Mehness and FAILitude
March 2, 2009 2:12 PM   Subscribe

John Hodgman: "Did I ever tell you people how much I hate the word 'meh'? Nothing announces 'I have missed the point' more than that word. It is the essence of blinkered Internet malcontentism. And a rejection of joy. By definition, it may mean disinterest (although simple silence would be a more damning and sincere response, in that case). But in use, it almost universally seems to signal: I am just interested enough to make one last joyless, nitpicky swipe and then disappear. It's part of the toxic Internet art of constant callous one upsmanship." (via Andy Baio)

Andy Baio: "Part of the problem is that 'FAIL' implies objective truth, when it's just your personal opinion. Tantek Çelik pointed out that, in LOLspeak, 'DO NOT WANT' would be more appropriate since it clearly conveys a personal opinion. [...] I know many people who make stuff for the web, all of them very passionate about what they do. And every time I see a 'FAIL' assigned to their work, it makes me sad. Yes, I know you're trying to be funny. But I'm starting to see a trend away from the funny, and towards the angry, bitchy, or mean. So please, mind yer words."

Previously on Ask Mefi.
posted by WCityMike (181 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
what
posted by found missing at 2:13 PM on March 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


meh
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:14 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Very disappointed the first comment wasn't "meh."
posted by flatluigi at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2009 [8 favorites]


Oh, there it is.
posted by flatluigi at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


This plate of beans? DO NOT WANT.
posted by billysumday at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Man, The temptation to say Meh or fail will test many wills. Huzzah?
posted by Strshan at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2009


FAIL.
posted by blucevalo at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2009


tl; dr
posted by ibmcginty at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Linking to twitter posts? Really?

My hate for twitter grows daily.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:16 PM on March 2, 2009 [37 favorites]


Part of the problem is that 'FAIL' implies objective truth, when it's just your personal opinion.

Andy Baio is not aware of all internet traditions.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:16 PM on March 2, 2009 [9 favorites]




Very disappointed the first comment wasn't "meh."


Me too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:17 PM on March 2, 2009


Actually, I hate FAIL too, and I fail to see its utility. But "meh"? I feel pretty "meh"-y about banning it.
posted by blucevalo at 2:17 PM on March 2, 2009


needs soundtrack
posted by xod at 2:17 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Afroblanco: "Linking to twitter posts? Really?"

SLYT? SLOE? GYOB? etc. etc. etc. etc.
posted by WCityMike at 2:18 PM on March 2, 2009


meh is actually perfect for conversation. internet, yeah, it's vaguely dickish (then again, railing against meh: meh), but in conversation, silence usually isn't an option. Someone presents you with a thing, and they expect a response. You don't particularly like it, and you don't want to engage in conversation, you say meh. If you remain silent, the person talking to you is likely to directly ask you to comment, or to repeat themselves, about a thing which you have no interest in. Meh saves a lot of time.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:19 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't believe I'm writing this, but every day I grow more weary of self-important Daily Show writers. I remember when they were witty and insightful. Now I feel like everything they do is meant to get an Applause! sign going, be it on stage or through Twitter comments, or whatever medium it takes for them to get adulation. /rant
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:21 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hodgman's Frozen Custard is a classic! a blizzard with vanilla custard is gonna work!
posted by frankbooth at 2:22 PM on March 2, 2009


There sure are a lot of people on his lawn
posted by fullerine at 2:22 PM on March 2, 2009 [7 favorites]


@Afroblanco I say let's make mefi more like twiter. it would sure make things more concise. I find messages on twitter can be elegant and ve
posted by ALongDecember at 2:22 PM on March 2, 2009 [17 favorites]


I am in total agreement with Mssr. Hodgman on this issue, and hereby preempt any and all meh-ing that will occur in this thread with a joyful and heartfelt "hooray!"

...

HOORAY!

What's that, you say? "Meh?" Nay, says I, hands thrown high!

Hooray! HOORAY!
posted by pts at 2:23 PM on March 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


There's probably a lot of different attitudes behind the "meh"s, I think. No need to take it so personally. But yes, longer and clearer rebukes would make for a nicer net, so would jetpacks, and I don't expect any of them soon.

Hmm. I know. We need MEHCATS!

