your children to live to see adulthood.

Funnily enough, paying taxes funds things that help them do that.
posted by hoyland at 2:58 PM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Are you pretending the US wasn't in NATO? Also, I didn't start this thread, so I'm confused by your references to starting threads.

Shrug. I guess you hate modern western civilization and want to destroy it, just as the communist countries did. Not really my problem, but there it is. I would prefer that MeFi did not have so man advocates of destruction of western society and that there was not so much seething hatred for the very social democratic system that faced off against the Warsaw Pact and created the free society we live in today, but I recognize that people do so.

The United States had many of these government processes and programs and funding that were designed specifically to help us ensure our society could stay strong against Communist dictatorship and demonstrate the superiority of our way of life. And if you hate that and everything it stands for, that is your right. But such a belief system is much more barbaric and hateful than a few "eat the rich" comments.


If it wasn't 6am for me, I'd try and write a worthy and cogent response to the sensibleness of these words. The struggle inherent is in the conflict between the society and the state.

Instead, as I crawl off to bed in throes of jetlag, I say "OH Qtips" again.
posted by infini at 2:58 PM on May 28, 2013


can you maybe see how helping out all the people around you is good for your own damn self?

how much more do i have to pay in taxes to be sure i don't have to live next door to tanizaki

is it another 5%? i can do another 5%.
posted by elizardbits at 2:58 PM on May 28, 2013 [29 favorites]


I'm pleased to learn poor people are badly behaved.

I do not know why you deny you think so. Ever seen someone talk about a "sketchy neighborhood" on this website? How many times did you think they were talking about suburbia?
posted by Tanizaki at 2:59 PM on May 28, 2013


Tanizaki, I think you just enjoy picking fights.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:59 PM on May 28, 2013 [36 favorites]


> "marginally utility pretty much guarantees that reallocating some amount of money will increase net utility."

Reallocating kidneys from living donors to people in need of a transplant would save thousands of lives per year, yet most people probably wouldn't support the government forcing people at gunpoint to donate their extra kidney to a stranger in need.

Morality is more complicated than just doing whatever would increase net utility for the population.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:59 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Should one be morally obligated to sacrifice some of one's own wellbeing to help another person? No.

Says who? You're pulling this out as though it is self-evident, and it is not. Your very ability to know of the existence of "philosophy 101" and discuss it in such a way that any of us could see it only occurred because of the fact that an entire civilization for generations made marginal, barely measurable "sacrifices" of their wellbeing through taxation to create the civilization that you live in and allowed it to happen. You're inventing a belief system out of thin air, and specifically a belief system that runs completely counter -- if not actively hostile -- to the one that has allowed for your very existence. If you don't make those "sacrifices", then neither you nor anyone else exists in their current form. While I would hope they would continue to do so out of the kindness of their hearts, we can't rely on that, and we can't have a free-rider problem.

You must be severely undervaluing the worth of being able to reasonably expect your children to live to see adulthood.

How do you think you made it to adulthood? Several of my relatives in my grandparents' generation didn't, and that's not because they didn't have good parents.
posted by deanc at 2:59 PM on May 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


Bwahahaha! Poor people are badly behaved!?!?! This is getting into the realm of the ridiculous, if it wasn't already.
posted by agregoli at 3:00 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


How does this contempt for the poor fit with Christianity?
posted by Area Man at 3:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Tanizaki, I think you just enjoy picking fights.

The absurd Las Vegas comment made this clear.
posted by sweetkid at 3:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Some people like to debate how much the government should be allowed to hurt one person for the purported goal of helping another person. Other people believe that the government should never be allowed to do this.

Please. Either you are trolling or you are still in early adolescence. Your dichotomy up there is facile bullshit and we're all dumber for having read it.

The first group, as you define them, includes anybody who thinks that government ought to exist at all, insofar as government, like a lot of things, costs money. If you believe in publicly funded police departments or roads, you are in the first group with the rest of us, and the disagreement is about where the taxation line ought to be drawn, not whether in principle government ought to have any right to take anybody's money.
posted by gauche at 3:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Reallocating kidneys from living donors to people in need of a transplant would save thousands of lives per year, yet most people probably wouldn't support the government forcing people at gunpoint to donate their extra kidney to a stranger in need.

lol

i just

lol
posted by elizardbits at 3:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ever seen someone talk about a "sketchy neighborhood" on this website?

Hm. If only there were some way of pooling public resources in such a way that neighborhoods with public safety problems could have such issues ameliorated.
posted by deanc at 3:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [25 favorites]



You win a toaster and an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas!

A very good indicator of one's class is how familiar one is with Las Vegas.


Oh good lord, I once had to take a troupe of Second City jokers to Las Vegas for an Ericsson product launch - CESpool 99 - pffft on class
posted by infini at 3:02 PM on May 28, 2013


The absurd Las Vegas comment made this clear.

I cannot take credit for that. That is from Paul Fussell's excellent treatise, Class.
posted by Tanizaki at 3:02 PM on May 28, 2013


Ever seen someone talk about a "sketchy neighborhood" on this website? How many times did you think they were talking about suburbia?

Suburbia tends to be the sketchy neighbourhood in the part of the world I live, actually.
posted by Hoopo at 3:03 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why with libertarians does everything always come down to gunpoint?
posted by shakespeherian at 3:03 PM on May 28, 2013 [31 favorites]


Jacqueline: " You must be severely undervaluing the worth of being able to reasonably expect your children to live to see adulthood."

What hoyland said. A whole lot of innovations in healthcare, manufacturing, electronics, and basically every other discipline ever don't happen without the collection of taxes to pay for basic research that's not immediately profitable.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:04 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I cannot take credit for that. That is from Paul Fussell's excellent treatise, Class.

Treatise? It's a cocktail-party argument writ long.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2013




The absurd Las Vegas comment made this clear.

I cannot take credit for that. That is from Paul Fussell's excellent treatise, Class.

OK then --

The absurd reference to Paul Fussell's treatise, Class without attribution or context made this clear.

I have no idea if it's excellent or not as I haven't read it.
posted by sweetkid at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


(And, of course, those taxes also pay directly to provide health coverage for the poor, food for the needy, etc. But I was trying to go past those programs with obvious benefit, since I assume you aren't just going to assume they'll be taken care of by charitable giving, and aren't cool with just letting them die in the streets.)
posted by tonycpsu at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2013


That is from Paul Fussell's excellent treatise, Class.

Which was written in the early 80s. Now, every tech entrepreneur makes a yearly trip to LV for the CES.
posted by deanc at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


If the public safety net is funded through mandatory taxation, then it's detracting from someone's personal wellbeing. They could have used the confiscated resources to better their own lives.

Yes. This is true. What's also true, as you'll learn when you get to Econ 102, is that wealth, like everything else, is subject to diminishing marginal utility, such that taking money from a very wealthy person and giving it to a very poor person can in fact be a Pareto efficient move.
posted by gauche at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


Reallocating kidneys from living donors to people in need of a transplant would save thousands of lives per year, yet most people probably wouldn't support the government forcing people at gunpoint to donate their extra kidney to a stranger in need.

That's true, but I don't think anyone considers human kidneys and dollar bills in any way equivalent.

But yes, utilitarianism has its issues, as do all belief systems when taken to their dogmatic extreme.
posted by GuyZero at 3:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


For clarity, I neither live in the Bay Area, nor make over 250K a year; I have no personal dog in this fight. But one of the reasons I like Metafilter so much is that even though bitter fights and unpleasantness do exist here, they do so in much less number and seem to be the exception rather than the rule. This seems to be one of those exceptions that is pretty consistent - it seems more personally vicious than a lot of the other typical bugbears.

If you "have no dog in this fight", then why on earth do you care so much?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:06 PM on May 28, 2013


The sketchy neighborhood by me is the one where all the drunk white college kids are. YOUTHS!
posted by elizardbits at 3:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


That is from Paul Fussell's excellent treatise, Class.
posted by Tanizaki


I have read it, owned it, loaned it, and recommend it. Would also get another copy.

However

he wrote it in 1983, waayyyyy before the webz pulled the barriers isolating us from each other down.
posted by infini at 3:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Should one be morally obligated to sacrifice some of one's own wellbeing to help another person? No.

YES! JESUS CAPSLOCK FUCKING CHRIST YES!
posted by Aizkolari at 3:08 PM on May 28, 2013 [25 favorites]


*shakes fist at deanc for frist*
posted by infini at 3:08 PM on May 28, 2013


If a fat man with a pile of donuts was sitting next to a person starving to death I would personally punch the fat guy in the face and steal half of his donuts to give to the starving dude.

Also the donuts are made of Plumpy'nut or something.
posted by Aizkolari at 3:08 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Tanizaki, I think you just enjoy picking fights.

This is basically my impression at this point as well, and we'd really like to see less of it and have sort of talked about this with you a few times already.

And more generally, I feel like we've wandered a long way here from any mefi-specific discussion of like the intersection of day-to-day economic issues and rhetoric on the site, which isn't inherently a problem but if people are really going to get riled up into a full-on argument about the merits of distributionist vs. isolationist social and economic policy as if we're going to end up finding an answer people can agree on in this metatalk it might make sense to just go do something else for a while instead?
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:10 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


That's true, but I don't think anyone considers human kidneys and dollar bills in any way equivalent

It's only a matter of time before Glenn Beck suggests that we stockpile organs, come on. Extra points if we're told to harvest them from the "illegals".
posted by elizardbits at 3:10 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


But we are so close to consensus!
posted by Area Man at 3:11 PM on May 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


I don't think anyone considers human kidneys and dollar bills in any way equivalent.

What are three things Libertarians use to take the piss with, Alex?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:12 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


three?
posted by kagredon at 3:13 PM on May 28, 2013


> "I'm okay with those people not paying their taxes as long as they do not reap any benefits of modern society funded by anyone else's taxes..."

Unfortunately, the U.S. ran out of frontier. (And even back when we had a frontier, it wasn't actually a frontier -- it was homes and land belonging to other people, whom we killed and stole from, which is a major libertarian fail.) So there really isn't anywhere that people opting out of modern society can go without running into immigration restrictions.

Even when people are allowed to immigrate to another country, the IRS enforces its "right" to continue to tax emigrants on their non-U.S. income for an additional 10 years after a person has left the U.S. for good. This is on top of whatever mandatory taxation they are subject to in their new country.

It's not the collective funding of a social safety net that I object to, it's the mandatory part. Personally, if I could opt out, I wouldn't. I'd stay here and pay taxes for those things and be content. (About that part, at least -- I'd never be content about paying for wars.)
posted by Jacqueline at 3:13 PM on May 28, 2013


two kidneys and one dollar bill = 3
posted by sweetkid at 3:13 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Two kidneys. But I agree - that joke was strained.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


You opt out by renouncing your US citizenship. Easy peasy.
posted by elizardbits at 3:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


It was a joke everyone knows that kidneys go with Chianti
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 PM on May 28, 2013


Jacqueline: "I'd stay here and pay taxes for those things and be content"

You wouldn't once you saw what your share was after your Libertarian fellow travelers opted out.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:15 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's true, but I don't think anyone considers human kidneys and dollar bills in any way equivalent

It's only a matter of time before Glenn Beck suggests that we stockpile organs, come on. Extra points if we're told to harvest them from the "illegals".


Niven.
posted by infini at 3:16 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


My husband just got home so I gotta go before our evening turns into an xkcd comic.

Love y'all, my sweet socialist e-pals. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 3:16 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be fair cortex this thread was only ever a pretense for this argument.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:16 PM on May 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


he wrote it in 1983, waayyyyy before the webz pulled the barriers isolating us from each other down.

Yes, the book's references are a bit dated now, as are some of the factors from the Living Room Quiz at the back.

As to your comment, I think that the barriers between the classes have actually grown. Regarding the Internet's role in this, a site like People of Wal-Mart is a very good example. The purpose of such a site is for the reader to look at pictures of the Wrong Kind of People as some sort of freak show. All that is missing is the carnival barker.
posted by Tanizaki at 3:16 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


it might make sense to just go do something else for a while instead?

Yeah....you can go beat up Margaret Thatcher on the blue instead.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:17 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Love y'all, my sweet socialist e-pals. :D

HAHAHA....gross.
posted by sweetkid at 3:18 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Even when people are allowed to immigrate to another country, the IRS enforces its "right" to continue to tax emigrants on their non-U.S. income for an additional 10 years after a person has left the U.S. for good. This is on top of whatever mandatory taxation they are subject to in their new country.

The USA is actually a fairly unusual country in this regard. In part it is because we are such a wealthy nation with such low taxes that we would have a huge problem if our hands if people showed up to the USA, used its opportunities to make fabulous amounts of wealth, and then moved to some other parasitic even-lower-tax nation with their gains. There are plenty of other countries that, if you were born there, your COULD opt out of, but there would be far fewer incentives to opt out of and far fewer opportunities to do so.
posted by deanc at 3:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


As to your comment, I think that the barriers between the classes have actually grown. Regarding the Internet's role in this, a site like People of Wal-Mart is a very good example. The purpose of such a site is for the reader to look at pictures of the Wrong Kind of People as some sort of freak show. All that is missing is the carnival barker.

Sorry, I live in the formerly known as the 3rd world. No context available here for your reference to be understood. aka syntax error

Yeah....you can go beat up Margaret Thatcher on the blue instead.

Oh, let her RIP, please.
posted by infini at 3:19 PM on May 28, 2013


two kidneys

the government sold one of mine to Whole Foods :(
posted by kagredon at 3:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


A very good indicator of one's class is how familiar one is with Las Vegas.

I have no idea if this means that of course someone as trashy as I am would think of Vegas, or that I can't be poor because poor people don't know anything about Vegas, but either way as a burn it has made me laugh in its magisterial inadequacy.
posted by winna at 3:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [21 favorites]



The USA is actually a fairly unusual country in this regard. In part it is because we are such a wealthy nation with such low taxes that we would have a huge problem if our hands if people showed up to the USA, used its opportunities to make fabulous amounts of wealth, and then moved to some other parasitic event-lower-tax nation with their gains. There are plenty of other countries that, if you were born it, your COULD opt out of, but there would be far fewer incentives to opt out of and far fewer opportunities to do so.


I disagree. From experience. A few years ago, there was a period when I was a legal tax paying resident of four countries on three continents. Boy it hurt.
posted by infini at 3:21 PM on May 28, 2013


I've never been outside of the Las Vegas airport, but I am familiar with Atlantic City, but that's only because I watch a lot of Boardwalk Empire and played a lot of Monopoly. So where does that put me on the class ladder?
posted by deanc at 3:21 PM on May 28, 2013


Please people, we make jokes about Atlantic City or Reno now.
posted by The Whelk at 3:21 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


As to your comment, I think that the barriers between the classes have actually grown. Regarding the Internet's role in this, a site like People of Wal-Mart is a very good example. The purpose of such a site is for the reader to look at pictures of the Wrong Kind of People as some sort of freak show. All that is missing is the carnival barker.

Yes, that's appallingly classist. So is "A very good indicator of one's class is how familiar one is with Las Vegas."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:21 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


it might make sense to just go do something else for a while instead?

Well, I am at work....
posted by Hoopo at 3:21 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


THE SOCIALIST PARTY MANIFESTO WAS A COOKBOOK!!! A SWEET, SWEET COOKBOOK!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:21 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Wow, i went through the entire thread and no one has talked about the other side of this yet? I mean this is a pretty open ended thread with regards to MeFi being shitty about economic status, so why not talk about how much judgmental bullshit happened in this thread as well?

We hate poor people if they aren't acting poor the way we expect them too, we hate rich people if they aren't acting rich the way we expect them too, or if the bar of wealth(or poverty) has moved in such a way that it no longer fits our preconceived notions.

fuck it all.
posted by emptythought at 3:22 PM on May 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: We hate
posted by anonymisc at 3:24 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


(But we aspire to hate equally)
posted by anonymisc at 3:24 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Equal hate according to need.
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on May 28, 2013


who hates the haters
posted by elizardbits at 3:27 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


who hates the haters

Infernal Affairs.
posted by GuyZero at 3:28 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The people getting off the charter flights from Vegas don't look that rich, but I've also known rich guys who do spend tons there.

Did lower airfares ruin a perfectly good class marker?
posted by Area Man at 3:29 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, if you compare most of the rest of the world with just about any one of us who posts on Metafilter?


WE are the rich people.


Maybe the lesson should always be, appreciate what you have?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:29 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll always have my burning hatred of all other human beings. They can't ever take that away from me.
posted by GuyZero at 3:30 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I must confess that I'm not sure which side of the class argument Las Vegas falls on, but I'm pretty sure that using someone's knowledge of a city to call them out on being Not Our Class Dear also falls in the category of using someone's economic status to be unpleasant.
posted by corb at 3:30 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know, if you compare most of the rest of the world with just about any one of us who posts on Metafilter?


WE are the rich people.


Maybe the lesson should always be, appreciate what you have?


This is nice but doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about.

I really don't mean that in a snarky way but I don't know how else to type it.
posted by sweetkid at 3:31 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


My husband wants to finish reading his email before the marital interactions portion of the evening begins, so I have time to reply to a couple more comments.

> "You opt out by renouncing your US citizenship. Easy peasy."

Not easy peasy. The U.S. government requires you to continue to pay taxes for 10 years on your income even if you renounce your citizenship and even if none of your income is earned in the U.S. It is one of the only countries in the world that does this.

If you're a U.S. citizen, the U.S. government basically acts like it owns you and is entitled to your earnings no matter how much you want to opt out of being a part of the U.S.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:33 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know, if you compare most of the rest of the world with just about any one of us who posts on Metafilter?


WE are the rich people.


This is such a tired "There's starving children in Africa!" type of argument that i don't even really know what to say. Besides that it's tired, and there isn't much to say to it besides "yea, and?"

I think the entire point of this thread is just because someone has it worse than you doesn't mean that your struggle, pain, suffering, or problems are somehow less valid. And that using them as something to lambast for people who have other, subjectively worse problems is a shitty thing to do.

Sorry if i'm being a bit of a dick, but i've heard this exact point fielded by evergreen college kids, neo hippies, "anarchists", etc way too many times when they didn't have an actual point other than "shut up".
posted by emptythought at 3:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Maybe the lesson should always be, appreciate what you have?

But pissing into the open window of somebody's brand new Mercedes is much more fun.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is sad how nasty this place has become.

