mefi is an american weblog August 15, 2004 8:43 PM   Subscribe

MetaFilter is an American weblog. Europeans here, whether British or continental, are mere tokens. Perhaps we should all give up the international pretense. The truth is that MetaFilter, for those of us not lucky (or, to be frank, unluckly) enough to live in the U.S. or Canada, is fast becoming a domestic concern with an ever-decreasing regard for what happens in the (enormous) rest of the world. Whereas (the few remaining) Europeans here are curious about America, Americans here seem boringly and predictably obsessed with themselves. Is isolationism the growing trend on this board? It certainly seems so. Say the word, by the way, and you can have it all to yourselves, no hard feelings.

It is not a good idea but it's a stone's throw away...
posted by MiguelCardoso to MetaFilter-Related at 8:43 PM (373 comments total)

Not at all! Many of us wish you guys would post more about things (web and otherwise) from elsewhere. Most of us surf US sites so that's where stuff comes from.
posted by amberglow at 8:46 PM on August 15, 2004


WE'RE NUMBER ONE!

U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

:P
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:55 PM on August 15, 2004


ignore crash.

Do you think we shut out non-US people or make them feel left out, Miguel?
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on August 15, 2004


Though the diehards will deny it until their dying breaths, Plastic already made this slide. However, rather than "an ever-decreasing regard for what happens in the (enormous) rest of the world", I believe the better description to be "an ever-increasing disregard for foreign opinion about what happens in the rest of the world".
posted by mischief at 8:59 PM on August 15, 2004


Dearest amberglow, my long-lasting friend, I do think that MeFi is becoming more isolationist and inclusive, more self-referential and less international. Perhaps it started with the absurd anti-French bias, played on the left-wing fiddle.

But, even about a year ago, one got the impression MeFi was about the world as much as it was about the WWW. Now it seems boringly about the U.S.A.

Americans should wise up: the U.S.A. is not that important in the world. Most of the world lives happily without it. Also, Americans should understand how isolated they are from the world and try to make contact with fellow human beings, lest they fester in their own delusions.

My post, however, was presented as a definite insight: MeFi is becoming self-inclusive and local. How many British and European members have stopped posting? Lots. So the feeling remains: perhaps you'd like it all to yourselves?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:06 PM on August 15, 2004


With the majority of metafilter members being american, and america being, sadly, the most powerful, not to mention meddling (but that's the subject of a different post) on earth, it's no surprise that the site is america-centric. Its too bad since input from anywhere else in the world is not only welcome, it's just as interesting and important. What to do? Lord knows, I get tired of Kerry this, Bush that, Limbaugh yada yada, clear channel crap, nytimes times times, blah blah blah. But really, whadayado? Miguel, you gave it your best and even you posted your fair share of american stuff. I say you either put your thumb in the dike or you give up. Either way, the way things currently are, you can't escape it, be it on metafilter or in world events.

amberglow, people get left out because of the natural selfishness americans have. I'm not trying to be rude or to paint everybody with a very large brush, but americans tend to be very focused on americans and what's best for americans. metafilter naturally focuses on america.

miguel, you sound bitter. what's up?
posted by ashbury at 9:08 PM on August 15, 2004


Miguel, surely you must be drunk. If you want international links, please post them. If you think that fewer international posters hang around here, then what can we possibly do about that? The majority of the members here aren't self-absorbed ugly Americans, and you know it. Don't throw stereotypes around so lightly.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:14 PM on August 15, 2004


I treasure our correspondents from all over the globe and wish to hear more posts from them whenever possible. We have people in Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, Sweden, Korea and those are just the countries I remember posters saying they're in; I know there are many more.

However, this post smacks of Miguel having hurt feelings about something and making it sound as if he's going to round up everyone who is not an American or British member and urge them to pack up and go elsewhere, n'est pas?
posted by Lynsey at 9:15 PM on August 15, 2004


Americans should wise up

I mean, really.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:16 PM on August 15, 2004


"ignore crash"

I've tried and tried, but it just isn't working. Every time I look in the mirror (and I look in the mirror a lot), he's there again.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:22 PM on August 15, 2004


Miguel, surely you must be drunk.

I was just going to post the same thing.

Miguel, though I agree with your "analysis", your presentation sucks. As a Canadian, I get tired of posts from USA'ns that take it for granted that everyone here is American. Sometimes it's subtle (like, "Well that's what living here is like!") and sometimes more overt, but it's a problem on the net in general, not just MeFi.
posted by dobbs at 9:23 PM on August 15, 2004


I was thinking about this today as well. Even though I am interested in international politics (including American - especially with what is at stake for the rest of the world if Bush is re-elected), I do find it a tad arrogant that anything to to with American politics is deemed "best of the web." This goes far beyond "Newsfilter" or whatever - more like "AmericaFilter." Another example today is Scarabic's post in AskMe about Federal income tax cutoffs. The assumption being that he was talking about American Federal income tax cutoffs. Etc. etc. etc.

I understand a good majority of the MeFi population are yanks - and I bear them no ill will in anyway. But I totally see Miguel's point, and was actually thinking about posting something like this to MeTa without incurring a pile on. Thanks for being the sacrificial lamb Miguel, and while you are all sharpening your pointing sticks for him, at least think about what he is saying (instead of turning it personal Migs is drunk, cranky, off his rocker, unwelcome etc etc).
posted by Quartermass at 9:26 PM on August 15, 2004


We have people in Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, Sweden, Korea

Lynsey, perhaps the problem is in your expression "we have people". You certainly don't have me - why should you have anyone else? Who is "we"? Who is "people"?

To be honest, it sounds uncomfortably like British Embassy Staff in the 19th Century talking about "our staff". When you say "we have", what does "we" and "have" exactly mean? You certainly don't "have me", anymore than I have you.

Your very response, Lynsey, in its smug, highly provincial tenor points to the very problem!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:28 PM on August 15, 2004


Fergle. Blark. Shleng.
posted by quonsar at 9:28 PM on August 15, 2004 [1 favorite]


Well, maybe it'll be better after the elections.

And there are plenty of topical posts on the front page right now that are certainly worldwide--memorials, prisons, jazz, olympics, fonts, The Office, alien fireballs, paranoid schizophrenics...
posted by amberglow at 9:31 PM on August 15, 2004


and crash: mwahhh! : >
posted by amberglow at 9:33 PM on August 15, 2004


Maybe the upcoming American Presidential election has skewed MeFi to the American perspective since it is such a source of anxiety for the American MeFites. Perhaps it will settle down afterwards. Was there a similar trend in 2000?
posted by tetsuo at 9:34 PM on August 15, 2004


Damn it amberglow....
posted by tetsuo at 9:35 PM on August 15, 2004


WeMetafilter have peoplehas members in Brazil, New Zealand...etc.

Does that make more sense? I'm sure Lynsey's not trying to say she has anyone (although she may, I haven't checked her cellar lately).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:37 PM on August 15, 2004


Jesus, Miguel, she meant "we have people" in the sense of a shared community. When I say I "have friends" in New York, it isn't a pronouncement of actual, cultural, or political slavery.

Sorry to use "New York" as my example. You know us, we navel-gazing Americans!

I don't know why I'm letting you rile me up. Damn you Cardoso!
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:39 PM on August 15, 2004


oh, tetsuo--don't forget to do an absentee ballot before you go abroad.

I don't know--I think most people here are not at all as selfish/uninterested in the world as the general US populace. If there's stuff we're not posting about, then you guys post it.
posted by amberglow at 9:39 PM on August 15, 2004


This whole thread smells kinda Seth-ish when i think about it.
posted by amberglow at 9:44 PM on August 15, 2004


It's done, but it's a Florida ballot, so who knows where it will end up.
posted by tetsuo at 9:47 PM on August 15, 2004


Matteo, for example, like romakimmy, is a token Italian. I'm a token Portuguese, There are a few British members, all articulate and forceful (you all know who they are). We seem to exist as tokens, presences which assure you you're not alone, colourful "continental types" which extend your limited influence.

Perhaps the truth is that Europeans here (no more than 5% at best) are simply guarantors for your redneck, hillabilly, American ways - or counterpoints to your insularity?

Either way, MeFi has changed (for the worst!).
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:54 PM on August 15, 2004


MetaFilter is an American weblog. Europeans here, whether British or continental, are mere tokens. Perhaps we should all give up the international pretense.

Also the world extends beyond Europe. Or is that your definition of "international" ;)

I dont know what pretense you're talking about. Metafilter has always been an American weblog, despite the occasional post otherwise.

You've always been one of my favorite contributors and your arrival here definitely livened up the place just when I thought it was about to die. This place could certainly use more international flavor and, ideally, a crowd of users who spend more time plugged into literature and cultural magazines than they do into their Ipods. But berating people here for being who they are is hardly a solution.

Stay or don't stay as you wish but I hope its the former.
posted by vacapinta at 9:55 PM on August 15, 2004


miguel, I'm confused: you used to be a staunch supporter of anything and everything american, from its pop stars to its beverages to its politics. Are you no longer this person? You are coming across as being very bitter and it makes me sad to see you this way because you have always been a paragon of great character and equanimity. Either way, whether you are angry and bitter or not, I agree with you, but the question still remains - what to do about it?
posted by ashbury at 9:59 PM on August 15, 2004


I'm not trying to be rude or to paint everybody with a very large brush

your redneck, hillabilly, American ways

Make up your mind. You just painted me, a Hispanic American, with a very large rude brush I don't particularly care for.
posted by tetsuo at 10:01 PM on August 15, 2004


Why do your threads always make me feel like I'm reading an essay question on a grade 11 exam? It's like you lead out each paragraph of response that you expect and nudge me towards some inclusion.

Other than that, all I'll say is I resent the implication that Canada and the U.S. are somehow similar places to live, or that the fact that's it's U.S. centric is somehow better for Canadians than you crazy and "curious" europeans. Also, recent history would suggest the rest of the world should take more interest in what the U.S. does, because if you think they're better off not then, well, you reap what you sow and all that.

Also, you once again use dodgy statistics (you seem to imply european users are on the downtrend), with no real substantial reason for using them. I'm sure some europeans have left, since a lot of Americans have left over the months/years. That's what happens with no new signups.
posted by The God Complex at 10:02 PM on August 15, 2004


Inclusion? Conclusion!

*shakes head*
posted by The God Complex at 10:03 PM on August 15, 2004


... simply guarantors for your redneck, hillabilly, American ways - or counterpoints to your insularity?
If you seriously believe that, then you'd probably be happier leaving for more worldy climes. Sorry we're too trailer-park for you. (Way to make a point with insults tho--very Seth of you.)
posted by amberglow at 10:03 PM on August 15, 2004


tetsuo, I said the first and miguel said the second.
posted by ashbury at 10:03 PM on August 15, 2004


oops--worldly. (The trailer must have been rocking as i was typing.)
posted by amberglow at 10:05 PM on August 15, 2004


Miguel, seriously, what's the deal here? You seem to be lashing out at the site and everyone here out of the blue. I agree with vacapinta that I hope you'd stay, and I hope you continue to post about european and other international matters.

The vast majority of news posts lately have been american centric, but I think it's a reflection of the folks doing posts, as they're mostly american.

The ideal post is likely free of regionalism. An amazing site that gets linked to here is an amazing site, regardless of whether it's american, european, or anything else.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:05 PM on August 15, 2004


Doh, I'm out, it's too late for this.
posted by tetsuo at 10:05 PM on August 15, 2004


I'm going to bed. who's with me?

looking forward to the 100-plus comments tomorrow morning.
posted by ashbury at 10:05 PM on August 15, 2004


Jesus, Miguel. Are you trying to read everything through the narrow window of your bruised feelings? "We have people in x, y, and z" clearly corresponds to "Metafilter has members in x, y, and z", which is about as neutral and factual (and even a bit conciliatory) response as you can get without kowtowing completely to your Pronouncement From Above. You're reaching mighty hard to try draw a link to anti-Europeanism from that.

Like it or not, this is an accurate reflection of the web. On all the various hobbyist forums I frequent (and I'm not talking about obscure hobbies like collecting Elvis statues but general interest ones like photography), I've sometimes heard the occasional friendly jibe from non-Americans about how USA-centric the flow of information is, whether it's product announcements and release dates, current deals, or even buying, selling, and trading--but also with the resigned recognition of how it reflects upon the sites' membership. All of the demographic polling results of Anglophone sites I've seen have had results that heavily favored Americans, unless it's a site with a specific international or regional focus.

I don't see anyone shouting down links of international interest--in fact, many here have already been openly critical of Bushfilter. Why don't you post some links with a non-American focus and see how well they're received?

Another example today is Scarabic's post in AskMe about Federal income tax cutoffs. The assumption being that he was talking about American Federal income tax cutoffs.

What? You're not going to jump on people asking about American cities like Chicago as well? :)

I don't see this "assumption of Americanism" as a conscious attempt on the part of Americans to exclude non-Americans, but rather a benign facet of the American vernacular (that is to say, implicitly equating "Federal" with "American" and so forth) which just happens to be the vernacular Mefi's largest demographic. Why read malice into an issue of familiarity in expression?

On preview: I type too slowly.
posted by DaShiv at 10:05 PM on August 15, 2004


Have your people call my people.

Some American dominance is inevitable as long as the default language here is AmericanEnglish, and the U.S.of A. seems to be going through a high-profile, high-stakes kind of political thing right now. If you, Migs, or anybody else can come up with a few good links to English-language reports about some other nation's wacky leadership, it would make one heckofa good Front Page Post.

Just don't do it about Turkmenistan. Somebody else has it covered.
posted by wendell at 10:08 PM on August 15, 2004


What's revealing is that Miguel painted Canadians with the same broad brush as USAians. Which shows how full of shit he is. By many measurements, Canadians are among the most world-aware, intellectually cosmopolitan people. Certainly more so than the average European.

Americans are chauvinistic and self-interested. So are most other peoples. MeFi is, what, 95% USAian? Any community with that overwhelming representation of one demographic will be somewhat exclusive of that remaining 5%.

I'd love more non-USAians here. I'd appreciate it if, for example, we'd call ourselves "USAians". I'm also annoyed at the many posts which not only take for granted a USA context, but implicitly deny the existence of any other context. And I quite enjoy most of the mefites that are non-USAian.

I don't, however, like you, Miguel, and your self-indulgent, ostentatious MeTawhatsits, lately with bonus whining. You can leave.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:15 PM on August 15, 2004


Within the last 6 weeks I've made posts related to Japan, Ireland, Afghanistan, India, China, Columbia, and Antarctica. Some of us Americans do have international interests.
posted by homunculus at 10:20 PM on August 15, 2004


Matteo, for example, like romakimmy, is a token Italian. I'm a token Portuguese, There are a few British members, all articulate and forceful (you all know who they are). We seem to exist as tokens, presences which assure you you're not alone, colourful "continental types" which extend your limited influence.

What makes you think this? Can you cite some specific examples? I'm honestly befuddled here.

You (and the others you've mentioned) aren't tokens. When I see a post by MiguelCardoso, or matteo, or stavros, or gen, or dabitch, or dobbs, et cetera, I don't think that they automatically represent every Portuguese/Italian/Canadian living in Korea/Japanese/Dane/Canadian/et cetera. That would be tokenism, and it's why tokenism is insidious -- because it's making one person stand in for the opinions of a whole bunch of people, more often than not ill-defined.

Why should I treat you as a token Portuguese, or a token half-Portuguese, half-Englishman, or even as a token European? Granted, you're the only person I know who lives in Portugual, but I certainly don't think that all Portuguese are exactly like you.

Perhaps the truth is that Europeans here (no more than 5% at best) are simply guarantors for your redneck, hillabilly, American ways - or counterpoints to your insularity?

What exactly do you mean by this? What does "guarantors for your. . .American ways" mean? You seriously think that all the USian MeFites got together and decided that we'd humor the non-US MeFites by virtue of their providing a token counterpoint to our little exclusive site? Hardly.

Are you doing okay? I've never seen you take this sort of tone before, Miguel, and I'm a bit worried. I like you, and having your voice on the site. And for what it's worth, I think the place would be poorer if you (and/or other non-US MeFites) left.
posted by Vidiot at 10:23 PM on August 15, 2004


Miguel, why don't you just start posting links again? Maybe that would start something.
posted by chunking express at 10:26 PM on August 15, 2004


(And yes, I know Antacrtica is a continent not a country, but it isn't America.)

Say the word, by the way, and you can have it all to yourselves, no hard feelings.

I certainly don't want you to leave, but my feelings aside, didn't you promise us another post on Fado? Some of us are still waiting (or did I miss it, somehow?)
posted by homunculus at 10:26 PM on August 15, 2004


I miss MeFi's old worldly flavour [our at least what I remember]. I liked hearing even newsfiltery things from outside the US. Miguel's posts have always been something I looked forward to reading and feel this place isn't the same without him.