*goes domain hunting*
posted by Iosephus at 2:23 PM on March 2, 2009


It may not be FPP material, but I agree completely with the sentiment, so count me in for a +1, WCityMike. Some of the rest of you are validating Hodgman's point--your immediate reaction was to snark over this instead of, maybe, just accepting the words at face value.

We've had Twitter posts before, and when it was Mefi-related, like the emergency triage suggestions for suggested activities while Mefi was down, everyone was fine with that (even though, honestly, most of them were not so very witty, nor so very helpful).
posted by misha at 2:24 PM on March 2, 2009


I can't believe I'm writing this, but every day I grow more weary of self-important Daily Show writers.

Surely you're not reducing John Hodgman to simply a "Daily Show writer." He is so much more.
posted by billysumday at 2:24 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mehtafilter
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:24 PM on March 2, 2009 [16 favorites]


I don't understand Twitter and I don't want to
posted by crayz at 2:25 PM on March 2, 2009 [12 favorites]


@Afroblanco I say let's make mefi more like twiter.

Hell with that, lets make MeFi more like the men's room wall at the corner bar.

FOR A GOOD TIME CALL
Jenny Bob YOUR MOTHER
867-5309
posted by jonmc at 2:25 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't mind it when people say things like "meh" or "fail." It helps me figure out who to ignore...

Anyway, there is a current trend in culture to generally not like stuff, whatever that may be. It's as if people mistake not liking something for being sophisticated about it.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:26 PM on March 2, 2009 [11 favorites]


So now we have serious critiques of the language* used on the internet as it evolved organically? I can't tell if this is a coming of age or pop eating itself.

*Lingua Internets?
posted by lekvar at 2:26 PM on March 2, 2009


hem
posted by oddman at 2:26 PM on March 2, 2009


I most frequently use 'meh' to describe my feelings about my own life, not the work or lives of others.

I plan on continuing to do this, because I am an intermittently happy person at best.
posted by flaterik at 2:26 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: the toxic Internet art of constant callous one upsmanship
posted by Joe Beese at 2:27 PM on March 2, 2009 [10 favorites]


"Bitch, bitch, bitch."
posted by jquinby at 2:29 PM on March 2, 2009


FAIL has a number of appropriate uses; those pictures of a golden retriever who has launched himself into the air to catch a frisbee ... about a meter to his left? That's a FAIL. That's not a subjective opinion, it's a statement that there was an attempt and the attempt did not succeed. Even some of the examples he cites are highly objective: "kronos webapp standards compliance FAIL." Some are just good sense: "you would think a movie called blackjack would come out on the 21st rather then the 28th. Marketing dept: fail."

Meh? Overused, certainly, but the world would be poorer without individuals who will show up and say, "I'm rather impressed less than was indicated." Submerged in a media saturated with people trying to hype consumers into one frenzy of fear or compulsive purchasing after another, I like having someone around to ask: Is that all there is ... to a fire?

To suggest that meh go away is to say that we must passionately love something, remain silent on it, or declare it a fai — oh, wait, we can't do that either. Sounds like Mr. Baio wants responses to be nothing but positive. Is he upset that there isn't a CAPTCHA for his blogging software that filters out everyone but yes-men?

A king without a land is a sad thing, but, apparently, a king without sycophants can only make blog posts chastising the sad, sad state of affairs.
posted by adipocere at 2:29 PM on March 2, 2009 [9 favorites]


I think Hodgman should have said he didn't like the *use* of the word 'meh'. Even based on his own description, it's obviously perfect as a word.
posted by uosuaq at 2:29 PM on March 2, 2009


Anyway, there is a current trend in culture to generally not like stuff, whatever that may be. It's as if people mistake not liking something for being sophisticated about it.

I don't know if that's a trend so much as a pose adopted by those afraid to be caught liking the 'wrong' thing. I've never been able to restrain my enthusiasm about anything, so fuck that noise up it's prissy little ass.
posted by jonmc at 2:30 PM on March 2, 2009 [12 favorites]


John Hodgman: "Did I ever tell you people how much I hate the word 'meh'? Nothing announces 'I have missed the point' more than that word. It is the essence of blinkered Internet malcontentism. And a rejection of joy. By definition, it may mean disinterest (although simple silence would be a more damning and sincere response, in that case). But in use, it almost universally seems to signal: I am just interested enough to make one last joyless, nitpicky swipe and then disappear. It's part of the toxic Internet art of constant callous one upsmanship." "Meh."

