textbook example of a bad op-ed piece February 27, 2003 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Isn't this FPP a textbook example of a bad op-ed piece -- a link guaranteed to generate a lot of heat but shed no light? The liberals will cheer, the conservatives will discount it as liberal propaganda, nobody will convince anyone of anything, and lots of people will call each other names.
posted by RylandDotNet to Etiquette/Policy at 12:18 PM (89 comments total)

as of 12:23 PM PST, the second one has happened but none of the rest. counting our chickens a bit early, huh?
posted by mcsweetie at 12:24 PM on February 27, 2003


>The liberals will cheer, the conservatives will discount it as liberal propaganda

Or they could discuss the piece. Up to them really.

>nobody will convince anyone of anything

Never happens anyway old boy.

>a link guaranteed to generate a lot of heat but shed no light?

Maybe, but that's how you see it. Its not exactly a newsmax editorial. This is from a government website from at least one member of the House Approprations committe. Also the post asks the larger question of what the dems are doing here. I think its quite noteworthy to find something like this on a government site.

Regardless, its political and all political links have potential for abuse. Either from the "this link sucks" censorship posse or the "these arent my views" little pundits crowd.
posted by skallas at 12:31 PM on February 27, 2003


in my opinion, though this piece is political (which is your real problem with it), it qualifies as "somehting that most people haven't seen" because it is novel for democrats to not tow the REPUBLICAN party line lately. i can accept that you are not interested in that topic, so why can't you?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:34 PM on February 27, 2003


I thought it was better than most Here's Why Bush Sucks threads. It at least makes an attempt at documentation rather than opinion. Of course, maybe I just like purrty pictures and scrolling.
posted by Cyrano at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2003


Jeez, chill out everyone on the no op-eds.

Here's the reasoning behind "op-eds are bad, mmmkay": A typical op-ed in a newspaper has no links to backup claims, is usually clearly identified as being written by a single writer (usually a cranky pundit) and due to those two things, typically discussion goes nowhere.

This is different, it's certainly an opinion filled piece, but it's got lots of sources. It's hosted on a .gov server, which I find interesting and possibly crosses some ethical lines. It's also coming from the democratic party, not just one guy with an agenda in a little newspaper.

It's significant enough to warrant posting and discussion in my mind and I'd appreciate it if people could cool their jets.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:38 PM on February 27, 2003


I realize we want to make mefi less political, but I liked this post. While I like it because it is anti-bush, I bookmarked it because it documents his actions without much editorializing. It's just a graph that shows what Bush said and what Bush is doing. If some people find that offensive, perhaps the fault lies with the President, not with the messenger.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:39 PM on February 27, 2003


The link's motivation is clearly political, but its content is purely factual. If we're going to cover politics (and it's clear that we are), then this is the about the best damn post of that nature we could hope for. Lots of meat, lots of real-world relevance, lots of hard data... it's damn near perfect.
posted by NortonDC at 12:39 PM on February 27, 2003


The only possible problem I could see was in the post's wording - "Bush's lies" - but that's actually a good description of the (excellent) link's content.

We've had this discussion before but it's worth remembering than an op-ed piece is an article of opinion closely associated with a news medium's editorial standards, usually with a byline, i.e. signed by one person.

This is a bona fide document - you could call it official, inasmuch as the Democratic Party is constitutionally just as official and politically legitimate as the Administration.

All in all, Ryland, I think you're more critical of how political threads will develop, whenever a subject is polarized, than of the post itself which, so far as I can tell, is entirely within the guidelines. And a zinger too, if I may say so.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:45 PM on February 27, 2003


The democrat page reminds me a lot of the US bombing watch page, which I don't consider an op-ed (it seems non-partisan to me, just tracking bomb drops in iraq over the past 12 years).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:50 PM on February 27, 2003


The posts (and posters) on the war/let's hate Bush FPP's are 90% identical from thread to thread.

And it's pretty much always the same people posting the same things, too.

Here's a revenue idea: Create a separate IraqFilter (or WarFilter), and an IHateBushFilter & charge folks say, a buck for each FPP they make, and 10 cents to post to threads. I don't think that an ILoveBushFilter will make much money, or attrack a lot of posts referring to Bush as in the POTUS, either ...

Other sites are doing it, and it would let people spew, fume, argue and hate to their heart's content and make a buck for Matt, too.

Think of the cash flow if people from all sides are willing to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak!
posted by Jos Bleau at 12:50 PM on February 27, 2003


MiguelCardoso - the Democratic Party is constitutionally just as official and politically legitimate as the Administration

That's not so, Miguel. Political parties have no basis in the U.S. constitution. The founding fathers were suspicious of them. Hard to imagine why, eh?
posted by NortonDC at 12:52 PM on February 27, 2003


I'm upset that this thread was derailed, and upset by the posters to the thread who thought it appropriate to crap all over it. Hopefully they realize that THEY are the reason that the thread didn't evolve into anything useful.

