Proposal for a September 11 post September 9, 2002 6:27 PM   Subscribe

I've been thinking of a September 11 post that could stand as an hommage without being restrictive or cheer-leading. I wonder if we could all build a thread made of nothing but links without words... [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso to MetaFilter-Related at 6:27 PM (52 comments total)

Some could link to photographs; others to current news items about freedoms; to memorials; to a song; to escapism; to political ideas; to literary texts; to silly things; to worthwhile or lamentable websites; to MetaFilter threads; to history pages; to quotations or paintings or places... to make a point. Or patently not.

The idea would be that each member would just link and leave it at that (or perhaps just include the minimum explanation to understand a link which might not stand on its own). This way, I think, every single opinion or current could be represented.

Needless to say, it would just be a thread amongst all the others on that day. I just think it would be great (specially for lurkers) if there was this one click-click-click thread that somehow brought together all the very different people that contribute to MetaFilter and that would fire their imagination, without the usual help of words. I bring it here because I hate orders (as in "please include a silent link") and think this might require some agreement beforehand. I also think it would be nice if this thread could be posted by user "MetaFilter", so that we could all participate equally.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:28 PM on September 9, 2002


I wish MetaFilter could be like that all the time.
posted by jjg at 6:34 PM on September 9, 2002


The only problem I could see, Miguel, is if some users felt the need to include links that pushed their own political agenda and weren't so much memorializing the event. (and we already saw what something perceived to be insensitive or 'inappropriate' about 9/11 can lead to earlier today in the gallows humor thread.)

Other than that, it seems like a fair enough idea to me.
posted by The God Complex at 7:53 PM on September 9, 2002


God Complex your problem is noted-- but I don't think it's enough reason to kill the idea, which is a great one.

Mr. JJG is on the mark when he says this is how it ought to be all the time. Well thought-out links always make this a more valuable (and more meta) place...
posted by chaz at 8:05 PM on September 9, 2002


I would love to see it done.
posted by MzB at 8:09 PM on September 9, 2002


I wasn't suggesting Miguel kill the idea, only that consideration has to be taken and perhaps a note or disclaimer should be included within the thread. You know, so it ends up being what it's supposed to be and not an excuse fora select few people to raise everyone else's ire.
posted by The God Complex at 8:11 PM on September 9, 2002


The only problem I could see, Miguel, is if some users felt the need to include links that pushed their own political agenda and weren't so much memorializing the event.
Miguel did not suggest a memorial - he suggested an hommage, and one of the things that's great about his proposal is that it accepts that 11/9 was (is) an extremely complex event, with crass opponents alongside the mourners. That political agendas may be pushed does not sound to me like a problem; it reflects the many facets of the tragdy. Granted, I hope it won't overpower the need to express regret/sadness/loss, but by shoving such feelings under the table, we merely precipitate the future expression of such discontentment.
posted by Marquis at 8:16 PM on September 9, 2002


I understand this, but if you're going to include links like that you're going to have a hard time telling people not to comment on something they might see as highly inflammatory. That was mostly my point.

Personally, I don't even know if I'd go through the thread or not. I somewhat detached from the whole issue. I just think it would be a reasonably good observance for the people who do feel strongly about it.
posted by The God Complex at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2002


So, what - you were so motivated by the fact that we finally got too many MetaTalk threads in a single day so that they can't all be displayed on the front page, and you figured you'd toss in another pointless thread to see if maybe we could lap ourselves?

Yeah, I've got your 911 link Migs.
posted by willnot at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2002


If you could enforce minimum commentary and talkback, then I'm all for it. Also, make it known that its perfectly acceptable to others to post regular 9/11 links if they want. Hopefully this Uberthread will take up the need for a lot of these, though.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:19 PM on September 9, 2002


I wonder if there's a Meta-Metatalk I could drag willnot into.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:21 PM on September 9, 2002


Willnot, your comment, as nasty as it sounds, is a perfect example of why we really do need something like this.

Here's my contribution.
posted by yhbc at 8:21 PM on September 9, 2002


Here here, Marquis. I don't want a thread where we only reflect the trite and sentimental televised version. I don't want to see more flags superimposed over a picture of the world trade center, for fuck's sake. Not everybody remembers the event in the same way, nor does it mean the same thing to everyone. This soap box is big enough for everyone.
posted by Hildago at 8:25 PM on September 9, 2002


Stan, I've been hoping for something along those lines for awhile (not specifically for willnot). Someday...

I think this is a great idea. Do you think the amount of explanation necessary to get it to work will pay off, though?
posted by me3dia at 8:42 PM on September 9, 2002


Although I like Miguel's idea, I'm hesitant to see the genesis of threads that have rules other than the very general ones we know and love.

