This kind of sexual innuendo/attack doesn't belong here. May 24, 2004 5:16 PM   Subscribe

mary8nne, didn't your mom teach your not to take gang bangs from frat boys in college? You're just an exception though right. Or is that how all chicks from Down Under behave?

Look, I don't at all want to play net-nanny, but this kinda sexual innuendo/attack doesn't belong here, or anywhere. Witty, I tried to ignore this most of the afternoon. But I think you went too far here, and you owe an apology.
posted by Wulfgar! to Bugs at 5:16 PM (90 comments total)

Obviously, shouldn't be "bugs". Duh.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:20 PM on May 24, 2004


Well, it "bugs" you, so...
posted by reklaw at 5:46 PM on May 24, 2004


maybe someone has crabs
posted by mischief at 5:49 PM on May 24, 2004


I've got a jar of them, somewhere.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:53 PM on May 24, 2004


Wow, that was gross. I just thought he was kind of dumb and bitter and defending his incorrect allegiances a little to long after the sane people knew better, but that's just fucked up.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:58 PM on May 24, 2004


Let's start a pool on whether witty apologizes.

I say he doesn't.
posted by mischief at 5:59 PM on May 24, 2004


Witty is anything but, and is getting progressively more hostile.

He needs to go visit the big blue place outside his front door.
posted by bshort at 6:11 PM on May 24, 2004


gangbangs belong to a very popular genre of adult cinema. not to MetaFilter. especially if the tone is that hostile.
boys club indeed.
seriously, it's pretty shameful
posted by matteo at 6:12 PM on May 24, 2004


It's really no surprise:
Y'all just aren't real enough for me to give it much thought this browser has been closed.

The sociopaths (trolls, griefers, general bastards) of internet communities are always those that deny the social interactions are "really real", people who like to pretend that anyone they communicate with isn't a real person.
posted by malphigian at 6:13 PM on May 24, 2004


Y'all just aren't real enough for me to give it much thought this browser has been closed.

or, he could just switch to Mozilla
posted by matteo at 6:43 PM on May 24, 2004


It was disgusting.
posted by amberglow at 6:45 PM on May 24, 2004


It wasn't just disgusting, it was an attack out of nowhere. I mean, maybe if she mentioned gangbangs in her post it...might...be relevant.

[gangbang is a word, right? Or is it two separate words? Spell check is apparently not a porn fan.]
posted by graventy at 6:53 PM on May 24, 2004


What an awful thing to say. Anyone who would take such a minor slight (anyway, the Witty isn't witty thing can't possibly be something he doesn't hear daily) to such an extreme level of personal attack is one messed up dude sick asshole.
posted by cedar at 6:54 PM on May 24, 2004


He needs to go visit the big blue place outside his front door.

The moat?
posted by jonmc at 7:18 PM on May 24, 2004


I've read a lot of threads on MeFi where folks have taken a minority view (sometimes in a minority of one) and managed to argue their case without resorting to temper tantrums when things aren't going their way & a lot of knowledge gets shared.

That thread wasn't one of them.
posted by i_cola at 7:24 PM on May 24, 2004


What a fuckwit (and I mean that in the nasty, non-humorously ironic way). No matter what, there is no call ever to treat a fellow human being in that way. Witty is the web equivalent of a cancerous growth - the only solution is to cut it off, toss it in the bin, burn it and then let the ashes blow away in the wind.

He needs to go visit the big blue place outside his front door.
There is a MetaFilter outside as well?
posted by dg at 7:27 PM on May 24, 2004


Yikes. With a name like Witty he should be banned for false advertising.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:37 PM on May 24, 2004


I refuse to believe that anyone is just discovering that Witty's a dick. I knew that he was the most abrasive personality here when I was a lurker.

I don't have time to do the research, but I'm pretty sure that this isn't a new low for him.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:39 PM on May 24, 2004


Witty is anything but, and is getting progressively more hostile.

This is not a defense of him or what he said, but geez... if people kept repeating the same old joke about "Hey Witty... you're not so witty!" every fucking day, I would get cranky too.
posted by Hildago at 7:55 PM on May 24, 2004


Way over the line. Hope he realizes the error in judgment and steps forward.

Aside: Can we all agree that making jokes about user "Witty" not being very witty is actually not very witty either. It might be the laziest retort ever.
posted by dhoyt at 7:57 PM on May 24, 2004


Jinx.
posted by dhoyt at 7:57 PM on May 24, 2004


Ban him for a week.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:00 PM on May 24, 2004


I think we should just rename Witty to Gangbang MC. He seems to know how they work, and who frequents them.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:02 PM on May 24, 2004


What the fuck is wrong with you people?

May I please suggest that anytime anyone (including me) says this phrase, that we interpret it as:

"The user you are trying to reach is currently overcome by an aggressive hormone response making him/her believe that everyone else in the world is crazy while they alone guard the truth. Please check back at a later time, once this troublesome body chemistry has had sufficient time to enocunter the user's liver and kidneys and escape as urine.