I found the post by skallas very interesting for the same reasons mathowie mentioned. On top of that, boltman's comment -- the FIRST comment -- followed up with another, very interesting angle to the story.

The FPP was about Bush's public rhetoric and how it doesn't match at all with his policy. The first comment mentioned another specific example where this happened (in the State of the Union Speech, which many of us saw).

Even if the FPP itself wasn't super-strong, the follow-up comment should have shown that there was plenty of POTENTIAL. If oissubke and the like had respected that potential, it might have been an interesting discussion.

If you don't like the POST ITSELF take it to METATALK. If you have a comment about the CONTENT of the post, put it on MetaFilter. Stop ruining it for the rest of us.
posted by VulcanMike at 1:00 PM on February 27, 2003


(In fairness, I thought Skallas's post was much less divisive than nofundy's infantile thread/trainwreck)

"Defenders Of All Things Duhbya!"

Barf. It practically derailed itself before it came out of the gates.
posted by dhoyt at 1:17 PM on February 27, 2003


Barf. It practically derailed itself before it came out of the gates.

The FPP that resulted in this thread did it in pretty much the same way. If you use inflammatory phrasing such as "Bush's lies" in the post, you're guaranteeing yourself an inflammatory thread.

And it's irrelevant whether or not the data presented is true or false, or massaged to a point somewhere in between where we can argue over the data till the cows come home, as the linked page does. This is politics, and if you piss on the "good name" of someone else's guy/party/cause, they're going to piss back. If you write an FPP about Ted Kennedy introducing a bill that would create the most brilliantly-conceived program about [whatever] in the history of the United States, but call him "Drunken Ol' Chappaquiddick Boy" in the FPP, the thread's not even going to make it out of the station, much less derail; it's just setting off a bomb on the boarding platform.
posted by aaron at 1:46 PM on February 27, 2003


What dhoyt said. Evaluate nofundy's FPP with Matt's comment on OpEd posts:

"Here's the reasoning behind "op-eds are bad, mmmkay": A typical op-ed in a newspaper has no links to backup claims, is usually clearly identified as being written by a single writer (usually a cranky pundit) and due to those two things, typically discussion goes nowhere."

OpinionFilter: check
NoBackup: check
SingleWriter: check
IraqFilter: check
InflammatoryTextInFPP: check
Discussion(Largely)WentNowhere: check
posted by turbodog at 2:02 PM on February 27, 2003


So this page is a put out by the Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee...

hmmm...

So does this mean that I am now allowed to post the GOP's Talking Points as a FPP?

I personally have less of a problem with Op/Ed's than propaganda from a political party. (of any stripe)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:03 PM on February 27, 2003


>inflammatory phrasing such as "Bush's lies"

I guess if you live in denial of about politicains lying I could see how that could be "inflammatory."

There's an unwritten rule about politics, somehow calling someone on their words and deeds by using the word "lie" is out of bounds. Its like the constituents have the burden of pretending to make the system seem much more credible than it really is.
posted by skallas at 2:06 PM on February 27, 2003


I disagree that the post was useful or informative. There's nothing on that web page that you wouldn't hear a House Democrat say at a stump speech during an election campaign. And the fact that it's on the House's website hasn't generated any useful discussion, it's just caused people to say "It's relevant because it's on the House's website." I haven't yet seen anyone explain why that's significant or interesting. I mean, my God--politicians using the machinery of government to achieve their political goals? Stop the presses!

If it is significant, please by all means explain why. Otherwise, it's just noise.
posted by vraxoin at 2:10 PM on February 27, 2003


Which is not to say that everything on that page isn't true, BTW...
posted by vraxoin at 2:11 PM on February 27, 2003


So does this mean that I am now allowed to post the GOP's Talking Points as a FPP?


Go right ahead, as long as you don't mind me (and others even more skilled) tearing them to shreds. The page this post points to is ugly (BFD). Other than that, it is well researched, well documented, and shows with clarity the truth of its proposition: That Bush has a credibility gap showing. Not one detractor of this post has managed or even attempted to show that proposition false. Wah, its political; Wah, its anti-Bush; Wah its op-ed. Wah, all politicians lie. How absolutely lame, people.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:41 PM on February 27, 2003


First of all, I think oissubke is exercising his right to express himself as much as anybody else here and I greet him for having the guts to voice his opinion, which I fully endorse. It's an ironic situation, since there is one certain MeFi user out there who practically never contributes anything but snide remarks, and yet people choose to bash oissubke for saying something perfectly rational.

