No one complains about newsfilter when people die December 26, 2004 11:09 AM   Subscribe

About today's earthquake/tidal wave post : today I read the New York Times site before Metafilter, but I dismissed the possibility of posting about it because of the recent snarking against linking to current news articles in front page posts.

Then I clicked on my Mefi tab to discover somebody had posted about it, and nobody's posted any "NewsFilter" gripes yet. Is it that the 0ldB33 Snarkers Committee really means "...to news articles we don't like (and you have to read our minds)", or is there a policy of ranking the human costs of natural disasters somewhere above doggie dildos after all?

As for that thread's content, I was little dismayed about the comments where people's big concern was for one dried-up (and never very good) Sci-Fi author (the movie "2001" was Kubrick's doing, y'all), but I withheld my remarks about that failure of etiquette and (as I see it) morals from the Blue -- as, as of this typing, so has everybody else.

But then of course I'm still a "n00b".... Are concerns like those I've expressed here today okay, or should I first submit my MetaTalk thread ideas to some MetaCognoscenti as well?
posted by davy to Etiquette/Policy at 11:09 AM (159 comments total)

or maybe everyone is still sleeping off the christmas cheer.
posted by crunchland at 11:16 AM on December 26, 2004


If you've noticed, there has been less snarking on the blue in general.

Also, I think the gut feel is that, for a major, earth stopping news story (such as 9/11, or in this case, the worst earthquake in 40 years), newsfilter stuff is kind of tolerated. As one neoFite to another, let's just say there are no rules, the guidelines are muddled, and no matter what "it" is, most people will think "it" is okay, but a vehement and boistrous minority will condemn "it".
posted by Doohickie at 11:17 AM on December 26, 2004


I was little dismayed about the comments where people's big concern was for one dried-up (and never very good) Sci-Fi author (the movie "2001" was Kubrick's doing, y'all), but I withheld my remarks about that failure of etiquette

I only saw one comment about Clarke, but I too hope that he survived.

As for 2001, the movie was partially based on a Clarke story, but Clarke worked with Kubrick in developing the story of the film. And 'Childhood's End' was a favorite of mine as a teenager. This doesn't make Clarke's life more valuable than anyone else's, but it doesn't mean that it's okay for him to die, either.
posted by bingo at 11:29 AM on December 26, 2004


As for that thread's content, I was little dismayed about the comments where people's big concern was for one dried-up (and never very good) Sci-Fi author (the movie "2001" was Kubrick's doing, y'all), but I withheld my remarks about that failure of etiquette and (as I see it) morals from the Blue -- as, as of this typing, so has everybody else.

I didn't read the thread very carefully, but...I only saw one post about this. Out of 84, as of right now. This does not deserve a paragraph on the front of metatalk. And besides, if you know of only one person who was affected by something like this (and possibly someone whose work has affected your life) what is wrong with expressing your concern about the disaster on as personal level as you can, as opposed "I hope these people (who I don't know any of and probably never will) are all ok"? It's not as if Clarke doesn't deserve your compassion just because you don't think he's a good writer.

(on preview, what bingo said too)
posted by advil at 11:32 AM on December 26, 2004


Are concerns like those I've expressed here today okay, or should I first submit my MetaTalk thread ideas to some MetaCognoscenti as well?

A self flattering four paragraph MetaTalk post about how your concerns are elevated above those of the common crowd is a bit excessive, yes.
posted by y2karl at 11:33 AM on December 26, 2004


This is a major event which is affecting the lives of MeFi members. i_cola's post included a request to see if anyone could help him get in touch with family he has in the area. That's been a part of the Blue since 9/11, when people posted personal reports and requests for help in finding people they care about.
posted by Salmonberry at 11:36 AM on December 26, 2004


Also, the truth is that i_cola posted it properly anyway. He mentioned his own connection in a comment, not the actual post, and the post itself had three links in it, lifting it above the 'newsfilter' realm because you can see that he went to some effort to put the post together.
posted by bingo at 11:42 AM on December 26, 2004


MetaFilter posts on huge news events are always good places to find collections of links that help give content, background, and additional information that one isn't going to find in media news stories, and yes, you might say that there is a policy of ranking the human costs of natural disasters somewhere above doggie dildos.

If you are really wondering what we think of your MetaTalk thread idea, I'm pretty sure most of us think you sound like an idiot.
posted by taz at 11:46 AM on December 26, 2004


If someone posts about this on Tuesday and just links to CNN and the New York Times, then I will be delighted to get all "NewsFilter" on their ass. But this is a) complex news, and b) the FPP had a linky to an eyewitness account instead of pundit-blather, so I thought it was A Good Thing.


And, er, what taz said. In spades.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:49 AM on December 26, 2004


davy, go ask your dog Goliath.
posted by wendell at 11:49 AM on December 26, 2004


Davy,

I'm a newbie too, but have kept up pretty well with MetaTalk for the last few years in anticipation of new registrations. Matt has been on record as saying that he doesn't approve of most newsfilter, but for very big events such as 9/11, he has no problem with news posts. There's a threshold to be met, and this particular post definitely appears to meet that threshold.

Probably, though, additional posts about the earthquake, or aftershocks, or the like, would be frowned upon.

"one dried-up (and never very good) Sci-Fi author" emphasis mine

If your argument is about the importance of singling out a single person amidst a giant tragedy, it might be better for your position to keep your comment about that point, and skip the extraneous editorializing. It creates multiple fronts for people to disagree with you on, and distracts from your actual complaint.
posted by Bugbread at 11:59 AM on December 26, 2004


Davy, you really can't see the distinction between a horrible tragedy that is personally affecting quite a few Metafilter members, and the 14th Newsfilter post about Rumsfeld's flacid penis?
posted by cmonkey at 12:01 PM on December 26, 2004


I only saw one comment about Clarke, but I too hope that he survived.

Okay, a technicality: when I wrote that it was one post and one "me too!1!!" But anyway.

Note that I am NOT criticizing the FPP or the FPPer. (I saw nothing wrong with the doggy dildo or fatty toilet posts either.) Go re-read my gripe for content.
posted by davy at 12:01 PM on December 26, 2004


I did find the conversation a little snarky, or really just kind of odd (see denpo's first post, wah's post); as I called around to friends in Madras, Colombo, and Singapore (okay, that one was a stretch) I was a little disappointed by mefi. But reading back on it now, I'm not sure why - it was really only a few posts that I thought inappropriate, and i was in a bit of a state myself. Mefi, you did fine.

Anyway, davy - it's not like you were morosely humorless yourself: "My second was to mutter that I don't need my own little island after all, thanks." I think you've confused slashdot (which did, in fact, only care about Mr. Clark) with us.

But hey, that's how it goes. Most of the nice are still opening the mountain of presents; only the naughty are back on the internet. Me? I'm eating coal for lunch, with a side of sin. And I think I'll have another glass of bile, please, to wash it all down.
posted by metaculpa at 12:02 PM on December 26, 2004


Alright guys, just for the record, davy heard about the earthquake FIRST before anyone else on Metfilter, and even before it was posted here. And we should also offer our collective sympathy to him for not stealing i_cola's thunder by not making a front page post.

davy, when the next big world disaster strikes, i swear we will wait for you to make the fpp.
posted by naxosaxur at 12:06 PM on December 26, 2004


i didn't get any presents.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:10 PM on December 26, 2004


To address the larger point about rules around here...this is one of the few places I am aware of where common sense is ranked higher than rules. What I mean by that is that the rules are important and should be followed, but it is also understood that if such an event as this earthquake/tidal wave, or Challenger explosion, or 9/11, etc comes along, that it is worthy of posting despite the general rule. But it is worthy precisely because it is NOT typical Newsfilter, but a unique event, and that our posters can add personal important informational tidbits to the general coverage. In other words, people really can and should know the difference between this type of post and general unwanted Newsfilter. If not, perhaps more lurking is in order.
posted by konolia at 12:27 PM on December 26, 2004


"A self flattering four paragraph MetaTalk post about how your concerns are elevated above those of the common crowd is a bit excessive, yes."