FTFY.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:30 PM on March 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


I didn't know Scott Baio had a brother. I loved him in Charles in Charge!
posted by aftermarketradio at 2:30 PM on March 2, 2009


OMGWTFMEHFAILBBQ

LOL
posted by GuyZero at 2:31 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Surely you're not reducing John Hodgman to simply a "Daily Show writer." He is so much more.

I am reducing him in some ways, yes, but I think it's fair to argue that he is an Internet personality to the extent that he is popular through the Daily Show and Apple's paychecks. I think that argues for some consideration of why his comments get repeated as some form of hermetic gospel.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:32 PM on March 2, 2009


Here I sit, legs a-kilter
Paid five bucks for MetaFilter.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:33 PM on March 2, 2009 [10 favorites]


I think the second guy in the OP kind of misunderstands the use of FAIL or has had a lot of really bad examples of the use of FAIL. I subscribe to the RSS feed of FAIL-blog. It is definitely full of WIN, in the total objective truth of, well, sometimes, when something is done so badly or just wrong, it is indeed, full of FAIL. When road workers misspell the work SCHOOL in big white painted letters on the road, that is indeed FAIL. When someone does something deserving of a Darwin Award, it is objectively, and from all measurable stand points FAIL. When hipsters get a hold of it and use it as a way to attack someone based upon opinion, they are simply being ironic, by showing that they can use FAIL wrong, and thus, objectively be FAIL (as all hipsters are).

I, however, am now full of WIN.
Also, "meh" is definitely better used in speech and not on the internets. It is most definitely like peeing in someones cheerios, rather than just saying nothing. There are a billions things in the universe that are not worth my time or attention, thus, I have no comment upon them. Using 'meh' to show disapproval or disinterest in something is simply rude.
posted by daq at 2:36 PM on March 2, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm guilty of using "meh", but I've certainly never meant it as a slight. For me, it's more like:

"Do you want Chinese or Mexican food tonight?"

"Meh - doesn't make much of a difference to me".
posted by Evangeline at 2:37 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Here I sit, legs a-kilter
Paid five bucks for MetaFilter.


...Tried to post some timely snark,
Got slapped so hard it left a mark.

Burma Shave!
posted by jquinby at 2:38 PM on March 2, 2009 [14 favorites]


But Hodgman already had a schtick before they made his schtick into a character in the commercials and Daily Show bits. I'm not sure the same is true of other Daily Show characters, most of whom still didn't have much of a schtick until they were on for a few months.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:38 PM on March 2, 2009


'Meh' - Bah? Duh. Heh!
posted by Phanx at 2:39 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did someone mention men's rooms and Metafilter?
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:40 PM on March 2, 2009


EPIC MEH.
posted by slogger at 2:41 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


The use of 'meh' on the Internet points to an interesting divergence from Internet conversation to normal conversation. Silence doesn't usually mean the same thing on the Internet that it does everywhere else. We can see this in Metafilter itself, I've personally posted several items that didn't seem to get much traction on the site, only to find out later that the website owner had to increase his bandwidth allotment to weather the load. Things can interesting to watch or read without being interesting to talk about.

Meh is shorthand for expressing dislike, but not hate. The disinterest must be expressed given the lack of social queues that most media formats previously had.

As for FAIL: I'm all about more accurate speech, and FAIL is taking subjective opinion and presenting it as objective, but this is pretty well known. But like with meh above, the options for expressing emotion on the Internet are limited, so short hands like FAIL with all caps can be useful.

Above all, trying to change the English language for almost any reason, whether it be social mores, or simply trying to excise it out of the shorthand of another language, usually ends with a resounding FAIL (see: freedom fries, have a heavenly day).
posted by zabuni at 2:42 PM on March 2, 2009


I'm less interested in Hodgman's point and more in waxy's.

I am starting to see a trend away from the funny, and towards the angry, bitchy, or mean.

I've noticed this here. But maybe that is just rosy retrospection.
posted by dios at 2:43 PM on March 2, 2009


I really wasn't a huge fan of Hodgman until I read his books (or rather, listened to the audio version of the first one and read the second one). They're pretty brilliant. I follow him on Twitter, but I skim many of his posts. I skim many of the posts on Twitter.