If a post is solid, there's no way it's going to be derailed. I also think mathowie is being reckless (or perhaps subconsciously indulging in his own political mood) when he allows blatantly partisan FPPs to be a main attraction of MetaFilter. Beware of these infiltrators; they care only for their personal agendas and are not beneath overusing whatever medium's available to make themselves heard.

Re the post itself, I'm willing to bet that you could do a similar chart proving how every single President anywhere has failed to fulfill many of his promises.
posted by 111 at 2:45 PM on February 27, 2003


there is one certain MeFi user out there who practically never contributes anything but snide remarks

Who is it? C'mon, tell me! The suspense is killing me!!!
posted by jonson at 2:52 PM on February 27, 2003


I've generally been trying to make non-snarky posts. If anyone has any recommended wording I could use that would be more polite or appropriate, please let me know.
posted by oissubke at 2:53 PM on February 27, 2003


Who is it? C'mon, tell me! The suspense is killing me!!!

I think it's me. :-)
posted by oissubke at 2:53 PM on February 27, 2003


Who is it? C'mon, tell me! The suspense is killing me!!!

Forget it, kid, it's not you.
posted by 111 at 2:54 PM on February 27, 2003


I'm willing to bet that you could do a similar chart proving how every single President anywhere has failed to fulfill many of his promises.

Okay then, do it. 'Give ya one helluva front page post wouldn't it?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:55 PM on February 27, 2003


Who is it? C'mon, tell me! The suspense is killing me!!!

I think I know who is being referred to here and it isn't you ossibuke. If it is the user I am thinking of, I completely agree. But that is not what this MT thread is about.

Back to the issue, I think the post was fine. Not generally my cup of tea, but nothing to get upset over. Far thinner posts have been left alone.
posted by lampshade at 3:04 PM on February 27, 2003


Might I point out that if it is shown that Bush does lie (is a congenital liar), it does not make that fact partisan. A lie's a lie's a lie. Right?

On the right, on the left and everywhere in between, he and his are lying to us all. Hence, ahem, skallas' note that, "could we be seeing the emergence of an opposition party?"

I might also point out that even if you know Bush is lying and yet you still support him, you might want to call that fascism. And you're being a part of it. A liar is a liar. We could all do better, on the right, on the left and everywhere in between.
posted by crasspastor at 3:24 PM on February 27, 2003


If anyone has any recommended wording I could use that would be more polite or appropriate, please let me know.

How about "discussing this post in metatalk" (with link)


I also think mathowie is being reckless when he allows blatantly partisan FPPs to be a main attraction of MetaFilter

main attraction? Are there several levels I'm missing? Everything on MetaFilter is the main attraction, and about 2/3 of what is being posted over the past few days is pretty much crap, and the comments within are pretty much crap too. What can I do about that besides delete stuff willy-nilly. Keep in mind that I get emails from almost everyone that gets a post deleted, asking why I did it, and they all seem to take it quite personally. It's a royal pain in the ass to keep doing it.

I actually thought the link in this original thread was interesting -- just like I think an official .gov GOP page on clinton a few years ago was. It was interesting is all. Not fantastic. Not atrocious. Just interesting.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:27 PM on February 27, 2003


Crasspastor, can you chill out?

Calling Bush supporters facists? Yeah, that's the path to understanding between metafilter members here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:32 PM on February 27, 2003


Matt, please don't take it too personally. The jaundiced eye sees everything as yellowed and faded.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:33 PM on February 27, 2003


I agree that a lot of recent posts, both FPP and thread, have been crap.

I, for one, would welcome a willy-nilly crap-FPP-deleting overlord until people can chill out.

If the main obstacle to this is whiny posters, a flat "sorry it didn't measure up right now" should suffice them. You don't owe FPPers any explanation any more than you owe us to keep MeFi running. (thanks for keeping MeFi running, btw).

Self-policing: not working
Posting page warnings: not working
Thread-crapping posse: neither working nor approved of

What other alternatives are left?
posted by turbodog at 3:45 PM on February 27, 2003


What other alternatives are left?

Go to plastic.com
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:49 PM on February 27, 2003


> If anyone has any recommended wording I could use that would be more polite or appropriate

Like the man said, try posting to metatalk. Considering you're the noisiest of the bunch, why did RylandDotNet have to create this thread?
posted by skallas at 3:50 PM on February 27, 2003


As for "I know a certain user but im not telling his name" oh just grow the fuck up. Please.
posted by skallas at 3:51 PM on February 27, 2003


Crasspastor's post seems more appropriate for the actual FPP and not this MetaTalk thread... which goes to show you why these topics are bad for the FP (right now anyway). We can't even discuss them here without posts like his.
posted by Witty at 4:00 PM on February 27, 2003


I got the solution. Everyone needs a timeout in the time out corner. 10 minutes.

