Those Harry Potter Threads. September 4, 2002 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Those Harry Potter Threads. Reading today's Harry Potter thread (now deleted) some people mentioned that the reason it was getting posted so much was because there is no previous record of it on a search, and that multiple similar posts had been deleted. Okay, repeated posts should be deleted, but why isn't the original one anywhere to be found? It's a bit Farkesque, but still not a bad link, per se.
posted by wackybrit to Etiquette/Policy at 8:38 PM (47 comments total)

It's a hideous, terrible, awful link. It's the Tom Green of links. No, worse, it's the Police Academy of links. For the love of God, it's the Caddyshack II of links, existing only to torment an unsuspecting web-surfer again and again and again with its craptacularity.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:44 PM on September 4, 2002


i can't think of where i haven't seen that damn vibrating broom linked...
posted by quonsar at 8:45 PM on September 4, 2002


it is the fuckwit of linkage.
posted by quonsar at 8:46 PM on September 4, 2002


Someone should just cut and paste the well-researched memepool link onto Metafilter:

"How did witches of old fly on broomsticks? One theory is that their broomsticks were smeared with hallucinogenic chemicals, which the witches' held closely to their, ahem, nether regions. The phallic overtones are not to be dismissed, either. One wonders then what the hell Harry Potter's merchandisers were thinking—considering the charges of satanism, paganism, and corruption of the innocent levelled against him—when they developed a toy broom that vibrates."

Not me though, I've already posted today.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:46 PM on September 4, 2002


Here's Matt's response as to why he deleted it the first time...and no doubt the same reason he's deleted it on every subsequent respawn of the darned thing.
posted by dejah420 at 8:46 PM on September 4, 2002 [1 favorite]


i would like to be among the first to welcome our new broom overlords.
posted by quonsar at 8:47 PM on September 4, 2002


Someone should just cut and paste the well-researched memepool link...--Stan Chin

See...now that post would have stood up to muster and probably wouldn't have been deleted.
posted by dejah420 at 8:48 PM on September 4, 2002


I concur, wackybrit. I hadn't seen the Harry Potter broom before because I must not have been browsing MeFi within the five minutes that the other three threads were up.

I actually had a really good laugh over it. There are tons of other threads out in MeFi land that have been less front page worthy than this one. And I actually thought there would be an interesting discussion provoked by the thread -- e.g., what about vibrating toothbrushes?

The link will inevitably be posted again. Let's leave it up the next time, since it's about as post-worthy as any other humor link. Furthermore, it'll prevent further double posting. I'm a bit peeved that everyone jumped on the poster's case about "triple-posting." How was he supposed to know it had been posted before if there was no record of it? Was he supposed to call Dionne Warwick first?
posted by jennak at 8:51 PM on September 4, 2002


unfortunately, amazon urls are kinda variable, and people are posting all sorts of pointers to it.

I don't understand why people are wanting to post it so badly. It's so marginally, barely, and remotely amusing, and that's overestimating how funny it is. So a product accidentally vibrates, big fucking deal.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:54 PM on September 4, 2002


Matt, I greatly appreciate your website, the fact that you allow us to use it, and the amount of stress you put up with just to keep this going....but sometimes it's hard to read language like "big fucking deal" and not get offended.

I wouldn't respond to a fellow MeFite that way. That kind of response just makes me feel like I'm so fucking small for being amused by something so petty.
posted by jennak at 9:08 PM on September 4, 2002


So, let me get this straight... the toy broom... it vibrates?
posted by crunchland at 9:09 PM on September 4, 2002 [5 favorites]


Yes, cruchland, and daddies like to buy it for little girls, according to the customer reviews.
posted by jennak at 9:12 PM on September 4, 2002


jennak: 'Fellow' MeFite? There is a clear hierarchy on this site, and no Communist style 'comradery' takes place here!

Actually, I think this broom link is as funny as that of 'The Story About Ping' book on Amazon. And lots of people found that funny :-D The guy who posted that review holds the distinction of having the review with the most number of 'Helpful' votes.. currently at 5594.
posted by wackybrit at 9:16 PM on September 4, 2002


I wouldn't respond to a fellow MeFite that way. That kind of response just makes me feel like I'm so fucking small for being amused by something so petty.

Sorry about that, if you could hear the inflection in my voice, I didn't mean it in a mean way, but in a "meh" way. I just thought it was so mildly amusing that people were overreacting a tad in stating that it was hilarious.

