Mefi-a culpa February 18, 2005 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Calling myself out. Kind of unusual, I know. But I looked back at some of my recent comments and I realized that I've been a butthead and a troll lately. If anyone wants to take exception with my bad behavior, feel free to do so here. And in the effort to make things better- has anyone else fallen into such a rut? Any ideas about how to get out?
posted by Doohickie to Etiquette/Policy at 8:48 PM (48 comments total)

Given that one of your "problem" comments was a shadow of one of mine, I feel qualified to say: admirable gesture but probably not necessary. We all have our days. If you really feel you've offended someone, apologize to them over email. I've done this more than once, and usually it's well-appreciated and kindly received. As for calling yourself out here for all to see, it makes you seem a little self-important, like you're fishing for both flagellation and forgiveness.

Be chill. Do better.
posted by scarabic at 8:57 PM on February 18, 2005


How Meta. Seriously, though, it's cool that you are aware enough to do it.

Try Waiting another minute between preview and post, and asking yourself "is this helpful/snarky/trollish?" or "How have I made the world better today?" or something.

Of course, I'm a hypocrite, because I sometimes toss unhelpful comments here and there. I need to work on self-restraint.

Overall, though, I don't think those are really bad. Except for slamming Les Fran├žais. And maybe the AskMe response- that's the one place one really should try to keep it to a helpful response.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:57 PM on February 18, 2005


Call attention to yourself some more. That should fix it.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:57 PM on February 18, 2005


"Self improvement is mastrubation. Now, self destruction..."

See, everything can be fixed with a fightclub quote. Don't take yourself so seriously.
posted by delmoi at 9:02 PM on February 18, 2005


Don't take yourself so seriously.

No one else does.

j/k. Could not resist.
posted by Gyan at 9:17 PM on February 18, 2005


There's a fine line between snarky or amusing and just being a dick. We all cross that line from time to time and the line is different to everyone who reads the comment.

You can't always have a positive opinion about things. If someting makes you mad, you have a differing opinion, or if a post is subpar, say it. That said, my only real problem was with the France comment, mainly because you didn't make much of an effort to make a salient argument and then you disappeared from the thread (read: it was a tad trollish). The others were fine in my book.

And one final comment: before posting a thread to the gray, read it to yourself, sleep on it, and then think about whether it's really that important to say. The Webcam post has now been booted off the front page because of this, oh the humanity.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:19 PM on February 18, 2005


LOL
posted by scarabic at 9:22 PM on February 18, 2005


Thanks to those who offered helpful advice. And Gyan: piss off, you ungrateful bastard.
j/k back at ya
posted by Doohickie at 9:44 PM on February 18, 2005


Miguel, 'zat you?
posted by Vidiot at 10:07 PM on February 18, 2005


Miguel, 'zat you?

I was about to say "WTF - what resemblance are you seeing here?"

Then it hit me.

The navel-gazing.
posted by scarabic at 10:11 PM on February 18, 2005


I used to be a real prick to other people on the Internet, mostly because of the anonymity. Then, this mod emailed me this really long list of things that I had said to him and others on this board, and told me that (in essence) I was a very bad person and that I wasn't welcome to post there anymore. I had this epiphany, and realized that behind the screen were real people, and that what I say has consequences in real lives.

I know that it sounds pretty dumb (mainly because I kept trying to re-write it, but the drink has made my brain a tad soft tonight), but I think it is the key. People have said things here to me that have made me feel badly (I dont have quonsar skin), but I don't think that said person(s) really thought anything of it. It is part of our culture (especially in the grey) that we can say anything to anyone, especially if they are "in the wrong" or broke one of the rules (which, in many cases, most people don't know they are breaking until it is too late).
posted by Quartermass at 10:28 PM on February 18, 2005


Stick around here long enough, and you'll find yourself at the wrong end of the snark. Metakarma.

The good thing about metafilter is that people's memories tend to be short, and you're only as bad as your last post. So that means you can try better next time.

The bad thing about metafilter is that people's memories tend to be short, and you're only as good as your last post, too. Metafilter has a "what have you done for us lately?" sort of mentality. So even if you were once the awesome metastar, with a record of posting dozens of awesome links to the front page, for weeks on end, you can still end up on the wrong end of a metatalk post.

But enough about me...
posted by crunchland at 10:45 PM on February 18, 2005


What Saucy Intruder said...
posted by rooftop secrets at 10:49 PM on February 18, 2005


Oh this is freaking great. Let's all start MetaTalk threads about ourselves. Goddamned amazing, this.
posted by xmutex at 10:53 PM on February 18, 2005


Yes. this user is a prick. We need to do something about him.
posted by exlotuseater at 11:02 PM on February 18, 2005


The bad thing about metafilter is that people's memories tend to be short, and you're only as good as your last post

I disagree. I still remember what people did for/to me long ago. If anything, there's not enough personal contact via a website to wash away memorable occasions once they've taken place. They stick, and become practically indellible. I only wish people would know me by my most recent post. Unfortunately, they continue to bring up the hiding-a-body thing at every turn. Long memories, indeed.
posted by scarabic at 11:11 PM on February 18, 2005


I don't know scarabic. For what it is worth, my opinion of you has changed (for the better).
posted by Quartermass at 11:18 PM on February 18, 2005


Some people would say I started off here as a dickhead, and morphed into some kind of spokesman for those who feel Matt is oppressive.

They're totally wrong, clearly (*cough*), but I have heard people voice this opinion. While some will claim the new role isn't much better, it does demonstrate that significant transition in nature and tone of one's MeFi persona are possible. I'd suggest that even if you continue to voice opinions solely to play devil's advocate, doing so in an articulate and polite manner will go a long, long way to improving other's opinions of you.

Also, as for your first link, just some FYI crap: the French machinegun during WWI, when machineguns were the Alpha and Omega of warfare (due to their mowing down human waves of soldiers going 'over the top'), called the Chauchat, is widely regarded as the worst gun ever made in the history of firearms.

Modern-day France, however, has equipment significantly better than the UK's, and at least the equal of the USA's. While arguments regarding 'Will to Power' are debatably still valid, one of the major limiting factors in the ability of the French to wage war has been corrected between then and now.

*musical riff* The more you know . . .
posted by Ryvar at 11:26 PM on February 18, 2005


Ryvar: France is not a part of NATO, correct?
posted by delmoi at 11:45 PM on February 18, 2005


Delmoi: According to Wikipedia, yes: "France is a member of NATO, which retired from the military command in 1966 but rejoined in 1992." Which is my way of saying I really only know about past, present, and future small arms on paper (books, websites, conversations with several soldier friends) as a sort of hobby.
posted by Ryvar at 11:52 PM on February 18, 2005


Calling myself out.

Here, let me help: This is a crap use of MetaTalk. Stop it.
posted by mediareport at 12:00 AM on February 19, 2005


Over the years there have been a few times on the 'filter when I stepped back and went 'well, you're just being annoying now', and tried to make a change in my behaviour. Most recently, I stopped with the political stuff. Less recently, I curtailed a tendency to do nothing but drop one-liners (although I still do this once in a while).

Anyway, well done on bringing yourself back from the brink of assholery, although I will agree that it might have been better to just pat yourself on the back silently and carry on, rather than start a thread.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:07 AM on February 19, 2005


it might have been better to just pat yourself on the back silently and carry on

Might? Might?

Puh-lease. Actions speak louder than words, especially coming from someone who admits he's been a butthead. This thread is all about ego, and is perfectly indicative of the sloppy, non-communal vibe that makes MeTa so hard to stomach these days.
posted by mediareport at 12:24 AM on February 19, 2005


This thread is all about ego

Makes you positively green, don't it?
posted by scarabic at 12:32 AM on February 19, 2005


Stop being hysterical, mediareport, or I'm gonna have to slap you one.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:34 AM on February 19, 2005


Makes you positively green, don't it?

Ha, but not really. I'm with you on the long memory thing, scarabic; it's going to be a long time before I see a Doohickie comment without remembering this completely ridiculous self-callout.

Stop being hysterical, mediareport, or I'm gonna have to slap you one.

OHNOBITCHYOUDIDN'T!!!

(But try bemused instead of hysterical, stavros.)
posted by mediareport at 12:39 AM on February 19, 2005


Now I know what to do the next time I want people to pay more attention my comments.
posted by DaShiv at 12:52 AM on February 19, 2005


Unfortunately, they continue to bring up the hiding-a-body thing at every turn. Long memories, indeed.

Just out of curiosity (because I don't remember the hide-a-body thing; it sounds like a good name for a diet program, though), how long ago did you hide the body and how many times has it been used against you this month?

I would suggest (and I'm speaking generally, not to scarabic, here) that in a group as large and diverse as this one, there are always going to be at least a few people who don't like you. You're better off to align your behavior here to some sort of golden rule and to judge yourself by your own standards than to worry about how other posters perceive you. Also, people's perceptions of how others perceive them (or, perhaps, my perception of people's perceptions of how other people perceive them)are generally somewhere between inexact and dead wrong.

I reckon that most people just don't spend all that much time thinking about the behavior of MeFites other than themselves, and that those who do either have some sort of personal grudge or a huge lack of perspective, and you probably don't want to worry about such people. For the reasonable posters, you're as good as the moving average of your last ten posts.

Also, I agree that self-callouts are essentially masturbatory, and masturbation has no place in public. For every person who thinks "good job for fessing up to your bad behavior" there are ten people just thinking "ewwwww."
posted by anapestic at 4:42 AM on February 19, 2005


*drops pants, exposes stunning lack of perspective*
posted by quonsar at 4:59 AM on February 19, 2005


This thread is all about ego
Damn right it is. Listen, if no one else calls you out for something you said, you didn't say anything horrible. Don't post it to MeTa.

The good thing about metafilter is that people's memories tend to be short

No, no, no they aren't. Whenever ParisParasmus posts a point that is somewhat valid, people dig up stuff he's said before (about Iraq having WMDs, or something). That happens all the time. No one remembers the good things, most likely, but if you say something stupid, rest assured it will be with you until you MeTa-quit.
posted by graventy at 6:33 AM on February 19, 2005


*so weird: I had this dream last night where I saw DaShiv at a drugstore browsing magazines, and I followed him around hoping he would take my picture... Have any of you dreamed about another user, or do I need to step away from this place for a bit?
posted by Quartermass at 6:48 AM on February 19, 2005


You crazy Americans.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:15 AM on February 19, 2005


I have noticed the same kind of trend in my comments, too. When I read them, I sound like a know-it-all to myself. Must work on tone, and stop qualifying everything I say with "...I feel especially qualified to say..."

Very gracious of you, Doohickie. Consider yourself forgiven by one who dare not cast the first stone.

Us D/FW'ers gotta keep together, right bra?
posted by mds35 at 8:05 AM on February 19, 2005


I wish I had thought of this. ;-P
posted by mischief at 8:09 AM on February 19, 2005


Doohickie, I didn't take exception to it myself. I had those same concerns. My sense of you is that you are a stand-up person. Taking care with your writing tone is good, but don't worry so much!
posted by safetyfork at 8:23 AM on February 19, 2005


scarabic wrote: "[A]dmirable gesture but probably not necessary. We all have our days."

Hey Puggsley, you're so *KY00T* when you do that.

Anyway. This is a bogus thread by definition: Doohickie wants to hear he's still a Heather, is all.
posted by davy at 8:29 AM on February 19, 2005


It is interesting to see what path certain Noobies are taking to make a name for themselves, such as posting too many FPPs or being trolls or...

Well, Doohickie, right from the beginning you were sort of an amiable doofus. You made plenty of mistakes but always apologized profusely. I've got this image of you in my head as sort of Gomer Pyle crossed with Radar O'Reilly. Not sure that is what you want-- but that is how you come across.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:04 AM on February 19, 2005


When I found myself starting to become, well, a wee bit of a douchebag, I asked Matt (in an e-mail) to suspend my posting rights. Which he did. Six months later I asked for them back. I got 'em. Maybe you should do the same thing?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:23 AM on February 19, 2005


It's the Meta you don't want to miss; one of your favourite members won't make it to the final credits!

Will quonsar figure his way out of his fishy situation? Will Miguel finally make his triumphant return to power? Will DaShiv finally focus in on the wrong target? Will mathowie's webcam save him from his secret stalker before it's too late?

All we know is someone's in Meta...with MURDER.

Tune in tonight!
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:52 AM on February 19, 2005


Meta is murder?
posted by mr.marx at 9:59 AM on February 19, 2005


I had this dream last night where I saw DaShiv at a drugstore browsing magazines, and I followed him around hoping he would take my picture...

I'm scared.

:P
posted by DaShiv at 10:26 AM on February 19, 2005


It's easy to stay unassholish here, doohickie - just don't wander into threads about politics. Works for me. I still have no idea why everyone gets so angry at Seth and 111 and whatsisname - the guy who ends all of his comments with a ~wink~. Consequently, I still like everyone. Go figure.

there have been a few times on the 'filter when I stepped back and went 'well, you're just being annoying now'

Only a few??

(I kid)
posted by iconomy at 11:56 AM on February 19, 2005


Can I get a show of hands:

How many people think MetaFilter would be better if we voted one member out every week, like Survivor?
posted by scarabic at 2:13 PM on February 19, 2005


Yeah, but you know mathowie would be the first to go.
posted by Ryvar at 2:55 PM on February 19, 2005


No, he'd delete the votes against him, Ryvar. Or jess would.
posted by graventy at 4:55 PM on February 19, 2005


To second icononmy's point, another key would be to avoid the grey entirely. For example, I saw this post, and I immediately thought about typing something nasty, but then reconsidered - the point being, I never would have thought that at all if I hadn't clicked on the MetaTalk link at the top of the Blue.
posted by jonson at 5:17 PM on February 19, 2005


"When I found myself starting to become, well, a wee bit of a douchebag, I asked Matt (in an e-mail) to suspend my posting rights."

Please tell me you're not a U.S. voter.

And scarabic, I give your "Survivor" idea one finger.
posted by davy at 10:18 PM on February 19, 2005


Okay, so I knew making this post was a big risk, almost begging others to take a swipe at my self-important, etc., self. Let me just say to those who offered constructive advice: Thanks. This thread was much more positive than it could have been.
posted by Doohickie at 5:12 PM on February 20, 2005


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