Thank you."
posted by scarabic at 8:06 PM on May 24, 2004


...getting progressively more hostile.

Anyone want to place bets on which user is the most likely to burn out and have a self-imposed exile?
posted by milovoo at 8:15 PM on May 24, 2004


I'm consistently amazed by the gall people demonstrate here. I have gotten into some arguments myself, sure. But I would never have graduated from lurker to commenter in the first place if I hadn't already seen people saying way more fucked things than I would ever dare to. I don't know if I'm saying that's a good thing. It might be. I come from a culture where argument is normal and apologizing after stepping over the line is always okay. I've said my share of apologies here, too.

But what does it even mean to apologize once you've been asked to by a third party? Perhaps that brings out the best in people, prompting them to do the dance of shame, but I doubt it.

Once the apology has been requested, it's impossible to make it spontaneously, from-the-heart, which is what would mean the most. Once it's been requested, all you can do is respond to the request, bend at the knees and take it.

I don't have a lot of faith in this whole "you crossed my line, I think you should apologize" process, which began long before this thread, but of which this thread is a perfect example.

Perhaps what I'm saying is that your MeTa callout should have been less of a request-for-apology, and more of a "Hey! You there! Fuck you! Don't do that shit!"

If you have a problem with what someone is doing, by all means, say so.

If, then, at that point, the user apoligizes, then it really means something. He or she will have responded to a spanking with an apology. This is an act of grace, of taking the first step toward peace, extending an open hand to someone angry and wounded. Responding to a request for apology with the apology requested is just capitulating, bending to the consensus that you were wrong and receiving your designated boot-in-the-ass with a smile, welcoming your public flogging. There's something positively *administrative* about involving a third party.

It's a true apology if it's a choice, one of several options (the most notable other one being "hey! fuck you too!"). It's not surprising that most of the targets of these threads either don't respond or respond coolly then withdraw.
posted by scarabic at 8:37 PM on May 24, 2004


You know, his real name is Witty.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:23 PM on May 24, 2004


scarabic, point conceded. But as one who's gotten in a "fuck you" pissing match with Witty before, I just thought he might want, for once, to do the honorable thing. I consider Witty to be willful, but not stupid. And I would point out that I posted this thread as my opinion, and mine alone. If others agree, fine, if not also fine. I think Witty owes an apology. I don't expect one ever to be given.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:25 PM on May 24, 2004


Metafilter: Hey! You there! Fuck you! Don't do that shit!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:26 PM on May 24, 2004


I agree with Scarabic. Trying to compell some kind of apology is pointless. Witty continues to behave like a complete shithead and really doesn't deserve to be a part of the community any more.
posted by monkeyman at 9:29 PM on May 24, 2004


I would never have graduated from lurker to commenter in the first place if I hadn't already seen people saying way more fucked things than I would ever dare to.

There. See, Witty does have a purpose. He sets the low bar, above which all can rise.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:40 PM on May 24, 2004


Come on now, not that what he said was nice or called for, but insults are slung around here every day for no reason. Why is it worse to be obviously ludicrously linked to participating in gangbangs than to be called a fucking asshole or worse because of your views? Why can't that comment be treated as stupid and be left at that? Is it just because she's female? I'm pretty sure they can take that sort of thing without needing callout threads. I've never insulted anyone on here but I've been called all kinds of names, and I've only been here for a few months. If every inappropriate comment against users of both sexes had its own thread in MeTa, then the server would never be up. And I'd be very entertained by all the attempts at chivalry.
posted by loquax at 9:49 PM on May 24, 2004


I told hama7 to fuck himself the other day for his abhorrent views in relation to defending Savage's comments about nuking arabs. I would like to formally apologize that I made this comment when the thread was nearly at its natural end, so that more people didn't see it.

There. At least you got one formal, spontaneous apology out of this thread. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to a commie gangbang. Don't wait up.
posted by The God Complex at 10:15 PM on May 24, 2004


I think witty's funny. The comment may have been a little over the line, but it wasn't an "attack", and it certainly wasn't a "sexual.... attack."

Good God. Heaven forbid someone's feelings get a little scratched up as the byproduct of heated discourse. Did someone get some sand where it doesn't belong?
posted by trharlan at 10:22 PM on May 24, 2004


If you look over Witty's older posts, I think you'll find this was a relatively isolated instance of supreme idiocy. Now, I'm sure there are plenty of people who may point out Witty's interest in controversial posts in Lesbian threads, or his (slightly adolescent) way of playing devil's advocate in Bush threads as proof of further idiocy, but that wouldn't be very fair.

Everyone has their black moods, and sometimes their quick-typing fingers get the better of them. He stepped over the line, and I'm sure he understands that, but I'm not so certain with his stubborness that you'll ever eke out an apology from him.