You guys think about what you've done.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:02 PM on February 27, 2003


Matt:

I didn't call anyone a fascist. I wrote that if it is known and proven that your government is lying to you then there is no middle ground. A lie is a lie. To support lies as though they are no big deal, just what one has to do nowadays in a democracy to make it better, no matter how dirty the deed, to give falsities the same logical weight as a truth, is known as none other than fascism. A system of blind faith is fascism. I'm sorry Matt, I know of no other way to think about it.
posted by crasspastor at 4:03 PM on February 27, 2003


Oh yeah. That's also why I didn't post it to the thread in question.
posted by crasspastor at 4:06 PM on February 27, 2003


Crasspastor, 3:26pm: "I might also point out that even if you know Bush is lying and yet you still support him, you might want to call that fascism. And you're being a part of it."

Crasspastor, 4:03pm: "I didn't call anyone a fascist."

Just be quiet and stop digging a deeper hole for yourself.
posted by dhoyt at 4:10 PM on February 27, 2003


crasspastor, I agree that your comments would have been better placed in the MeFi thread than in here. That being said, I would like to point out that all the outraged busybodies in here haven't seemed to notice that as soon as on-topic pithy comments were placed inside the thread in question, the desenters fled like the (ass) wind. The topic at hand wasn't a crap post, it was something that many didn't want to think about but wanted all to know they didn't want to think about it. I ask you all, quit blaming the venue for your failings in reason. If it really was a crap post, then no comment was necessary.

On preview, dhoyt, take a logic class, please. There's a difference between calling someone a "fascist" and suggesting to the ignorant that they are supporting fascism. After all, doing dope supports terror, right?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:16 PM on February 27, 2003


p.s. For those I'm convinced still won't get it, quit blaming MetaFilter for what you don't want to deal with.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:18 PM on February 27, 2003


Hey dude. I didn't call anyone a fascist.

Believe me. I purposely chose my words wisely. As in:

You might want to call that fascism. And you're being a part of it.

Take it how you want. But I did not call anyone a fascist.

I call people assholes and fuckheads and stuff like that.

And secondly, I don't believe anyone not in a position of power can be a "fascist" by the way. We all just succumb to it. Therefore, writing from the perspective of somebody who does not fuck around when it comes to truth, I did not call anyone a fascist.

For instance: Matt, being the only one in power here at Metafilter could ever be the only fascist in this forum. I only contribute to it. So do you. Matt of course isn't a fascist, but he could be if he wanted to and then you could all jump on his side and then you'd be succumbing to it. There are meanings to words, not just how you react to them.

That's how I see it. ;-)
posted by crasspastor at 4:20 PM on February 27, 2003


p.p.s. Its sgt. serenity. skallas was right when he said "grow...up, please".
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:20 PM on February 27, 2003


It's significant enough to warrant posting and discussion in my mind and I'd appreciate it if people could cool their jets.

It probably isn't this post in particular that has a few people discouraged - it is the now continual drone on MeFi. An average of two or three (at least) posts a day that basically reduce to Bush/Ashcroft/Republicans/Conservatives = Evil.

I'm reaching the conclusion that it's useless to comment on these posts, because if you do you usually get shouted down by the sheer volume of responses, and often attacked quite personally.

RylandDotNet, it is probably useless to bring the point up, because the MeTa comments about the trend always wind up having the same tone as the FPP's themselves, and the same relative percentage left/right voices.

This is a board where left and far-left viewpoints dominate. Simple as that. Won't change. It's becoming increasingly clear that alternative voices are not only not appreciated, but in fact are simply serve as mechanisms by which the dominant viewpoint can explore it's hatred of anything opposed to it in ever greater depth.

This particular MeTa thread leads me to believe it's probably time for the few conservative voices to simply stop talking at all. Let the lefties post their posts, and find themselves in FPP's where 100% of the comments are composed of them agreeing with each other about how evil Bush is. It will probably get a bit dull after awhile - but seems to be what is desired.

The particular FPP in question here is just about the definition of a troll - and yet Matt himself says its a good, interesting, legitimate FPP (though it seems to actually fall afoul of most of the published standards), and people should "cool their jets". It is Matt's board, and he certainly can run it as he sees fit ... but there seems to be marked change going on here (I believe this same FPP would have been removed immediately 6 months ago).

Whether desired or not, I suspect any alternative voices may begin quietly disappearing, or at least commenting less and less. It just isn't worth it.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:25 PM on February 27, 2003


Speak of the devil. . .
posted by crasspastor at 4:28 PM on February 27, 2003


...and he shall appear?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:34 PM on February 27, 2003


Definition of a troll?

troll

As used on the Internet:
1) As a verb, the practice of trying to lure other Internet users into sending responses to carefully-designed incorrect statements or similar "bait."