I hate gimmick posters (except clavdivs, of course), and gimmick threads are not really any better. Even if their heart is in the right place...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:50 PM on September 9, 2002


Personally, I think Matt should restrict posting for everyone on September 9th.

Metafilter could be quiet for one day.
posted by gen at 9:01 PM on September 9, 2002


My idea was just one thread anyone could contribute to, which would render a series of comments in the form of wordless links. The form itself would be a hommage, but the content would be multifarious and diverse.

It could be a joke; blatant disrespect; an opposite viewpoint; an overtly sentimental echo; something intriguing or questioning or an anarchically irrelevant item.

I was thinking mainly of how exciting it would be to go through the thread by clicking link after link; knowing each link was thought of regarding September 11th and having only our username (every one of ours) as the signature.

I.e. the names and signatures wouldn't matter. The interesting thing would be the thread of links. Without words, they would be links in a chain; but a chain made by us. It was just an idea....
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:09 PM on September 9, 2002


I like the idea, as far as I understand it. This is how I understand it:

$



As in War profiteering sucks, even if it's ironic. And in bad taste. What does wordlessly really mean here Miguel? My 2¢ is that we allow the use of symbols and single words, but we encourage users to leave it at that. I mean, a thread of 1000 exclamation marks, questions marks, and dollar signs will be too weird to bear.
posted by zpousman at 9:38 PM on September 9, 2002


Zpousman: that would be exactly it, as far as (and better than) I imagined. If all could bring different criteria to their links (I do think it's an important date; that affects a lot of us; far beyond the U.S. and Canada) the thread would be all the richer for it.

If no one else posts it, I shall. But I like the fact that it exists among all the other threads that day (some, I'm sure, will be brilliant) and that it's been discussed beforehand here on MetaTalk.

I'd still like the idea of a thread of wordless links; each one pointing significantly to what it would mean.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:55 PM on September 9, 2002


Well, evidently we all have a homework assignment for Wednesday.
posted by gsteff at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2002


It's only homework if you've chosen to enroll in the course. (I'm reading Miguel's "each member would link ..." as "each member choosing to participate in this thread would link ..." -- or were you really hoping for a 15K+ thread, Miguel?)
posted by maudlin at 10:22 PM on September 9, 2002


Here's my contribution.
posted by dejah420 at 10:32 PM on September 9, 2002


I know I mentioned hating those pictures of flags superimposed over the World Trade Center, but I've had a change of heart.

My contribution contains a majestic bald-eagle flying over the American flag, and super-imposed over it is a picture of the heroic World Trade Center. Super-imposed over that is another American flag, over which we have super-imposed a pictures of brave American heroes (fire heroes, that is) of both genders. Then, another bald eagle and the inspirational phrase "let's roll". Above that, a picture of an elderly couple, then a golf putter. Finally, an artistic photo of our heroic 43rd president, George W. Bush is super-imposed over everything, as though watching over our country to protect it from the rest of the world.
posted by Hildago at 12:07 AM on September 10, 2002


Hey .... Nice putter
posted by johnny7 at 2:46 AM on September 10, 2002


I wish everyone would just shut up about September 11. Most of what I'm seeing and hearing is devoid of any real content. Little but useless, pointless dreck. Blech.
posted by Mo Nickels at 2:53 AM on September 10, 2002


My 2¢ is that we allow the use of symbols and single words, but we encourage users to leave it at that. I mean, a thread of 1000 exclamation marks, questions marks, and dollar signs will be too weird to bear.

You're right - I hadn't thought of that. Others in this thread have also convinced me it would also be a bit repressive and unnecessarily prim to ask people to just link. Schoolmarmish even. Thanks all for weighing in.

I think the best approach will be to just ask "Anyone else got a link for September 11 that speaks for itself and doesn't need a thread of its own?".
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:46 AM on September 10, 2002


Hildago, thanks for the link to that pic, whether you're being sarcastic or not. I stared at it for awhile. I only found one firefighter, and who does the second necktie belong to? Interesting, complex, and well done.

I like Miguel's idea very much. One important consideration is getting Matt's approval, and asking him whether he has the time and inclination to babysit the thread from any would be trollers. He's the only one who can enforce the minimum commentary rule, by swiftly deleting linkless and/or inflammatory comments. A community pledge to not respond in kind to linkless or inflammatory comments would accomplish the same, I suppose, and then Matt could delete or not delete at his discretion. I'm all for it. Thanks for the well thought-out proposal, Miguel.
posted by David Dark at 3:54 AM on September 10, 2002


Damn. A day late and a dollar short, as usual.

Others in this thread have also convinced me it would also be a bit repressive and unnecessarily prim to ask people to just link.