And when y2karl tells you you're being excessive, you're really being excessive.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:01 PM on December 26, 2004


Don't forget--that's straight from Mr. Rape Haiku.
posted by y2karl at 2:44 PM on December 26, 2004


From a related article at al Jazeera.com, fifth comment down:

"thanks to yankees the schools and universities are not funded very well in indonesia, and therefore thanks to yankees the civil engineers there are not able to get the best education, and therefore thanks to yankees buildings collapse and s r resulted due to earthquakes, thus it is ok to conclude yankees r responsible for the caused by this earthquake.... may the victims rest in peace..."

Ok, MeFites, fess up--which one of you is "saqi the paki from Canadahar"? ;)
posted by dhoyt at 3:22 PM on December 26, 2004


for a major, earth stopping news story (such as 9/11, or in this case, the worst earthquake in 40 years), newsfilter stuff is kind of tolerated.

And again, I'm not saying it shouldn't be.

And, though I thought the doggy dildo post was silly, I still sat there gawping around at the site linked to, wondering how they made the molds for those things.

As one neoFite to another, let's just say there are no rules, the guidelines are muddled,

And it's always a judgment call in any case. Sort of like, despite being bored with "Election USA 2004" since August and too damn resigned about politics in general to do much about it myself, I thought the issue of whether yet another Presidential election was stolen clearly did have pretty damn important practical and moral ramifications for pretty much the whole damn planet, seeing as how the USA is the sole survivor superpower and the world's leading exporter of "democracy"; the GeroFites, however, seem to've driven poor Troutfishing off, and I bet if I tried explaining to those people who did that that in the scale of things that issue is as important as, and might wind up killing a few many people than, a freakish natural event, I'd be pissing up a rope (even if I did spend a semester in Charm School first).

and no matter what "it" is, most people will think "it" is okay, but a vehement and boistrous minority will condemn "it".

I will note that, to all Mefites' credit, I still don't see any "newsfilter" snarks about the FPP itself, not even from supersnarkers (who shall go unrewarded by personal mention).

Anyway. Thanks and congratulations to Doohickie and others for at least noticing and acknowledging that at least I thought I had a point. Maybe somebody who's not so in need of Charm School can paraphrase for the rest what it was I thought I was getting at.

Again: I have said nothing bad, and have nothing bad to say about, i_cola's post, nor have I pissed on anybody affected by the actual event. Not even Clarke fans really, even those zillions of Mefites who have actually met the man. And, the morose humor of my phrasing aside, if I really am the only Mefite who has thought "damn I'm glad it wasn't me" then y'all are in the wrong dimension. (Who gets to be the Bearded Spock?)
posted by davy at 3:47 PM on December 26, 2004


Matt has been on record as saying that he doesn't approve of most newsfilter, but for very big events such as 9/11, he has no problem with news posts.

That's cool; "community" aside, it is Matt's blog. But it wasn't Matt I was back-snarking at. And anyway, maybe it's just that I read on through _Claudius the God_, but has anybody else noticed that few people refer to Matt's authority and/or his use of it, in one way or another, less than Matt himself?
posted by davy at 3:53 PM on December 26, 2004


Davy,

The other thing I was going to have put in my post way above, and regret having omitted, was that there has to be a certain element of suddenness / surprise. Not for every single person, because there will always be some battle-hardened crusty who claims not to be surprised by anything, but for the population of MeFi in general. Election theft was a huge topic of discussion before. Additional allegations don't have an element of surprise. About the only thing I can think of that would make an election theft post FPPable without anyone complaining is if Bush up and said "Yeah, I paid Diebold to give me a win". In the same way, further balkanization of US politics, further reductions in freedoms, further shitting on the constitution, etc., are all pretty important for American MeFiers, but there isn't enough suddeness / surprise to allow the topic to emerge unscathed.

On preview:

"has anybody else noticed that few people refer to Matt's authority and/or his use of it, in one way or another, less than Matt himself?"

Yep, I've noticed it, but it doesn't strike me as that strange. I think back to high-school. Teachers that we hated had to assert and reassert and rereassert their authority, because we didn't really care what they thought, and their position of authority was the only thing that could make us do what they wanted. The few teachers that were pretty well respected never said anything about their authority. In a sense, they never had to, because we respected them. I think people appeal to matt's authority because they respect him.

At least, that's how it works for me.
posted by Bugbread at 4:02 PM on December 26, 2004


So, basically, this is a post complaining about not enough post-U.S. election coverage, and something about Arthur C. Clarke's wrinkles. See, this is good to know, because at first I just thought it was terribly silly and ill-conceived.
posted by taz at 4:07 PM on December 26, 2004


unfair! you forgot the part where davy knew about the earthquake before everyone else.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:32 PM on December 26, 2004


What konolia said (except, I would not use the phrase 'the rules', I would use mathowies term: guidelines. There is a difference.)
posted by dash_slot- at 4:33 PM on December 26, 2004


if you read Clarke's book "Lost Worlds of 2001", it becomes very clear that "2001" was extremely collaborative, not just "Kubrick's doing, y'all".
posted by interrobang at 5:03 PM on December 26, 2004


So, basically, this is a post complaining about not enough post-U.S. election coverage, and something about Arthur C. Clarke's wrinkles.

Taz, as far as Reading Comprehension goes, you're clearly beyond help.

And Andrew Cooke, poor boy, if I had known about it before anybody else I would have warned them about it in time to save lots of people, so then I'd be basking in a more general and universal public acclaim now. See how much more neat-o that would be? Or don't you know there are more important things than MetaFilter, really?

Oh and Bugbread, I have far different ideas about why people appeal to anybody's authority in general, and also when they want Him/Her to tell the Other Side that something is Not Allowed. But anyway.
posted by davy at 5:38 PM on December 26, 2004


I think people appeal to matt's authority because they respect him.

I don't respect matt, exactly. But I am affraid of his henchmen & goons (the old timers).
posted by Doohickie at 5:40 PM on December 26, 2004


oh, sorry. forgot only you can snark here.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:40 PM on December 26, 2004


I don't respect him more than anyone else here either, Doohickie (in fact, i've always thought the deference shown him was silly, overdone, and not always warranted--he's a good guy, but no saint)
posted by amberglow at 6:17 PM on December 26, 2004


...or is there a policy of ranking the human costs of natural disasters somewhere above doggie dildos after all?

I'd just like to say, as a great lover of trivia and marginalia and incunables and whatnot, that I really hate it when people disparage the less serious or newsworthy posts to make a point about coverage of important issues. You can make your point without insulting other types of posts. Thank you.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:33 PM on December 26, 2004


amberglow- I do, in fact, respect matt. He has somehow built up an online community of unprecedented quality, and my hat is off to him. I respect him maybe a little more than the rest, because he created this place without screwing it up in the process, if you know what I mean. That ain't easy. I have well over 10,000 posts at online forums, and Metafilter is the only forum I would actually pay for.
posted by Doohickie at 6:38 PM on December 26, 2004


hmm ... comparing a major event involving people dying/injured to a post about dog dildo's. Something really wrong with that picture.

I respect matt but do I put him on a pedestal, pray to the blue, the gray and the green rising in the east each morning, lay prostrate before his feet, speak in tongues about his holiness? Nope. But he gets my respect for keeping the motley crew/site in pretty good order.
posted by squeak at 6:39 PM on December 26, 2004


Just for reference, I tried to caveat myself regarding the respect issue with the "at least that's how it works for me". I guess I was being overly trusting of human nature to figure that's what other people who defer to him think as well. Which means, I guess, that the reasons other people have for appealing to his authority are kinda creepy to me.