Your argument might hold water if you could show some lie that was thrown out as bait. But you didn't, did you?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:35 PM on February 27, 2003


Speak of the devil. . .

Thanks for making my point. You needn't worry ... the board's pretty much yours. I'll shut up and leave you safe and comfortable in your own truth. S@L and a couple of others may stir the soup now and then, but they seem to be tiring of it too. You want unanimity of thought, and want to call the few voices that oppose it "facist" ... great (if unintentionally ironic). I deeply apologize for having spoken against the dominant ideology, and will trouble the waters no longer.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:47 PM on February 27, 2003


This particular MeTa thread leads me to believe it's probably time for the few conservative voices to simply stop talking at all

You heard the man, fascists! It's a new day at Mefi!!
posted by jonson at 4:47 PM on February 27, 2003


To support lies as though they are no big deal, just what one has to do nowadays in a democracy to make it better, no matter how dirty the deed, to give falsities the same logical weight as a truth, is known as none other than fascism. A system of blind faith is fascism.

As a (former) historian whose focus was on 20th-century Europe, and who has read several dozen books on the subject of fascism in several countries, can I just say that you don't know what the fuck you're talking about? You do not know what a fascist is. That much is abundantly clear. There were literally dozens of fascist parties in Europe, only a few of which ever achieved power. Unless you've read Sternhell's books on fascism as a definable ideology, and the critiques thereof, you're in no position to start labelling actions or people as fascist. Mmkay?
posted by mcwetboy at 4:50 PM on February 27, 2003


wulfgar: I would amend that definition to be "the practice of trying to lure other Internet users into sending emotional responses to carefully-designed incorrect statements or similar "bait."

I'm not convinced that "correct" or truthfulness, by your reading, make a troll post less trollish. Especially when the debatable part of a post is precisely what makes it trollish (ie "Bush = Hitler 2").
posted by turbodog at 4:55 PM on February 27, 2003


Beware of these infiltrators; they care only for their personal agendas and are not beneath overusing whatever medium's available to make themselves heard.

- now if thats not a snide remark then i dont know what is.

if 111 gives you kool aid, dont drink it.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:12 PM on February 27, 2003


Good lord.

I don't know when a historian ceases being a historian. But you make no sense. Fascism is known to be an undying allegiance to someone who doesn't give you all the imformation you need in order to make democratic choices. And that's just my off-the-top-of-my-head definition. Try this out on google and maybe you'll see that I'm not alone in finding that definition apt.

Mmmkay.

Oh yeah Midas. That was a joke.

I'm not sayin' I'll stick to it. But you checkin' out this multi-pronged attack on me Midas? Maybe I should get the fuck out of here! Me. You stay. I go. I'm a fucking leftie who doesn't know his head from a hole in the ground and I'm being called out!!!!

It's what happens. You get called out from time to time.

If I take one thing from my soon-to-be-over stint here at MeFi, it is to get a backbone as well as develop thicker skin. I don't know, but there sure is some poetic justice goin' on 'round here.

Sometimes it sure feels like HateFilter.

See ya freaks!
posted by crasspastor at 5:12 PM on February 27, 2003


Thread-crapping posse: neither working nor approved of

A special distinction. :-)
posted by oissubke at 5:15 PM on February 27, 2003


Especially when the debatable part of a post is precisely what makes it trollish

Yet, once again you make a specious point. In the thread in question, Bush is accused of making statements designed to garner favor but aren't at all followed with any monetary support or action on his part. Yet you somehow come to the conclusion that what's been said is "Bush = Hitler 2". Can you say "Strawman"? There, I knew you could.

This is MetaTalk, where a post got called out for being an innapropriate and trollish op-ed, even though it was factual and direct. If you wish to claim that the thread was meant for an emotional response, then kindly counter with reason, rather than rely on the "old troll saw" to make your point.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:16 PM on February 27, 2003


See ya freaks!

Ah, the classic Discussion Board Suicide Speech. I'm going to start a museum of these some day, including some interesting statistics on how long it is before people forget that they committed Discussion Board Suicide. :-)
posted by oissubke at 5:17 PM on February 27, 2003


Why the threat? If it is soon-to-be-over, leave already...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:18 PM on February 27, 2003


one month and two days, if rushmc makes a reliable example. I'd feel bad about calling him out, but he's "left" here, so I don't need to worry about him seeing this!