In many threads, comments vacillate between hateful or disrespectful screeds against others, snarky quips designed to insult or mock others, and inside jokes. There are still occasional jewels here, but it really feels like the volume and frequency of the nastiness has increased in an overwhelming manner. It is more noticeable when you step away for awhile like the frog and the boiling water.

The nastiness just makes reading many threads rough. Too much mean-spiritedness and bitterness. Full of fightiness and not enough good faith. It just feels like too many people just hate without showing that they even really know why. Just hate. And everything has to be about hating some other thing. Some people just dislike and try to get people to dislike others but don't even know or care to get know who those other people are. They just hate and vent spleen.

MLK talked about how hate destroys the personality and spreads like a cancer that gnaws away at the very center of your life. I think that same insidious effect maybe explains how caustic it has become. I wonder how this place would read if we all took to heart and implemented the advice of MLK that when we feel the urge swell within us to hate, that we look instead for the center of goodness and place our attention there. I wonder how much more pleasant this place would read. Of course, I am not a Pollyanna. I know such behavior is not going to become the standard of practice. But I am just foolish enough to think we can always try.
posted by dios at 3:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [23 favorites]


1% of the US population owns 35.4% of the country's total hate.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, that's appallingly classist. So is "A very good indicator of one's class is how familiar one is with Las Vegas.

I got married there, so I am following these comments with great interest. My wedding was $60.

But really I think MeFi just has its share of haters who have differing topics on which they will offer up their snarky retorts and name-calling. And a lot of people who don't name-call at all, regardless of the topic. As much as some people like to mischaracterize it, in most cases it's a very small subset of people who make the comments that folks ascribe to how "MeFi thinks" about most topics. Not that the site doesn't have some directions it leans socially and politically, but it's not a great site to come to for a good collective hatin' which is AOK with me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:35 PM on May 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


The U.S. government requires you to continue to pay taxes for 10 years on your income even if you renounce your citizenship and even if none of your income is earned in the U.S.

Only if you spend 30 days per year in the US.
posted by elizardbits at 3:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, my understanding is that renouncing your citizenship triggers the HEART Act expatriation tax on your worldwide assets, but after that you're finally free.
posted by GuyZero at 3:39 PM on May 28, 2013


Did lower airfares ruin a perfectly good class marker?

I honestly didn't understand if time spent in Vegas was supposed to mark one as probably rich, or probably poor. I've always been surprised at the gap between how casinos are depicted as glamorous in movies, but in real life are the opposite of that - more PeopleOfWalmart than Casino Royale, and involve an army of people working to keep things running who are often paycheck to paycheck.

(The depiction/actuality gap is so strange it sometimes makes me wonder if Hollywood has some kind of incentive for burnishing casinos, as it does with the US military and Apple computer, for example.)
posted by anonymisc at 3:40 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


MLK talked about how hate destroys the personality and spreads like a cancer that gnaws away at the very center of your life. I think that same insidious effect maybe explains how caustic it has become. I wonder how this place would read if we all took to heart and implemented the advice of MLK that when we feel the urge swell within us to hate, that we look instead for the center of goodness and place our attention there. I wonder how much more pleasant this place would read. Of course, I am not a Pollyanna. I know such behavior is not going to become the standard of practice. But I am just foolish enough to think we can always try.

Goodnight, john-boy, outta here.
posted by infini at 3:41 PM on May 28, 2013


Vegas isn't even evil in an interesting way!
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just want to point out, AGAIN, that no one has actually ever asserted that $250K is "not enough" except for a money management firm that's looking to drum up business.

This is certainly true. But the money management firm that's looking to drum up business is the link in the FPP! So I think there can't be anything wrong with pushing back on the claim -- which is the title of the linked article -- that "You need equity to live in Silicon Valley."
posted by escabeche at 3:43 PM on May 28, 2013


Pushing back on the (baseless) claim is fine, saying "cry me a river, you rich bitch" is unnecessary as no one is asking for sympathy.
posted by GuyZero at 3:44 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've always been surprised at the gap between how casinos are depicted as glamorous in movies, but in real life are the opposite of that - more PeopleOfWalmart than Casino Royale

I think it depends on how you do it. The CEO of my company vacations in Vegas from time to time, in what sounds like fairly luxurious accommodations. I don't think he gambles though. When my friends go, they tend to drink tons of Budweiser and stay 3 or 4 to a room. I've never been, but it sounds like it caters to almost anyone.
posted by Hoopo at 3:45 PM on May 28, 2013


Pushing back on the (baseless) claim is fine, saying "cry me a river, you rich bitch" is unnecessary as no one is asking for sympathy.

Also, a river of tears is just not very useful.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:46 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most of the wealthier, more educated people in those states tend to skew more progressive. It's the lower income, less educated folks (the ones who are bearing the brunt of this economic recession) that tend to vote overwhelmingly Republican.

Actually, in both rich states and poor states, red states and blue states, rich people are more Republican and poor people are more Democratic.
posted by escabeche at 3:46 PM on May 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


Thanks for that, escabeche. I knew that was false, but didn't have the opportunity to find a source.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:48 PM on May 28, 2013


I cannot take credit for that. That is from Paul Fussell's excellent treatise, Class.

Tanizaki, I kind of like your offbeat persona here, but this madness cannot stand -- Class sucks, compared to the magnificent The Great War and Modern Memory (though admittedly it is better than the aptly named BAD.) Fussell was better the farther from his own life and concerns he was.
posted by escabeche at 3:50 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, a river of tears is just not very useful.

Rich people's tears are very refreshing, and pair well with any of the meals you can make from the economy-sized bags of rice and beans.
posted by kagredon at 3:51 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


corb, I'm not trying to be fighty when I ask you what is different about your attitude that the poor should just be allowed to suffer while the demise of the rich cannot be joked about. I am genuinely curious how you make this distinction.
posted by bilabial at 3:51 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


VEGAS: hard liquor and machete nite is fun.

See, you kill the rich and over time the world becomes a version of Russia 1919 and whack-a-mole.

or you could join the bill ayers fan club. Listen, try and kill the rich and the military will herd you up and put you in a trench quicker then the nazis did.

Bank on it folks because they have the means to put this "kill the rich talk" away fast if it ever blows up.

Or get rich and give it away...worked great for Tolstoy.
posted by clavdivs at 3:53 PM on May 28, 2013


> "And yes, people care about what their neighbors make because they care about how their neighbors behave. Don't believe me? Do you live in the poorest neighborhood you could find or the best you could afford?"

"Poor" is not necessarily the opposite of "best" when it comes to neighborhoods.

When we still lived in Las Vegas, we bought a townhome in the cheapest neighborhood we could find that was near work/school. My coworkers were horrified that I'd moved into such a "bad" neighborhood, its inherent badness evinced by all bars on the doors and windows. But it turned out that our neighborhood wasn't really bad, just very Mexican.

Crime was almost nonexistent (I checked the police crime maps) and we always felt very safe there at all hours because our Mexican neighbors used the streets as both a supplement to their own living rooms and a giant third place in which to gather. So there was always someone out and around paying attention to what was happening in the neighborhood. Kids would literally play out in the streets all day. We could leave stuff outside our home and no one would touch it for months until we moved it 10 feet to the garbage pickup area to indicate that we no longer wanted it and then it would be gone in a flash (so someone wanted it, and had been looking at it and able to take it the whole time but wouldn't touch it until we signaled that we no longer wanted it).

The only thing objectively "bad" about our poor neighborhood was that it was noisy compared to other neighborhoods we'd lived in. But I like Latino music, so personally I saw that as more of a feature than a bug.

Meanwhile, my coworkers had spent 2-to-3 times as much on homes with the same or less square footage as ours in various "nice" neighborhoods some distance from the institute. Their homes and cars were broken into about once every other year. They didn't feel comfortable letting their kids play outside without constant parental supervision. And the cultural norms in their neighborhood were such that their neighbors would make racist remarks about "those damn Mexicans" as offhand conversation starters. Basically, they paid a huge premium and commuted ~5 times as far as I did for the "privilege" of living among white supremacists.

I miss my poor Mexican neighborhood. A+++ would vivir con vecinos Mexicanos pobres otra vez.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:53 PM on May 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


My husband has finished reading his email and is doing a strip tease to try to divert my attention from the internet so I gotta go for reals now. Nighty night.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:54 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


DIBS!
posted by clavdivs at 3:55 PM on May 28, 2013


Please keep us abreast of further developments in your fabulous, non-impoverished lifestyle.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:56 PM on May 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


we always felt very safe there at all hours because our Mexican neighbors used the streets as both a supplement to their own living rooms and a giant third place in which to gather.

And you didn't pay them? I'm shocked that you took advantage of their labour without compensating them. Perhaps you were forcing them into the street AT GUNPOINT?
posted by GuyZero at 3:56 PM on May 28, 2013


In many threads, comments vacillate between hateful or disrespectful screeds against others, snarky quips designed to insult or mock others, and inside jokes. There are still occasional jewels here, but it really feels like the volume and frequency of the nastiness has increased in an overwhelming manner.

Dios, you're totally right that we all have the choice whether to type in a nasty comment or a nice one. But we also have the choice whether to notice the nasty stuff or the nice stuff. MetaFilter has more than "occasional jewels" -- 90 percent of this place is people showing me stuff and teaching me stuff that I otherwise wouldn't have known about.

It's not a few jewels embedded in a heap of shit, it's a big pile of jewels that people sometimes fart on.
posted by escabeche at 3:57 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


corb, I'm not trying to be fighty when I ask you what is different about your attitude that the poor should just be allowed to suffer while the demise of the rich cannot be joked about. I am genuinely curious how you make this distinction.

It would help if I knew what specifically you were referring to - it is really hard to respond to other people's paraphrases of what they remember me saying.

I do not approve of celebrating or calling for the death of anyone - I think it is really unpleasant, and when I come near to doing it myself (particularly with politicians) I'm really ashamed of myself. I don't think it's moral to take pleasure in the suffering of others.

I do think there is a moral difference, philosophically, between active and passive action, though - in the scenario of the drowning child, above, there is a moral difference between pushing the child in yourself and simply failing to rescue them. Is that what you're talking about?
posted by corb at 3:57 PM on May 28, 2013


in the scenario of the drowning child, above, there is a moral difference between pushing the child in yourself and simply failing to rescue them

If you have the option to save the child and choose not to take it, I would argue that there is no difference.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


Please keep us abreast of further developments in your fabulous, non-impoverished lifestyle.
posted by entropicamericana

I live in Flint, come visit and remember your flak vest and the ammo is in the front pouch at the rear of the seat. ohhh, your talking about vegas...ok
posted by clavdivs at 4:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Possible sarcasm failure: Is Flint really that bad? I had heard it was having a renaissance of sorts.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:06 PM on May 28, 2013


I lived through the renaissance. It wasn't as nice as advertised. The rich were very gamey.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:07 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Plus, all those rich sauces and heavy pepper. no tomatoes or potatoes or chilies, just awful.
posted by The Whelk at 4:09 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


If ever I need to illustrate to someone why I, as a person with the political beliefs I have, won't touch the vast majority of MetaFilter posts about politics, I will be sure to keep this thread bookmarked. I hope no one who's been reading wonders why almost all the conservatives and libertarians who do try to participate are so strident.
posted by SMPA at 4:09 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, properly speaking I'm a libertarian rather than a Republican, but no, I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do? To me, those are things that can be earned, and are valuable because of that.

Have your views on this topic changed? If not, how is the idea that a person is not entitled to housing, health care, and food unless they are "earning" them not advocating the suffering and death of poor people?

Do you feel you are being passive when you articulate that some people deserve housing, health care and food, while others do not?
posted by bilabial at 4:11 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


If ever I need to illustrate to someone why I, as a person with the political beliefs I have, won't touch the vast majority of MetaFilter posts about politics

Oh dude--this is one of those self-evident truths where it doesn't even matter what your political beliefs are.
posted by Hoopo at 4:18 PM on May 28, 2013


Possible sarcasm failure: Is Flint really that bad? I had heard it was having a renaissance of sorts.

Yes there is renaissance as in almost every city, ours involves stepping back 100 plus years into the wonderful world of crops!

we have no local power, the guv runs the place as with detroit and a few other spots. Guv is a rich guy but he has the balls to do whats right IMO. So should we chop him when he is fighting to build a new bridge and help sort out our municipal water situation.
posted by clavdivs at 4:18 PM on May 28, 2013


ok, History has proved that this kill the rich thing don't work out well. Take Cambodia as a current example. You get the poor to slaughter the middle class (because most of the rich fled) and then you kill them, wow nothing like being complicit in your own demise. Do you folks think you would escape death just because your smart or poor?


posted by clavdivs at 4:23 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


If ever I need to illustrate to someone why I, as a person with the political beliefs I have, won't touch the vast majority of MetaFilter posts about politics

As has been pointed out many, many times in past MeTa discussions personal attacks and insults are not tolerated on MetaFilter, especially on the Blue. They get deleted. Granted the occasional nasty snipe may slip through the cracks but on the whole there just isn't an overwhelming hostility towards individuals who happen to have a given set of political beliefs.

Hostility to the ideas or beliefs themselves? Sure. But that goes without saying. That, in fact, is the entire point of discussion and debate. Why would anyone have a problem with this? If there's no risk of being personally attacked for what you believe, what's the concern? Or is it just that it's too tiring/frustrating to defend the position? I guess I just don't get the persecution thing that some folks are claiming here*


*as a practicing Mormon I'm no stranger to being outnumbered in a heated MeFi debate.
posted by Doleful Creature at 4:29 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]




Do you folks think you would escape death just because your smart or poor?


I am not poor and only ok smart but my communist friends assure me I would not last very long if the revolution comes.
posted by sweetkid at 4:34 PM on May 28, 2013


Hey now, being very good at Popular Televised Entertainment Talking is a valuable social skill.
posted by The Whelk at 4:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


how is the idea that a person is not entitled to housing, health care, and food unless they are "earning" them not advocating the suffering and death of poor people?

Do you feel you are being passive when you articulate that some people deserve housing, health care and food, while others do not?


The idea of whether or not a person is "entitled" to something, to me, implies an argument about natural rights. What rights does a human obtain simply through birth? The answer, from my point of view, is very few - some from a moral standpoint, others based on where and in what circumstances they are born. I would have to think very hard to think what natural rights I do believe people are born with - perhaps the right to think and feel freely and clearly, or the right of consent to positive action.

But that should not be interpreted as advocating the suffering and death of poor people, in part because I do not think that the lack of calling something a natural right means that that person will never obtain it. I'm not saying, "No poor person should ever have housing, health care, or food." I'm saying that I don't think people are born with inherent rights to make demands on the world. That's a philosophical position about my own personal ethics.

Hostility to the ideas or beliefs themselves? Sure. But that goes without saying. That, in fact, is the entire point of discussion and debate

No, never! There are many, many ideas with which I disagree, but I am not hostile to, nor the people who carry them.
posted by corb at 4:36 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a practicing cannibal, I find this whole discussion a bit rich. With just a soupçon of highly offensive.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:37 PM on May 28, 2013


I don't know, class resentment's really working for me as a lifestyle choice.
posted by liketitanic at 4:38 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


What we need is a baseline for humane living, and then we ask everyone "if you and your family quit your jobs (assuming you had jobs) and never worked for another human being again for the rest of your life, how many days/weeks/months/years could you go before you no longer met the baseline for humane living?"

Anyone who can answer this question immediately without hesitation is not rich. Everyone else gets eaten.
posted by davejay at 4:40 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


A baby born to a family too poor to feed it has no right to food, I guess. That baby better get some boots to bootstrap, stat!
posted by agregoli at 4:40 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, and on the "kill the rich" thing, isn't that what taxing the rich is supposed to do? Because they way some wealthy people complain about taxes, you'd think it was killing them.
posted by davejay at 4:41 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Anyone who can answer this question immediately without hesitation is not rich. Everyone else gets eaten.

You can have my cold, dead hand when you pry it from my cold, dead wrist.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:42 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


No, seriously. You can have it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:43 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Those goddamn freeloading babies are the worst.
posted by elizardbits at 4:43 PM on May 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


Well this is interesting corb, because life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights, according to our Constitution. How does one maintain life without, at the very minimum, food?

perhaps the right to think and feel freely and clearly

Have you ever tried to think clearly with an empty belly? I can tell you from experience, it's not easy. Do you know how being hungry and insecure fucks with your emotions? I can tell you from experience, the damage may be permanent.
posted by bilabial at 4:43 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


If this could not turn into a protracted "Let's interrogate corb (or anyone) about their beliefs and then mock her for them" that would be

1. Great
2. In keeping with what this MetaTalk thread is actually for

corb is available over MeMail for people who want to know how her mind works. Don't make this thread into the corb show.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:44 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Cause the corb show is BORING

(as is any "show" featuring one metafilter member only)
posted by agregoli at 4:47 PM on May 28, 2013


In all seriousness, since corb started this thread to talk about this subject, what is the purpose of this thread if we stop engaging corb? Are we done here, then?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:47 PM on May 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm planning on bingewatching the corb show when it's finally available on Netflix.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:47 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights, according to our Constitution.

That's the declaration of independence, actually, and it's a play on John Locke's definition of natural rights as "life, liberty, and property."
posted by deanc at 4:49 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


deanc, whoops. That's embarassing.
posted by bilabial at 4:50 PM on May 28, 2013


Yeah, the rights afforded to us in the Constitution are considerably more alienable.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:51 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


And if "property" is an inalienable right for EVERYBODY, then YOU CAN'T HAVE ALL OF IT, 1%.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:52 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cause the corb show is BORING

(as is any "show" featuring one metafilter member only)


Gather round for two hours, kids, it's the Rory Marinich Show!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:54 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


The inalienable right to property is to possess, not own. Ie, 1% is permitted to own it all, but is required to ensure some marginal fraction of it is available for lease.
(No price controls on rates of course, that would be communist.)
posted by anonymisc at 4:55 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really doubt anything would ever turn into the sweetkid show
posted by sweetkid at 4:59 PM on May 28, 2013


In all seriousness...

If your participation in this MeTa has been limited to the one-liner sack race that Elizardbits and The Whelk host in damn near every thread that ever happens on this website, then I'm really not sure you get to ask "in all seriousness" questions about where the MeTa can go and whether "we're done here."