Point is, I think a ban, even temporary, would be excessive and unnecessary. If anyone's asking.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:02 PM on May 24, 2004


I posted this thread as my opinion, and mine alone. If others agree, fine, if not also fine.

I understand, Wulfgar! I think it's good to set standards, speak up publicly about what's you/we/I accept and what we won't stand for. I think perhaps we all need to work on a way to do that that's less of a personal callout, less concerned with specific examples and personalities, and that produces more widely applicable results.

Now that I've said all that: I agree, Witty has been a shit lately.
posted by scarabic at 11:40 PM on May 24, 2004


What's really corrosive is Witty's attitude that the people here aren't really "real" in some important sense. I'm deeply suspicious of the honesty of that attitude because I have a great deal of difficulty understanding what the attraction would be in being a part of a completely non-real community while being fully aware of its non-realness. How could anything that is written here matter? Why read it? Why respond to it?

Clearly, we are real to Witty in some significant ways. It's only when he wants to rationalize being a jerk that he tells himself that we're not.

Fortunately, none of the rest of us on MeFi are like this. If we can manage to get Witty straightened out, things will be hunky-dorey in MeFiland.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:57 PM on May 24, 2004


PP would be proud, gratuitous expletives always help when making your point, not of course that I am exempt, they are rather unnecessary. Witty does seem to be getting progressively more aggressive though.
posted by johnnyboy at 8:05 AM on May 25, 2004


Has anyone noticed that for all the bitching that goes on in MeTa, usually the people being discussed never bother to respond here? Demand whatever you want; Witty's probably never going to see it.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:12 AM on May 25, 2004


He saw it. He's just too chicken to respond.
posted by caddis at 8:20 AM on May 25, 2004


I'm surprised at my reaction, but for some reason this just strikes me as way beyond the pale... Christ on a wooden crutch, that thread is a cesspool! God knows I disagree with a lot of people here a lot of the time, but this deserves some type of response. There's disagreeing, and there's being disagreeable... and then there's this. Matt, I'm not sure the guy deserves to be permanently banned, but at the very least, he needs a "time out" from MetaFilter - and it certainly sounds like the MeFi community needs one from him...
posted by JollyWanker at 9:28 AM on May 25, 2004


I dunno...it was a pretty crappy thing to say but I don't reckon it's very helpful to make a stink about it.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:37 AM on May 25, 2004


Witty's comments are usually so utterly tedious that this is almost refreshing. I mean, it's stupid, but refreshing.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:48 AM on May 25, 2004


There was a gangbang? and I missed it?
posted by eastlakestandard at 9:58 AM on May 25, 2004


I was thinking earlier about loquax's point. It seems to me that when evaluating (potentially) offensive comments, there are four somewhat independent measurements:
  • Inherent Offensiveness
  • Target's Offense
  • Offender's Intent
  • Offense in Cultural Context
How the first could be independent of the other three is unclear; but for the sake of the argument assume that some things are inherently offensive. ("I wish you to eternally suffer", as an example.) The second, how much the target is offended, is what we usually think is primary in these matters. And, of course, it matters a great deal. But it's not the whole story. The third, the offender's intent, although ultimately unknowable by anyone other than the offender, surely is relevant in a variety of ways. (Although I agree if anyone were to object that this is rather mysterious as to why this is the case.) The fourth, the cultural context, matters both in the sense that it is intimately involved with the previous two; but also often because insults and the like occur in a public context.

I suspect that someone will say that I'm over-analyzing this. But my point is that what really riles people up is proportional, I think, to the sum of all four measurements.

"Should" it be the case that a gangbang insult directed at a woman is particularly insulting or hurtful? "Should" it be—or is it—particularly hurtful to mary8nne? Maybe, maybe not. But there's more involved.

This insult is particularly vicious in our cultural context, and this provides some insight into Witty's intent (he either intended to be vicious or is extremely careless). Even if the insult's inherent offensiveness and how much mary8nne took offense are not very large, that the other two may have large values could be sufficient to make this very serious. Again, this may seem like overanalysis. But I think the essential point is a very important one: one can't merely wave away an objection to an offense on the basis that one of those things listed above is null. "It's not really offensive" isn't a defense. Neither is "I didn't mean it", or "She wasn't offended", or "Where I come from that's not offensive."
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:22 AM on May 25, 2004


EB, you're over-analyzing that.
posted by soyjoy at 10:23 AM on May 25, 2004


Demand whatever you want; Witty's probably never going to see it.

Usually they'll see it if they're called out in the thread. Otherwise, probably not.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:24 AM on May 25, 2004


One other thing: That Witty is not witty is a germane point. Choosing a username that effectively says "Don't take any of my insults seriously because it's all in good fun" is lame enough; but then using it to make dumbass accusations like the one we're talking about, and then pretending it's just rhetoric, does indeed take it beyond the pale.