I'm really sorry I sounded like an ass, Jenn. FWIW, I hadn't seen your post when I wrote and posted mine.

Actually, I think this broom link is as funny as that of 'The Story About Ping' book on Amazon.

The story of ping, the family circus review hacks, and all the other joking amazon reviews are much, much funnier than the broom posts for a simple reason: the ping, circus, etc posts are clearly aiming to be well-written fiction. Someone came up with a funny premise, and wrote accordingly.

The broom thing sounded like an oblivious midwestern housewife discovering her child's tool was "naughty" and while the innocence there is amusing in a way, it's not what I'd call funny.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:33 PM on September 4, 2002


So we only do "funny" now?

I've never thought MeFi was very good at funny.
posted by rushmc at 9:38 PM on September 4, 2002


So we only do "funny" now?

What other grounds does it deserve to stay on?

Maybe I don't think it's funny because the first post about it a couple days back was something along the lines of "ho damn, read this hilarious review at amazon, it's a crackup!"
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:54 PM on September 4, 2002


My vote goes with funny also, jennak. Daddy's Cap is On Backwards gags on Amazon are played out, but this one works because the product and the reviews are funny. Every time it gets posted here I visit it again.
posted by rcade at 9:54 PM on September 4, 2002


Oh, come one. Everybody who's anybody knows all the really funny reviews are over on epinions.
posted by willnot at 10:13 PM on September 4, 2002


Surely somebody can just come up with an interesting post about witches (Wicked Witch of the West, Salem Witches, the Tim Curry trainwreck "The Worst Witch", Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the Witches of Eastwick, the Blair Witch, Called the Witch doctor: "Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang"...etc.) and just offandedly interject the amazon link so it won't get posted again. Heck, that little kid made Halloween come early, so tying it all in wouldn't be that hard.


posted by Stan Chin at 10:36 PM on September 4, 2002


Actually, here (knew I shouldn't have wasted my daily post on Showbiz Pizza):

Flying Broomstick Ointment recipes. (That last link also has a wonderful "Stop Dogs from Barking at you" Potion. :P )

Somebody take that and run with it if you feel like it.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:47 PM on September 4, 2002


I'm with Matt on this one. The broom thing is about as funny as finding dirty words in the dictionary.
posted by timeistight at 12:37 AM on September 5, 2002


Shit... I'm 26 and still look up 'dirty' words in the dictionary, laughing like a bastard the whole time. I also spend the the time to look through the white pages for funny names while in a new city. If anyone here happens to be named Harold Bag and lives in Cincinnati, I apologize for calling you 16 times. Just good, clean, American fun really.
posted by ttrendel at 12:45 AM on September 5, 2002


I think that the marketing of a toy benefiting the company that wheels and deals in the anaemicising (word?) of commercialized witchcraft with full knowledge that throngs of christians are in the wings waiting to picket and spew, and that moreover, the toy vibrates between the child's legs is absolutely hilarious. I'm glad this was brought to my attention. Post or no.
posted by crasspastor at 1:17 AM on September 5, 2002


I thought it was damned funny when I first saw it (on some site that shall not be named), but I cringed every time I saw one posted here.
posted by adampsyche at 4:07 AM on September 5, 2002


I'm the guy who posted the Harry Potter link last night. Had I known it had been posted and deleted several times already, I certainly wouldn't have posted it.

My brother forwarded me a link to that page yesterday. It was the first time I'd seen it. I thought, "Hey, this is pretty amusing. People often post amusing things on MetaFilter. Therefore, let me search MeFi and see if the URL has been posted before." The URL didn't show up in my search, and I hadn't been on MeFi for several weeks, so I hadn't been aware of any earlier postings of it. Therefore, I decided to post it. Whoops.

Bad judgment on my part. From the bottom of my rat-infested heart, I apologize.
posted by Tin Man at 5:48 AM on September 5, 2002


The broom thing sounded like an oblivious midwestern housewife discovering her child's tool was "naughty" and while the innocence there is amusing in a way, it's not what I'd call funny.

Mat, if I had looked only at the first review (the review referenced in the first post) I would have agreed with you 100%, but it appears that while the first review comment was indeed innocent, it was followed up by some slyly amusing posting. It was the follow-up posts that were actually funny, or at least interesting in the sense of subverting a commercial review space a la Henry Raddick, in what has become (somewhat) new meme.