That stuff is fucking noise. When somebody opens a MeTa in earnest to talk about site etiquette or policy, it might be constructive or it might be ill-advised, but it is positively never going to be helped by the arrival of the giggles bridgade. You're adding nothing. You have MetaChat for that and it escapes me why you insist on doing it here and why it's tolerated when there's (ostensibly?) a "noise" flag, but boy does it push one button extra when you turn around and question the merit of the conversation that other people have been having over your chatter.
posted by cribcage at 4:59 PM on May 28, 2013 [28 favorites]


Elizardbits and the whelk say funny stuff but they are also really smart and it's not noise so I totally disagree with that.
posted by sweetkid at 5:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


Rather than raise an issue for another MeTa, you could address Florence Henderson's question if you think its answer is "no."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:02 PM on May 28, 2013


In all seriousness I am pretty amused by how much you hate me, dude.
posted by elizardbits at 5:02 PM on May 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


In all seriousness, I think we should stage a sack race in Central Park between elizardbits and The Whelk to put this matter to rest once and for all.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does it sting that elizardbits and The Whelk and the rest of the "giggle" brigade often have stronger and more poignant--and more importantly to someone concerned about noise or chatter--succinct comments on the subject at hand than most other posters?
posted by zombieflanders at 5:07 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


If your participation in this MeTa has been limited to the one-liner sack race that Elizardbits and The Whelk host in damn near every thread that ever happens on this website, then I'm really not sure you get to ask "in all seriousness" questions about where the MeTa can go and whether "we're done here."

What would make you really sure if people get to ask that question?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 PM on May 28, 2013


Ugh it's favorites team again. I think Elizardbits and whelk are smart and awesome but disagree with BEST AT comments I mean so tiring
posted by sweetkid at 5:10 PM on May 28, 2013


That was in response to zombieflanders
posted by sweetkid at 5:11 PM on May 28, 2013


I would have to think very hard to think what natural rights I do believe people are born with - perhaps the right to think and feel freely and clearly, or the right of consent to positive action.

Wow, a rejection of the whole natural rights/social compact theory that the U.S. and modern democratic thought have been based upon since the 18th century. You and Jacqueline are clearly singing from the same songbook. I invite you both to go find your government-free society, wherever that may be. In the meantime, I'd suggest that your unwillingness to accept one of the fundamental principles of a free society -- the idea that each human being has natural rights, many of which are expressed in the U.S. constitution and its bill of rights -- makes particularly ironic your complaint launching this thread about the mean way MeFis sometimes talk about rich people. Because I fail to see what recognizable rights those comments are intruding upon.

I didn't realize just how disingenous this whole post was until I read down to here and realized that both of you reject the basic assumptions involved in the creation of a social organization. Ergo, your complaint is basically just a predicate to waste the time of the rest of us.
posted by bearwife at 5:11 PM on May 28, 2013 [22 favorites]


I really doubt anything would ever turn into the sweetkid show

Consists entirely of a scroll of comments occasionally accompanied by a thumbs-up.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:13 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who said 'best at'?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:14 PM on May 28, 2013


Wow, a rejection of the whole natural rights/social compact theory that the U.S. and modern democratic thought have been based upon since the 18th century.

I think corb is fine with natural rights, but doesn't think citizens have a right to demand that others help them achieve them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would watch the sweetkid show.
posted by zarq at 5:15 PM on May 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


It would probably be about my dislike of Best At
posted by sweetkid at 5:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


My current income is average for a working American citizen. I have enough, for the most part(hint: health care). But I live in a culture dominated by advertizing, in a country politically dominated by corporations, and it's killing us. The very rich are deliberately creating a country/ world in which it's okay for a few people to aggregate massive wealth, it's okay for those who are ill or disabled to live in gross poverty, for people to die for lack of care, it's okay to pay people wages on which they cannot begin to adequately live. A world in which it's okay to ruin the environment and deliberately block any change or improvement, even though it will likely cause great disasters and massive human suffering. A society in which it's acceptable to be greedy and uncaring. The rich are very well-insulated against the working class and the poor, and they keep adding to the insulation.

Corb, in any thread, you can ask people to post more thoughtful, intelligent, and less violent comments, and I respect your question setting a respectful, thoughtful example. the broader topic: do we think this is okay? If so, why? And if not, how can we try to do better? Bleak, angry, bitter and sardonic comments about people who are near the top, but might not be able to have everything they want, and a site that caters to the wealthy, in an unashamed manner. It is okay? It's about fucking time. I don't want to go after the upper middle class, but hell, yes, we should go after the very wealthy, the very big banks, and the very big corporations, and we should do it before it's too late. Their attitude is: I've got mine, I want more, there is no such thing as enough, and if you have a need, Fuck Off. Give me even more. There is no such thing as innocent great wealth when there is so much great need.
posted by theora55 at 5:22 PM on May 28, 2013 [30 favorites]


If we're treating the question as a totally straight etiquette/behavior question, isn't the answer "Not universally, but in most cases it won't be an issue, most people are just kidding around and, although it may be irritating, if it gets out of hand the mods will probably step in"?

Is there anything more to say?
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:22 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know, if you compare most of the rest of the world with just about any one of us who posts on Metafilter?


WE are the rich people.

This is such a tired "There's starving children in Africa!" type of argument that i don't even really know what to say. Besides that it's tired, and there isn't much to say to it besides "yea, and?"

I think the entire point of this thread is just because someone has it worse than you doesn't mean that your struggle, pain, suffering, or problems are somehow less valid. And that using them as something to lambast for people who have other, subjectively worse problems is a shitty thing to do.

Sorry if i'm being a bit of a dick, but i've heard this exact point fielded by evergreen college kids, neo hippies, "anarchists", etc way too many times when they didn't have an actual point other than "shut up".


Okay, then let me put it more succinctly, then. I feel that for us, on Mefi, to sit here and mock "rich people problems" could be seen as the height of hypocrisy by the rest of the world. The definition of "rich" tends to vary wildly according to one's own socioeconomic status. And I do apologize if that seems boring or hippieish. But I have been around rich people, and I have been around poor people, and all I can say is, dude, we all have problems. Money makes some things easier of course but it really is all relative, plus there really are a lot of things that money not only cannot make better, but actually makes worse.

So, snark if you must but snark in the knowledge that somewhere in the vast sea of humanity you are the snarkee.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:29 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


This thread is the corb show by default, because corb made this thread exist. I'm unclear as to where the discussion can go now, then?
posted by lazaruslong at 5:29 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Addressing the actual substance of the MeTa and how it relates to site policy, I don't personally get much out of comments where mefites strive valiantly to prove their leftist or street-cred credentials by demonising a particular out-group with the most florid hyperbole they can muster (whether said out-group deserves such calumny or not is both an unanswerable and irrelevant in my opinion).

The comments are almost never substantive, interesting, or original, or even very informed most of the time - and they look a lot like noise to me, and I don't really feel that they facilitate a better dialogue on the site.

Whilst I have been privileged enough to escape Corb's experiences, I can understand how she might view comments about "the rich" as personally upsetting or confronting. I don't know that they need to be curtailed at a mod level because of that (Mefi not being a "safe" space and all), but can appreciate why she might take them more sensitively than others. I don't think her political opinions or comments should be reason for deriding her feelings in this regard, and I don't think we need yet another thread where people take the opportunity to articulate just how much they dislike another mefite or how and why they suck and their secret motivations for posting and commenting.

Though I try to avoid making comments like that, I for one will try a little harder, Corb. I don't think your request is at base an unreasonable one and because of your... fairly strong persona on the site I sometimes forget your background in this area and how it might affect you.

I doubt the mods will be deleting any such comments, however: there is already a strong tension between the "Delete-y" brigade (among which I number myself, I suppose), and the "Anti-Delete-y" brigade, and I suspect the mods rightly think the resultant shit-fight if they took a more aggressive stance would not be worth the utility in cracking down.

Dios, I would urge you, if you are finding the Blue a bit much, to hustle on over to the Green and spend a bit more time there. Much more convivial atmosphere, I feel. No derails, nearly all comments substantive, and mostly a userbase really focused on helping people. Might restore some of your lost faith.
posted by smoke at 5:37 PM on May 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


But I have been around rich people, and I have been around poor people, and all I can say is, dude, we all have problems. Money makes some things easier of course but it really is all relative, plus there really are a lot of things that money not only cannot make better, but actually makes worse.

The difference, though, is that articles like the one in the FPP are used to prioritize one group of people's relatively minor problems over the relatively major problems of many, many other people. That's what brings out the snark, I think; it's sort of hard to read a veiled argument about how raising taxes on the top 1% will make it impossible for them to pay their kids' way through college, poor dears, when you're facing down 10 years of hefty student loan payments. I don't doubt that's a real worry for some people, and I sympathize with them--worrying about money is a universal, I think--but the fortnightly cycle of "it's hard to be rich!" articles that's emerged during the recession is just plain gross.
posted by kagredon at 5:39 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


disagree with BEST AT comments I mean so tiring

Oh sadness, please disregard the MeMail I sent you earlier where I said you were best at this thread.
posted by donnagirl at 5:43 PM on May 28, 2013


That stuff is fucking noise.

You know something crazy? The "best at" people aren't the supreme rulers of all that is metafilter. I happen to love elizardbits, but every once in a blue moon I read something from her that does just sound like deraily noise, so I flag it. And then you know what happens? It usually gets deleted.

The system works, even for the special awesome people. You don't have to get all het up about it just because lots of folks think they're funny. There's no secret mod signal that goes up when you're just sitting in your chair silently stewing about it. Flag it if you think it warrants flagging.
posted by phunniemee at 5:44 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry for making "best at" a thing. Omg need to keep my mouth shut about that. It's like meaningless really.
posted by sweetkid at 5:49 PM on May 28, 2013


Though go easy on the flagging in MeTa since we rarely delete stuff here. Feel free to send us an email though.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:50 PM on May 28, 2013


I am rich and deserve to die.

That's the thing. Bill Gates gives away half his money. Stephen King wants to be taxed double. The good rich recognize this.

Economic anger is necessary, or the rich will continue to fuck us over. That said, half this site is first world problems. I don't make much money, but i've got time to get angry about the XBone, so by any objective standard I should be against the wall too. I'm cool with that.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:11 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Though I try to avoid making comments like that, I for one will try a little harder, Corb. I don't think your request is at base an unreasonable one and because of your... fairly strong persona on the site I sometimes forget your background in this area and how it might affect you.

I really appreciate that - and especially the consideration involved. Thank you.
posted by corb at 6:12 PM on May 28, 2013


they are also really smart and it's not noise so I totally disagree with that.

I didn't say they weren't smart. I definitely wouldn't say that about IRFH, whose comment I was responding to; to be honest with you, I think he's one of the cleverest folks on MetaFilter, and he's one of the only people whose one-liners I consistently find funny. (Just clarifying my opinion, not suggesting "best at.") But whether somebody is smart or their jokes funny is a separate question to whether the comments are noise in the context of a particular thread. Often they are. Here, they were.

And hey, a degree of jokey noise is part of MetaFilter culture. Notwithstanding Phunniemee's comment, it sounds like she and I use flags basically the same: I don't flag much, but I'll occasionally flag an extreme series. I read past most of them. But yes, it is noise; yes, it gets excessive; and if somebody's going to do that constantly in a thread, they should have the awareness to realize, "Okay, I'm having fun but I've probably forfeited my right to turn around and say, 'What's the point of this conversation anyway? Are we done yet?'"
posted by cribcage at 6:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


the one-liner sack race that Elizardbits and The Whelk host in damn near every thread

Oh sure. No one ever remembers the supporting cast.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:26 PM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I find that "income disparity" is a seldom-examined phrase. For example, say A has an income of 50 and B has an income of 30. After some time, both of their incomes have gone up so that A has an income of 100 and B has an income of 60. The income disparity between them has doubled but B is now better off than A was.

That hypothetical is irrelevant...


Unless you care about examining your assumptions.
posted by John Cohen at 6:39 PM on May 28, 2013


"And now a word about "hostility towards poor people". Despite the preening that is done over who can most sympathize with the poor, the great majority of people spend most of their waking hours working so they can make enough money not to live around the poor and certainly not send their kids to the same school as poor kids."

The proper word for those more concerned with the minutiae of apostolic succession than the well-being of the poor is "Pharisee."
posted by klangklangston at 6:40 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


John Cohen: " Unless you care about examining your assumptions."

Except... in the part you selectively left out of your quote, downing street memo actually backed up his assumptions with evidence that the hypothetical was, in fact, irrelevant.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:43 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Point taken, cribcage, and fair enough, but I was mostly asking for clarification. We had been told not to make this about rich vs. poor upthread, and now we were being told not to make it a corb thread. I was literally asking what was left to consider on-topic. In case I decided to try to do that at some point.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:44 PM on May 28, 2013


I apologize that my comment came out sharper than I intended, IRFH. I can be one way in person, which awhile back I decided wasn't translating productively on MetaFilter, so I usually make an extra effort here to be measured. Some days I'm more successful than others.
posted by cribcage at 6:50 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The 0.0001 percenters have kept themselves penned up in their castles, eating luxurious fatty foods. I'm sure after the slaughter and a few weeks of dry aging they will have a nice marbled texture, unfortunately only a select few of the 0.001 percenters will ever taste such a delicacy.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:56 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


"That stuff is fucking noise. When somebody opens a MeTa in earnest to talk about site etiquette or policy, it might be constructive or it might be ill-advised, but it is positively never going to be helped by the arrival of the giggles bridgade."

Threads are often helped by pressure-venting one-liners. I know (gasp and horror) but Corb and I have even been known to joke with each other while still disagreeing me being a dick to her.

"Wow, a rejection of the whole natural rights/social compact theory that the U.S. and modern democratic thought have been based upon since the 18th century. You and Jacqueline are clearly singing from the same songbook. I invite you both to go find your government-free society, wherever that may be. In the meantime, I'd suggest that your unwillingness to accept one of the fundamental principles of a free society -- the idea that each human being has natural rights, many of which are expressed in the U.S. constitution and its bill of rights -- makes particularly ironic your complaint launching this thread about the mean way MeFis sometimes talk about rich people. Because I fail to see what recognizable rights those comments are intruding upon."

I'm curious about this, actually, since in Poli Sci, "natural rights" are pretty much a dead, deist conception. The only people that seriously harp on them are Catholics, in conjunction with "natural law." It's one of the fundamental flaws of Locke, and it'd be interesting if it's become the (or even a) dominant legal philosophy.

The fundamental problem is really clear in Locke; it's justified by an appeal to God/nature. If God doesn't exist to guarantee/desire these rights as respected, where are you? There has to be another justification for these rights being natural. The argument that they come from humanity is unpersuasive both in theory and in practice — rights clearly aren't universally acknowledged, and relying on a common conception of humanity doesn't ground the rights any more clearly.

There are a couple ways out of that; most of them rely up on some kind of utilitarianism (that people are happier/suffer less when rights are granted and respected, regardless of source), but utilitarianism has its own flaws (quantification). All the rest basically admit that rights are artificial, but have arrived through custom/idealism, etc.

Artificial doesn't mean that they're less important, or that they're less grounded, but avoids a lot of the weaker entailments of natural rights.
posted by klangklangston at 7:02 PM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


But I have been around rich people, and I have been around poor people, and all I can say is, dude, we all have problems.

We do all have problems. Many rich people have problems that can't be solved with money: mental illness of themselves or their family, incurable physical health problems, family disputes, etc. If they could be solved with money, they wouldn't have those problems!

The difference is this: for the most part, when I talk to rich people, they don't talk about that stuff... or when they complain about politics and their finances, they don't say, "but at least I am healthy, mentally and physically and have a wonderful family" --- their complaints are that they don't have enough money, and they seethe with resentment in anger that the less wealthy are going to take their money. And that I have no tolerance for and am not going to say, "oh, well,life is good and I shouldn't worry about my own problems of poverty or public breakdown or income inequality."

And worst of all, a lot of them feel free to regale me with their "wisdom" about "how the world works," particularly with respect to politics and the economy, when in fact I know that their "beliefs" are actually going to harm me and my community. So I'm going to feel free to snark at their whining and laugh when they complain that they're not getting enough slavish devotion when people snark about eating them.

I feel that for us, on Mefi, to sit here and mock "rich people problems" could be seen as the height of hypocrisy by the rest of the world.

No, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't. Crippling debt and an angry, destructive plutocracy and the like is a pretty common problem all over the world. "Shut up and stop complaining, peons" is a sentiment that non-rich people from all cultures have to hear, and I think they would sympathize.
posted by deanc at 7:05 PM on May 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


Me too, cribcage. No apology needed. And speaking purely for my own participation in this thread, I'd agree that I should dial back the buffoonery. Oddly, I've actually written and deleted so many serious, personal comments that I kind of had a false sense of my own participation, so I really do appreciate the feedback. /derail
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel that for us, on Mefi, to sit here and mock "rich people problems" could be seen as the height of hypocrisy by the rest of the world.

No, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't. Crippling debt and am angry plutocracy and the like is a pretty common problem all over the world. "Shut up and stop complaining, peons" is a sentiment that non-rich people from all cultures have to hear, and I think they would sympathize.


Things I've got angry about in the past week:
Dance music
other people disliking Star Trek
the new XBox game

both those were on massive therads that most of the site partcipated in. when you have the time and ability to get emotionally involved in popcorn movies and videogames than you've entered the realm of 'rich people problems'
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:07 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not rich. I'm emotionally invested in the new Star Trek movie. I don't think that's "a rich person's problem." Nor does it stop me from worrying over my family's finances.
posted by zarq at 7:13 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Uh, poor people can also be passionate about art, no matter where they are. In fact, poor people are often even more invested in pop culture, because economies of scale mean they have a better chance to enjoy it.

THE MORE YOU KNOW
posted by klangklangston at 7:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Enjoying entertainment is not solely the province of the rich (this comment is one of several good ones in the thread about exactly this.) Yes, the fact that you can afford the money to turn on your radio now and then, or even (gasp!) go to a movie means that you're not destitute, but it doesn't give you health insurance.
posted by kagredon at 7:15 PM on May 28, 2013


"The difference is this: for the most part, when I talk to rich people, they don't talk about that stuff... or when they complain about politics and their finances, they don't say, "but at least I am healthy, mentally and physically and have a wonderful family" --- their complaints are that they don't have enough money, and they seethe with resentment in anger that the less wealthy are going to take their money."

