"the war has started !" March 19, 2003 9:43 AM   Subscribe

so its almost time for thousands of "the war has started !" posts. No doubt hundreds of us have carefully collected links to such unique gems as CNN, patiently waiting for the bombs to fall before hitting post. Comments regarding horrific pictures and heroic stories have been typed and proofread. Opinions formed, pre-conceived notions strong...we are ready.
posted by th3ph17 to Etiquette/Policy at 9:43 AM (42 comments total)

And this is a bad thing?
posted by Pinwheel at 9:47 AM on March 19, 2003


Wait - lemme get this straight - you're complaining about threads that haven't even occurred yet?

And here I thought the MetaMetaMeta conversations had taken this as far as it could go...
posted by soyjoy at 9:49 AM on March 19, 2003


Not me. I'm ag'in it but I'd rather it be a cakewalk than a hellhole, have it over as soon as possible than anything else. Then, later, we can fight over the implications--and costs--of having hundreds of thousands of American troops occupying an Arab country for decades.
posted by y2karl at 9:50 AM on March 19, 2003


my thought is that we have heard it all, seen it all, linked it all, and that its going to get ugly...and worst of all--considering this amazing world we live in--Boring.

myself i'm going to attempt to just ignore them and hope people exercise restraint--both in posting and in opening cans of bad-post-whoop-ass.

Because i just don't have anything original to say about it anymore....just a heavy, numb feeling. I just hope everyone thinks before posting, will save matt the trouble of threadkillling. perhaps i should have thought more before posting?

i just feel like we could duplicate every possible discussion before it even starts. I know what i'd say, i know what most regular posters would say. i'm just hoping/wanting something different, and yes, the irony of the metametametaness is apparent.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:54 AM on March 19, 2003


OK, now that I got the requisite snarky comment out of the way...

th3ph17, what are you looking for on this thread? A pledge? I, for one, hereby pledge not to post any links to any mainstream media site's front page. Ever. I also pledge not to FPP anything about the war for the rest of this month. Assuming everything goes swimmingly, it ought to be all over by then, and everything wrapped up in a nice neat package, so there'll be no need to post after that either.

Who'll join me?
posted by soyjoy at 9:56 AM on March 19, 2003


Double post.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:57 AM on March 19, 2003


I heard that Marines are engaged outside of Basrah with Iraqi forces.

So, um, does that mean we don't have to have a front page post about this?
posted by rich at 9:59 AM on March 19, 2003


Wait - lemme get this straight - you're complaining about threads that haven't even occurred yet?

And here I thought the MetaMetaMeta conversations had taken this as far as it could go...


I would like my mad props please.

And yes, posting that was the dumbest thing I've ever done on Mefi.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:03 AM on March 19, 2003


Comments regarding horrific pictures and heroic stories have been typed and proofread.

I just hope everyone thinks before posting, will save matt the trouble of threadkillling. perhaps i should have thought more before posting?

especially if folks have loved ones over there
posted by thomcatspike at 10:11 AM on March 19, 2003


It's not the thread I'm going to be upset about; it'll be the completely inappropriate image that quonsar will post as the fifteenth comment. Oh, and the righteous indignation that will follow, of course.
posted by yhbc at 10:11 AM on March 19, 2003


The Bush doctrine of Preemptive Strikes put into practice.

"I'm going to prepare a MetaFilter post about the War on Iraq that I can submit the moment the bombs start to fall!

"But, wait! Won't a whole bunch of other MeFites be doing the same thing, each hoping to be the one who makes the initial post on the subject? Shoot. The odds are against my being the first. What can I do to ensue that my post doesn't get deleted as redundant?

I know! I'll make a post about the impending posts and put it on MetaTalk! Winner!"
posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:18 AM on March 19, 2003


And yes, posting that was the dumbest thing I've ever done on Mefi.

i've done much worse i suppose.

i guess posts like this just sort of spiral into themselves and meaninglessness....but, this isn't a plea for a pledge, or a diatribe against news posts, just a post resulting from being too introspective this morning.

at first i had the idea that it would be funny to post a pre-emptive we've got our war on thread where we could all post everything we could possibly write about regarding the real thing...but then i found myself feeling too serious.

