America: Love it or leave it September 28, 2002 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Iran? Berlin? Or maybe we should just shoot ourselves because we all hate America so much. Does MetaFilter have a term yet that abbreviates "Telling me I should leave the country because I disagree with your viewpoint is a tired, wasted, pathetic retort, and all it does is make you look like a loser with nothing new to contribue to the conversation?" Maybe if we make one we can discourage its apparent growing abuse. Thanks, all.
posted by XQUZYPHYR to Etiquette/Policy at 10:31 AM (52 comments total)

Does MetaTalk have a term yet that abbreviates "Hauling someone into MetaTalk who has incensed me with his opinions that run counter to my own and his ability to write logical circles around me"?
posted by dhoyt at 10:57 AM on September 28, 2002


I'm frankly tired of both sides -- of whatever debate -- using Metafilter as a soapbox.
posted by mcwetboy at 11:03 AM on September 28, 2002


Three accusations of America-hatred and requests for various people to leave the country in one thread? That's hardly running logical circles around anyone, nor is it original or creative or insightful: it merely sounds like, as I said, getting pissy over not having any valid points.

So to be honest, dhoyt, I'm not sure if your response was an attack against me or an agreement. What I was implying is that "if you hate America, just leave" feels to me like this year's Godwin's Law.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:18 AM on September 28, 2002


XQUZYPHYR, you made some good contributions as a new member from what I've read. Just tough-in the skin and comment on.
Trolls get noticed with the trail of smoke from their flames, not always best to come here. Because were now talking with you.

just leave" feels to me like this year's Godwin's Law.

I said it before, if there is a rule book around here, well mine was lost in the mail.

May I quote you, if it weren't for the fact that no one has, in fact, ever heard of it.

Well I have now, "if you hate America, just leave".
And to be honest, that is why I go on holiday, to get away, and coming home means that much more, home .
posted by thomcatspike at 12:02 PM on September 28, 2002


I'm with XQUZYPHYR on this - love it or leave it is akin to a Godwin. I think there are people who argue against US federal policies because they love America. They see the chance to create a country that holds itself as a moral beacon to the world. When I see an idea or policy that I feel violates the freedoms granted by our society, I argue against it. Why? America is the greatest country on the face of the planet - but guess what? America could be better and was designed by the founding fathers to be tinkered with and improved upon. "Why do you hate America so much?" They ask, "Well, why do you?" I respond.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:13 PM on September 28, 2002


I agree. If someone were argung against the essence of America--the Bill of Rights, etc., "love it or leave it" would be an appropriate response.
posted by goethean at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2002


Ah, I get it now. Every spot in the universe except America is stupider and less important than us. We're God's chosen country, after all. Good thing we actually care about that atittude we're conveying to the rest of the world; I mean it's not like we want anyone to get angry at us enough to fly a plane into a building or anything.

Maybe you want to clarify yourself on that. I took at as sarcarsm, but does it not contain anti-american sentiments? I was useing the same snarky sarcasm as you. It seems as though you dont want to hold American in higher regard than other counrtries, even if they want to blow us off the face of the earth. You made it sound as if we deserve it. If thats not what you meant than what did you?

how is saying something like this different than saying, you sound anit-american?

Perhaps your only regret about Timothy McVeigh is that he didn't stop at Rall's house.



posted by Recockulous at 12:51 PM on September 28, 2002


The former was a reaction to a comment that essentially boiled down to the lines of "we're right and everyone else is wrong" and "terrorists all hate freedom." The latter was a quip at the suggestion that Ted Rall should be killed by drowning by paraphrasing Ann Coulter's likewise suggestion that the staff of the New York Times should die in a firey explosion because she doesn't agree with them.

