MetaFilter Junkie

I am mostly a lurker on MetaFilter. I love reading the entries. I think I don’t comment much, in fact I’ve only ever left one comment, because I never feel smarter than the other people already commenting and I’m not sure that what I would add would really be improving things. Thank goodness lots of other people don’t feel the same way as I do.

Recently, there have been two threads of really excellent reading. The first is the sad story regarding a baby that died. The title of the article by Nina Planck is Death by Veganism. Sadly, the death was really by stupid-ism or misinformation-ism. But the conversation that ensues in the comments of the MetaFilter thread are really quite wonderful on many levels, some beyond just entertainment. For example, according to Vegan.org, “A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products.” Which might include a mother’s breast milk if you interpret it that way.

In this particular thread, you go through entire lifetimes of social relationships in a matter of minutes. People get on a soapbox. People reply. People get testy. People get nasty. People get sarcastic. People apologize. People make up. Some people move on. Others come back and won’t let it go. It’s a fascinating commentary regarding online relationships. But, this particular comment, replying to an earlier comment, wins the prize for humor.

And I’d like to know how far Veganism goes myself. Antibiotics? Beer?

The second fascinating thread is this one entitled What it Feels Like For a Girl about an image of Allison Stokke that has been around the world and back again. What I find interesting is that the entry is written quite neutrally. This is the actual verbiage from aerotive:

This photo has launched high school pole vaulter Allison Stokke into Internet memedom. Her reaction: “I worked so hard for pole vaulting and all this other stuff, and it’s almost like that doesn’t matter. Nobody sees that. Nobody really sees me.”

But it only takes until comment two (?) or three for it to get into sexual innuendo. And from that point, it’s anyone’s game. People angry about the way men think about women. People angry that other people are making them out to be sexual assholes. The thread even encompasses what constitutes acceptability regarding ‘asking for it’ when it comes to internet fame. I personally don’t find anything wrong with her father’s watchful eye or their worrying about weirdos. As a mom, I totally get that. As a female I understand getting unwanted ogling and how aggressive men can be scary at times. And as someone who has a tiny understanding of human nature I think that all of their worry won’t matter much in the long scheme of things. She’s a top athlete. She’s trying to be an Olympian. Her photos are going to be on the internet and you can’t stop people from linking to them or thinking she’s sexy. But discounting her feelings of vulnerability seems pretty hardhearted if you believe that everyone has a right to their feelings.

But the Made Me Laugh Outloud award goes to this comment. And, thank you. Thank you. [LOL]

Also see: Ask MeFi, MeFi Music, Podcasts, My interview with Matt Haughey [6/2004]

6 Responses

  1. I was vegan for about four or five years. You can be healthy, but it takes a lot of planning. More effort than I was willing to put out. Plus I live in the midwest where tasty vegetarian food is few and far between, and I’d rather not cook every night.

    I can lurk at Metafilter for hours. I’m kind of deciding whether I should sign up or not. I’m trying to divorce myself from another forum I’ve been on for a few years now, and while there’s not much left for me anymore, it’s hard to leave.

  2. I am a real live vegan. Also a vegan mom. I’ve been reading your site for a year or so, Leah. Anti-biotics can be non-vegan in the sense that they are tested on animals. As far as an anti-biotic killing something being not vegan, no. Personally, I shy away from anti-biotics because they are overused. If there was something that I or my child had that needed antibiotics (like an infection) we would take them without question.
    There are plenty of vegans who drink beer, myself included. The vegans I know who don’t drink beer are either straight-edge or don’t have access to vegan beer (which doesnt’ happen often). Beer can be clarified using animal products such as milk or eggs.
    Most vegans draw their “vegan line” by not eating foods that come from an animal, not wearing things that come from an animal and not supporting companies that support animal testing.

  3. thanks for the info, summer. i try to stay away from antibiotics as well for the same reason.
    what is an example of a vegan beer?

  4. Have you tried out Ask Metafilter yet? I don’t spend much time on “the blue” but sometimes I feel like I can contribute something valuable over on “the green.”

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