Why the title change? July 23, 2003 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Matt, don't you like Jello Biafra? Because the original title of the ADL thread was actually an excerpt from a famous anti-Nazi DK song, as noticed by talos.
BTW, since we're here, let me ask again: is it wise to run the tinyninjas ad even though they sell Iron Cross apparel?
posted by 111 to Etiquette/Policy at 10:27 AM (76 comments total)

like a moth to a candle...
posted by y2karl at 10:34 AM on July 23, 2003


y2karl, that's Elton John, isn't it? Not exactly my cup of tea.
posted by 111 at 10:36 AM on July 23, 2003


I think less Jello makes MeFi a better place. That old hippie is a corruption. Still, I am curious about the change. My guess is that the song is not universally known, and sets a low in terms of acceptable language on the top level.
posted by thirteen at 11:11 AM on July 23, 2003


- I didn't change the title of the post, when I axed the part about the ad, it must have had some illegal characters that cleared it out (I'm thinking it probably had quotes). That was a mistake.

- I thought your little stab at an advertiser was making a mountain out of a molehill. The product you linked even acknowledged the subtle connection and had links to groups to understand the meaning -- what more can they do?. I would never wear an iron cross anything, but I think the company selling the shirts is doing their best to explain the situation (it is becoming a pretty popular symbol probably thanks to Monster Garage and West Coast Choppers, and I don't think 15 year old kids are aware of the history, which this company is highlighting).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:17 AM on July 23, 2003


I think less Jello makes MeFi a better place.

There's always room for Jello.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:22 AM on July 23, 2003


That old hippie is a corruption

I think Jello would push you down a flight of stairs for calling him a hippie... I mean, since when were the Dead Kennedys hippies? Pre or post-"Too Drunk To Fuck"?
posted by SweetJesus at 11:29 AM on July 23, 2003


Underneath it all, Jello is a bit of a hippie. In a good way though...
posted by jonmc at 11:55 AM on July 23, 2003


Jello is way too fey to push anyone down any stairs. Also, I doubt he would put up much of a fight if I called him a hippie to his face aside from calling me a fascist or something.

The Dead Kennedys had some catchy songs, but they have very little punk rock in them. Mostly a novelty band. The rest of the guys are cooler than Jello, and the band on the whole are far less important in general than their peers at the time.

Everything is opinion, but I call him a hippie for the same reason I call ocean water salty.
posted by thirteen at 12:19 PM on July 23, 2003


What got axed?
posted by dgaicun at 12:40 PM on July 23, 2003


dgaicun: I could ask the same question, but I just love playing armchair detective!
posted by trharlan at 12:52 PM on July 23, 2003


Even if you consider DK a novelty band, you have to admit that they had some pretty concise and truthful lyrics.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:19 PM on July 23, 2003


The hippies won't come back you say
Mellow out or you will pay
California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California

posted by eddydamascene at 2:05 PM on July 23, 2003


That's questionable logic, Matt. Let me put it this way: would you feel OK acting as a middleman to sellers of revisionist Nazi propaganda even if there was a disclaimer and only clueless teenagers bought it? I don't think anyone can afford being ambiguous when dealing with what amounts, in worst-case scenarios, to an apology of hate crimes. Anyway, it's your site and your reputation. Would you tell us at least how much ad space they bought?
posted by 111 at 2:12 PM on July 23, 2003


rabble rabble rabble. Jesus 111, by the way you're carrying on, you'd think he was selling crank to 9 year-olds. So what would you think about that symbol being on a kite? Or a Snoopy game?
posted by mkelley at 2:27 PM on July 23, 2003


"I don't think anyone can afford being ambiguous when dealing with what amounts to an apology of hate crimes."

Get a grip. It's an iron cross. It's not even vaguely an apology for hate crimes. And please oh please explain to us how it is.

Some store wants to cover their ass after having to deal with over-the-top nutjobs like you. The iron cross isn't the problem. People who want to make this a big deal so that they can bask in that "holier than thou" glow are the problem. And now you want to imply that Matt perpetrates hate crimes? Get a grip.

I suppose you'd also have your panties in a bunch if Matt allowed ads for Vagner CDs.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:31 PM on July 23, 2003


The Dead Kennedys had some catchy songs, but they have very little punk rock in them.