That said, I have no particular investment in this post, and only noticed it because Metaxa (the first poster) was beaten rather severely about the head and shoulders over it, which didn't seem to me to be deserved.

"...discovering her child's tool was 'naughty' " - didn't you really mean child's "toy"? Just hoping. (smiling, winking emoticon here.)
posted by taz at 6:36 AM on September 5, 2002


Speaking as a poster who posted the broom topic yesterday, I have to say that the worst part of the whole experience from my point of view was that I thought I'd done all I had to do to make sure it hadn't already been posted. I did 6 searches with various keywords and parameters on Metafilter proper before posting the link.

I think that having a thorough explanation of the non-obvious means of searching/verifying a story prior posting, for newbies like myself, or at the very least something newbies can be pointed to after one gaffe would be a very good thing. (I may also be saying this in ignorance -- this kind of thing may already exist, but I haven't been able to find it -- I've looked in MetaFilter's About, at the link to the comprehensive posting guidelines in the About page, and that's about it, because I thought that MetaTalk was all about general discussions related, and wouldn't be sufficiently organized for me to be able to read in a reasonable amount of time.)

I didn't know that MetaTalk had more immediately useful information in it, though I probably would have stopped to look if I had stopped to think. But part of posting a new link is the trill of novelty, and novelty and bearing that torch, in my personal experience, means I generally act with too much haste. This I will address before I post again, most assuredly.

So in case it's not clear, I've thus far bemoaned what I feel is a lack of documentation or policy (for both preventative docs reading and for forensic docs referrals). I also want to volunteer to help create such things, though I'm a bit leery about having enough experience to do so (i.e. it wasn't until my run-in yesterday that I found out about LoFi).

Also, to be totally forthright, I would be a bit interested in posting a link/topic to MetaFilter about how it's impossible to tell that literally hundreds or thousands of people have been to a link before you -- no signs of wear unless slashdotted -- so that it's possible to think that your idea-derived-from-an-obscure-link is totally new to almost everyone on the net and have it all crashing down around you when you post... except that, honestly, I'm a bit gun-shy right about now.
posted by kalessin at 6:51 AM on September 5, 2002


It seems Amazon staff regularly deletes the deluge of crass reviews it receives about products such as the aformentioned broom. I stumbled upon the 10' Concrete Vibrator with 1-1/16" Head last November and have revisited the link every so often to find nearly all customer reviews culled.
posted by Danelope at 6:55 AM on September 5, 2002


Also having been in various administrative capacities over various community resources on the web, I feel a lot of sympathy for Matt and others who keep this thing running. Additionally, though the other thing that seems to be going on here is that there are enough vocal users of MetaFilter now who do not have the same value systems as Matt and the other administrators(?) that we have another good reason for solid policy documents. Documentation can help enforce a single editorial style while still making users feel like all the cards are on the table. God knows I've got enough "war wounds" from getting in arguments about style and ethics that seemed totally obvious to me, but were not in fact obvious to all users.
posted by kalessin at 6:57 AM on September 5, 2002


isn't there an issue here about the fact that the meme keeps getting posted b/c the earlier threads have been deleted and thus don't come up in the search results?

perhaps on the search page you could have a checkbox to turn on searching in deleted posts too.
posted by GeekAnimator at 7:16 AM on September 5, 2002


The broom thing sounded like an oblivious midwestern housewife discovering her child's tool was "naughty"

As opposed to enlightened Bay Area housewives who're buying their preteen daughters 12-inch strapons?
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:31 AM on September 5, 2002


new tagline!

MetaFilter: the innocence there is amusing in a way, it's not what I'd call funny.
posted by interrobang at 8:34 AM on September 5, 2002


Perhaps it would be possible for the post URL verification thingamabob to look at lofi MeFi for duplications. That way all deleted posts would still show up, avoiding the march of brooms (nod to Disney). Is this possible?
posted by me3dia at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2002


The url search on the posting page does search deleted posts, and shows them to the user, but amazon's been expanding their URL scheme lately to the point that exact URLs to an amazon listing in the mefi db are rare.

I can change the link search to include deleted posts, so this doesn't happen again.

And I guess I didn't see any other reviews besides the original one when it was first posted, but the subsequent fake reviews don't seem all that amusing.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:53 AM on September 5, 2002


The Harry Potter broom is the Bob Saget/Carrot Top/Gallagher of MetaFilter.

Is this thing on, people? Get me, I'm a vibrating kid's toy!

*sigh*

I give up.