I'm not advocating for banning, but this is worth hanging out on the dirty-laundry line, if only to say that we will not let this kind of garbage pass, from anyone, no matter what their handle is.
posted by soyjoy at 10:27 AM on May 25, 2004


One other thing: That Witty is not witty is a germane point. Choosing a username that effectively says "Don't take any of my insults seriously because it's all in good fun" is lame enough; but then using it to make dumbass accusations like the one we're talking about, and then pretending it's just rhetoric, does indeed take it beyond the pale.

Isn't Witty's surname "Witty", or some derivation thereof?
posted by trharlan at 10:46 AM on May 25, 2004


This insult is particularly vicious in our cultural context

Which cultural context is that? This is a global membership operating on too many different systems to start saying that anything is "intrinsically" to be interpreted any certain way. I don't think you're overanalyzing, EB, but I'm not really understanding the basis of your analysis. Your terms are a little vague.

Building from your comments, I humbly offer the following:

1) Vulgarity.
Profanity, obscene imagery, just plain potty-mouth. Wishes of death, disparaging comments about family members, exlicitly nasty suggustions of what to do with onesself. This can actually be quantified or objectified to some degree, unlike the vague concept of "offense," which is really a transaction that takes two people. There's no "offense" until someone is offended. Though it is still a slightly subjective judgement, the vulgarity of the insult is plain for anyone to see, and we even have broad societal standards for vulgarity which (gasp) can be resorted to in an absolute pinch.

2) Pain / indignity suffered by target
I think you've got something here, EB. Granted, this is a highly subjective variable, and we as a community can't always let the standards be set by someone who just got really offended / pissed off. If the victims decided punishments in criminal courts, there'd be nothing but capital punishment. However, we should take a cue from the justice system, which does sometimes let the victim set the tone for the prosecution via pressing/dropping charges. In other words, yes, it actually matters whether the person was hurt, and how much.

3) The humor factor
I don't think any of us wants to see this become a humorless place where no one can ever tell anyone else to piss up a rope. However, if the group consensus is that the insult had no redeeming humor value, and that the insulting member has not built up a sense of humor with the rest of us over time (as Quonsar would seem to have) then "I was just joking" is not an effective defense for telling someone to go dig up Hitler's corpse and go fuck his mother with its femur.

4) Surrounding substance of discussion
If the insult is delivered in the course of a well-considered and substantial comment, that doesn't make it okay, but it should be a mitigating factor. It's one thing to overheat in the midst of a discussion and cross the line, it's another to swoop in out of nowhere with pockets full of feces for everyone. Reasoned debate shows respect. If that respects accompanies an "insult" then I think the "offense" is a little less. Obviously this is just a factor. The most reasoned among us still sometimes flip out and need to chill.

5) Whatever tone Matt chooses to set
Self-policing, yes, but if Matt makes a principle clear, and I mean really clear (as in banning someone), then obviously we should try to understand, support and perpetuate it.

These need to work as a set. I think you need to trip 3 or more to really be over the line. For example, if you say something very vulgar but the target obviously doesn't care, then so what? Maybe you know him/her well enough to josh around. Maybe he/she doesn't care enough to make a callout of it. So let it be. If someone is hurt by something you said, but there's it contains nothing identifiable as vulgar, and it was really fucking funny, then let it be.

But if a humorless face-slap of an insult comes out of nowhere and really leaves a handprint, then you've got the makings of "case" for recommending a timeout to the Matt. Which is all you can really do, anyway.
posted by scarabic at 10:59 AM on May 25, 2004


Look, I don't at all want to play net-nanny, but this kinda sexual innuendo/attack doesn't belong here, or anywhere.

How about here: "Come on, bend and spread.". Typical.
posted by hama7 at 11:08 AM on May 25, 2004


It's an eternal loop! "Witty isn't witty! Why'd he name himself Witty?" "Witty's his real name, dude." "Witty isn't witty! Why'd he name himself Witty?" "Witty's his real name, dude." "Witty isn't witty! Why'd he name himself Witty?" "Witty's his real name, dude." Man, if I had to deal with that day in and day out I'd make Witty look like he was made out of bunnies and popsicles. Oh, wait, somebody else said as much. Aaaaaugh! It's part of me now!
posted by furiousthought at 11:30 AM on May 25, 2004


How about here:

Well, let's see.

*Definitely fails #1
*Unclear on #2 since 111 never responded
*Significant redeeming value via #3, and obviously delivered with a satiric (if salacious) tone
*Some redeeming value via #4 - it wasn't all insult.
*No word on #5

So that's one strike with two mitigating factors. I'd say Wulfgar! is in the clear.
posted by scarabic at 11:32 AM on May 25, 2004


crap - bad link. Just scroll up.
posted by scarabic at 11:34 AM on May 25, 2004


Hama7's predictable complaint illustrates my point about context, scarabic.