That's first thing I've ever read about them that made me want to hear them.
posted by timeistight at 2:31 PM on July 23, 2003


Revisionist Nazi propaganda with a disclaimer is quite a stretch from an apology of hate crimes.
posted by DBAPaul at 2:31 PM on July 23, 2003


111 should get off Matt's back. Every time that he disses his decision making, he also acknowledges that it's his site, his rules, etc. He might consider that that is more than a caveat; it can be criterion for deciding when to not say silly things like:

Anyway, it's your site and your reputation.

We can all rest assured that Matt's reputation as a creator and administrator of innovative websites is pretty damn secure. Don't worry about his reputation, 111.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:33 PM on July 23, 2003


111, I think you're reading too much into it. People aren't selling revisionist nazi propaganda, it's a bloody t-shirt with a symbol on it. They even acknowledge that some of the past meaning of the symbol is bad, and that people might want to look into it. The ad didn't lead directly to the shirt either, it was one of many being sold.

There are stories about how IBM helped the Nazis in WWII, would you apply the same logic to tell me to take down an ad for new computers that feature IBM parts in them? How about VW cars, which Hitler setup to build "wagons" for the "volks" of Germany? Are ads for those off-limits too? And what's the shelf-life on the evilness of a symbol, company, or past deed? 50 years enough? 100? never?

It's a t-shirt, and again I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:37 PM on July 23, 2003


No one likes Jello Biafra, not even Jello Biafra.

> it's a bloody t-shirt with a symbol on it.

Great, you've turned him english.

Here's a list of some Germany companies that used slave labor during WWII. Many are still around. Heck, I worked for one. Mountains out of molehills is right. Relax 111, one day you'll meet a real rascist and you'll just plotz.
posted by skallas at 2:41 PM on July 23, 2003


Thirteen. Jesus-please-us. Saying the other sell-out scum are cooler than him? Saying DK's hardly punk-rock? Calling him a hippy because he wouldn't "push someone down stairs"? Makes me wonder if you think Straight Edge is the true punk or something. Jello's a punk, not a shit-eating jock, for "Bob"'s sake.
posted by Jimbob at 3:17 PM on July 23, 2003


When Freitod Grrlz, a tasteful porn site featuring females wearing iron cross apparel shows up as a text ad....that's when we have to go after Matt like rabid wolverines. Or something.
posted by bargle at 3:23 PM on July 23, 2003


mkelley, it's all about knowledge vs. ignorance and discernment vs. crassness. Context is everything, and as you can see for yourself, several comments in the original thread reflect an imperfect grasp of these basic concepts.

y6y6y6, did you read what the store itself had to say about the Iron Cross? Are you aware that they were the ones who linked to the ADL?

People who want to make this a big deal so that they can bask in that "holier than thou" glow are the problem.

This is trying to shoot the messenger. You mean "Nazi propaganda is not the problem; the problem are those who denounce it". Not a very bright thing to say.

No, I wouldn't blame Matt for selling Wagner albums because the association Nazis-Wagner is cultural rather than iconographic (same with IBM, VW etc).

skallas, it's not about me; just try to focus on the problem . I think people should carefully think before condoning racism no matter what the circumstance.

Matt, Freudian slips (like "bloody t-shirt") sometimes say a lot. Please tell me this: how much did they pay? If I emailed you, would you tell me? Just curious.
posted by 111 at 3:26 PM on July 23, 2003


You wanna know what's realllly punk, man?

Arguing about it on the internet.
posted by dhoyt at 3:27 PM on July 23, 2003


I ? Jello. He's hilarious.
posted by adampsyche at 3:28 PM on July 23, 2003


Freudian slips (like "bloody t-shirt") sometimes say a lot.

Dude. Honestly. I can hear your tendons creaking with this amount of reaching.
posted by Skot at 3:32 PM on July 23, 2003


There was a discussion some time ago on MeFi about the use of images associated with nazi groups (can't find it, have no idea what search terms to use for something like that). One of the concepts that was discussed was that the best way to stop neo-nazis and similar groups of fuckwits people from claiming symbols as their own and thereby removing the bad associations and the rallying point that they provide was to flood the marketplace with them, making them worthless as symbols of anything.

111's reaction is akin to a couple of people I know who have a hatred of Germany and Germans and refuse to buy any product from Germany or German-owned companies. These are not people who lived through the holocaust or anything, or even had relatives that did. The Iron Cross, while often associated with the Nazi party, is used commonly nowadays and the original meaning has diluted to a great extent. Which is a good thing.