I implore those not living outside the USian empire to post and make the posts local -- or at least non US centric. I haveam happy :) :) to live here, but am very curious about what is going on everywhere else. God knows I can't get exposure from US media.

Perhaps Matt can allow unlimited signups from IPs outside the US to help balance the userbase. I'd love for the day when there's a huge MeTa fight over allowing posting/comments in language other than US English. Or complaints in MeTa that the babblefish translation isn't working in the latest build of Firefox.

[Also, this post sort of reminds me of the MeTa complaint about too many articles from the New Yorker when most of us do not live in New York. Maybe when Matt sells MeFi to eBay they will have a yourcityorcountryhere.metafilter.com set up]
posted by birdherder at 10:40 PM on August 15, 2004


Perhaps it started with the absurd anti-French bias

Which is primarily the work of a single troll who you defend.
posted by homunculus at 10:44 PM on August 15, 2004


This is not an Metafilter thing -- it's an whole-Internet thing. If you go anywhere on the English-speaking 'net, whether it's blogs, forums, IRC, Usenet or whatever else, you end up talking to Americans. Even Google is America-centric: I can't count the number of times I've searched for an English town, only to be asked if I want a map to Birmingham AL, or Manchester NH, or (for goodness' sake!) Reading PA. Yes, even on google.co.uk -- really shits me, actually.

The problem is, once you let an American in anywhere, everything usually seems to suddenly become all about America. Most of what I read daily ends up being like that. I bet I know more about obscure American politicians than you guys know about, well, anything England-related. When there is a post about somewhere other than America, it's often basically of the form "lookit them thar crazy furriners doing x". But how can I blame you, when your culture is so you-centric? I mean, international news on the TV? Pah! Heck, if this was anywhere other than mefi, half of you probably wouldn't even know where England was.

It is amusing, though, that Miguel's idea of "international" is so Europe-centric, and that he apparently thinks him leaving will signal the end of mefi's internationality. I think the general consensus here is that Cardoso is a cockmonkey.
posted by reklaw at 10:45 PM on August 15, 2004


Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, etc.
posted by homunculus at 10:51 PM on August 15, 2004


I agree that the so-called Electionfilter is currently responsible for the effect Miguel brought up here. Give it a few months, the election will be over and no one will feel the need to post where a given candidate shat the previous Tueday. Or, alternatively, the election will be canceled, martial law declared in the US, and Metafilter disbanded. Either way, problem solved.

/waiting for this thread to turn into the usual lovefest and/or orgy.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:56 PM on August 15, 2004


I, too, miss Miguel's "international" links to the bbc. Ahh, but I jest, for though two Miguels is a Miguel too many, a Miguelless metafilter is a metafilter not worth living in. I think I know the source of your troubles: the newly liberated Iraq--liberated in large part by the arrogant american imperialist dogs--sent a football team to the Olympics which trounced your beloved Portueguese squad. Coupled with the heart-wrenching defeat at the hands of the steroid-friendly Greeks, you're at the end of your rope.

Go down half a bottle of cognac and watch the sunrise or sunset, Miguel. Things will look up tomorrow. Toooomorrrowwwwwww is just a day away.
posted by The God Complex at 10:57 PM on August 15, 2004


I think the general consensus here is that Cardoso is a cockmonkey.

Now, you're making the same mistake Miguel is making: Stating your opinion and then presuming to speak for a larger class of people.
posted by vacapinta at 10:58 PM on August 15, 2004


I never knew that MiguelCardoso's password was "login".
posted by trharlan at 10:59 PM on August 15, 2004


The only problem I see with the American-centrist nature of Metafilter is that the Zürich meetings seem to consist of me getting drunk on my own.

For the rest I don't think 'the best of the web' is purely American. The newsfilter crap is of course.
posted by sebas at 11:02 PM on August 15, 2004


This site is American - the owner is American, the server is in America and the majority of users are American. Sometimes I wonder whether I should spell center instead of centre or humor instead of humour.

When I respond, I often find that I have to type "But here in New Zealand..." or sometimes I just dont respond because I think "Does the New Zealand perspective really matter in this situation?" [our country being smaller in population than Los Angeles]. Or I dont respond because it would be time consuming and long-winded to have to explain the background for my response; If I typed "He looked like George Bush" you're all with me, if I wanted to write "She looked like Helen Clark", I've lost practically everyone [She's the Prime Minister of New Zealand if you were wondering].

As an example - I wanted to post about the Rugby World Cup to the front page and I decided to post it as USA Surrenders to small country and use a link Friends. Now that may have been overly cautious on my part but it's how I felt the FPP would be best received.

If you come from a smaller culture and are communicating with a bigger [even, global] group you will feel like you are the minority because....you are. I honestly dont see any of this as bad - it's just the way it is. Help remedy it Miguel, post what you want to post.
posted by meech at 11:08 PM on August 15, 2004


Now, you're making the same mistake Miguel is making: Stating your opinion and then presuming to speak for a larger class of people.

I disagree—I think he qualified that sufficiently ("I think the general consensus...") to avoid giving offense. Generalizations don't bother me when they have both those types of qualifiers. That is, an explicit admission that this is subjective ("I think..."), and an explicit statement that it's a generalization ("...general consensus...") and not a universal categorical. This is off-topic, but I do think that because generalizations are useful and ubiquitous they shouldn't be prohibited, just phrased cautiously.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:14 PM on August 15, 2004


Americans should wise up: the U.S.A. is not that important in the world. Most of the world lives happily without it.

Americans can be terribly ethnocentric and absorbed only in events here, but to say that the USA is not important is no more true than saying the EU is not important -- and as isolationist as anything else you've mentioned.


How many British and European members have stopped posting? Lots. So the feeling remains: perhaps you'd like it all to yourselves?

Was there some point at which MeFites said that non-Americans should just step off?

Miguel, in the last 24 hours, I've recommended a Brazilian pop singer for listening on a desert island (and a book about Samoa), seen a discussion about Glasgow, read discussion about the languages of the olympics, and digested a british article about the growing presence of porn in their culture... yes there has also been discussion of American visas, American meddling in the Venzuelan olympics, America getting beat by Puerto Rico in Basketball, and while those subjects involve America, they involve American interaction with the world. I don't think we're doing that badly.

Could we have more links sans-USA context? Sure. But I don't know how to do that, really. My personal context is grounded in the U.S.A. and I don't have the resources to do more -- unless you want to put me up in Portugal for a while. In which case I will gladly come and learn Portugues and Fado and post nothing about America.
posted by weston at 11:16 PM on August 15, 2004


Tonight I'm staying up all night to watch the olympics from Athens and, for the events that I don't know anything about, I've decided to cheer for the either the Australians or Ukrainians. In real life I'm having the opposite sensation then that of this post, I feel like I'm learning more about groups of people from other countries and I'm more connected to the rest of the world than usual. I'm glad that American network television has made such a large commitment to showing this and pleased with the general lack of US bias in the commentary.

As for metafilter, I think the solution to this is the same as for the complaints about newsfilter and a few similar complaints about various post ratios - the people who know stuff should post more links because I'm probably missing out on all sorts of great stuff from the rest of the world, but I don't know where to start.

(i.e. someone recommended Pimms in my ask.me drink thread. It was tough to find, but we made a big batch of strong punch for the opening ceremonies, and I think I have found a new favorite!)
posted by milovoo at 11:43 PM on August 15, 2004


:::boggles at this person pretending to be MiguelCardoso:::
posted by rushmc at 12:04 AM on August 16, 2004


shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up
posted by mcsweetie at 12:09 AM on August 16, 2004


As a lurking member since 12/9 2001 i've allways regarded metafilter as my personal usa-filter. Back then i became a member because i was interested in how the usa'ians coped with the new world order - with the broadening of US sphere of influence over the past couple of years that interest has settled in me and become a very important factor in my political life and one that i have found no better sources for than metafilter

I have allways been extremely discontent with the way the usa is covered in our national media - there is absolutely no depth - and as a result of this no one i know of (exept mabye few vietnam draft dodgers who have stayed on in this country and are friends of my dad) has any meaningful appreciation of what Gods own country is all about.

We have Clearchannel all over the place and no one cares because know one knows what it is.

I can't say i'm sorry that metafilter is usa-centric. It wouldn't be metafilter if it wasn't, but i would like to add that i regret any decline in the international perspective af this community.
posted by FidelDonson at 12:10 AM on August 16, 2004


Citizens of the World: MetaFilter needs your international links, badly!

Apologies in advance if the majority of us here in the USA only understand English; Our school systems are generally lacking, and English is difficult to unlearn and even more poorly taught to begin with.

Please teach us and share what you know. It's the only way we'll learn from you.

Frankly I starve for international perspectives, opinions, arts, things, foods and more - here in the USA. They're so far and few between.

It's your duty. It really is. We're here and listening. Perhaps we Amerikans haven't been appreciative enough or something, or perhaps a few snarky US-centric bastards have turned you off. I think I can safely guess that for every snarky US-centric bastard there's a dozen or more quietly appreciative folks just reading in the background and absorbing.

Please post more. Make MetaFilter yours, and ours together. Teach us. Even if - in the unlikely situation - you're only able to teach me, you've taught at least one person who makes it a life-long passion to further teach others what he's learned, and that should make it worth it.

Down with the Nation-State and the warring Citadels! Up with culture and the rapidly growing Global Community!
posted by loquacious at 12:11 AM on August 16, 2004


My personal opinion. There are times when metafilter leaves me feeling the site is *too* biased towards American issues. Either there will be a rash of posts about Bush or the elections, or an international link will be berated by American members as not relavant. I think I'm being overly sensitive though. From my UK persective, plenty of the links posted to MeFi come from the BBC, or the guardian, or involve British TV shows. Even though I sometimes think my country isn't represented, most of the time, it is.
posted by seanyboy at 12:47 AM on August 16, 2004


Who said the rest of the world leads their lives without the US? If it wasn't for the economic might of the US, the whole of Europe would still be reeling from the after-effects of WWII. The same goes for Japan. No one in the world lives in disregard of the US, which makes the stereotypical American navel-gazing all-the-more tragic.

Instead of bitching, though, we Europeans should refuse to give in to it. Educate wilfully ignorant and/ or isolationistic Americans despite themselves.

Also, we should recognise that calling Americans introspective is a gross and untrue generalisation.
posted by dayvin at 1:28 AM on August 16, 2004


Sssh. Most of the U.S. Americans (and those collaborationist pigdog Canadians) are asleep now, so it's time for the rest of you to come out and get your hate on! Miguel did pretty good with "redneck" and "hillbilly", but can't anyone improve on this? Suggested adjectives include: fat, stupid, ugly, bigoted, gangrenous, putrid, and icky. Possible epithets include: hick, sister-molester, whoredog, and fartface.

And get creative! Consider the following Jokes, for example: "I need to borrow an American's face for a few days; my ass is going on holiday", "If I ever need a brain transplant, I'd choose an American's because I'd want a brain that has never been used", and "The typical American is born with a silver shovel in his mouth".

Mix and match! Get nasty! Go nuts!
posted by taz at 1:36 AM on August 16, 2004


If When signups re-open, Matt could operate a 75% non-USA quota. That would help alleviate any bias.

That's, apparently, me supporting positive discrimination.

Catch the him by his horns,
Throw the American down the well!
Everybody!
Throw the Amer...

posted by Blue Stone at 2:29 AM on August 16, 2004


Will finish reading this thread soon, but I have to give a little love to Miggy on this. Lord knows, I begrudge having to say 'Miguel has a point ... (",)

I don't know if anyone ever notices, but when this issue gets to me, I post a comment pointing out 'YankFilter'. The example of federal tax rates is not so silly: It would derail the thread if we all facetiously posted the info apt to our national tax regimes, but it would make the point: this poster thinks inside a box.

I cannot right now think of a solution to the issue. Will complete the thread (62 comments since I went to bed: shee-yit!) and come on back.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:48 AM on August 16, 2004


Just to add my 2 cents (or should that be 2 euros/pounds/yen/beanz?). As a proud, patriotic Brit, I absolutely, wholeheartedly agree with Miguel. I envisage it only getting worse as the US election draws nearer. The whole web is full of this US-centric bias, and it appears to fester and grow every day.

I even can't begin to explain how annoyed I get when I go to a website and have to fill in a form, only to be asked what state I live in, or why-o-why 'United States' seems to be the default selection on every damn 'Country' drop-down list.
posted by metaxa at 2:48 AM on August 16, 2004


As a Brit, I also think Miguel has a point. It's not so much about the range of posts, because that's for all of us to adress. It's more about the underlying assumption that we are all American. If a post is specific to the UK, it should be noted as such. Yet this never seems to apply to US-specific posts.
posted by salmacis at 3:12 AM on August 16, 2004


I don't think Miguel's problem is that Metafilter isn't producing enough internationally flavored threads (it most certainly is -- just check plep's very rich posting history for starters) but rather that these posts are, at best, littered with a few congratulatory comments (super stuff, thanks, hama!) or, at worst, derail into abominations like the Bam thread. In the meantime, any thread that contains the words "Bush" or "election" or "Moore" (or a variant thereof) is guaranteed to draw dozens of active comments.

Matteo's masterfully crafted post about Olga Rudge/Ezra Pound (which looks like it took hours to produce) got 15 comments -- four of them from matteo himself, the rest from the usual suspects. (Miguel, taz, the hat, etc..) In the meantime, a yahoo news link about the death of King Kong's girlfriend inspired 20 comments.

Perhaps you want to remind me that this isn't a competition, and to some extent I agree with you. But the fact is that the amount of comments do (roughly) reveal the subjects people here feel comfortable talking about. And cultural posts as well as many "foreign" posts, can't match the audience for American politics. That leaves one with the choice of posting things that will get a few cursory thank-yous, or leaving it alone. And I think a lot of people will eventually choose the latter.

Also: I heartily support Blue Stone's quota idea. I would suggest that anyone living in a country with no active Metafilter member receive instant membership, with some countries getting most-favored nation status (i.e. Iraq) and allowed many more. (If we're going to post about Iraq for the next ten or so years, it would be nice to hear from some actual Iraqis.)
posted by Ljubljana at 3:21 AM on August 16, 2004


I would suggest that anyone living in a country with no active Metafilter member receive instant membership, with some countries getting most-favored nation status (i.e. Iraq) and allowed many more. (If we're going to post about Iraq for the next ten or so years, it would be nice to hear from some actual Iraqis.)
It wouldn't be difficult to find these guys: lots of warbloggers link to Iraqi blogs. An email invite would be well received by mesopotamian, hammurabbi, salam, I'm sure.

Great idea.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:30 AM on August 16, 2004


By the way, since when was "a stone's throw away" a temporal metaphor?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:37 AM on August 16, 2004


What rampant gubbins.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:46 AM on August 16, 2004


Puerto Rico 92, USA 73

Huzzah!
posted by dydecker at 3:47 AM on August 16, 2004


I'm with quonsar on this one.

Fergle. Blark. Shleng, even.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:51 AM on August 16, 2004


And cultural posts as well as many "foreign" posts, can't match the audience for American politics.

What's the difference between an American and yoghurt?

Yoghurt has more culture.

Migs, while I most assuredly agree with your point (though not neccessarily the way it was presented), please remember that I am un'americana in Roma. Matteo's the token wog in these parts; I am merely half-wog, a palid substitute for the glorious full-blooded beauty which is Italian.

If you'll excuse me now, I need to find some links about the deadline issued by Al-Queda for Italy to pull out of Iraq expiring yesterday and the subsequent ramping up of security. ItalNewsTelegiornaleFilter! (I jest)

Sto scherzando con 'wog' matteo. Spero che hai passato un buon ferragosto.
posted by romakimmy at 3:56 AM on August 16, 2004


Well, I'd love to find interesting posts about the country I live in, however it's arguably one of the most boring places in the world. (Not as in, most boring place to live in, but more as in nothing too exciting happens.)

It also has 4 official languages, most of which I don't speak, which kinda makes finding cool pages hard.
posted by sebas at 4:23 AM on August 16, 2004


I fucking love Switzerland. Better Zug than Addis Ababa any day.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:33 AM on August 16, 2004


And I approve the country-based-membership-bias thing.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:34 AM on August 16, 2004


But I wonder if it would result in desperate Americans chosing their holiday destination based on where they can login and pretend to be foreign from.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:36 AM on August 16, 2004


Talking of cultural differences...
Am I the only person freaked out when people use the word Wog to mean Italian.
posted by seanyboy at 4:45 AM on August 16, 2004


PG, I don't mean I don't like the country. I choose to live here and am impressed every day by the countryside and the people. (And 12% income tax). Plus, I can see the alps from my house on a clear day! Coming from the Netherlands that is quite amazing.
posted by sebas at 4:46 AM on August 16, 2004


itz tru, we r dumm
posted by darukaru at 5:16 AM on August 16, 2004


"When you say "we have", what does "we" and "have" exactly mean?"