I'm lucky. Most of the rich people I know are generally decent people, who can just be obnoxious and oblivious. It's just that the assholes are such assholes.
posted by klangklangston at 7:15 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The real issue isn't Eat the Rich. Isn't the real issue Fuck the Beautiful?
Here's why...I think.

It seemed to me that everybody danced around [this]. Last night my SO and I were having a private economic discussion about how the perception of beauty is sold to us through pretty much everything for the last 75 years. I think this mindset and continuing activity does a great deal to aid income inequality, forces us to have the subconscious mindset that if we have these things, or do these things than we will be happier and prettier too. I know some things have happened recently to counter this...but my argument would be that if something ever is to be done with Rich/Poors, than sold, prepackaged, beautiful self-images sex sex sex has to be dealt with. It is a silent helper to evil. It may always be to political an issue to get something passed through congress, but the social issue can be done by the people to counteract this injustice, if only it could be crystallized perfectly. (help me out)
posted by QueerAngel28 at 7:22 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, then let me put it more succinctly, then. I feel that for us, on Mefi, to sit here and mock "rich people problems" could be seen as the height of hypocrisy by the rest of the world.

This is the kind of thing people say if they don't really understand much about "the rest of the world."

(where is that, exactly?)
posted by sweetkid at 7:23 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


(where is that, exactly?)

Anyplace where bullets that are meant to kill somebody are currently flying through the air.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 7:26 PM on May 28, 2013


Anyplace where bullets that are meant to kill somebody are currently flying through the air.

So...the places plenty of poor people live in the United States?
posted by kagredon at 7:34 PM on May 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Anyplace where bullets that are meant to kill somebody are currently flying through the air.

that makes no kind of sense
posted by sweetkid at 7:35 PM on May 28, 2013


I'm not sure what your comments have to do with the original request and/or discussion QueerAngel 28? You are kind of out there, dude.
posted by smoke at 7:37 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


articles like the one in the FPP are used to prioritize one group of people's relatively minor problems over the relatively major problems of many, many other people

Sigh. It's a big internet, and there are a lot of articles that prioritize one group's interests/problems over those of another group. So saying the FPP article prioritizes the problems of the rich over the problems of the poor really reads a lot more into the article than is really there. It was, frankly, a thinly disguised ad for financial services. (And we all know that it was posted as thinly disguised outrage-filter -- first, it's not a particularly interesting article in and of itself and, second, well, check out the post title.) The other links were much more interesting, but got lost in the "grar, the Richies suck!" stuff.

If the thread had gotten past the almost immediate class-warfare backlash stuff, I might have ventured in and participated because I think some of the underlying issues -- including the rising cost of real estate in desirable urban locales pushing out most of the people who work in those locales -- are really interesting! (For instance, has anyone seen the articles talking about how much real estate in NYC is vacant because it's been bought by wealthy foreigners as a relatively stable investment?) But instead, it felt like it was just framed as a really hostile thread for anyone that someone else might consider "rich" (and I say that as someone who owns a home in a decent suburb of a very expensive city and who is part of a two-income household with child, dog, two cars, and a shitload of debt, and who knows how lucky and privileged she is but really doesn't enjoy being told she's the incarnation of evil and represents everything that's wrong with this country).

So anyway, yeah. We push back on unfair characterizations of all kinds of groups and people, so why is it OK to paint "the rich" with a single brush?
posted by devinemissk at 7:42 PM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Uh, poor people can also be passionate about art, no matter where they are. In fact, poor people are often even more invested in pop culture, because economies of scale mean they have a better chance to enjoy it.

I've been to the third world and had some pretty great conversations with people there about movies and pop culture. I'm talking people that were living off of like $100-200 a month, and they were middle-class for the country. They can get pirated dvd's down there for like $.50 and buy a lot of them.
posted by empath at 7:59 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


"That stuff is fucking noise. When somebody opens a MeTa in earnest to talk about site etiquette or policy, it might be constructive or it might be ill-advised, but it is positively never going to be helped by the arrival of the giggles bridgade."
Threads are often helped by pressure-venting one-liners.


Well, if there's one thing that drives me up the fucking wall about MetaFilter, it's the legion of zombie humorists that latch onto low-hanging fruit like a misspelled word in a post as a seed for some uninspired utterance, but there's no real overlap between that set and the Giggle Brigade* in my experience so yeah I agree with this. When you're talking online you can't mitigate blunt words with inflection and body language the way you can in person, so some jokiness seems like the best way to communicate that you're not actually necessarily raring to tear out the other person's throat.

* I am loling at the image of The Whelk and elizardbits in mime outfits waltzing into threads and releasing the internet equivalent of Joker venom so that we all come away with awful rictus grins and blue eyes with yellow highlights
posted by invitapriore at 8:01 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


isn't there an ultraviolent series of satirical horror movies about eating the rich? I think one is called 'Society'?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:08 PM on May 28, 2013


That's the rich eating you, Charlemagne. Can't remember the name either, but I think I know which movie you're talking about.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:09 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


huh turns out the rich are literally cenobites

Makes sense. whatever metaphor you use, most of them are Not Like Us.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:10 PM on May 28, 2013


Yeah! Society!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:11 PM on May 28, 2013


I know we're beyond the point of discussing the OP but still, for the record Corb I agree with you. I thought those comments about people who make 250k combined a year were really sad and dumb, and should have been deleted.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:02 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought those comments about people who make 250k combined a year were really sad and dumb, and should have been deleted.

Flagging works.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:06 PM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Flagging works.

I've flagged comments and seen them deleted. Sometimes they aren't. Usually I've already moved on, but occasionally I have followed up in MetaTalk or via the contact form. In those cases, sometimes the comment was then deleted. Other times, the mods have explained why it wasn't.
posted by cribcage at 9:17 PM on May 28, 2013


Flagging works.

Flagging does not work, most of the time. It depends on who you flag and how well loved they are by the community.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:56 PM on May 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Society!
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:01 PM on May 28, 2013


Flagging does not work, most of the time.

It doesn't work as a remote control delete button; it's not meant to. Not everything that gets flagged will end up being actionable. But it does, at a minimum, let us know that people are seeing something they think we should take a look at.

We get complaints sometimes about something that someone expects us to have looked at but which they never flagged, for example, which, hey, we're not telepathic. Folks need to let us know somehow—flags, contact form, etc—about things that they're concerned about.

It depends on who you flag and how well loved they are by the community.

No, actually, but lord knows that won't stop you at this point if it hasn't before.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:04 PM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


1% rounds down to zero, so it's hardly like killing at all.
posted by Eideteker at 10:09 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm curious about this, actually, since in Poli Sci, "natural rights" are pretty much a dead, deist conception

Since it is you that raises this question, klangklangston, I dug up for you this decent discussion of
natural/human rights theory. The concepts aren't merely those of dead deists. And it really is a predicate of most modern societies -- if not that of the oppressive communist regimes who corb reports murdered some of her family, or of modern fascism -- that government/organized communities derive their legitimacy from their respect for the rights of the citizens who comprise the society.
posted by bearwife at 10:18 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.
posted by mazola at 11:13 PM on May 28, 2013



What bothers me from a MeFi-discussion perspective is when the prevailing attitude toward the wealthy gratuitously bleeds over into other topics of discussion, like whenever someone feels the need to point out that (random example, but this happens all the time) the members of Vampire Weekend come from well-to-do backgrounds and therefore deserve our contempt and resentment.


Vampire Weekend sing about and present themselves as members of that class, so its as relevant as a discusison of blue collar union politics in a Springsteen thread.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:14 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]



Cause the corb show is BORING

(as is any "show" featuring one metafilter member only)



Is The Corb Show the Canadian version of the Johnny Cash show?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:23 PM on May 28, 2013


"Flagging does not work, most of the time. It depends on who you flag and how well loved they are by the community."

Do you tip at Christmas?
posted by klangklangston at 11:33 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


there are some great episodes of the johnny cash show. i got a $2 dvd of collected episodes/segments and we'll watch it as we go to sleep sometimes.
posted by nadawi at 11:45 PM on May 28, 2013


hey i got nothing against johnny cash at all. anyway whenever i see 'corb' i think 'Corb Lund' and kinda hope its not the same person. i like that only one of my fave singers is a libertarian
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:59 PM on May 28, 2013


"Since it is you that raises this question, klangklangston, I dug up for you this decent discussion of natural/human rights theory. The concepts aren't merely those of dead deists. And it really is a predicate of most modern societies -- if not that of the oppressive communist regimes who corb reports murdered some of her family, or of modern fascism -- that government/organized communities derive their legitimacy from their respect for the rights of the citizens who comprise the society."

Yeah, I've read the Wikipedia page. A better, lengthier discussion is on the Stanford Encyclopedia page:
Status theory also faces the challenge of vindicating its foundations and its scope. Why after all is it “fitting” to ascribe individuals rights? The Kantian value of inviolability can look puzzling when presented independently of a metaphysical grounding. As Nagel (2002, 34) admits, “it has proven extremely difficult to account for such a basic, individualized value such that it becomes morally intelligible.” This is a quiet echo of Bentham's protest that the doctrine of natural rights “is from beginning to end so much flat assertion: it lays down as a fundamental and inviolable principle whatever is in dispute.” (Bentham 1796, 66)
"And it really is a predicate of most modern societies -- if not that of the oppressive communist regimes who corb reports murdered some of her family, or of modern fascism -- that government/organized communities derive their legitimacy from their respect for the rights of the citizens who comprise the society."

Kind of, but that's a bad argument on several fronts. One, plenty of philosophical stances predicate to the modern society can be seen as quite negative, e.g. religion in civil society. Secondly, while Marx was a big critic of rights language, that doesn't mean that eschewing a natural rights conception leads to fascism or communist dictatorship. Mill was a utilitarian who specifically posited his philosophy on the contention that adhering to the principles of liberty would make for a more prosperous society in order to avoid the supernatural justification of Locke. Mill has his flaws, but fascism/stalinism isn't really one of them. Moreover, you can still have political legitimacy based on democratic forms even within an artificial rights conception — a quick hypothetical would be a society that grants rights constitutionally in order to get buy in from the polity.

So, like I said, I find it interesting that the natural rights/law (status rights) philosophy has come to dominate the field of law, since it's something that is, at best, a severely contested political proposition. It's kinda like how there's a lot vested in the philosophy of free will within legal strictures (and a lot of consequentialist arguments because of it), but free will is actually pretty hard to defend in any sort of philosophically serious way. (Subjectively, experientially, sure. But without invoking quasi-dualism or some other amaterial justification? I haven't seen a solid, cohesive argument like that no matter how much I want one or have tried to make one.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:07 AM on May 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


I, too, think that joking about killing our rich oppressors is terrible. We definitely shouldn't be joking about that.

*Cough*.
posted by Decani at 12:22 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Over time, I've come to feel that it's really hard to get people to see your side of things if they feel like you want them dead, even jokingly.

When I vent, it now tends to be to a small group of people who know me well enough to not take the wrong message from whatever poked-bear BS I might spew.

People often lack perspective when they're in the midst of making all the decisions necessary to keep life going in the rat race, even if they are actually the cats.

It can be really irritating, sometimes, to suppress the urge to respond with snark (or disgusted fury) to someone who just doesn't get how much harder life really could be or can't appreciate the luxury of their dilemmas.

Some people are overly sympathetic to the well-off (which comes considerably before rich and especially before wealthy) and coddle their viewpoints, because I think they want to be them one day or otherwise want to be perceived as peers, and this can create a strange dynamic that is perplexing and troubling to people without this cushion from reality's disparities.

At the same time, I know some well-off and even rich people who very much do get it, who feel keenly that they are fortunate and have amazing opportunities that they know others don't get. Some still hold weird beliefs about how possible it is for others to get to that point, but they're at least aware of the gap and the difference in their circumstances. They are glad to be allies in making things better, putting their means towards the good fight.

It can be really hard to know who will be one or the other, and bitterness is such an off-putting demeanour. If it's not done well, it just looks crappy and, frankly, kind of pathetic. I say this as an occasionally bitter person with an extremely reasonable foundation for my rage. Used effectively, it can create stunning works of art and commentary that allow the dialogue to progress or can be used to open minds. The off-the-cuff, 'net venue releases of steam in general company are rarely an effective use.

Those who are not well-off are certainly under a lot of pressure and can be forgiven for taking an overall innocuous route for releasing some steam, I think, and they probably accept that these outbursts are not going to bring us all together and spur effective solutions we can live with as a whole. They shoulder so much already, keeping the dialogue on an even and productive keel is just more work.

They should also accept, though, that this means those who are trying to move in a different direction are sometimes going to be exasperated to some degree by this inclination, particularly when it stifles a deeper conversation that could have value in locating commonalities and building sympathy for deeper inequalities.

So, corb, yeah, I think folks could do better and it might be useful and interesting if they could, but I also think folks are feeling put upon already and it's hard to resist the chance to laugh at apparent callousness.
posted by batmonkey at 2:05 AM on May 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Maybe we could use something like a "Not being nice" or "Unnecessarily mean" or "Being a dick" flag?
posted by pracowity at 2:43 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


The off-the-cuff, 'net venue releases of steam in general company are rarely an effective use.

I really don't think that MeFi commenters are worrying about whether their commentary is creating "stunning works of art and commentary" and criticizing them for not rising to that standard doesn't sit right with me.

There's going to be a mix of snark and well-reasoned work here, and trying to take people to task by "tone policing" (which always seems to punch down, not up) is inapplicable.
posted by deanc at 3:54 AM on May 29, 2013


So anyway, yeah. We push back on unfair characterizations of all kinds of groups and people, so why is it OK to paint "the rich" with a single brush?

You see, I don't think that people are doing this. I think the snark comes out when we see stories about "the rich" complaining about things that really aren't problems or acting with an air of entitlement or whatnot.

I myself spent this past weekend hanging out with a bunch of people who would qualify as "rich". And I had a great time and they are people I have known almost all my life! But honestly I would have been tempted to drop a few snark-bombs if I got cornered by one of them irritated that Obamahitler was going to raise taxes on their marginal income above 400k and they resented that this allowed poorer people to get subsidies for health insurance and darn it why aren't the rich respected in this country???
posted by deanc at 4:26 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe we could use something like a "Not being nice" or "Unnecessarily mean" or "Being a dick" flag?

I've thought this for a while. "Noise" covers it sometimes, but we really need an "asshole thing to say" one.

Or even just, you know how there's "fantastic post"? just "Crappy post". Because i've definitely seen more than a few posts lately where i just look at them and go "wow, that adds utterly nothing beyond being a cock"
posted by emptythought at 4:27 AM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Maybe we could use something like a "Not being nice" or "Unnecessarily mean" or "Being a dick" flag?

Or an "unnecessary roughness" flag. Flags aren't just for deletes - and I think as someone said, are rarely for them. They're for indicators that things are going poorly.
posted by corb at 4:34 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, like I said, I find it interesting that the natural rights/law (status rights) philosophy has come to dominate the field of law

I think it starts with the fact that the philosophical foundation of our country was heavily influenced by John Locke and other Enlightenment philosophers and we haven't really moved on from that. Next, modern conservative jurisprudence and legal scholarship has come to be dominated by Catholics-- just look at the Supreme Court. Conservatism's evangelical base and any secularists among them were not intellectually up to the task of forming a coherent philosophical framework of their movement, and so it was left to the Catholic members of their coalition to do so who were going to think about the law heavily in terms of natural rights.
posted by deanc at 4:37 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The flags are only seen and acted upon by the mods. Do y'all think they're having difficulty discerning whether someone's being an ass? Because if so, then definitely add a new flag choice. But I gotta say, I'm not really sure they miss that stuff once its flagged.
posted by zarq at 5:09 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not that the mods would miss someone being an asshole if they saw it, but that people might not flag someone being an asshole if the flag choices don't look obvious. Adding a flag that explicitly covers the "not being nice" angle would help to draw attention to the guys who might be right about what they're saying but who are also unnecessarily being an asshole about it.
posted by pracowity at 5:27 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah! That makes sense.
posted by zarq at 5:37 AM on May 29, 2013


I've tried to raise awareness of these expressions of desire to murder people in the past and it went nowhere. The staff even supports it. The excuse that it's a joke is a really bad one since that wouldn't justify a lot of other remarks. And I have learned that at least a few people who joke about it publicly are dead serious about it privately, so humor may be a way to grow comfortable with the actual idea.
posted by michaelh at 5:44 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Adding a flag that explicitly covers the "not being nice" angle would help to draw attention to the guys who might be right about what they're saying but who are also unnecessarily being an asshole about it.

Except we're under no compulsion to be nice last time I checked. Just as we're under no compulsion to be "right." You can call me out on not being either nice or right, but neither are flaggable offenses.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:45 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe we could use something like a "Not being nice" or "Unnecessarily mean" or "Being a dick" flag?


This feels like it would get a lot of use, but Im not sure that would be a particularly useful thing - the mods would end up either having to ignore meanness flags which didn't also shade into other flaggable areas (noise, derail, offensive), or get dragged into a lot of "he said/but he said" Metadrama, possibly going back years.

Threads can sustain a degree of forceful argument, I think, and that degree varies depending on subject matter. If a thread is listing to the side, the existing flags and the contact form seem to cover that - personal insults are noise or derails, personal insults around race, gender or sexuality are offensive/racism/sexism.

If I find something which I think needs flagging but which I can't fit into a category, I tend to flag as "other" and send auxiliary detail using the contact form, although that doesn't happen much...
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:45 AM on May 29, 2013


Most countries have signed on to the UN declaration of human rights, so acknowledging other people's basic human dignity and rights is not a purely Western concept, but is universal. Universal, except for some pockets of political activists in the US.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:49 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Except we're under no compulsion to be nice last time I checked.

Well, there is this:
Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.
posted by pracowity at 5:51 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Healthy and respectful doesn't automatically equal nice, though.
posted by rtha at 5:57 AM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


No, but there sure is a lot of overlap.
posted by Longtime Listener at 6:03 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Those who are not well-off are certainly under a lot of pressure and can be forgiven

We do not need forgiveness, we need a significant adjustment in how this economic system works because its current configuration is a massive framework of exploitation, in which people are swiftly robbed of their ability to participate in nonconsumer activities.