In isolation, it would seem that Witty's and Wulfgar's insults should be essentially identically objectionable. But, in practive, they're not, and I think it's dishonest to pretend that they are. That's why the context matters. And pretty much every cultural context on Earth is one in which an accusation of female promiscuity is extremely provocative. I'll be the first one to say that I don't think there's anything at all wrong with a woman being gangbanged by fifty people, her grandmother, and a horse, for that matter. I couldn't care less. But, for example, were both Witty and mary8nne to share my opinion about groupsex, yet Witty were to make that comment about mary8nne in a room full of, say, Amish—it would be assumed by them to be a dire insult, and that would almost certainly make it at least somewhat hurtful to mary8nne.

In Hama7's defense, although I think Witty's insult the more serious, my above point also applies with regard to Wulfgar and 111. That is, Wulfgar, I don't doubt, particularly chose that insult because it is quite offensive in 111's cultural context. Wulfgar might protest that he himself doesn't think it's that offensive, and that therefore it's no big deal, but that would be disengenous. You can't have it both ways. One wonders if Witty would try to defend his comment on the basis of, say, women's sexual liberation and the general sex-positive nature of MeFi. Would we believe him? Should we?

My main point was that a whole bunch of things, including those that you insightfully discuss, Scarabic, go into determining the gestalt judgment of what is and how much something is "offensive". However, people who have a habit of being insulting will almost invariably attempt to defend their behavior on very narrow, very convenient, grounds.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:36 AM on May 25, 2004


Definitely, there's the direct play between how the insult is contrived, how it is received, how the author perceives that it will be received, and how the receiver perceives it was intended. This is complicated, etc, and with all the history various folks have built up here together, it's practically impossible to judge from the outside.

I do think, though, that promises of man-to-man anal rape is about as widely provocative, culturally, as implications of female promiscuity (hence a strike for #1, vulgarity).
posted by scarabic at 11:51 AM on May 25, 2004


Wulfgar might protest that he himself doesn't think it's that offensive, and that therefore it's no big deal, but that would be disengenous. You can't have it both ways.

On the contrary, Wulfgar! would argue that he knows damn well its offensive, and straight to the point of 111's seeming aversion to homosexuality while yet that one continually and annoyingly refers to this site and its members as part of a "homolefty" cabal. hama7's example also refers to an exchange in the middle to end of an ongoing conflict in which reason was attempted and abandoned after the obvious uselessness of it against 111's prejudices. But then hama7 knows that, he's just trying make a specious point, to which I respond ... at least I'm not as bad as Saddam (neener, neener).
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:54 AM on May 25, 2004


It seems to me that when evaluating (potentially) offensive comments, there are four somewhat independent measurements:

Great. Ethereal_Bligh is the Sandra Day O'Connor of MetaTalk.

I do think, though, that promises of man-to-man anal rape is about as widely provocative, culturally, as implications of female promiscuity (hence a strike for #1, vulgarity).

They may be equally "provocative, culturally" but you must see a whole lot of difference between alleging that someone is an orgiast (to draw an analogy) and offering to fuck someone in the ass.
posted by trharlan at 12:11 PM on May 25, 2004


MetaTalk: You're over-analyzing that.
posted by dg at 2:58 PM on May 25, 2004


I guess, maybe, tharlan, though not really. They're both ridiculous, anyway, so I can't find much to hook analysis onto. Suffice to say that they're both vulgar, which I think is a lot more relevant than our necessarily diverse and subjective interpretations of what's "offensive." If we're going to ban people, or set standards for what's unacceptable, we have to stick to what we can nail down consistently, what we can quantify. I like the "say it in a room full of Amish" litmus test. Pitchfork in the groin for both Wulfgar! and Witty? Probably.
posted by scarabic at 3:27 PM on May 25, 2004


Deconstructing Discourtesy: A MetaTalk Perspective
posted by Opus Dark at 3:43 PM on May 25, 2004


I like the "say it in a room full of Amish" litmus test. Pitchfork in the groin for both Wulfgar! and Witty?

Heh, heh. Sorry, dude, I grew up in hay country. I'm a master at pitchforkfu. Instead of screaming "WhahHaaa" we scream "Wheateeesss", and then go turn the compost.

Wulfgar: pitchfork free groinage since 1962.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:11 PM on May 25, 2004


"Witty isn't witty! Why'd he name himself Witty?" "Witty's his real name, dude." Man, if I had to deal with that day in and day out I'd make Witty look like he was made out of bunnies and popsicles.

"You're a clownfish, huh? Bet you're funny! C'mon, tell us a joke!"
posted by kindall at 5:02 PM on May 25, 2004


why wouldn't hama7 jjust come out and admit that Witty's statement was an asshole thing to say, even if it were simply in addition to his usual taking a shot at another user. The fact that he didn't is kind of gross.