It means you don't get it. To the point of incredulity even.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:29 AM on August 16, 2004


I was just about to make a snarky comment about the Iraq - Portugal result and its possible influence on this thread when I realised that Miguel has a point. It's not just MeFi and it's not just the Web, this is how the world has been since world war 2 and although the last few years have seen a change in the American "voice", it seems to be reverting to the sentiments espoused by mr_crash_davis at the beginning of this thread.

If you remember, people thought the Twin Tower attacks would see a new USA which was less "arrogant", "insular" and "meddling", for a while this was the case. That said, is it really such a tragedy that things didn't turn out like this? Seems to me non-USAsians just need to carry on as they were before, just like the USAsians seem to be doing.
posted by fullerine at 5:30 AM on August 16, 2004


The wogs begin at Calais, Seanyboy.
posted by dayvin at 5:31 AM on August 16, 2004


USAsians

I like United Statesian.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:35 AM on August 16, 2004


So who's the token wog now?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:36 AM on August 16, 2004


I'm quite interested in links to non-American things, especially anything from around the Orient, but I have no idea how to go about finding meaty non-American sites, perhaps because I don't speak the language, perhaps because I don't have context...

I'd love to learn what it means to be* Portugeuse, Armenian, Senegalese, Uruguayan, but it is infinitely easier to just stick with American stuff. Sort of like it is easier to complain about Amero-centrism instead of fighting it by posting groovy non-American links.

*by 'means to be' i mean how y'all think, what's cooking in your culture, what y'all have for national goals, etc. and of course, this all stems from my interest in other cultures, not to be taken by any means as a disregard for individual ideology, etc etc. disclaim disclaim.
posted by sciurus at 5:38 AM on August 16, 2004


This is just about the lamest, most naval-gazing, woe-is-me post I've ever read. To my knowledge, Matt has never filtered sign-ups by country. What you see is the result of a completely geographically-neutral process. Whenever any one American signed up, someone from China, Luxembourg, or Chile could have signed up, too. The negative effects you perceive have nothing to do with MeFi, and everything to do with other issues (smaller populations, relatively lower proportion of internet usage) that are reflected throughout the web as a whole.

But if it really makes you feel better, Miguel, I will happily give up my user name/account, or allow Matt to close mine, in exchange for a new user from some under-represented foreign nation who will agree to add posts to the front page that make you feel better. Really. No strings attached. E-mail's in the profile.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:45 AM on August 16, 2004


EB we get the message, you don't like migs and would like him to fuck off, please return to your scheduled programme.
posted by johnnyboy at 6:56 AM on August 16, 2004


Say the word, by the way, and you can have it all to yourselves, no hard feelings.

This is you speaking on behalf of the entire world, right?
posted by ook at 7:01 AM on August 16, 2004


Similarly, if I leave, every single left-handed mefite will go too. Don't say you haven't been warned.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:12 AM on August 16, 2004


Or why-o-why 'United States' seems to be the default selection on every damn 'Country' drop-down list.

Because you don't get a lot of people in Afghanistan signing up for porn sites?
posted by Cyrano at 7:19 AM on August 16, 2004


You're a sweetie Migsmeister, but I gotta say I resent being called "boringly and predictably obsessed" with myself when I haven't done anything to deserve it.
posted by JanetLand at 7:20 AM on August 16, 2004


I was about to sit and read this entire thread, but instead I'm gonna go see Harold & Kumrar Go To White Castle.
posted by riffola at 7:23 AM on August 16, 2004


grr that's Kumar not Kumrar!
posted by riffola at 7:24 AM on August 16, 2004


To my knowledge, Matt has never filtered sign-ups by country. What you see is the result of a completely geographically-neutral process.

The latest user signup started at 3pm EST, which works well for Americans but not so for Europeans and Asians.
posted by grateful at 7:30 AM on August 16, 2004


MetaFilter needs your international links, badly!

HotSpot Stockholm is probably not worthy of a front page post, though. (Too regional.) But I feel like plugging it somewhere, so here you go. :)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:33 AM on August 16, 2004


"Americans are so stupid. And self centered. And unimportant. And they're wankers. And hillbillys. And rednecks. And they lack diversity. Or tolerance. I'm tired of posts about America. Why aren't there more posts about Portugal or Switzerland or France? Why aren't there more posts that relate to me? Me me me me?!?"

Seriously. Listen to yourself. I'm paraphrasing, but I think I get my point across.

To call America unimportant is idiotic. What do you think is going to happen to the economy of the EU when Bush pulls all our boys back home from bases in Europe?

There are places in Europe where they won't serve Americans, or Europeans who have lived for a long period in America. Who's being provincial?

If America and Americans are slanting a tad bit isolationist, maybe it's because we're seeing a bit more anti-Americanism from Europe and other parts of the world. Europeans love to paint us as provincial buffoons. There's a long history of that. It doesn't seem to have stopped yet.

And I'm not even talking about Iraq, although I'm sure that is often used as an excuse for rude behavior on the part of Europeans toward Americans.

And for you to denegrate Americans by calling us hicks or rednecks is just as small minded and xenophobic as anything any idiot in America ever says about Europeans.

Don't look down your nose at me just because your country has been around longer than mine. That's just an accident of history. You could have been born here.

If you have a problem with what's posted here, be a part of a solution. Don't bitch. Don't like the flavor? Convince some people in your area to log on when new membership opens up.

Oh yeah, and to lump our good friends in Canada with us stupid, fat, ugly and lazy Americans is really unfair to the Canadians.
posted by geekhorde at 7:39 AM on August 16, 2004 [1 favorite]


I've been reading MeFi for 4 and a bit years now and have always had a soft spot for the MigMeister ever since I read his suave, cultured posts - I beg of you Miguel, don't leave, this place really is better for your presence.

In the meantime I promise the next few FPPs I make will be so Euro-centric that PP will have no choice but to scorch in out of the sun dropping his anti-eurotrash hysteria. I urge all other non-US MeFites to find something that our colonial cousins may be unfamiliar with and show them how much fun the rest of the world can be.

On preview, geekhorde, on my recent visit to the US I found virtually everyone I met to be universally helpful and polite. Very few imbeciles were seen (maybe you tucked them away during the visit) and I cruised around getting my "English Discount" on everything. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. So much so I may be moving to the US in the next few years.

There are ignorant people wherever you go (my current abode is surrounded by people with webbed fingers and eyes that are a bit close together if you catch my meaning) and I do dislike it when it is assumed that all yanks are thick.
posted by longbaugh at 7:56 AM on August 16, 2004


I was about to sit and read this entire thread, but instead I'm gonna go see Harold & Kumrar Go To White Castle.

You realise that it's only called that in N. America don't you, you parochial neo-imperialist running dog?
posted by biffa at 7:58 AM on August 16, 2004


There are places in Europe where they won't serve Americans, or Europeans who have lived for a long period in America.

Where? I have yet to see this supposed "rude to Americans" attitude. Recpirocal rudeness to assholes, now that I can buy.

There is a distinct difference between:

1) America the government
2) America the swaggering "We're #1" mentality
3) Americans as individuals

The majority of people seem to be able to distingush between the three.
posted by romakimmy at 8:02 AM on August 16, 2004


My irritation is the tendency to lump together everyone from the US. This country is huge. So huge, in fact, that the only things americans have in common are passport covers (if they have 'em) and a president.

Culturally, New Englanders have a lot more in common with Canadians than we do with most parts of the rest of our country's governance. And other parts of the country would agree that Boston (or New York) has nothing to do with them and our relationship is de jure but not de facto.

So a post about something American is not automatically more relevant to a US citizen than it is to a Brit or a Thai or a Pitcairn Islander. My countrymen live east of Ohio and north of Maryland, with pockets in the northern Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Otherwise, I'm just as left out as you are.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:10 AM on August 16, 2004


biffa said: You realise that it's only called that in N. America don't you, you parochial neo-imperialist running dog?

Eh what do I know? I'm just an Indian in NYC.
posted by riffola at 8:15 AM on August 16, 2004


I was about to sit and read this entire thread, but instead I'm gonna go see Harold & Kumrar Go To White Castle.

I've decided to go to The Olive Garden for some of that Eye-Talian food. Then me an' the boys is gonna go shoot at some varmin down by the ol' swimmin' hole. Then tonight I'll unwind in front of the tube and watch some NASCAR while the old ball-and-chain fetches me some Coors. At some point before I drift off to a sleep in my Laz-E-Boy with spilled nacho cheese hardening on my wife-beater, a vision of the broader, cultured world will flit oh-so-briefly across my synapses, only to be replaced by a vision of a bikini-clad babe swimming in a pool of beer. Mmmmm. Beeeer.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:19 AM on August 16, 2004


The basic issue has existed long before Metafilter.
I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.
posted by caddis at 8:21 AM on August 16, 2004


But then there's a World Trade Center on Klarabergsviadukten in central Stockholm.
posted by liam at 8:22 AM on August 16, 2004


What you see is the result of a completely geographically-neutral process.
So is my HotDogs-For-The-World Project. Only, cos the sign is outside my flat, between the hours of 3.00-4.00 BST, so far no yanks have actually requested one of my world famous hot dogs. It is however equal opps: any wop, dago, mick, kike, limey, frog or kraut can have one. Honest!*

What do you think is going to happen to the economy of the EU when Bush pulls all our boys back home from bases in Europe? Uh, dude, he's sending 'em to Poland: now part of the EU.

There are places in Europe where they won't serve Americans
Cite?

Seriously, the posts one can read or not, whether about friggin Greenland or West Virginia. That's cool. Only thing that ain't is when a discussion on politics in general [say, theory of conservatism] *inevitably* narrows down to friggin Rush Limbaugh. That the yank posters can only think in terms of yank conservatism is the symptom. The disease is the dominance of a single nationality. It is a disease about as serious as athlete's foot, and as easlily remedied.

* I don't think that the genesis of the project was unfair, and how Mefi came about is why it's original userbase was so america-centric. Mathowie has, if I remember correctly, already expressed keen interest in broadening the nationalities represented here. All good things come to those who wait. Right?
posted by dash_slot- at 8:25 AM on August 16, 2004


It is a disease about as serious as athlete's foot, and as easily remedied.

Peeing on your own foot? *looks doubtful*

OK, man, I'll give it a go....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:33 AM on August 16, 2004


What do you think is going to happen to the economy of the EU when Bush pulls all our boys back home from bases in Europe?

LOL! Are you serious?

Btw, I'm with Migs on this one.
posted by mr.marx at 8:38 AM on August 16, 2004


I beg of you Miguel, don't leave, this place really is better for your presence.
Which is what this whole thing is really all about. Nothing like a good old-fashioned attention whoreorama, from the king thereof.
posted by darukaru at 8:40 AM on August 16, 2004


Ripper Miguel is a gangster!!!1!1!
posted by stonerose at 8:53 AM on August 16, 2004


Nothing like a good old-fashioned attention whoreorama, from the king thereof.

Word. "I'm so disgusted with Metafilter! So disgusted that I'm going to start a laughably provocative thread about it!"
posted by Skot at 8:55 AM on August 16, 2004


I, for one, welcome the euro-ization of the site.

Gladly, I will trade in my mindless self interest and overbearing Americanism for the international climes of my brothers abroad.

Personally, I long for my Gaulloises and Pernod; congratulating myself on my enlightened status, knowing it is better to stand aside and be critical, rather than participate and be one of them.
posted by jazzkat11 at 9:08 AM on August 16, 2004


This site may be mostly American, but they're American Leftists who deep down all wish they were European anyway, which is odd because a big chunk of America is populated by people who tried desperately to escape Europe.

I kid. Sorta.

*puts on Uncle Sam suit, stands arm in arm with Miguel, sgt. serenity, i_cola, and romakimmy singing "It's a Small World After All"*
posted by jonmc at 9:17 AM on August 16, 2004


I'm pissed that all the German-owned community sites I visit always want to focus on Germany. The audacity!

WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
GERMANY?

If anything good comes out of this thread, though, it's that maybe some folks will think twice about posting boorish Mainstream-American-Politics/Election threads. You know who you are, thoust craven shard-borne bugbears!

Sorry, I've been hitting the random Shakespearean insult-generator a lot lately. That, and the bottle.
posted by dhoyt at 9:17 AM on August 16, 2004


The post deserves a close analysis as thoughtful as itself. So here goes:

Americans should wise up: the U.S.A. is not that important in the world.

Are you drunk?

Also, Americans should understand how isolated they are from the world and try to make contact with fellow human beings, lest they fester in their own delusions.

Man, you're really drunk, aren't you?

My post, however, was presented as a definite insight

Uh-oh. Bartender, better cut him off.

So the feeling remains: perhaps you'd like it all to yourselves?

Clear the floor -- he's swinging wildly and frothing!

To all of you saying "Migs has a point" -- of course Migs has a point. Migs is an intelligent person with a wide-ranging mind; he has more points than he knows what to do with. But the idea that MeFi could use more international input is so uncontroversial it's been brought up many times before, with many ingenious ideas about how this could be brought about. So there's no real reason for this post except that Miguel is feeling surly and unappreciated and wants people to sob and say "Please, Migs, don't go -- we love you!" and snarl at people who tell Miguel not to let the door hit him in the ass (which is an almost irresistible temptation).

Seriously, Miguelinho, if you want more international posts, make more international posts. Ever heard the old line about lighting candles vs cursing the darkness? And try to get a lot of water in your system; it really helps with the hangover.
posted by languagehat at 9:23 AM on August 16, 2004


Well, maybe it'll be better after the elections.

I'm expecting a year of analyzing the results followed by three years of escalating hysteria about the upcoming 2008 election.
posted by timeistight at 9:23 AM on August 16, 2004


Not to mention t0tally juicy accusations of the election being "stolen", d00d!
posted by dhoyt at 9:28 AM on August 16, 2004


I'm afraid most reactions to my concern about an increasingly isolationist and self-important trend on MetaFilter are along the lines of "Don't you love America/MetaFilter/us anymore?" I do. Very much so. And I've repeatedly proved it. That's the point. Why else should I care?

It's not a question of where one's from - it's a question of focus or viewpoint; of trying to be humanly (rather than locally) relevant. It's precisely because MetaFilter users are traditionally open-minded and self-critical that I find the current obsession so limiting and boring.

Perhaps it is due to the upcoming elections - but just how important are they? I'd say not much. But whether they are or not, surely it's an enormous pity that they now colour more than half of our threads, generally appearing as if the choice were life-or-death.

It's not all a question of "America: love it or leave it." The real question, perhaps, is: why are Americans so obsessed with America and why do they interpret non-Americans' opinions on art and world affairs in terms of their attitude to the particular country that is the U.S.A.

That is the danger, in my opinion. I'm sorry, btw, if I sounded bitter or ungrateful. More like worried, I'd say!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:31 AM on August 16, 2004


Perhaps it is due to the upcoming elections - but just how important are they? I'd say not much.

Jesus Christ, what do we have to do to get you to take us seriously -- invade Portugal?
posted by languagehat at 9:38 AM on August 16, 2004


Not to mention t0tally juicy accusations of the election being "stolen", d00d!

Are you referring to the liberals headed by the unassuming Paul Martin, or the Minshu-to dominance of the Shugi-in? Or possibly you are alluding to the democratic nationalist Svetozar Marovic?
posted by jazzkat11 at 9:39 AM on August 16, 2004


It bothers me when people respond to statements with "have you consumed something that is altering what I want you to say?"

I think it gives more to the person to respond to a statement at face value, rather than the lessening of someone's ideas with a busybody's innuendo.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:48 AM on August 16, 2004


The economy of this part of the EU will be much happier without the American forces here.

Why? Well because you have no damned input into anything English. Just about everything is shipped in from America, including your damned cars in the American owned on site dealerships. You then pay your gas at American rates and flood our countryside with your fumes. Not being intentionally arsey, but that particular argument was bullshit.

We'll get no polution from people who aren't a part of our country, but we will regain large acreage of brownfield land that's just perfect for building housing on. More housing means lower prices, which means our economy stabilises.

Please. Remove your army from this particular part of the EU. *waves*
posted by twine42 at 10:02 AM on August 16, 2004


That song gives me hives jonmc. Large ones.
posted by romakimmy at 10:19 AM on August 16, 2004


The real question, perhaps, is: why are Americans so obsessed with America and why do they interpret non-Americans' opinions on art and world affairs in terms of their attitude to the particular country that is the U.S.A.

Everyone does that--we all see things through a particular filter or set of filters dependent on where and how we were brought up, educated, our current circumstances, and our experiences and knowledge base. You do it when discussing things; I do it when discussing things. It's a human thing, i think. (I actually believe that you Europeans are far more nationalistic and prejudiced against your neighbors than we are--with historical reason, usually--and just as quick if not quicker to see things through that filter until proven otherwise.) If there's too much American stuff here, and too many Americans seeing everything through American eyes, then let's have Matt (when and if he next does it) open the memberships again only to foreign IPs or something. The fact is that we have thousands of Americans who belong here--of every conceivable race, creed, color, orientation, affiliation, faith, and experience, from military to activist to student to professor to dropout to journalist to factory worker to mechanic to cubicle drone to CEO to housewife to homeless(or formerly so).....Our diversity is clearly evident to all who actually look and pay attention instead of whining that there are too many Americans seeing things as Americans. Your reductive view on this is as disappointing as Crash's parody of a typical American.
posted by amberglow at 10:40 AM on August 16, 2004


The real question, perhaps, is: why are Americans so obsessed with America and why do they interpret non-Americans' opinions on art and world affairs in terms of their attitude to the particular country that is the U.S.A.

