Did we really have to delete this thread? January 4, 2005 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Did we really have to delete this thread? Just when the discussion was getting interesting?
posted by nixerman to Etiquette/Policy at 2:44 PM (37 comments total)

But does hate fags. Duh.
posted by Witty at 2:46 PM on January 4, 2005

My God has been removed. What the...
posted by Witty at 2:46 PM on January 4, 2005

The ironic thing, I suppose, is that I was just about to point out that dismissing Phelps et al as wackos and ignoring them is not only dangerous but also dishonest.

On a side note, perhaps we shouldn't delete threads when it looks like a real discussion is developing?

I feel so dirty and ashamed for having posted to MetaTalk. I want my virginity back.
posted by nixerman at 2:47 PM on January 4, 2005

"don't give the god hates fags asshat the attention he craves."

Pretty clear to me.
posted by me3dia at 2:50 PM on January 4, 2005

rocket_skates... my condolences on the thread deletion. I don't know whether it was the best FPP in the world, but I've seen worse and the discussion that came out of it was getting interesting.
posted by Doohickie at 2:53 PM on January 4, 2005

nixerman, I beg to differ. We could post a link everyday to another neo-nazi KKK site, but what's the point? What's there to discuss?

That Phelps asshole created that fax purposely to get attention. He trolled the world, and a few people noticed. I considered posting this to MetaFilter when I read about it last week, but figured there wasn't much to say and when I found out Phelps was behind it, I knew it was one giant ploy for press.

Fuck Fred Phelps. I don't want MetaFilter helping him out any, and I hope anyone of any faith can see the guy is a opportunistic jackass that hides behind the cloak of "faith" to spread his hate.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:54 PM on January 4, 2005

Cloak of filth.
posted by Captaintripps at 2:58 PM on January 4, 2005

Well, the links>discussion folks (myself included) will say that yes, occasionally bad links do generate good discussion, but the discussion never justifies the links. The discussion>links folks will say it should have been left up. I for one welcome our new the deletion. But the "links are [more|less] important than discussion" debate has been had dozens of times here on MeTa, with no consensus to be found.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:07 PM on January 4, 2005

I am glad this got deleted. I was just about to comment, I hit post and the thread was gone. Below it is.
I don't usually read threads like this. Nor am I usually inclined to comment in them. But the pictures that fluffycreature linked to make me want to puke and cry (apologies to 20148). The Tsunami is nothing short of a major human tragedy of which I have never seen before. Every half an hour here there is more footage, more horrific stats, more dead. It's really starting to affect me and it's getting worse. Yes, we know there are right-wing lunatics in the USA. Yes, we know they are morally screwed. But please try to post nice stuff. More comic book threads or something. This should not become a debate on fundies/nofundies. Won't you think of the children etc.

This is as close to a callout I get but this is kind of affecting me. I apologize.

I am kind of against deleting of comments/threads too but really I am at my wits end. This topic needs a sensitive approach, not sensationalist.
posted by bdave at 3:09 PM on January 4, 2005

"Fuck Fred Phelps"

That bears repeating.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:26 PM on January 4, 2005

fuck fred phelps is the new lather rinse repeat!
posted by quonsar at 3:46 PM on January 4, 2005

This was a good call. FP is the King of Trolls. Feed him your outrage, and he just turns purple, burps, and opens his mouth for more. I say this as a person who has seen him in action at too many events to count. The man trolled my college graduation. I know what I'm talking about.

He influences no one. He has one church, a website, and a fax machine. With them, he has managed to keep his monstrous appetite fed at a proportion far outside any actual achievement. Well, except for one. The very clever scheme of defusing an ugly protest by donating X numbers of dollars for each minute of it originated as a response to him, I believe at the event here. And that can hardly be called his achievement.

So, take a cue from that, and every time you inadvertently see a bit of his ugliness, don't do his work for him by passing it on. Donate some money or time to whoever he's beating up, instead. Write him a nice note on pretty stationery letting him know you did it. If that was the world's permanent response to him, he'd have no choice but to dry up and blow away like the inconsequential poison ivy leaf that he is.
posted by melissa may at 4:02 PM on January 4, 2005

I like Fred Phelps. I once shared a lemonade with him, and he we talked about our mutual love of swallows. Then we watched a summer's sun set below the horizon and made sweet love in the dusk.
posted by xmutex at 4:08 PM on January 4, 2005

Unless we're going to OK links to other famous trolls (trollcore? Gayniggers?), it doesn't make much sense to OK an FPP to this one. The only thing this troll has above other trolls is effectiveness.
posted by Bugbread at 4:10 PM on January 4, 2005

It is good that the thread was deleted.

