A callout of the American Taliban Metafilter post March 10, 2004 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Taliban: the new Hitler?
posted by oissubke to Etiquette/Policy at 8:36 AM (54 comments total)

The post itself has a very fecal quality to it. In fact, the creator of this brick of poo has also poured kerosene on it and set it on fire. The stench of this flaming exrement is making gag. I recommend we flush it, and quickly, before people who are coming to Metafilter for the first time see this and quickly denounce it as a website for the insane and alarmist.
posted by angry modem at 9:05 AM on March 10, 2004


*excrement.
posted by angry modem at 9:10 AM on March 10, 2004


We've been invoking feces a lot around here lately. Freud would have a feild day.
posted by jonmc at 9:14 AM on March 10, 2004


Actually, I think trout's analogy is right on.
posted by bshort at 9:15 AM on March 10, 2004


I wish the FPP (fap! fap! fap!) was a bit shorter.
If you're gonna smoke that much verbage, do it inside where the rest of us don't have to smell it.
posted by me3dia at 9:22 AM on March 10, 2004


Whether you agree with the politics of the post or not, if the post's assumption is that the religious right is trying to turn America into a theocracy, then the taliban metaphor is appropriate. However, the phrase "American Taliban" makes me think that the post is about John Walker Lindh.
posted by vraxoin at 9:23 AM on March 10, 2004


At first I read angry modem's comments as referring to oissubke's post above. In any case, the relatively civil discussion going on in the metafilter thread rather disproves oissubke's analogy, no?
posted by cbrody at 9:23 AM on March 10, 2004


What vraxoin said. It's either the Taliban or Ayatollahs or the Puritans or the Inquisition or...
posted by amberglow at 9:33 AM on March 10, 2004


I think troutfishing should stop using the "American Taliban" term exactly 48 hours after Rush Limbaugh apologizes for "FemiNazis".
posted by wendell at 9:36 AM on March 10, 2004


mommy, i won't stop doing peepee in the pool 'til he stops.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:44 AM on March 10, 2004


The problem isn't so much the analogy being correct or incorrect, but that with the words "American Taliban" one tries to invoke imagery of the Big Bad Evil Guys(tm) a la Hitler.
posted by angry modem at 9:44 AM on March 10, 2004


American Taliban sounds about accurate. It's no more offensive or objectionable that the typical conservative rhetoric of referring to liberals as communists or socialists. The term Communist has such a lovely connotation in this country that there's even a question used by the INS to screen them out "Are you or have you ever been a Communist?" There's also my personal favourite, using somebody's hateful comment to whip out the mantra "there's another example of that compassionate liberalism" to paint everybody on the left side of the fence with the same colour.
posted by substrate at 9:59 AM on March 10, 2004


angry, that's maybe what it invokes to you, but troutfishing says that he did not intend it that way. I find the Taliban scarier than Hitler in many ways, as their policies express what they see as the one true faith, and are not solely based on political expedience. Not to get into who-was-worse comparisons, but with the Taliban(s) we are dealing with a large group of (eminently replaceable) religious fundamentalists, and not with the vision of a single deranged individual, without whom the 3rd Reich would surely not have reached the depths that it did.
posted by cbrody at 10:05 AM on March 10, 2004


Actually, I think trout's analogy is right on.

American Taliban sounds about accurate.

You people are really unbelievable. This place is about three steps away from becoming DemocraticUnderground.com with links to Flash games on Fridays.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2004


Whether you agree with the politics of the post or not, if the post's assumption is that the religious right is trying to turn America into a theocracy...

but troutfishing says that he did not intend it that way...

Yes, when called on it, troutfishing did try to claim he only used the word "Taliban" to connote "Theocracy." But how does that square with the first four words of his post: "American Taliban plans theocracy"? As I noted in the post, if you take troutfishing at his (subsequent) word, that phrase becomes nothing more than a redundancy: "American Theocrats plan theocracy." I suspect his word choice was a little more deliberate than that, and was intended to suggest equivalence between the actions of the Taliban, and the predicted actions of the religious right.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:42 AM on March 10, 2004


You people are really unbelievable. This place is about three steps away from becoming DemocraticUnderground.com with links to Flash games on Fridays.