And also keep in mind I'm saying I respect him, not that I worship him.
posted by Bugbread at 6:42 PM on December 26, 2004


MetaFilter: rule by benevolent dictator works!
posted by Doohickie at 6:45 PM on December 26, 2004


Oh shit! Davy, next time, just post the damn thing, ok?
posted by c13 at 6:54 PM on December 26, 2004


aww did little davy not get his hug today...

FREE QUONSAR
posted by Dreamghost at 7:04 PM on December 26, 2004


I agree with amberglow. I like this place and am thankful to matt for his efforts, but he's just a guy. When people start with the worshipping stuff it just creeps me the hell out.

I came to metafilter and stayed because of the quality of the posters and commenters, not because of matt.

He has somehow built up an online community of unprecedented quality

I call it luck. He knew the right people at the right time to get the word out about his site, and some really smart, witty people happened to show up.

I wish he weren't such a hands-off manager. I think this place could use a qualified committee of moderators to keep things better in check.

I fear that when the baby comes, matt is going to sell this place off to the highest bidder, because he simply won't have the time to keep on top of it anymore.

(And I'm still curious just how much money the site makes, vs. its expenses).
posted by beth at 7:05 PM on December 26, 2004


I respect Matt just fine--he seems like a good guy to me.

But it's not about Matt-worship for me--someone has to be the site administrator, and it's he. At the end of the day, none of us have to be grappling with the dreaded JRun, moving the servers, etc., but he does.

Similarly, the buck has to stop somewhere, and right now it's with him.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:48 PM on December 26, 2004


Respect matt? Yes. Worship? No.
posted by Doohickie at 7:55 PM on December 26, 2004


I don't think there are many people here who "worship" Matt any more than, say, they "worship" a traffic cop. But not acknowledging that Matt does certain traffic-cop-like tasks here and generally (in my opinion, at least) does them quite well and with good grace just seems idiotic.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:10 PM on December 26, 2004


Doohickie, get down on your fucking knees or excommunicate.
posted by naxosaxur at 8:12 PM on December 26, 2004


I wasn't expecting the bloody Spanish Inquistion...
posted by Doohickie at 8:20 PM on December 26, 2004


hmm ... comparing a major event involving people dying/injured to a post about dog dildo's. Something really wrong with that picture.

Squeak, you are fully entitled to go sit with Taz. The question is whether youse are joking or doing it on purpose.

***
some really smart, witty people happened to show up.

Beth, please name three, excepting of course your own smart, witty self (and mine), and explain why you think so.

***
By the way, I don't know enough about Matt to have an opinion of him one way or another, whichever hat he's wearing; his blog here can get pretty nifty sometimes, even on occasion damned informative and educational (yes, even some of the GeroFite "minions" sometimes), but the content is due mainly to the other posters. I still regard blogs as a poor substitute for Usenet, and I'd probably still do so if somebody set one up and ran one of 'em for me. (On the other hand, I would love a used Targa.)
posted by davy at 8:28 PM on December 26, 2004


davy: Excuse me, but "Childhood's End" is simply a work of genius. If you've never read it I encourage you to do so, and then tell me if Clarke was "never very good". And by the way, Clarke was the first person to realistically imagine the idea of satellite communications. Pretty revolutionary, if you ask me. Considering the transformations that have occured in society since satellites have come into use I'd say Clarke is a pretty important guy. What have you done for the world lately?
posted by baphomet at 8:30 PM on December 26, 2004


Saith baphomet: "Childhood's End" is simply a work of genius.

That would be better discussed on Usenet.


What have you done for the world lately?

Answer that question yourself before I'll even consider it. And do let me know if I ever do anything for you, so that I might repent of it.
posted by davy at 8:41 PM on December 26, 2004


Clarke was the first person to realistically imagine the idea of satellite communications.

Yep; he even published articles on the subject in 1945, twenty years before booster technology made them viable.
posted by Doohickie at 8:48 PM on December 26, 2004


Awwwwwww, I see. davy is trying to make his first troll.

Cute!
posted by cmonkey at 8:54 PM on December 26, 2004


Yeah...
posted by Doohickie at 8:56 PM on December 26, 2004


Hey, I just noticed this in davy's profile: "Occupation: I ain't no damn curmudgeon."
Do ya think he was bein' ironical?
posted by Doohickie at 8:58 PM on December 26, 2004


davy considering I am one of those who has a close friend over there - that I still can't reach - I think I'm slightly entitled to be put off by your newsfilter comparison (and comment on it) between a major catastrophe and a doggie dildo, yes? Or are you just a heartless S.O.B who can't think beyond yourself?
posted by squeak at 9:05 PM on December 26, 2004


Are concerns like those I've expressed here today okay, or should I first submit my MetaTalk thread ideas to some MetaCognoscenti as well?

No. and Yes.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:34 PM on December 26, 2004


should I first submit my MetaTalk thread ideas to some MetaCognoscenti as well?

no, just ask your pals mickey, peter, and mike.
posted by jonmc at 9:37 PM on December 26, 2004


davy, Santa left your supersize can of Shut the Fuck Up at my house. Shall I send the Kwanzaa Bunny over to your place with it?
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:05 PM on December 26, 2004


~From the desk of Davy~

Things to do today:
1) See news of giant earthquake+tsunami and think about self, ie. better you than me, bub.
2) Think about posting it to metafilter, decide possible snark risk outweighs any possible positive contributions, feeling of global unity in a time of crisis etc. Don't post.
3) See that someone else posted and was not snarked. Foiled!
4) Read post, skim past earnest comments about missing loved ones, first person perspectives, breaking info, etc.
5) Become unusually bugged by reference to Arthur C. Clarke
6) Toss snark caution to the wind and post ill-advised metatalk rant with a laundry list of whines and a point easily answered with common sense.
7) Take back the Clarke thing
8) Feel the sting of the snark and turn all snippity
9) Pout


Hey Davy, let's try to do better tomorrow, eh?
posted by tinamonster at 10:54 PM on December 26, 2004


Tinamonster, you forgot

10) Then post New York Times review of the Complete Book of New Yorker Cartoons to the front page.
posted by y2karl at 12:01 AM on December 27, 2004



posted by I EAT TAPES at 12:18 AM on December 27, 2004


Davy, since you think that I just don't "get" what you said, let me make an attempt to parse your argument.
Is it that the 0ldB33 Snarkers Committee really means "...to news articles we don't like (and you have to read our minds)"

Complaint: Older users criticize some news posts, but not others

or is there a policy of ranking the human costs of natural disasters somewhere above doggie dildos after all?

Complaint: Trivial content is usually valued more than important news

As for that thread's content, I was little dismayed...

Complaint: I didn't like what one user said, and Arthur C. Clarke isn't all that

But then of course I'm still a "n00b"....

Complaint: You guys are assholes
Why your post angered me: It's petulant, hostile, vague, exploitative, poorly formed and the attempts at cutting wit are pathetically weak and unsuccessfully imitative. Normally, I could let most of that slide, but the whole package - all tied up with a ribbon of self-satisfied smugness - is too much. Even so, I probably wouldn't have bothered to comment at all if you hadn't used the occasion of such a tragic event to launch your little ego balloon.
posted by taz at 1:32 AM on December 27, 2004


Davy, scroll down to "Exceptions".
posted by Tarrama at 2:12 AM on December 27, 2004


This post is max lame.


As for that thread's content, I was little dismayed about the comments where people's big concern was for one dried-up (and never very good) Sci-Fi author (the movie "2001" was Kubrick's doing, y'all), but I withheld my remarks about that failure of etiquette and (as I see it) morals from the Blue -- as, as of this typing, so has everybody else.


You're also a bit of a twit.

And you dissed taz, for whom I have undying admiration. You lose.
posted by The God Complex at 2:54 AM on December 27, 2004


Can I just say that Davy appears to be a bit of a ridiculous and irritating cunt? No? Oh, okay...
posted by ZippityBuddha at 3:41 AM on December 27, 2004


Assholes.
Davy. You're an asshole.
I EAT TAPES. Asshole * Asshole * Asshole.