Also: okay old people, we get it, you hate Twitter. Do you really have to comment about how much you hate Twitter in every thread that brings it up? I mean, I don't know what you think you're going to accomplish by bitching about it all the time.
posted by Caduceus at 2:43 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


"To suggest that meh go away is to say that we must passionately love something, remain silent on it..."

Or you could, maybe, use your own words to describe why you don't like it.
posted by misha at 2:44 PM on March 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


"Meh" and "Fail" are both perfectly serviceable words in the proper context; as adipocere points out, "Fail" can work when used as a caption to an appropriate photograph. In some respects, it's hard to improve on a one word description that perfectly sums up the events being depicted. Similarly, "WTF?" is succinct and unbeatable for certain application.

"Meh" is also a concise and useful phrase, but not one, I feel, that should be used by itself (unless you are Lisa Simpson, natch). No, Meh works best as a precursor to an more complete description of why you find yourself indifferent to the material discussed. To me, it is an opening; a way of saying "I did not like this, and let me tell you why"...

"LOL" is anathema and its users should be shunned. It barely replaces emoticons which are also reprehensible, but at least serve the purpose of articulating something that isn't being adequately conveyed non-verbally. A way to take the sting out of a sentence that might not be properly conveying sarcasm or ironic intent.
posted by quin at 2:45 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know if that's a trend so much as a pose adopted by those afraid to be caught liking the 'wrong' thing. I've never been able to restrain my enthusiasm about anything, so fuck that noise up it's prissy little ass.

Seconded.

When confronted with the statement

"the world would be poorer without individuals who will show up and say, "I'm rather impressed less than was indicated."

my initial response was "yes" but my more thoughtful response is, "would it?" If I could get rid of them all with the blink of an eye, would the world be a better place. There are certainly takedowns I feel are worth and that I'd miss, but I sometimes wonder if the gain from worthy takedowns is outweighed by those that are negative just be negative.

But this navel gazing reminds me of why I don't use "meh" to begin with. Though originally amusing, it tends to now remind me of the worst parts of my beloved Lisa Simpson, as Flanders once wisely put it:

"Springfield's answer to the question nobody asked"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:46 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Part of the problem is that 'FAIL' implies objective truth, when it's just your personal opinion.

GOD! At LAST someone speaks up for the silent masses that believe dogs should smash into tires they are trying to jump through!
posted by lumpenprole at 2:46 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


I agree with some that it seems to have become cool to be hatin'; as if indifference to things, especially popular things, conveys some sort of superiority. Now I'll admit there has always been an element of that. But I do find FAIL being used pretty nastily often. Meh, OTOH, seems -- to me at least -- to be used fairly appropriately fairly often, but of course there are assholes everywhere.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:50 PM on March 2, 2009


I hate when people respond to a criticism with "that's just your opinion". Holy shit really? Of course it's my opinion. Do you know how you can tell if something is an opinion? By not being an idiot is how. The capital of New York state is Albany is a fact, Albany is a shitty town is my opinion. Cuba is south of Florida is a fact Cuban sandwich's are awesome is an opinion. That I had a teacher in high school who used to give me shit about not couching all subjective beliefs in a language that laid absolutely fucking naked the fact that they were subjective beliefs is a fact. That she was too stupid to teach high school is just my opinion.
posted by I Foody at 2:50 PM on March 2, 2009 [15 favorites]


*stares blankly, shrugs shoulders, wanders away silently*
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:50 PM on March 2, 2009


Misha: Or you could, maybe, use your own words to describe why you don't like it.

Flifnard abdrusable wolly-tonker snitterplorple eya yomnester plogg?
posted by fleacircus at 2:51 PM on March 2, 2009 [25 favorites]


**Honk Honk** you better get going.. there's the FAIL BUS!
posted by autodidact at 2:51 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


TTIUWP.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 2:52 PM on March 2, 2009


Meh="A rejection of joy"? That seems to assume there's always joy to be had. I'm all for joy; the few times I've used "meh", what I mean is "I'll be moving on now in my search for more joy, because even though I am open to joy, I did not find any here." I think "meh" is rather eloquent, actually.

Come the fuck down off your high horse, John.
posted by longsleeves at 2:53 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


[meh inside]
posted by dersins at 2:54 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


I, um, don't care?