Is that the real question, though?

From my perspective (an American who has lived abroad--Denmark if you must know--and has travelled all over the globe), what is depressing is how much the world is obsessed with America. Everywhere I go, I'm kissed on one cheek (for my personal charm) and slapped on the other (for my national sins). I'm tired, tired, tired of this schizophrenia. "I hate your country, I love you!" Bullshit.

But let me address your concerns about MetaFilter--and the web. Any democratic community reflects its members, and the internet, if nothing else, is supremeley democratic. Are you asking nature to go against nature? There are always self-obsessed flag-wavers and culturally myopic people wherever you go, in any part of the world. You are getting the American flavor because you're on an American-dominated site. This is not an earth-shattering observation.

Europeans have a more worldly attitude than most because they've been colonizing the rest of us for centuries; Americans are just getting our start, apparently (and to the dread of most of us here). And we all know how broad-minded and kind y'all have been to your neighbors and subjects throughout history. What is America anyway, if not the bastard child of Europe just reaching puberty? And by all forecasts, getting ready to atone for its sins. I feel that you're being willfully ignorant about the whole thing. America is bigger than your stereotypes, and none of us fit any particular bill. If you are angry with history and where this puts us, join the club--don't lash out at your friends. Your broadsides sting, not because they uncover a truth, but because they expose the prejudices of someone I thought was beyond that kind of thing. Only provincial morons and fascists trade in that stuff.

(on preview, I see that I'm just echoing Amberglow. *sigh*)
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:54 AM on August 16, 2004


I'm tired, tired, tired of this schizophrenia. "I hate your country, I love you!" Bullshit.

From the Atlantic:
P. J. O'ROURKE: Back in Lebanon in 1984, I was held at gunpoint by this Hezbollah kid, just a maniac, you know, at one of those checkpoints, screaming at me about America, great Satan, et cetera.

SECRETARY POWELL: Then he wanted a green card?

P. J. O'ROURKE: At the end of this rant, that's exactly what he said: "As soon as I get my green card, I am going to Dearborn, Michigan to study dental school." And he saw no disconnect.
posted by dhoyt at 11:17 AM on August 16, 2004


I've given up reading all this thread and will just spew my opinion regardless:

I think MetaFilter is much too much USA centric.

I don't like that Miguel lumped us Canucks in with the USA: he reveals a whopping gap of ignorance when he does so.

I hate how often discussions are US-centric and very shallow. American politics is shamefully shallow and the arguments are frequently simplistic to the point of useless.

I would really like to see more discussions that don't involve American politics, American religion, American money, or American products.

I do think we get a fair dose of international oddities, quirks, games, and silly stuff. And that is very good.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:19 AM on August 16, 2004


But I wonder if it would result in desperate Americans chosing their holiday destination based on where they can login and pretend to be foreign from.

ha, if we got your 4 month vacations maybe! :P
posted by rhyax at 11:36 AM on August 16, 2004


I would also point out that Europeans are more "internationally minded" because the international borders are a hell of a lot closer to them. You're in Italy, you probably care what's going on in Austria and Switzerland and France because they're nearby. I live in Massachusetts, and so I care about what's going on in New Hampshire and New York and Vermont because they're nearby.

Which doesn't mean we shouldn't also focus on areas farther afield, but acting like you can't understand why Americans can't see farther is silly. We probably all have a similar radius of concern, it's just that if you're in the US, that 5- or 50- or 500-mile radius often doesn't get you past America's borders. 1500 miles gets you from Paris to Moscow and across six or seven countries. Go about the same distance from Chicago, and you can almost make it to LA -- not even one country.
posted by occhiblu at 12:02 PM on August 16, 2004


It is obvious you are all generalising here, all of you!
posted by sebas at 12:02 PM on August 16, 2004


Americans should wise up:

As much as this site benefits from the viewpoints of people outside the US, I'd gladly let you all go if it meant we'd see the back of MiguelCardosa. Good riddance.
posted by crunchland at 12:08 PM on August 16, 2004


It is amusing, though, that Miguel's idea of "international" is so Europe-centric

No shit. I've commented once or twice about how lonely I feel here as the "token Arab," which has absolutely nothing to do with where in the world I live, but rather my ethnic identiy. However, I don't drag it into MeTa and point the finger at other people. We've all got our underrepresentation axes to grind. But in Miguel's book, if you're not an expat living in Portugal, you're just another flag-waving, sister-fucking, mayonnaise-sandwich-eating American swine. Ma'leish. Whatever.

I take quite a bit of personal offense at your implications of isolationism, Miguel. Respectfully: fuck you. This site was conceived, programmed, is hosted, and maintained in the US. If you ever did enjoy some "golden age" of international bliss here, you have an American to thank for it in the first place. I'm not pounding the national chest here, I'm just pointing out the basic idiocy of posting your accusations of isolationism on an American-run site. Perhaps things are changing here, but to attribute it to isolationist malice on the part of the American membership is rude, bigoted, and seriously lazy.

My post, however, was presented as a definite insight: MeFi is becoming self-inclusive and local. How many British and European members have stopped posting? Lots. So the feeling remains: perhaps you'd like it all to yourselves?

"Definite insight" my ass. Try whining feat of self-victimization Maybe you should ask some of those who've left why they've left? Perhaps it was a lack of overlapping interests with the mostly American membership here. Perhaps they no longer related. But as has been pointed out repeatedly, you've offered no evidence that Americans are doing anything to make them leave. I'd call that "definite out-of-ass generalization."

Most importantly, I'd ask you this: why do you feel you have more in common with the folks in the UK than the Americans? Could it be that you yourself have fallen into a US vs. Rest-of-World mentality? Isn't that a little destructive? Bigoted? Why aren't you advocating for more Portugese members? All you seem to want is more people who *aren't* American.

As TGC pointed out, there's a fair amount of attrition here anyway, and tons of Americans leave as well. Perhaps the site can afford to lose fewer of the internationals, but again, you're just upset with the fact that there are fewer of them to begin with. If you want to start a site to attract and cultivate them better, you have my permission to leave.
posted by scarabic at 12:10 PM on August 16, 2004


Keeping it real here reprazentin for São Tome and Principe shout outs to mah Tajik homies.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:48 PM on August 16, 2004


This thread is the payback for not having any MeTa at all on the 14th.
posted by kenko at 12:51 PM on August 16, 2004


Is someone cooking a Portuguese dish? I smell burning.
posted by dhoyt at 12:54 PM on August 16, 2004


THERE'S FAR TOO MUCH SHIT HERE TO READ THROUGH, LET ME JUST YELL THAT MIGGY NOT GROKKING "WE HAVE PEOPLE" TO MEAN "METAFILTER HAS MEMBERS" IS A SURE SIGN THAT:
A) HE'S DRUBK
OR
B) THIS IS HIS BEST TROLL EVAR.
posted by quonsar at 1:09 PM on August 16, 2004


WE HAVE CAMERAS
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:12 PM on August 16, 2004


Y'know, seriously, it's just the Internet.

Relax.
posted by cmonkey at 1:14 PM on August 16, 2004


Has anyone seen my wallet? I thought I left it on the dresser.
posted by trharlan at 1:16 PM on August 16, 2004


yeah, it's just an UNIVERSAL NETWORK OF SUPERINTELLIGENT ROBOT SLAVES
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:18 PM on August 16, 2004


WE HAVE CAMERAS

No you don't, remember?

...

There's possibly an appropriate manner in which to publicly discuss within a community that one is unhappy with it and considering leaving. But I've never seen it happen. Every example I've ever seen is the equivalent of a pubescent, sulky "I'm taking my peppermint schnapps and going home" bid for attention. And, you know, the party's always funner when that kid leaves. Buh-bye.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:24 PM on August 16, 2004


Of my eight front-page posts, six have been either partially or entirely about European culture or art, which apparently makes me an insular, hillbilly redneck. Fascinating! Also, I am thin, but I eagerly await being told that I am actually fat.

I've commented once or twice about how lonely I feel here as the "token Arab," which has absolutely nothing to do with where in the world I live, but rather my ethnic identity.

If it helps, scarabic, I have sort of a Mefi-crush on you.
posted by scody at 1:28 PM on August 16, 2004


And, you know, the party's always funner when that kid leaves. Buh-bye.

*hands eBlight schnapps, points toward home*
posted by quonsar at 1:37 PM on August 16, 2004


How many British and European members have stopped posting? Lots.

Who?
posted by ook at 1:37 PM on August 16, 2004


man I hate it when I miss everything
posted by bob sarabia at 1:40 PM on August 16, 2004


Stay or don't stay as you wish but I hope it's the former.

I'm with vacapinta on this.

*hands eBlight schnapps, points toward home*

I'm with quonsar on this. In spades.
posted by y2karl at 1:41 PM on August 16, 2004


If it helps, scarabic, I have sort of a Mefi-crush on you.

Mefi-crush? Be more assertive, scody, and get Mefi-laid. :)

/me hands scarabic a tee-shirt that says "DaShiv is my pimp."
posted by DaShiv at 1:45 PM on August 16, 2004


[hits up DaddyShiv for $20, buys Ebligh a pint, pulls up a stool]
posted by scarabic at 1:52 PM on August 16, 2004


*blows q and karl kisses*

Thanks, scarabic. Next one's on me.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:08 PM on August 16, 2004


101 ways members view their Meta-Filter.

96. Poster
97. Lurker
98. Poster
99. Re-lurker
100. Posts
101. Profits?

Mig, I tease - because your last Meta-Talk post may answer this one.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:14 PM on August 16, 2004


>There is a distinct difference between:
>1) America the government
>2) America the swaggering "We're #1" mentality
>3) Americans as individuals

4) America the media.
An imperfect example, 1 February 2003: seven teenagers dying in a skiing accident had less air play than the seven astronauts.

>Am I the only person freaked out when people use the word Wog to mean Italian.

>They original recorded as 'Blue Velvets' and then 'Gollywogs' (because it 'sounded British').

>Peeing on your own foot? *looks doubtful*
>OK, man, I'll give it a go....
This happens in a James Kelman story, albeit with accidentality, not intentionality, that happens to be "...warm and surprisingly pleasant."
posted by philfromhavelock at 2:37 PM on August 16, 2004


What? 150 comments and no orgy yet? I'll check back later.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:45 PM on August 16, 2004


Yeah, MeFi is too filled with American politics. No, they aren't as important as all that (and certainly no more important than say, Chinese or Indian politics right now).

But this is a consequence of network effects, not policy. The site is never going to turn into NewZealandFilter (as if I would want that) because holloway and cara and meech and johnshaft and I would have to post every day.

Matt could sign up a 100 geographically representative members a day for the rest of the year and the site would still tilt towards the US, by virtue of anglophony and a plurality of Americans.

It's churlish to chastise a largely American membership for posting about things that are most salient to them, and it's human nature that they will be worried about their little election.

The rest of us could be a little bolder about injecting local stuff and give the poor Americans a diversion.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:52 PM on August 16, 2004


"It's not a question of where one's from - it's a question of focus or viewpoint"

No. It's not. It's 5000 people in a community forum where the stated goal is linking to "the best of the web". 5000 people link to stuff they found interesting. And then 5000 people comment about it.

This isn't a newspaper with an editorial policy. It has no ambition or need to be fair and balanced. It's 5000 people talking all at once. And your complaint is that they're not bring up topics they know anything about.

Trying to throw a foul flag over focus and viewpoint is asinine. You don't get it. Please don't mistake the volume of your blathering as proof you understand MetaFilter. You don't.

And, BTW, I just read an article disproving the notion that wine tastes better in Riedel glasses. It was all a scam. I thought the author did an excellent job of debunking the silliness, right down the line.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:01 PM on August 16, 2004


Mefi-crush? Be more assertive, scody, and get Mefi-laid.

Oh, I was trying! ;)
posted by scody at 3:03 PM on August 16, 2004


just read an article disproving the notion that wine tastes better in Riedel glasses.

link, y6y6y6?
posted by trharlan at 3:12 PM on August 16, 2004


If we could get one small thing out of this, could it be that people think about their use of the phrase "this country..." (and the like) and consider that not everyone is in that country and that in a number of circumstances that it can to limit the debate to the American case (that generally being the country in question), even where the debate had been more general/open up to that point. I told somebody off for this recently but can't find it on a search.
posted by biffa at 3:15 PM on August 16, 2004


I resent the implication that Canada and the U.S. are somehow similar places to live, or that the fact that's it's U.S. centric is somehow better for Canadians than you crazy and "curious" europeans

colour me a tad resentful as well. canadians are... oh, just refer to EB's comment, he took the words right out of my keyboard. except for the part about not liking you, and telling you to leave. miguel, why can't you just post more often and help balance out the overwhelming american-centric content...? i assume you've been busy with work, but when you do drop by can't you participate instead of complain and insult...? i'm hopeful things will be better once the election is over and we give the winners a few weeks to gloat.

Within the last 6 weeks I've made posts related to Japan, Ireland, Afghanistan, India, China, Columbia, and Antarctica.

*swoons, adds homunculus to contact list*

I'm expecting a year of analyzing the results followed by three years of escalating hysteria about the upcoming 2008 election.

*cries, bangs head on desk*
posted by t r a c y at 3:15 PM on August 16, 2004


Yeah, MeFi is too filled with American politics. No, they aren't as important as all that (and certainly no more important than say, Chinese or Indian politics right now).

Many Americans agree with you on this. I spend a fair amount of time decrying newsfilter and politicsfilter here, routinely, as does Ebligh. And he's a fucking Texan, even!

[sic]
posted by scarabic at 3:22 PM on August 16, 2004


If we could get one small thing out of this, could it be that people think about their use of the phrase "this country..." (and the like) and consider that not everyone is in that country

Second that motion.
posted by meech at 3:31 PM on August 16, 2004


Hey Miguel, I've heard that you're one of those "foreigners" - you know, people from elsewhere than here - and that you people have special and perhaps supernatural abilities : like, you know, speaking more languages than just English and maybe having more and better sex. Perhaps it's the strong cheeses, the garlic, and the red wine?

That could be so. But, just in case, can I touch your hair for luck?
posted by troutfishing at 3:36 PM on August 16, 2004


If it helps, scarabic, I have sort of a Mefi-crush on you.

that guy is no iconomy!
posted by mookieproof at 3:40 PM on August 16, 2004


ah, migs, you know I do love you, but this is not your finest hour. Is everything ok with you? I hope there is nothing more serious amiss that is making you lump your many fans and friends into one unflattering molten mass of hillbilliedom. (Although I did always rather like those fetching little outfits.)

OK, I think some of us perhaps could do with a hint that we should be more sensitive to the global perspective here on mefi, but next time you might remind us with a love bite instead of a sock in the jaw ;-)

And I like the way you blame this all on those of us from the states. Hah. We are being the natural-born mouthy boors that we are. But just look at this thread...oh sure, now all the world citizens are sneaking out and throwing sand in our faces! Where y'all been before Migs started yelling at us, huh you little global lurkers? Dammit, I can't even pick you out from this crowd half the time, most of you are acting too damn U.S-ish - can't y'all start acting more, um, foreign??? Be more ethnic and interesting, or something -- and post some local links so migs stops yelling at us. Dammit.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:41 PM on August 16, 2004


Please stick around, and do post more, Miguel. This place would be better with many more posts and much more commentary from our European and international friends.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:45 PM on August 16, 2004


what a bunch of wankers.
posted by Stynxno at 3:47 PM on August 16, 2004


Miguel, you sound depressed.

I have been worried about you lately as I don't see you posting anymore, now this. Put down the drinkies and go see the doctor!

Perhaps it is due to the upcoming elections - but just how important are they? I'd say not much

Wrong. Because whoever gets elected not only has an influence on us, but on a lot of the rest of the world. YOu know it's true. Just ask Saddam if you don't believe me.
posted by konolia at 4:08 PM on August 16, 2004


If we could get one small thing out of this, could it be that people think about their use of the phrase "this country..." (and the like) and consider that not everyone is in that country.

Amen.

(Although sometimes I like to say that, and then post something that is clearly inconsistent with my being American, and see if anyone notices. Which they routinely don't. *sigh*)
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:21 PM on August 16, 2004


most of you are acting too damn U.S-ish - can't y'all start acting more, um, foreign???

madamjujujive, välkommen till min hemsida ! Kysser dig !!!!!! Jag gillar musik och jag har många instrument i mitt hem som jag kan spela på.