20,000+ people dead, and all you can do is whine and make jokes. You make me sick.
posted by seanyboy at 3:53 AM on December 27, 2004


Why your post angered me: It's petulant, hostile, vague, exploitative, poorly formed and the attempts at cutting wit are pathetically weak and unsuccessfully imitative. Normally, I could let most of that slide, but the whole package - all tied up with a ribbon of self-satisfied smugness - is too much.

AND IT WAS 4 PARAGRAPHS LONG!!


Shout out "I am an asshole" to the four winds and you will get stoned and spat upon.


on preview: what Seanyboy said.
posted by sic at 4:06 AM on December 27, 2004


The best part was really when he then posted the NYT's review of the New Yorker cartoon book to the front page. Now that book has been advertized everywhere ad nauseum, and the NYT appears on a great many doorsteps on Sunday, so what's new and good and unique here? Actually, that review annoyed me when I read the paper yesterday morning because the angle is "blame today's political irrelevance of the Democrats on decades worth of elitist New Yorker cartoons." Now that, if we are going to become mere chatfilter, is an argument worth deconstructing maybe, but there was no attempt to address it in the post. And any front page post about NYer cartoons that doesn't even link to cartoonbank is just lazy and stupid.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:37 AM on December 27, 2004


This is what I said: "is there a policy of ranking the human costs of natural disasters somewhere above doggie dildos after all?"

That is, you freaking morons, I was asking if Mefites were really decent enough to rank news of disaster above articles on doggie dildos.

And, to your credit, the answer to that question seems to be yes: the common run of you seem capable at least of that -- better yet, I'd better spell it out s l o w l y so a third-grader could get it: what I just said means "It is a good thing you know that a tsunami is more important than an imitation hippo penis."

I was NOT comparing tsunamis with dildos -- I was implying that there could be no real comparison.

If you insist on putting on airs about how Culturally Elite (or "smart and witty") you are then you really should at least try to learn to read for comprehension.
posted by davy at 10:10 AM on December 27, 2004


Quick, everyone, be nice to him before he brands us again!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:17 AM on December 27, 2004


Oh, no! Not the dreaded "reading for comprehension" insult again!

It burns! It burns! ... aaarggghh .

Where is Gandalf when we need him?
posted by taz at 10:28 AM on December 27, 2004


CunningLinguist wrote: The best part was really when he then posted the NYT's review of the New Yorker cartoon book to the front page. Now that book has been advertized everywhere ad nauseum, and the NYT appears on a great many doorsteps on Sunday

Will somebody with half a brain please explain to CarpetMuncher here that there are literally billions of worthwhile human beings alive today who do not read the Sunday New York Times Book Review? Who might live their whole lives not even knowing that the New York Times newspaper and the New Yorker Magazine even exist? Since when is thorough familiarity with the USA's most Culturally L33t paper products a prerequisite for human worth?

You people crack me up.

That was the first time I had seen anything about that comic book, and I am a native-born American English-speaker who has from time to time read the New York Times and New Yorker Magazine. (Ya get it yet?)
posted by davy at 10:40 AM on December 27, 2004


Davy- a little bitty fortune cookie's worth of advice for you... If you can answer your own question less than 24 hours after posting it, probably not a good idea to put it out there. This goes quadruple in the Grey. And it goes more, more, more if catastrophic human tragedy is concerned, mmkay?

Also, always a good idea to choose compliment OR insult as trying to do both with the same swipe will not accomplish your desired result.

This is good. We are learning.
posted by tinamonster at 11:08 AM on December 27, 2004


This thread sucks and shouldn't exist. Insert coin.
posted by loquacious at 11:10 AM on December 27, 2004


Will somebody with half a brain please explain to CarpetMuncher here that there are literally billions of worthwhile human beings alive today who do not read the Sunday New York Times Book Review?

AND THEY ALL READ METAFILTER!!!111
posted by Krrrlson at 11:12 AM on December 27, 2004


How is the circulation of the NYT germane to any of this? Are you just finding yourself without the resources to recover from your faux pas and casting about for something other to be right/righteous about, maybe?

"Granted, my callout was shit, and, yes, I can make no meaningful defense of my tepid post to the blue, but, hey, goddammit, you stupid halfwit Cultural Elites, there are lots of people who don't even know about the NYT, which proves that I have worldly context or something! Take THAT!"
posted by cortex at 11:14 AM on December 27, 2004


More CunningLinguist: "that review annoyed me when I read the paper yesterday morning because the angle is "blame today's political irrelevance of the Democrats on decades worth of elitist New Yorker cartoons." Now that, if we are going to become mere chatfilter, is an argument worth deconstructing maybe, but there was no attempt to address it in the post."

It was because I did not want "to become mere chatfilter" that I did not go on and on in the post. I posted the URL, gave a quote that showed how chock-full of cartoons the thing is, indicated that I thought it was "neat-o", then quoted the book-reviewer saying something I thought was strangely funny.

That is, my post was meant to be about as "high-brow" as the ones about doggie dildos and extra-strength toilets (that is, not very "high-brow" at all), but hopefully not so silly and/or offensive and/or as likely to cause another long tedious thread. You know: "I found something on the Web I think is entertaining and diverting, maybe somebody else might get a kick out of it too." Isn't that what MetaFilter is supposed to be for?

I did not think MetaFilter was meant to be for people to sit around "deconstructing" anything -- anyway there is a Usenet group specifically devoted to "deconstruction". There is also a "froup" set up to discuss books and related topics. It was my understanding that MetaFilter is not supposed to do these things.

Maybe I was wrong. Is the consensus of MetaFilter now that we should sit around discussing what we think Derrida would say about _The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker_?

* * *

Oh, and on preview, another bad thing about the catastrophic tsunami was that it did not happen to some of y'all instead. I'm sure any one random Tamil would be worth a whole continent full of y2karls and CunningLinguists. And unlike y2karl and CunningLinguist, I don't think many people in that part of the world, whether they were affected by the tsunami or not, knew or cared -- or should know or care -- about the Sunday New York Times book review of _The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker_. Going by your comments at me, I'm surprised y'all ain't dancing around celebrating the demise of so many non-Culturally L33t "useless eaters".

* * *
And on another preview:

>>Will somebody with half a brain please explain to >>CarpetMuncher here that there are literally billions of >>worthwhile human beings alive today who do not read the >>Sunday New York Times Book Review?

>AND THEY ALL READ METAFILTER!!!111
>posted by Krrrlson

If you mean to twit me about not making it excruciatingly clear that I already knew that most people with half a brain don't read MetaFilter either, well ya got me there, I do find it tough to talk down to the Mefites' intellectual LCD so y'all can't mistake my meaning.

Yes Krrrlson, I agree, you may give yourself a great big hand for being smarter than the average Mefite.
posted by davy at 11:32 AM on December 27, 2004


i needs more popcorn.
posted by stirfry at 11:38 AM on December 27, 2004


davy, you're clearly the bastard son of ethereal bligh and witty.

Just back away from the keyboard before somebody gets hurt.
posted by clever sheep at 11:38 AM on December 27, 2004


How is the circulation of the NYT germane to any of this?

Well cortex, you should ask y2karl and CunningLinguist, since they were the ones that went "Everybody who's anybody already knows about this collection of New Yorker cartoons reviewed in Sunday's New York Times."

Jeez. C'mon p33ps, I'm typing as slow as I can.
posted by davy at 11:38 AM on December 27, 2004


davy, you're clearly the bastard son of ethereal bligh and witty.

So clever sheep, what do YOU think Derrida would say about _The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker_? Perhaps CunningLinguist would be interested. Why don't you two start a long discussion of that subject? I'm getting tired of this one.
posted by davy at 11:43 AM on December 27, 2004


This thread sucks and shouldn't exist. Insert coin.

Going to have to disagree with you here. This thread is 24-karat gold. Now if you modified your statement to "Davy sucks and shouldn't exist," I'd totally be along for the ride.
posted by Ryvar at 11:43 AM on December 27, 2004


I'm getting tired of this [discussion].