Note: Period of forgetting may take longer if you need to change your name, as in the case of Sir Walsingham.
posted by jonson at 5:22 PM on February 27, 2003


I'm going to start a museum of these some day, including some interesting statistics on how long it is before people forget that they committed Discussion Board Suicide. :-)

Oissubke, as the head of the signal posse, I would have thought that you'd have addressed even one of the points I've raised. But no, you've simply laughed at another's frustration, and included none of that signal you worship so dearly. Typical of those with a "special distinction", I should think.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:25 PM on February 27, 2003


It's becoming increasingly clear that alternative voices are not only not appreciated,

I certainly appreciate them.

but in fact are simply serve as mechanisms by which the dominant viewpoint can explore it's hatred of anything opposed to it in ever greater depth.

While it's true that MeFi leans left, and there are always a few members who can't seem to debate in a respectful way, I observe that such people either eventually mellow and learn to play nice, or else leave MeFi for more firey pastures.

Also, Midas, much as I sincerely value your participation, and hope it continues, you yourself can troll and flame with the best of them (I suspect you know this). You may be drawn into vigorous arguments more frequently than others because you happen to be in the political minority here, but you also have no problem dropping a flaming shit in the middle of threads when it suits you. So cut the melodrama, kay sweetie?
posted by Ty Webb at 5:28 PM on February 27, 2003


Midas, I don't think I would have deleted the thread six months ago or two years ago, it's an interesting post in and of itself (however biased, and however they tweaked sources to get the message they wanted). It's something beyond the typical "Dubya 'n A$$croft are facists worse than hitler" rhetoric that is prevailing lately.

The site's not a haven for the ultra-left, but I do admit I'm scratching my head wondering why such utter crap is posted daily (I agree there are at least 2 pointless bush = evil threads a day). I would have deleted nofundy's post today in 2 seconds flat, but I left it up because people asked him to cool down and I think there is some decent discussion there I don't feel like deleting forever.

Most of the war/bush related posts have been crap lately, despite the big "please don't post anything about iraq unless it's really, really worth it" on the posting page. I honestly don't know what to do about it at this point.

I suppose I'll do the voting system sooner than later, and I'm sure the actual good posts will be voted up fairly quickly and send a clear message to everyone (there seems to be a small vocal minority on both sides of the political fence that still love to discuss every iraq post, no matter how crap it is).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:49 PM on February 27, 2003


somene say iraq?
posted by quonsar at 6:22 PM on February 27, 2003


mathowie, we're not really talking about crap, here. We're discussing people's beliefs and interests. If they have no value, then they have no value. That's simple and often obvious. ("Bush is Satan ... No he's not"). I appreciate the fact that you don't have a blanket word search to delete every Iraq/Bush/Israel/Politics thread. If they're crap, people will know...on both sides of the fence. What has happened in this case is that someone posted something offensive that others thought to discredit by hiding behind the "rules" (of which there aren't any hard and fast ones).

The question shouldn't be: Is the site worthy of the users? It should be: Are the users worthy of the site?
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:42 PM on February 27, 2003


wulfgar: "once again you make a specious point"

What was the first? Ah nevermind. That's not important.

I think you misunderstood my intentions. I wasn't refering to the FPP in question at all. You posted a definition of "troll". I quibbled with the word "correct" in the definition and gave a for instance, "Bush = Hitler 2". I neither mention nor reference any specific post. You are the one who connected those dots.
posted by turbodog at 6:49 PM on February 27, 2003


I personally have less of a problem with Op/Ed's than propaganda from a political party. (of any stripe)

You had no problem, S@L, with a fraudulent narcissistic troll like this one by the "inventor of the weblog" , the nut case who just wrote

Feb. 27, 2003 -- Fred Rogers, who for more than 30 years touched the lives of children and parents as host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, died of stomach cancer Thursday at age 74.

Thank God. Now we can raise a generation of children who don't believe each and every one is "special" even if they never do anything special. Fred Rogers' legacy is narcissism, nothing more and nothing less. His special effects really sucked, too.


(Good God...)

You right wingers only scream troll when it's a left wing post.
posted by y2karl at 7:59 PM on February 27, 2003


No voting! Just magic. You know, like it is now!
posted by NortonDC at 8:02 PM on February 27, 2003


Politics! Seriously, why don't you all just leave it alone for one day? Don't you get tired of circling around and around each other, day after day after fucking day? Don't you get tired of repeating yourselves? Don't you get tired of seeing the same names offering you the same rebuttals in threads that look identical to something from last week or the week before? Come on, give it a rest...please.
posted by ashbury at 8:04 PM on February 27, 2003


Don't you get tired of circling around and around each other, day after day after fucking day? Don't you get tired of repeating yourselves? Don't you get tired of seeing the same names offering you the same rebuttals in threads that look identical to something from last week or the week before?