I make $16,800 a year. Before taxes. But any "not nice things" I hurl towards People Who Can't Help Being More Successful Than Me comes from a significantly more complex place than "I'm bitter that people who make $250k live better than me," and I came from that sort of background. I think it's pretty safe to say that the politics of power and class cannot be ignored when looking at reactions to the OP. The focus on the trials of people who are noticeably removed from the perils of middle- and underclass life would, in a time of economic strain and an ever-widening wage gap, draw a lot of ire. Draw ire, it did. Snark and cannibalism jokes may not be helpful, let alone polite, but they aren't beyond-the-pale reactions and they certainly didn't happen in a vacuum. "Love thy neighbor in the zip code with the better public school" does not apply here.

Granted, I read the article and went straight to read Frantz Fanon's theory of class suicide to chill out, so whatever.
posted by Ashen at 6:03 AM on May 29, 2013 [18 favorites]


And I have learned that at least a few people who joke about it publicly are dead serious about it privately, so humor may be a way to grow comfortable with the actual idea.

Dear, dear. That's a very grim outlook. I am often seethingly jealous and scathing of people who are better off than me and have the temerity to complain about not being able to have everything but I don't actually want to sup with glee upon their exquisite jelly. There's really no need to be afraid.
posted by h00py at 6:05 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Most countries have signed on to the UN declaration of human rights, so acknowledging other people's basic human dignity and rights is not a purely Western concept, but is universal. Universal, except for some pockets of political activists in the US.

Restricting that to "some pockets of political activists in the US" requires a breathtaking level of willful ignorance of how awful the entire human species can be to itself.
posted by Etrigan at 6:47 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I cannot take credit for that. That is from Paul Fussell's excellent treatise, Class.

I love that book. Fussell wrote the entire thing in a spirit of jeu d'esprit. Believing that it has (especially in 2013) any more insight into the dimensions of class than the average snarky anecdote here is like believing that the Sky Mall catalog really is your passport to the good life.

Or an "unnecessary roughness" flag.

Roughness of rhetorical tone or rhetorical content?

Also, anyone who thinks they can live in this world entirely exempt from any obligation they wish not to have isn't a libertarian or political anything. They're a goddamned spoiled child.

I'm sorry. Was that unnecessarily rough?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:48 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


is like believing that the Sky Mall catalog really is your passport to the good life.

It's ... not?

*weeps on shoulder of Garden Yeti statue*
posted by brain_drain at 7:00 AM on May 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


There, there. At least the Yeti will scare small children.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:06 AM on May 29, 2013


There's definitely no obligation to be "nice." Being nice and being respectful are not necessarily overlaps at all, and can sometimes be two entirely separate fields in the Venn diagram of interactions. "Niceness" has been the banner for a lot of quietly oppressive behavior in this world - don't appear to ruffle any feathers, don't disagree openly, don't protest injustice, don't call anyone out for their bad ideas, biases, callousness, errors. "Nice" is a synonym for "agreeable" and "likable," and those aren't things that create a robust and interesting discourse.

There are miles of rhetorical difference between "Be nice" and "don't be an asshole," and while I deplore assholishness - even among people who have mastered the subtle art of appearing to be nice by writing in measured sentences with nary a profanity or overt attack - I certainly don't want MeFi to be a place where we are expected to be "nice."
posted by Miko at 7:11 AM on May 29, 2013 [26 favorites]


I'm sorry. Was that unnecessarily rough?

Yep, that was a good example of not helping maintain healthy discussion by focusing your comments at another member. With the Sky Mall bit, you basically called another user stupid for liking something when you could have just said Class was out-dated or whatever your actual point was. Similarly, calling people spoiled children is pretty obviously personally insulting to specific members of this community without really adding anything substantial to the conversation.
posted by 0 at 7:15 AM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Believing that it has (especially in 2013) any more insight into the dimensions of class than the average snarky anecdote here is like believing that

While some of the book's references are dated, I think that much of it holds up well. Proles still like sweet things and clothing with writing on it. Higher class people are still more likely to be slimmer and eat dinner later.

We also still have prole drift and I think hipsters are the current iteration of Class X.

the Sky Mall catalog

I do not know what that is.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:21 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Regarding the original question here (and also somewhat relating to the derail over elizardbits and whelk comedic input), I wanted to mention how important it is to be able to joke about stuff that makes you sad or angry.

Unfortunately, what happened in the eat-the-rich thread seems to be outside corb's humour parameters, which I'm not judging as we're all allowed to draw the ok-to-joke-about line in different places. I mean, it's 100% obvious that it's humour, however poor taste it might be taken in, because if it isn't then that means the mods have decided that this community is cool with cannibalism and mob violence which, I'm pretty sure they haven't unless zombies broke into the lounge in which I imagine them all reclining when they record the podcast.

Anyway, humour is important for dealing with difficult stuff. Bill Hicks knew it, and used it to help people understand, who might not have otherwise, why certain stuff that was happening back then was wrong. God knows I think the man would have died 10 years earlier from a burst blood vessel if he hadn't had a harmless output for his anger and sadness at the state of things. And for me, I and my family have used humour in our darkest times to help get through until things get bearable. We've joked at funerals, and in intensive care waiting rooms. If we didn't laugh, we would have never stopped weeping.

Also - humour is humane. It's been found in some research (sorry can't find link at work) that making fun of bad stuff (eg. gang violence, drugs) can be a lot more effective in persuading kids to eschew it than simply telling them why it's bad. Humour can connect in a way that cold facts sometimes can't.

So anyway: my point is, joking about stuff that makes us sad or angry is important, and it's a really effective way of making sure that it doesn't own us.

There are a lot of people who are angry about wealth imbalance, and not necessarily on their own behalf. I am among those people and, whilst I didn't comment in that thread, making humour out of it helps keep things grounded for me.
posted by greenish at 7:27 AM on May 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


Higher class people are still more likely to be slimmer

If my memory of that HBO documentary is right, this isn't true anymore in the US.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:28 AM on May 29, 2013


I always thought the argument for trying to keep as many people alive and happy as possible had to do with the benefits of richness and diversity more than with any kind of "inalienable right". In an economic/class structure that favors certain shallow, thoughtless behaviors other other passions and drives, culture is diminished and society is made more boring. The more people are able to survive and flourish without being completely ground into the dust, the richer and more wonderful our world becomes for their participation.

I happen to think the same principle applies for Internet forums, which is why I hope corb and Tanizaki aren't driven away from this site—though I do think that both of them say some very silly arguments, not only objectively speaking but subjectively, considering the audience they're speaking to here. I find the discussions of "here's why society sucks and politics/the economy is broken" kind of boring, but that's because I vote for the less horribly regressive candidates every two years and don't think my vote counts anyway. What I'm more interested in is discussions about where power really lies and how it might be subverted for the cause of treating people less like shit, although those discussions are much harder to have.

Have you noticed, by the way, that the people who give the least shits about other people tend to be people whose lives, hobbies, and communities revolve around traditions which are either expensive or require a vast expanse of space that isn't taken up by too too many people? Sailing, golfing, hunting, what-have-you. It's easy to say "everybody should live like me" when your lifestyle is built in a way that prohibits other people from entering, and it's even easier to resent those other people for attempting to create cultures with far lower barriers to entry. Seems like a trend to me.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:28 AM on May 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


Tanizaki: " I do not know what that is."

Sky Mall is an all-purpose shopping catalog (wikipedia) that carries many useful and quite a few useless items. It's tucked into the seat back pocket on quite a few US airlines, including American and Delta.
posted by zarq at 7:43 AM on May 29, 2013


In fairness to Tanizaki, I think that Class has held up reasonably well, but Vegas has gone through this weird transition over the past 30 years such that traveling there on a regular basis has bubbled up the class ladder because of the ubiquity of the large number of conventions held there and a self-conscious decision on the tourism board to attract higher class, wealthier visitors.
posted by deanc at 7:49 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tanizaki: "the Sky Mall catalog

I do not know what that is.
"

Well then I know you've never flown to Las Vegas.
posted by Big_B at 8:02 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Growing up, I knew a fairly wealthy family, they weren't born to money but they'd done well. One of their sons, who I played with as a kid, is a paranoid schizophrenic who's been in and out of trouble his whole adult life, and their other son died in a car wreck in his early 30's. I've particapated in my share of class warfare here, but I would not want to trade places with them.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


While some of the book's references are dated, I think that much of it holds up well.

That's because the satire is still funny, not because of its insight into the dimensions of class in America. To the extent that it's true, it's the truth of satire.

I think hipsters are the current iteration of Class X.

In the first draft of Class—a part or parts of which were published in The New Republic, I can't remember precisely—the X didn't exist. Fussell added it to the book later. That wasn't because he had noted an anomaly in the class system that needed explaining but because A) it was funny and B) it was flattering.

I do not know what that is.

What about Wodehouse? Ever heard of him? You can learn as much about the British classes from Wodehouse as you can the US classes from Fussell.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:14 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Okay so this is about Class in America only or the plight of the rich everywhere else in the world?
posted by infini at 8:17 AM on May 29, 2013


I've never actually read someone calling people 'proles' before in apparent earnestness.

Do you have a pearl-white slimline push-button digital telephone?
posted by winna at 8:18 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's like American Psycho in this thread all of a sudden.
posted by sweetkid at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, it's 100% obvious that it's humour, however poor taste it might be taken in, because if it isn't then that means the mods have decided that this community is cool with cannibalism and mob violence

Some stuff I think is definitely humour, but we've had people from time to time say, "No, I really am serious, I do want this." Less about the cannibalism, persay, but more about killing people or other violent impulses. I think, though, that because so much of it is humour, it's hard to separate out what's serious.

I don't think we'd put up with humorous joking about how much we hated and wanted to kill any other class of people - even other powerful groups. Someone who said they wanted to kill Christians, for example, or white men, I think people would still be really appalled by. And so I guess I'm kind of disturbed by the "No, it's cool, because these guys are really worth hating" rhetoric.
posted by corb at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's because the satire is still funny, not because of its insight into the dimensions of class in America. To the extent that it's true, it's the truth of satire.

Come along, now. The sketches from "Appearance Counts" could be taken straight from the People of Wal-Mart web site. If anything, I think the book works better because I think American society has become more class-stratified than it was when the book was first published.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:25 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


but we've had people from time to time say, "No, I really am serious, I do want this."

Now I'm really curious. Can you please link to whomever here on metafilter has said that they actually, literally, honesttogod want to kill and/or eat someone in complete seriousness? If there is someone here saying these things I want to know them.

Because I say stuff like, "yes, I actually literally want to find every delicious little piggy in the world, turn them into prosciutto, and eat them" all the time, but I'm not actually being serious about it.

On the other hand, I have actually known a few people in real life (grew up in the south) who have talked about actually literally killing people without a stitch of humor or sarcasm, and THOSE are the people you worry about. But they don't spend much time on metafilter.
posted by phunniemee at 8:27 AM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


The sketches from "Appearance Counts" could be taken straight from the People of Wal-Mart web site.

And do you think that the People of Wal-Mart blog is an equally insightful look at the US class system?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:28 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tanizaki-
Way earlier in the thread, you asked how your 1%er status has hurt anybody.

I'm going to answer as honestly as I can.

I'm poor. I was born poor, I grew up poor. Even though I have a college diploma, I can't make ends mee, because i dont have enough money to pay for my licence in my profession. Right now, I can't afford to buy my medication and I'm choosing between groceries and rent. Later today, I am going to participate in a clinical trial to get some money. I used to be employed at a minimum wage job, but this is better money than any job I can find. I have scars on my arms that look like track marks from all of the blood draws they do. I'm hoping that after I pay rent, I'll have enough money to pay for my license and maybe get the gas turned back on, and hopefully have a chance to escape this goddamned mess I'm in, the same kind of mess my mother and father and brother will never escape.

Could you please give me some money?

If no, then that's it. That's how you're hurting me and every poor slob like me. By not doing something that really, nobody believes you should or even realistically could do.

Now listen. I don't actually want or expect you to send me money. If you gave money to every asshole like me you would be just as broke as the rest of us. But on days when I'm really really hungry, or scared, or humiliated, or whatever, I hate rich people. I hate them, and I'm sorry, because my hatred is unfair- but I feel personally injured because they're not doing anything for me. Just like I know that the homeless guys, if they thought about me at all, would probably hate me- after all, I'm not giving them a place to sleep. I'm not helping them. I see their suffering and I do nothing; that's how I hurt them. And eventually I will be better off than I am now and there will be an entire new strata of people that I'm hurting by not helping, even though I can't help them and it's not my fault.
posted by windykites at 8:30 AM on May 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


Some stuff I think is definitely humour, but we've had people from time to time say, "No, I really am serious, I do want this."

Can you link to specific instances of this?

I don't think we'd put up with humorous joking about how much we hated and wanted to kill any other class of people - even other powerful groups. Someone who said they wanted to kill Christians, for example, or white men, I think people would still be really appalled by. And so I guess I'm kind of disturbed by the "No, it's cool, because these guys are really worth hating" rhetoric.

At this point I think you're just bored and looking to stir things up because the comparisons you're making are bizarre in that you can't compare them 1 to 1.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:31 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


more about killing people or other violent impulses. I think, though, that because so much of it is humour, it's hard to separate out what's serious.

You said you wanted to be a pirate and I still don't know if you were serious or joking.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:32 AM on May 29, 2013


Some stuff I think is definitely humour, but we've had people from time to time say, "No, I really am serious, I do want this."

Every great once in a while someone doubles-down on some shitty hyperbole, but it's vanishingly rare and the sort of thing that tends to be deleted if it takes the form of someone just literally explicitly expressing violent wishes. It's not a normal part of conversation here by any stretch of the imagination.

So conceding that "some stuff" is humor rather than serious invocations of violence is like conceding that "some people" aren't serial killers. It's strictly true but a distractingly silly understatement, the sort of thing you say to lend more credence to the argument being framed than it reasonably deserves.

This is independent of the question of whether it's in good taste or always particularly good conversation for folks to make jokes about eating the rich or seeing a politician fall down an elevator shaft or whatever. The site may have legitimate issues to work out on that front. What it does not have is a legitimate "people making serious, credible threats of violence" problem, in any reasonable assessment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:36 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Most countries have signed on to the UN declaration of human rights, so acknowledging other people's basic human dignity and rights is not a purely Western concept, but is universal. Universal, except for some pockets of political activists in the US."

The UN Declaration of Human Rights is very much a Western document, framed in the terms that post-war Westerners favored (it's even based off the Napoleanic code). The "universal" statement is idealism, and there's no way to say that the declaration is honored universally or even close to completely by any country in the world.

Riffat Hassan:
"What needs to be pointed out to those who uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be the highest, or sole, model, of a charter of equality and liberty for all human beings, is that given the Western origin and orientation of this Declaration, the "universality" of the assumptions on which it is based is - at the very least - problematic and subject to questioning. Furthermore, the alleged incompatibility between the concept of human rights and religion in general, or particular religions such as Islam, needs to be examined in an unbiased way."
While I like the UN, and even support the declaration, it's nowhere near a proof that natural rights/law is universal, despite the title, no more than World's Best Dad mugs actually signify the world's best dad.
posted by klangklangston at 8:39 AM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I will step up as a 1%er.

I've often heard it said that the reason that the USA never manages to elect progressive government is because even the very poor consider themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

So, are you a real 1%, or one of the temporaily embarrassed type?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:42 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


cortex: [The site] does not have is a legitimate "people making serious, credible threats of violence" problem, in any reasonable assessment.

I'd act surprised, but corb's modus operandi is to be factually incorrect at virtually every turn, so instead I'll just wonder how we can take her positions seriously when she is so rarely arguing from a position based on the truth.

I mean, more than the unpleasantness of her positions or the often disingenuous nature of her posts, what bothers me the most about corb is that she is so frequently, demonstrably, embarrasingly wrong.
posted by gadge emeritus at 8:43 AM on May 29, 2013 [20 favorites]


While I like the UN, and even support the declaration, it's nowhere near a proof that natural rights/law is universal, despite the title, no more than World's Best Dad mugs actually signify the world's best dad.

YOU TAKE THAT BACK.
posted by Etrigan at 8:44 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it is really stunning amounts of wrongness. That she seems to try to spin into a "point of view."
posted by sweetkid at 8:44 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also youu have hurt me personally with your insulting inaccurate generalizations of "proles", so there's that.
posted by windykites at 8:45 AM on May 29, 2013


For my own part, I don't think the little Robespierres of Metafilter are actually threatening violence or anything, I just think the knee-jerk snark contest shits up every single thread that could actually contain an interesting discussion.

It's made particularly deliciously ironic by the fact that they're also getting badly confused about the actual principles of leftism; this was a particularly stark case because the general complaint in the thread (the cost of living in the Bay Area is very high) is one that a) has its origins in deliberate political choices and b) affects anyone who works for a living.

In this case, the "can it, whiners" rhetoric is actually supportive of the status quo, but hey, it feels good and gets a lot of favorites, right?
posted by downing street memo at 8:46 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


I happen to think the same principle applies for Internet forums

I agree in principle, but it is hard to maintain that kind of community over the long term, because passions run high and all but the most student of those with a minority viewpoint will stay around over the long term.

A lot of political blogs dealt with this, wondering, "Why are the only liberal/conservative commenters on our conservative/liberal blog trolls and troublemakers?" And the answer is that the only people willing to stick by in the onslaught are those who strident and thrive off the attention.
posted by deanc at 8:48 AM on May 29, 2013


Shit corb, the violence done to the poor by the rich is inestimable. Turnabout's fair play, y'know.
posted by Sternmeyer at 8:52 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, are you a real 1%, or one of the temporaily embarrassed type?

Real.

Could you please give me some money?

If no, then that's it. That's how you're hurting me and every poor slob like me.


Just like how attractive women hurt lonely guys by denying them attention?

Ok, let us pretend that tomorrow, the government soaks the rich and gives all their money to every poor slob. How far do you think it would go? What would you do when you ran out of it?