Then for cat's sake, shut up, davy. You're not winning any friends or changing any minds with this crap. If your goal was to boost your public image as a whiner or "that wank who insulted taz," well hey, mission accomplished. Move on, already.
posted by clever sheep at 11:47 AM on December 27, 2004


Ryvar to loquacious: [I]f you modified your statement to "Davy sucks and shouldn't exist," I'd totally be along for the ride.

So Ryvar, what did MetaFilter cost to join on July 15, 2002, and in what way do you feel that I'm stopping you from getting your money's worth?

***
clever sheep to me: "You're not winning any friends or changing any minds"

I'm not desperate enough to want the former, nor do I have a microscope powerful enough to find many minds to change around here. (<- Haw haw, maybe y'all can understand that!)
posted by davy at 11:54 AM on December 27, 2004


I'm thinking of leaving work early so I can go home and watch the copy of Peter Brooks' Meetings With Remarkable Men I just got ahold of. Thoughts?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:56 AM on December 27, 2004


davy:
So Ryvar, what did MetaFilter cost to join on July 15, 2002,

A couple hours figuring out on my own how to work around the fact that Matt had pulled the sign-ups page.

and in what way do you feel that I'm stopping you from getting your money's worth?

The way in which I think I'm not getting my money's worth, specifically, is that I stretched a few brain cells in the aforementioned exercise and you, kind sir, are killing them.
posted by Ryvar at 11:58 AM on December 27, 2004


Quoting y2karl to answer cortex' question about the relevance of the New York Times circulation: a hum drum product placement for a product everyone not yet brain dead knew about.
posted by davy at 12:02 PM on December 27, 2004


>>So Ryvar, what did MetaFilter cost to join on July 15, 2002,

>A couple hours figuring out on my own how to work around the >fact that Matt had pulled the sign-ups page.

Are you confessing to have intruded where nobody was wanted?
Like, tresspassing?

>>and in what way do you feel that I'm stopping you from getting >>your money's worth?

>The way in which I think I'm not getting my money's worth,
> specifically, is that I stretched a few brain cells in the >aforementioned exercise

In other words, if I'm reading you correctly, you "crashed the gate" for free. And then you complain about the show.

> and you, kind sir, are killing them.

Like fish in a barrel with a superduper Death Ray. Your problem, sir.
posted by davy at 12:07 PM on December 27, 2004


Davy, you ain't gonna win. The pastel-suited jackals are out on your trail, and you are outnumbered.
posted by konolia at 12:16 PM on December 27, 2004


davy, you make one hell of a boring troll. 111 used to do the superiority complex routine much better.

Just cut to the chase and skip ahead to the inevitable flame-out already.
posted by clever sheep at 12:18 PM on December 27, 2004


Wow, is this the first newbie flame-out?
posted by LarryC at 12:19 PM on December 27, 2004


How is the circulation of the NYT germane to any of this?

Well cortex, you should ask y2karl and CunningLinguist, since they were the ones that went "Everybody who's anybody already knows about this collection of New Yorker cartoons reviewed in Sunday's New York Times."


I believe I was just amused by the way you questioned whether the catastrophic tsunami was too newsfiltery and then posting the cover of the Times Book Review.

But please, don't let me interrupt your entertaining capering and foaming.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:22 PM on December 27, 2004


Davy is the most amusing troll to trawl around MetaTalk in a few weeks. I look forward with great anticipation to a particularly amusing and dramatic flameout.

Go da-vy, go davy, go!
posted by Bugbread at 12:24 PM on December 27, 2004


Davy, there's a lot of truth to the old adage "'tis better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open one's yap and prove it."
posted by five fresh fish at 12:26 PM on December 27, 2004


Speaking as one who has been a MeFi member since the internet consisted of three tin cans and some string linking my house, matt's and quonsar's, your post here and your 'self-defense' comments show a strikingly awful level of ignorance, misunderstanding and utter disregard for what MetaFilter is "all about".

EarthShatteringWorldEventFilter (in this case, literally) is NOT the same as NewsFilter, as is recognized by every average Mefite and by making such a big stink about your 'discovery' of that fact, you have branded yourself as a below-average MeFite.

AND the New York Times Book Review, while not read by more human beings than say, the National Enquirer, is still one of those sources that, except in cases of EarthShatteringWorldEventFilter, is usually only a source of NewsFilter, OpinionFilter AND PepsiBlueProductPromotionFilter. And I, even though I do not regularly read the New Yorker or the NYTBR, have been aware of the Complete Cartoon Collection since before its publication in October, thanks to their full-court media-wide promotion efforts (a party at which the NYT arrived very late). You were blessed that above-average Mefites like jscalzi and dhartung had started an above-average discussion in the thread before somebody pointed out your below-average post. I think that some of the MetaCurmudgeons are getting less curmudgeonly (but not all of us), but you are clearly taking unfair advantage of the situation.

And, as for your recent exchange with Ryvar, it's not about the $5 admission fee, it's about earning your place in the MetaFilter Community by making good contributions to the content, which almost everyone who commented here (including Ryvar) has done more of than you. If you wish, I will petition Matt to refund your $5, if that's what you really want.

In brief, I stand by my first comment in this thread.

And, on preview, what fff said.
posted by wendell at 12:28 PM on December 27, 2004


Are you confessing to have intruded where nobody was wanted?
Like, tresspassing?


Terrors! You've caught me - and every other person in nearly the entirety of the 14,000-something userid #s. However do you do it, Holmes?

In other words, if I'm reading you correctly, you "crashed the gate" for free. And then you complain about the show.

I'm sorry, but please show me where exactly I was complaining about the show? Perhaps the bit where I declared (in all sincerity) this thread to be 24-karat gold?

Oh, surely you didn't setup a very poor straw man and light him on fire, now did you, Davy? That would be positively stupid - and we all know that you aren't stupid.

Just so we can remain the bestest of friends, though, I'll clarify - I wasn't complaining about the site in any way, I was simply telling you that you're an idiot and that the world would be a better place if you did not exist.

> and you, kind sir, are killing them.

Like fish in a barrel with a superduper Death Ray. Your problem, sir.


Clinically, psychologically, and intellectually it's really more your problem. But far be it from me to disabuse you of your adolescent notions of supremacy, or delusions of adequacy. Carry on and continue to prove me wrong.
posted by Ryvar at 12:31 PM on December 27, 2004


Tinamonster, you forgot

10) Then post New York Times review of the Complete Book of New Yorker Cartoons to the front page.
posted by y2karl at 12:01 AM PST on December 27


By the way, O Mefites, a round of applause to y2karl for trolling/provoking me into wasting an entire afternoon on MetaTalk.

***
davy, you make one hell of a boring troll.

Oh drat, clever sheep called me "a boring troll." [*sniff*] Oh dammity damn, there goes my whole self-image. [*wipes a tear*] Especially since I clearly live & die by clever sheep's opinion of me, since s/he has been such a wonderful guru to me all these years. Oh poo, oh whatever will I do?
[end sarcasm]

:: hugs metafilter ::

So anyway. I'm really getting tired of this, and my girlfriend's Corolla-clone needs new brakes. So. If y'all want to me to come back to this later this evening, I suggest y'all remember that I do accept PayPal!

Got your PayPal account tabs up yet, wendell and ryvar?
posted by davy at 12:33 PM on December 27, 2004


Sorry, that's Peter Brook, not Brooks. His King Lear with Paul Scofield is very good indeed.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:37 PM on December 27, 2004


davy, that's the best you've got?
meh.
posted by clever sheep at 12:39 PM on December 27, 2004


In closing, I stand corrected: the Sunday New York Times Book Review does constitute "NewsFilter". I had naively assumed that because it was not in a "news" section (like "International", y'know); evidently I was in error.