To summarise, mountain out of molehill.
posted by dg at 3:33 PM on July 23, 2003


Wow, 111, you've really unearthed a scandal here, mathowie selling out to the nazis for ten bucks and all.
posted by timeistight at 3:37 PM on July 23, 2003


how much did they pay?

Ten dollars like everyone else. How much would they have to pay for ads before it somehow makes me a nazi?

The money isn't the issue, I could take the ad down at any time and tell the person it was too offensive and refund their money (there are plenty of other people with less offensive ads giving me money). I really don't care about the money.

I'm not taking it down because you're making a big deal about something minor, pointing out a single product from an entire store that features something barely related in the past to something that's bad. It's so far from being a major thing that I don't care to do anything about it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:42 PM on July 23, 2003


111, They probably paid for the ad with gold dental fillings from the victims at nazi death camps.
posted by jdaura at 3:44 PM on July 23, 2003


111, your username is associated with Hitler. Better ask Matt to change it, after you apologize with suitable groveling for implying he's taking blood money from hatemongers.
posted by languagehat at 3:44 PM on July 23, 2003


First question: Matt, why do you love the Nazis?

Second question: 111, I grew up attending a Hindu temple that had swastikas in it. And I've donated to Metafilter repeatedly. Can you please focus your incoherent righteous anger at me instead? I would enjoy it.
posted by anildash at 3:45 PM on July 23, 2003


Saying the other sell-out scum are cooler than him?
The band was tight, and have not been a joke for nearly as long as Jello has. Plus Brandon was in Dr. Know which was way more fun.

Saying DK's hardly punk-rock?
Yes, it is I who am saying that.

Calling him a hippy because he wouldn't "push someone down stairs"?
I did not say that, but I do believe it is important that punk rockers be willing to push people down stairs. His lack of stair pushing breaks several of the "rules of punk rock" but is in keeping with the hippie ways that I associate him with. Thank you for making my point.

Makes me wonder if you think Straight Edge is the true punk or something.
What is sXe? I do not know what you are talking about.

Jello's a punk, not a shit-eating jock, for "Bob"'s sake.
If there were only those 2 choices I would agree with you, but Hippie is sitting right there, and it is a much better fit.
posted by thirteen at 3:53 PM on July 23, 2003


Follow-up to anildash's questions: 111, why are you being such a turd?
posted by Hildago at 3:56 PM on July 23, 2003


I too believe it is important for punk rockers to be willing to push people down stairs. In order to protect them from the terrible secret of space.
posted by Hildago at 3:58 PM on July 23, 2003



posted by quonsar at 4:04 PM on July 23, 2003


111 makes me yawn.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:22 PM on July 23, 2003


Hi Matt, yeah, I remember the surreal nazi ad thread. It must be hard work running a site as dynamic and successful as MetaFilter. Anyway, people look up to you all the time, so your words and actions are welcome as usual.
posted by signal at 4:23 PM on July 23, 2003


dg, although reclaiming symbols or promoting oversaturation campaigns are not bad ideas, is it realistic to expect that the swastika or the Iron Cross for instance will ever lose their Nazi undertones?

These are not people who lived through the holocaust or anything, or even had relatives that did.

How could you know that? Isn't this an a bit too cut and dried and simple? Even if you do know precisely the genealogy of the acquaintances you mention, how many people are you talking about? A small crowd? A handful? A couple?

The Iron Cross, while often associated with the Nazi party, is used commonly nowadays and the original meaning has diluted to a great extent.

Would you wear one while on vacation in Tel-Aviv?

timeistight, I only stand for what I write, not for the creative/naive/thick interpretations made by others.

Matt, thanks. I know how TextAd works, so I knew $ was not the issue; I just needed that kind of info.

How much would they have to pay for ads before it somehow makes me a nazi?
...

languagehat, nice to see you're careful about your sources of information.

anil, please read the original post.
posted by 111 at 4:33 PM on July 23, 2003


Matt, thanks. I know how TextAd works, so I knew $ was not the issue; I just needed that kind of info.