If only there were a shorthand for that...
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:56 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


John Hodgman ate my balls.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:56 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


In encounters with "meh," I've always heard my parents saying "feh!" as in Yiddish for shrugging disgust, turn away, silent treatment oncoming.

I guess I just thought "meh" was some typical goy bowdlerization or something. But don't blame me. I don't write for the Daily Show. And this is my very first time typing LOL. So ooh.
posted by emhutchinson at 2:56 PM on March 2, 2009


The origin of "meh", courtesy of AskMetafilter.
posted by snap_dragon at 2:56 PM on March 2, 2009


Try again...sigh
posted by snap_dragon at 2:58 PM on March 2, 2009


Meh is shorthand for expressing dislike

No. It doesn't connote dislike, but rather indifference--particularly toward something overhyped. It's like whatever without the passivity.

Translation: "I don't see what all the fuss is about."
posted by Sys Rq at 2:59 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't believe I'm writing this, but every day I grow more weary of self-important Daily Show writers. I remember when they were witty and insightful. Now I feel like everything they do is meant to get an Applause! sign going, be it on stage or through Twitter comments, or whatever medium it takes for them to get adulation. /rant

Surely you're not reducing John Hodgman to simply a "Daily Show writer." He is so much more.

I am reducing him in some ways, yes, but I think it's fair to argue that he is an Internet personality to the extent that he is popular through the Daily Show and Apple's paychecks. I think that argues for some consideration of why his comments get repeated as some form of hermetic gospel.


I'm so confused by so much of this. How is Hodgman's internet popularity not more the result of his This American Life features/Little Grey Book Lectures/Coulton friendship/McSweeneys Authorship/Areas of My Expertise-ness? All of these predate Apple ads and regular Daily Show appearances, and are as likely origins for an internet following. Outside his harsh pontificating on "meh" and the political commentary on his blog during election season, is he really self-important at all? Besides Hodgman, what other Daily Show writers are being all self-important on the internet? Barring Stewart's regular lapses into sincerity, I don't think any of them take anything involving themselves that seriously. I can see the constant barrage of their internet fanbases getting old (though, again...I can't seem to locate the disciples of Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Larry Wilmore, John Oliver, Aasif Mandvi, and Wyatt Cenac and their movements too easily), but only to the extent any mindless moving mass on the internet (like those using "FAIL") gets olds.
posted by aswego at 3:00 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Both of these posts are responding to a (seemingly quite real) surge of negativity in Internet comments (though how new it is is not really important). But I don't think either of them get it.

In particular, Baio's diagnosis of what's wrong with "FAIL" seems crazy to me. It's that it's stated as an objective fact rather than an opinion? Really? On the contrary, our opinions are usually opinions about what is real. Therefore, we offer them as statements about objective fact. We talk about our opinions (often) because we think they're true. This is not 2nd grade; we don't have to say "I think this movie is bad" when we think "This movie is bad." Similarly, an Internet project that was made by someone may be actually bad, and if you think so, you should say so. Use clear language. "FAIL" passes.

If anything, the problem is the sentiment, not the vocabulary.

(FAIL.)
posted by grobstein at 3:00 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


FAiL
posted by snap_dragon at 3:01 PM on March 2, 2009


I, um, don't care?

If only there were a shorthand for that...


I say "DFC", as in "don't fuckin' care". It needs a little work though. Used to be "GAF" as in "give a fuck" but that could be considered encouragement.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:03 PM on March 2, 2009


By say I mean write.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:04 PM on March 2, 2009


Two guys on the internets said it, one of whom is moderately famous. Must be true.
posted by electroboy at 3:05 PM on March 2, 2009


I can't seem to locate the disciples of ... John Oliver ... and their movements too easily

Try here.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:05 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think "meh" speaks so much of a negativity in internet comments, but more of an increasing need to post comments when you don't have one.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 3:05 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Taters!
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on March 2, 2009


Your mild disinterest enrages and confuses me!
posted by kyrademon at 3:09 PM on March 2, 2009 [15 favorites]


Hey Andy? Fuck you.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 3:10 PM on March 2, 2009


FAIL IN MY OPINION
posted by frenetic at 3:11 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hodgman's right about "meh", of course.
posted by Mister_A at 3:18 PM on March 2, 2009


i thought "meh" was supposed to encapsulate the entire hipster zeitgeist. but then i realized that the hipster zeitgeist, such as it is, doesn't rate a word, let alone a non-word.
posted by klanawa at 3:19 PM on March 2, 2009


I'd like to keep 'disinterest' fiscal, as 'uninterest' already covers 'lacking enthusiasm for.'