As for the "PepsiBlue" remarks, I'll now be ready to jump down the fricking throats of any Mefite who posts anything like a Douglas Adams allusion (product: his books), or anything relating to any book, movie, toy, video game, or anything product that can be bought. Since ANY mention of ANY product is "PepsiBlue", right? SO:

I'm thinking of leaving work early so I can go home and watch the copy of Peter Brooks' Meetings With Remarkable Men I just got ahold of. Thoughts?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:56 AM PST on December 27

and
Sorry, that's Peter Brook, not Brooks. His King Lear with Paul Scofield is very good indeed.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:37 PM PST on December 27

That means PinkStainlessTail just did "PepsiBlueFilter" TWICE in the SAME thread. What do I win for pointing this out?
posted by davy at 12:44 PM on December 27, 2004


Huh...

How much would you need in your PayPal account, davy?

On preview: You win, I would assume, a bottle of PepsiBlue. We can't really award you with Coca-Cola, can we?
posted by Bugbread at 12:45 PM on December 27, 2004


That is, you freaking morons... I'd better spell it out s l o w l y so a third-grader could get it... you really should at least try to learn to read for comprehension... another bad thing about the catastrophic tsunami was that it did not happen to some of y'all instead.... most people with half a brain don't read MetaFilter either... I do find it tough to talk down to the Mefites' intellectual LCD so y'all can't mistake my meaning.

I'm dyin' here. C'mon, davy, stick around and flame out for us -- your girlfriend can wait!
posted by languagehat at 12:46 PM on December 27, 2004


Also, no education in modern drama is complete without a read of The Empty Space. Really excellent.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:47 PM on December 27, 2004


I think that a reasonable grasp of spelling and syntax is a sine qua non for playing the "I'm speaking from an Olympian intellectual perspective" game on the internets. davy, take a couple of English courses before you try your hand at this again.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:49 PM on December 27, 2004


I think that a reasonable grasp of spelling and syntax is a sine qua non for playing the "I'm speaking from an Olympian intellectual perspective" game on the internets. davy, take a couple of English courses before you try your hand at this again.

Sidhedevil this isn't going to be any fun if you tell them what the rules are.
posted by Ryvar at 12:51 PM on December 27, 2004


Okay - for such an uninspired and ultimately depressing thread, that last bit (thank you Sidhedevil & Ryvar!) really made me laugh. Thank you, 0ldB33 Snarkers!
posted by taz at 1:27 PM on December 27, 2004


davy, you're being obtuse in your -- clearly failing -- attempts to impress MetaTalk with your intellectual prowess. None of this is necessary. In the future, please restrain yourself from turning MetaTalk into your Op Ed page. This is not the place for it, nor are you the person for it.
posted by majick at 1:48 PM on December 27, 2004


Davy, a straight question for you:

What is your goal in this discussion?
posted by Bugbread at 1:53 PM on December 27, 2004


Did I miss the flameout? I just got home from work. (16 "posted by davy"s in the thread is almost enough....but not quite.)
posted by exlotuseater at 2:06 PM on December 27, 2004


It's worse than I thought. Not only is a "Kaycee Nicole" Swenson lookalike trolling us, s/he's doing it in stereo.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:06 PM on December 27, 2004


Here's an unfavorable review of Brook's screen adaptation of the Mahabarata by an Indian critic.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:28 PM on December 27, 2004


Well to tell you the truth he thought the best defense was a offense. how did that work out for you davy?

0ldb33's: 1 davy: 0

FREE QUONSAR
posted by Dreamghost at 3:02 PM on December 27, 2004


Well, that was sad. All the initial snarking at davy was well-deserved. But, you know, after about five stinging, supercillious snarks, is it any surprise that someone goes into snark-back overdrive and, inevitably, makes a fool of themselves? Several people have her in meta and in email said that they were either surprised or admiring of how rarely I try to defend myself when attacked and shrug it off. Well, you know, it's hard to do. Most people's natural instinct when attacked is to defend themselves. (And I want to emphasize that this is true, this dynamic is active, regardless of who is in the right and who is in the wrong.) But, as konolia says, when the pastel-suited jackals are on your ass, you're pretty much doomed. After reading countless meta flames and flame-outs and near flame-outs, it's my observation that it's almost never in someone's interest, once on the defensive, to stick around and try to defend themselves. Ryvar, on the attack here, learned that in the recent rape haiku thread.

In a sense, I'm asking for some empathy for poor davy. It really takes a lot willpower (either innate, or learned through hard experience) to avoid trying to escalate when attacked. And the people attacking have much less at stake, emotionally. They also are more likely to understand how this will almost inevitably turn out. So, really, it's cruel, isn't it? People like languagehat should know better and be of better character. (And here I'm talking about increasingly vicious snarking that is really just baiting.)

Not to say that davy isn't completely wrong. Yesterday morning I fired up the browser to mefi holding my breath to see whether or not the tsunami story would appear—as a vocal antinewsfilter partisan, I was happy to see that it did. Because I agree (grudgingly, I admit) with Matt's POV on Big Stories and; anyway, a Big Story halfway round the world involving mostly brown people was something I was glad to see on mefi. This damn well does merit a FPP more than another of troutfishing's election posts.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:37 PM on December 27, 2004


This, along with some of the extreme reactions in the cancergiggle bannination thread, saddens me.

Here I was, wondering when MeFi turned into a ghetto of oldbie/newbie gang warfare*, or how the hell I managed to miss this fact while I was lurking, waiting for registrations to reopen, when Ethereal Bligh comes out (once again) with his eminently-sensible worldview. Thanks for restoring this newbie's impression of MeFi as a source of good information with a minimum of assholishness.

*Oldbies who wish to respond based on my newbishness: I've been through real fraternity hazing once; I have no real desire -- or need -- to go through the internets equivalent again. Save the poor electrons.

Thinking ahead a bit, the hazing experience might make an interesting FPP, if I weren't sworn to secrecy :)
posted by aberrant at 6:40 PM on December 27, 2004


People like languagehat should know better and be of better character.

This damn well does merit a FPP more than another of troutfishing's election posts.

Preaching and taking gratuitous personal potshots, are we ? Sweet.
posted by y2karl at 7:00 PM on December 27, 2004


Brook is perhaps best known for his controversial but playful 1970 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Some images and a contemporary appreciation by Peter Roberts are here.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:20 PM on December 27, 2004


I've never seen anyone so outnumbered in a Meta thread before, especially in one of their own inception (including my own...)

Quite sad, in a way, but the tide really turned when davy took on taz. I've never seen her so...well, macho.

What's that old familiar stirring in me loins?
posted by dash_slot- at 7:23 PM on December 27, 2004


O, and to characterise the references to productions and writings of a world-class theatre director as PepsiBlue...get a feckin' grip, man. You are self-parodying now, and it's like watching the Royle Family - painful, hilarious and sad to see such lack of self-consciousness.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:26 PM on December 27, 2004


I swear to god, Ethereal Bligh, if you EVER use the incredibly patronizing phrase "brown people" on this Website again, I am going to come through the internets and slap you so hard your colon will chime 'Hail Columbia'.

Do. Not. Ever. Say. That. Again.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:30 PM on December 27, 2004


Several people have her in meta and in email said that they were either surprised or admiring of how rarely I try to defend myself when attacked and shrug it off. Well, you know, it's hard to do.

Well, you know, we know it's hard to do.

But one tries to do it anyway, and with a minimum of whining. Pumpkin pies excepted, in my case. [hangs head in shame]
posted by five fresh fish at 7:32 PM on December 27, 2004


[represses the urge to whisper 'brown people' behind sidhedevil's back and then quickly look non-chalantly at that most interesting knic-knac on the shelf over there, why i think i'd best stroll over there and look at it...]

[looks, obviously trying to not look obvious]
posted by five fresh fish at 7:37 PM on December 27, 2004


The pastel-suited jackals are out on your trail

A nice grammar adjustment ;)


That is, you freaking morons, I was asking if Mefites were really decent enough to rank news of disaster above articles on doggie dildos.