And, if the government can take out the richest and most powerful members of your society, what makes you think it won't crush you like a bug?
posted by Tanizaki at 8:55 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


downing street memo I have apparently a different view of the housing shortage in the Bay Area than you. You seem to look at it as a cartel or conspiracy of some .1% cabal, and my reading of it has always been it's the middle class homeowners of the market value 1 million dollar 2 bedrooms whose chief voting priority is that their property not decline in value. Not a .1% cabal but more like a tyranny of the 50.1% who are actually hurting themselves along with everybody else when they vote to hinder all the working people in the region. The problem I see just needs some education to fix and nobody has to be hurt, beheaded, or eaten.
posted by bukvich at 8:56 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


The UN Declaration of Human Rights is very much a Western document, framed in the terms that post-war Westerners favored (it's even based off the Napoleanic code). The "universal" statement is idealism, and there's no way to say that the declaration is honored universally or even close to completely by any country in the world.

Its universally honored of course, but its paid at the very least lip service to, and human rights function in most political discourses around the globe. If one claims that human rights are a Western concept because of their origin, then that is a genetic fallacy.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:57 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


People, you're just making Tanizaki feel superior by going on about this 1% nonsense.
posted by sweetkid at 8:58 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


let us pretend that tomorrow, the government soaks the rich and gives all their money to every poor slob. How far do you think it would go? What would you do when you ran out of it?

AFTER YOU SPEND ALL THAT MONEY ON SHIRTS WITH WORDS ON THEM WHAT NEXT PROLES? HUH?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:59 AM on May 29, 2013 [21 favorites]


Ok, let us pretend that tomorrow, the government soaks the rich and gives all their money to every poor slob. How far do you think it would go? What would you do when you ran out of it?

Auction off the body parts, of course.

And, if the government can take out the richest and most powerful members of your society, what makes you think it won't crush you like a bug?

1. You're going first, so that sweetens things

2. There are more middle class and poor people, many of whom occupy government, so we're harder to crush.

3. I doubt many people actually hate or dislike rich people (however we're defining it), it's only when the specific rich individuals act like uncaring assholes that people get really riled up.

4. It's lunch time!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:02 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


How dare you brag about lunch when some proles can't afford lunch or have to maybe brown bag???
posted by sweetkid at 9:03 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


4. It's lunch time!

Oh look at me, I'm Brandon and I live in EST and so can justify cramming food down my food hole an entire hour earlier than you schmos in CST.

Show off.
posted by phunniemee at 9:05 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are more middle class and poor people, many of whom occupy government, so we're harder to crush.

Your naivete is endearing.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:05 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


What is actually being asked for, of course, is not to soak the 1% and drain them of all of their wealth, but that's how I'd expect someone who doesn't want to pay a dime more to characterize it.

The farthest-left proposal in Congress (which of course has no prayer of passing with Congress as it exists today) is the Progressive Caucus budget, which creates several new brackets between the current top bracket of >$250k and $1 billion, with all income above $1B taxed at 49%. With all of the tax avoidance schemes the rich have at their disposal, this would perhaps increase their effective tax rate by a point or two.

Even in the fantasy scenario where the farthest left faction of Congress gets their way, the rich will still do just fine.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:08 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


let us pretend that tomorrow, the government soaks the rich and gives all their money to every poor slob. How far do you think it would go? What would you do when you ran out of it?

Asked and answered.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:09 AM on May 29, 2013


People, you're just making Tanizaki feel superior by going on about this 1% nonsense.

Gosh no, he feels that way whether we blather about the 1% or not; he makes that very clear every chance he gets.

Like this: Your naivete is endearing.

What does that even mean? What point is being made? Doesn't matter: Its role is to be a condescending sneer, not to add information or create room for discussion.
posted by rtha at 9:09 AM on May 29, 2013 [25 favorites]


People, you're just making Tanizaki feel superior by going on about this 1% nonsense.

Oh, like he needs our help.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:09 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is independent of the question of whether it's in good taste or always particularly good conversation for folks to make jokes about eating the rich or seeing a politician fall down an elevator shaft or whatever. The site may have legitimate issues to work out on that front. What it does not have is a legitimate "people making serious, credible threats of violence" problem, in any reasonable assessment.

No, I don't think it has people making serious /and/ credible threats of violence. I don't even think that anyone commenting here has any plans or real ideas on killing other people to achieve their goals. But I would say that it does have people making serious expressions of their wish that certain people or types of people die - the passive, as in, I wish it would happen to them, rather than the active, I want to do it personally. I don't think anyone seriously wants to actually eat the rich, but I do think that some people seriously do want these people to fall down elevator shafts or get cancer or what have you.

I'll try to look out for those, though it's harder because they're scattered over more threads.
posted by corb at 9:11 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your naivete is endearing.

Hey, man, you've never heard of Sky Mall.

I must say, you're no Midas Mulligan, T. Unless you are Midas Mulligan, that is, in which case the years haven't been kind to you.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:12 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


corb: " I'll try to look out for those, though it's harder because they're scattered over more threads."

Are we to take this as an acknowledgement that none of the so-called threats you linked to in this MeTa fall into either the serious or credible category?
posted by tonycpsu at 9:13 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


let us pretend that tomorrow, the government soaks the rich

Are we talking a real hardcore soaking, like Mitt Romney ends up paying 17% or 18% of his declared eligible income in taxes? None of that paltry increase-it-to-15% stuff! I want to see him fiscally waterboarded, like in the next auto industry bailout he makes $10 million, tops.
posted by XMLicious at 9:13 AM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


So, are you a real 1%, or one of the temporaily embarrassed type?

permanently embarrassed. maybe. not sure. anyway, the money itself is rarely the point and class, as the genteel cash strapped English demonstrated in history, has little to do with actual coins and notes.

4. It's lunch time!

Oh look at me, I'm Brandon and I live in EST and so can justify cramming food down my food hole an entire hour earlier than you schmos in CST.

Show off.


*cough* I've already been around the bay for a dinner cruise with the folks as its dad's birthday, dunno what y'all are still doing with your brown bags ....
posted by infini at 9:16 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


it's only when the specific rich individuals act like uncaring assholes that people get really riled up.

How much of an asshole does a poor person have to be before people get riled up? Just a regular uncaring one?
posted by QueerAngel28 at 9:25 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


re we talking a real hardcore soaking, like Mitt Romney ends up paying 17% or 18% of his declared eligible income in taxes?

I was talking about 100% confiscation. Not that I think that would ever happen. The point was that you will run out of other people's money. Then what?
posted by Tanizaki at 9:25 AM on May 29, 2013


Sincerely asking corb to present evidence of actual threats against rich people or claims that people really want to kill rich people here on mefi is predicated on the assumption that corb acts in good faith and is intellectually honest. She has proven time and again that she is not, and you will all be waiting a long long time before she marshals evidence for her claims.

We know this tune too well.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:25 AM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Let's say it again, with feeling: Class doesn't rise above the level of the hack observational comic David Brooks.

rich people act like this

poor people act like this

*laughter*
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:27 AM on May 29, 2013


Tanizaki: " I was talking about 100% confiscation. Not that I think that would ever happen. The point was that you will run out of other people's money. Then what?"

Tanizaki Defeats Straw Man 4-0, Moves On to Finals to Face Actual Policy Proposals People Have Actually Proposed to Increase The Progressivity of the Tax Code Ever So Slightly
posted by tonycpsu at 9:28 AM on May 29, 2013 [31 favorites]


Sincerely asking corb to present evidence of actual threats against rich people or claims that people really want to kill rich people here on mefi is predicated on the assumption

...that the goalposts are being moved.

My initial MeTa was about people being less than considerate in a variety of ways, including wishing for the death of rich people. My followup statement was that I think that some people actually do want "the rich" to suffer, or passively wish for their death.

Nowhere have I claimed that there are actual threats against individuals or that individual people are saying they want to, with their own hands, kill the rich. If I did think that, it'd be less of a matter of concern for the civility standards on Metafilter and more a matter of concern for law enforcement.
posted by corb at 9:34 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok, let us pretend that tomorrow, the government soaks the rich and gives all their money to every poor slob. How far do you think it would go? What would you do when you ran out of it?

When you give money to the poor, it circulates around and we tax it again. It is not destroyed in the process.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:35 AM on May 29, 2013 [18 favorites]


Some stuff I think is definitely humour, but we've had people from time to time say, "No, I really am serious, I do want this."

Can you link to specific instances of this?


Note the absence of any citations since this exchange.

Repeating what misanthropicpainforest said for truth:

Sincerely asking corb to present evidence of actual threats against rich people or claims that people really want to kill rich people here on mefi is predicated on the assumption that corb acts in good faith and is intellectually honest. She has proven time and again that she is not, and you will all be waiting a long long time before she marshals evidence for her claims.

Or, in short, as Mr. Micawber would say, we have a troll. This whole thread is the work of a troll, who keeps dropping in periodically to set more fires.
posted by bearwife at 9:37 AM on May 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Finally someone said it.
posted by sweetkid at 9:40 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


your brown bags ....

Ah, easy mistake - this is actually a feed bag, like a horse would have. In cubicle land these days we proles are expected to work without pause: the coffee is intravenous and at noon the orderly-bots come around and strap the feed bags on. Most days I just get alfalfa and multivitamins but if I've been a good and productive labor unit sometimes I get oats as a special treat - a sweet thing, as Tanizaki was pointing out.

On the up side they've been re-styling the cubicles and bit by bit they're taking on this nice organic appearance with less straight lines and more soft surfaces. They say eventually it will be quite cozy.
posted by XMLicious at 9:43 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The point was that you will run out of other people's money. Then what?

It depends on whether or not we have also taken control of the means of production.
posted by elizardbits at 9:51 AM on May 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


...that the goalposts are being moved.


No they are not.

What you followed up with:

"Some stuff I think is definitely humour, but we've had people from time to time say, "No, I really am serious, I do want this." Less about the cannibalism, persay, but more about killing people or other violent impulses. I think, though, that because so much of it is humour, it's hard to separate out what's serious.

What you just said:

My followup statement was that I think that some people actually do want "the rich" to suffer, or passively wish for their death.

Nowhere have I claimed that there are actual threats against individuals or that individual people are saying they want to, with their own hands, kill the rich. If I did think that, it'd be less of a matter of concern for the civility standards on Metafilter and more a matter of concern for law enforcement.


To boil it down to the choice quotes.

What you said earlier:

we've had people from time to time say, "No, I really am serious, I do want this." Less about the cannibalism, persay, but more about killing people or other violent impulses.

What you just said:

Nowhere have I claimed that there are actual threats against individuals or that individual people are saying they want to, with their own hands, kill the rich.


You do realize that we remember stuff and when you say things we can find them?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:55 AM on May 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


The point was that you will run out of other people's money. Then what?

What happens when you run out of your own money?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:56 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


*psst. if i could just mention for anyone reading along who was in another thread a couple weeks ago where i was shitty about one mr. hamm - could i just say i was having a bad day and it wasn't my finest hour...

Given the Iowa reference, I read this as being shitty about Trent Hamm.
posted by mippy at 10:02 AM on May 29, 2013


Tanizaki, dude, your response to my comment indicates that you did not read the entire thing, in which I specifically adressed your very point. I know you're upset, but go back and read the second half of my comment, where I indicate my understanding that my request for money is not a reasonable or realistic request. Calm down. It was not an attack, it was a sincere explanation of my emotional reaction. Read it again. There's no need to get defensive.
posted by windykites at 10:12 AM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


but windykites, you're poor, which means you're a hooligan who could fly off the handle at any second when denied sweets
posted by kagredon at 10:20 AM on May 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


sittin around in a tshirt with words on it
posted by sweetkid at 10:22 AM on May 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


Tanizaki... I know you're upset.... Calm down.... There's no need to get defensive.

Accusing the other party of hysteria is corrosive to civil conversation. Accusing Tanizaki of hysteria based on that comment is a sad and laughable attempt to dismiss him. You have managed to be more condescending then someone who said "Your naivete is endearing" in this thread. Wow. Just... wow.
posted by Etrigan at 10:23 AM on May 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Wow. Just... wow.

HOLY SHIT MAN CHILL OUT
posted by shakespeherian at 10:26 AM on May 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


I feel like accusing others of accusing others of hysteria and telling them that their comments are "sad" and "laughable" is even more condescending, and frankly extremely douchey.
posted by palomar at 10:27 AM on May 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


yea that was weird.
posted by sweetkid at 10:28 AM on May 29, 2013


Telling someone they are doing something that is "extremely douchey" is something only a child would do.
posted by brain_drain at 10:29 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure who's being serious anymore.
posted by kagredon at 10:30 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is like that alphabet thing right
posted by brain_drain at 10:30 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Folks, we're approaching a like inescapable spiral of rhetorical metacommentary here and I'm not sure the server can stand the strain.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:31 AM on May 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


Delivered in his best "Scotty" voice.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:33 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


TIME FOR HUGS.
posted by cooker girl at 10:33 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Delivered in his best "Scotty" voice.

Swinging his leg over the chair before sitting in it.
posted by sweetkid at 10:34 AM on May 29, 2013


When you give money to the poor, it circulates around and we tax it again. It is not destroyed in the process.

Tanizaki seems to think that the poor will literally eat the money the rich give them and thus it will all be gone, forever. It grows on trees, you know, and when we cut down the trees, that's it. Fin. There's no way to print more.
posted by desjardins at 10:40 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


For some reason I just imagined Riker approaching the Game of Thrones throne and sizing it up.

Anyway I came for the hugs. Lets definitely do those.
posted by greenish at 10:40 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Tanizaki seems to think that the poor will literally eat the money the rich give them and thus it will all be gone, forever.

I think they'll just spend the money on shirts with words on them.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:41 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


The rich people are the trees! Or Audreys from Little Shop Of Horrors, probably.
posted by furiousthought at 10:42 AM on May 29, 2013


shakespherian: I don't get that reference.
posted by desjardins at 10:42 AM on May 29, 2013


I was talking about 100% confiscation. Not that I think that would ever happen. The point was that you will run out of other people's money. Then what?

What part of "auction off bodyparts" are you not understanding?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:43 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


desjardins: Tanizaki earlier made a reference to lower class people wearing clothes with words on them.

Also: I would be down for edible money. When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle would give me these ostensibly German chocolate coins, and damn those things were good.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:45 AM on May 29, 2013


When you give money to the poor, it circulates around and we tax it again.

Fair enough, let's completely bankrupt the 1% and see what we get.

Using some rough rounding:

1,000,000,000 (1 billion dollars) split among 300,000,000 people = $3 per person.
10,000,000,000 (10 billion) = $30
100,000,000,000 (100 billion) = $300
1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion dollars) = $3,000 per person

The current net worth of the U.S. is about $54 trillion, 1/3 of which is owned by the 1%. So $18 trillion.

$3,000 * 18 = $54,000 per person

It's not bad for a one time payout, but its worth remembering that the assets aren't sitting around in cash. The side effects would include massive stock sell offs, as well as a lot of corporate chaos as companies were either liquidated or changed hands. Plus whatever inflation would take place when everyone suddenly had an extra $54,000 on their hands.

So if it was viable would it be worth doing? I dunno. The fact that it would be a one time payout is troublesome. It would certainly benefit the very poor, but in the long run I don't think it's enough to buy your way out of poverty. On the other hand its a credible down payment on a house in a lot of the country. And of course people who have lots of kids would benefit greatly, but then we're back to the inflation thing.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:45 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Tanizaki seems to think that the poor will literally eat the money the rich give them and thus it will all be gone, forever.

No, and Tell Me No Lies just explained it.

If we equally distribute all US wealth, it gets to about $100k per person as a one-time payout. Of course, a lot of it isn't liquid.

Would you take $100k payout at birth on the condition that you never receive another dime from the public coffers?
posted by Tanizaki at 10:47 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


no
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:50 AM on May 29, 2013


Hugs for all!
posted by windykites at 10:51 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


When you give money to the poor, it circulates around and we tax it again.

Fair enough, let's completely bankrupt the 1% and see what we get


Yes, because giving money to the poor (which means, not "here's a check," but "public safety net/services") is the same thing as bankrupting the 1% and handing out checks. That's what people are advocating, OK.

I mean, I saw that scene in Dr Zhivago where he goes back to his house and families are living in there because it's too much house and it chilled me too, but luckily I support more fair distribution of wealth/opportunity in this country without Zhivagoing out all the rooms/money.
posted by sweetkid at 10:55 AM on May 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


Would you take $100k payout at birth on the condition that you never receive another dime from the public coffers?

Yes. I prefer silver dollars.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:56 AM on May 29, 2013


Brandon Blatcher, haven't you been listening to Glenn Beck?! Sheesh! GOLD GOLD GOLD.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:59 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


You have convinced me it is a bad idea to confiscate all wealth in the nation, a proposal I was seriously arguing for. I suppose as an alternative we could have a well balanced progressive taxation system that responded to changes in economic situations to generate as fair an environment as possible for the most people while protecting our economy. Why is it we don't do that again? Oh right, people treat every half a percent shift in taxation as if it is an argument to rob the rich of all their money and conservatives oppose the small balancing acts at any cost. Of course I supported that extreme rob the rich policy previously until just now and you have now convinced me it is wrong, but I don't think many other people did.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:59 AM on May 29, 2013 [40 favorites]


If we equally distribute all US wealth, it gets to about $100k per person as a one-time payout. Of course, a lot of it isn't liquid.

Still that doesn't prove that the rich should have somewhat less and the poor somewhat more. Taxing the rich to death once will not make up the wealth; continual high taxation in order to improve public resources will elevate an entire society, hopefully not at the detriment of those outside national boundaries.

Also, I think it's hilarious that your scenario assumes that the rich will never make any more money, as if you secretly think that once the rich have the rug swept out from under them, that social mobility is significant enough that they would never make it back to their positions in society. So given that you think institutional forces are large enough a factor and that wealth is, as result, somewhat arbitrarily distributed, then in a fair and just society where all men are created equal, wouldn't it make sense to artificially reduce inequality? After all, the rich can take a significant taxation hit, much better than the poor. Noblesse oblige! As annoyed as Hank Rearden is, can he not just make more and better steel?
posted by dubusadus at 11:00 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just realized that by posting this MeTa thread, corb was pretty much just following the advice she was given in this AskMe last year.

