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A Modern Take On "Spiders On Drugs"
January 3, 2007 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Web-Building Is For Suckas (YouTube, approx. 2 mins.)... A bit of an update on Peter Witt's famous 1960s experiments on the effects of various drugs on spiders' web-building abilities (previously featured on Metafilter here and here)
posted by amyms (59 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is my first front page post. Please be gentle!
posted by amyms at 7:20 AM on January 3, 2007


Cute.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:28 AM on January 3, 2007


Well, then, let me say, very gently, that I found the video mildly funny, and I don't regret watching it, but that bit about suckas and putting a cap in his ass, was, well, let's just say the strict association with black people and crack is stupidly racist. A cheap laugh, y'know?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:30 AM on January 3, 2007


flapjax at midnite: Thanks for the feedback... I can see where you're coming from, but I'm pretty sure that the slangy drug/crime terminology is so ubiquitous in today's society that it transcends any racial association.
posted by amyms at 7:47 AM on January 3, 2007


It doesn't take a black crack dealer to bust a cap in yo ass....
ignint cracka.
posted by eparchos at 7:47 AM on January 3, 2007


I laughed despite the fact that fucking with Hinterland Who's Who is close to sacrilege.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:51 AM on January 3, 2007


Well that was a let down. I clicked on that link expecting to see experiments done to see how different drugs effected the ability to write html...

Oh how I wish I was kidding... Cool link though.
posted by twine42 at 8:06 AM on January 3, 2007


HAhahah! Yes, cheap jokes but I loved the execution. Lamayo. Crossposting it to friends now. Thanks, amyms.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:27 AM on January 3, 2007


Good one, amyms
posted by doctor_negative at 8:31 AM on January 3, 2007


The fact that flapjax assumed the cap-bustin spider was black says a lot more about flapjax than it does about the video maker.
posted by mfbridges at 8:50 AM on January 3, 2007


Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepards the weak through the valley of darkness. For he is truly his brothers' keeper and finder of lost children.
posted by phaedon at 8:58 AM on January 3, 2007


Out here in the 'Cod, when someone is messin with me or my boaties, I explain 'em they had just better frappe with that poop...

...
or else I will bust a cappuccino on their madras...

...and that's for reppy my preppy...

...poppin' collars like a Kennedy...
posted by mongonikol at 9:19 AM on January 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Awesome first post!
posted by Artw at 9:56 AM on January 3, 2007


It made me laugh out loud. And the comments about racism are fucking idiotic. What is up metafilter's ass this week?
posted by nanojath at 9:58 AM on January 3, 2007


Perhaps it is a cap that is inside the ass? I don't anything about slang. Maybe it's a big hat instead of a cap. Or maybe it's a xylophone.

(Good post, amyms, thumbs up)
posted by storybored at 11:14 AM on January 3, 2007


What is up metafilter's ass this week?

Off the top of my head? A ring, a watch, car keys, a cell phone, and an assortment of fists.
Did you miss this one?

I'm at work so I'll watch the video when I get home, but I'm liking the thread so far.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:32 AM on January 3, 2007


Ahahaha. That was terrific. It's a combination of the faded colors of the movie itself which reminds me of so many documentaries I've seen, as well as the great voice acting.

I, for one, would like more information on the crack spider's bitch.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:50 PM on January 3, 2007


Hah!
posted by Afroblanco at 1:39 PM on January 3, 2007


And jesus christ, you "this video is racist" people have no damn sense of humor. You don't just have a stick up your ass, you have a whole tree up there, and I swear heard I saw Fred Weyerhaeuser up in there screaming for you to let him out.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:44 PM on January 3, 2007


The restraining order bit made me laugh out loud. And the narration is *perfect.* Thanks, amyms, this was short but fun.
posted by mediareport at 3:33 PM on January 3, 2007


The fact that flapjax assumed the cap-bustin spider was black says a lot more about flapjax than it does about the video maker.

Look, "suckas" with an "a" and "popped a cap in his ass" is clearly black slang, Eminem notwithstanding. (Even Eminem, if I'm not mistaken, gives (ahem) props to his caucasian/crack(er)/whiteboy/whatever roots by pronouncing his "er" sounds). And sure, black street culture slang has filtered into the general (mostly media) culture (like little white kids in hip-hop clothes bustin' da move to sell breakfast cereal), but if you are suggesting that the intention in its use here is something other than a suggestion of "urban" (black) street culture then you are being wilfully naive. And your implying racism on my part for mentioning it is a cheap shot which perhaps says something about you, my friend.