Both were attempted sarcastic replies to blatantly un-thought-through easy-way answers to a highly detailed problem: as was, while we're at it, your immediate response to suddenly condense my belief that the United State's necessity to reflect on its global influence on all of the world's economy and culture as well as its past injustices and unilateral prejudices in its foreign policy leading to an obvious discord with conflicting nations that feel threatened into a blatant simplistic statement that 3,000 people deserved to die.

posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:22 PM on September 28, 2002


what's the point here? frankly, anyone who's impressed by "love it or leave it" isn't worth arguing with anyway, so what does it matter (apart from the level of noise) if they say it? either ignore them and move on to more interesting arguments, or, if you have time to kill, explain why their argument is so silly. either way, you come out of the the contest the better...

in other words, it makes no sense to complain your opponents are stupid. just take advantage of it.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:48 PM on September 28, 2002


I thought that is what you condensed your thoughts into. I understand what you are saying though, so fair enough. I can admit that I may have stepped over the line. While we are here in metatalk I was wondering if it would have been appropriate to have made this a front page post. The first several paragraphs arent anything new, but towards the end and middle there are some interesting perspectives that arent as common. I am asking in here about it because it is a conservative piece and I dont know if it would be looked at as trolling. I am a newbie but I have been reading metafilter for almost a year. I was very excited to become a member. After I did though I suddenly became very busy and didnt spend any time here for about a month. I have been commenting for about three days now and already I have been called to metatalk. I dont want to be that guy. I will try a different approach. When you have a minority viewpoint you cant argue the majority and expect to be taken seriously without being serious and not stooping to the level that frustrates you. I dont get mad at everyone everytime they have a diffrent opinion from me. But, there are always some comments I let get under my skin and then snarky impoliteness followed by what I hold to be right comes out and doesn't help my cause, as I think happens to many of us here.
I am not going to post the link other than here. I think it is worth reading.


on preview, andrew i am very impressed by your calling me stupid.
posted by Recockulous at 2:28 PM on September 28, 2002


Hey, if it's good enough for President Bush, it's good enough for Metafilter. He pissed of plenty of dems on Capitol Hill this week, implying they were unamerican for not supporting his security agenda completely.
posted by crunchland at 4:07 PM on September 28, 2002


If you hate MetaFilter so much, why don't you just leave?
posted by chaz at 4:58 PM on September 28, 2002


second edwoodwile.
Mr. Cooke is THE prime example of someone who sees any advantage from only one vantage point: his own.
posted by clavdivs at 5:17 PM on September 28, 2002


What about all us America-bashers who don't live in America? Do we have to do penance some other way?

andrew cooke is right, I think. People who haul out the 'love it or leave it' chestnut dig their own reputation-hole by doing so.

That someone who is as clever and articulate as evanizer does so is a little worrisome to me, though, as I think it nudges that lowest common denominator a little lower as we continue to set new records for how much dumbness we're willing to accept without comment.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:14 PM on September 28, 2002


With all due reference, mr. wonderchicken, I don't think ANYTHING happens on Metafilter without comment.
posted by konolia at 7:06 PM on September 28, 2002


Good point. That was dumb of me.

Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:13 PM on September 28, 2002


on preview, andrew i am very impressed by your calling me stupid

you are? i didn't call anyone stupid and, as far as i can tell, your comment here is the first time i've ever read anything from you. is your post an attempt at a self-fulfilling prediction? if so then, in a quirky kind of way, i'm impressed by you too.

and clavidvs, i'd reply to you, but i can't make head or tail of what you're saying. as far as i can tell, i'm agreeing with elwoodwiles (as are you), so you seem to be both agreeing with me and (if i guess the meaning of your post correctly) criticising me at the same time. any particular reason you can articulate (clearly)?
posted by andrew cooke at 7:33 PM on September 28, 2002


Recockulous, the problem with that link is it fails to take into account that little Timmy who blew up the building in Oklahoma city wasn't muslim, Eric Rudolph the Olympic bomber wasn't muslim, the folks who blow up abortion clinics, and kill abortion doctors aren't muslim. My point is that before we start going around the world rounding up muslims we need to look in the mirror, and see that we have extremists in this country that will kill innocent people just to get their way.
posted by jbou at 9:08 PM on September 28, 2002


That someone who is as clever and articulate as evanizer does so is a little worrisome to me, though

Why do people hold evanizer to a higher standard than other posters on metafilter? It seems odd to me, this is not the first time I have seen this. The comments are usually something to the effect of, "well I'm very disappointed with his use of argument here, he's usually so articulate and logical..." While I generally agree that he can form good arguments and is articulate etc. it almost seems that some people are afraid to criticize his poor ones for fear that will discredit one of the only articulate semi-conservative users here, thus discrediting metafilter as a one-sided echo chamber.