You.... you've never said this before, Steve. We had no idea you felt this way.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:50 AM on March 10, 2004


Won't you give me three steps,
Gimme three steps mister,
Gimme three steps towards the door
Gimme three steps
Gimme three steps mister,
And you'll never see me no more
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:55 AM on March 10, 2004


Actually, Steve, if we radical leftys take over MeFi (as detailed in our five-year plan) Flash Fridays will become Agrarian Reform Fridays, and all MeFites will be required to work in the community garden all day.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:03 AM on March 10, 2004


American Taliban sounds about accurate. It's no more offensive or objectionable that the typical conservative rhetoric of referring to liberals as communists or socialists.

The tactic is sophomoric, regardless of which shit-eating side of the political fence makes use of it.
posted by angry modem at 11:10 AM on March 10, 2004


How many American Taliban (whatever that means) + sex threads do we need in one day?
posted by Witty at 11:21 AM on March 10, 2004


It's no more offensive or objectionable that the typical conservative rhetoric of referring to liberals as communists or socialists.

cf. andrew cooke's comment in this thread.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:28 AM on March 10, 2004


Absolutely, dazzlingly, exultantly ridiculous.
posted by hama7 at 11:45 AM on March 10, 2004


This place is about three steps away from becoming DemocraticUnderground.com with links to Flash games on Fridays.

OK I confess: I chained Steve to MetaFilter, even if he really really really wants to leave since day 1

funny how Linnwood, hamasheaven et al didn't bother -- as usual -- to refute a very simple -- if appalling -- fact: lots of very very vocal Americans (who happen to staunchly support your President) want to put more and more and more and more religion in the affairs of the State, advocating de facto theocracy and reversing the classic American principle of separation of Church and State

dear Steve and Hamas,
literally, as I'm sure you know, Taliban means "student of God". by extension, it is used as a synonym for fundamentalist Muslim.
as you know as well, there are many, many fundamentalist Protestants in the US: hence if a fundy (of whatever religion, be that Christianity or Islam) advocates theocracy, one should feel free to use a word made popular, sadly, by they guys who went the closest, in recent times, to creating a perfectly theocratic State.

Taliban.
Taliban.
Taliban.

deal with it.

and enjoy those anti-gay graffiti soon to be spray-painted on your Constitution, too
;)


oh, Steve,
"we people" will be sorry when you finally leave for good, instead of going off sulking on the typical self-imposed, regularly-broken hiatus

posted by matteo at 12:10 PM on March 10, 2004


Oops. Someone editorialized in a FPP.

Oops. I said "FPP."
posted by scarabic at 12:30 PM on March 10, 2004


You.... you've never said this before, Steve. We had no idea you felt this way.

Bet you didn't know I'm starting to feel the same way. I thought I might be a lefty before I started visiting MeFi.
posted by namespan at 12:36 PM on March 10, 2004


Taliban.
Taliban.
Taliban.


If you sing that like the "Monorail Song" from the Simpsons, it becomes mildly amusing.
posted by jonmc at 12:48 PM on March 10, 2004


Did I mention I was a Republican?
posted by konolia at 1:08 PM on March 10, 2004


konolia, I don't see you as a Taliban tho--i've yet to hear you call for your religion or religious values to be placed and taught in public schools, or funded by taxpayers etc. to the exclusion of all other points of view. These people are doing that, and are being aided by the Administration (and Justice Dept. and Dept. of Education, and Dept. of Health, etc).

If the Secretary of Education can call the teachers' union "terrorists," then we can call it like we see it.
posted by amberglow at 1:47 PM on March 10, 2004


"If you sing that like the 'Monorail Song' from the Simpsons, it becomes mildly amusing."

If you sing it like The Candyman by Sammy Davis Jr., it takes up your lunch hour writing new words to it:

Who can take your country
And turn it into poo?
With fundamentalism and paternalism too…
The Taliban (American Taliban)
The Taliban can. (American Taliban can)
The Taliban can 'cause they have a bigger God
than all you communists do.

Who can take their hatred
Wrap it in the flag?
Amend the Constitution just to stigmatize the fags?
The Taliban (American Taliban)
The Taliban can. (American Taliban can)
The Taliban can 'cause if men can marry men
Then all the kids will date sheep.