Then again I may just have some sand where it doesn't belong. (wtf???)
posted by Space Coyote at 5:10 PM on May 25, 2004


Because hama7 is on Witty's side! Remember, it's all about choosing your teams and showing solidarity around here! Us versus them! Heaven forbid people display a little honesty and logic, instead of just jumping through semantic hoops "for the cause".
posted by Jimbob at 5:53 PM on May 25, 2004


I'm here... I have been away for the last day or two for a variety of reasons (not that anyone cares). My lack of a timely response had nothing to do with avoiding this situation however. I didn't even know it was going on until :30 minutes ago or so. Now I'm in the middle of a tornado alert here in Fairfax County, VA. Fun! (not really).

So... for all of you doubters, I apologize to mary8nne for my comment. Her sarcastic stab at the U.S. ticked me off and I responded inappropriately... as I probably did with mr.marx as well, for the same reasons.

There's so much here to respond to that I can't possibly give each comment a direct rebuttal. But I think some of this is being blown out of proportion. I disagree that I'm becoming increasingly aggressive. I've spent the majority of my time in non-hostile type threads lately, including AskMe. The most I've done in anything political, is read. I even offered my new and improved position on gay marriage, which I would think would please most of the community here. But I'm not trying to score any points... just saying.

I've made it a point to stay out of 99% of all political threads... for two reasons. One, I'm nowhere near as versed on the ins and outs of of the topic as many of you are. I don't have the historical background necessary. I admit that. I based far too much of "what I know" on the here and now. I also don't have a catalogue of links that I can turn to at any moment in an effort to strengthen my position. Therefore, I can't really go tit for tat with opposing viewpoints. But that's my own problem. While I try to stay on top of what's going on, I find it increasingly difficult to digest all of the world's issues. It's overwhelming most of the time really. Two, and more importantly, I'm usually at the mercy of my own feelings and emotions... which usually doesn't do anyone a damn bit of good in a political discussion. It's hard to not get involved sometimes however.

So periodically, I pipe up with what I know is going to not go over very favorably. It's not because I'm TRYING to stir the pot. But take the thread in question... it's a very typical political thread on MetaFilter. It's a small tid bit of relatively minor information that everyone in the majority here can chime in on with various sarcastic comments, quips, jabs and stabs at Bush, at Americans, at U.S. soldiers, etc. After about 8-10 of those, someone might try to steer the thread in a particular direction. But it usually just ends up as a bunch of people agreeing with each other and patting themselves on the back... for agreeing with each other.

Sometimes I offer an alternative viewpoint... though maybe not always in the most effective way, admittedly. The response is ALWAYS the same... tired jokes about my name (which doesn't bother me, it's nothing new), insults, more sarcasm, etc. etc. That's fine... but I'm going to respond, as well I should. Heck, without me (in that particular thread), what was there to debate or argue about? I did appreciate fff's effort in seeing SOMEthing of worth in what I was trying to say.

Like most threads of that nature, it's often that people like myself are a lone representative... 111 finds himself in the same position often, perhaps P.P. as well (I dunno). When the circle tightens and the poking and prodding ensues, I can either run and take my ideas and thoughts with me, or I can poke back. I often sometimes choose the latter. Then I'm dragged into MetaTalk for it? Ok. I'll stay out of the hot threads from now on. It's been proven to me that it's certainly not worth it... even if all I have to offer is a thought, rather than a link.

Also, I've always responded to these things... call-outs or whatever (although I think there's only been one other official incident, a long time ago). And to address the "real, not real" issue... of course I know you people are real people. But like anyone else, it's easy to succumb to the idea that one can be a bit more blunt than they might be in person. Everyone here does it. I don't wish anyone here harm or a horrible life or whatever. But I don't KNOW any of you. Maybe some of you are quite familiar with some other members on a personal level. I don't. I only know you as Wulfgar!, kindall or Space Coyote. I barely know if some of you are male or female (not that it matters). So when I step away from the computer for the day, I don't give the lot of you much thought. That's all I'm saying... and I know some of you know what I mean. I don't spend any of my non-Mefi time wondering what Ethereal Bligh is up to. Why would I?

For me, I'm curious about Keyser Soze because I want to know what happened. But I'm not worried about him because I don't know him. That's all I was questioning in that Meta thread... the sincerity of everyone's worry. It was meant purely as a philosophical question of sorts (if that's even the right word). But people jumped all over me for it. Sheesh.