Often, I think, he is held up as metafilter's conservative poster boy, as if to say, "See, we are not all the same." I think we should just accept the political leanings of metafilter, to pretend that it's balanced between liberal and conservative at all is silly. It's not bad to be a mostly liberal site. As evanizer himself has pointed out many times, he doesn't even consider himself that conservative.
posted by rhyax at 9:45 PM on September 28, 2002


Does MetaTalk have a term yet that abbreviates "Hauling someone into MetaTalk who has incensed me with his opinions that run counter to my own and his ability to write logical circles around me"?

I wish someone would coin a term for people who bitch about other people taking posts into Metatalk. That's what Metatalk is for.
posted by Hildago at 9:49 PM on September 28, 2002


It's also what email is for.

I guess some of us aren't as threatened as others by Evanizer, et al.
posted by dhoyt at 9:59 PM on September 28, 2002


If evanizer is considered "conservative" we have officially entered the left-wing twilight zone.
posted by owillis at 11:12 PM on September 28, 2002


I think we should just accept the political leanings of metafilter, to pretend that it's balanced between liberal and conservative at all is silly.
I totally agree with this. For the last year or so I've been on MeFi, I think people would be naive to say there is not a slant to left in the threads/posts here. I happen to be a conservative (who also happens to never post in political debates here), but I find nothing wrong with this slant- as long as people admit it. What I do have a problem with is when people try to say that there isn't a slant to the left, because as rhyax put it, thats just silly.
posted by jmd82 at 12:39 AM on September 29, 2002


Nah, it's just that MetaFilter accepts the conservatives no one else in their right minds would have. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:49 AM on September 29, 2002


It's cheap, it's easy, it's attention-getting, and it's wrong.
posted by rushmc at 1:20 AM on September 29, 2002


I've always thought that the MeFi's whole left/right argument was a little bit moot: there's a right (and many wrong answers), and if you're making the right argument it doesn't matter how many people on the board disagree.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:35 AM on September 29, 2002


That parenthases should have been after wrong, not after answers.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:36 AM on September 29, 2002


Why do people hold evanizer to a higher standard than other posters on metafilter?

I don't. I just find it's easier to catch flies with honey. Or, praise smartness rather than bitch about stupidity (or at least bitch obliquely). Also, I didn't say anything about conservativores or liberalationalists or winged monkeys or anything... spouting crap like 'love it or leave it' may or may not be the territory of a given political predilection. Doesn't matter either way : it's still silly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:29 AM on September 29, 2002


(Note : 'praise smartness rather than bitch about stupidity' is a new tactic I'm trying, after getting savaged for being an elitist douchebag dipshit...)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:31 AM on September 29, 2002


sorry mr.cooke, I cant understand you. Could you make yourself more clear?

thank you.
posted by clavdivs at 7:45 AM on September 29, 2002


If evanizer is considered "conservative" we have officially entered the left-wing twilight zone.

Oliver, that might surprise you, but the simple fact of having voted for Clinton does not necessarily make anybody a progressive, you know?
There's a whole world out there where the American political spectrum is considered, well, a little peculair (i.e., Jesse Helms is not simply a "Conservative" from, say, a European perspective).
The whole "New Democrat", DLC thing gave birth to this hybrid centrist political creature, where many Democrats who consider themselves fairly liberal are in fact, at best, Eisenhower conservatives.
See the UK, where Labour has become a clearly Thatcherite creature.

The old Left/Right thing may not work as you think.
Being pro-choice is the classic American litmus test: if you are, you're not a Conservative by any means (says who? not me, check out the last 30 years of Dem/Rep primaries in America)
There's so many different "tests" to determine if one's a progressive: death penalty, zero tolerance, foreign policy, welfare, health care and so forth
Being pro-public health care is wildly socialist in the US -- in the rest of the First World is a given fact, even for right-wingers
Abroad, if you consider cases like Raffarin, Blair, Aznar, Ahern and many others, the perspective is much, much different from the Americans

Of course everybody -- unless those guys who insist on wearing white sheets when they meet their friends -- is progressive when compared to Helms, Faircloth et al.
Paul Wellstone and Kennedy and the Californians are almost the only real, classic progressives I can think of in the Senate, for example. THe other Democrats? Most of them are Eisenhower Republicans, or socially more progressive Thatcherites if you prefer
posted by matteo at 8:07 AM on September 29, 2002


_except_ those guys

not "unless those guys"

my mistake sorry

posted by matteo at 8:12 AM on September 29, 2002


, I didn't say anything about conservativores or liberalationalists or winged monkeys

God I'm sooo sick of being an godless liberal here in the bible belt! Can I be a winged monkey, can I? Can I? Huh?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:08 AM on September 29, 2002


i think you all need to party more and argue less.

that's right: party.

i said it.