;)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:21 PM on August 16, 2004


I watched the second season of Twin Peaks on downloaded rips that had Swedish subtitles. People were always prating at each other; it was great.

That's all.
posted by kenko at 4:30 PM on August 16, 2004


Eu desejo que você removeria a vara de seu burro, Miguel. ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:41 PM on August 16, 2004


MetaFilter is a place to post interesting things.

I don't worry about the other stuff it takes care of itself.
posted by stbalbach at 4:42 PM on August 16, 2004


Miguel has a burro? This changes my mental picture of him entirely.
posted by kenko at 4:43 PM on August 16, 2004


Yes, soundsofsuburbia, that's the stuff! And here you were masquerading around with "suburbia" in your name all this time, fooling us all into thinking you were from New Jersey or something. Hah!

OK, I got the "music" part, now excuse me for a few months while I go study Swedish. Oh, Herregud! Jag har en yxa i huvudet! ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 4:48 PM on August 16, 2004


So - this 'Conservatism':

It's American, right?


Hotdogs at my flat* - 3.00 - 4.00pm, each and every day!

Uh, you guys would call this an a-part-ment.

posted by dash_slot- at 4:50 PM on August 16, 2004


madamjujujive: Haha! "Jag har en yxa i huvudet" is all the swedish you need to know, actually.

I'll save you the trouble, those sentences are just translations of some of Mahir's proclamations. ;)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:54 PM on August 16, 2004


I did always rather like those fetching little outfits.
Speaking of Mefi-crushes, just thinking of madamjujujive in a Daisy Mae Yokum outfit made me vewy vewy happy... until I remembered the "Daisy May" who terrorized MonkeyFilter recently. I am such a Schmoo.

And your "a-part-ment", dash_slot-? Are you eating Doritos right now?
posted by wendell at 5:09 PM on August 16, 2004


just read an article disproving the notion that wine tastes better in Riedel glasses.

link, y6y6y6?


yes, link please!
posted by crush-onastick at 5:14 PM on August 16, 2004


Wrong. Because whoever gets elected not only has an influence on us, but on a lot of the rest of the world. YOu know it's true. Just ask Saddam if you don't believe me.

konolia, please. I would argue that the very attitude which leads to such arrogant bravado (We'll kick your terrist ass, anytime, anywhere!!!!!1!!!) is precisely what has Mig's shorts in a knot. Personally, I think Miguel had a bad moment of frustration and expressed it. End of story. We've had our fun and our calls for Mr. Cardoso to seek professional help ... and it hasn't mattered one whit to the future of Mefi, or its past.

There is plenty of content here that exists, sans nationalist ego. This post strikes me more as a cry for other-than-Amurcan nationalist ego far more than it does a call for a removal of nationalist interest from posting. Guess what, kids, not ... going ... to happen. People here have a frame of reference that they will call on while posting. Good, bad or otherwise, it will creep (or slam) in every now and then. To call for a broader scope in such a narrow scope manner won't change ... anything. You can't reframe people's point of reference.

Unless this is simply a new incarnation of correct-speechessness; in which case, I say screw this noise. I for one am not going to comment with concern for the possibly damaged feels of the lone member of Mefi from Liechtenstein. Sorry, not gonna do it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:21 PM on August 16, 2004


Holy crap. I went out all weekend, got totally boxless and missed all of this?!?

There is a god...
posted by i_cola at 5:21 PM on August 16, 2004


Americans should wise up: the U.S.A. is not that important in the world. Most of the world lives happily without it. Also, Americans should understand how isolated they are from the world and try to make contact with fellow human beings, lest they fester in their own delusions.

Best troll ever.

And when foldy is begging you to stay, you know you've crossed the line from eccentric to completely nuts.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 5:34 PM on August 16, 2004


Wulfgar!: thank you. I resisted. You put it a lot more succinctly - and politely - than I would have done.

wendell: seriously - what???? Read *some* of that link - what are you trying to say??? Am in my dressing gown, if that's not TOO much info...
posted by dash_slot- at 5:35 PM on August 16, 2004


"link, y6y6y6?"

It was in Gourmet Magazine. No on-line version of the story. Sorry. It's the one with the big jelly jar.

"SHATTERED MYTHS By Daniel Zwerdling
These days, experts say we should use a different glass for every type of wine we drink. Scientists who looked into the matter came up with some surprising conclusions."


The author does a good job of going back to original sources and finding out that the studies which supposedly supported Reidel actually showed the opposite.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:39 PM on August 16, 2004


Miguel's post is a nice example of what we in France call "spitting in the soup" (cracher dans la soupe). Hey, maybe in some cases the momentary unpleasantness improves the dish in the end.

Coincidentally, that very expression ends this this amusing article about a French woman who just wrote a book about strategies for slacking off at work (French), which got her in a bit of trouble with her employer, the oh-so-stodgy state electricity company.

If anyone is still reading: the thought had crossed my mind to make something like the above paragraph a FPP, but I didn't dare (it would have been my first). After this talk of affirmative action for internationals, I might feel bolder. Would it have been worthy? *cringe* On second thought, probably not, since it's really just a link to a Times article. Oh well. I'll keep trying.
posted by Turtle at 5:58 PM on August 16, 2004


If we could get one small thing out of this, could it be that people think about their use of the phrase "this country..." (and the like) and consider that not everyone is in that country.

Okay, I'll be sure to say "United States Federal income tax" in my next AskMe post. I thought that having a US address on my userpage might count for something, there.
posted by scarabic at 6:00 PM on August 16, 2004


If anyone is still reading: the thought had crossed my mind to make something like the above paragraph a FPP, but I didn't dare (it would have been my first). After this talk of affirmative action for internationals, I might feel bolder. Would it have been worthy? *cringe*

you're kidding, right? it was on the front page yesterday.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 6:04 PM on August 16, 2004


If we could get one small thing out of this, could it be that people think about their use of the phrase "this country..." (and the like) and consider that not everyone is in that country

biffa hits it on the head. I understand the American bias for posts - I don't like it, but I understand it. At least if people were more aware that not everyone here is an American, and think about that when they are posting the umpteeth George W Bush commentary, we would all be better off for it.
posted by Quartermass at 6:24 PM on August 16, 2004


scarabic, I don't want to check people's user pages for geographical references unless I'm snooping. They're not always useful either. When romakimmy or andrewcooke say "my country" it's pretty ambiguous.

In the case in point, yeah, it was kind of obvious. But it was AskMe, the word "Federal" was a giveaway, and (full snark mode enabled) who else but an American would assume that they didn't have to specify which tax system they were talking about?

Maybe it's like stamps, where the UK doesn't have to put the country on the stamp because they invented them. Or like the US not needing a separate top level domain.

This is like a little case study in cultural imperialism.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:38 PM on August 16, 2004


Look, I just said I was wrong, okay?
posted by scarabic at 6:41 PM on August 16, 2004


But, in fairness, please note that the thread was entirely unhampered by my omission, so perhaps I really *don't* have to specify anything. I'm too lazy to say "US," and you're too lazy to check my userpage, so let's just embrace one another in our laziness, chalk it up to a lesson learned, and call it a day.
posted by scarabic at 6:48 PM on August 16, 2004


Oh, DennisMurphy, did I hurt your sensitive little feelings sometime in the past....or did you just not learn with the rest of the boys and girls that childish insults about being "nuts" went out in grade school?

Oh wait....this is the thread where somebody expressing their opinion is merely dismissed by some as "drunk" or "depressed".

Carry on, gutlessly. It's what some of you do best.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:59 PM on August 16, 2004


Scarabic, I wasn't trying to insult you personally, so don't take it as such. It was just one example of many. The point is the assumption (right or not) that one could ask such a question without qualifying it.

As for Mr. spleen and his snark mode: US isn't the only country in the world with a federalist system, further making my point.
posted by Quartermass at 7:01 PM on August 16, 2004


my apologies scarabic, i misread your comment as meaning the complete opposite. we present our compliments and look forward to restoring cordial relations between our two accounts from this hour.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:16 PM on August 16, 2004


> you're kidding, right? it was on the front page yesterday.

Ooh, I'd missed it. I guess I could have posted it after all when I thought of it...

Just to try to save that mention from complete ridicule and get back on topic, it does point to the difficulty of having international content in Metafilter. The woman's novel came out some time ago in France, but it wasn't until the New York Times wrote this (pretty funny) article that it became "newsworthy", linkable, and communicable to a non-French-speaking group.

Let's face it: English and the United States are the world's (lowest? highest?) common denominator. Everybody in the entire world knows who Clinton, Monica, Bush, Kerry, Michael Jackson, Michael Moore, Schwarzenegger, Kobe Bryant, blablabla are. The US is now the country closest and most familiar to every single other country in the world. So even if we banned all Americans from Metafilter, the chances are American topics would still rule (though maybe not in quite the same way).
posted by Turtle at 7:20 PM on August 16, 2004


Either way, MeFi has changed (for the worst!).

How many times have I read that (or something like it) since I joined?


It's me, isn't it? Do I smell that bad? Or is it all the Dizzie Rascal I keep playing at loud volume?
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:33 PM on August 16, 2004


But don't you find it slightly strange that when a self-confessed admirer of America, someone who actually likes almost all the Americans he's met, in real life and here, shares the opinion that the board we share seems to focus exclusively on the U.S. and that this is limiting and really not fruitful, he should be judged drunk, depressed or trolling?

Why be so defensive? Even the lefties sound like George Bush or Mussolini - "either you're with us or you're against us". This is not how human beings feel. All this is is a warning (probably wrong) that we've lately become too parochial. Some say MetaFilter is mainly composed of Americans - so what? Can't they be interested in the world? Can't they forget, for a minute, they're American? Aren't there more interesting things to discuss? Why in the hell should Americans be obsessed with America? Of all the world's contradictions and contests, believe me: the one between Bush and Kerry is the least serious. The world is seething - seething with art; seething with politics. Seething with incompatibilities. Whether a slightly more liberal and intelligent rich guy is to become President of the U.S., rather than another, isn't really that interesting.

Honestly, sometimes it feels as if your independence was yesterday and you're still justifying it to the world. I love America - and for over 20 years I've publicly defended the Atlantic alliance, as a writer, editor and columnist - but surely there's far too much America on MetaFilter right now. Not in the topics and links - but in the manner of discussion. Everyone seems to be already convinced, defending their position, closed to debate and enlightenment.

It's not about Europe or Asia or whatever - it's about looking beyond your own back yard. I'm Portuguese but I also read American, British, French and Spanish newspapers and magazines; watch films and read books from all over the world . This is not a threat: the more I open myself up, the more I appreciate old friends.

The danger of isolationism, imho - and also in the opinion of a lot of people since proved right - is real.

And, no I'm not drunk or depressed and I do love my MetaFilter to death. But isn't it becoming, like that bothersome toenail in Fifties novels, slightly ingrown?

I think so. So, as in that lovely Frank Loesser song, "sue me!" :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:48 PM on August 16, 2004


So fix it then, Miguel. You haven't posted in a while--go to it. I want to see one post a day about an broadly international or foreign subject, to your usual standards. Starting.....................................now. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:55 PM on August 16, 2004


(and you're kinda saying we're currently incapable of it anyway, so the future of the site rests on your broad shoulders. Oh, how was that babelfish translation?)
posted by amberglow at 7:56 PM on August 16, 2004


1/4mass and spleen'o'joe: no offense taken. It was a fair example and I will renew my efforts to stay aware.

We studied a concept called "the unmarked category" at great length in college. Basically, it's analagous to asking a white person what their race is, and getting a blank look in return, as if "white = regular" instead of "white = european." This is one tool whereby a hegemony perpetuates itself: oddly enough, by erasing itself. "The best trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Etc.

While the American hegemony on MetaFilter may be incidental and mostly benign, it does have its perils. I think all of us value national diversity here, and I for one will try to express that more, even in my choice of words, etc.

Migs: 'blah blah blah' back atcha. Unfortunately, characterizing yourself as a man of the world with nothing but love for all jibes not one bit with the things you've said above; they clearly demonstrate otherwise. Misplaced magnanimity and even more self-obsession... an entirely pathetic response.
posted by scarabic at 7:58 PM on August 16, 2004


Let's see, Migs basically called all Americans hillbillies and rednecks.
Let's pause a moment and think of what others might have said had someone called a group of Africans, South Americans, Tasmanians, Asians, etc. a similarly unflattering name, lumping the whole of the country into one ugly generalization.
I'm amazed the Canadians were so polite in their ire.

Migs I always did think your ego was larger than your intellect. I had decided I was wrong, mostly swayed by how much faith so many others had in your entertainment value. Now I'm rethinking it.
And meanwhile you should rethink your attitude. While you came off as an elitist, Eurocentric snob many American based MeFites came forward to ask what was up with you, were you ok.
Sadly I'm chalking this up to yet another "It's All About ME!" MetaTalk Miguel Fest, and assuming you had no real desire to foster more links to international sites.

If you knew anything about America you should know there are large numbers of us here that are constantly complaining about its many many flaws, pointing them out, not letting our politicians forget them. At the same time it's completely fine to dis your own gang - someone from outside the block tries it and they get pummeled. We Southerners are always ragging on our flaws - and a good thing, as there are plenty of them and many changes needed.

I'm also wondering WTF over calls for "let's let in only new members who represent the international community." Does it seem fair to make the thundering hoards (that everyone always nitters on about, saying they are pining away for entrance like unrequited lovers) wait and only let in some based on nationality? I mean, I'm all for less Americanism around here - but I'm also for less Western and Eurocentric links as well. Doesn't mean I'm gonna advocate the idea of not letting in anyone from this country because we assume that people who live outside of it will post better international links. Heck, I don't even think Migs wins the Best International Links trophy.
Unless after this tirade he decides to get in there with some posting and show us all how it's done.
posted by batgrlHG at 8:04 PM on August 16, 2004


oi vey
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 8:14 PM on August 16, 2004


200 comments. miguel wins.
posted by quonsar at 8:20 PM on August 16, 2004


Can't they be interested in the world? Can't they forget, for a minute, they're American? Aren't there more interesting things to discuss? Why in the hell should Americans be obsessed with America?

Migs, what at least some of the USians here (myself included) are objecting to is this sweeping statement that we -- as a whole! -- aren't interested in the world and don't believe that there are more interesting things to discuss -- no, not even for a minute! Look, I swear to god, I'm the first person in this country (that is: the US) who rants and raves about US tourists abroad who demand to eat at McDonalds, and our current "Big Dog" bully-boy tactics that passes for a foreign policy, and Olympic TV coverage in which Bob fricken' Costas' only comment when announcing Djibouti during the Opening Ceremonies the other night is to crack "heh, Djibouti? You bet'cher booty"! We do exist. Really we do.

But more to the point, I consider myself one of many MeFi USians who have shown a clear and demonstrable interest in the world outside our borders through our posts, comments, travels, languages, etc. Again, not to turn this into The Scody Show (though you may all get your tickets at a discount if you hurry!), but 75% of my posts have dealt exclusively with European art and culture. (And -- ahem -- I could be wrong, but I don't believe you've ever dropped by even one of those threads to comment.) Or look at members who have far more posts than I -- Madamjujujive, for example, or Languagehat. Can you say with a straight face that they're "obsessed with America"? Seriously?

I sympathize deeply with your weariness with the goddamned NewsFilter/BushFilter/ElectionFilter posts. But they're not showing up because every single one of the 250,000,000 people in the U.S. is a hostile hillbilly redneck isolationist. Dinars for donuts says that if MeFi were based in Britain (say), instead of the daily BushFilter we'd get the daily BlairFilter. Would that automatically mean that Andrewcooke (for example) was really, at heart, just an imperialist Colonel Blimp pufftoad?
posted by scody at 8:22 PM on August 16, 2004


I still don't get it. Lots of people here have already railed against the whole Bushfilter phenomenon without dragging your so-called "American parochialism" into the discussion. It smells completely like a red herring to me. Yes, posts about politics generally suck, but so what? Does American politics suck more than (fill in another country here)'s politics? Next you'll be telling us that American shit smells worse, too, just because there's a lot of Americans here pumping it out.

As for how parochial Americans are, I'll believe it when the rest of the world stops lapping up our cultural detritus, everything from Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake to Michael Jackson and David Hasselhoff. When Bollywood displaces Hollywood from Portugal to Japan and kids all over the world forget American names like "Michael Jordan" and "Tiger Woods", I'll be more inclined to agree with you. Until then, the question to me remains why is the rest of the world so absorbed with American culture (and this pre-dates globalism and multinationals). Oh, I'm not taking a bite of your herring, thanks.

Why in the hell should Americans be obsessed with America? Of all the world's contradictions and contests, believe me: the one between Bush and Kerry is the least serious. The world is seething - seething with art; seething with politics. Seething with incompatibilities. Whether a slightly more liberal and intelligent rich guy is to become President of the U.S., rather than another, isn't really that interesting.