I look forward to your future threads: are mefites better than hitler and does this thread prove it? do members here generally disapprove of murder--conclusive evidence that they do.

Sorry, but your thread still sucks. Your premise is lame and you sound like a raving mad man. Bear witness, as I exercise the exorcism...

+73 points for seguing seemlessly into an irrelevant hip hop reference.
posted by The God Complex at 7:38 PM on December 27, 2004


    (around)
[looks^, obviously trying to not obviously look around]
posted by five fresh fish at 7:39 PM on December 27, 2004


I look forward to your future threads: are mefites better than hitler and does this thread prove it?

Has Godwin's law finally been evoked?
posted by ericb at 7:45 PM on December 27, 2004


EB: I think you and I read the MeTa thread on Rape Haiku very, very differently. Personally, I counted each instance of unreasoned finger-wagging (including yours) as a point in my favor. Not only did I react in a manner completely different in tone and purpose to davy here, but at least five or six of the others in that thread seemed to grasp my point. I'm pretty sure davy here isn't intelligent enough to even have a point for others to grasp outside of the usual, "Everybody watch my extra-fancy ass parade!"

This damn well does merit a FPP more than another of troutfishing's election posts.

Christ, you couldn't hold back, could you? Had to take yet one more potshot from the sidelines in a completely unrelated thread at your personal favorite whipping boys to appease your raging inner demon, didn't you? Please take your constant revisionist history crap and cram it sideways, thanks.

Also, regarding what Sidhedevil said - we all realize how difficult it is for you to keep that inane, insane boorishness of yours in check - but right now you don't even seem to be making an effort.
posted by Ryvar at 7:45 PM on December 27, 2004


Not only did I react in a manner completely different in tone and purpose to davy here, but at least five or six of the others in that thread seemed to grasp my point.

Dude, you have such a different interpretation of that thread than I do!

(I joke, I joke.)
posted by five fresh fish at 8:04 PM on December 27, 2004


Hah. Bastich.
posted by Ryvar at 8:12 PM on December 27, 2004


Like I didn't have enough of a MeFiCrush on Sidhedevil before, now I just swoon...
posted by ltracey at 8:26 PM on December 27, 2004


I've never seen anyone so outnumbered in a Meta thread before, especially in one of their own inception (including my own...)

Actually, I got hammered pretty good when I started a MeTa early on, but matt mercifully canned it. I suspect he will can this one too when he takes a break from the new TV.
posted by Doohickie at 10:09 PM on December 27, 2004


"a fool who can laugh at his folly is not a fool but something rarer and finer: a self-ironist."

Ironically speaking, all this has made that Comedy Gold.
posted by y2karl at 12:44 AM on December 28, 2004


Good post EB. This thread is juvenile, and reinforces my belief that MeFi is like a schoolyard many times. The motivations to bully someone obviously show a weakness in character, espeically if you're the kind of person that delivers the 3rd or 4th kick. I think some people here love the chance to do it; maybe they can't find the opportunity at work or at home, so vent out at some poor poster here. ***shudders***
posted by SpaceCadet at 2:11 AM on December 28, 2004


You know, I used the phrase "brown people" to intentionally make a point. As in (when I was talking to family on Sunday) "I guess there's not much coverage of the tsunami because it was only brown people that were killed". Interestingly, my mom hurriedly explained to to her husband that I was being sarcastic which I then thought was odd. Why did she need to explain that I was being sarcastic, I wondered? But Sidhevil's comment demonstrates why, doesn't it?

Ryvar, I mentioned trout's election posts because someone else had already brought them up in this thread as an example of Things that Are Important that should not, nevertheless, be posted. I was concurring. It was not unrelated and I don't have an axe to grind. I like trout, although, true, I disagreed about some of his FPPs.

And, although people know that it's hard to do, it's worth repeating in order togenerate a bit of understanding for the plight of the person who's massively put on the the defensive. Davy's responses were idiotic but, reading them, I thought to myself "how many of us wouldn't respond the same when cornered as he was?" It's just not fair to bait someone in that situation.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:27 AM on December 28, 2004


I have apologized for boorish comments on occasion here on Metafilter, it's not so hard to do. I have ignored flamebait by masters of the trollish trade, such as ParisParamus and Hama7, also, not so hard to do. And if I remember correctly, children getting picked on in a schoolyard aren't the agressors. Little Davy showed absolutely no restraint, class or intelligence in this thread and, in my opinio, doesn't deserve much sympathy for his meltdown. He brought it on himself.

By the way, if I were brown and in your proximity when you were "sarcastically" speaking of the "brown people" I, like Sidhedevil, would slap that expression right out of your mouth forever.

Since I'm mostly white and far away, I'll just give your nickname a long icy glare.


*can you feel it, creep?*
posted by sic at 3:20 AM on December 28, 2004


You know, I used the phrase "brown people" to intentionally make a point.

What point?
posted by Bugbread at 3:36 AM on December 28, 2004


The point that OTHER people are racists.
posted by sic at 4:01 AM on December 28, 2004


Sic, when I saw EB use the term "brown people" how I took it was he was sarcastically speaking of the propensity of White America to disregard the suffering of a large group of people simply because they were Other.

And ironically, especially in the resort areas of Thailand, etc I imagine a substantial number of victims are "white tourists".

Can we all just agree that the tidal waves were Very Very Bad and leave it at that?
posted by konolia at 5:05 AM on December 28, 2004


Can we all just agree that the tidal waves were Very Very Bad and leave it at that?

But, konolia, that would be denying them an opportunity to get sniffy and indignant about something, which just give them the warm fuzzies.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 AM on December 28, 2004


WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF DAVY'S GIRLFRIEND'S BRAKES?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:49 AM on December 28, 2004


So, if I said that "Well, I guess Reagan didn't care much about the AIDS crisis because it was just a bunch of fags dying" you'd get all mad at me for saying "fags". Talk about Not Getting It.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:55 AM on December 28, 2004


No. Since you are a fag, that comment would be alright.
posted by sic at 7:59 AM on December 28, 2004


EB, it was the opposite of obvious that you were being sarcastic. You might think about why that is--it could either be because the internets are a bad medium for sarcasm, or because the serious use of the phrase "brown people" is congruent with your persona here.

Or both.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:12 AM on December 28, 2004


"No. Since you are a fag, that comment would be alright".

I'm not1, but that shouldn't matter so much in this context. It's not like I would ever seriously use any of these expressions—only sarcastically in imitation of the folks I'm criticizing. I understand there's a gray area for these things, but I think this particular example is far from ambiguous. (Although, of course, the fact that my mom felt she had to clarify to her husband indicates that, in fact, it is ambiguous. On the other hand, his response was that of course he knew I was being sarcastic.)

I should admit that I wouldn't ever use the n-word in a similar context, although frankly I'd be sorely tempted to in certain cases in order to make the same point (like how much people cared about the E. Texas dragging death a few years ago). But that's mostly because I'm deeply allergic to the word like most good liberals and really can't say or write it in almost any context, no matter what.

On Preview: it's hard to believe that the serious use of "brown people" could be congruent with my mefi persona. I've been more than occasionally ridiculed for being a liberal pc sensitive guy type. You're right that irony and sarcasm is always prone to be misconstrued on the internets. Probably more the problem, though, is that my persona is so often so very serious that people don't think that I'm ever ironic, or nuanced or sarcastic. Which isn't true. Someone in the recent eb-centric thread said that other people don't get my dry humor and then someone else said, basically, "what dry humor?" Sorry that I'm apparently so obtuse.

Anyway, when I very occasionally say such things as this (and I do) I'm always trying to be shocking and provocative and make a point. It was mordant humor, to be sure, but in the back of my mind when I said it to my parents and when I wrote it here, I was hoping to schock people into thinking about their priorities when it comes to getting news about distant "brown people". I suppose, that being the case, that I want to be taken seriously just for a moment, to make people complicit in bigotry perhaps, before they realize my real point.