PAAARTTTTAAAYYY!

also: rock n roll every night.


posted by fishfucker at 12:18 PM on September 29, 2002


I used to rock and roll all night and party every day. Then it was every other day. Now I'm lucky if I can find half an hour a week in which to get funky.
posted by Hildago at 12:40 PM on September 29, 2002


Now I'm lucky if I can find half an hour a week in which to get funky.

You lucky basterd.

posted by ginz at 1:23 PM on September 29, 2002


matteo: I assumed we were speaking about this in domestic, rather than international terms. I'm quite aware an American "liberal" can be rather conservative compared to his/her European counterpart.

I don't consider myself a standard issue American "liberal" (shock!) but instead more along the lines of a "progressive centrist" as defined in this great new book. Which is why it drives me nuts when folks on the extreme-left can't accept something beyond stringent right-left and label anyone who disagrees "conservative".

And the "smart" liberals voted for Clinton/Gore. ;-)
posted by owillis at 1:49 PM on September 29, 2002


I just wanted to say, I'm glad that metafilter is what it is politically, it is one reason I come here. I get tired of the constant stupid arguments with monkeys-at-keyboards that happen at some of the other community sites. *cough*kuro5hin*cough*

I don't mean to say that actual, real conservatives are all stupid, just that the importance people place in articulate discourse at this site is very appreciated.
posted by rhyax at 2:14 PM on September 29, 2002


sorry mr.cooke, I cant understand you. Could you make yourself more clear?

thank you.
posted by clavdivs at 7:45 AM PST on September 29


Somehow this statement frightens me.
posted by konolia at 5:20 PM on September 29, 2002


see matt? all of this could  have been avoided had you simply taken my post regarding the elimination of proper capitalization from the front page seriously. but nooooooooooooo...
posted by quonsar at 5:25 PM on September 29, 2002


proper capitalization from the front page....

Well, I say - Metafilter, love it or leave it!
posted by rschram at 6:09 PM on September 29, 2002


Well, the argument could be made (I'm not making it, mind you, just adding my .02 as a totally disinterested observer, a commentator on the sundry and myriad mores of Mefi) that a person (not you, a totally hypothetical person, made up strictly for use in this admittedly rudimentary example) who was so upset and revolted by the leadership/direction/culture/attitudes/etc that they felt impelled to weigh in with (let's be honest) criticism that might inflame the passions (certainly that couldn't be purposeful - why, that'd be trolling, for heaven's sake) of those for whom American represents the finest of countries and cultures, a paragon if you will (albeit under some stress just lately, which as we all know can lead to rashness and the occasional bad decision), might be found to have a moral imperative (perhaps even from the commandind influence of personal honor) to remove him(her)self from the region that engendered such strong antipathic feelings and travel, perhaps on a semi-permanent basis, to a more palatable land.
posted by UncleFes at 9:45 PM on September 29, 2002


Get the feeling that, this being the thread at the top of the MetaTalk page, people just feel obligated to comment on it? I've never thought this before about a MeFi/Ta discussion, but the stuff on this thread seems a little forced.

Or maybe it's just me.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:42 PM on September 29, 2002


i think you all need to party more and argue less.

that's right: party.

i said it.

PAAARTTTTAAAYYY!

also: rock n roll every night.


Oh no. Andrew W.K is here.
posted by The God Complex at 12:42 AM on September 30, 2002


"A man who says that no patriot should attack the Boer War until it is over is not worth answering intelligently; he is saying that no good son should warn his mother off a cliff until she has fallen over it. But there is an anti-patriot who honestly angers honest men, and the explanation of him is, I think, what I have suggested: he is the uncandid candid friend; the man who says, 'I am sorry to say we are ruined,' and is not sorry at all. And he may be said, without rhetoric, to be a traitor."