Drop that first sentence, and you have your standard anti-Bushfilter rant. That first part is... fishy.
posted by DaShiv at 8:25 PM on August 16, 2004


Massive points for working pufftoad into the conversation.
And quonsar - stop being right, dammit.
posted by batgrlHG at 8:27 PM on August 16, 2004


End of my penultimate paragraph: "Or look at members..." should, of course, read "or look at US members..." And yes, I realize that that sounds potentially dirty. Carry on.
posted by scody at 8:27 PM on August 16, 2004


I don't get how it's somehow oppressive for the idea that because the user population is 95% American that when someone posts about "my country" or "taxes" that the reasonable thing to assume is that they are referring to America.

I mean... duh. Law of averages, and all.

It simply makes sense for an American to not have to bother to mention that they are American and referring to America. Because that's what's being done the overwhelmingly huge majority of the time - it causes you physical pain to assume this or something?

And it also simply makes sense that for someone else referring to "my country" or "taxes" or whatever that has a country-specific meaning to specify what country it is, if it is *not* America.

People, it is *not* meant personally! I just don't get what's so terrible about it.

If I was on a site where 95% of the people were from Chile, I sure as hell wouldn't get my panties in a wad about them being Chile-centric. I'd think it's only natural, and to be expected. I wouldn't whine about it "oh poor me, how *dare* they assume I know what country they are talking about?! Why is it always Chile, Chile, Chile! Those myopic bastards!!!"

Grow up, people. I'm all for more international links and members and all that happy global village stuff (and people who want more of that stuff should post more of it), but the whiny attitude is just preposterous.
posted by beth at 8:27 PM on August 16, 2004


BatgrlHG "I'm amazed the Canadians were so polite in their ire"

It's not surprising. We are (yes I DO speak for all of us) a very polite people.

(Just don't turn your back on us during the full moon when we shed our human skins, snort lines of dryer lint and eat the flesh of those suckered by our bland façade.)
posted by arse_hat at 8:32 PM on August 16, 2004


I read magazines from Alberia, Carnelia , Costa Diablo, Imaya, Isla Suerto, and Maura just to name a few.

Listen, if you're upset about a community weblog where 90% of the users are based in the US, then either leave or try your best to bring the world to you. Some of us aren't worldly but that doesn't mean that we would be interested if someone actually talked about the rest of the world. The US is only 300 million strong. There are 6 billion other people in the world. There has got to be a few good non US-centric stories out there.
posted by Stynxno at 8:33 PM on August 16, 2004


Argh. Remind me not to have the misfortune again of finishing a post right after scody posts, so that mine won't be relegated to being a tepid reflection of hers--sans Djibouti and pufftoad. Seriously. It's like trying to outsnark quonsar.
posted by DaShiv at 8:35 PM on August 16, 2004


Let's not forget that Miguel is here to educate the poor, huddled masses he calls "Americans".

He is correct, of course, in that we're far too US-centric. Unfortunately, the occurrences of our election and the rather controvertial president we currently have are apparently such important events that this site needs hourly reminders of their existence. Beyond that, because this site is primarily made up of Americans, everyone here is a political expert who must be heard.

He is correct, of course, that this site needs a more healthy dose of international culture, economy, and politics, as well as freaky flash fun from overseas, but because this site is closed and to the best of my knowledge no one here has actually learned anything (since we're all so busy spouting our expert opinions about every assinine subject known to man), we're stuck with the same characters spouting the same agenda day after day.

He is correct, of course, that we're obsessed with ourselves. The same in-jokes, the same pathetic one-liners, the same rivalries, the same agendas, the same people. What more could be expected, really? Very few here have actually admitted to changing their minds because of a thread. Very few have ever changed their personas, including Miguel.

But from what I've found, adults rarely change their behavior drastically, which is what Miguel is calling for. Whenever I'm surrounded by teenagers, I'm reminded that when I was their age my values, beliefs, and ideas changed drastically every 6 months. As I grow older, I rarely change in a profound manner, and when I do, it only becomes clear after an extremely long period of time, with an enormous amount of hindsight.

Changing little quirks here at MeFi is easy, because it requires very little effort. Banning newsfilter for a day, deciding to use (MI) instead of clogging up the main page, attempting to tone down extreme anti-social behavior...these are all fairly easy changes that can be made (but you'll notice that they only last for a short period of time). But Miguel, unfortunately, though I agree with your sentiment, your request is falling upon deaf ears, who aren't willing to put in the work necessary to make this site more international. Quite frankly, most here aren't even willing to tone down the rampant political bickering, though they've been told by the site admin. that it's detrimental to the health of this site.

Forgive the length.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:36 PM on August 16, 2004


I sympathize deeply with your weariness with the goddamned NewsFilter/BushFilter/ElectionFilter posts.

Hear, hear! You don't have to be loving life on the southern tip of Europe to be tired of that crap. I think Miguel really meant to send a nasty email to PostRoad, and just hit the wrong button.


As for how parochial Americans are, I'll believe it when the rest of the world stops lapping up our cultural detritus


oh... SNAP! That's gotta hurt!
posted by scarabic at 8:38 PM on August 16, 2004


DaShiv - Sorry! Meanwhile you get points for mentioning Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake, Michael Jackson,David Hasselhoff and herring all in one comment. Higher points - if somehow all the aforementioned were beating Hasselhoff with said herrings.
posted by batgrlHG at 8:40 PM on August 16, 2004


He is correct, of course, that this site needs a more healthy dose of international culture, economy, and politics

Um, that is, he would have been correct if that were what he'd said. Miguel has skirted simple, obvious truths in favor of picking a fight with an entire continent from a safe distance.

Let's not attibute all truths relating to the national character of this site to Miguel's own mouth, simply because he's broached the subject here. If anything, he's given it the worst treatment any of us has ever seen, and worlds less than it deserves. Apparently, he believes he can do no wrong on this subject, sincehis feet are planted, unequivocally, on other soil (in more ways than one if you ask me).
posted by scarabic at 8:44 PM on August 16, 2004


Migs, your view that the U.S. election is about "[w]hether a slightly more liberal and intelligent rich guy is to become President of the U.S., rather than another" is absurd and, frankly, ignorant. You don't have to care who wins - the dirty bombs and hijacked airplanes are unlikely to reach Lisbon - but we do. To create a true international community, you need to accept that people care about things that you don't care about. And vice versa.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:51 PM on August 16, 2004


What? 150 comments and no orgy yet? I'll check back later.

No, but there's a playful tackle over on aisle 35002.
posted by namespan at 8:59 PM on August 16, 2004


Also, I saw a robin today.
posted by namespan at 9:00 PM on August 16, 2004


To create a true international community, you need to accept that people care about things that you don't care about. And vice versa.

This is very well said and very true. Also, I have to admit, due to the persuasiveness of my opponents, that quite probably I was wrong and that the problem I detected, so to speak, was probably more human than American.

I stand corrected and humbled - honestly. Thanks for proving me wrong. Though you must admit-...babble babble fecking Kerry and Bush... MetaFilter's agenda has lately ressembled a very parochial preoccupation.

I'd say, for instance, that the most important international question nowadays was Turkey. As regards the EU and the U.S. Would anyone here say it was dutifully debated?

But, yes, I recant. It was only a worry; a fear. You've all reassured me. Thank you!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:14 PM on August 16, 2004


You're welcome. How about "I'm sorry," while you're at it? You directed some fairly insulting accusations at a broad category of people, and I hope, if you can manage a redaction, that you're not above a polite apology in addition to your suave surrender. I don't want to humiliate you or anything, but please make no mistake. I haven't been "reassuring" you so much as utterly rejecting some evil crap you've been spouting. I can't speak for others on that count. I think I can speak for many in that I'm glad you figured it out, but this hasn't just been taking place in your head, you know.

Come on, Migs. It's orgy time. Say you're sorry so we can get fucking.
posted by scarabic at 9:35 PM on August 16, 2004


I'm sorry.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:38 PM on August 16, 2004


Booyakasha! All is forgotten. Welcome back to the fold!
posted by scarabic at 9:42 PM on August 16, 2004


the user population is 95% American
overwhelmingly huge majority
oppressive

According to a possibly wholly inaccurate survey, more like 70%. (Certainly that accords with my intuition. ) And that's about the point where the Brazilians really pissed off the English-speakers on Orkut, for example.

So it isn't "the overwhelmingly huge majority of the time", and it isn't a safe assumption. The presumption that American context rules by default is a minor irritant in the grand scheme of things, but it's an irritant nonetheless.

It's not oppressive, it's just thoughtless and par for the course.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:52 PM on August 16, 2004


NOW will there be an orgy?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:02 PM on August 16, 2004


If you and I can lock ourselves in a nice 69, Krrrlson, anything is possible.

[gives that look]
posted by scarabic at 10:06 PM on August 16, 2004


[dons pimp suit, puffs on a blunt, taps walking stick impatiently]
posted by DaShiv at 10:12 PM on August 16, 2004


Does anyone else feel like they've just found out that they've been starring in a humiliating Portuguese game show?

no?
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:15 PM on August 16, 2004


If you and I can lock ourselves in a nice 69, Krrrlson, anything is possible.

The consensus on 69, which I've gleaned entirely from women's fashion magazines, is that it's t0tally overrrated.

/I was at the dentist's office today and there was a Mademoiselle sitting out. By the way, if anyone wants to know the "Top Ten Things that Will Drive Him Batshit Crazy in Bed", email me; I think I still have them memorized
posted by dhoyt at 10:22 PM on August 16, 2004


The consensus on 69, which I've gleaned entirely from women's fashion magazines, is that it's t0tally overrrated.

I hear the Helicopter Fuck is where it's at nowadays.
posted by mr.marx at 10:50 PM on August 16, 2004


I think the Kerry/Bush flood is prevalent because this is ending up to be one of the most significant presidential elections in recent history, impacting not only America(r) but its international relations.
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:14 PM on August 16, 2004


So, dhoyt, man, like, kick, uh, down, the, um, 15, dude.

this is ending up to be one of the most significant presidential elections in recent history

Huh? There has been no election, just canpaigning. How has the campaigning affected America and its international relations, exactly?
posted by scarabic at 11:17 PM on August 16, 2004



I hear the Helicopter Fuck is where it's at nowadays.


whappa-whappa-whappa?
posted by quonsar at 11:33 PM on August 16, 2004


If you and I can lock ourselves in a nice 69, Krrrlson, anything is possible.

I'll do it if it's for world peace. Which, of course, could be attained if everyone followed suit (and think of the solution to the overpopulation crisis as a bonus).

"Top Ten Things that Will Drive Him Batshit Crazy in Bed"

Is one of them batshit?
posted by Krrrlson at 11:36 PM on August 16, 2004


whappa-whappa-whappa?

Sort of. (NSFW)
posted by mr.marx at 12:20 AM on August 17, 2004


Jeez you're a stirrer Migs.
posted by johnny7 at 12:35 AM on August 17, 2004


Well, I'm just here to find cool links--the best of the web, ya know? American links, European links, Asian links...Antarctic links, whatever.
posted by kayjay at 1:10 AM on August 17, 2004


How many British and European members have stopped posting? Lots.

Who?



- Well I miss summer.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:45 AM on August 17, 2004


On alt.folklore.urban the community exerts pressure to avoid this sort of chauvinism via the initialism TWIAVBP1. It seems to work, mostly.

1 The World is a Very Big Place

Does this mean Migs isn't leaving? Didn't someone say the "word"?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:05 AM on August 17, 2004


I don't know if it was Migs intent, but I do believe that Miguel's point has been illustrated absolutely succinctly just by reading the downright rude, uncourteous and plain xenophobic comments in this thread.

Just take a look at yourselves, American MeFites!
posted by metaxa at 3:21 AM on August 17, 2004


Where'd riviera get to, anyway?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:31 AM on August 17, 2004


Well, I'm just here to find cool links--the best of the web, ya know? American links, European links, Asian links...Antarctic links, whatever.

OK... Antarctic links.
posted by mmahaffie at 5:38 AM on August 17, 2004


Okay, mmahaffie; I demand you post this to the front page. This is great, and if you don't do it, I'll call you a "doodoo-head", or - even worse - an American!
posted by taz at 5:51 AM on August 17, 2004


Metafilter: I'll call you a "doodoo-head", or - even worse - an American!
posted by amberglow at 5:57 AM on August 17, 2004


Gee taz, I'm still a FPP virgin. I think my first should be more special, don't you? *smoldering look...*

/carrying on embarrassingly sensuous "orgy theme" that has taken over thread
posted by mmahaffie at 6:08 AM on August 17, 2004


242 comments?! Somebody done fudged the bucket.
posted by littlegreenlights at 6:19 AM on August 17, 2004


It's 'poopyhead', damn it! Can't you people speak Merican proper-like?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:20 AM on August 17, 2004


I, for one, welcome our new American Overlords.
posted by seanyboy at 6:34 AM on August 17, 2004


America builds it and the rest of the world bitches about it...what else is new?

;)
posted by rushmc at 6:39 AM on August 17, 2004


kiss-kiss ~mmahaffie~ kiss-kiss!!

I worked on making my first fpp "very, very special", I thought, but still, hardly no love at all. I'm promising you at least some serious love here. Go ahead and do it. It will break you out of that dread-thing about posting to the front page, and catapult you right into the "loathing" stage - at which point you are automatically one of us*!

*us = those who love, fear and hate each other, but, no matter what transpires, can't seem to stop talking to (and about) each other.
posted by taz at 6:46 AM on August 17, 2004


And lo...the thread descended into pancakes. What a crashing waste.

No. Seriously.
posted by metaxa at 7:05 AM on August 17, 2004


Dammit, I overslept and missed the orgy.

Uh, metaxa, it was Miguel who was rude, uncourteous and plain xenophobic; the rest of us were just pointing out that fact (and speculating on possible causes, not unrelated to the massive amount of alcohol-related posting he's done). His point was uncontroversial; his manner of making it was unconscionable, and he's apologized for it. So let it go.
posted by languagehat at 7:30 AM on August 17, 2004


posted by metaxa at 7:05 AM PST on August 17

Metaxa 5 Star, I think it was, in these ridiculous leg-size bottles with plastic shells, that kept me alive during the month of March 1989, when I found myself the sole and pneumonic occupant of Club Mykonos, at Ornos Bay on Mykonos in the Cyclades of Greece, no heat, no hot water, but a huge grin on my face, ostensibly taking inventory for the new owners while they got themselves sorted in Athens, but really just drinking myself Byronic, prowling for off-season girly satisfaction and wondering how I got there.

Also : Fuck America! Wheeeeeee!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:38 AM on August 17, 2004


So is there some sort of Metafilter coup in the works or what?
posted by chunking express at 7:47 AM on August 17, 2004


Ah, the perspective game!

I think KeyzerSoze put his finger on it, or close to it, a few comments up the thread : Miguel, why not invert your suppositions? It's often educational to do so even if the results are clearly off the mark.

Assume a type of figure-ground reversal as posed by my following question -

So : could the increased focus on American politics shown on Metafilter be, in part, an index, actually, of increased internationalist awareness expressed as a deeply felt concern that 1) we're probably at or close to an historical bifurcation point involving the Worldwide rise of a new economic hyper-elite, a technologically driven shift of unprecedented speed and - meanwhile amidst the ensuing and quickening political and economic trends (both good and bad) - an accelerating destabilization of the Earth's climate and Biosphere and that 2) a Huntingtonian "Clash of Civilizations" and the ensuing spread of international mayhem, police state restrictions on Democracy dictated by the illogic of the "War on Terror", and a consequent increase in World levels of military spending to even yet higher, absurd levels may be viewed by historians - if any are around in coming decades to make such assessments of our age - as a grim turning point that amounted to, in the end, to a type of fatal misjudgment of perspective and - also - a crime of intergenerational theft, by those who now live and wield power, from the coming generations of humanity, for at least millennia to come ? - The biological impoverishment may be, in the grim irreversibility of Time's Arrow, permanent and humans - such as still exist - will curse our memory.

Also, perhaps, elements of humanity will flee outward, leaving the wasted shell of a once-beautiful planet, as a sort of ravening technologically enabled fungal spore, to spread beyond the parochial backwater of that solar system we now inhabit, in our galactic neighborhood set in a peripheral arm of our galaxy - one amidst a near infinity of galaxies, and find amidst the far wastes of space, those likely highly rare jewels of planets graced by complex biological life, biospheres that suit our needs and our fancy, new Edenic planets - perhaps as yet untroubled by runaway technology-enabled species overgrowth processes - to infest and devour other worlds.

So, Miguel - the loftier "perspective" you're wearing here, as a mantle of cultural sophisticated from which to chide the political concerns or obsessions of the poor, benighted Metafilterian Americans, may - with a change in your wider, outlying assumptions or, rather, in an expansion to a wider range of vision to enable your gaze to look beyond merely that which you deem to comprise "culture" and to other realms, historic and biological - be subsumed in a larger visions that, in the surrounding light, reduces your current complaints at hand here to the merely parochial.