I hope that whenever she tries following AskMe's advie with her IRL friends, they are sensitive enough to not immediately double down by immediately making even more comments about killing and eating the rich.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:01 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


This conversation is bizarre. "I'm going to get really riled up about something that no one seriously has proposed...Ready...set...go!"
posted by MoonOrb at 11:02 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's the difference between friends and an internet community.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:04 AM on May 29, 2013


Jacqueline, one thing that notably differentiates the two situations is that when you are with IRL friends, it's a lot harder to not participate in conversations that upset you. Here, if there are conversations that really upset you, you have the means to completely avoid them.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:04 AM on May 29, 2013


And its a lot harder, or at least we hope, to be repeatedly and blatantly dishonest with one's friends.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:05 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also you can't cut and paste things your friends say in person at parties which is part of why IRL sucks
posted by sweetkid at 11:06 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


just kidding I'm even better at Real Life than I am at Metafilter
posted by sweetkid at 11:07 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


I dunno, is it that weird to worry about the fate of rich people - the 1%, whose income has gone up at 275% in the last 30ish years? I mean, people here are actually threatening to eat them! Or so I've read!

Since I'm working down in Rich People Central today, maybe I'll ask someone getting out of their badly parked BMW (or that hideous Porsche model that looks like a dog taking a shit, you know the one I mean) in the parking lot here if they're worried about being eaten by poor people.
posted by rtha at 11:08 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Its universally honored of course, but its paid at the very least lip service to, and human rights function in most political discourses around the globe. If one claims that human rights are a Western concept because of their origin, then that is a genetic fallacy.

I don't really understand what you're arguing here; I don't think you really understand what I'm arguing. I'm talking about the justifications for the rights, not the rights themselves. It feels like you think I'm arguing against human rights.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also you can't cut and paste things your friends say in person at parties which is part of why IRL sucks

Not true! If you're quick, you can snap your jaws forward and shut, trapping your friend's just-spoken words in your own mouth. After a few seconds, they adhere to the clipboard, and you can rerelease them later, if need be.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:10 AM on May 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


that needs to be a short film.
posted by sweetkid at 11:10 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm poor. I was born poor, I grew up poor. Even though I have a college diploma, I can't make ends mee, because i dont have enough money to pay for my licence in my profession. Right now, I can't afford to buy my medication and I'm choosing between groceries and rent.

Later today, I am going to participate in a clinical trial to get some money. I used to be employed at a minimum wage job, but this is better money than any job I can find. I have scars on my arms that look like track marks from all of the blood draws they do.

I'm hoping that after I pay rent, I'll have enough money to pay for my license and maybe get the gas turned back on, and hopefully have a chance to escape this goddamned mess I'm in, the same kind of mess my mother and father and brother will never escape.
This, right here, is the difference between being a first-world country and being a civilized country.

It's like it's not enough for people to be poor in the US. No, here in God's Country, they have to be humiliated for being poor. Being poor isn't bad enough on its own: we have to make damn sure that they have to debase themselves, so they really feel it, right in the teeth.

Because, you see, that will make them even more determined not to be poor, and magically, they will then not be poor. Simple! Poor people just don't want it enough.

A hundred years from now, the United States of 2013 will be viewed as the cancerous, historical monstrosity that it is. Which, unfortunately, does nothing to fix the problem, but, hey, what are you going to do. That's just the way things are. You can't change them. So why bother?
posted by scrump at 11:11 AM on May 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


I just realized that by posting this MeTa thread, corb was pretty much just following the advice she was given in this AskMe last year.

Posting a MeTa isn't ignoring the radical jokes.

I hope that whenever she tries following AskMe's advie with her IRL friends, they are sensitive enough to not immediately double down by immediately making even more comments about killing and eating the rich.

I'm confident that anyone saying and meaning that rich people deserved to butchered solely because they're wealthy would be loudly denounced, as they should be.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:12 AM on May 29, 2013


If you're quick, you can snap your jaws forward and shut, trapping your friend's just-spoken words in your own mouth. After a few seconds, they adhere to the clipboard, and you can rerelease them later, if need be.

I do that! Sometimes I change a few of the words on the release, followed by a low, gutteral "FIXED THAT FOR YOU"
posted by brain_drain at 11:18 AM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Class doesn't rise above the level of the hack observational comic David Brooks.

No, but Class was meant to be a Waughian satire of American tastes—and here's where the effort to hold it up as a "treatise on class" looks absurd: despite the title, the book's really about how bad taste transcends class, except for the one little group the reader is permitted to imagine he or she can belong to—not a Brooksian dream of sociological journalism. Functionally, the result was the same, I guess; people still brandish both books as manifestos, but at least Fussell never really tried to convince people that it was something it wasn't. Or made a career writing it over and over for the NYT.

It's probably true, though, that the book had a bigger influence on the Brookses and Gladwells and other manifestos disguised as journalism than it's usually given credit for. Might be an interesting topic to pursue.

(I return to this because I'm more interested in Class than in WHAT IF WE GAVE ALL THE MONEY AWAY?)
posted by octobersurprise at 11:19 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


yes because WHAT IF WE GAVE ALL THE MONEY AWAY is a stupid and boring topic.
posted by sweetkid at 11:20 AM on May 29, 2013


What if instead of giving all the money away we instead made the children of rich people go to poor people schools?

I bet that would start some things changing pretty fast.
posted by phunniemee at 11:23 AM on May 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


What if instead of giving all the money away we instead made the children of rich people go to poor people schools?

I bet that would start some things changing pretty fast.


One can only ask this question by forgetting several decades of forced busing.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:33 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh for fuck's sake. You're not even trying to have a serious conversation anymore.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:34 AM on May 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


They imposed forced busing to private schools of the rich? I must have missed that, somehow.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:34 AM on May 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


What if instead of giving all the money away we instead made the children of rich people go to poor people schools?

I bet that would start some things changing pretty fast.


In India, we have affirmative action for socio economic class. Not making a value judgement here, its been a bone of contention in recent times, but the message it conveys has never been disputed. Often educational foundations (charitable trusts) who run schools and colleges will have a significant number of seats for the "deserving" i.e. scholarship students.
posted by infini at 11:35 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


One can only ask this question by forgetting several decades of forced busing

I wish I could have put money on the prediction that person would make that comment (and think it was some sort of zinger, obviously).
posted by sweetkid at 11:36 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, desegregation was an unqualified disaster. May we never repeat it.

Wait, what?
posted by kagredon at 11:36 AM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


In my dark moments, I feel like drastic climate change is the only thing that has a possibility of actually getting people to realize we're all in this together. Or maybe a meteor. Because, honestly, income inequality is so bad right now that we're effectively living on different planets.

There's one planet for the rich: that planet has plenty of room for people to build houses on or play in, the water is always clean, the temperature is always controlled, and there's always petrol for the vehicles. The schools are good, and the future is assured for their kids. It's a good life, well-insulated from the rapidly deteriorating conditions everywhere else.

It is the exteriorized world.

The actual costs are offshored, or made to be invisible with careful, bookish little fiddles. And the people who take advantage of it are very often not entirely aware of just how insulated that existence is. They live inside a bubble where, as in Lake Wobegon, everyone is above average and all the lives are good. The media they consume repeat that they have earned this, and the narratives they hear and believe (often presented part and parcel along with the churches they attend) is that the lives they have are attainable by anyone if they just work hard enough.

Then, of course, there's the other planet, which is where all the costs have been exteriorized to. And that planet is getting pretty fucked up.

In a weird way, catastrophic climate change might be coming at the right time by coming so much earlier than we thought. Because, in another 20 years, the exteriorized world would have found a way to insulate itself from even the global effects of the catastrophe. Hell, we already have private spaceflight.

But we're not there yet, and there are some hopeful signs that the exteriorized world is waking up to the sheer physical fact that, hey, for the moment, we are all stuck on the same ball of water and mud that is about to fall apart. And if it falls apart, there's no more anything for anyone.

So I spend a lot of time oscillating between complete despair and cautious optimism. Like most people. Welcome to the 21st century, I guess.
posted by scrump at 11:38 AM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


I have decided Tanizaki is an Andy Kaufman persona.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:39 AM on May 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


Yes, desegregation was an unqualified disaster. May we never repeat it.

Wait, what?


This is called a straw man.

One of the ideas behind busing, beyond desegregation, was that if wealthy kids have to go to poor schools, those schools will be allocated more money and thereby become just as good as the wealthy schools to which the poor kids were bussed because wealthy parents do not want their kids in bad schools. How did that work out?
posted by Tanizaki at 11:40 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

In India, we have affirmative action for socio economic class. Not making a value judgement here, its been a bone of contention in recent times, but the message it conveys has never been disputed. Often educational foundations (charitable trusts) who run schools and colleges will have a significant number of seats for the "deserving" i.e. scholarship students.
We're never going to get anywhere if you keep on with this stupid insistence on actual facts.
posted by scrump at 11:40 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


At this point I'd lay money on T trying to stir up some Kirk v. Picard shit, but he's probably never heard of them.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:40 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tanizaki, do you know anything at all about the conditions of black schools during Reconstruction?
posted by kagredon at 11:41 AM on May 29, 2013

You're not even trying to have a serious conversation anymore.
Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence: to wit, that a serious conversation was ever intended in the first place.
posted by scrump at 11:42 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tanizaki, I challenge you to support the nonsense claim that rich children have ever been bused or otherwise forced into poor people's schools.

This is just the sort of boo-hooing over nonexistent or trivial concerns that makes me wonder what is wrong with a lot of well off to very rich people, and prompts the bitter humor that corb allegedly was so bothered about.
posted by bearwife at 11:43 AM on May 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


I hope that whenever she tries following AskMe's advie with her IRL friends, they are sensitive enough to not immediately double down by immediately making even more comments about killing and eating the rich.

If corb entered the original thread she started this MeTa about and posted, as somebody in that AskMe advised...
I know that a lot of this is hyperbolic or metaphorical, but during the communist revolution in Russia, my family members were murdered, violently, as were many other families and many innocent children. I find the off-hand delight at the idea of violence appalling. I'd rather support equality and change to economic circumstances without advocating violence. I don't think you can have any idea how upsetting I find your casual bloodthirstiness.
...then I suspect the tone of the responses to corb would have been less "outrage" and more "oh okay, let me express why the rich piss me off in ways that have less to do with bloody violence." It was the posting of this MetaTalk, with the attitude of "rich people should be exempt from people expressing angry thoughts" without any real explanation of why maybe we should act that way, that led to such lolwut.

Jacqueline and corb and Tanizaki, I would like to make the possibly unfair request that when shit comes up that offends your economic sensibilities, you make an effort to raise fewer hackles and to call out those hackle-raisers who disagree with your posts. I do think there's a place for economic conservatives on MetaFilter, but that place is a difficult one considering you're a member of a community here and the attitudes you espouse sound suspiciously like "I shouldn't owe any fellow member of my community anything". You three are not the entirety of the problem in arguments like this, but all three of you tend to double down and get pretty aggressive in threads like this, which is what leads to such ridiculously heated feelings on all sides.

I've found that when I voice minority opinions on MetaFilter, I have to be triply careful about the way I voice them if I intend to do more than drop a turd in a thread and run away. Criticizing people in a community is difficult always, more so when you're criticizing people while discussing economic policy with many people who are poor, unemployed, or at the very least incredibly frustrated with the unfairness of their work situation. There are people on the other end of the Internet who have their reasons for taking the tones they take, and before escalating a debate, it might be useful to at least consider who it is that you're talking to.

(The same holds true for people on the other side of this debate. The fact that we have users who can recall violent riots that led to family members dying might mean that, like, calling for violent riots—even in a joking sense—is not necessarily the best way to contribute to a discussion?)
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:45 AM on May 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


I have a Girl Scout troop in a low income minority neighborhood. Last meeting we had we were working on our First Aid/emergency badges, and as one of the projects, the girls drew pictures of trusted authority figures and talked about them.

One girl was still coloring hers in when the meeting was over, and I told her it was ok to take it home to finish. She said she couldn't because they don't have colored pencils at home. Crayons? Nope. Asked her if there were supplies at school she could use, and that was a no, too. Her friend at the same school in a different class has them, but she doesn't because her teacher didn't buy any for the classroom.

It is some kind of fucked up world we live in where a seven year old doesn't have basic art supplies to use. Home is one thing, but that it falls to the individual teacher to supply these things for the students is just ridiculous.

It is completely absurd that here in the US, where it is not uncommon for parents to buy their toddlers ipads, we have seven year olds who don't have access to crayons.

She has a set of colored pencils now, don't worry.
posted by phunniemee at 11:49 AM on May 29, 2013 [32 favorites]


Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence: to wit, that a serious conversation was ever intended in the first place.

I was speaking more to the mods' most recent request that Tanizaki not start fights for the sake of fighting. I'm pretty sure equating integration with forced indoctrination of rich children (who must be white) in poor (and therefore black) schools, which never happened, is a pretty good example of that. If not, it's wildly racist bullshit along the lines of The Bell Curve and he should know better, but either way it should be unacceptable.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:50 AM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Tanizaki: Prole Prodder
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:52 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've found that when I voice minority opinions on MetaFilter, I have to be triply careful about the way I voice them if I intend to do more than drop a turd in a thread and run away.

This. At Chieftain level. This.

Phunniemee: your words are resonating with my frustration when I used to live in Chicago and see folks put their energies into uplifting starving brown babies in my passport country and elsewhere more glamourous than just a couple of stops further south on the Red Line.

Begins at home, people, begins at home.
posted by infini at 11:52 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm a little confused: is this a controversial fact, that majority-black schools in the sixties were not very good, because of the way that school taxes work, and that white children were bused into them? I didn't live through this or anything, but googling seems to show that Tanizaki is correct in this, though maybe not whether the "rich" were part of it, but certainly better-quality-school to worse-quality-school.

I know that Tanizaki is far from popular on Metafilter, and often says a lot of stuff I really don't agree with, but it doesn't mean he's wrong each and every time, even if he's not phrasing things very kindly. Which is /also/ part of the point of the MeTa, the kindness should go both ways.
posted by corb at 11:56 AM on May 29, 2013


Tanizaki,

Can you please present any evidence that rich kids were were forced to go to poor kid schools. Thanks. I appreciate it.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:57 AM on May 29, 2013


It wasn't "the way school taxes work". It was a legal doctrine of segregation. The fact that this doctrine of segregation also created really shitty economic conditions for black people does not mean that bussing was an economic policy.
posted by kagredon at 12:00 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


but that place is a difficult one considering you're a member of a community here and the attitudes you espouse sound suspiciously like "I shouldn't owe any fellow member of my community anything"

I think that's a profound miscategorization, but I can understand why it might sound like that.

For what it's worth, I do think that you owe your chosen communities a lot - I do care about Metafilter and its inhabitants; I know it's an internet discussion community and a lot of people are jerks, but it's the internet discussion community I have chosen and thus I am obligated to defend it and do my best by it.

I won't speak for Jacqueline or Tanizaki, but for me, I just protest being arbitrarily assigned a community and being expected to give it my loyalty without choosing to do so.
posted by corb at 12:01 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Should one be morally obligated to sacrifice some of one's own wellbeing to help another person? No.
just fyi this is how a "society" actually works hth hand
posted by scrump at 12:02 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can you please present any evidence that rich kids were were forced to go to poor kid schools. Thanks. I appreciate it.

I am surprised by the wide-eyed wonder at this proposition. Is it really controversial that part of busing was that more affluent kids were sent to worse schools than they would have been zoned for, and vice versa?

Could parents of sufficient means opt out by sending their kids to private schools? Certainly.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:02 PM on May 29, 2013


Tanizaki, I would like to make the possibly unfair request that when shit comes up that offends your economic sensibilities, you make an effort to raise fewer hackles and to call out those hackle-raisers who disagree with your posts.

I don't understand. If Tanizaki does this he won't be able to troll us anymore. Is that what you want? I for one look forward to many more metas with all my favorite mefite personalities getting trolled to Oblivion and back.

How did that work out?

Pretty well for the rich people it seems...not so much for the poor oppressed minorities.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:03 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

I won't speak for Jacqueline or Tanizaki, but for me, I just protest being arbitrarily assigned a community and being expected to give it my loyalty without choosing to do so.
There is no difference between communities. We are all part of the same one. There is one community, and it is all of us.
posted by scrump at 12:03 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


more affluent != rich
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:03 PM on May 29, 2013


I'm pretty sure equating integration with forced indoctrination of rich children (who must be white) in poor (and therefore black) schools, which never happened, is a pretty good example of that.

I am a pretty sure claiming that my statement was any such equating is a pretty good example of a straw man.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:04 PM on May 29, 2013


And this is some seriously racist shit you are peddling.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:04 PM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Could parents of sufficient means opt out by sending their kids to private schools? Certainly.

Exactly. And this thread is exactly about the bubbles that people of sufficient means live in. Therefore, your busing example wasn't relevant, which was the point being made about it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:05 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


They actually tried that in Wake County, NC, a busing system based around trying to integrate schools based on income; I believe the way the system worked was that no more than 40% of the students at a school could be eligible for free or reduced lunches so they reassigned students to achieve that goal. Previously, they had a busing system based on race that was, I think, overturned by a court.

I like the idea, and point it out only to mention that tanizaki isn't 100% off there.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:05 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

[...] tanizaki isn't 100% off there.
Well, 1 out of 467,635 ain't bad.
posted by scrump at 12:10 PM on May 29, 2013


"just kidding I'm even better at Real Life than I am at Metafilter"

I don't believe in ranking people at real life ;)
posted by klangklangston at 12:10 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Could parents of sufficient means opt out by sending their kids to private schools? Certainly.

Do you think I could fairly paraphrase this as: "If you were rich, your kids were not forced to to be bussed to poor schools."
posted by Drinky Die at 12:10 PM on May 29, 2013 [17 favorites]


Thanks, Bulgaroktonos, that is interesting and true, and also not what Tanizaki said (which was that when forced busing was around, rich kids were forced to go to poor schools).
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:11 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Brookings study said that poor residents in cities and suburban poor residents resemble one another demographically and economically. Similar shares of poor residents in cities and suburbs are working age, worked full- or part-time in the past year, held a bachelor’s degree, or lived in deep poverty (with incomes less than half the poverty line).

During the decade 2000-10 in the USA, for the first time the number of poor people in major metropolitan suburbs surpassed the number in cities. Between 2000 and 2011, the poor population in suburbs grew by 64% — more than twice the rate of growth in cities (29%). By 2011, almost 16.4 million residents in suburbia lived below the poverty line, outstripping the poor population in cities by almost 3 million people.