#1. Phelps should be ignored. As other he has said, he is nothing but a troll.

#2. That thread was a very lame attempt to associate Conservatives/Republicans with that asshat:
No, no thanks, I'd rather not. Seeing as '04 was a big year for "values voters", and gay marriage and the attitude towards homosexuals a big part of that, I think ignoring the fringe elements of the party now in power is the last thing i'm going to be doing.
posted by rocket_skates at 3:21 PM CST on January 4
Phelps is as much a "fringe element" of the GOP as the Workers World Party is a "fringe element" of the Democrats.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:24 PM on January 4, 2005

Phelps bad, deletion good. Now what I want to know is:
Who removed Witty's God?
posted by languagehat at 4:56 PM on January 4, 2005

I Lost my GOD

P.S. I'll find my GOD

Who took my GOD

Who found my GOD
posted by Dreamghost at 5:05 PM on January 4, 2005

I think he's now listed under "G_d". (Damn telemarketers, I think.) Look there.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:08 PM on January 4, 2005

Did we really have to delete this thread?

nixerman, I would like to point out one glaring innaccuracy in your post here: WE didn't delete anything. If Matt doesn't want to feed the hate troll (explained very well by others here) at his website, then he won't. Best to acknowledge, and move on.

And I ate Witty's God for dinner. 'Tasted like chicken ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:10 PM on January 4, 2005

God up and left Witty's comment because He felt dirty by association.
posted by stonerose at 5:43 PM on January 4, 2005

In fact, fuck that guy but don't even repeat his name lest we be picked up on the google radar. Fuck Phred Felps!
posted by geekyguy at 6:04 PM on January 4, 2005

Fuck Phred Felps Ringtones now on sale at participating stores

subject to credit check
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:12 PM on January 4, 2005

If you really want, you can continue the discussion here, where it won't give the asshole the attention. Deleting it was a good idea.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:52 PM on January 4, 2005

If you really want, you can continue the discussion here

Please let's don't.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:16 PM on January 4, 2005

God up and left Witty's comment because He felt dirty by association.

Hey now... that's not nice.
posted by Witty at 7:31 PM on January 4, 2005

well, I'll admit I was interested to see where that discussion was going to go, though I understand the deletion too. Still, if you read their FAQ etc, they explain that "god hates fags" is just a more blunt way of saying "god sends reprobates to hell" (including sexual reprobates, ie, those who have sex outside marriage), which is a statement an unfortunate number of americans would agree with... They're definitely on the fringe, but they're not entirely alone if you tone down the language a bit.
posted by mdn at 7:47 PM on January 4, 2005

Scrub Meta clean of this filth. Matt, please delete this thread as well so that he gets less Google points from MetaFilter.
posted by caddis at 8:02 PM on January 4, 2005

Hey now... that's not nice.

Hey, you a funny man!
posted by rushmc at 8:28 PM on January 4, 2005

who is scarier? Phred Phelps or Sick Rantorum? For me it's not even close.
posted by docpops at 8:30 PM on January 4, 2005

mdn, that's what I was getting at. I don't think Phelps is as an extremist lunatic fringe element as people really like to think. That's also why just ignoring the guy may not be the best policy. If I had time I'd look for historical comparisons.
posted by nixerman at 10:00 PM on January 4, 2005

I can truly appreciate the necessity in not feeding the trolls; especially in the case of individuals of Phelps' ilk. However, I found phong3d's link to this article to be of exceptional value in coming to an understanding of the overt motivations and irrational drives that support their activities. At least to this extent the post had some value.

I didn't need to take a shower after reading it as phong3d suggested, but I can honestly say that the article does provide an insightful portrait of what could be considered a true embodiment of evil. After reading it I was outraged that so much could have been done at so many points to save people from all the hurt that this man has caused and put this infantile bully in a rightful place of obscurity.