{break}
posted by Witty at 6:36 PM on May 25, 2004


On reflection, I apologize for knowingly jabbing Witty and it's not something I would do to someone I _knew_ so I get where he's coming from there. And admitting that one is arguing from an emotional perspective is a lot better than some of the other really wacked out users who try to present alternate universe arguments as being perfectly rational. So for my part I'll try not to be so confrontational with Witty.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:52 PM on May 25, 2004


Bravo Witty. I have new respect for you. By the way, please don't stay out of hot threads, some of us actually want to hear more than one view.
posted by caddis at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2004


Very nice. Well put.
posted by graventy at 7:38 PM on May 25, 2004


Witty, thank you. That was honorable and I do respect that.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:41 PM on May 25, 2004 [1 favorite]


Yes, that was a very thoughtful response made in good-faith. I'm not entirely convinced by your defense, but I'm deeply persuaded simply by its character.

And this is why it's so much more productive to be nice than to be mean.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:24 PM on May 25, 2004


Throughout this whole thread, based upon the MeFi thread that engendered it, I held my piece as I don't like to hop into the madness. I do however, take issue with one thing Witty said in his/her defense: But like anyone else, it's easy to succumb to the idea that one can be a bit more blunt than they might be in person. Everyone here does it. No, Witty, everyone does not do it. Some of us try very hard to remain civil at the keyboard, despite the provocation. You might give it a whirl sometime.
posted by Lynsey at 9:26 PM on May 25, 2004


Held my peace, too.
posted by Lynsey at 9:39 PM on May 25, 2004


Ok... except for Lynsey. I didn't mean to lump you in to the hypothetical "everybody". But I'm glad you were able to dig out the one thing.

How prophetic I was (and the irony at that).
posted by Witty at 9:52 PM on May 25, 2004


Well said, Witty. As caddis said, opposing viewpoints should always be welcome, as long as we all remember that there are actual living, breathing human beings behind all those pixels.
posted by dg at 5:06 AM on May 26, 2004


A well thought out and sincere reply witty, I stand confounded!.
posted by johnnyboy at 5:11 AM on May 26, 2004


You seem to have won everyone over with a single comment, Witty. Nice accomplishment. Give yourself a big old pat on the ass.
posted by orange swan at 9:20 AM on May 26, 2004


Man, people can be so contrarian. I hate to put it into such manipulative terms, but good behavior should be rewarded, bad behavior punished. Given how Witty was very strongly (rightly, I think) attacked in this thread, his apology and very reasonable, moderate post is commendable. That doesn't mean we have to suddenly like him and everything he says, and it doesn't mean that everything is forgiven and forgotten.

As Lynsey says, lots of folks try very hard to be nice, and Witty should try harder. On the other hand, one of the hardest things to do is to not be ultra-defensive when criticized, to apologize, and to admit when one is wrong. Witty deserves a lot of credit for that; as does anyone who acts similarly.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:38 AM on May 26, 2004


The reason you keep getting jumped on, Witty, is that your ideas are abhorrent.

I can understand how your logic would allow you to arrive at the conclusions you made in that thread, and I even tried to re-voice them so that others could see where you were coming from.

Nonetheless, I still think your ideas are awful. You appear to believe the Iraqis are less than human, or at least less than American. You excuse the behaviour of the soldiers, rather than condemn that behaviour. Do you not see where that sort of thinking leads?

So please don't say that I was trying to see something of "worth" in what you were saying. I wasn't. I was merely exploring how you could posit such vile ideas.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:05 AM on May 26, 2004


That doesn't mean we have to suddenly like him and everything he says, and it doesn't mean that everything is forgiven and forgotten.

Have you never been a part of an online community prior to MeFi, Ethereal Bligh? Haven't you been lurking for quite some time here prior to your membership? I'm surprised by your surprise. This type of "making up" is quite common here and, as can be abundantly shown through examples (five fresh fish above displays one), bad behavior is never forgotten. Quite the opposite, in fact. Grudges are formed.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:21 AM on May 26, 2004


The reason you keep getting jumped on, Witty, is that your ideas are abhorrent.

To be exact, the reason is that the majority of MeFiers think his ideas are abhorrent. I know some will be surprised, but there is a difference between the two statements.
posted by mw at 10:45 AM on May 26, 2004


You appear to believe the Iraqis are less than human, or at least less than American. You excuse the behaviour of the soldiers, rather than condemn that behaviour.

Some of you read what you want to read, I guess. I can't think of any other reason you would come to this conclusion fff.

I'm not going to rehash the blue thread all over again in this thread, but I have to defend myself on that particular point and say... that's just flat-assed wrong. I NEVER said anything even close to that. I don't believe, or gave any a reason to believe, that Iraqis are less than human. Terrorists? Perhaps. I did NOT excuse the behavior of our soldiers in that incident... I said that very clearly. I think they should be punished. But to condemn the entire armed forces, to take the blame for this incident all the way to Rumsfeld is silly, and wrong and I don't agree with it, simple as that. That was my point. But somehow, when I post a thought like that, I end up "hating all brown people". Whatever. There should never have been any innocent civilians in those prisons, much less, in any kind of a torture situation (I concede that I didn't know any of them were deemed innocents). But a terrorist (one who attacks Iraqi police and oil facilities, an insurgent that isn't actualy from Iraq, etc.), while it is still wrong to torture them because it against the rules, I wouldn't lose any sleep if they had to take an ass kicking once in a while. That may be the part that bothers you... that's fine.
posted by Witty at 10:47 AM on May 26, 2004


I didn't say I was surprised, BlueTrain. And my online community participation dates back to 1983. I know how this works. And I know that there's two very ugly tendencies that many people have: kicking someone when they're down, and kicking them after the fight has ended.