I disagree. For the purposes of this one thread, I think it's proper and, in fact, necessary. There will be threads enough to voice our opinions with words. But a wordless, artistic homage thread to how each of us felt one year ago today sounds like a beautiful project to me.
posted by David Dark at 4:01 AM on September 10, 2002


It's an interesting idea. However, I fear that since the majority of people don't actually read MeTa, unless Matt put some sort of disclaimer how to participate in the thread, I can see it becoming a bunch of "huh?" "WTF?" followed by an unheeded call to MeTa. And that would just ruin the spirit of it.

Personally, I would love to see MeFi go dark except for the 9/11 thread. That's about as fitting a tribute as any, and far more poignant in my opinion.
posted by macadamiaranch at 4:13 AM on September 10, 2002


(by 9/11 thread, i mean the thread from 9/11/2001.)
posted by macadamiaranch at 4:14 AM on September 10, 2002


My contribution...
posted by i_cola at 4:14 AM on September 10, 2002


David: don't you think those who go ahead and troll will look foolish anyway? Wouldn't it be possible for those taking the trouble to choose one meaningful link (whatever it is or its degree of dissent; the diversity would be its main strength) to ignore the spoilers? The spoilers, after all, are just as motivated as the rest of us. It would fall to those who wanted to participate quietly in this thread, with no noise, to just let them be. I for one would love to see trollish behaviour pass unnoted.

If it were necessary for Matt to sanitize the thread (apart from nixing obvious examples of verbal violence) then the thread wouldn't be true and/or MetaFilter. In fact, if enough people offer their link, trolls' attempts would make the thread all the more meaningful.

Macadamiaranch: I don't think, if the post is well crafted, people need to read Meta. The more spontaneous and unforced, the better. Do you think the post should link this thread?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:29 AM on September 10, 2002


How about two threads? One for the unmitigated glurge, and one for the vicious jingoism?
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 5:11 AM on September 10, 2002


and here i was thinking that metafilter would be the one place that wouldnt go totally over the top when it came to this subject. this really sucks.
posted by zoid at 5:31 AM on September 10, 2002


Or perhaps just one or two words with a link underneath. Like this, for example:

Worrying.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:34 AM on September 10, 2002


There has been alot of talk about the appropriate way to mourn tomorrow. Should we mourn, pay respect and generally take time out to reflect on what was a tragedy that certainly touched me in a way no tragedy has before? Should I hang a flag? Should I bake a cake? Two minutes silence?
I'm not pure cynic, although I sometimes make out to be, but I won't be buying a paper tomorrow morning. Conveniently I don't have a radio in my car, and when I get home tomorrow night from work, I'm losing myself in nintendo-world for the evening. I will even stay away from this site.
Why? Because at the same time last year I was glued to every media possible solidly for a week and more. Worrying about people I knew across the pond, staggered at the enormity of what happened, and shocked at the audacity of it all. Even last week I was absorbed in more and more stories, no matter how obscure.

Their actions won't gain any attention from me tommorrow.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:43 AM on September 10, 2002


I will even stay away from this site
ay me too. i'm not american so this really has no significance to me at all, but the thing that occurs to me is why are americans so lacking in dignity? the dignified thing to do here is not to beat your chests and try to outdo each other in making your contributions known, that's the selfish, i'm so smart attitude coming through - it is to remember in silence and solitude. when someone dies you dont scream it from the rooftops, you remember with a slice of silence from your life - you remember for yourself, not so others can see how much you care.
posted by zoid at 5:52 AM on September 10, 2002


why are americans so lacking in dignity?

Thanks for the little lesson, zoid. It was big of you to share it, even though the event has no significance to you at all. Do me a favour and look up "dignity" in the dictionary. Then ask yourself who lacks it, you little twerp.

Someone didn't die, fyi. A lot of people did. People we didn't know, but could have been each and every one of us. That would be the point, whether you're American or not. Don't think because you're a troll you can't be enlightened or something. Here's hoping it won't be long.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:04 AM on September 10, 2002


Wow, Miguel - most unlike you to say nasties.

I think it would be a great idea for everyone to just post a link that reflects the way their part of the world was affected, or how they are marking the day, without all the usual rhetoric. Just the link. Cool.
posted by dg at 6:36 AM on September 10, 2002


Just a couple of observations so far about the 9/11 anniversary:

Here in Ohio (the true scary Midwest), no one is talking about 9/11. No one I know, at least. In general, peoples' attitudes tend to be somewhat base here. I almost suspect people are thinking: "A year ago the Arabs gave us a big bloody nose. No one has given America a bloody nose for a long time. Let's not dwell on it now." Everything where I live is just "business as usual." Is it pride, or do people just not know how to approach the anniversary?

Of course, our company CEO has told us there will be a moment of silence (here at work, and also across the nation in general) tomorrow morning. There was some talk of a bloodmobile, or of us being encouraged to give to 9/11-related charities at work, but nothing has been said since.