These are some of the grim findings of ‘Confronting Suburban Poverty in America’, a report by the Brookings Institution, and the implications of this report and its contents are that much more significant for Brookings is conservative in its outlook and advocacy.

posted by infini at 12:11 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you think I could fairly paraphrase this as: "If you were rich, your kids were not forced to to be bussed to poor schools."

Drinky Die, I've really respected some of the things you've said here on Metafilter, which is why I'm calling you out on this one. Do you really think this kind of absolute nitpicking of Tanizaki's point is necessary, useful, or adds to the discussion?

Tanizaki said that rich kids were forced to go to poor schools. It seems no one is denying that wealthier kids were forced to go to poorer schools, there's just quibbling about what counts as really rich, and whether or not people could have bought their way out of being so forced, or moved away, etc.

But that quibbling seems to be only for the purpose of saying, "You're wrong, Tanizaki, and you should feel bad for saying such a wrong thing" when the wrongness thereof is subjective. We don't have an objective standard for what "the rich" means, which is one reason it's so emotionally fraught. For some it's "anyone wealthier than me" for others it's "people who don't have to fear scarcity" and for others it's "the 1%" or "the .01%". But can't we have those different subjective meanings without feeling like we have to release the hounds?

I don't think it takes much of a stretch to say that you're going to disagree with Tanizaki again, and probably on something much more substantive than the precise degree of richness of forced busing. Do you think you could save your anger at him for then?
posted by corb at 12:17 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


if poor people's tone was just nicer
posted by kagredon at 12:18 PM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


corb, the reason I thought that might be a fair paraphrase is I think "the rich" must by definition have sufficient means to send their kids to private schools.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:19 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


"I am a pretty sure claiming that my statement was any such equating is a pretty good example of a straw man."

Like that time when the poors were going to bankrupt the rich?

(Aside from the mild downside that kids in the same neighborhood didn't go to the same schools, bussing from my poor neighborhood to the more affluent schools actually worked great.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:21 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tanizaki said that rich kids were forced to go to poor schools. It seems no one is denying that wealthier kids were forced to go to poorer schools.

What it sounds like Drinky Die is saying is that Tanizaki alleged that rich kids were forced to attend schools with the poor, which he then refutes a couple minutes later by saying they had a choice to attend private schools. Those are his own words, and he's asserting any subjectivity with regards to rich or poor.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:21 PM on May 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


I actually kind of agree that people are nitpicking Tanizaki's comments. Which is sort of a turnabout-is-fair-play kind of thing, considering that Tanizaki seems to love doing this himself a lot of the time. And while I can see how it is lots of fun to throw that same kind of behavior back into the face of someone that does it a lot themselves, it's actually kind of annoying right now and it would be rather neat if it would stop.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:27 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be clear, I'm not saying that being able to afford private school means you are rich. I am saying that it's hard to find a definition of rich which will not include having those means.

Anyway I'm just gonna stop posting now because I have no idea why this thread is even open anymore and I'm just having fun discussing non-site issues.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:27 PM on May 29, 2013


also the busing thing is sort of a derail anyway. I think. I'm honestly not sure what we're supposed to be talking about any more.
posted by sweetkid at 12:28 PM on May 29, 2013


A lot of these MeTa threads make me feel like there's a strong and widespread desire to identify "trolls" for the express purpose of playing long, rousing games of "stop making me hit you" with them.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:29 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm honestly not sure what we're supposed to be talking about any more.

Me either, and while I don't really mind a goofy afternoon Metatalk thread I'm not sure we really need a heated-for-no-apparent-reason one. If someone's got a pressing and relevant-to-this-thread issue they still feel like needs broaching, maybe do so shortly here or just hold on to it for some other time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:29 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think "the rich" must by definition have sufficient means to send their kids to private schools.

I'm staying out of this whole discussion for the most part, but something about this kinda cemented my belief that people really must have vastly different definitions of 'rich'. My personal definition is even lower than this. I guess some people would even see it as higher.

I guess statistics and data (Yay Math!) are the only way to even begin to approach such a subjective thing as 'rich' and where to draw reasonable lines regarding who to consider as 'less fortunate, in need of extra consideration, wielders of less power' and who to consider as 'more fortunate, self sufficient, wielders of more power'.

On Preview: I'm not saying that being able to afford private school means you are rich. I am saying that it's hard to find a definition of rich which will not include having those means.

Yea, fair statement. It's complicated.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:30 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


We are talking about how people said they want to kill rich people. Or not.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:30 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


We don't have an objective standard for what "the rich" means, which is one reason it's so emotionally fraught.

You know, when you look at this way, maybe there aren't any "rich" people. Maybe they're all just figments of le discours.

But can't we have those different subjective meanings without feeling like we have to release the hounds?

Sure, some of us are almost unimaginably wealthy and some of us are almost unimaginably poor, but why play the blame game? Wouldn't it be nicer to think of all of the rich and poor as something like the many colors of Benetton?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:32 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Please close this extremely depressing thread.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:34 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


If someone's got a pressing and relevant-to-this-thread issue they still feel like needs broaching, maybe do so shortly here or just hold on to it for some other time.

I think there's still a site issue, and I think it'd stilll be useful to think about for later, but at this point I'm not sure that more talking in this thread will help with the thinking. So I'm okay with closing it up while all the thoughts percolate.
posted by corb at 12:35 PM on May 29, 2013


Just checking, T: have you heard of Benetton?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:35 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Every time someone drops the word troll, I can't help but imagine that everyone on the other end of the tubes is sitting in front of their computers looking like this.

I think that's how come I enjoy these threads so much. Y'all are just so darned cute.
posted by phunniemee at 12:36 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Look, if it's to put corb's mind at ease, I'll come out and say it: I don't really want to kill and eat people because they are rich.


I just want to eat some people regardless of their socioeconomic status, OK?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:37 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like whenever Tanizaki says he hasn't heard of something, the subtext is "must be for proles/poors." Because he's reading Town and Country while using Dacshunds as footstools or something and doesn't have time for the SkyMall.
posted by sweetkid at 12:38 PM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


The poor are generally too gamey for my taste.
posted by Mister_A at 12:38 PM on May 29, 2013


Tanizaki, do you know anything at all about the conditions of black schools during Reconstruction?

I'm almost certain there wasn't any bussing during Reconstruction.
posted by spaltavian at 12:38 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh please let's discuss the site issue now, don't wanna repeat this later
posted by agregoli at 12:38 PM on May 29, 2013


I almost certain there wasn't any bussing during reconstruction.

There was, but people tended to get lynched over it.
posted by Etrigan at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


let us pretend that tomorrow, the government soaks the rich

Civilized countries in the 20th century do so. It is the mark of a free and prosperous society. Contra Friedrick Hayek's predictions at the time, it did not turn those countries into dystopian dictatorships. The US encouraged and pursued many of these initiatives through both legal structures and taxation policies as a means of demonstrating the superiority of our system and civilization as compared to our more oppressive rivals. It may be that you admire the rival civlizations, but I am going to take our own side.

Being rich is pretty awesome everywhere. It's pretty easy for life to be good for rich people. If your country can't do better than that, then what good is it?
posted by deanc at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, meant to say the Jim Crow south and didn't catch it until after the window passed.
posted by kagredon at 12:41 PM on May 29, 2013


I won't speak for Jacqueline or Tanizaki, but for me, I just protest being arbitrarily assigned a community and being expected to give it my loyalty without choosing to do so.

I sincerely do not want to join in the grand hullabaloo of this thread—I'm not nearly well-dressed enough for the occasion—but with the immense inter-global connections that exist and extend throughout nearly every part of our world, I don't think it is possible to easily withdraw from being a "citizen of the world", so to speak. The food we eat, the products we use, the science we rely upon, the media we consume, and, yes, the tax support structure that gives shape to whichever local communities we belong to... these cannot be retracted. There is next to no way of opting out of this, because our society functions on such an enormous scale that to participate in it even the slightest amount is to be connected to this ridiculously huge global network.

There's a lot about that network which is wonderful, and a lot about that network which is completely wretched, but I find it difficult to accept all the things it nets me without being at least a little bit concerned with the parts of it that are completely awful. I'm no activist, not by any means, but I cannot claim that I am merely a part of my local community, because without the larger state/nation/planet that community exists within, it simply would not have the form that it has.

I am not the 1%, but I am not poorly-off by any measure. I don't have a bitter hatred for the enormously wealthy people who shape this country through their personal aims and neglects (yet; I'm 22 years old, give me time). But at the same time I look at the scales which these magnificently rich people and their various corporations work on, and I see a world which has been thoroughly shaped and re-shaped by wealth. Not by malicious wealth, or even by non-benevolent wealth—what experience I've had with people who are vastly well-off tells me that they are often very kind, for they haven't got much reason in their lives to be anything else. Yet that doesn't matter. To operate on the scale that such wealthy people operate on is to have repercussions on hundreds of millions of lives at once. Those repercussions are unintentional, and I don't hate the people who cause them, and I even admire some of them (I am a huge fan of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, even as I'm a huge critic both of his political attitudes and his famous product), but they exist, and they change the societies I'm a part of, down to the littlest communities.

As long as changes to the world are happening on such magnitude, I think that there needs to be an equally enormous force pushing in favor of the people who don't have that power for themselves. I do think that the national government ought to be in my local school system, because I want my local school system to be represented by something which won't immediately buckle and fold under pressure of large, privately-owned entities. I don't think the government we have is nearly effective enough at that, either at being powerful or at representing non-private interests, but I suspect that the government I'd like to have would be more powerful than what exists today, not less.

The existence of government, like the existence of unions, is not an abstract idea to me but a necessity, a response to the way our economy works and corporations function and executives hold power. So long as it's possible for a person to be as powerful (or as powerless) as it's possible today, something needs to exist which checks those in power and helps those without it. And even if I'm giving more to that something than it's giving me back in turn, I'm glad that it exists, both because I know that other people need it, and because my not needing it is essentially dumb luck on my part, and because it's possible that one day I will need it, and when that day comes I'd like it to be as strong as it possibly can.

Speaking strictly as an individual, I love capitalism. It tends to reward young, ambitious, well-educated people with the means to pursue their personal ambitions—hey, that's me! But speaking even for my very local community – my brother who wants to be a stage manager, my girlfriend who works absurd hours for little pay because her private school exclusively handles students from low-income families, my many friends who are either looking for work alongside me or stuck in terrible workplaces because they can't afford to quit or look elsewhere for jobs – the securities we have in place now don't always feel like they're strong enough. And I know that that self-chosen community of mine is much better off than a majority of the country. I also know that the gap between me and the very poorest citizens in America is a fraction of a fraction of the size of the gap between me and the very richest. Yet I am a part of their community as well, and they are a part of mine.

We define some of our communities by choice, some of our communities by action, and some of our communities simply by existing. Much as I too would like to resign from being a member of the human race at times, I cannot. And I can ignore what it means to be a part of all these communities if I'd like, but if I do then I know that I'm only fooling myself.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:42 PM on May 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


My initial MeTa was about people being less than considerate in a variety of ways, including

In MeFi threads on economic policy and gaudy displays of wealth, I have to admit that, "being more considerate to rich people" (wealth-having-Americans?) is really, really low on my priority list.

If think we'd make similar jokes about people who wear crocs. I doubt it would spark a hysterical MeTa.
posted by deanc at 12:44 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gather round for two hours, kids, it's the Rory Marinich Show!
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:44 PM on May 29, 2013


Please don't make me defend people I fundamentally dislike by asking you not to describe things women do as "hysterical". I implore you.
posted by elizardbits at 12:47 PM on May 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


Well anyway, I signed the I-won't-kill-or-eat-anyone-regardless-of-economic-status pledge, and when civilization collapses, I'll be keeping a close eye on all of you who didn't.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:47 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually kind of agree that people are nitpicking Tanizaki's comments. Which is sort of a turnabout-is-fair-play kind of thing, considering that Tanizaki seems to love doing this himself a lot of the time.

Yes. It has its own amusement value on its own, and it is awfully fun, but it almost invariably distracts from the actual topic. And he picks the kind of "just so" stories like those in Class and evolutionary psychology that lend themselves to those kind of nitpicky and narrative-counter-narrative disputes.

Which is sort of the problem-- much of my interest in metafilter is for my amusement, as well as my own intellectual interests, so these amusement-tangents get tempting to engage in.
posted by deanc at 12:51 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Flagged as long pig.
posted by Mister_A at 12:52 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rory Marinich, you have pretty much reiterated the actual position of Adam Smith on these matters, something that many of the hierophants of the "Invisible Hand" are less than clear on.


Also, for some reason I always thought your handle was "Rory Manwich", which, in the context of this thread, doesn't put me in the best light.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:06 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rory Marinich is a treasure
posted by sweetkid at 1:07 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


With comments of that length, sooner or later we'll find out that Ivan is his dad.
posted by klangklangston at 1:10 PM on May 29, 2013 [19 favorites]


> "Jacqueline and corb and Tanizaki, I would like to make the possibly unfair request that when shit comes up that offends your economic sensibilities, you make an effort to raise fewer hackles and to call out those hackle-raisers who disagree with your posts."

I jumped in here mostly because it seemed like corb was being bullied for making the reasonable request that people stop "joking" about slaughtering the rich. It was the bullying that was raising my hackles, since it came across very similar to the reaction that many women receive elsewhere on the internet when we say "hey guys, rape isn't funny, please stop making rape jokes" and then get attacked for not being able to take a joke while a few of the nastier people slip in some personal attacks about how humorless bitches like us deserve to be raped.

Some commenters seemed to be suggesting that corb had no right to be offended and in fact actually deserved to be subjected to jokes about people slaughtering her family, based on their misunderstanding of corb's political ideology. In addition to disliking the everyone-vs-corb bullying that was going on, I also disliked the mischaracterization of libertarianism as advocating for the slaughter of the poor. So I stepped up to defend my ideology in my own words, both to take some of the burden off of corb and also because after the Civil War / slavery thread earlier in the day I am frankly uncomfortable with corb being perceived as the spokesperson for libetarianism on MetaFilter.

Going forward, I am not sure how to handle callouts against comments that seem to support class-based violence because my own life experiences have desensitized me to such talk and thus I'm not always personally offended even when I probably ought to be. I guess that I could say something like, "Hey guys, there are some people here whose actual families were actually slaughtered for the 'crime' of being 'too rich,' so can we please not joke about this" (thus giving people the benefit of the doubt that they were only joking, despite my suspicion that some of them are not) -- but after seeing people's behavior in this thread, I'm skeptical about whether that would actually work or if the bullies would just be encouraged by the confirmation that their words are indeed hurting their intended targets.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:14 PM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


When I see people hating on the six figure makers, it just makes me sad. It's a symptom of how powerless we all feel to change our society into, apparently, some kind of grotesque dystopia where jackbooted thugs force us to feed and clothe the poor, care for the sick, and educate our children. Where maybe JesusHulk (you won't like me when I'm charitable) is Big Brother? Hating on those of moderate wealth is very four legs good, two legs better. If you can't change the system, you can at least fuck over the people currently benefiting, right? OMG the master's tools! I want to tear down his house with them!

But you know, by all means, call for the cannibalistic massacre of anyone who thinks children should be hungry, homeless, or illiterate. I mean, not their children. Other children. I'm just saying, as others have pointed out, that the category "rich folks" and the category "folks who think the social safety net is like if the Holocaust married WWIII and they had a Chthulu baby" are not perfectly overlapping.
posted by prefpara at 1:16 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was the bullying that was raising my hackles, since it came across very similar to the reaction that many women receive elsewhere on the internet when we say "hey guys, rape isn't funny, please stop making rape jokes" and then get attacked for not being able to take a joke while a few of the nastier people slip in some personal attacks about how humorless bitches like us deserve to be raped.


what

the

fuck
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:18 PM on May 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


Also,

Some commenters seemed to be suggesting that corb had no right to be offended and in fact actually deserved to be subjected to jokes about people slaughtering her family, based on their misunderstanding of corb's political ideology.

Could you please point out those comments? Anyone who would say that is vile, and frankly I don't remember anyone saying those things that you say they said. I could be wrong though.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:20 PM on May 29, 2013


Seriously I really don't think anyone said things like that....
posted by sweetkid at 1:20 PM on May 29, 2013


Without turning this into "provide proof or GTFO," I have to say I'm surprised to read that you believed people were making jokes about the slaughter of corb's family. I would sincerely hope that if any such jokes were made, the reason I cannot find them in the thread is because they were immediately deleted.

Also, the rape joke comparison is a little off-putting.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:20 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am dropping by for the last time to heartily endorse cortex' suggestion to close this thread. I say no more as I think it best we all stop feeding the (putuponinsultedpleadingsufferingnitpickedcitationdeprived) trolls.
posted by bearwife at 1:25 PM on May 29, 2013


Some commenters seemed to be suggesting that corb had no right to be offended and in fact actually deserved to be subjected to jokes about people slaughtering her family

I don't believe this is a thing that happened, no.

The gap between generic snarky "eat the rich" comments targeted at the notional, abstract cohort of a lifestyle editorial for relatively well-off tech workers and specific "your family, specifically, deserved whatever harm and misfortune came their way, because of their bank balance" assertions toward a user in a thread is a pretty long and far one, and while I can totally appreciate that corb's misgivings about generic class resentment humor are based on her specific experiences, that does not actually collapse that distance.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:25 PM on May 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


It was the bullying that was raising my hackles, since it came across very similar to the reaction that many women receive elsewhere on the internet when we say "hey guys, rape isn't funny, please stop making rape jokes" and then get attacked for not being able to take a joke while a few of the nastier people slip in some personal attacks about how humorless bitches like us deserve to be raped.

Your power differential is showing.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:27 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have decided Tanizaki is an Andy Kaufman persona.

I've decided he's Uncle Charlie from Shadow of a Doubt.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:29 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other words your senario is assbackwards. This is like a raped woman telling her rapist that she doesn't really like him so much and she wouldn't really care so much if some rapists somewhere met an untimely end. If you really want to use this as a metric for comparison, that is.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:30 PM on May 29, 2013


can we not turn this into who can abuse the rape analogy more?

edit: jinx
posted by kagredon at 1:31 PM on May 29, 2013


And, yeah, it's been a thrilling joyride but now that we've managed to introduce the whole rape analogy just for the hell of it I'm officially pounding a stake through this thing's heart. Take it easy out there, everybody.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:31 PM on May 29, 2013 [41 favorites]


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