And to clarify, I don't happen to think this is a particularly grievous example of racism. It's actually pretty mild, but an example of a kind of racism nonetheless (however relatively benign it may be).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:43 PM on January 3, 2007


Ha! That was fun. I have no problem with it referencing urban culture. Maybe it was a cheap laugh, I don't know, but I thought it was funny (the idea of spiders thinking/acting like that is hilarious to me...maybe I just need a life?). Thanks for the link.
posted by evening at 4:51 PM on January 3, 2007


The fact that flapjax assumed the cap-bustin spider was black says a lot more about flapjax than it does about the video maker.

That's idiotic. I didn't think of the connection until I saw Flapjax' comment, but come on.
posted by delmoi at 5:25 PM on January 3, 2007


Flapjax, have you seen the latest wikipedia article about mountains?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 5:29 PM on January 3, 2007


Okay, evening (and anyone else concerned): I just wanna play devil's advocate a little here, cause it's, well, fun and interesting. First, a question: "urban culture": that means "black urban culture"? Or, "black street thug urban culture"? I just want to clarify, as "urban" areas are often comprised of black people who have never and will never put a cap in anybody's ass. The majority of black people in urban areas, in fact, fall into this category. What I'm saying is, this use of the term "urban" perhaps deserves some consideration.

Second, (and remember, this is not an attack, like I said, just a little devil's advocate here), the fact that you "have no problem with it referencing urban culture", might that have something to do with the fact that you are not likely to personally encounter any ill effects that result from the continued portrayal (however coded, or even *good-naturedly* humorous) of black people as crack dealing pistol-toting thugs? For example, you're not likely to be followed around by the security guard in a store, or to have an empty taxi pass you by without stopping for your hail, or to be unfairly targetted/harassed/arrested/beaten by police, etc.

And, yes, yes, I know it's spiders. The video is about spiders. So let the *spiders-as-unfairly-portrayed-species* jokes begin!

Oh, and this just in:

Flapjax, have you seen the latest wikipedia article about mountains?

Yeah, yeah... like I said earlier, this is a racism of the mild variety, but, hey, talking about stuff is whatwe do here at MeFi, right? At least we've got a ball rolling here, right?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:33 PM on January 3, 2007


Does every MeFi thread have to devolve to arguments about race, religion, politics, and so on? Mind you, I'm not asking whether or not that happens, but whether it has to. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

I agree, urban would be a better term, because assuming that the spider was representative of black people is racist in and of itself. I think you would find that a white person raised in an unfavorable environment in which they are afforded little opportunity would differ very little from a black person in the same setting. So, like mfbridges said, I think your comment reveals a little about yourself, but you seem to have realized your mistake, and that’s good. Urban is a good correction.

This is MetaFilter. There will be plenty of controversy in future threads, so let's not resort to creating it.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 5:57 PM on January 3, 2007


I posted the link because the unexpected twist made me laugh out laugh, and I wanted to share it... I thought of it as a funny parody of nature videos and of the famous drugged spider science experiments of the 1960s... I thought people would enjoy it (and I'm glad to see that most of you did)...

Those of you who are seeing/hearing a racist angle are reading waaaay too much into it... How do you even enjoy tamer comedy if you're so easily offended?...

I stand by what I said in my first reply to flapjax: I'm pretty sure that the slangy drug/crime terminology is so ubiquitous in today's society that it transcends any racial association.

Just a thought, though, if you're going to go for fretful over-analyzing of racial-stereotypes-as-portrayed-by-spiders: The drunken spider whose wife got a restraining order is much more indicative of "white trash" culture than it is of "urban" or "black" culture... So, if you're going to accuse the video of being offensive, at least it's inclusive.
posted by amyms at 6:24 PM on January 3, 2007


This is MetaFilter. There will be plenty of controversy in future threads, so let's not resort to creating it

I hear you, Citrus, but when my reading comments on a perceived racial angle to the video, well, why do you assume an effort to create controversy? I'd like to think that issues of race in society could be discussed without everyone getting all hysterical. Or does any discussion of race automatically equal "controversy"?

The drunken spider whose wife got a restraining order is much more indicative of "white trash" culture than it is of "urban" or "black" culture...

Hmmm, that's an interesting comment. Are there some statistics indicating domestic abuse is primarily a "white trash" phenomenon? I was under the impression that it exists throughout all races and social/economic classes. Had the video included an overtly racial connotation to that particular segment (equating domestic violence with, say, poor white people), I probably would've commented on that as well. But the domestic abuse angle was race-neutral, and the "suckas" angle wasn't.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:49 PM on January 3, 2007


Sorry, that should've been "when reading my comments".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:50 PM on January 3, 2007


Are there some statistics indicating domestic abuse is primarily a "white trash" phenomenon?

flapjax: I was attempting to show that you can find something "racial" or "stereotyping" in damn near anything if you try hard enough (and you are definitely making a valiant effort)...