Matt-
How much is your rent? Or are you a homeowner? I need to know.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:39 PM on July 23, 2003


matt, please list the sources and amounts of all of your income, so that i can ascertain that none of it has ever been tainted by association. and say, you don't have any CD's in your home do you? because jenna bush listens to CD's, and you know old prescott was a nazi, right?
posted by quonsar at 4:54 PM on July 23, 2003


matt - boxers, briefs, thongs, or buff? I need to know.
well as long as we're asking stuff...
posted by madamjujujive at 4:56 PM on July 23, 2003


"Selling out" was the obvious implication of your hectoring about money, you smug little troll.
posted by timeistight at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2003


matt, is that an official adolph eichmann butt, or is it the sears roebuck knockoff?
posted by quonsar at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2003


butt PLUG.
posted by quonsar at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2003


I've got a Japanese map of Kyoto in front of me, 111. There are a whole bunch of swastikas on it (they're a kanji for temple, you know). I paid 400 yen for the map about a year ago, so my question for you is, am I supporting the Nazi's by purchasing this map?

An even better question is, is the joyo kanji list supporting Nazism by continuing to use the swastika for it's intended meaning?

But maybe symbols are only relevant to their cultural meanings, and who the fuck are you to tell people what their meanings are...
posted by SweetJesus at 5:05 PM on July 23, 2003


Please make it stop.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:09 PM on July 23, 2003


No, the youth must be taught...
posted by SweetJesus at 5:11 PM on July 23, 2003


111,
All your doing now is digging yourself deeper. It's all well and good that your standing by your convictions, but it's pretty poor manners to piss all over the carpet after someone invites you into their home.

Maybe your time would be better spent lobbying the people responsible for something you find so offensive rather than questioning mathowies integrity and demanding answers to questions that are none of your business.
posted by cedar at 5:18 PM on July 23, 2003


C'mon, people. He's the kid with the stick, we're the anthill. Walk away.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:21 PM on July 23, 2003


Please make it stop.

No, no, this is the best fun we've had on MeTa since the late lamented "offensive, disgusting, insulting, demeaning to women, really creepy" aacheson thread that resulted in multiple bannings!

On preview: cedar, somebody's got to piss on the carpet, and it's not fair to expect quonsar to do it all the time.
posted by languagehat at 5:21 PM on July 23, 2003


Not only a troll, a highly effective one at that!
posted by signal at 5:25 PM on July 23, 2003




Gratuitous overuse-of-Hitler-reference-self-link. Having bandwidth was nice while it lasted.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:26 PM on July 23, 2003


C'mon, people. He's the kid with the stick, we're the anthill. Walk away.

no! swarm up his leg!
posted by quonsar at 5:28 PM on July 23, 2003


So wait, what's going on here, exactly? Adolf Hitler pushed 111 down some stairs or something, right?
posted by interrobang at 5:46 PM on July 23, 2003


enough, people....how come it's ok to post meta threads about porn textads, but not a company selling offensive stuff?
posted by amberglow at 6:01 PM on July 23, 2003


So 111, I guess you dont' have a lot of time on your hands what with picketing outside west coast choppers all day? Jesse is obviously milking that white supremacy shit huh?
posted by carfilhiot at 6:03 PM on July 23, 2003


knowing he is going to regret this, he dives in anyway:
dg, although reclaiming symbols or promoting oversaturation campaigns are not bad ideas, is it realistic to expect that the swastika or the Iron Cross for instance will ever lose their Nazi undertones?
Yes, it is. What is unknown is the amount of time this will take. The Iron Cross, based on my personal observations, is nowadays more associated with biker groups and rock bands trying to look edgy than Nazism. The Swastika, as SweetJesus pointed out, has other meanings to a significant portion of the world and was not an invention of the Nazis, although the western world still associates the symbol with them. You will see the swastika all over South Korea, denoting Buddhist temples - does that mean that Buddhism supports the Neo-Nazis too?

These are not people who lived through the holocaust or anything, or even had relatives that did.
How could you know that? Isn't this an a bit too cut and dried and simple? Even if you do know precisely the genealogy of the acquaintances you mention, how many people are you talking about? A small crowd? A handful? A couple?

Not a great number, I admit. Yes, the concept of hating a race of people for something that their ancestors did baffles me, too. I was attempting to make a point that this happens and using personal observations to illustrate the point, rather than simply making vague statements. Sorry about that.

The Iron Cross, while often associated with the Nazi party, is used commonly nowadays and the original meaning has diluted to a great extent.
Would you wear one while on vacation in Tel-Aviv?

Don't be a dickhead.
posted by dg at 6:11 PM on July 23, 2003


I call Godwin. Now everyone go home.
posted by VulcanMike at 6:40 PM on July 23, 2003


I call meta-Godwin.