The Taliban hate
Intelligent debate
So they like to keep it vicious
Say the other side's seditious
Make up shit that's just fictitious.

Who can ignore science?
Claim that it's all fake?
Gather up the evidence and chuck it in a lake?
The Taliban (American Taliban)
The Taliban can. (American Taliban can)
The Taliban can 'cause they got it straight from God
And so it must be good.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:51 PM on March 10, 2004


Like, oh my god, what is this, Project for the New American Metafilter?

Taliban: the new Hitler?

If by that you mean that because of 9/11 nobody will ever be able to make analgous comments containing the word "taliban" without being immediately ridiculed for it, regardless of the validity of the argument, then yes, you're probably right.

Godwin's law is the equivalent of a widely accepted ad hominem fallacy.

Please note that I neither agreed or disagreed with troutfishings claims, only with the methods of attacking them.
posted by The God Complex at 1:53 PM on March 10, 2004


crash for president!
posted by clever sheep at 1:57 PM on March 10, 2004


crash wins (especially if you picture Sammy Davis Jr. singing it) : >
posted by amberglow at 1:59 PM on March 10, 2004


If the Secretary of Education can call the teachers' union "terrorists," then we can call it like we see it.

This exemplifies, by far, the best reason to avoid political debate here on MetaFilter, or in the real world with strangers who simply want to win an argument instead of coming to an understanding.

The Secretary of Education made a huge rhetorical error while trying to persuade his audience of a larger point. He should be criticized. But his mistake should not, under any circumstances, be a valid reason to use similar tactics and claim immunity. First, you alienate those you are attempting to convince by using unnecessarily polarized language. Second, to those who haven't seriously committed to either side, you prove that you are not above mudslinging.

You need to respect your audience and its intelligence. Further, you need to respect your message. By resorting to name-calling and politically-charged language, you don't respect either.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:24 PM on March 10, 2004


You need to respect your audience and its intelligence.

I've been waiting most of my adult life for proof of that very assertion. Every time I begin to believe it, someone like Steve@Linwood, Justin Timberlake, George W, Rush Limbaugh, Ralph Nader, or Pat Robertson proves it to be ever so wrong.

After a day like this on MetaFilter, where everybody gets told that they're wrong, wrong wrong, from fatties to American Taliban, as well as any who oppose those wretched individuals, does anybody here still think that we can convince anyone of anything? Or are we here to make people look foolish, and count coup? I'm comfortable with the latter, as long as nobody tries to tell me who my target audience is.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:37 PM on March 10, 2004


I'm a young guy, Wulfgar!, so take my "wisdom" with a grain of salt.

I've been waiting most of my adult life for proof of that very assertion.

The proof exists within your life and its actions. Every single day's decisions are yours to live with. Every word uttered, every action taken...

I don't believe in karma, but I do believe in having a conscience. My mind causes me extreme pain when I participate in an action that disagrees with my ethics.

And you live with your actions...quite frankly, I admit that I have a rather large, and naive, conscience. And I understand that most others are probably willing to bend rules to achieve ends.

To that end, when I expose my ideas to others, I will only convince them to the extent that my ethics allow. Why? Because my end goal isn't to simply win an argument. My end goal is to convey my message to others, and let them (hopefully) arrive at the same conclusion. This process involves relationship-building and a great deal of tolerance, depending upon your audience.

Especially here, in an anonymous community without the benefit of actual human interaction, respect for others is limited and not a requirement. Therefore, convincing people of anything here is next to impossible. Which is sad, because we have some extremely intelligent people here who are either drowned out by the noise or resort to name-calling.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:19 PM on March 10, 2004


The Ten Commandments display was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court building. There was a good reason for the move. You can't post Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery and Thou Shall Not Lie in a building full of lawyers and Politicians without creating a hostile work environment .



Somebody sent me this today. I couldn't resist.
posted by konolia at 3:26 PM on March 10, 2004


After a day like this on MetaFilter, where everybody gets told that they're wrong, wrong wrong, from fatties to American Taliban, as well as any who oppose those wretched individuals, does anybody here still think that we can convince anyone of anything?

No.
posted by homunculus at 3:36 PM on March 10, 2004


You need to respect your audience and its intelligence. Further, you need to respect your message. By resorting to name-calling and politically-charged language, you don't respect either.
The audience here understands politics, and understands the power of words. They'll take it or discount it as they see fit, as evidenced by the post, and others.