And yes, drunken husbands and wives with restraining orders are a "white trash" phenomenon (I don't have statistics, but I've seen it firsthand in my own "culture" so I'm being anecdotal)...

I honestly can't believe that a funny spider video has devolved into "let's make racism accusations" (It's like a theme week here at Metafilter ~ there are accusations of racism in the blue, green AND gray within the last 24 hours)...

As someone else advised in another thread: "Unclench, people, unclench!"
posted by amyms at 7:09 PM on January 3, 2007


Talk about yin and yang.

Metafilter gave us this hilarious video. It also gave us this retarded debate.

Kinda like the baby boom generation gave us both Bob Dylan and George W. Bush.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:09 PM on January 3, 2007


"when [reading my] comments on a perceived racial angle to the video, well, why do you assume an effort to create controversy?...Or does any discussion of race automatically equal "controversy"?"

Controversy: A prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion.

"let's just say the strict association with black people and crack is stupidly racist"
....
The post was a funny video about spiders, dude. Come on. Do you honestly not understand how you're fabricating controversy where there isn't any?

I'd like to think that issues of race in society could be discussed without everyone getting all hysterical.

I'd like to think that a comical video about spiders under the influence of various drugs could be taken at face value and discussed for what it is--a comical video about spiders under the influence of various drugs--without bringing some completely unrelated factor into it.

Sometimes a crack peddling spider really is just a crack peddling spider.

I'm very sorry, amyms. Your post deserved better. Feel free to re-rail the conversation towards spiders on drugs.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:16 PM on January 3, 2007


MetaFilter: Controversy for controversy's sake.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:18 PM on January 3, 2007


OK, fine, whatever. I think it's now well established that all the white people commenting here (and maybe some non-whites as well?) find no instance of any racist message or intent, whatsoever, in the sucka spider crack dealer puttin' a cap in ass. It's good to know everyone's thinking about these things, and I'm glad you showed me the error of my ways. Sorry I brought it up. And, BTW, as I said in my first comment, I did find the video mildly funny. I'm sure all comments from now on will be about spiders and spiders only, and that's the way it should be.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:31 PM on January 3, 2007


I'm still not sure how I feel about the crack spider (I... I can't believe I just typed that) but I do know that I felt an initial twinge of discomfort. And I think it's good that I did.

Can anyone really say it's beyond the pale for racist associations to be made glibly between crack and black folks in pop culture? I'd be hard pressed to believe it. I think flapjax's reaction was a completely defensible sensitivity to an all-too ubiquitous insensitivity. Was his an oversensitivity? Maybe. Maybe not.

What I find disturbing is that some folks don't seem to be reacting by saying, "What? No it's not racist shut up," but, "So what if it's racist? Shut up. People need their funny spiders."

If it's racist (I'm not convinced it is), it's racist. And it being in a mundane little bit of comedy doesn't make that ok. Are we only supposed to object to racism if it's in a major Hollywood production, or coming from the mouth of some head of state? It only gets to that level if we let it slide at this level.

[Ahem].

The hammock was comedy gold. I adore dry delivery like that. Thanks.
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:53 PM on January 3, 2007


OK, fine, whatever.

Does this mean I win?... If so, I'd like to thank all my homies who had my back!

I'm kidding :)... I do understand the general concerns you were trying to express, flapjax, but your application of such specific accusations to the spider video was a tad disingenuous... I just think crying "racism!" is misplaced (and loses some of its relevance) when it's applied in benign situations like this.
posted by amyms at 8:55 PM on January 3, 2007


Kinda like the baby boom generation gave us both Bob Dylan and George W. Bush.

I'm always amazed at how Dubya makes his way into these threads, no matter what the topic.

A spider injecting heroin into its seven limbs with little rubber belts would make a funny Far Side cartoon.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:59 PM on January 3, 2007


Jeez, kudos to amyms for being as clear and concise as I wish I could be (the irony is that it took me about 6 minutes to find the phrase I was thinking of, and I'm not even sure "clear and concise" was it...)

No harm meant, Flapjax. In short; everything that amyms said.
I'll even change my MetaFilter tagline.

MetaFilter: Shut up. People need their funny spiders.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:03 PM on January 3, 2007


Um... of course, another video by the same filmmaker doesn't exactly speak to their thoughtuflness.
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:39 PM on January 3, 2007


another video by the same filmmaker

Oh, dear.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:39 PM on January 3, 2007


Um... of course, another video by the same filmmaker doesn't exactly speak to their thoughtuflness.