In short, I don't necessarily agree.

[ hi steve! ]
posted by troutfishing at 7:49 AM on August 17, 2004


We'll never make 300.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:56 AM on August 17, 2004


sophisticated

sophistication?
posted by biffa at 8:05 AM on August 17, 2004


His point was uncontroversial; his manner of making it was unconscionable, and he's apologized for it. So let it go.

Sorry, no dice.

What utter rubbish! It seems plainly obvious that Miguel was hounded down and railroaded into issuing a pithy 'I'm sorry' by the vast majority of posters on this thread. For what it's worth, I agree wholeheartedly with Migs' original comments.

Miguel simply asked: "Whereas (the few remaining) Europeans here are curious about America, Americans here seem boringly and predictably obsessed with themselves. Is isolationism the growing trend on this board?"

This simple question, with over 200 responses, hasn't been answered.

My point a few posts up was trying to illustrate that peoples actions on this very thread further strenghten Migs' argument. Criticism isn't handled at all well here. "I can't be bothered to do anything constructive about this problem, so instead I'll be as aggressive as possible and wear it down.... Oh look, Miguel said sorry, problem solved."

So, please, feel free to stick your collective USAsian (what a *terrible* word!) heads in the sand.
posted by metaxa at 8:15 AM on August 17, 2004


biffa - yup. spellcheck doesn't nab those sorts of errors.

stavros - here's some more grist :

"Sometimes it is the little things in life which do us in. It is said that the devil is in the details.

A popular saying sums this up "For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider, the battle was lost. For want of a battle, the war was lost." Small effects can cascade upwards to have, ultimately, large results. The 1845 British Franklin Expedition to search for a viable Northwest Passage - recently made possible because Global warming has reduced the arctic ice pack- was done in by it's stores of lead lined cans of food which represented, at the time, the state of the art in food preservation. The Franklin expedition members became mad as hatters and wandered about on the ice, their pockets filled with silverware, before dropping in their tracks. "


Their minds got muddled, they lost perspective.
posted by troutfishing at 8:20 AM on August 17, 2004


Number One out grew it.

presumably - or he watched Monsoon Wedding
posted by geekyguy at 8:25 AM on August 17, 2004


Miguel, I miss your voice around here. But not when you're posting shit like the above.

Come back, make one post a week to the blue and stop talking for "Europeans" as if you were our ambassador.
posted by johnny novak at 8:26 AM on August 17, 2004


metaxa - read much? I think you're barking up the wrong tree and - no - miguel isn't up there cringing in fear at the snarling pack below.

He's sipping a martini, watching from a safe distance and giggling at the mayhem - no sacrificial lamb of a martyr at all, this one.
posted by troutfishing at 8:27 AM on August 17, 2004


He's sipping a martini, watching from a safe distance and giggling at the mayhem - no sacrificial lamb of a martyr at all, this one.

Quite possibly. I'm not trying to 'defend' Miguel from the snarling pack as such, I just happen to think his point is very valid, and has been glossed over in the form of insults and pancakes.
posted by metaxa at 8:38 AM on August 17, 2004


I find it amusing that highlighting blatant instances of Amerocentricism [still unsure if that's really a word] - of a non-Newsfilter nature - fall like a tree in the Forest in the Land of Deaf People. Almost like it never happened...

It can kill a thread stone dead.

It's also interesting to note that this reaction has been entirely against Miguel: as if no-one else in this thread spoke out in similar vein on allied matters. Then, all you have to do is pile on to Miggy, who issues one of his famous apologies, and the matter is resolved. You can even take back that grudging apology of your own, a la scarabic1, and we won't have to think about this, till the next time.

There there, it's alright now.


America builds it

It's not an Apollo moonshot. An American built it.

and the rest of the world bitches about it...what else is new?
Some americans also bitch about it. (",)

1scarabic, please don't think I'm stalking. Ignore any past spats we've had. I don't have it in for you. Honest.
posted by dash_slot- at 8:46 AM on August 17, 2004


metaxa - fair enough [also as per my huge comment above] - first of all, I'd agree in large part - that Americans, shiveringly paranoid in their self-absorption, are up in a tree now and looking in fear down at the now snarling pack that is world opinion, which is in fact being goaded as the Americans self-righteously pelt the hounds with apples and bits of garbage.

But Metafilter is more - I'd argue - less a symptom of that pathology and more it's antidote. To lay bare the real heart of the beast, look to Kansas, to Edward Bernays, to religious fundamentalism, to McDonalds, and to the apotheosis of hyperconsumerist navel-gazing.

Meanwhile :

"Death told me this:
He razors off 11 days of your life for every MetaFilter minute.
On your deathbed, in a dream, he dangles them in front of you,
And offers to reimburse you, if you'll just click 'Accept'.
And when you do click 'Accept' (and everyone always does)
The screen flashes fire, turns black, and says
'Error 404: File Not Found'
In radioactive green
And big red smoochy lips appear
At low resolution
And draw your sunken face to the screen
For a final skinless kiss
Goodbye.

posted by Opus Dark at 1:14 AM PST on July 14"

posted by troutfishing at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2004


Dear Rest Of The World,

For the love of Elvis, nitro-burning funny cars, Carrot Top and turducken, please oh please oh please, bring us Americans some culture from somewhere else. Anywhere. You might have noticed, but we're not picky.

Seriously.

I have really good bourbon, some excellent dixieland music, or torrents of recent seasons of Six Feet Under to trade for it. I hope that's enough.

Love, a resident of the United States.
posted by chicobangs at 9:07 AM on August 17, 2004


Here ya go, Miguel:

Will Turkey Make It? from the (US-based, sorry, but the Turkish Daily News is shite.) New York Review of Books. Best description and analysis I've seen of Turkish politics -- which are fascinating -- in quite a while.
posted by Vidiot at 9:40 AM on August 17, 2004


Whenever I consider purchasing $10 Salt, I think of MiguelCardoso.
posted by shoepal at 9:44 AM on August 17, 2004


"Miguel simply asked: "Whereas (the few remaining) Europeans here are curious about America, Americans here seem boringly and predictably obsessed with themselves. Is isolationism the growing trend on this board?"

This simple question, with over 200 responses, hasn't been answered."


No, isolationism is not the growing trend on this board.

Now it's been answered.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:48 AM on August 17, 2004


Who's Kobe Bryant?
Best troll ever, btw.
posted by plep at 10:06 AM on August 17, 2004


Europeans here, whether British or continental, are mere tokens.

Sure, you had to miss out the Irish and the Icelanders...
posted by plep at 10:09 AM on August 17, 2004


OMG, I'm really getting ready to throw up here.

Miguel always drags for attention, and he always gets it, even though whatever "idea" he might be putting forth may be in total opposition to some earlier "idea" that he once earnestly shared with us. I'm sorry, but I figured out a long (long!) time ago that Miguel's main interest is in promoting more interest in Miguel, and I'm sorry to see so many people falling, time after time, for the same old reliable lures.

For those of you who want to see Miguel as a hero, I recommend you look elsewhere on the site - we really do have actual heroes here. What Miguel does is "performance", and he's great at it, but please don't confuse it for actual "feeling" or depth. It really isn't.
posted by taz at 10:16 AM on August 17, 2004


Whereas (the few remaining) [longtime MeFites] here are curious about [the Best of the Web], [MiguelCardoso] here seems boringly and predictably obsessed with [himself]. Is narcissism the growing trend on this board?

Yes.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:26 AM on August 17, 2004


The consensus on 69, which I've gleaned entirely from women's fashion magazines, is that it's t0tally overrrated.

I hear the Helicopter Fuck is where it's at nowadays.


Damn, and here I am still trying to figure out what a Mexican Cartwheel is.
posted by smcniven at 10:30 AM on August 17, 2004


I have really good bourbon, some excellent dixieland music, or torrents of recent seasons of Six Feet Under to trade for it. I hope that's enough.

Also Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Hip-Hop, the Free Love Movement, Feminism, abstract expressionism, pop art, outsider art, the lost generation, the Algonquin Round Table, the New York school, Gehry, Lloyd Wright, and Pei, barbeque, jamablya, and apple pie, Chomsky, Dewey, and Jay, rodeo, baseball, and skateboarding, disco dancing, breakdancing, and swing, Hitchcock, Welles, and Scorsese, Brando, Bogart, and Pacino, Hemmingway, Whitman, T.S. Elliot, Emily Dickenson, and Tennesse Williams, the 24-hour convenience store, the drive-thru, and the ATM.

I'm tired of this "America has no culture" bullshit. Perhaps true when said by H.L. Mencken; no longer.
posted by ChasFile at 11:24 AM on August 17, 2004


Hitchcock, eh? If you're claiming him, we Brits are claiming Cary Grant back. That's just the start!

BTW, 'the drive-thru' is not seen by many non-USians as an example of culture...honestly.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:53 AM on August 17, 2004


Yeah, nor the ATM.

I must give props to your homeland, dash_slot-, for all the incredible rock music to come out of such a tiny island. What do you feed your young over there?
posted by scarabic at 12:06 PM on August 17, 2004


American pop culture.
posted by toby\flat2 at 12:25 PM on August 17, 2004


I'm bored with the rest of the internet, let's all talk about what Miguel wants to talk about!

Say the word, by the way, and you can have it all to yourselves, no hard feelings.

Which word, precisely, would that be? I want to get it right on the first attempt.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:32 PM on August 17, 2004


Metaxa: I just happen to think his point is very valid, and has been glossed over in the form of insults and pancakes

[long, splenetic rant of disagreement truncated on preview to:]

I took most of the "Miguel, you must be drunk" comments as charitable. As in, you must be drunk, because we're pretty sure that you wouldn't be dumb enough to try to make this point while sober.
posted by ook at 12:43 PM on August 17, 2004


I know that the intentions are good but I find it ironic that people want to encourage iraquis to join us, apparently not realizing that the current preocupation with Iraq is mostly an American issue (Trust me, I live in that neighborhood).
posted by golo at 12:58 PM on August 17, 2004


It is true, scarabic - everynow and again we [the Brits] produce a few bands that go on to dominate the charts across the globe for a few years. My other homeland [I sneakily lay claim to my Irish heritage when it suits!] does pretty well too.

toby - Hehehe!

Partly true, especially for earlier exponents like the Stones & the Beatles. They say that Liverpool's function as a port and links to the States were a major factor in it's emergence as a centre of music in the 60's - the merchant seamen were bringing home rare staeside recordings which inspired the local youth to take up the guitar and play. I'd say that it is less and less so these days: inherent in the nature of pop & rock is the 'pop will eat itself' feature. So The Jam & Oasis steal wholesale from the Beatles rather than the Dead; XTC bounce of the Kinks, the Small Faces and english folk music, rather than Jefferson Airplane and the Byrds.

There is a definite nerdy pop sensibility here, which almost all kids grow up with that have access to the radio. Nowadays the Beeb can take alot of credit for nurturing that, but the Radio Pirates of the 60's also worked to overcome the dead hand of old fashioned pop before the birth of Radio 1 in 1967. So I think the creative impulse, the desire to make melodic, rhytmic sounds and the acceptance of a wide range of influences are part of the explanation for British musical success. The appetite amongst the hip, urban youth for something new!new!new! and a certain pride in our homegrown talent plays a large part, too.

Course, we also have the Dole: whether that is still a life subsidy to aspiring musicians, I dunno [& it didn't benefit those hardworking MopTops in the 60's, did it?] I do know that one of the Gallagher bros. credits it for keeping him afloat when he was a struggling muso.

Doesn't a lot of it come back to the Blues, tho, when you trace it back - and that's basically African-American. The debt we all owe to all those who kept that alive from 1500 - present day is immense.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:07 PM on August 17, 2004


USAians, in general, are more parochial than most Europeans. They are not, however, more parochial than most people, worldwide. They are more parochial than they should be, given their outsized influence in the world. So the greivance is a legitmate one. Is it a national characteristic, cultural, an accident of history or geography or economics? Don't know. Are there similar examples among the Europeans in times past when their influence was outsized? Yes.

Are the MetaFilter USAians representative of USAians? Almost certainly not. Are there numerous examples, just within this thread, that show MeFi USAians to be not only more worldly than the average USAian, but possibly more worldly than the average European? Possibly.

Is MeFi getting more USA-centric recently? Probably not, once the NewsFilter US election trend is discounted. Is MeFi unfriendly to non-USAians? No, quite the opposite, at least in relative terms. Could we do better? Yes. Should we do better? Why not? It's worth a try.

Was there a bunch of hateful USA-centric bile and xenophobia thrown around in this thread as metaxa contends? Nope. Metaxa's on drugs or something.

Was there a bunch of hate thrown Migs's way in this thread? Yep, and deservedly. Was this post attention-seeking claptrap from Miguel? Without a doubt. If Miguel went away, would we miss posts like these? No, we'd celebrate. If Miguel went away, would we miss posts like he used to make in the old days to the blue? Yep. But we're missing them now. Right now all we get is the bad and none of the good.

Are Canadians even remotely comparable to USAians in this regard? Absolutely not. Canadians fetishize being "world citizens". It's what makes them "special". They're so cute, aren't they?

Did Miguel in one of his comments generalize in a negative and stereotypical fashion about USAians...behavior that were the roles and regions reversed, would have caused a huge (and justified) outrage? Yep.

Is it outrageous—a huge moral failing—that USAians, who consitute the overwhelming majority of the participants on a USA-hosted and owned community stite, assume the default context is the USA? Of course it's not. It's normal human nature; it's perhaps secondarily harmful but certainly not intended to be.

I hope that's answered most of the questions.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:33 PM on August 17, 2004


I feel pretty lonely here, but that never shuts me up.
posted by semmi at 1:34 PM on August 17, 2004


when I found myself the sole and pneumonic occupant of Club Mykonos, at Ornos Bay on Mykonos in the Cyclades of Greece, no heat, no hot water, but a huge grin on my face, ostensibly taking inventory for the new owners while they got themselves sorted in Athens

I hate you.

An American built it.

I wasn't using "build" in such a limited way. Code != site.
posted by rushmc at 1:44 PM on August 17, 2004


Jeebus - this is still going on?

What you need to understand is that Migs is fucking actor, fucking artist, fucking inventor!

Migeul Cardoso
He is already old age
He is afraid that suddenly he cannot do Helicopter Fuck.
Please give him oppotunity for Helicopter Fuck.
But don't forget, he is not gay. he need only woman for helicopter fuck.

300 comments and this gem of a link gets passed over... Oh how I despair...
posted by longbaugh at 1:49 PM on August 17, 2004


Miguel Cardoso:
Being endowed with great eloquence, Cardoso had many followers, but many enemies as well. An influential personage, Isaac Lumbroso, by spending much money, obtained his banishment from Tripoli. Cardoso then wandered from place to place, trying to lead people astray by his prophecies and visions, but meeting no success, as the rabbis had issued warnings against his vagaries.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 2:07 PM on August 17, 2004


Canadians fetishize being "world citizens". It's what makes them "special". They're so cute, aren't they?

Fuck you and fuck Texas too.
posted by Quartermass at 2:16 PM on August 17, 2004


You better get started now. I hear tell it's a big state.
posted by yerfatma at 2:34 PM on August 17, 2004


Hey, I mock with familiarity and affection. And you can fuck Texas all you want, I hate the place (except Austin).

Anyway, what I meant to say was quer-se ser sério e há pessoas que só querem rir.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:41 PM on August 17, 2004


Vanessa Williams, ooh, you're so divine.
Just want to put your name in my rhyme!

What everyone said, but props to Migs and metaxa who also have a point.

It's a bit like playing that game where you are supposed not to use a chosen word in a description, and starting your description with that word. Without irony.

I really don't seem able to articulate my points here very well...

There's something about commenting from afar, the lack of local reporters (and field operatives) and empathy that links mefi and the rest of the mainstream media. There's something about comfort zones. There's something about criticising those most likely to want to understand your point of view. Metafilter is the best of the (admittedly US dominated) web. The quality of debate and links is comparatively high.

Everyone here likes it.

*Orgy continues*
posted by asok at 2:56 PM on August 17, 2004

helicopter fuck
spider spinning webs of dew
waiting for the freeze
posted by rushmc at 3:27 PM on August 17, 2004


No one answered tetsuo:

Maybe the upcoming American Presidential election has skewed MeFi to the American perspective since it is such a source of anxiety for the American MeFites. Perhaps it will settle down afterwards. Was there a similar trend in 2000?

It definitely felt like MeFi was dominated with the election (Nader! Nader! Nader!) in summer 2000, and even moreso in the month or two following with post after post about florida ballets, supreme courts, missing whitehouse 'w' keys and all the other fooferaw that occured in late 2000/early 2001.

Some (including me) have argued in the past that the 2000 election was the beginning of NewsFilter, but I'm pretty sure America-specific site has been around the site longer than I have.