I, for one, get extremely tired of it. But weariness and taking a day off let an imbecilic ass into the White House. No, as long as the argument exists to give, I will not stand down just because I or another may tire of it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:15 PM on February 27, 2003


[C-SPAN British Parliamentary voices] Hear! Hear! [/C-SPAN]
posted by y2karl at 9:43 PM on February 27, 2003


quonsar , that was rather snide of you...

hahaha sir walsingham, yeah , i'd spotted that one too , i think he left enough clues in to let us know who he really is.
He is obviously paris paramus.
btw please dont quote me on anything i say here as i may have changed my mind the minute i hit post.
im fine with people leaving forever and coming back the next day, no big deal, there are people who change their minds on metafilter you know ,its not a stone tablet or anything and may i just add:
AND IVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU ALL !
IM LEAVING - FOREVER !
(slams door dramatically)
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:04 PM on February 27, 2003


(re-emerges ashen faced from broom cupboard)
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:04 PM on February 27, 2003


Oissubke, as the head of the signal posse, I would have thought that you'd have addressed even one of the points I've raised.

Why would I? I'm not here to debate the issue. I'm just some guy doing his thing. If you want to debate it, go for it. Have fun. Talk away.

But don't expect me to feel obliged to follow each conversation and defend myself against people's various clever points. To be honest, I haven't cared enough to read through all the posts.

It's only MetaFilter, for crying out loud. This is not my life. I just come here everyone once in a while to find some nifty links, make some wisecrack remarks, and then go on my merry way.

But no, you've simply laughed at another's frustration, and included none of that signal you worship so dearly.

Signal is for MeFi. MeTa is all about frustration, laughing, and lack of signal. :-)

Typical of those with a "special distinction", I should think.

Couldn't agree more.
posted by oissubke at 10:27 PM on February 27, 2003


I love how right at the top Matt explained why this was a (fairly) good post and why he was keeping it up. And how there are nearly 80 posts in the thread.

I wonder if forced anonymity would cause people to take things a little less personally... not that people wouldn't resort to little sigs in about 5 seconds...

Would still be an interesting experiment, though.. I'll have to look up if anyone's doing anything like it.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:52 PM on February 27, 2003


MeTa is all about frustration, laughing, and lack of signal. :-)

No, it is most assuredly not, and if that's what people believe it actually is for, they're doing it and all of us a disservice.

Oh, yeah, and Bush is a doody-head! So there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:00 PM on February 27, 2003


What stavrosthewonderchicken said, with knobs on.
(except the bush thing, as I have nothing against any type of vegetation)
posted by dg at 11:24 PM on February 27, 2003


You right wingers only scream troll when it's a left wing post.

Please. If I had a nickel every time someone yelled "troll" when a conservative viewpoint was expressed on MeFi I'd be a rich man. It cuts both ways. Just a matter of opening your eyes.
posted by dhoyt at 12:37 AM on February 28, 2003


Karl, you obviously have some personal issue with BubbaDude, so why don't you leave me out of it. But really, did you even read what I wrote? I'll repeat it:

I personally have less of a problem with Op/Ed's than propaganda from a political party. (of any stripe)

BubbaDude's post was neither an Op/Ed nor propaganda from a political party, so how is that thread relevant to my comment? And please explain how BubbaDude's views on Mr Rogers (who I loved as a child) has anything to do with this topic?

I mean is this the best you could come up with? You wanted to take a jab at me, so you tie in my positive comment in BubbaDude's post to his dislike of Fred Rogers?

"Look he has a somewhat similar political view on the war on Iraq to some guy who hates Mr Rogers! He Must be evil!"

Furthermore, looking at this entry on BubbaDude's blog, I see that it was made on April 12, 2002. BuddaDude has only been a member since September 10, 2002. Did you go and search though all of his archives for this juicy tid bit that you quote?

Lay off the crack pipe.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:43 AM on February 28, 2003


See ya freaks!

Ta, Crasspastor. We will remember you always for your thoughtful contributions and balanced cogent analyses. I leave you this image, hoping some will get the reference:


posted by dhoyt at 12:46 AM on February 28, 2003


This is dreary.

Ty Webb said "You may be drawn into vigorous arguments more frequently than others because you happen to be in the political minority here, but you also have no problem dropping a flaming shit in the middle of threads when it suits you. So cut the melodrama, kay sweetie?"

Listen (sweetie), I wonder why a viewpoint that does not correspond to the leftward norm is derided as a "flaming shit"? I think this is the case in point, and the most frustrating things about the supposed "high discourse" here. One of the reasons I joined MetaFilter was that although I squirmed at some of the front page liberal slant posts, and the comments within which grew more and more preposterously vitriolic and mob-like, MidasMulligan would stop by with a fabulously well-informed and insightfully thoughtful lengthy comment which was like a breath of fresh air to a stifling and repetitive political dogpile. That's the impression he made on me. Not to say that Midas was alone, but his posts stood out in a way that others didn't, and I would compliment the others' too, but that's a different thread. I just wonder why a differing view becomes a shouting match about who can insult the conservative poster most personally, instead of just a normal discussion of opinion, which is after all, only that.