-- G.K. Chesterson, Orthodoxy, pg. 74.
posted by gd779 at 1:17 AM on September 30, 2002


sorry mr.cooke, I cant understand you. Could you make yourself more clear?

thank you.
posted by clavdivs at 7:45 AM PST on September 29
Somehow this statement frightens me.

it's creepy because clavdivs sounds like he's channeling HAL from 2001.
maybe clavdivs has weird syntax because, unbeknownst to us, he's actually some kind of hyper-advanced turing test taking algorithm.
(no offense intended)

posted by juv3nal at 1:44 AM on September 30, 2002


andrew I read your comment wrong. I was in a hurry and missed completely what you were saying. sorry.

That's hardly running logical circles around anyone, nor is it original or creative or insightful: it merely sounds like, as I said, getting pissy over not having any valid points
XQUZYPHYR

I am not a good writer and I'll be the first to admit it. My comment about going to Iran was more than "love it or leave it" though. The article in the original thread basically had the leader of Iran critisizing america. Satire or not a lot of people in the thread seemed to like it. The question posed in the thread was, Is america out of touch with the rest of the world? You went on to argue someone who was glad that we are out of touch with the rest of the world. You were mocking that person, saying that every other country is stupider than america and less important. Then I very stupidly mocked you.
Reading the article and then answering the question posed, your comment leads to saying that america is out of touch with the rest of the world and should not be regarded as more important or better. I know we arent the perfect country but we should not even be held in comparison with a country such as Iran.


I think there are people who argue against US federal policies because they love America. They see the chance to create a country that holds itself as a moral beacon to the world. When I see an idea or policy that I feel violates the freedoms granted by our society, I argue against it. Why? America is the greatest country on the face of the planet - but guess what? America could be better and was designed by the founding fathers to be tinkered with and improved upon.


I agree with you Elwood. XQUZYPHYR, your claims to me (in the original thread being disputed) seemed differnt than wanting to change policy because you love america. Regardless of if that is what they are, that is not what was articulated in your comment. I dont think it is wrong to claim that America is different and even better than almost every other country. We are the strongest power in the world right now and have the most infuence. I dont just mean America the country but also the idea and ideas that many other western countries have taken up. Those who oppose western culture are the ones out of touch. Which is why I posted the D'Souza link. It doesnt sound like you read the whole thing jbou, as he points out several different types of american critics besides muslims. And the differnce between some of our own homegrown extremist and the Islamic fundalmentalist abroad is that we dont show them any national support whatsoever.

Like I said earlier I will stay away from such week arguements as love it or leave, not that I havent seen weaker or more abusive ones not brought here. I dont even see why this couldnt have been handled in the original thread. And what UncleFes said.

and no one made any suggestions as to whether my D'souza link is appropriate or not to have been made a front page post

posted by Recockulous at 10:18 AM on September 30, 2002


its called an H-Mobius loop (brika-braka)

it's a feedback Issue...jeez.
posted by clavdivs at 11:50 AM on September 30, 2002


After trying to decifer this thread, I have determined that:

1. people try to represent complex ideas in huge paragraphs without any train of thought.

2. This causes confusion.

3. Breaking up large paragraphs with lots of different information into smaller sections with like information helps.

4. I'm not afraid of evanizer.

5. Jonmc wishes he was more like me.

6. Knowing, or stating you are not a good writer is no excuse for not making an effort to put together coherent, readable, statements.

7. Not knowing that you are a horrible writer is no excuse for not making an effort to put together coherent, readable statements.

8. If you prefer to argue using sarcasm, your point will be lost in the world of text. Even if you use 'sarcasm tags'.

9. People should debate using full thoughts instead of quick sound-byte one liners.

10. There should always be 10 in a list.
posted by rich at 12:06 PM on September 30, 2002


XQUZYPHYR, you very smart. How? you side stepped my comment by re-editing your profile page. No problem there, I just want it recorded your quote(if it weren't...) is not me being, Thomcatspike-ish.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:48 PM on September 30, 2002


Whoops, sorry my bad XQUZYPHYR I just can't read, it is still there. I find that quote meaning so much so I wanted to figure it out again. That was why I looked it up . Still a riddle of a quote, I say. Takes self to wood shed, uh XQUZYPHYR, is this one big enough?
posted by thomcatspike at 12:58 PM on September 30, 2002


the only real, classic progressives I can think of in the Senate

Feingold, D-Wis.
posted by rocketman at 2:38 PM on September 30, 2002


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