ShadowKeeper, *ouch*, though i suppose my intent doesn't really matter when distilled down to action.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:27 AM on March 19, 2003


What, you mean I took that pledge for nothing? And now I'm the only one who has to live by it! This reminds me of a Misson: Impossible episode for some reason...
posted by soyjoy at 11:02 AM on March 19, 2003

myself i'm going to attempt to just ignore them
Then why even bother posting this? Talk about 'self-righteous indignation'.
posted by mischief at 11:35 AM on March 19, 2003


Why not just start the thread now? It's not like anything is going to stop it (and by that I mean the thread and the war.)
posted by Cyrano at 11:57 AM on March 19, 2003


th3ph17 has a point, really. There has long been the contingent of mefi's that hate the newsfilter, but guess what? It's about to get much worse. This war is looming and people are worried. As we know, there are members here that use the front page as a place to communicate news that they think is important and want discussed. The next week is most likely to see a critical mass of newsfilter/warfilter/pro-bushfilter/bush-is-a-moronfilter/let's-bomb-Canadafilter etc.

Just like the war, there is little any of us can do about it.

I'd like to select one thread and make that the place to go, but I realize that's not going to happen.

We could also attempt to set up some portion of #mefi to handle war-talk, but that may be more complicated then I realize (I'm not much of a techie)

Does anyone else have a suggestion about how to deal with the inevitable morning when there are too many news posts to ignore?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:08 PM on March 19, 2003


GNAAARGH *
posted by walrus at 12:14 PM on March 19, 2003


Does anyone else have a suggestion about how to deal with the inevitable morning when there are too many news posts to ignore?

Sure -- stop coming to Metafilter. And I don't mean that as a snark. At some point each of us will make a decision whether this site is still a place where we want to invest ourselves. If it's not, there are plenty of other sites on the web that are deserving of one's time.
posted by azimuth at 12:55 PM on March 19, 2003


We could also attempt to set up some portion of #mefi to handle war-talk, but that may be more complicated then I realize (I'm not much of a techie)

How good is your needle point? Meaning subjects within thread(s) by sticking to them. But the date(s) is what stops this. Date 1, John Doe posts abc; then Date 4 Jane Doe posts abc. Then someone says abc are the same; it's an update to them; or was not around when posted on that date. The dates are our obstacle here.

The subject(s) are maybe not exactly the same for each post but interwoven material on the subject(s) is. Peace\War, Death\Living\Heroes, New War Toys\The Unusual.(just ideas thrown in for an example)

Can Meta-Filter thread the needle? Or is this what trackback is about?
posted by thomcatspike at 1:08 PM on March 19, 2003


I've already planned to delink Metafilter and to no longer participate, when the war begins. If I want to know about the war, I'll read CNN, BBC, Drudge. Because we all know, those are the links that will be here as soon as the bombs drop. Not to be meant as a snark either, but it's just an observation.
posted by mkelley at 1:15 PM on March 19, 2003


When the war begins, the door may or may not hit mkelley in the ass on the way out.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:28 PM on March 19, 2003


I'm disappointed by this talk of "delink"ing, mkelley. Read, or don't, as you wish -- I probably won't, myself. But please don't couch this in the same terms as those self-righteous bitchfights that abound among bloggers.
posted by gleuschk at 1:32 PM on March 19, 2003


A MetaFilter moratorium for the duration of the war is a great idea. I may need to wear a MetaFilter patch, though.
posted by timeistight at 1:39 PM on March 19, 2003


Graham, It was more or less meant to be phrased as mental delinking. (on preview, like what timeistight suggested a MeFi patch) separating from that little voice in my head that springs up saying "Ooh ooh what's new on MeFi". So please don't lump me with those clods who delink because of a virtual catfight. You're still in my blogroll regardless :)

Yes, I know if I no longer participate I probably won't be missed, could care less actually. As this isn't a popularity contest.
posted by mkelley at 1:50 PM on March 19, 2003


maybe we don't need an etiquette/policy section anymore, either...
posted by yonderboy at 1:55 PM on March 19, 2003


Perhaps I will be jaded a year or two from now, and sadly resign myself to the fact that metafilter is not what it used to be, but I was here for almost two years before I registered, which means that I'm closing in on three years... The duration of the war is the least likely time that I would want to withdraw. I want to be here for the things to distract me from the grim news, and I want to see what everybody here has to say about the grim news. I actually approve of NewsFilter, as long as there's still a "Filter".