*smashes watermelon*
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:07 AM on September 5, 2002


I don't care about funny or not, but I was glad to see the notice in the sidebar -- I think more frequent administrative items like that would be helpful.
posted by Dean King at 9:14 AM on September 5, 2002


I can change the link search to include deleted posts, so this doesn't happen again

New posting-box message: "This post has already been deleted four times. Are you sure you want to go ahead with it? [pause] Are you mad?"

*Menacing Java-powered trembly rumble to accompany*

Optional extra prompt: "If it's about the firm that converts people's ashes to diamonds or the vibrating broomstick, you might like to try Plastic or very gently fuck off"
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:18 AM on September 5, 2002


New posting-box message: "This post has already been deleted four times. Are you sure you want to go ahead with it? [pause] Are you mad?"

heheheheheheh.
posted by dejah420 at 9:32 AM on September 5, 2002


OT FYI: Henry Raddick is being interviewed this weekend on the PRI program To the Best of Our Knowledge. Check local listings, or look here (although it's not a 100% accurate list). I've heard the spot and it's not super-funny, but, hey, it's Henry Raddick on the radio.

Note: HR is in the second hour of the program, the section on criticism. Not all stations carry both hours ....
posted by blueshammer at 10:12 AM on September 5, 2002


I googled a toy enthusiast from NJ last night just to see where it lead. That review sure got around. I see Amazon has already yanked it and the spoofs, so that's the end of that. Unless people link the Free Republic discussion about it.

Boy, MrBaliHai, do you have any product reviews that you want to link?
posted by y2karl at 10:22 AM on September 5, 2002


Judging from the number of private e-mails I received (I was the second person to post the link) the people who find the reviews hilarious outnumber those who don't. Neener.
Neener.
Neener.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:59 AM on September 5, 2002


MrBaliHai, do you have any product reviews that you want to link?

No, but here's a golden opportunity to write one.
posted by MrBaliHai at 12:32 PM on September 5, 2002


I know how you are half english, an'all, Miggy, but to see
"Optional extra prompt: "If it's about the firm that converts people's ashes to diamonds or the vibrating broomstick, you might like to try Plastic or very gently fuck off" next to your byline really cracks me up. I don't s'pose you have an hilarious accent, by any chance?

*thin ice cracks*
*Miguel nowhere to be seen*


posted by dash_slot- at 6:14 PM on September 5, 2002


Dash, it depends what time of the day you're talking about. When I wake up, I sound like this. After reading MetaFilter and having my first bloody marys, it changes somewhat, then picks up after cricket and a few beers and reaches party mode around midnight. Other than that, it's fine. No Manuel for you, sir!

posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:37 PM on September 5, 2002


Well, clearly not, Miggy...he's from Barthelona!

[I'll very gently fuck off now - we both are on the same timezones, aren't we, so I know how late it is for you ...]
posted by dash_slot- at 7:12 PM on September 5, 2002


here's what i think happened. the first post was poor, the write-up and the initial review on amazon. it really wasn't that funny at first, it's gotten marginally funnier since then. but at the first post the meme was kinda new, yet dumb. it gets deleted.

skip to a couple days later: the reviews are a little funnier and it's posted on every website on creation except mefi. "What an opportunity!", say 20 people, who go to post it right away. but matt's already deleted it once, so there's precedent, and it is sorta dull... what do you do? i say stop whining! you've seen the site, everyone has, who cares if it's on mefi, do you have a burning desire to discuss it?
posted by rhyax at 8:27 PM on September 5, 2002


Gather round children and listen to my tale of The Curse Of The Haunted Link. It will chill your blood and freeze your soul.

Many years ago when Prince Matt was just a wee babe in his mother's arms, an invitation to his baby shower went out to all the fairies of the land. They all came in their best finery waving their wands about and showering him with blessings. From this fairy came the promise of studly good-looks, and from that fairy came the promise of a sharp, cutting-edge intellect. He was blessed with all manner of graces and favor.

But sadly the queen had erred. On the last, most important invitation, her saliva had dried-up and the postage stamp was not firmly affixed. Alas! The stamp fell off and the invitation landed in the dead letter office.

In vain the greatest Fairy of them all, Farkarella, waited for her invitation. Stamping her feet impatiently and muttering to herself, she vowed to attend the baby shower in spite of the Queen's slight. Arming herself with her greatest curse, Farkarella stormed the baby shower and the little Prince's fate was sealed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2002


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