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]