I don't read the posts that are repeats of Google/CNN's top news headlines, but I do appreciate the education that metafilter gives me on a lot of other news items... so for the duration of the war, I'm probably here more than anywhere else.
posted by taz at 2:11 PM on March 19, 2003


Sometimes the mob acts in ways you like and sometimes it acts in ways you dislike. Considering Mefi is one big mob mentality (of sorts) you'll just have to get used to people with common concerns and interests posting similiar items.

On a much higher note, its a fucking war. If there's an excuse to go into newsfilter mode then this is it.
posted by skallas at 2:57 PM on March 19, 2003


So, um, does that mean we don't have to have a front page post about this?

And the truth shall set you free!

Seriously, though, the best we can do is try to keep it calm.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:39 PM on March 19, 2003


I feel its important that the war is discussed here.

Personally, Metafilter often gives me important information and different perspectives than I would otherwise get on important issues and events. Blogs have been given a lot of cred for balancing mainstream media reports, and I htink that's amazing. The web has really finally changed something.

I understand that there's an anti "Newsfilter" strain here at MeFi, and I understand when it's either wacky news or something where there's nothing to add, but I honestly believe that Metafilter conversation will add to our understanding of what's going on in a way that other news channels do not.

Again, I feel its important that the war is discussed here.
posted by xammerboy at 4:33 PM on March 19, 2003


I agree with xammerboy, to an extent. The discussion will, of course, be polarized and largely polemic, but I'm certain I can at least count on 1 post out of every 100 to shed light on a new avenue of reporting on the war I never would have discovered otherwise. I understand this viewpoint is unpopular on MeTa, but I stand by it.

In other news,

Can we please make THIS the big official front page war post 1000-comment thread instead of this? The page that bobo123 linked to is fascinating, while mhaw's post is absolutely meritless (and that's being kind). PLEASE?????
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:12 PM on March 19, 2003


[quonsar rummages hard disk for suitably inappropriate image]
posted by quonsar at 7:14 PM on March 19, 2003


Thanks grrarrgh00. The raed thing is a repost so I didn't have anywhere better to post it. I haven't really been following metatalk lately.
posted by bobo123 at 7:19 PM on March 19, 2003


Just like the war, there is little any of us can do about it.

We can refuse to make FPPs about every newsish detail about the war.
We can refuse to contribute to threads which are the result of FPPs made about every newish detail about the war.
We can control ourselves.
We can self-police.

We may not have the capacity to stop war, but we certainly can exercise restraint here. Some of us won't, obviously, because some of us clearly don't believe that avoiding newsfilter posts is important anymore. (Or never believed it to begin with.) But that doesn't have to be the mindset chosen by all of us, nor do we all have to throw up our hands and accept it as "just the way things are now." We can vote with our fingers, no clicking, no reading, no posting, when the FPPs get out of control.

Or we can simply choose that personal moratorium. I told the folks on #mefi yesterday that I was going to do just that. I may have to actually follow through -- and that'd be sad, indeed.
posted by Dreama at 7:27 PM on March 19, 2003


i'm sorry grrarrgh00 but i find your sentiments here (and in mhaw's post) to be extremely arrogant and pretentious ... these are extraodinary times and people are going to post this stuff from the popular news sources, like it or not. instead of ragging on mhaw, maybe we should be grateful of bobo's comment inside that post and try to make other's aware of what is happening on the sidelines. of course, bobo's post would make a fascinating FPP
posted by poopy at 7:47 PM on March 19, 2003


Dreama, I respect that, and I don't want to see every news item posted to the front page of MeFi. But it is comforting to me to know that I watch this war progress as part of an intelligent community, seething with hope and loathing and awe and patriotism and fear all at the same time. That first long September 11th thread was the fascinating held breath of thousands of people recoiling in horror, and as annoying as the generally substanceless aftermath of paranoia and speculation may have been, watching that thread again, seeing our immediate reactions to history in the making, is immensely powerful.