MetaFilter's not international. Why is anyone suprised?
posted by cCranium at 3:34 PM on August 17, 2004


2 late-to-the-party points:

1) Miguel seems to believe that the only alternative to a US viewpoint is a European one. Oldschool imperialism dies hard, huh?

2) Fairly Off-topic Pet Peeve: when people refer to the opposing political stances in the US as "left" and "right", whereas no gringo would recognize a leftist if he bit him on the ass an nationalized his national resources. From an international standpoint, in the US you have extreme-right-wing-nutter and not-so-extreme-right-wing-person.
posted by signal at 3:37 PM on August 17, 2004


Jesus. I can always tell an EB post within the first three lines.

And EB, I almost always skip your posts because you take so fucking long to ever get to the point.

In BBS communications you must be as efficient as possible in conveying your message or it won't be effective.

Less is more. Take it to heart.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:38 PM on August 17, 2004


wow. what a long thread , if my internet connection was any better these days i would have read the lot of it , certainly the metayanks know how to treat a metascot with charming hospitality.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:23 PM on August 17, 2004


free radicals have become a devastating enemy to our health.
posted by quonsar at 4:24 PM on August 17, 2004


Five more, people. We can do this.
posted by kenko at 4:34 PM on August 17, 2004


Come on guys... only another 5 posts.

Erm... Godamn Yanks trying to take over the world by the least stealthy "stealth" ever. Bastards.
Fucking blue people... coming over here... Stealing our hamsters...
posted by twine42 at 4:35 PM on August 17, 2004


Okay... not five. Four. I mean, three. Here, Kenko, we can do this by ourselves...
posted by twine42 at 4:36 PM on August 17, 2004


damn you!

/shakes fist
posted by orelius at 4:44 PM on August 17, 2004


I'm in.

The United States of America, I mean.
posted by wendell at 4:44 PM on August 17, 2004


Not even fark filters 300th post call outs. :)
posted by twine42 at 4:47 PM on August 17, 2004


I'm still a little baffled by this line in Miguel's original post...

It is not a good idea but it's a stone's throw away...

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...

hey...

ouch...

OUCH!

SHIT!

CUT IT OUT PEOPLE!!!
posted by wendell at 4:49 PM on August 17, 2004


wendell: Look. I-- I'd had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was, 'That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.'

MeFi: Oooooh! {throws stones}

/life of brian
posted by sciurus at 5:30 PM on August 17, 2004


It is not a good idea but...

It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away


*dives headlong into orgy*
posted by languagehat at 6:48 PM on August 17, 2004


Hey, You Can Leave Your LanguageHat On.
posted by wendell at 7:25 PM on August 17, 2004


I just returned from my trip to Chicago. Wow! What a fantastic place... I had no idea. I can't wait to visit again.

p.s. Cool thread. I ready every comment.
posted by Witty at 7:35 PM on August 17, 2004


Is it outrageous—a huge moral failing—that USAians, who consitute the overwhelming majority of the participants on a USA-hosted and owned community stite, assume the default context is the USA? Of course it's not. It's normal human nature; it's perhaps secondarily harmful but certainly not intended to be.

Well, we can settle for that if we wish. But, if we do value our international members (I have to mention that getting a shoutout from London really did make my day special) then we, as Americans, can and should do more to be inclusive and hospitable.

If it sounds like I'm agreeing with the original post, I'm not. It had way too much doom, gloom, and blame wrapped around this one basically valid reminder.
posted by scarabic at 7:57 PM on August 17, 2004


I ready you too, Wittyy.

You did remember to throw a pie in Alan Keyes' face for us while you were there, didn't you? (Just don't say you got Barack Obama by mistake... they do NOT look alike)

No, wait, Chicago is in the U.S.ofA... YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GO TO LISBON, PORTUGAL!!!
(and the pie was for Miguel)

It is not a good idea but it's a pie's throw away...
posted by wendell at 7:57 PM on August 17, 2004


Is there a way to get International Observers to oversee the upcoming US election?
posted by semmi at 8:32 PM on August 17, 2004


Forget the international observers, we need a team of Blue Berets patrolling this thread.

BTW, does "The International Observers" sound like a great name for a techno band to anyone else? No? OK, never mind.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:25 PM on August 17, 2004


free radicals: devastating enemy to our health, or great techno band name?
</kent brockman>
posted by quonsar at 9:40 PM on August 17, 2004


They're coming, semmi.
posted by amberglow at 9:45 PM on August 17, 2004


In these desperate times, only one candidate has the vision that it takes to defend the country against free radicals, grow the economy, and get to the root of America's problems.
posted by euphorb at 10:18 PM on August 17, 2004


Only 87 comments to glory.
posted by troutfishing at 10:44 PM on August 17, 2004


I just wanted to be comment 314. I have a special place in my heart for "314".

As to the rest of this thread, you can now go back to having an orgy or arguing ... whichever stage it's at right now.
posted by Orb at 11:31 PM on August 17, 2004


I think you mean 86.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:31 PM on August 17, 2004


Criminy
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:33 PM on August 17, 2004


Is this the biggest MeTa thread ever?
posted by Quartermass at 11:57 PM on August 17, 2004


Hi.
posted by pemulis at 12:22 AM on August 18, 2004


Hi.
posted by shoos at 1:12 AM on August 18, 2004


Call me.
posted by shoos at 1:17 AM on August 18, 2004


The only thing that's changed about this website is the way you're looking at it, Miguel. You don't exactly sound like you're having a grand old time participating here. You're burnt out, so what? That doesn't raise your suspicions of some deep change in MeFi into objective fact.

And as for for the broad-brush painting of the U.S. members of MeFi, you have a history of doing so here. It's clear that you don't really know squat about the U.S., or its citizens. The only change here is a darkening of the portrait. Basically, this was a foolish post; my guess is that you're projecting problems in other areas onto this website. Correct me if I'm wrong.

This is bad, because I view you as a classy guy; I'm sorry if I'm coming off a bit harsh. That's where I'm at right now, at least I know it, though.
posted by attackthetaxi at 1:49 AM on August 18, 2004


Hey Cardosa. Stop reading this Now! I require your assistance in AskMe!
posted by seanyboy at 4:36 AM on August 18, 2004


And, then I'll try and spell your name right. Cardoso. (sorry)
posted by seanyboy at 4:36 AM on August 18, 2004


.
posted by plep at 5:17 AM on August 18, 2004


.
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:05 AM on August 18, 2004


Miguel is just a guy with poor impulse control, and tends to post the first thing that spills out of his fingers onto the keyboard. He's often posted without really thinking, and tends to do so just to hear himself type. It has always been thus.

And that's about the best defense I can provide for the poor old guy.
posted by crunchland at 6:18 AM on August 18, 2004


You know how to liven things up Miguel ;-)
Your name is on my guest list for a hypothetical dinner party.
posted by Tarrama at 6:26 AM on August 18, 2004


well, im not gonna miss out on a chance to comment in such a big thread. I mean, what kind of lurker am I?

Oh and Miguel, if you feel this site is too american for you, then go ahead and create your own metafilter-style site in your country. Nothing pisses people off more than someone coming here and complaining. No one forces you to post here.
posted by Dantien at 7:19 AM on August 18, 2004


MetaFiltro
El MetaFilter de que está bem gostar!

1 membro
Você é registado como Miguel Cardoso

posted by languagehat at 7:47 AM on August 18, 2004


What a bunch of Cockaigne in a bucket.
posted by semmi at 9:00 AM on August 18, 2004


Someone in AskMe is an American trying to get tips on how to move abroad (with a job). So far, s/he hasn't had any responses; I'm sure some of the peeps in this thread can offer some good hints over there!
posted by fionab at 9:22 AM on August 18, 2004


Three hundred thirty-one comments later, and people are still talking about the original topic?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:52 AM on August 18, 2004


Yup. You'd think people would get tired of talking about good, offbeat places to get a martini in Lisbon.

That was the topic, right?
posted by troutfishing at 11:13 AM on August 18, 2004


USAians
* 7 characers
* short for United States of Americaians

USAsians
* 8 characters
* short for United Staes of Asians

Americans
* 9 characters
* commonly accepted term for citizens of the United States
* Calling a non-American resident of Latin, North or South America an American is the shortest route to making friends. Really!

Why will I continue to call citizens of the United States Americans? I don't want to be associated, except maybe in Google, with the person who penned this thoughtful comment on LiveJournal:
Not using the word "American" to describe people living in the USA anymore: American design the people living on the continent of America, and Canadians, Mexicans, Chilians, Peruvians, etc. are Amercians too. It is not right that the USA monopolize this term.
Emphasis mine.
posted by sequential at 11:31 AM on August 18, 2004


That person is clearly doesn't speak English natively. I don't see what the problem is.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:39 AM on August 18, 2004


Did you know that 'Qatar,' the Gulf state which is home to Al Jazeera, translates as 'Country?' Straight up. It is not right that Qatar monopolize this term.
posted by scarabic at 11:56 AM on August 18, 2004


yanks
* 5 characters
posted by mr.marx at 12:06 PM on August 18, 2004


What's even more disturbing is that Tonga means "south." Like it's their direction or something.
posted by shoos at 12:14 PM on August 18, 2004


First of all, rent a sense of humor. It was a joke.

If for some reason the factual error escaped your eyes, America is not a continent or even a tectonic plate.

The land masses that make up North, Central and South America are commonly referred to as The Americas. This does not imply that Columbians refer to themselves as Americans, though they may identify with the term South American.

It's interesting that you decide to characterize the poster as a non-native English speaker. Is that a defense of your use of the phrase "USAian"?

For your information, the poster is apparently from Québec, Canada and appears to at least be conversant in English. I went overboard for the sake of humor, but in case that wasn't clear, I have nothing against the author of the post, just the assertion that America is a continent.

On Preview: mr.marx wins. Damnit, we are yanks.
posted by sequential at 12:14 PM on August 18, 2004


USians: six characters, short for "united statesians", reinforces us-v-them mentality.
posted by kenko at 12:49 PM on August 18, 2004


Holy crap - hi Foldy!!

came in late to this one
posted by tr33hggr at 1:51 PM on August 18, 2004


THOU SHALL NOT take the crap of the Lord in vain!
posted by troutfishing at 2:39 PM on August 18, 2004


I prefer 'Mericans. Not only does it remind everyone else on this continent that they really don't matter, but it reinforces the superiority of our educational system.
posted by dness2 at 2:45 PM on August 18, 2004


No no. USian. Pronounced Ooze-ian. Defines our national character.
posted by ook at 3:53 PM on August 18, 2004


Yes, I did just use the word "our" to refer solely to residents of the US. Take that! And that! I'm an exclusionist isolationist xenophobic whitebread redneck racist rat-bastard! Ha!
posted by ook at 3:57 PM on August 18, 2004


merkins ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on August 18, 2004


I prefer Californian myself, but I'm just wacky that way.

If you think USAians/Americans and Eurofolk have issues, just put a Proud New Yorker, a Proud Californian and a Proud Texan in the same room.

If you want to feel another's pain, just call a resident of Mississippi or Lousisiana a "yank". You might survive if you tell him it's short for 'Crank Yanker'.

If given a chance to redefine the title for a resident/citizen of the U.S.ofA., I'd go for "USAm", pronounced "You-sam". But who listens to me?

*crickets*
posted by wendell at 4:13 PM on August 18, 2004


Uh, I think someone must have rented *your* sense of humor, sequential. I see several humorous replies to your comment. I'm glad to hear that the whole "American" thing was meant as a joke by you, but, you know, plenty of people out there probably take it seriously.
posted by scarabic at 4:35 PM on August 18, 2004


uhmurkun.
posted by quonsar at 4:44 PM on August 18, 2004


just call a resident of Mississippi or Lousisiana a "yank". You might survive

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie!
posted by rushmc at 4:51 PM on August 18, 2004


However, no one ever gets confused and calls them yaks.
In fact yaks in general are rarely mentioned in casual conversation.
I think this is deeply deeply wrong. We should do something about this.

yak
*three letters
*domesticated bovine critter originally from Tibet
*known as "the grunting ox"
*milk is not pink (contrary to rumor) but is high in fat and apparently makes really good butter
*Tibetian monks make intricate yak butter sculptures
*The Fourth International Congress on Yak will be held in Chengdu, China from September 20 to 26, 2004

I for one welcome our yak overlords.
posted by batgrlHG at 8:59 PM on August 18, 2004 [1 favorite]


Actually the second to last link is a tease. I couldn't actually find any photos of the yak butter sculptures.
Which is quite tragic.
posted by batgrlHG at 9:19 PM on August 18, 2004


Which is quite tragic.

It is indeed. But is it also not true of the way of the butter? It is fleeting, impermanent...some might say, elusive.

Somewhat like the point of this thread.
posted by dejah420 at 9:38 PM on August 18, 2004


For your enjoyment (and the lengthening of this almighty thread), Yak butter sculptures to be found here, here and here.

I like yaks.
posted by Orb at 11:16 PM on August 18, 2004


Watch out, or troutfishing will eat your yak.
posted by homunculus at 11:31 PM on August 18, 2004


Well, they are tasty. So, as long as he shares, he can dine on my yak.

Somehow, that sounds bad. Maybe it's time to go to bed.
posted by Orb at 12:03 AM on August 19, 2004


What; are you guys going for 400?

Miguel, you gotta skill there buddy.
posted by Blue Stone at 5:18 AM on August 19, 2004


Here,
at the bottom of the bottle,
through a magnifying tumour of malformed bottleglass,
a nightmare cartoon stares out from the Mezcal's preservative embrace;
a tiny, puckered gusano de maguey,
long-drowned,
gently swaying,
to the brownian lullaby of distilled blue agave,
pressing its head close against the bottle's bottom edge,
it advertises itself,
like a puppy in a window,
through its mutant porthole;
but O God! look closely!
this worm has a face!
Miguel's face!
shrunken,
miniature,
pickled into a smirk;
leering out,
slyly,
toothily,
longingly?
at his larger plumper faceless cousins
peacefully sleeping in their neighboring bottles;
anonymous bottles which come and go
while leaving his on the shelf,
untouched and still,
unused,
waiting,
for an American (that's the ticket!),
unnoticing and brash,
to bluster in
and choose his bottle,
the one with the skinny worm,
and drink his formaldehyde
and eat his rubbery essence -
to complete at last his long-postponed transformation -
if not into God's promised mariposa,
into something arguably better
(even if stained American)
than a small dead larva,
bitter and impotent,
gently swaying,
to the brownian lullaby of distilled blue agave,
here,
at the bottom of the bottle.
posted by Opus Dark at 5:48 AM on August 19, 2004 [1 favorite]


God, I love you, Opus.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:54 AM on August 19, 2004


*hic*
posted by petebest at 7:00 AM on August 19, 2004


You know, you can lead a yak to agave, but you can't make him eat the worm.
posted by dejah420 at 7:19 AM on August 19, 2004


Thank you dejah, you just improved my morning. I was becoming despondent that Opus hadn't mentioned yaks (though what he did write was more than lovely). Now I have my yak quote of the day ... all is right with the world (for the moment anyway). :D
posted by Orb at 8:39 AM on August 19, 2004


You know, you can lead a yak to agave, but you can't make him eat the worm.

I wish someone had told me that last weekend.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:18 AM on August 19, 2004


France gets first drive-thru boulangerie
posted by Otis at 9:41 AM on August 19, 2004


I for one am upset that there aren't more posts about Silver Spring. I can't stand the whole lot of you Silver Spring haters. I'm outta here.
posted by grateful at 12:48 PM on August 19, 2004


Uh, sorry about all that Silver Spring stuff. I must have been drinking.
posted by grateful at 12:52 PM on August 19, 2004


Two words: Yakky Doodle
posted by wendell at 4:39 PM on August 19, 2004


you guys realize that this page is nearly 500k big now, and that for every post, which requires you to load the page once, and then reload it to preview, we use up a meg of bandwidth? And that doesn't even include people who are reloading the page to read this bullshit thread?
posted by crunchland at 4:51 PM on August 19, 2004


requires you to load the page once, and then reload it to preview

yeah, really a silly design flaw, that.
posted by quonsar at 5:49 PM on August 19, 2004


"you guys realize that this page is nearly 500k big now, and that for every post, which requires you to load the page once, and then reload it to preview, we use up a meg of bandwidth?"

Let's be clear that the fault is Miguel's.
The yaks are blameless.
And Orb and deja - I thank you, the yaks thank you.
posted by batgrlHG at 7:35 PM on August 19, 2004


But I wonder if it would result in desperate Americans chosing their holiday destination based on where they can login and pretend to be foreign from.

Greetings from sunny Glasgow!

A homeless woman just asked me for my fag end. What a country!
posted by eddydamascene at 10:30 AM on August 23, 2004


greetings from sunny edinburgh ! - the festivals on , why are you in glasgow ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:11 PM on August 25, 2004


Spent a few days at the festival, already-- too many obnoxious English.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:56 AM on August 27, 2004


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