"Mentioning Godwin in an attempt to destroy a thread only encourages it to continue in it's discussion of Nazism".
posted by Jimbob at 6:48 PM on July 23, 2003


To me, the Iron Cross is merely a military medal awarded by Germany for bravery in combat. I really didn't think of it as a Nazi symbol until you brought it up 111. If people do believe that the Iron Cross represents the Nazi's, then I can understand why people might be upset by it. However, the Iron Cross does have many other meanings. I always felt that bikers took the Iron Cross image from WW1 and not WW2 (the spiked helmets, popular among bikers, made me think that my opinion was right).

From my understanding, the Iron Cross is similar to the Distinguished Service medals. There are multiple types of Iron Crosses awarded (I believe hitler received an Iron Cross 3rd class but I don't remember) and the Iron Cross was used widely as a medal in World War I and World War 2. It was used to decorate men who went above and beyond the call of duty. Sure, the assocation of Hitler with Germany does taint the Iron Cross's image but the Iron Cross means much more to the soldiers who received it.

The Iron Cross was prevalant on many different military objects through the last 100 years. If my memory is correct, the Red Baron had the cross on his wings.

Now, I'm a fan of the Red Barron, his pizza and Snoopy's fight with him. By eating his delicious frozen pizza, watching his movies or reading the funnies, does that mean that I'm supporting Hitler and Nazism?

note:please correct me if i'm wrong. it's been a long time since i studied german military history
posted by Stynxno at 6:49 PM on July 23, 2003


"In 1957, however, legislation was passed which allowed those who earned the Iron Cross in World War II to once again wear it, this time with all vestiges of Nazi symbols removed. This act, of significant importance, ratified the Iron Cross as Military bravery and not a political award. As such, those few remaining individuals who today wear it deserve our full respect and admiration." More information here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:02 PM on July 23, 2003


Now, I'm a fan of the Red Barron [sic], his pizza and Snoopy's fight with him.

Made me literally LOL. Thanks!
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:42 PM on July 23, 2003


Though I have long been aware of the iron cross' associations with war medals, nazi Germany, and bikers I immediately think of Independent Trucks from my skating days. They even have ad archives from Thrasher on their site.
posted by sailormouth at 9:08 PM on July 23, 2003


Hey, waitaminute: isn't the iron cross, like, totally Kaiser Wilhelm? That's what I always associated it with.
posted by interrobang at 9:59 PM on July 23, 2003


Whoops, I guess that use of bold makes it look like I'm calling out some nonexistent user named "waitaminute".

I'd like to apologize to any user who happens to be named "waitaminute". And maybe also suggest that, Family Circus-style, we all start blaming our problems on him.

Not that I know anything about "The Family Circus".

I'll be more careful with bold-tags from now on.
posted by interrobang at 10:03 PM on July 23, 2003


You're safe, interrobang.

In the future, however, you may wish to go with the more user-friendly Now just a gol-darn minute here, or even Hold on there, pard!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:11 PM on July 23, 2003


Hmm, tonight's blessing of the cars link features iron crosses prominently on the destination site. Hopefully that's not a problem too.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:35 AM on July 24, 2003


Call the ADL ASAP!
posted by skallas at 1:00 AM on July 24, 2003


I keep seeing ADL and thinking ALD (Almighty Lumberjacks of Death), the punk band from Detroit.
posted by adampsyche at 3:55 AM on July 24, 2003

how come it's ok to post meta threads about porn textads, but not a company selling offensive stuff?
It's the messenger, not the message. ;-P
posted by mischief at 4:59 AM on July 24, 2003


"The Iron Cross was originally established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III in March 1813. On 5th August 1914 Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany and the King of Prussia, reestablished the medal. The Iron Cross was awarded without regard for nationality or social class to combatants for acts of heroism, bravery or leadership skills. During the First World War Germany awarded over five million of these medals to members of the armed forces: Grand Cross (5), First Class (288,000) and Second Class (5,200,000)."
posted by talos at 5:25 AM on July 24, 2003


Following on from what anil said:

The Real Swastika.
posted by walrus at 5:55 AM on July 24, 2003


Walrus, great wacky conspiracy theory links on that page you link to; things like this, this, and this Ooooh; the illuminati. Look out!
posted by mr_roboto at 1:02 PM on July 24, 2003


Swastika EP
posted by th3ph17 at 1:53 PM on July 24, 2003


I never noticed those. I always miss the good stuff.
posted by walrus at 1:13 AM on July 25, 2003


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