This thread, which we could see coming so inevitably that th3p17 made this preemptive post for it, is of course a horse of a different color. Our reactions are not immediate, they are long-delayed reactions to an event we knew was coming. I think the ensuing discussion could be just as revelatory as the September 11th discussion, but in a different, more studied way.

Of course it's a completely baseless idealism that makes me say this, but I'd hope that those of us reading this MeTa thread who are inclined to participate in MeFi's communal catharsis now that the war has begun would commit ourselves not to refrain from posting random sketchy news details, but to begin posting links that express some sort of apolitical perspective on the unfolding events, whether it's the Dear_Raed blog that bobo123 reposted, or a link to something as naked and sincere as an online piece of art or poem that communicates our thoughts on the matter. It could be such an amazing, comforting thread. Sorry for the Virginia Woolf sentence at the head of this paragraph.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU oh gracious leader mathowie for changing that link.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:50 PM on March 19, 2003


obviously, grrarrgh00 (and matt), changing that link has made a tremendous impact on the following discussion in the thread: thoughtful, intelligent discussion.
posted by poopy at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2003


it's such hard work not walking into that thread, shouting NEWSFILTER and running away again.
posted by twine42 at 1:04 AM on March 20, 2003


war is dissonance, whether it is the beautiful destruction offered us by revelations or the more mundane kind we have all seen transpire from time to time. Death is the breakdown of the body's systems, biological dissonance. War is an extension of death, a kind of systematic destruction. A feedback loop, serving no purpose but its own existence.

Tell me if these threads are anything but dissonance, war leaving its mark on the message boards?
posted by kaibutsu at 1:30 AM on March 20, 2003


no kaibutsu, it's just noise. Noise of people who know the wishes of a community, but still go against those wishes and post newsfilter content. I'm not against war posts, but at least make it unique. Posting an article from the Washington Post doesn't usually make for a good post.
posted by mkelley at 4:15 AM on March 20, 2003


How about this solution. Clean up the existing, completely partisan existing post about the war starting, link it to the sidebar. Have something to say about that war, put it there. You have 30 days. But don't corrupt the front page.

Or perhaps Matt could add a little programming, a checkbox "this is about the war, newsfilter" and give the option to filter those out in the control panel. (a little programming? ok, maybe not a little.)

But when there will be 75 posts in a day, and 65 will be about the war, it will become intolerable to read the front page.

MetaFilter doesn't handle politics well. And lets face it, this war is more rife with politics than any since the 60s.
posted by benjh at 5:00 AM on March 20, 2003


but to begin posting links that express some sort of apolitical perspective on the unfolding events, whether it's the Dear_Raed blog that bobo123 reposted, or a link to something as naked and sincere as an online piece of art or poem that communicates our thoughts on the matter

grrarrgh00, i think that is sort of what i was thinking in starting this non-discussion. I was looking for some--i dunno--Awareness. Not even a moratorium on war posts...its important [skallas is right on]. Just something different, and so far it seems to be going ok.
posted by th3ph17 at 8:20 AM on March 20, 2003


Poopy, the reason I wanted the main link changed was not to influence the discussion in any way; people are going to say their piece on the war (again, for most posters) regardless of how thoughtful the initial post is. But one of MeFi's principal virtues to me is the archive; getting to go back and see what was on people's minds a year ago, or on September 11th, what have you. Whenever I get the urge to go back and look at the thread for war, I wouldn't want to see the CNN front page, clearly focused on something different and probably not all that interesting. I'd much rather see a link to something that will make me think, bring me back; something unique. My wish for the thread and my wish for the post were two different things.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 3:29 PM on March 20, 2003


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