And Wulfgar!, please don't pretend with your "then kindly counter with reason" comment that you aren't also part of the problem. I have never seen more egregious personal insults and nastiness toward MidasMulligan from anyone, ever, on MetaFliter than from your good self and y2karl in this thread. It was an utterly hideous disgrace, and Midas responded with polite understatement and aplomb.

Of course political posts start discussion, but if we are to take seriously that which has been said countless times, if MetaFilter "doesn't do politics well", then why is it generally the conservative political minority who vows to eschew political posts, as the leftist political posts just get more numerous and frequent? As a "community" that seems to be on the verge of becoming a "commune", such concessions just seem like successfully browbeating and shouting political disagreement into silence. Not exactly the "dissent is good" chestnut that liberals so often preach.

On a different note, it hasn't escaped my attention that sir walsingham, a conserv8tive, non-str8 poster sounds a lot like evanizer with a thesaurus, but I'm glad he's here too.

Father crassness has his niche as well, when he's nice, and we know he can be.
posted by hama7 at 12:55 AM on February 28, 2003


I forgot to add that "the best of the web" is really much more interesting.
posted by hama7 at 1:11 AM on February 28, 2003


then why is it generally the conservative political minority who vows to eschew political posts

Oh, come on. What conservative member has given up posting in political threads?

not that any of the prominent lefties have either, mind you
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 1:37 AM on February 28, 2003


What conservative member has given up posting in political threads?

Not "posting in", also known as commenting, but "posting" as in: FPPs.
posted by hama7 at 1:44 AM on February 28, 2003


Ta, Crasspastor. We will remember you always for your thoughtful contributions and balanced cogent analyses. I leave you this image, hoping some will get the reference:

Tooooo. I'm gettin' a few references, one from the Rik Mayall faq.

Gah how I love irony. Love it love it.

I don't know what you mean man!

Love it.

And hence we all one day must leave this Blue and occasionally Gray place. Except I didn't. Where's there to leave to?

In other words, I like Metafilter. I do. In fact I love it, love it. But it's not my life. People can say what they'll say and so will I. It beats the real world where no one really tells you nuthin'. And all of this with a hint, just a hint, of civility.
posted by crasspastor at 2:37 AM on February 28, 2003


you cannot petition knobbed vegetation with prayer.
posted by quonsar at 5:20 AM on February 28, 2003


Can you give me sanctuary? I must find a place to hide...a place for me to hide.
posted by oissubke at 6:04 AM on February 28, 2003


hahaha sir walsingham, yeah , i'd spotted that one too , i think he left enough clues in to let us know who he really is.
He is obviously paris paramus.


I thought he was Foldy.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:25 AM on February 28, 2003


But it's not my life.

Thank god.
posted by Witty at 3:34 PM on March 2, 2003


Steve_at_Linnwood: I personally have less of a problem with Op/Ed's than propaganda from a political party. (of any stripe)

Steve_at_Linnwood: BubbaDude's post was neither an Op/Ed nor propaganda from a political party, so how is that thread relevant to my comment?


From BubbaDude's post: It's a groundswell that will hopefully counter the anti-democratic and anti-Iraqi spirit of recent ANSWER demonstrations....

Thanks for posting this BubbaDude....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:44 AM PST on February 17


Yeah, BubbaDude had little to say of a political nature there. No editorializing there. No propaganda there. And in your particular case, just like the man said, you had absolutely NO problem with that little bit of editorializing/propaganda, right?

MidasMulligan: You want unanimity of thought....

Now let's travel that glorious road from the particular to the general. To recap (and this has occured here over years), members of a certain little "posse" want us to believe they are "minority" figures on MetaFilter. They whine because they think their ideas aren't heard or accorded much respect, and cry out that somehow MetaFilter isn't giving them an adequate forum for their views. Periodic and predictable tantrums occur as they rub up against ideas not found on Fox News, the Drudge Report, or Big Rush'sThree Hour Hate. Some threaten to leave, and some actually do hightail it out of the kitchen. Many of those who remain seem to tire of or simply remain incapable of defending their own ideas.

And in the end, instead of refining their ideas or otherwise seeking to convince others through the force of their ideas, these folks come up with their own unique solution: seek somehow to limit the expression of the conflicting, oh so hurtful ideas of others.

How ironic that the little group who cries the loudest about the need for some sort of conservative "dissent" on MetaFilter (and how silly that cry is in the context of the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans at present) works the hardest consistently to limit expression of true dissent here on MetaFilter. From the particular to the general, a continuum of hypocrisy.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:08 AM on March 4, 2003


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