Anyway, Witty, try to keep in mind that it's not just you who has strong feelings about the topic of Abu Ghraib. The point of view that it seems like you're flirting with espousing is one that really pisses me off, and it's why I didn't and am not going to engage you on it. I'll get upset and be quite certain that I'm justified in being as vicious as I like. In other words, I don't trust my own judgment when my emotions are this strongly engaged. This is the sort of thing you might keep in mind while you monitor your own behavior.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:10 AM on May 26, 2004


"mary8nne, didn't your mom teach your not to take gang bangs from frat boys in college? You're just an exception though right. Or is that how all chicks from Down Under behave?"

"So... for all of you doubters, I apologize to mary8nne for my comment. Her sarcastic stab at the U.S. ticked me off and I responded inappropriately... as I probably did with mr.marx as well, for the same reasons."


I'd actually have preferred you to apologize to mary8nne, rather than make it seem as though you did it "for all you doubters." But I suppose that's what you meant and I'm reading it a bit wrong, and you would have felt the need to apologize anyway, whether you were proving it to doubters or not.

I'm not one to bounce into these sorts of MeFi threads where people are feeling the need to pummel one another in order to prove the rightness of their take on things. Sometimes a good scrap is fun to read, but I sure as hell don't want that kind of anger directed towards me.

Oh and the next time someone accuses MeFi of being anti-woman this kind of gangbangs comment would be a good example. And the fact that it went to MetaTalk a good solution.
posted by batgrlHG at 12:03 PM on May 26, 2004


We're ignoring an important point. Should our mothers be expected to teach us not to take gang bangs from frat boys in college? My mom didn't. Okay, sure, I'm a guy, but I'm positive she didn't discuss this with my sister, either.

I did get the whole "don't give ten dollar blowjobs on the street corner" lecture. But who doesn't?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:29 PM on May 26, 2004


The reason you keep getting jumped on, Witty, is that your ideas are abhorrent.

To be exact, the reason is that the majority of MeFiers think his ideas are abhorrent.


If this weren't so pervasive, it would be hilarious. Left-wing fascism is abhorrent. Sensitivity training is abhorrent. "Cultural context" is abhorrent. It's apparently "abhorrent" to disagree.

I don't believe, or gave any a reason to believe, that Iraqis are less than human. Terrorists? Perhaps.

Perhaps?

But somehow, when I post a thought like that, I end up "hating all brown people". Whatever.

That's a tactic that's tantamount to saying "I hate you, shut up" it means nothing.

I concede that I didn't know any of them were deemed innocents

They were involved in a riot and were in the Tier 1A cell block, a "Hard Site" reserved for the most violent and dangerous in the entire prison, not sinless lamblike innocents.

I appreciate your apology too for the lurid language, Witty, though the reasons for this thread are transparent as warm Jell-O. Anybody, (even with half their brain tied behind their back just to make it fair) could instantly recognize the analogy that you were making; demonizing the entire U.S. military force in Iraq of 130,000 soldiers for the inappropriate actions of between 7 and 14 is specious, ludicrous, impossible and outrageous.

Every soldier is familiar with, and is under obligation uphold the values presented in The Soldier's Code.
posted by hama7 at 1:19 PM on May 26, 2004


Is warm Jello-O that transparent? I mean, really, is it?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:32 PM on May 26, 2004


Out of curiousity, who was demonizing the entire US military force?

And how come it's unfair to paint the military with all one brush, but you just love painting liberals/democrats/MeFi members with one brush?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:52 PM on May 26, 2004


I appreciate your apology too for the lurid language, Witty, though the reasons for this thread are transparent as warm Jell-O.

I agree with you on this, hama7. Especially considering that I said exactly why I posted it both in the post and in my comment later. If you are alluding to some other transparancy that isn't, or rather defies, the obvious then take off your tinfoil hat and state your case, because that is obviously NOT transparent.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:11 PM on May 26, 2004


this kinda sexual innuendo/attack doesn't belong here

So... what kind of sexual innuendo does belong here?

EB, you're over-analyzing

And in other news, the sun rose today.... ;)
posted by namespan at 10:00 PM on May 26, 2004


« Older Anything we can do to help keep MeFi up?   |   Threads I wish weren't closed Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments