Too much snarking in Tim Burton thread May 17, 2005 8:46 PM   Subscribe

The signal to snark ratio on Metafilter is at an all-time low, as evidenced by this thread.

Metafilter's always been snarky, but I just thought the vicious personal attacks in the thread were completely out of hand and ruined it completely, starting with kjh's "that's what you get for dressing like an idiot" and spiraling downward to keswick's various "clever" remarks. (The irony of the image near the bottom of the page just kills me, though.)
posted by MegoSteve to Etiquette/Policy at 8:46 PM (229 comments total)

ahh, MeFi at its best. Thanks for pointing it out, Steve.
posted by mischief at 8:49 PM on May 17, 2005


well, i didn't really hit Sparx and i wouldn't actually throw him into a chocolate river--if that helps. (i do that have song stuck in my head now tho)
posted by amberglow at 8:53 PM on May 17, 2005


and dyslexia too, apparently.
posted by amberglow at 8:54 PM on May 17, 2005


"man, if hating and mocking goths is wrong, i just don't want to be right." -- keswick


Gospel!
posted by dhoyt at 9:03 PM on May 17, 2005


Somewhere I imagine a goth board making a similar statement about angry little men behind their keyboards.

I notice that thread was full of other erudite topics such as the strengths of pirates vs. ninjas... I suggest, actually, that we have more threads like that, as kind of a geek honeypot.
posted by vacapinta at 9:09 PM on May 17, 2005


Well it proves keswick and kjh are idiots. Picking on goths is almost as tacky as picking on hipsters. I'm not so sure I'd generalize it to all of Mefi. Really that whole post sucked.
posted by nixerman at 9:10 PM on May 17, 2005


I like pancakes and threads like that. Unless, of course, being goth is covered by the ADA or something (Note to self - buy eyeliner just in case).
posted by Carbolic at 9:19 PM on May 17, 2005


I really wanted to talk about ninjas vs pirates. I purposefully avoided talking about goths.
posted by puke & cry at 9:27 PM on May 17, 2005


Picking on goths is almost as tacky as picking on hipsters.

Hey, now, back the fuck up here. If goths are off-limits, I can deal with that. But hipsters? We can't mock hipsters? Good God, man, if hipsters are sacred cows, why get up in the morning?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:51 PM on May 17, 2005


I love getting called out! You're merely reinforcing my attention seeking behavior.
posted by keswick at 9:57 PM on May 17, 2005


IshmaelGraves: :0)

I think I once dated a spray hipster with cutout patch.
posted by taz at 10:10 PM on May 17, 2005


Give me a break. What were you expecting exactly? An outpouring of bleeding-heart sympathy for two random losers who didn't get to see a movie? The post was awful and got exactly what it deserved as far as I can see.
posted by kjh at 11:44 PM on May 17, 2005


OOMPA LOOMPA DOOMPADEE DOO
I'VE GOT ANOTHER PUZZLE FOR YOU
OOMPA LOOMPA DOOMPADAH DEE
IF YOU ARE WISE YOU'LL LISTEN TO ME
WHAT DO YOU GET FROM A DUMB FPP
A PAIN IN THE NECK AND AN I.Q. OF THREE
WHY DON'T YOU TRY SIMPLY READING A BOOK
OR COULD YOU JUST NOT BEAR TO LOOK
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 11:54 PM on May 17, 2005


Metafilter: the snark is the signal
posted by grouse at 12:04 AM on May 18, 2005


I suggest responding with passion and intelligence rather than complaining here.
posted by scarabic at 12:16 AM on May 18, 2005


I suggest responding with passion and intelligence rather than complaining here.

That's a little bit like fighting a tsunami with a canoe paddle, unfortunately, though I did make a post in that thread.

Metafilter is one of my favorite web sites, but I'm becoming less and less inclined to click on the comments button just because I know I'll be met by people who are less interested in commenting on the content of a post with some thought than they are in building up their own egos by tearing other people down (OMG! tehy're UGLY!!!11!!), peppered with the same tiresome jokes about pancakes and new Metafilter taglines repeated endlessly by new people who are trying desperately to fit in. It's become less about the best of the web and more about who can zing whom with the snappiest sitcom putdown. It would bother me less if it were actually funny (like thatweirdguy2's post up there), but most of the time, it's just thuggery.

While this kind of poison discourse is just getting worse and worse everywhere, it's something one expects to see it on Free Republic, not here.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:08 AM on May 18, 2005


I'd just like to express my most sincere appreciation for the Goth people -- a lifestyle I have never practiced myself but that I have a lot of sympathy for. and if the point is they look ridiculous, well, white kids dressed in the hip-hop style are much, much more ridiculous.
posted by matteo at 4:13 AM on May 18, 2005


and goths are generally much quieter, as well.
posted by dg at 4:25 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: taglines repeated endlessly

(Just trying to fit in.)
posted by evoo at 4:47 AM on May 18, 2005


> This can't be the same Metafilter that just a few months ago was screaming about free
> speech and rights when some people were removed from Bush events due to Kerry
> bumper stickers on their cars or for wearing the wrong tee shirt ... can it?

It's precisely for moments like this that I keep coming back.
posted by jfuller at 5:02 AM on May 18, 2005


It serves you right for even opening that thread. Learn to be more discriminating. (That sounds like a snark, but it is meant in all sincerity. If you open up a can labelled "Shit", don't complain about it when you open it up and there is shit inside.)
posted by Doohickie at 5:04 AM on May 18, 2005


I loved that thread! Thanks megosteve.

The level of aggrieved outrage, the delicious attempt to compare goths to Hasidim, the whiny equation of goth snark to fratboyism, and the excellent coinage of "abercrombic" in said whiny equation - gold, pure gold.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:14 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: if you open a can labelled "Shit"... you ain't gettin' pineapple rings, buddy.
posted by Termite at 5:31 AM on May 18, 2005


class.

Termite, that's just been added to my favourite sayings list.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:34 AM on May 18, 2005


See, I love threads like that. There are some great snarks in there! What's not to like? This stuff is amusing, for God's sake. It's entertaining! It's a refreshing break from all that heavy Bush-bashing we also like so much!

Besides, Goths do smell of BO, stale Dunhills and fake absinthe.
posted by Decani at 5:42 AM on May 18, 2005


>Besides, Goths do smell of BO, stale Dunhills and fake absinthe.

And a bunch of like to commit suicide, that's so selfish!
posted by gsb at 6:00 AM on May 18, 2005


sorry, "a bunch of THEM..."

I need my afternoon espresso shot.
posted by gsb at 6:03 AM on May 18, 2005


It serves you right for even opening that thread. Learn to be more discriminating.

trouble is, i have learnt. to the point where i hardly ever read the blue.

just seems a pity.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:13 AM on May 18, 2005


MeFi: who can zing whom with the snappiest sitcom putdown

I love watching someone as reality crashes down onto their fantasy. ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:38 AM on May 18, 2005


I'd just like to express my most sincere appreciation for the Goth people --

I know you didn't mean it that way, but that sentence makes it sound like Goths are immigrants from Gothistan, or something, rather than just a buncha shmos in black nail polish.
posted by jonmc at 6:39 AM on May 18, 2005


Picking on goths is almost as tacky as picking on hipsters.

Goths and hipsters are off limits, but metalheads, jocks and rednecks are fine targets around here, generally. Any reasoning behind this besides your own personal preference?
posted by jonmc at 6:49 AM on May 18, 2005


but that sentence makes it sound like Goths are immigrants from Gothistan, or something

Don't dis my black brothers
posted by dodgygeezer at 6:50 AM on May 18, 2005


I really don't have a problem with that thread. One can look at its subject and tone and know what's going to be inside. If that's the kind of thing you want, then read on; if that kind of thing gets your dander up, then stay away.

There's still enough good stuff in MeFi to make it best of the web, and the rest gives it flavor (or maybe roughage...)

Metafilter
best of the web. and also the roughage.
posted by Doohickie at 7:01 AM on May 18, 2005


What's the capital of Gothistan?

Bauhausia?
posted by bardic at 7:01 AM on May 18, 2005


Who doesn't get made fun of on the internet?
posted by dflemingdotorg at 7:05 AM on May 18, 2005


1) Dress in a ridiculous fashion
2) Complain when someone takes the cue and actually ridicules you
3) ???
4) No, really, ???
posted by kindall at 7:06 AM on May 18, 2005


1) be different
2) kindall laughs at you
3) ???
4) no, really?
posted by andrew cooke at 7:11 AM on May 18, 2005


the amazing thing is, goths are better dressed than most americans. they actually put clothes together in a way that has taken a little thought.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:12 AM on May 18, 2005


andrew cooke, that's reason enough to distrust them. It means that their vain and self centered.
posted by jonmc at 7:13 AM on May 18, 2005


so that's why americans distrust europeans....
...but seem to be ok with the english.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:18 AM on May 18, 2005


Look, I'm not going to speak for others here, but for myself I have to say there is simply no end to the ridicule that we all expose ourselves to everyday. The idea that if you find someone ridiculous looking, you are a frat boy draped in A&F is so close minded that it has the potential to implode and form a mental black hole, turning the thinker inside out and whisking them off to whatever dimension it is where there are no sliding scales of acceptability and humor, I'm assuming it's some twilight version of a North Eastern College campus circa 1988. I can assert with full confidence that I have been mocked and derided for how I look enough to know that you either care or you don't, if you don't care then you win.

Goths always seemed to me to care excessively about how they looked and how alienated they were and are, they revel in it, they look cartoonish on purpose, you pays yer nickel and you takes yer ride. I've laughed at more frat boys than goths by a power of a million, dirty white hats and fat blank sweaty faces are another tickler for me.

Sure the PR flack was a putz and a power tripper, I can think of about a million people like that, seemingly put on this earth to submit us to the slings and arrows of outrageously small minds. Me, personally, I love an oddball, but if you get a snicker because of the way you CHOSE to look, then oh well. Fit me for a blindfold and a cigarette when I start laughing at people with birth defects.

And for the love of G-D if the guy had kicked out a bunch of Hasids we'd really have something going here. Goths are not a religious or ethnic group, really, for real. That is by far the wackiest thought of the day. Personally I tolerate the fuck out of everyone, hell I even LIKE people.

And yes, some goth girls are incredibly cute, coins all have two sides, thank the Dark Lord.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:21 AM on May 18, 2005


I normally try to stay out of MetaTalk discussions like this one, but I want to thank MegoSteve for making this post. For years, part of what I've enjoyed about Metafilter (and the reason I felt that I should continue to seek out ways to contribute) was that I felt the level of discourse was roughly on the level of a somewhat drunken 2-am college party -- the kind of party where most everyone has gone home and its just a few friends sitting around in the kitchen or on the stairs and shooting the shit about the events of the day and fun facts of the weird, weird world. Yes, some things were mocked, but in general it was an intellegent mocking that was done with some level of intelligence and respect for the fact that we're all the subjects of mockery for someone.

Lately, however, I find that the level of discourse on MeFi has dropped down to about the level of a high-school (or perhaps even Junior high) cafeteria (see also the comments on the How To Destroy An American Soldier post today for more examples of this). There was a time here where you might have to defend your ideas with some level of vigor, but you could feel confident that as long as you were able to do so, your worth as a person would not be questioned.

The behavior I've seen recently is somewhat different -- its a tone of "lets make fun of people we think are stupid" that, frankly, disturbs me to the point where it makes me embarrassed for the site. Its an elitist tone ("heh, Goths are stupid" "heh, people who use livejournal are all stupid") and a basic lack of respect for other humans that seems more appropriate for Fark than this site. Not to mention the fact that many of the commenters present their position in such a way that it makes me think that they couldn't muster up a decent defense of their position if they tried.

For the first time, I realize why so many long-time contributors are leaving the site. The one thing that has never been "cool" on MeFi is being ignorant and unapologetic about your ignorance. This seems to be changing. You can find a high school cafeteria level of discourse anywhere on the web, why come here for it?
posted by anastasiav at 7:22 AM on May 18, 2005


Sometimes I wonder what's wrong. I can read most of the stuff that gets called out in MetaTalk without getting offended. And you know what... I'm a wimp.
posted by Termite at 7:24 AM on May 18, 2005


At least they're not Furries.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:25 AM on May 18, 2005


So...we have a MeFi and a MeTa thread where the Vandals make fun of the Goths?

I guess I should be glad I sided with the Mongols...
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:33 AM on May 18, 2005


Many of youse were Bromley wannabes at one point or another, anyhoo.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:38 AM on May 18, 2005


"You can find a high school cafeteria level of discourse anywhere on the web, why come here for it?"

Because this is the magnet school. ;-P
posted by mischief at 7:43 AM on May 18, 2005


Termite: you're not wrong. Being able to read Metafilter without feeling the need to bitch and whine about how offensive/distasteful/Metafilterically Incorrect you find it is a sign of being a well-balanced individual with a broad mind and a skin of normal thickness. Be happy!

Right now I'm pissed off because I keep trying to start a thread taking the piss out of MetaTalk whiners and it never seems to take off. I think I might have to post to MetaTalk about that once I stop crying.
posted by Decani at 7:43 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: the magnet school of high-school-cafeteria–level discourse on the web
posted by grouse at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2005


Thanks, anastasiav. I've gotten too weary to even try to make that eloquent a comment about what's happening to MeFi, so I appreciate your doing it. And no, it hasn't "always been this way." There used to be clever snarking, now there's rote assholery. No, it's not life-threatening, but it's a shame.
posted by languagehat at 7:58 AM on May 18, 2005


The post-modern tyrant wears a jester's cap and bells. If you get a little out of line, he will pull faces behind your back and hold you up to ridicule. If you are a little strange, a little fragile, a little careless in your choice of whom to confide in and how to do so, he will be merciless.

That MeFites should snark at each other - why not. They should know what to expect, and should be able to deal with it. That two or three times a week, some lost soul who is not of their number and who has never asked to be, should be paraded for their amusement, to be the butt of their wit, reminds me of the way in which our ancestors would visit Bethlehem for a treat.

You are, I gather, very attached to the idea of freedom of expression. Each time MeFi unleashes its hounds upon someone whose use of the internet makes them an object of their attention, that freedom takes a small but measurable denting.

And I agree with what anastaslav said about the American Soldier post, which was a wretched, tasteless intrusion into a space which should be no concern of ours.
posted by TimothyMason at 8:04 AM on May 18, 2005


MeFi is becoming Fark, simple as that. And it sucks, because Fark sucks.

Go back to Fark, fuckers.
posted by tr33hggr at 8:14 AM on May 18, 2005


Well it proves keswick and kjh are idiots. Picking on goths is almost as tacky as picking on hipsters.

Then what the hell was the point of the post? This happens all the time.... someone posts something to the blue with every intent to have it be a thread where everyone can make fun of whoever. Then it happens, as it should, as was planned. Then someone gets all outraged and brings it to Meta.

If making fun of goths (or at least the "goths" in the link) is so wrong, then what was the point of the post? Please tell me. Jesus.
posted by Witty at 8:15 AM on May 18, 2005


Thanks, anastasiav. I've gotten too weary to even try to make that eloquent a comment about what's happening to MeFi, so I appreciate your doing it. And no, it hasn't "always been this way." There used to be clever snarking, now there's rote assholery. No, it's not life-threatening, but it's a shame.

same thought from me. I have definitely found myself less drawn to the front page in recent times - when I need a fix I mostly swing by AskMe. Reading old threads is almost depressing because we really did used to have some very smart conversations. I'm glad matt got his tv & all, but I think the slow pace of expansion (and I waited in frustration for months myself until sign-ups reopened) used to be a good thing for this place...
posted by mdn at 8:17 AM on May 18, 2005


Go back to Fark, fuckers.

You don't like our kind in these parts, sherriff?
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on May 18, 2005


You don't like our kind in these parts, sherriff?

Not so much, but thanks for asking. That's why I don't visit Fark.

But "sherriff" [sic]? Seriously, pot, kettle, whatever.
posted by tr33hggr at 8:20 AM on May 18, 2005



posted by Divine_Wino at 8:27 AM on May 18, 2005


I'm all for mocking goths and all, but man, most of you people just sound old, boring and cranky in that thread.
posted by cmonkey at 8:31 AM on May 18, 2005


Witty --

This happens all the time.... someone posts something to the blue with every intent to have it be a thread where everyone can make fun of whoever.

Well actually no. I posted this, not just because of the irony of the situation, but also in a small way it indicates that there is always a gap between the personal understanding of something and the thing itself. The PR guy seemed to have his own issues about something but decided to play them out as the official word. The fact that the thread went on to prove the point added an extra layer of irony. But then as I said halfway down the thread page, I'm sorry I posted it in the first place.

My mistake was probably not giving an opinion with the original post. But then I would have been criticised for suggesting how people should think.
posted by feelinglistless at 8:35 AM on May 18, 2005


"Let's Have A War"

[Chorus:]
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many [x2]
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many

Let's have a war
So you can go and die!
Let's have a war!
We could all use the money!
Let's have a war!
We need the space!
Let's have a war!
Clean out this place!

It already started in the city!
Suburbia will be just as easy!

[Chorus]

Let's have a war!
Jack up the Dow Jones!
Let's have a war!
It can start in New Jersey!
Let's have a war!
Blame it on the middle-class!
Let's have a war!
We're like rats in a cage!

It already started in the city!
Suburbia will be just as easy!

[Chorus]

Let's have a war!
Sell the rights to the networks!
Let's have a war!
Let our wallets get fat like last time!
Let's have a war!
Give guns to the queers!
Let's have a war!
The enemy's within!

It already started in the city!
Suburbia will be just as easy!

[Chorus x2]
posted by tr33hggr at 8:37 AM on May 18, 2005


tr33hugger: c'mon, you don't think that basically telling people "Go back where you came from, scum!" is damaging to discourse?

I like having a lot of different views and styles here. Maybe you feel differently.
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM on May 18, 2005


peppered with the same tiresome jokes about pancakes and new Metafilter taglines repeated endlessly by new people who are trying desperately to fit in.

Steve nails it.
posted by dios at 8:39 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: Steve nails it.
posted by blag at 8:45 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: Metafilter: Steve nails it.
posted by keswick at 8:55 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter is one of my favorite web sites, but I'm becoming less and less inclined to click on the comments button just because I know I'll be met by people who are less interested in commenting on the content of a post with some thought than they are in building up their own egos by tearing other people down

Good posts engender good discourse. Bad posts engender bad discourse. Yes, you can find exceptions on both sides, but it still holds as a general rule. You can generally tell from a post what kind of discussion is going on inside without looking inside. Did it really surprise you that there was no serious discussion of the issues in the thread? Exactly what "issues" did you even perceive to be discussed? Or perhaps you expect MeFites to be so exceptionally intelligent that they can find weighty issues of the day to discuss even out of crap posts? Sorry to disappoint you. We're humans, not gods.

Lately, however, I find that the level of discourse on MeFi has dropped down to about the level of a high-school (or perhaps even Junior high) cafeteria

If the quality of discourse is dropping, it's because the quality of posts is dropping.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:56 AM on May 18, 2005


The behavior I've seen recently is somewhat different -- its a tone of "lets make fun of people we think are stupid" that, frankly, disturbs me to the point where it makes me embarrassed for the site. Its an elitist tone

It's always been that way. You can read thread after thread making fun of the south, or christians, and many of those comments are just snarks. Where were your complaints then? Or perhaps you agreed with those attitudes, but not the new ones.

For the first time, I realize why so many long-time contributors are leaving the site.

It may be the first time for you, but your comment has been so popular in the past it's practically a cliche. Long time contributors are always leaving. The chicken syndrome attitude is alive and well. Four years from now if matt decides to keep mefi running someone will be saddened by departing members.

And yes, some goth girls are incredibly cute, coins all have two sides, thank the Dark Lord.

Just because some cute girls decide to become goth. Take a hundred girls and cover them in ravioli and a few will still be cute. It ain't 'cus of the pasta.
posted by justgary at 8:59 AM on May 18, 2005


It's always been that way. You can read thread after thread making fun of the south, or christians, and many of those comments are just snarks. Where were your complaints then? Or perhaps you agreed with those attitudes, but not the new ones.

We have a winner!

This whole thread basically amounts to: making fun of a group most mefites hate=good, making fun of a group most mefites feel affection toward=bad.

Dress it up however you want, but still looks like hypocrisy to me.
posted by jonmc at 9:07 AM on May 18, 2005


I say we dress it up in fusilli, that is a sexy fuckin pasta.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:08 AM on May 18, 2005


There used to be clever snarking, now there's rote assholery.

I blame all the folks who do the "______ wins" comments and all the people who make snarky comments in order to "win" a thread. Whatever the fuck that means. It makes every snark a contest entry and everyone thinks they can win.
posted by sciurus at 9:15 AM on May 18, 2005


Everyone really does get mocked and derided here--from fundies to rednecks to goths to furries to hippies to trekkies to wingnuts to us fags to whoever is the web's/tv's stupid video du jour person--celebs on trial, the Runaway Bride, the Star Wars kid, Ellen whatshername from the Apple commercials, Mahir, that dj guy with one eyebrow, the guy who played the organ(?) with his penis...)
posted by amberglow at 9:19 AM on May 18, 2005


as they should be amberglow, there's plenty that's mock-worthy about all of those groups and just about every other. But when it's our particular affinity group that's up on the chopping block, we get all whiny. And I'm as guilty as anyone. But as far as I'm concerned, either everybody's fair game or nobody is.
posted by jonmc at 9:26 AM on May 18, 2005


Witty : " If making fun of goths (or at least the 'goths' in the link) is so wrong, then what was the point of the post? Please tell me. Jesus."

It was an ironic news item: goths being kicked out of a screening for a movie by a goth director. That was the point.

And stop calling me Jesus.

DevilsAdvocate : "Did it really surprise you that there was no serious discussion of the issues in the thread?"

No. But I didn't expect "it's good for bad things to happen to people who dress funny" either. I expected, I dunno, a few jokes about goths (but not saying "they deserved it", just regular derision), a few comments by people about how obnoxious PR firms are, maybe a bit of discussion about how Burton probably isn't really "goth" anymore, an anecdote from some other member about being kicked out of a screening, and that's about it. Maybe a 10 comment post, max.
posted by Bugbread at 9:36 AM on May 18, 2005


It was an ironic news item: goths being kicked out of a screening for a movie by a goth director. That was the point.

Ahh... I see. So basically you're saying there was NO point. If that was the point of the post, then it shouldn't have been posted. Who cares? I guess we were just supposed to see the irony and move on to the next topic. Wheeee! Fun. Let's talk about irony and it's usage as a literary tool. Let's break it down.

Maybe a 10 comment post, max.

Well, it looks like you were wrong. Join the club. People have a lot of fun to be makin' about goths. That's just the way it is. But at least you've learned something.

bugbread, I'll see YOU in the "let's make fun of Star Wars geeks" thread... sure to be waiting for us by the end of the week.
posted by Witty at 9:49 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: Everyone really does get mocked and derided here
posted by keswick at 9:51 AM on May 18, 2005


Point taken jonmc. I think at the end of the day we often agree, though we take different roads to get there.
posted by tr33hggr at 9:55 AM on May 18, 2005


peppered with the same tiresome jokes about pancakes and new Metafilter taglines repeated endlessly by new people who are trying desperately to fit in. It's become less about the best of the web and more about who can zing whom with the snappiest sitcom putdown.

Metafilter: conformists!!!

There are some great discussions on mefi, but they come about only in compelling threds. I mean, what kind of commentary do you expect in a thread about some funny flash page?

The post was weak, there wasn't much "signal" there.
posted by delmoi at 9:57 AM on May 18, 2005


Witty : " bugbread, I'll see YOU in the 'let's make fun of Star Wars geeks' thread... sure to be waiting for us by the end of the week."

I'll be there. Look through my posts in the thread again: I have no problem with making fun of people. It's the "it's great that bad things happen to people I don't like" part that gets me.

Witty : " Ahh... I see. So basically you're saying there was NO point. If that was the point of the post, then it shouldn't have been posted. Who cares? I guess we were just supposed to see the irony and move on to the next topic. Wheeee! Fun."

Metafilter is a link site first, a discussion site later. Not all posts are about "engendering deep discussion". Why shouldn't it be posted if there wasn't a "point"? I suppose the lion mutilating 42 midgets post was also pointless and shouldn't have been posted? Maybe you should take that to mathowie and get the poster rebuked.
posted by Bugbread at 10:05 AM on May 18, 2005


1) be different
2) kindall laughs at you
3) ???
4) no, really?


Looking different is not the same as being different, especially when you choose to look different. Different is something you are, not something you choose.

And clothing is for keeping you warm, preventing your arrest for indecent exposure, and for allowing you to get and keep a job so you can eat. Buying different stuff from what I buy is not an actual means of self-expression.
posted by kindall at 10:13 AM on May 18, 2005


kindall : " And clothing is for keeping you warm, preventing your arrest for indecent exposure, and for allowing you to get and keep a job so you can eat. Buying different stuff from what I buy is not an actual means of self-expression."

Why?
posted by Bugbread at 10:16 AM on May 18, 2005


celebs on trial, the Runaway Bride, the Star Wars kid, Ellen whatshername from the Apple commercials, Mahir, that dj guy with one eyebrow, the guy who played the organ(?) with his penis...)

the mulefucker. never forget the mulefucker.
posted by mr.marx at 10:26 AM on May 18, 2005


bugbread - I don't have a problem with the post or the resulting thread... I just don't care (for the most part). And I agree with you that Mefi is a link site first, discussion site later. But the line is SUPERFINE. It doesn't take much effort to start a "discussion", about anything. You're basically asking the lot of us to not say anything at all, since there was no hope of a quality discussion in the first place. The post didn't warrant a quality discussion and it didn't get one.

You're also assuming that I think the link shouldn't have been posted because there's no point. That's not what I said. But if there's no point, other than "look at the irony", then don't blame the collective for deciding that the actual point of the thread will be about making fun of goths.


posted by Witty at 10:31 AM on May 18, 2005


Buying different stuff from what I buy is not an actual means of self-expression.
You're wrong, kin--it totally is. Choosing to look any certain way is completely self-expression (whether conformist or non-).

and, mr. marx--you're right--how could i forget the GOP mulefucker? ; >
posted by amberglow at 10:37 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: Taglines repeated endlessly by new people trying desperately to fit in.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:38 AM on May 18, 2005


kindall: And clothing is for keeping you warm, preventing your arrest for indecent exposure, and for allowing you to get and keep a job so you can eat. Buying different stuff from what I buy is not an actual means of self-expression.

bugbread:Why?

Well because kindall the almighty said so, obviously.
posted by raedyn at 10:40 AM on May 18, 2005


Let's shut up about the goths so we can get back to making fun of fat people like God intended.

Or at least just make fun of fat goths.
posted by darukaru at 10:40 AM on May 18, 2005


Witty : "You're basically asking the lot of us to not say anything at all, since there was no hope of a quality discussion in the first place...But if there's no point, other than 'look at the irony', then don't blame the collective for deciding that the actual point of the thread will be about making fun of goths."

I'm not making myself clear.

I'm not asking you to say nothing at all. Post 100 comments making fun of goths. Fine with me.
I'm not blaming the collective for deciding the point of the thread is making fun of goths. Fine with me.

The part I am disappointed with are the posts saying that they basically deserved it, for being goths.

I'll make fun of Nascar fans all day long, if something amusing and Nascar-related comes up. But if someone gets prevented from entering a McDonalds for wearing a Nascar shirt, I won't say, "Ha! Serves him right for liking Nascar!" That's the point of contention: I don't hope that people don't make fun of other people. I just hope that people have the decency to draw the line between thinking "That guy dresses like an idiot" and "I'm glad bad things happen to him, because he dresses like an idiot."

And I raise you:

posted by Bugbread at 10:44 AM on May 18, 2005


what's the deal with nascar? i watched it on tv in my hotel room last week and it was pretty interesting. same kind of tactical issues as formula 1, with when to take pitstops etc.

i also watched basketball for the first time ever. steve nash is pretty good, right?
posted by andrew cooke at 10:53 AM on May 18, 2005


Oh no...
posted by Witty at 10:59 AM on May 18, 2005


*still laughing at Azrael*
posted by schyler523 at 11:04 AM on May 18, 2005


kindall, the idea that you think you can look at somebody and know they're not really different, they just look different says far more about you a than it says about them. I suppose it's just basic human nature to ridicule those who are different. Doing it on the internet where there is no threat of retaliation must be even more of a thrill. Still, you'd like to think adults could rise above it.

And justgary, as for mocking Christians nobody mocks Christian culture. People mock Christian ideas or positions on, say, evolution. Attacking stupid ideas is a time-honored MeFi tradition. So, no, it's not the same thing at all. Saying Christians are ridiculed on MeFi "all the time" is just false.
posted by nixerman at 11:09 AM on May 18, 2005


So, no, it's not the same thing at all.

Keep telling yourself that. I know it's important to you that you think of yourself as an exception to human nature, so that's one way to keep the illusion alive.
posted by jonmc at 11:11 AM on May 18, 2005


the whiny equation of goth snark to fratboyism, and the excellent coinage of "abercrombic" in said whiny equation - gold, pure gold.

For what it's worth, that Goth thread and CunningLinguist's review of it finally made me look up who the vacuous morons were that did that ubiquitous, jingle-like pile-a-shit tune from a couple years ago that went:

New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits,
Chinese food makes me sick
And I think it's fly when girls stop by for the summer (for the summer)
I like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch


Man, every time I heard that song it embedded in my skull for like a week. Give me an MRI, and I bet there's a little dead zone down near the hippocampus carved out by that song. And when I die, the pathologist will come out to my grieving grandkids and say, "See that little white spot right there? That's a unique kind of tumour caused by certain kinds of carcinogenic pop culture. We call it an abercrombic tumour. We believe your grandfather's was caused by a novelty pop song that was inescapable around the turn of the century. We see a lot of people his age with that kind of growth."

And now I know that song was called "Summer Girls" and it was by some evil conglomerate called LFO. Which'll be helpful when I have to fill out the hospital admitting forms.

So, you know, this wasn't all a total loss.
posted by gompa at 11:13 AM on May 18, 2005


I just hope that people have the decency to draw the line between thinking "That guy dresses like an idiot" and "I'm glad bad things happen to him, because he dresses like an idiot."

I think that line is "Businesses and events can have dress codes, because clothes can be changed."
posted by 23skidoo at 11:20 AM on May 18, 2005


gompa: my abercrombic tumor had gone into remission, but now it's back. I hope you are satisfied.
posted by jonmc at 11:23 AM on May 18, 2005


So basically when a group of people goes to extraordinary means to adopt a style of dress, mentality, and culture that basically screams "Notice me, dammit", the only acceptable response is, oh, good for you. I guess the same goes for anarchists and eviscerated cows floating in formaldehyde - you bastard, you are hurting their feelings....

Give me a break.
posted by docpops at 11:24 AM on May 18, 2005


Well jonmc, I supposeif you're a skinny little white boy who's unhappy with his own appearance then yes, the idea that people would dare to be different would just be intolerable. The belief that everyone is equally worthless would be a powerful sedative. But as you said yourself, just because you believe it doesn't make it as true.

The point remains that MeFi shouldn't be the kind of place where people are ridiculed for the way they dress or talk rather than for the ideas they hold or their actions in the world. A while ago some guy went on about judging people for the "content of their character" or something like that. I'd google it, but...
posted by nixerman at 11:26 AM on May 18, 2005


I think that line is "Businesses and events can have dress codes, because clothes can be changed."

Sure, you can have a dress code, but it would make more sense to state that on the invitation than to make it up at the event.
posted by anapestic at 11:27 AM on May 18, 2005


Goths are alright, but what is it with these Harry Potter wannabes?! ;-P
posted by mischief at 11:33 AM on May 18, 2005


Interesting leap you made there, nixerman. I just challenged your assertion that making fun of christians et al was somehow fundamentally different from making fun of goths, which it isn't ultimately. But your response is revealing. and predictably hubristic, overweening, and boring.

Well jonmc, I supposeif you're a skinny little white boy...judging people for the "content of their character" or something like that.

Irony. It's good for the blood. Not to mention comparing mocking somebody's clothes or haircut to what black people go through is hubris of the worst kind.
posted by jonmc at 11:34 AM on May 18, 2005



posted by dodgygeezer at 11:35 AM on May 18, 2005



I blame all the folks who do the "______ wins" comments and all the people who make snarky comments in order to "win" a thread. Whatever the fuck that means. It makes every snark a contest entry and everyone thinks they can win.


I'm with you sciurus. Bugs the shit out of me.
posted by me3dia at 11:35 AM on May 18, 2005


that basically screams "Notice me, dammit"

that's your take on things. and it, in turn, screams out "old fart". i mean, why ascribe intentions that then you get you all riled up? unclench a little. live and let live.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:35 AM on May 18, 2005


Anapestic, you thief. You took the words right out of my mouth.
posted by Bugbread at 11:36 AM on May 18, 2005


My head hurts.
posted by Specklet at 11:41 AM on May 18, 2005


Sure, you can have a dress code, but it would make more sense to state that on the invitation than to make it up at the event.

Why would that make more sense? It's not like the business/event in this case is really getting hurt by 2 goths not getting to see the movie. It's certainly nicer, but it doesn't make less sense than not allowing people in who don't abide by your dress code.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:43 AM on May 18, 2005


Believe me, I am the embodiment of live and let live. I revel in the notion that all people get a chance to find their place in things, be it the guy building bottle-cap and tinfoil cities in his backyard after work or anyone else. It doesn't mean I'm not allowed to be bemused by someone who still feels the need to dress up in fantasy wear as an escape. This entire, disingenuous thread is a bunch of sanctimonious prigs taking to task people who have a sense of humor and trying to equate them with being judgemental, out-of-touch monoculturists.
posted by docpops at 11:44 AM on May 18, 2005


wanker
posted by cmonkey at 11:45 AM on May 18, 2005


The most interesting thing about that thread is how it brought out the lurkers to all "Tut-tut" at people for having the audacity to have an opinion about some aging goths.
posted by fenriq at 11:48 AM on May 18, 2005


I love deconstructing the lyrics to Summer Girls by the Lite Funky Ones. Never has the use of rhyme and meter been so exquisite.

New Kids On The Block had a lot of hits,
Chinese food makes me sick...


The melding of a previous all-male popular beat combo with the tragedy of one man's inability to digest chow mein tugs at one's heartstrings.

Anyone want to give this lot a try?

Hip Hop Marmalade spic And span,
Met you one summer and it all began
Your the best girl that I ever did see,
The great Larry Bird Jersey 33
When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet
Billy Shakespere wrote a whole bunch of sonnets
Call me Willy Whistle cause I can't speak baby
Sumthin in your eyes went and drove me crazy
Now I can't forget you and it makes me mad,
Left one day and never came back
Stayed all summer then went back home,
Macauly Culkin wasn't Home Alone
Fell deep in love,but now we ain't speakin
Michael J Fox was Alex P Keaton
When I met you I said my name was Rich
You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch

posted by longbaugh at 11:52 AM on May 18, 2005


An undocumented dress code isn't much use. Life doesn't need to be any more like Mao than it already is.
posted by cortex at 11:56 AM on May 18, 2005


I love the Goths, but I reserve the right to chuckle at people. As a rule, I think crossdressers and drag queens are kicky, too, but I'll laugh if you're a 6ft 200 lb 40 year old guy trying to look like Britney Spears.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:01 PM on May 18, 2005


octobersurprise,

that just shows what a shallow, critical, self-loathing crust of a human you are...
posted by docpops at 12:16 PM on May 18, 2005


"I'll laugh if you're a 6ft 200 lb 40 year old guy trying to look like Britney Spears."

You should see my Doctor Ruth routine.
posted by mischief at 12:16 PM on May 18, 2005


Why would that make more sense? It's not like the business/event in this case is really getting hurt by 2 goths not getting to see the movie. It's certainly nicer, but it doesn't make less sense than not allowing people in who don't abide by your dress code.

It makes more sense because you don't have people showing up in inappropriate dress, causing your staff to behave like security guards and causing a disruptive scene, as happened in this instance.

If, indeed, the dress was inappropriate. It sounds more like somebody from the PR firm saw something that he thought wouldn't look good in a picture that might get into print and made up the rule on the fly.
posted by anapestic at 12:17 PM on May 18, 2005


Erm, I got confused somewhere up the thread. Did we agree if it's ok to mock goths? Better still, could someone produce an "OK to mock" / "Not OK to mock" list? I mean, Abercrombic fratboys are obviously fair game, but what if they're gay? Or Jewish? Or if one of us is, in fact, a fratboy? Then it gets tricky.

Nixerman made a decent point about not mocking people for how they look but for how they act. So, now I'm mocking them for producing a whiny, badly-written open letter to a fucking director complaining about how they were refused entry for looking a bit different. To the aging goths, the irate members of this thread and the original poster: there are important things happening in the world, things worth getting outraged over. Things worth fighting and kicking against. This isn't one of them.

Oh yeah, and:



/everyone else: folds.
posted by blag at 12:27 PM on May 18, 2005


Nixerman made a decent point about not mocking people for how they look but for how they act.

and then a few minutes later broke his own rule.

*smirks*
posted by jonmc at 12:32 PM on May 18, 2005


jonmc : "Nixerman made a decent point about not mocking people for how they look but for how they act.

"and then a few minutes later broke his own rule."


Doesn't make it a bad point, per se. This isn't a contest.
posted by Bugbread at 12:38 PM on May 18, 2005



So basically when a group of people goes to extraordinary means to adopt a style of dress, mentality, and culture that basically screams "Notice me, dammit", the only acceptable response is, oh, good for you. I guess the same goes for anarchists and eviscerated cows floating in formaldehyde - you bastard, you are hurting their feelings...


Fuck you, docpops, if you can't read....No one is saying this. Hell, just about everyone who has criticized the initial "ha ha, they had it coming" attitude in that thread has been explicit that there's no problem with making fun of goths. The thing that rubs us the wrong way, I think, is that this attitude supports the petty dictatorial behavior of some Napoleonic little marketing pissant.

Now, I personally didn't think this issue rose to the level of a Metatalk call-out; it seemed to me that the pro-pissant crowd was sufficiently told off in the original thread. Apparently, though, y'all didn't get it. I couldn't care less about the tender emotional sensibilities of my gothic brothers and sisters, but it pisses me off to see my MeFi community take the side of the Man....

And while I'm here:

The level of aggrieved outrage, the delicious attempt to compare goths to Hasidim, the whiny equation of goth snark to fratboyism, and the excellent coinage of "abercrombic" in said whiny equation - gold, pure gold.

Sorry, CunningLiguist, if you though my post in that thread was "whiny". Let me try to restate my point in a way that you might find to be more blunt and assertive: Dress codes are for assholes. People who care about what the guy next to them in the movie theater is wearing are assholes. (Why the fuck would you care about this? I find it mind-boggling.) PR flacks who assert that some second-rate free screening of their second-rate Hollywood family-fare would-be-but-no-way-in-hell-will-be blockbuster is their "private party" from which they can exclude ticketholders for wearing fucking eyeliner are assholes.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:40 PM on May 18, 2005


that just shows what a shallow, critical, self-loathing crust of a human you are

Perhaps. You're the doctor.

I wouldn't have turned them away and I'm sorry they missed their movie. The manager is a pinhead. But I'll suggest that the humor in Goths isn't the way they dress--I love costumes, personally--but how seriously some of them take themselves.

Lines like “A costumed event?” I said, “These people are Goths, they dress this way every day” are funny because they're incongruous. I'd chuckle at a Polo-shirted Preppie at a Wumpscut show, too.

You should see my Doctor Ruth routine.

Your hands, right? Your hands give you away?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:43 PM on May 18, 2005


kindall, the idea that you think you can look at somebody and know they're not really different, they just look different says far more about you a than it says about them.

Yes... it says that I have lived long enough to figure out that people are basically the same, regardless of their outward appearance.
posted by kindall at 12:56 PM on May 18, 2005


Uh, October, I was kidding. I didn't know a suitably asinine emoticon to indicate that but thought my previous posts would suffice. Sorry for that.
posted by docpops at 1:04 PM on May 18, 2005


The thing that rubs us the wrong way, I think, is that this attitude supports the petty dictatorial behavior of some Napoleonic little marketing pissant.


No, mr_roboto, making fun of the/a Goth doesn't support anyone. We simply could give a shit that he was denied admission and wanted a forum to poke fun at people that own more pancake make-up than Ringling Brothers.
posted by docpops at 1:09 PM on May 18, 2005


Now they should have shown up at the theater looking like this: That would be cool.



No worries, Doc. If you'd added "lazy" to that list, I might've mistaken you for an ex-girlfriend.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:16 PM on May 18, 2005


No, mr_roboto, making fun of the/a Goth doesn't support anyone.

I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT MAKING FUN OF GOTHS. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT. MY PROBLEM IS WITH "I only wish more cinemas were discriminating" ET AL., WHICH EXPLICITLY SUPPORT THE DECISION OF THE PISSANT LITTLE MARKETING PRICK. FUCK THAT SHIT.

Sorry for shouting. Is this just a bullshit distinction? Why are people not getting it?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:18 PM on May 18, 2005


mr_roboto: I think that most people:

1) Feel it's ok to mock anyone for any reason

2) Feel it is NOT ok to bar them from an event for that same reason.

~Hell is other people~
posted by schyler523 at 1:22 PM on May 18, 2005


UH_OH THE_DOG_PIRATE IS TALKING THE CAPS_PANCAKE> THE FRENCH_HORN IZ HUMPING THE DECIMAL POINTZ.
posted by docpops at 1:24 PM on May 18, 2005


/everyone else: folds.
Yeah. I only had a pair of 3s anyway.

shit.
posted by Doohickie at 1:26 PM on May 18, 2005


I think you are making a valid point, mr.robato. But I'm not one of the people defending the mocking and the behaviour of the marketing dude.
posted by raedyn at 1:35 PM on May 18, 2005


This entire, disingenuous thread is a bunch of sanctimonious prigs taking to task people who have a sense of humor and trying to equate them with being judgemental, out-of-touch monoculturists.


I heart docpops.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:35 PM on May 18, 2005


octobersurprise: It's like Eddie Izzard and Bozo had a child. Chilling...
posted by Cyrano at 1:42 PM on May 18, 2005


Believe me, I am the embodiment of live and let live..... This entire, disingenuous thread is a bunch of sanctimonious prigs taking to task people who have a sense of humor and trying to equate them with being judgemental, out-of-touch monoculturists.

i don't think so. i too, argue with people, ridicule them sometimes, laugh at them. but i stop when it's clear i'm not alone. when a group of people all start saying the same thing it makes me uneasy. one on one is fine. i'm happy to argue my case. but when i become part of a mob laughing at something i back off. i don't defend it. i feel ashamed.

there's a difference between you, as an individual, finding something amusing, and you, as a constituent member of a mefi lynch mob, making snide comments and then defending your action under "diversity".

it's ugly. you're ugly. you know it and you should be ashamed.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:47 PM on May 18, 2005


No, I'm with you too, mr_roboto. I think it's just a matter of people who disagree conveniently ignoring that side of the argument. Easier to win an argument if you misrepresent the opposition.
posted by Bugbread at 1:48 PM on May 18, 2005




Good heavens, Joel Grey has really let himself go to hell.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:51 PM on May 18, 2005


It is Ugly.

I am Ugly.

We are ugly.

You (formal) are ugly.

I am in a shame spiral and should be killed.
posted by docpops at 1:55 PM on May 18, 2005


so you can't answer the argument?

come on, old man, we're waiting.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:03 PM on May 18, 2005


i too, argue with people, ridicule them sometimes, laugh at them. but i stop when it's clear i'm not alone. when a group of people all start saying the same thing it makes me uneasy. one on one is fine

Uh, OK. I guess the most glaring oddity in your retort was the bizarre notion that your ethical radar doesn't kick in until a bunch more people echo your behavior. That's just patently eerie. So then your own internal sense of fairness or rightness isn't able to function without the input or lack thereof from the masses? What, exactly, does that say about you?
posted by docpops at 2:07 PM on May 18, 2005


There does seem to be a masterbatory element in snarkiness. Just an observation.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:10 PM on May 18, 2005


yes, which is why, like masturbation, it is oddly cathartic and not everyone admits to occasionally availing themselves of it's healing powers.
posted by docpops at 2:16 PM on May 18, 2005


no, i think there's a difference between one person and a mob. imagine you're on the other side. one person is one person. a mob is terrifying.

ultimately, it comes down to power. that's what you're abusing. one person, alone, has no more power than their own convictions. an angry mob, in contrast, can force their own way through sheer numbers.

that's why society values rights for individuals more than corporations. even in america.

if you're part of a group your responsible for more than your own actions. you're responsible for being part of the pile-on.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:16 PM on May 18, 2005


*snarks one off*
posted by schyler523 at 2:16 PM on May 18, 2005


that's why society values rights for individuals more than corporations. even in america.

Ummm...in America, corporations are people, legally.
posted by schyler523 at 2:18 PM on May 18, 2005


"And I agree with what anastaslav said about the American Soldier post, which was a wretched, tasteless intrusion into a space which should be no concern of ours.
posted by TimothyMason at 8:04 AM PST on May 18 [!]"

TimothyMason-While I agree that a lot of people are acting like jackasses, you do realize that if it's on the internet it's up for critique and criticism. You put something on a publically-accessible venue- everyone can see it. If you don't want anyone to see it, or potentially comment on what you wrote, write in a notebook.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:19 PM on May 18, 2005


Eloquent, and irrelevant. I'm supposed to be contrite, I know, and yet, somehow being equated with a mob, or a corporate behemoth, somehow leaves me feeling more amused than concerned. Your leap of logic is just, to put it clearly, fucking idiotic. But I think you know that and just wanted to make a point, which is fine, but attaching it to the plight of this pallid man-child bleating his spleen on a most public forum leaves you looking all the more ineffectual for having tried.
posted by docpops at 2:32 PM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: Oddly cathartic masturbation.
posted by birdsquared at 2:47 PM on May 18, 2005


This entire, disingenuous thread is a bunch of sanctimonious prigs taking to task people who have a sense of humor and trying to equate them with being judgemental, out-of-touch monoculturists.
posted by docpops at 11:44 AM

One more sanctimonious prig adding her voice because I don't think it is humorous to mock the victim.

I know for many of you, these people were hardly victims and the event hardly earth shattering, but try to don your empathy hats for a moment. They got dressed, arranged for a babysitter, stood in line for an hour and a half and had their evening out spoiled by a jackass for no good reason-- an evening that they were probably looking forward to with great anticipation. It doesn't matter if they were Goths or Gays or Gangstas.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:02 PM on May 18, 2005


who's the Leigh Bowery impersonator, october?

SLOG, many of us in the thread trashed the pr person, and rightly so.
posted by amberglow at 3:11 PM on May 18, 2005


The goth gay gangstas would get SO pwned by the pirate ninja robots.
posted by yhbc at 3:12 PM on May 18, 2005


I hate Marilyn Manson fans. Are they goths or not?
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 3:15 PM on May 18, 2005


I present you with Anarchist Vampire. Two great tastes that taste great together!
posted by darukaru at 3:21 PM on May 18, 2005


try to don your empathy hats for a moment

Forget it. They think empathy is for suckers.
posted by languagehat at 3:21 PM on May 18, 2005


This entire, disingenuous thread is a bunch of sanctimonious prigs taking to task people who have a sense of humor and trying to equate them with being judgemental, out-of-touch monoculturists.

Very well put.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:02 PM on May 18, 2005


Largely inaccurate.
posted by Bugbread at 4:12 PM on May 18, 2005


Utterly irrelevant.
posted by jonmc at 4:29 PM on May 18, 2005


sciurus wins.
posted by felix betachat at 4:43 PM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: Largely inaccurate and utterly irrelevant.
posted by keswick at 4:45 PM on May 18, 2005


This entire, disingenuous thread is a bunch of sanctimonious prigs taking to task people who have a sense of humor and trying to equate them with being judgemental, out-of-touch monoculturists.

Funny, I don't feel like a sanctimonious prig. I feel like a person who has empathy for my fellow human beings, because I know exactly what I feel like to have a large group of people point and me and laugh out loud because I looked different than they did, and its not a feeling I ever want to have again, or would wish on anyone else.

But, hey, far be it from me to spoil your fun. Clearly some of you need to make fun of other people 'cause it makes you feel better about who you are. But never fear, out there, somewhere, is someone who wants to find your picture on the internet, post it, and then make fun of it.
posted by anastasiav at 5:14 PM on May 18, 2005


MetaFilter: Equal opportunity mockery.

/trying to fit in
posted by deborah at 5:22 PM on May 18, 2005


Clearly some of you need to make fun of other people 'cause it makes you feel better about who you are.

Consider the alternative: an "It's a Good Life World," where nobody's allowed to say that they think someone's style of anything is ridiculous, stupid or wrongheaded. I'll take the snarks over that thank you very much.

I feel like a person who has empathy for my fellow human beings, because I know exactly what I feel like to have a large group of people point and me and laugh

So do I. So do most people. Life sucks. get a helmet. If I post about something I like, I fully expect someone to pop up and say that it's stupid, evil or whatever. And I'll live with that rather than abdicate my right to do the same to them. The world does not exist to feed our self-esteem.
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on May 18, 2005


I'll go even further and say that relentless mockery serves a higher purpose: fighting the smug self-satisfaction that is far more toxic than any casual ball-busting. And most of us are fully willing to take as good as we give.
posted by jonmc at 5:29 PM on May 18, 2005


"Clearly some of you need to make fun of other people 'cause it makes you feel better about who you are."

You say that like it's a bad thing.
/sitcom cliche
posted by mischief at 5:30 PM on May 18, 2005


gompa & jonmc: The only way to beat Summer Girls is to embrace it. Sing along, dance a little, show it the respect that a vindictive god demands and it will leave you in peace

longbaugh: These lyrics are truly one of the greatest poem of our times. A brilliant encapsulation of millenial Western culture, much like T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land evokes post-Great War Europe, except Summer Girls is a lot shorter, and therefore better.
posted by Kattullus at 6:31 PM on May 18, 2005


Kattullus: as you well now, nobody here worships the art of the pop single more than I, but as Mark Kingwell says, it's at the junk food level that standards become most important, and "Summer Girls," perfectly encapsulates everything that's wrong with modern popular music.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on May 18, 2005


Life sucks. get a helmet.

The new MeFi creed.
posted by Carbolic at 6:38 PM on May 18, 2005


Doohickie is a closet fag. You know it's true.
posted by I EAT TAPES at 7:00 PM on May 18, 2005


sure, I EAT ..."TAPES"....
posted by jonmc at 7:06 PM on May 18, 2005


jonmc: I thought The Strokes encapsulated everything that was wrong with popular music!

Oh, and how do you feel about R. Kelly's Ignition (Remix)? Jus' tryin' to figure out whether you'll be up against the wall when the revolution comes... :)
posted by Kattullus at 7:16 PM on May 18, 2005


I've never heard it. I kinda wrote R. Kelly off after "Feelin' On Yo Booty." Not that I have anything against booties or the feeling on thereof, but it didn't quite work as a tender love ballad. Besides, aside from the retro-soul of Jill Scott, D'Angelo, and Erykah Badu, most of what passes itself off as R&B these days is a bad joke.

The Strokes (along with Modest Mouse) encapsulate everything that's wrong with hipster music, so close enough.
posted by jonmc at 7:32 PM on May 18, 2005


Don't goths *like* to be alienated and misunderstood and ridiculed?
posted by c13 at 7:34 PM on May 18, 2005


Don't goths *like* to be alienated and misunderstood and ridiculed?

That, I suspect is why so many people are reacting with derision and mockery to this whole thing. I can almost picture them rejoicing in how their "oppression" has given them honest to god "cred." It validates their veiw of themselves as marginalized outsiders rather than the reality of them as harmless dimwits.
posted by jonmc at 7:39 PM on May 18, 2005


how do you feel about R. Kelly's Ignition (Remix)

I don't know if I love that song more than 'Toxic' but it's pretty damn close.

who's the Leigh Bowery impersonator?

That is Leigh Bowery, Amberglow. That's a picture from the 2004 Sydney Art Festival. I think you're right, though. He looks like an impersonator.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:39 PM on May 18, 2005


anastasiav,

The key to long-term metafilter use is to remember that just because things get bad, doesn't mean that good things don't happen. I think they still happen here more often than many places on the net because of the semi-open nature of the site. The statistics of a larger population means that we have more people at the extremes and certain threads are going to draw them out.

I go through cycles of usage here. I've been more active than I have been in a long time. I am trying to learn things and one of them is self-control. I have very strong opinions and not jumping on somebody because they are being and asshole is something I have struggled with, but I believe that these days it's an important skill.

jonmc makes a good point. He's been knocking folks off pedestals the whole time he's been here. I've been annoyed by it in the past, but he is willing to take as good as he gives. I respect that and grew up in that kind of environment on the streets of Chicago.

So I'm not saying that I like what happened in that thread, but at least now we know another thing that triggers a Meanie Metafilter Meltdown.
posted by john at 8:05 PM on May 18, 2005


From The Leigh Bowery Tribute Website:

31 December 1994 Bowery dies in Middlesex Hospital, London; soon after, he is buried in Australia alongside his mother

Alas, that is not Leigh Bowery but an amazing tribute I would guess.
posted by ltracey at 8:17 PM on May 18, 2005


Plus, there's a lot to be said for disagreing amiably. Some of the posters I have the most fun coversing with (fenriq, loquacious, mdn, mrgrimm, even my old nemesis alexreynolds come to mind) are people I often disagree with, but we all know not to take it personally and we have fun with the back and forth and hopefully learn something. Plus, when we do agree on something, I have absolutely no doubt about their sincerity.

Also, anastasiav, don't take any of this as a personal attack, since i generally enjoy your contributions. I just had to speak my peice on the subject.
posted by jonmc at 8:18 PM on May 18, 2005


That is Leigh Bowery, Amberglow. That's a picture from the 2004 Sydney Art Festival. I think you're right, though. He looks like an impersonator.

I guess it's from later (early 90s?), when he was more respectable. : >
posted by amberglow at 8:21 PM on May 18, 2005


Easy jokes aren't funny.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:33 PM on May 18, 2005


jonmc : "Consider the alternative: an "It's a Good Life World," where nobody's allowed to say that they think someone's style of anything is ridiculous, stupid or wrongheaded....If I post about something I like, I fully expect someone to pop up and say that it's stupid, evil or whatever. And I'll live with that rather than abdicate my right to do the same to them."

Whoa, where's all this "allowed" and "abdicate my right" stuff coming from all of a sudden? Who's talking about forbidding anything??
posted by Bugbread at 8:37 PM on May 18, 2005


Funny, I don't feel like a sanctimonious prig. I feel like a person who has empathy for my fellow human beings

"sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous (sangk't?-mo'ne-?s) pronunciation
adj.

Feigning piety or righteousness."

Okay perhaps that's a little harsh, but you do understand that part of being sanctimonious is not feeling that you're being sanctimonious, right?

Life sucks. get a helmet.

Word.
posted by scarabic at 8:42 PM on May 18, 2005


Some of the posters I have the most fun coversing with (fenriq, loquacious, mdn, mrgrimm, even my old nemesis alexreynolds come to mind) are people I often disagree with, but we all know not to take it personally and we have fun with the back and forth and hopefully learn something.

What jonmc calls a mullet, I call a cry for help.

I keed, I keed.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:43 PM on May 18, 2005


You guys can send all your goths over here to me; I'll take 'em. In fact any non-violent, non-religious fringe element would be just peachy keen. I'm getting bored.
posted by taz at 8:58 PM on May 18, 2005


scarabic writes " Feigning piety or righteousness.'

"Okay perhaps that's a little harsh, but you do understand that part of being sanctimonious is not feeling that you're being sanctimonious, right?"


Er...Doesn't "feigning" indicate that you're well aware that you're not actually feeling pious or righteous? Wouldn't a person who actually feels righteous or pious then, by definition, not be sanctimonious, in that they aren't feigning anything?
posted by Bugbread at 9:05 PM on May 18, 2005


octobersurprise: I don't know if I love that song more than 'Toxic' but it's pretty damn close.

They'll make you a general when the revolution comes.
posted by Kattullus at 9:55 PM on May 18, 2005


octobersurprise writes "I'd chuckle at a Polo-shirted Preppie at a Wumpscut show, too.

"
You should see my Doctor Ruth routine.

"Your hands, right? Your hands give you away?"


Hah! You lose rivet points! :wumpscut: doesn't do shows!

Well, at least not last time I was a regular scenester, which might mean I'm the one out the points. Oh well.

Rudy's probably holed up somewhere with a big jar of peanut butter, falling on Depeche Mode.
posted by ChrisR at 10:23 PM on May 18, 2005


... And I lose Mefi points.

/learns to quote properly for next time.
posted by ChrisR at 10:26 PM on May 18, 2005


For the record, Kattullus, I'm with jonmc on the "Summer Girls" issue. "Hey Ya" is delightful pop candy. Same goes for "Let's Get Retarded" by Black Eyed Peas, "California" by Phantom Planet, Sheryl Crow's "Soak Up the Sun," the first couple of Blink-182 singles, several recent Hot Hot Heat songs and Modest Mouse's "Float On" (reasonable people can sometimes disagree, jonmc) - just to name a few somewhat recent and mainstreamish toe-tappers I'll concede to grooving on.

Whereas that abercrombic stream of verbal diarrhea by LFO is being played on an infinitely repeating loop over the PA at Hell's galleria. And there's nothing redeeming about that.

We now return you to live 83rd round coverage of Goth-Ninja-Pirate Smackdown, with play-by-play provided by bell hooks and Ted Nugent, who are debating the distantly related topic of whether it's All Right to mock people because of their appearance.
posted by gompa at 10:40 PM on May 18, 2005


Life sucks. Get a helmet

Someone should make a t-shirt
posted by Carbolic at 10:47 PM on May 18, 2005


the same tiresome jokes about pancakes and new Metafilter taglines repeated endlessly by new people who are trying desperately to fit in

Who likes pancakes? I like pancakes.
posted by grouse at 11:51 PM on May 18, 2005


"I'll go even further and say that relentless mockery serves a higher purpose: fighting the smug self-satisfaction that is far more toxic than any casual ball-busting. And most of us are fully willing to take as good as we give."

You live in bizarroland, a mirror universe where everyone doesn't have goatees? Hmm. Maybe you do.

And, as john says, it's true that you are admirably this way. But in my universe you're the exception, not the rule. The people I know that relentlessly mock are very self-satisfied (or apparently self-satisfied but inwardly very insecure).

Mayor Curley is a good example. He's caustic and mocking, like you are. (Actually, you're not that caustic and he is notably caustic, which I think is a telling attribute.) But while you are self-critical and accept criticism from others with good grace, Curley is not (outwardly, here) self-critical and does not accept criticism from others. Curley is far more representative of the personality type that I've known that sees itself as a gadfly, tall poppy reaper, scornful. Quonsar is another example. (I'm sure I can think of some example of people that I personally don't have a feud with, but the fact that none come to mind at the moment is relevant to my point, I think and not as much evidence of my bias—although that's certainly involved.)

I've really, really, really come to hate the ironic, I-make-fun-of-everyone, smug (which you aren't, johnmc) attitude so many people have. To me, it really seems like arrested development, the perpetucal I-hate-the-world-and-everyone-is-stupid so many of us had as teenagers (and, believe me, I strongly had that attitude and that disdainful contempt is something I still fight within myself).

I dunno. A lot of tribal stuff like this seems very adolescent to me. Who is mockable, who's not. Blah, blah, blah.

Finally, and here's something I would ask everyone to think about, while the innate/no-choice standard for evaluating what traits are acceptable against which to discriminate is not unreasonable, it's not the rational bright line that many people think it is. There's lots of things that we choose about ourselves that I think most of us would agree should not justify discrimination. Religious belief is a matter of choicce for many of us, does that justify being discriminated against on that basis?

Obviously, it doesn't make any sense to disallow all kinds of discrimination based upon matters of choice. I mean, duh. But some choices should be protected and simply dismissing them as "choices" is simpleminded. Similarly, all innate things shouldn't be protected from being basis for discrimination. Maybe being a murdering sociopath is innate. Doesn't mean we have to tolerate their behavior.

I realize that this line of thinking muddies the waters in the gay rights debate. There, the chief rationale for rights by many activists is the innate argument. But I've long disagreed with this because a) there are people who will assert that they're gay by choice—does that mean it's okay to discriminate against them?; b) the whole cause is better served by a focus on why gayness itself is acceptable and deserving of protection regardless of whether it's a choice or innate; and c) as I say above, there's lots of other things that we protect or should protect that are choices while, similarly, there's lots of things we don't protect because they're innate. Basically, the innate/choice thing is a weak argument.

And so it is here. Any culture/subculture/community both has to (and always will) have standards for behavior. Setting aside the question of whether or not there's some universalist standard for evaluating those standards, as a practical matter it's simply the case that behavior is evaluated as to whether or not the behavior is sufficiently within/near the norm. Is goth dress and behavior acceptable in general US culture terms by that standard? I'd say that it is for many situations, but only barely. Can't we agree on this? Should this be the case? Well, is it acceptable to go to a movie theater in the nude? Should it be? Would you ridicule someone for complaining that they weren't allowed to do so? I don't think I'm very persuaded that anyone here is completely non-judgmental about these sorts of things. You just differ in your judgments.

Making these judgments is a natural part of everyday life. Constructing a worldview around these judgments and making a large part of one's daily behavior the ostentatious making of these judgments is a kind of pathology that is, in my opinion, adolescent and tribal and evidence of an internal insecurity. Being a sort of good-humored gadlfly is not. The presence of self-deprecation and the ability to accept criticism makes a big part of the difference between the former and the latter.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:17 AM on May 19, 2005


"Life sucks. Get a helmet"

Someone should make a t-shirt


And sell it at the Mixed Metaphor Shop?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:19 AM on May 19, 2005


... the innate/no-choice standard for evaluating what traits are acceptable against which to discriminate ...
There are no traits against which it is acceptable to discriminate, which is not to be confused with (good-natured) mockery.
posted by dg at 2:17 AM on May 19, 2005


"There are no traits against which it is acceptable to discriminate..."

Of course there are. Children aren't allowed to own guns. If I cover myself in shit, I'm not allowed in the restaurant. If I'm ugly, you don't want to sleep with me. People who like to hit other people are generally not allowed to do so. We discriminate all the time, it's impossible not to. What it boils down to is deciding what discriminations are "acceptable" (to an individual, a society, a community, whomever) and how those acceptable discriminations are justified. If the discimination isn't acceptable, or the justification doesn't hold under scrutiny, then we say that it's "wrong".

It's sort of odd to me that the it tends to be the case that the people that most strongly oppose discrimination and push tolerance are often relativists who don't seem to understand that relativism implies that agreeing on what to tolerate and what not to tolerate is problematic. A core idea of the vulgar tolerance crowd is "if it does no harm, then it's okay". Which seems pretty reasonable except when you look at it closely. First, what is "harm"? Second, isn't it the case that there are things I want to do and the things you want to do, none of which harm anyone and neither of us, but we can't do them at the same time? So then how do we decide?

I'm a liberal and and very pro-tolerance, but I don't like simple, pat answers because I think that they often don't work and, more importantly, they very often obstruct achieving the very goals that are at the heart of why someone is trying to solve a problem. Simple answers lead to the sort of hypocrisy where it's okay to make fun of rednecks but it's not okay to make fun of goths. Most people go with their gut reaction and then formulate a rationale ex post facto if challenged. Many people come to believe that their rationale isn't after the fact and they are, in fact, very reasonable.

Mefites are going to make fun of and be intolerant of some other kinds of people. Everyone makes fun of some other kinds of people. We're unlikely to decide that it's always wrong because, ultimately, we believe that some people deserve to be made fun of and that doing so serves a rational purpose and therefore the activity itself is rational. I'd be a lot more convinced of the offered rationalizations here for who is and isn't acceptable to made fun of if the conclusions didn't so obviously reflect the metafilter cultural biases. And, I'd be even more sympathetic if I didn't suspect that a lot of the ridicule is not constructive, but pathological and self-indulgently destructive.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:57 AM on May 19, 2005


*head explodes*
posted by dg at 3:26 AM on May 19, 2005


dg wins.

Doohickie is a closet fag. You know it's true.
posted by I EAT TAPES at 7:00 PM PST on May 18 [!]


Huh? Where the hell did that come from?
posted by Doohickie at 5:04 AM on May 19, 2005


Curley is not (outwardly, here) self-critical and does not accept criticism from others.

And you're so willing to take criticism to heart. How many times have people complained about your tendency to turn every comment you make into chapter 18 of Ulysses? And you still do it.

And I've had barely anything to do with this discussion by design. But now you've brought my name into it. You had to try to dress me down tangentally because it didn't work in the other thread. You're nearly as pathetic as that idiot kid who basically has a bunch of insults on her user page. Talking about me in the third-person when I'm likely to overhear is remarkably juvenile.

You can pretend that you're a refined philosopher with a decadent spooge fetish, but you're really still the bitter kid at the bottom of the high school food chain consoling yourself by lying about your mental prowess.

And people who like to point out that they take the high road aren't any better than the people who refuse to take it at all.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:14 AM on May 19, 2005


You'll never find a barrel of monkeys on the high road.

And god knows we all need a barrel of monkeys to play with every now and then.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:53 AM on May 19, 2005


:wumpscut: doesn't do shows!

There ya go, see. I'm a dilettante, not a Goth. True Goths would laugh at me.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:03 AM on May 19, 2005


True Goths would laugh at me.

Goths don't laugh.
posted by c13 at 6:12 AM on May 19, 2005


I stole the "life sucks. get a helmet." from Denis Leary. Just so you know.

Look, I've known plenty of self-described Goths who were terrific people, but it's the whole overriding culture, I'm goofing on. And I'm sure that cultures that I belong to (record geek, metal fan, outer borough new york, former retail worker etc) seem just as goofy to some of you, and as long as you're funny and/or insightful about it, I say mock away.

How many times have people complained about your tendency to turn every comment you make into chapter 18 of Ulysses? And you still do it.

That's actually a sign of EB's good nature to me. It's like he realizes "Yeah, yeah I talk too much, but what the fuck are you gonna do? We are who we are, and all of us have our quirks and flaws and achilles heels. Deal."

but you're really still the bitter kid at the bottom of the high school food chain consoling yourself by lying about your mental prowess.

Freud called it projection, Mayor. I generally like your style, but there you went over the line from good natured teasing to cruelty. But thank you for giving me a great example.
posted by jonmc at 6:35 AM on May 19, 2005


Jesus Christ, Curley, you're pathetic. I used you as an example because you're a good example. Period.

And a revealing thing you clearly don't understand is that tolerating criticism and being good-natured about it is not the same thing as doing whatever people want you to do. I still am relatively longwinded because I think I've struck a good compromise. But I take lots of criticism about it with good humor. You, on the other hand, can't take criticism worth a crap. Your response is always an insult. Basically, from what I've seen here, you're an insecure asshole. Johnmc, for example, isn't. Learn from him.

And I'm beginning to think you have some unhealthy spooge fetish the way you seem to be obsessed with my single offhand comment.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:46 AM on May 19, 2005


"That's actually a sign of EB's good nature to me. It's like he realizes 'Yeah, yeah I talk too much, but what the fuck are you gonna do? We are who we are, and all of us have our quirks and flaws and achilles heels. Deal.'"

As you paraphrase it, I don't think that's a sign of my good nature. What is are a) that I did take some of the criticism to heart last year and reduced the length of my comments; and b) I realize that, even so, I'm still noncomformist in this regard and so I mostly accept further complaints about it with good humor. I don't change further because, yes, it is partly a personality quirk but also I believe I have good reasons for being more, um, comprehensive than most people.

Oh, and to add something my previous comment without writing three-in-a-row; Curley, you're completely wrong in thinking that my bringing you up was some passive/aggressive attempt to insult you because I thought you were "probably reading" this thread. I used you as an example because I think you're a good example of my point and because the recent meta brouhaha had you on mind. Frankly, your paranoid response reeks of narcissism. It's not all about how people love you or hate you, you know. Or maybe you don't.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:54 AM on May 19, 2005


I take lots of criticism about it with good humor. You, on the other hand, can't take criticism worth a crap. Your response is always an insult. Basically, from what I've seen here, you're an insecure asshole. Johnmc, for example, isn't. Learn from him.

This is all true, but I have to point out that there's no h in jonmc. Also, it's abundantly clear by now that the Mayor has no interest in learning anything. He likes himself just the way he is. If nobody else likes him, so much the worse for them. The chip on his shoulder has become the house he lives in.
posted by languagehat at 6:56 AM on May 19, 2005


Woops. Thanks for the correction. It's so embarassing to misspell someone's name.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:11 AM on May 19, 2005


Did anyone ever read the context of the original thread? It was a test screening! These people want the most generic, "normal"-looking cross-section of the population they can get. If it's in a large city, they might have a film crew taking reaction shots of people leaving the film ("We love Willy Wonka! I was scared of the candy man! Woooo!") In general, they're trying to impress every person in the theater and get them to go out and recruit their friends. Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Goth are NOT a target market. PR guy quickly weighs the positives (wacky dressers make encourage their friends!) to the negatives (wacky dressers may discourage others from telling friends about the movie, other people may have more friends!) and decides to not let them in. It's not that hard to figure out. If the MeFi thread has shown us anything, it's that the public at large doesn't want anyone different-looking around -- they're just trying to get attention!

If this had been a little over a decade ago and the couple was wearing open flannel shirts, jeans, and chuck taylors, they probably would have made it in, since that was a popular "costume" at the time. They'd still let them in like that, because it's less flamboyant and deviates from the norms of society a lot less. I guess the moral here is that if you deviate from the norm, do so in a way that MeFi and society don't immediately recognize.
posted by mikeh at 7:26 AM on May 19, 2005


Someone should sell tickets.
posted by bardic at 7:39 AM on May 19, 2005


sciurus wins.

ARG!
posted by sciurus at 7:42 AM on May 19, 2005


ARG!

too piratey.

sciuris loses.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:37 AM on May 19, 2005


Much better.
posted by sciurus at 8:58 AM on May 19, 2005


In fact, the pic on Frasermoo's profile page wins.
posted by raedyn at 9:00 AM on May 19, 2005


mikeh, but that isn't good enough, really. I totally agree with you, but all the pr people would have to do is tell the cameramen/interviewers to ignore everyone that looked weird (which is something they do anyway at these sorts of events). There was no call at all to bar them from seeing the movie. (and your comment belongs in the real thread not here--mine too)
posted by amberglow at 10:06 AM on May 19, 2005


I've just posted this in the thread in question, but I thought I'd better bung it in here as well.

Todd from Twitch Films has just emailed me (presumably because I originated the thread here) with the following:

"The screenwriter of the film (John August) has seen the original letter and sent a response which is online here:

http://www.twitchfilm.net/archives/002056.html"

It's a good response really.
posted by feelinglistless at 11:18 AM on May 19, 2005


cool--thanks, feeling
posted by amberglow at 11:35 AM on May 19, 2005


Lets go sentence-by-sentence so I can add some whitespace and rival you for space wasting.

Jesus Christ, Curley, you're pathetic. I used you as an example because you're a good example. Period.

Only on the Internet can a 40-year-old man who lives with his mother call someone else "pathetic" with a straight face.

And a revealing thing you clearly don't understand is that tolerating criticism and being good-natured about it is not the same thing as doing whatever people want you to do.

Right, so you're just as likely to respond positively to ciriticism as I am. The only difference is that you're more passive and ignore it. In fact, I think I respond to criticism better than you do: I've admitted that I've been wrong on a few times. You have never taken a "you're wrong on this" or "your posts are too long" to heart. You treat it just like the criticism that isn't deserved-- it's ignored. I know-- in your mind you're perfect and therefore have needed to retract anything.

I still am relatively longwinded because I think I've struck a good compromise. But I take lots of criticism about it with good humor.

You haven't reached a good compromise-- you haven't done anything about it. And you certainly take the criticism with good humor because you say "yeah, yeah," and keep doing it.

You, on the other hand, can't take criticism worth a crap. Your response is always an insult. Basically, from what I've seen here, you're an insecure asshole.

How am I supposed to respond positively to this, Captain High Road? From what you've told me, if I respond to being called an "asshole" in my normal way, I am a bad person. I'll try laughing it off. "Asshole! Heh! You're so clever! Let's get ice cream!"

And I'm beginning to think you have some unhealthy spooge fetish the way you seem to be obsessed with my single offhand comment.

Don't try and turn it around. You said that you were essentially trying to change the image of semen. I am merely amazed that A) someone would care enough about it to do that and B) admit it in any form of public medium. You're creepy-- I'm merely taking every opportunity to remind people that you're creepy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:16 PM on May 19, 2005


Frankly, your paranoid response reeks of narcissism. It's not all about how people love you or hate you, you know. Or maybe you don't.

"I said unflattering things about you, but you're a narcissist because you see malice in it."
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:18 PM on May 19, 2005


Wow. I don't want to get in the middle of Death Match 2005, but I have to say that you're way out of line, Mayor Curley. EB's writing is nothing whatsoever like Chapter 18 of Ulysses.

Let's begin our analysis with punctuation. EB uses lots. "Penelope" is, roughly, 20,000 words long and only has one period.

And then there's structure. Say what you like about EB's prose, but it certainly moves in a linear fashion and is generally well organized. Mrs. Bloom? Not so much.

Finally, there's the whole matter of passion. Typical EB fare:
Making these judgments is a natural part of everyday life. Constructing a worldview around these judgments and making a large part of one's daily behavior the ostentatious making of these judgments is a kind of pathology that is, in my opinion, adolescent and tribal and evidence of an internal insecurity. Being a sort of good-humored gadlfly is not. The presence of self-deprecation and the ability to accept criticism makes a big part of the difference between the former and the latter.
Really not the stuff that dreams are made of, is it? But then consider Molly/James:
and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
That's enough to get even a gay boy like myself a bit hot and bothered.

So maybe try again. There are some parts of Chapter 17 that are much more promising:
What parallel courses did Bloom and Stephen follow returning?

Starting united both at normal walking pace from Beresford Place they followed in the order named Lower and Middle Gardiner streets and Mountjoy square, west: then, at reduced pace, each bearing left, Gardiner's place by an inadvertence as far as the farther corner of Temple street: then, at reduced pace with interruptions of halt, bearing right, Temple street, north, as far as Hardwicke place. Approaching, disparate, at relaxed walking pace they crossed both the circus before George's church diametrically, the chord in any circle being less than the arc which it subtends.
The sentence structure isn't exactly right, but there's definitely the same sense of plodding, and chapter 17 does certainly go on (and on) for a bit. I'm thinking that perhaps you were just off by one, so perhaps I should retract my earlier outrage.
posted by anapestic at 2:19 PM on May 19, 2005


anapestic, this is well considered. And you're right that "Penelope" is the wrong piece to consider-- I didn't get the numbers confused. I was just trying to think of something rambling, long and hard to parse, but I'm being very unfair to James Joyce by stopping at those criteria. As you've illustrated beautifully.

Chapter 17 (whatever the title is) isn't a good comparison, either. Like my example, it has superficial similarities. But 17 addresses a bunch of subjects with hard facts-- amount of water flowing into Dublin, chronologic coincidences, etc. It doesn't throw around handfuls of philosophy like someone was translating Being and Nothingness next to a gas leak. And that's what EB does.

I think I have to admit that I made a mistake. Ulysses is the wrong book. Ethereal Bligh, did you see that? I am admitting to a mistake again! And it feels okay.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:38 PM on May 19, 2005


I think I have to admit that I made a mistake. Ulysses is the wrong book.

Well, damn. Now I have to go read chapter 18 of every book in my library, and that could really take a while. I think I'll start with the porn. I'm much less likely to find a match that way, but at least I'll be entertained.
posted by anapestic at 2:46 PM on May 19, 2005


"Only on the Internet can a 40-year-old man who lives with his mother call someone else "pathetic" with a straight face."

Okay, look, even if this were true about me (and it's not), saying something like this which is deeply personal and intended to be as hurtful as possible—that's your style lately and exactly the sort of thing that got you called out the other day.

"Don't try and turn it around. You said that you were essentially trying to change the image of semen. I am merely amazed that A) someone would care enough about it to do that and B) admit it in any form of public medium. You're creepy-- I'm merely taking every opportunity to remind people that you're creepy."

I'm rolling my eyes. Mine's a pretty straight-forward sex-positive position. I've been corresponding about it with Susie Bright, as a matter of fact. That you think this is very creepy is not that weird. That you're obsessed enough with my position on it that you are mentioning it at every opportunity is either a) revealing that you have some sexual issues about it; and/or b) you have a weird obsession with trying to remind everyone how creepy you think I am. Either way, I have an unusually accepting and persmissive sexual viewpoint. You're stalking or something. Which is creepier, especially given the subject matter?

Whatever. I so don't really care to continue to argue with you about this—this sort of thing in meta bores me to death lately. But I also find that I could hardly care any less about what you think. Feel free to keep ranting or whatever. You're just making my point for me.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:49 PM on May 19, 2005

"Trismegistus sings the same fall in his Pimander, and Homer under the name of Ararus, in his verses; and Plutarch in his speech of usury, signifieth, that Empedocles knew that the fall of the devils was after this manner: the devils also themselves often confess their fall: they therefore being cast forth into this valley of misery, some that are nigh to us wander up and down in this obscure air, others inhabit lakes, rivers and seas, others the earth, and terrifie [terrify] earthly things, and invade those who dig Wells and Metals, cause the gapings of the earth, strike together the foundation of mountains, and vex not only men, but also other creatures; some being content with laughter and delusion only, do contrive rather to weary men, then to hurt them, some heightning themselves to the length of a Giants body, and again shrinking themselves up to the smallness of the Pigmies, and changing themselves into divers forms, do disturb men with vain fear: others study lies and blasphemies, as we read of one in the third book of Kings, saying, I will go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all the Prophets of Achab: but the worst sort of devils are those, who lay wait and overthrow passengers in their journeys, and rejoyce in wars and effusion of blood, and afflict men with most cruell stripes:"
From the middle of an extremely long sentence from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa: Of Occult Philosophy, Book III (part 2), Chapter xviii.
Sounds like a 16th Century EB to me.
Come to think of it, "some being content with laughter and delusion only, do contrive rather to weary men, then to hurt them" is almost a description of Mayor Curley.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:13 PM on May 19, 2005


Okay, look, even if this were true about me (and it's not), saying something like this which is deeply personal and intended to be as hurtful as possible—that's your style lately and exactly the sort of thing that got you called out the other day.

Then here it is, here is the distinction that I cannot get my head around-- why is the the line the space between calling someone "pathetic" and actually delineating why you think it? If it's permissible for you to say "you're pathetic" (and I definitely think that it is acceptable), why is it not acceptable for me to turn around and say "you're not entitled to say that, and here's why..."?

If you're prepared to say something negative about me, no matter how general, you should be prepared for me to come back at you. And if I come back harder than you think that I should, tough shit. Scroll through and see where this starts. I certainly didn't mention your name or even make an allusion to you. If you didn't want a fight, you probably should have used a hypothetical example instead of trying to make an example of me.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:15 PM on May 19, 2005


fuller notes with deep approval that this thread is about to scroll off the current-issues rack and disappear into the stacks where no one will ever, ever refer to it again.
posted by jfuller at 4:44 PM on May 19, 2005


curley, you sound like a cat playing witha mouse it's caught, which is a quality tough to watch in a cat and impossible to stomach in a human. and fuller you sound like some who enjoys watching such things, which only reinforces my opinion of you.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on May 19, 2005


Plus, there's a lot to be said for disagreeing amiably.

Not unlike the comment I decided to make about 5 minutes into the thread. Disagreeing, arguing, pointing and laughing, even pointed mockery can be mean-spirited or good-hearted.

And there is nothing wrong with any of it, no matter how heated it gets, if you do it with a warm heart glowing down in the basement, and the ability to clap your arm around your adversary or target after the fact, and wander off for a drink or ten and rejoice in your mutual humanity.

Like Space Coyote said above, the easy joke is often not funny, and is recently more meanspirited than anything else. So it goes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:21 PM on May 19, 2005


Mayor Curley (in reference to EB) writes " And you're so willing to take criticism to heart. How many times have people complained about your tendency to turn every comment you make into chapter 18 of Ulysses? And you still do it."

Well, since apparently the issue is "We tell EB to write more succinctly, but he doesn't listen", let me chip in: EB, keep writing clearly and precisely. Ignore the people who just toss out one-liners without background or explanation.

There. Now if EB continues to write clear, in-depth passages, it doesn't necessarily indicate failure to take criticism to heart.

jonmc writes "I'm sure that cultures that I belong to (record geek, metal fan, outer borough new york, former retail worker etc)"

You're a metal fan? No dissing, but I always thought you were just a butt-rock fan (somehow I pictured you listening to ACDC, Def Leppard, and ZZ Top more than Metallica or Testament).

Mayor Curley writes " Only on the Internet can a 40-year-old man who lives with his mother call someone else 'pathetic' with a straight face."

I dunno what it says about you, MC, but I don't find EB pathetic, but I do find you pathetic. EB may have extenuating circumstances for his living situation, but unless you're a performance artist, I can't really imagine extenuating circumstances that justify being an asshole.

Mayor Curley writes "rambling, long and hard to parse"

Well, EB's writing is directed, long, and easy to parse, so you're 1 for 3.

Mayor Curley writes "why is the the line the space between calling someone 'pathetic' and actually delineating why you think it? If it's permissible for you to say 'you're pathetic' (and I definitely think that it is acceptable), why is it not acceptable for me to turn around and say 'you're not entitled to say that, and here's why...'?"

Telling someone that they're pathetic is insulting. Providing examples of supposed patheticness in order to not only insult them but hurt them is being an asshole. Kinda like the difference between "I heard your mother passed away" and "Haha, your mom's turned into maggot central!!". They mean the same thing...so why is the line between one and the other when consoling someone? Because it is.

You, apparently, disagree. Which is fine, in its own way. There is no god deciding which people are officially in the Book Of Assholes. Everyone picks their own lines. Some of us happen to place the line such that you are squarely in asshole camp.
posted by Bugbread at 7:59 PM on May 19, 2005


Telling someone that they're pathetic is insulting. Providing examples of supposed patheticness in order to not only insult them but hurt them is being an asshole. Kinda like the difference between "I heard your mother passed away" and "Haha, your mom's turned into maggot central!!".

Why can't you be honest and write "the difference is arbitrary based on whether I like you or not, and I, bugbread, are the one responsible for it." Because telling someone that they're pathetic is somehow okay to you, but anything more is being as asshole. So the lesson is only be as insulting as bugbread allows. How much you want to bet there's a different standard depending on whether Lord Bugbread the People's Censor likes you or not.

And I reiterate that I was content to not be in this thread until poor, defensless Ethereal Bligh decided to speak (write) ill of me. Was he justified in doing that because you don't like me, bugbread? I feel silly asking because consistency obviously isn't your strong point and anything done to a villian like me is okay. But if I give my own back, that's definitely going too far.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:57 PM on May 19, 2005


Well, since apparently the issue is "We tell EB to write more succinctly, but he doesn't listen", let me chip in: EB, keep writing clearly and precisely. Ignore the people who just toss out one-liners without background or explanation.

Many of us would argue that there is a middle ground between the one liner and chapter 18 of an as yet determined book.

In any case, bugbread, while I agree with your assessment of MC with respect to most threads, in this thread he was clearly provoked. One can certainly argue that his response was not proportional to the provocation, but it was not difficult to predict the response. I don't believe that EB didn't expect to get very much the response that he got. Claims of surprise over the reaction and claims that he really doesn't want to argue about this sort of thing are disingenuous to the point of incredulity.
posted by anapestic at 9:07 PM on May 19, 2005


Mayor Curley : " Why can't you be honest and write 'the difference is arbitrary based on whether I like you or not, and I, bugbread, are the one responsible for it.'"

Er...because for me, that's not true. You might ask yourself: why would I arbitrarily like you or not? It's highly unlikely to be truly arbitrary. It could be politics, it could be user name, it could be a host of other things. In this case, the reason I don't like you is because you try to hurt in addition to insulting. That is the basis by which I've determined I don't particularly like you. I don't hate you or anything, you just strike me as an asshole. So saying "you base the standard arbitrarily based on whether you like the person, and you like or dislike the person based on the standard" is kinda circular.

If you want to be really precise about things, we're both responsible for it. Me, for setting my own standards of what I consider being asshole-like, and you, for qualifying for those standards.

Regardless, to be clear, I'm not asking that you change, or be banned, or anything else like that. EB rubs you the wrong way, and you rub me the wrong way.

Mayor Curley : "How much you want to bet there's a different standard depending on whether Lord Bugbread the People's Censor likes you or not."

Well, I certainly don't pretend to be the People's Censor. If I gave that impression, I apologize. I hoped the last part of my post, about there being no official Book of Assholes, would make that clear.

Is there a different standard based on whether I like people? Well, for this case, a bit, but not much. That is, since this is a standard of whether I like people or not, people breaking the standard makes me like them less. But, do I give more leeway to people I've liked in the past? Sure. I figure they're having an off day, or that they're going through serious shit at home, or the like. If they keep up the assholishness, that turns into "blahblahblah used to be a decent person, but they've turned into an asshole". On the other hand, if it's someone I've disliked in the past for assholish behaviour, additional assholish behaviour is unlikely to endear me to them.

Mayor Curley : " And I reiterate that I was content to not be in this thread until poor, defensless Ethereal Bligh decided to speak (write) ill of me. Was he justified in doing that because you don't like me, bugbread?"

His justification isn't really based on me not liking you. He used you as an example of a trend he dislikes. People use EB as an example of a trend they dislike all the time (jokes about longwindedness). I like his thoroughness, so it bugs me, but I still think it's OK.

Mayor Curley : "I feel silly asking because consistency obviously isn't your strong point and anything done to a villian like me is okay."

I'm not sure on what you base that. What makes you think that I believe that anything done to someone I don't like is OK?

Just for reference:
1) I don't think bringing someone who is not in a thread up as an example of a trend you dislike is assholish (though it isn't particularly nice either). (EB in this thread)
2) I don't think complaining about a character trait in someone is assholish (Both you and EB in this thread).
3) I do think that insulting someone in a way meant to hurt them personally is assholish (You in this thread).

So, for example, I don't think any of the Ulysses jokes were assholish. I think the "living with mom patheticness" was assholish, and the harping on cum just weird.

anapestic : "One can certainly argue that his response was not proportional to the provocation, but it was not difficult to predict the response. I don't believe that EB didn't expect to get very much the response that he got. Claims of surprise over the reaction and claims that he really doesn't want to argue about this sort of thing are disingenuous to the point of incredulity."

I somewhat agree. I think the response was disproportional. I do think, however, that's it's possible that EB expected lots of bile and insults about his lengthiness and moralizing. In the same way, if jonmc called someone out, I'd expect counterflaming to be about his participation in music threads or the like. However, I was surprised that Mayor Curley took the insults out of the Mefi sphere and into the real world. I certainly wasn't expecting it, so I don't find claims of surprise over the reaction to be disingenuous, let alone increduluous.
posted by Bugbread at 11:12 PM on May 19, 2005


"I don't believe that EB didn't expect to get very much the response that he got. Claims of surprise over the reaction and claims that he really doesn't want to argue about this sort of thing are disingenuous to the point of incredulity."

Maybe you're incredulous but I wasn't being disingenuous. Maybe I should have expected Mayor Culrley to react as strongly as he did, but I didn't. Honestly, I simply used him as my chief example because, as of two days ago, he is my chief example. I wasn't trying to bring the fight over here, nor was I trying to continue the fight without his participation or whatever. There's 25K people on mefi, we talk about each other to each other. If MC had used me as an example of being self-indulgently longwinded in some other meta thread in which I wasn't participating, I would assume that he'd been annoyed with me so my example came immediately to mind. I wouldn't assume that he was passive/aggressively still trying to fight with me and that's what his comment was really about. Again, that behavior is classic narcissicism.

My whole comment was about people who are jerks just for the sake of being jerks. It wasn't directed at MC, it was to the community as a whole. I will discuss it with other people—but not with the people I'm referring to. What's the point? MC proves that it's a waste of time right in this thread. Bugbread's answered him well enough, even if it's probably a waste of time. Languagehat, also very reasonable and usually eventempered, you might notice has made the same point. He's wiser than the rest of us, mostly, and he's made his point and walked away.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:05 AM on May 20, 2005


You're a metal fan? No dissing, but I always thought you were just a butt-rock fan

I'm all over the map. But in high school, I was a full fledged member of the Headbanger Nation. And at this exact moment, I'm playing Master Of Puppets as wake-up music.

No more can they keep us in
Listen Dammit we will win....

posted by jonmc at 6:55 AM on May 20, 2005


However, I was surprised that Mayor Curley took the insults out of the Mefi sphere and into the real world. I certainly wasn't expecting it, so I don't find claims of surprise over the reaction to be disingenuous, let alone increduluous.

Oh, EB may very well have been surprised by the ultimate ferocity of the reaction, but he should have anticipated the initial reaction. And after the initial reaction was when he went to "pathetic," which is what touched off the real nastiness. There are no innocent parties here. Taking the not-quite-as-low road is not the same thing as taking the high road.
posted by anapestic at 9:48 AM on May 20, 2005


Fairly said.
posted by Bugbread at 6:11 PM on May 20, 2005


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