Actually, I'd say it does. The fact that the entire thing is a joke about a Mexican being confused for an Arab because of "dark skin" profiling is a fairly apt critique of US policies of late.
posted by eparchos at 10:46 PM on January 3, 2007


It made me laugh out loud. And the comments about racism are fucking idiotic. What is up metafilter's ass this week?

It's homophobes like you that give this place a bad name. Well, you and the Albanians.

(No Albanians were emotionally harmed in the making of this comment - I hope)
posted by Pollomacho at 10:53 PM on January 3, 2007


(No Albanians were emotionally harmed in the making of this comment - I hope

Terribly sorry my friend, but emotional harm is done. There will be 3 men, Shkodran, Zamir and Idriz, come your house tonight. You will go with them.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:45 PM on January 3, 2007


Let me take this opportunity to add to this racially charged thread the HONKEY NIGGER SPIC GREASER CHINK KIKE calming words of Rodney King: "Can't we all just get along?"

God forbid they pass that "hate speech" law. I wouldn't last a day without my quiver of racial epithets.

Is it racist to give some to every race out there? Did I forget the Eskimos?
posted by Sukiari at 11:54 PM on January 3, 2007


You mean the Inuit?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:07 AM on January 4, 2007


You mean the Inuit?

No, but Inuit interesting how this thread has gone off the spiders topic?

*ducks*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:37 AM on January 4, 2007


I submit that Sukiari be in charge of posting that exact same comment in any thread where Ctrl+F "racism," "racist," or "race" turns up a hit.
It could apply to any of them.
:P

So anyway. Spiders. Yes. ::cough::
They're funny.

Oh I give up.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:29 AM on January 4, 2007


I submit that Sukiari be in charge of posting that exact same comment in any thread where Ctrl+F "racism," "racist," or "race" turns up a hit.

Ctrl+F? Ctrl+F? It's backslash in Firefox, you browser bigot. Why do you hate foxes?
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:02 AM on January 4, 2007


Ctrl+F? Ctrl+F? It's backslash in Firefox, you browser bigot. Why do you hate foxes?

Do me a favor.
Assuming you already have firefox open (you must, because you're reading this), hit Ctrl + F.
::GASP::
I <3 firefox, btw./small>

But I never knew backslash also worked. That will be useful in case the pinky and index finger on my left hand are lost in a freak accident involving Crack Spiders, Inuits, and foxes ablaze.

posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:13 AM on January 4, 2007


Is this thing still going?... Sheesh people, drugged spiders are soooo yesterday... Let's move on :P

P.S. Thanks, CitrusFreak12, for all your support yesterday.
posted by amyms at 10:10 AM on January 4, 2007


::GASP::

It was a joke ;)
posted by poweredbybeard at 10:32 AM on January 4, 2007


It was a joke ;)

Damnit, Internets needs a Tone of Voice indicator. I got the joke. I was being facetious.

Maybe I'm just not funny. That could be the problem.

Sheesh people, drugged spiders are soooo yesterday... Let's move on :P

Move on?
Fiiiine.
I was hoping to keep this thread alive for as long as that damned rape thread kept going.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:28 PM on January 4, 2007


Is this thing still going?

Everybody repeat after me:

"KEEP THREAD ALIVE!"
"KEEP THREAD ALIVE!"
"KEEP THREAD ALIVE!"

Sheesh people, drugged spiders are soooo yesterday

This thread was about drugged spiders? Oh, well...

"KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE! KEEP THREAD ALIVE!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:22 PM on January 4, 2007


You people are going off on too many tangents, dragging too many irrelevant issues into this thread, and polluting my precious and unique snowflake of a front page post...

*sob*

*deep, cleansing breath*

Gawd I love Metafilter! lol :)
posted by amyms at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2007


Drugs are neato.

I can see why the people who drink lots of coffee drive like maniacs. It's worse than crack. At least the crack drivers drive real slow and steady.

Plus, spiders kick ass. I feed one that lives on the lamppost by my door. Maybe I should start feeding it drugs.
posted by Sukiari at 10:51 PM on January 5, 2007


"You mean the Inuit?"

No. I meant the Esquimaux.
posted by Sukiari at 10:52 PM on January 5, 2007


Here's a great The Tyee article by the filmmaker.. It seems we'll be seeing more of his work soon.
posted by futureproof at 11:14 AM on January 10, 2007


Hey, futureproof, thanks for the link. That's a GREAT article, very amusing and enlightening. I really like this filmmaker. He's so cool that I take back whatever I said about the cheap laughs and whatever. I'm his fan!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:52 PM on January 10, 2007


Awww *dabs tear from eye* the thread has come full-circle... Ain't life grand? :)
posted by amyms at 11:20 AM on January 11, 2007


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