I guess it may be too late for that, but even the court of democracy and free speech needs a fool to serve as a warning to others.
posted by Gif at 10:16 PM on January 4, 2005

There've been many conversations here over the years (although not recently, that I can recall) about whether it's better when you find true filth to shine a light on it, and hopefully kill it thereby, or, as Matt suggests in this case, to ignore it and deny it the attention it craves.

I think the light-shining makes sense in some cases (kiddie porn, nazis), but may make less when, like Fred, it's all about generating outrage and media attention.

Is it all about that in this case, though? It seems like there are enough Americans (and others, let it be said) that actually agree with Freddy boy. Is the only way to counter hate speech more speech?

It's a head-scratcher, all right.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:53 PM on January 4, 2005

my apologies. being hungover and still groggy I made a sloppy post. I think it would have passed muster had I done a little googling on the topic and presented it in a thought provoking manner w/links such as phong3d's(ty&btw, very interesting).

nixerman and mdn, thank you for contributing what I would(should) have had I not been lazy. this was kind of the point of my post, if you remove the word "fag" and some other nasties, you've got what's more or less a very outspoken version of what some not so fringe elements are propagating through their places of worship.

As far as the "where's the moral outrage" line, a little snarky, but..... A lot of those same parishioners I'd be willing to bet tune into AM radio and other conservative media outlets. I am (unfortunately) exposed to talk radio blow hards at work. I have great disdain for all talking heads, however it's a reality that Conservative, Right Wing views are most prevalent in this medium. Now I sit in my cubicle all day hearing words like "pinko" and "commie" and "the blame america first crowd" and "unamerican" being thrown about like they're pronouns, and often in a state of "moral outrage" at some isolated and extreme case of leftist PC tendencies gone too far or some other such Jesus hating social agenda. Where were these people when we were being called sodomites on Sept. 12th by Mr. Robertson(or something like that, again with the laziness)? Where are they now? Busy picking out an equally obscure but much less vile and benign example of unamericanism, that's where. So I guess I wanted to examine how they get away with it, and failed miserably.

Lastly, I was not trying to associate this nut with the President, that would truly be trolling. Nay I was merely trying to point out that in the very flyer I referenced there's praise for 9/11 by FP and to compare that to the comments Falwell/Robertson made regarding us having brought 9/11 upon ourselves. I recognize the difference between these two stances but I think you fail to recognize the similarities. Couple that with the fact that one of the two of those men meets with the President regularly and you've got what I was getting at: it's not so fringe.
posted by rocket_skates at 11:09 PM on January 4, 2005

stavros, thank you. I considered never posting this for the same reasons you just laid out. I don't know what's worse, the media covering this and giving him free PR or that it's not being covered.

Oh that bit about AM radio, off topic, sorry but I'm my attempt at completing that half thought of an FPP. =]
posted by rocket_skates at 11:15 PM on January 4, 2005

I'm my attempt

it's my attempt
posted by rocket_skates at 11:16 PM on January 4, 2005

Shining a light on or ignoring people like this are probably both not optimal responses. It's not productive to debate people like this on the merits of their argument, because the point of their behavior is to disrupt, derail and muddle reasonable discourse. After reading the article I mentioned earlier, it's also obvious that ignoring individual's like Phelps will only make them resort to more outlandish levels of provocative behavior while also letting them continue unopposed with the truly repugnant behavior that supports their activities.

It may be better to just understand and educate others about what motivates these groups. I think most reasonable people can figure out how they will let this kind of poison effect their lives accordingly once they understand it's true nature. For the most part I think this is what society as a whole has done with respect to Westboro. 50 cowed-through-abuse members of a church that has no respect within the community they exist is a fitting state for a flawed ideology.

on preview, agreed rocket_skates but making the assumption that the motivations between both groups is the same I think is incorrect. I'm just hoping that the US will eventually reject this most current flirtation with religious fundamentalism once it's true motivations are better understood and made more obvious through the excesses of it's proponents.
posted by Gif at 11:35 PM on January 4, 2005

phong3d's link really was invaluable. (Bookmarked). I have some suspicions about Phelps et al... and again, what really gets me is the way he's used his family. Unbelievable.
posted by nixerman at 11:51 PM on January 4, 2005

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