In short, everything here seems oddly quiet (I don't mind). MeFi has not yet seen the expected explosion of 9/11-related posts, either. I guess tomorrow will tell...
posted by Shane at 6:43 AM on September 10, 2002


Miguel.. I have to agree somewhat with zoid on the whole 'public weeping' thing.. but it's not just Americans doing it.. it started with Princess Di, I think.. but anyway..

I like the idea of closing Metafilter for the day, or only allowing this one thread for the day with just links. Y'know.. one thread started, with one word saying 'Memorial' or 'catharsis' or 'remember' or something. And then, only let one or two-word links.

I think that would be nice. For lack of a better word.
posted by rich at 10:18 AM on September 10, 2002


I also agree with zoid, although not in the same words. I like the idea of keeping it personal and internal, not devolving into a game of one-upping each other to see who cares more.

However, Miguel's idea is appropriate. I don't think it's too heavy-handedly sentimental, nor does it pander excessively to the aforementioned game of I Care More. Consider it an art project.

Shutting down the site for a day is an empty gesture to me. Everyone knows tomorrow is Sept 11th. We're not trying to raise money for a cause, nor spread awareness. Instead, why not just spend a moment tomorrow trying to contribute to MeFi in a positive way? That seems like the best "tribute" we could hope to offer.
posted by Succa at 1:21 PM on September 10, 2002


Mig, 1 comment + 1 thread + 1 link = fantastic idea

Let the internet talk for us, how link something, not authored by you, we have the tools and like succa has said above.

i'm not american so this really has no significance to me at all

Zoid, since you gave nothing in your profile, yet you say your not American, why care. Well as a citizen of the United States, I bet someone died from your origin(continent) or home. Maybe the soil they died on was foreign yet more than one country lost a citizen so some may have been like you. Now who cares for who, well not even you for your own is what I read from you. Go look in a mirror and you might start to find someone to care about. Yes, 91102, emergency 2002 was not about me your right.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:43 PM on September 10, 2002


Here in Ohio (the true scary Midwest),
i beg to differ sir and we want toledo back. (runs, very fast)

shane hit the head. i dont see alotta hoopla.
and stavs, you know i love you (happy new year miguel, class idea) but gimmick poster? i dont post sir. gimmick commets?...well, you have made me think and i dont know what to think.
I'm kinda sad. (and get that site back up and fix the margin)

Instead, why not just spend a moment tomorrow trying to contribute to MeFi in a positive way?

i relucently agree, now if someone could just jump-start my neck bolts, I'll be ok :))))))))))))))))
posted by clavdivs at 2:29 PM on September 10, 2002


I would love to see MeFi go dark except for the 9/11 thread. That's about as fitting a tribute as any, and far more poignant in my opinion.
posted by macadamiaranch


Gaaaak! No! I've already vowed not to turn on the radio or TV and not to leave the house....what am I supposed to do-- read a book til my eyeballs fall out?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:03 PM on September 10, 2002


what am I supposed to do-- read a book til my eyeballs fall out?

[joke] Why not? Might do ya some good, ya illiterate bastard[/joke]

Miguel--
Do you think the post should link this thread?

Yes. It might help stop any snark--or at least direct the snark away from what you are trying to create.

I am interested to see what (if anything) mathowie has up his sleeve. He's done nice things with MeFi in recognition of World AIDS Day before (yeah yeah, i know it's part of the day without weblogs, but still...) so I wouldn't be surprised if he has something planned that we're not yet privvy to. And I'm sure it will be tasteful (and at the same time annoy some people, but hey, it's his party.)
posted by macadamiaranch at 3:39 PM on September 10, 2002


No offense intended at all, clav. I merely take your name in vain to make a point that when they made you they broke the mold...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:22 PM on September 10, 2002


I think there should be a thread like this every day.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:45 AM on September 11, 2002


There are so many great links and discussion-starters in the thread it feels funny not to be able to comment - but right. So many of them would have made top-notch front page posts. But, again, it doesn't feel at all as if they're wasted. The diversity and downright variety, of tone, content and style, make for an intellectual and emotional rollercoaster ride, full of surprises and exhiliarating bursts of freedom and oxygen.

Shucks, I just wish I'd made more of an effort to choose my own link, which was a bit lame and obvious compared to almost all the others.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:12 AM on September 11, 2002


It's not about lameness or coolness. The post is your contribution, Miguel, and it is as good as any of the links it contains. A great suggestion, which has born beautiful fruit.
posted by me3dia at 12:04 PM on September 11, 2002


Okay, so, the Donne poem finally got me. Thanks for the post Miguel.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:10 PM on September 11, 2002


Yes, it's turned into a great thread. Miguel, thanks for starting it.
posted by rjs at 3:41 PM on September 11, 2002


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