If all this seems manipulative and affected, well, I'm just being my wordy self about something that many people do, not just me.

1 You know this, though, right? An example of irony that is ambiguous on the net?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:25 AM on December 28, 2004


UGLINESS CONTROL BARRIER



APOLOGIES AND HUMOUROUS STATEMENTS ONLY BELOW THIS LINE

posted by Krrrlson at 9:00 AM on December 28, 2004


Ah, those barriers never work.

Nice try, though
posted by Doohickie at 9:03 AM on December 28, 2004


It's not like I would ever seriously use any of these expressions

EB, it's a huge mistake to take for granted that anyone here knows you well enough to assume this, and I'm surprised you don't realize that. I've seen even the most obvious sarcasm/irony taken seriously and responded to with indignation in these hallowed halls, and your attempt at dry sarcasm was doomed from the start. And if you (properly) wouldn't use nigger that way, you should rethink your use of the trope in general.

You were, however, correct to take me to task for piling on davy. I normally try to avoid pileons, but he seemed like such an unredeemable dick that I couldn't resist. However, I note that he's made quite a decent post today -- a bit of a double, but definitely a worthy link, and it looks like he has the makings of a good MeFite after all, if he can learn to control his temper. So davy, if you're still dropping by: sorry for piling on, and I hope your girlfriend got her brakes without any problem.

On preview: Whew, glad I worked that apology in there!
posted by languagehat at 9:03 AM on December 28, 2004


Actually, I thought you were gay. My mistake.

Don't say fag either.
posted by sic at 9:08 AM on December 28, 2004


EB, it was the opposite of obvious that you were being sarcastic.

Geez, somehow a simpleton like me had it figured out as sarcasm.

Maybe the problem is less with EB's sarcasm, and more to do with other's tendency to think the worst of people and to fly off the handle.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 AM on December 28, 2004


Just what the hell are you implying there, fff?

Like that?
posted by cortex at 9:50 AM on December 28, 2004


Actually, I thought you were gay. My mistake.

must have been the cock in his mouth.
posted by I EAT TAPES at 11:29 AM on December 28, 2004


Yep. That does tend to mislead people.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:34 AM on December 28, 2004


Might be just a prop cock.

(You don't make that mistake twice, let me tell you.)
posted by chicobangs at 11:41 AM on December 28, 2004


Honestly now - has anyone here ever used "brown people" in any way *other* than sarcastically? I sincerely doubt it. If someone has, the worms have long since finished feasting on his eviscerated carcass.

Seems like this tangent was introduced solely for the purpose of Bligh-bashing, seeing as how davy doesn't seem to be returning to this thread. Now I'm all for bashing people, myself included, as long as it's funny or warranted, but this... eh.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:14 PM on December 28, 2004


Thinking of oneself as a "liberal pc sensitive guy" and saying "brown people" are not mutually exclusive.

My own experience of people who say "brown people" is that it's generally used quasi-ironically, like "I hear you"--they want to make fun of someone who would say "brown people", but they also want, in some way, to say "brown people". It's like those "diners" that serve food exactly like a real diner, only much more expensive and with a "knowing" attitude.

So, EB, I did not describe your use of the phrase "brown people" as "patronizing" because I thought you meant it straightforwardly as a synonym for "wogs"; I thought your use of the phrase "brown people" was "patronizing" to a) the people [many of whom are 'yellow' anyway] affected by the tsunami and earthquake, b) people who really say "brown people" because they don't know any better, and c) us.

But I'm happy to write it off to "the internets are not a good medium for sarcasm". Do know, though, that I doubt anyone found it "shocking and provocative" for a nanosecond--my guess is that everyone thought you were being an asshole or making fun of assholes or (as I did) making fun of assholes in an assholish way.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:24 PM on December 28, 2004


George Bush Sr. once described his grandkids as "the little brown ones over there."
posted by ltracey at 1:52 PM on December 28, 2004


I take seriously yours and LH's comments. How I intended it, and why I would use such a "trope", as LH so nearly put it, is because I can't think of anything else that so succinctly, precisely, and scathingly points at that unconscious dismissive attitude much of the developed world has about the developing world.

I think about all the time of the unnamed, unmentioned millions of people that tragically die in the developing world every year. Not because I care one whit about my own virtue, sorry to disapoint those eager to criticize me out ther in mefiland. No, I think about it because in my forty years of life I've still not been able to "grok" how it is that I was lucky enough to be born when and where I was such that if I die—not just tragically, but even predictably at an old age—it will be attended by personal and private notice and, probably, considerable resources...when, in contrast, I could just as easily have been one of these children in India washed into the ocean, or an orphan who died of malaria, or...whatever. About one million people died in the Rwanda horror, and it got relatively very little notice in the western press. I'll repeat: one million people. But when 3,000 Americans are killed on 9/11 (one of whom was someone close to me), the world supposedly changed.

There is no denying that the impoverished and oppressed peoples of the world are largely non-white, that the relatively wealthy people of the world are largely white, that the people that set the press and humanitarian priorities are white, and that the rough equivalance of 1 white body to 1000 non-white bodies holds true in these priorities. Given all that, I don't know any other more cutting and direct way to mock this distorted world view than by ridiculing white people for their disregard of the "brown".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:00 PM on December 28, 2004


I was going to make a joke, but I haven't had enough coffee.

Instead, I'll just say that sometimes I think you people need a collective punch in the head.

Don't ever use the word 'fag' unless you're actually homosexual? Fuck you.

Don't use 'drama queen' or 'brown people' or (oh my god he's going to say it RUN!) 'nigger'? I'll use whatever language I deem appropriate, when I choose to use it, and I'll stand behind the consequences of my doing so. This is not negotiable.

Sheesh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:25 PM on December 28, 2004


Actually, I knew you were being sarcastic, I just wanted to test your earlier statement:

Davy's responses were idiotic but, reading them, I thought to myself "how many of us wouldn't respond the same when cornered as he was?" It's just not fair to bait someone in that situation.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:27 AM PST on December 28


You remained quite calm in the face of agression, thus providing little support for your Davy apology.

Proving?



nothing.

(except that you are more mature than he and I'm trapped in the house with a hideous head cold and have nothing better to do with my sickly time).



on preview: ha ha stavros, you faggy brown drama queen, you need more coffee and a sense of irony.
posted by sic at 3:30 PM on December 28, 2004


Blistered flecks of bloom, caught in the overtime worklights, drizzle down from the slumping rose like blood-red confetti; Matt's worried limousine, lights dimmed, slinks noiselessly up the darkening alley; a highschool band, far away, recites a forgotten anthem; a girl with full pouty lips adjusts her alabaster earbuds; a spiraling dervish of wind-whipped five-dollar bills dances by; the siren song of an ambulance drifts out of earshot; a man checks his watch.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:42 PM on December 28, 2004


EB, it was the opposite of obvious that you were being sarcastic.

I cannot fathom how someone could draw that conclusion. The phrase "brown people" seems by definition to be a sarcastic allusion. Even when Bush used it to talk about democracy in iraq it was obvious he meant to make a point of claiming other people were racists - but here we're talking about EB, who I think has defined himself pretty clearly as a liberal to begin with...
so. I'm confused.
posted by mdn at 3:56 PM on December 28, 2004


I take this opportunity to once again declare my undying love for Opus Dark.

And sorry, sic. I actually thought you were being serious. Still, others have been, about the same sort of thing, and to them I erect the stiff central digit...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:01 PM on December 28, 2004


a girl with full pouty lips adjusts her alabaster earbuds

Not another iPod post! BOOO!
posted by sic at 4:03 PM on December 28, 2004


I thought your use of the phrase "brown people" was "patronizing" to a) the people [many of whom are 'yellow' anyway]

Well I've never met any yellow-skinned people on my travels around SE Asia. Met plenty of brown-skinned people though. Maybe my eyes are racist.
posted by SpaceCadet at 4:19 PM on December 28, 2004


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