If a group or groups, with the active support of the current administration is trying to inject their specific religious beliefs into our laws and government and educational and health systems, and using our money to do it, then stating their similarity to other groups that have done the same is absolutely just. Does it stop conversation? Not at all. Was it baseless? Again, not at all. There are other words that can be used (see my post way above), but why not use a current example?
posted by amberglow at 3:57 PM on March 10, 2004


The day that konolia and Blue Train make sense to me has just arrived. No, I'm not joking, tho they may be. But I have to say that I have drifted rightwards in my time as a member here. That may be coincidental to my growing increasingly middle aged. It also must be seen in a european/british context: a liberal democrat (yes, we have a party so-called) in the UK is considered left of Blair on some issues, but right of Blair on others. In US terms, we'd still be god-dam commies.

Mostly tho, I'm hanging on to the possibility that intelligent discourse on Mefi can be found amongst the ad hominems, straw men and fallacies. It takes alittle bit of compassion and irony to see that American Taliban was artistic license, not wild and intemperate attack.

Lighten up, as I believe they say on that side of the pond.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:00 PM on March 10, 2004


I heartily recommend to you Margaret Atwood's novel 'A Handmaid's Tale'.

She's Canadian, and therefore a dirty pinko commie socialist America-hater, of course. But it is worth the read, and germane to this conversation.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:22 PM on March 10, 2004


I'd just like to interject that this particular Canadian is a dirty America-lover.

Carry on defaming each other.
posted by timeistight at 4:47 PM on March 10, 2004


Stavros, I saw the movie and it creeped me out.
posted by konolia at 7:49 PM on March 10, 2004


(Anyone hoping to see the term "American Taliban" disappear is going to be waiting a while. It already has a strong foothold, appearing in mainstream media as far back as early 1997. The meaning took a while to settle, though a 1999 reference in the New Republic uses the term in exactly the way which seems to upset so many here: "Put it all together, and the post-Newt GOP seems determined to reinvent itself as a kind of American Taliban." Writer Dana Milbank went on to add, "I'm sure 'real America' approves of this turn toward military theocracy.")
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:56 PM on March 10, 2004


Stavros, I saw the movie and it creeped me out.

Wow - I didn't even know there was a movie! I'll have to try and track that down.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:59 PM on March 10, 2004


The movie wasn't nearly as chilling as the book. Natasha Richardson stars. It's astounding and horrific that, unlike the often-referenced 1984, The Handmaid's Tale is actually being implemented before our eyes.
posted by amberglow at 8:05 PM on March 10, 2004


This place will be a lot more fun when the purge is complete. I volunteer to photoshop the right wingers out of the meetup photos. La lucha continua!
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:31 PM on March 10, 2004


On topic, I just read the thread in question and it was both Talibantastic and theocralicious.

The disputation was certainly heated at times, and not always polite or very smart, and was dominated and moderated a little too much by troutfishing-the-excessively-voluble, but I really don't know what oissubke has against it. It wasn't the best of Metafilter, but it certainly wasn't anything like the worst.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:00 PM on March 10, 2004


American Taliban?

When do we get to blow up the statues of Buddha?
posted by Dagobert at 11:45 PM on March 10, 2004



When do we get to blow up the statues of Buddha?


Haven't you heard? We're instead going to write "WE HATE GAY FAGGOTS" in giant letters on our own Constitution.
posted by interrobang at 12:03 AM on March 11, 2004


When do we get to blow up the statues of Buddha?

Well for now we just cover our statues with curtains.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:38 AM on March 11, 2004


Hmmm... gay faggots. Double negative (you know what I mean) so that makes it straight people we hate?
posted by twine42 at 8:27 AM on March 12, 2004


The President of Taiwan: the new Hitler?
posted by homunculus at 5:32 PM on March 12, 2004


I keep hearing this as a song by Kraftwerk- Tali-Ban Ban Ban Ban Ban
posted by y2karl at 5:57 PM on March 12, 2004


troutfishing-the-excessively-voluble

Grimace sheepishly when you say that, O Stavroskettlepotikles...
posted by y2karl at 6:00 PM on March 12, 2004


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