I think that ship might have sailed, though.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 3:21 PM on March 2, 2009


I quite like the word 'meh'. To me it describes the feeling I have when I'm not underwhelmed enough to bother typing the word "underwhelmed".
posted by ob at 3:21 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


i thought "meh" was supposed to encapsulate the entire hipster zeitgeist.

I believe a more appropriate word here would be "ninja", especially when verbed:

"I was thinking about how meh everything was and that guy totally ninjad me."
posted by quin at 3:24 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was all like, "Meh," if that's a word
John Hodgman says that it ought to not
He's one of those nerds like I knew in my school
posted by Sys Rq at 3:26 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


To me it describes the feeling I have when I'm not underwhelmed enough to bother typing the word "underwhelmed".

But what does one type when one is merely whelmed?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:26 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


But what does one type when one is merely whelmed?

*gurgle*
posted by Sys Rq at 3:29 PM on March 2, 2009


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:31 PM on March 2, 2009


The Whelming, an M. Night Shyamalan joint, is currently in pre-pro. René Zellweiger, Marky Mark, and the dude from The Goonies have all been cast–AS THE SAME CHARACTER!







Bet you didn't see that coming, did you? Plus the character they are all playing is a SUPERHERO! And he's DEAD!
posted by Mister_A at 3:32 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


this thread was so predictable I didn't even read it.
posted by HuronBob at 3:34 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obviously, you have the three possible layers:

Overwhelmed: "Whoa: Ease up there buddy, you're coming on kinda strong."

Whelmed: [in a robot voice] This is my default state. Every thing is status quo.

Underwhelmed: "Meh. I've had far scarier things injected into my body."

Ok, I'll admit it, at this point even I don't have a clue what I'm talking about anymore.
posted by quin at 3:34 PM on March 2, 2009 [8 favorites]


Is anyone feeling script-y enough to find the first occurance on Metafilter?

I know of several people, myself included, who have been saying it for quite some time, but with the passage of years I no longer remember where it came from (other than I'm fairly certain it wasn't the Simpsons).
posted by milovoo at 3:35 PM on March 2, 2009


Whatever it was you said, it made me smile, quin.
posted by Mister_A at 3:35 PM on March 2, 2009


Baio seems to miss the point that object truth can just as easily be "angry, bitchy, or mean" as subjective truth. In fact, the best (*) way be "angry, bitchy, or mean" probably lies in something the victim believes to be true (and is thus feels objective to them).

(*) where "best" means "most effective at being an asshole"
posted by Bovine Love at 3:38 PM on March 2, 2009


Is anyone feeling script-y enough to find the first occurance on Metafilter?

Here you go, Succa.

posted by gman at 3:40 PM on March 2, 2009


Après le déluge, meh.
posted by jamjam at 3:41 PM on March 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't think any of them take anything involving themselves that seriously

Are you telling me that emergency christmas is a lie and that we won't actually have mirrors and cocaine at cash registers?

Man. The economic meltdown is just a series of disappointments.
posted by flaterik at 3:41 PM on March 2, 2009


I suspect aphasia. This post needs more brain guy.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:42 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did I ever tell you people I hate twitter as a 'conversation' medium (as opposed to informing your friends where da party at, so to speak)? A harbinger of the locked-down commodified internet (140 characters so it works on locked-down cellphones) and loved by lazy, vapid, media elites with nothing to say.
posted by delmoi at 3:43 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I...think...we've just seen the Hodgeman & The Daily Show jump the shark.
Can Colbert be far behind?
posted by hexatron at 3:43 PM on March 2, 2009


Did I ever tell you people I hate twitter as a 'conversation' medium (as opposed to informing your friends where da party at, so to speak)?

Oh, to me, twitter virtually defines 'meh'.
posted by ob at 3:45 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Meh" is too good for twitter.
posted by gman at 3:47 PM on March 2, 2009


I don't mind "meh" as an expression itself, but you can't just say "meh."

Why bother typing a response at all, if you can barely muster enough interest to poke out three letters? You can "meh" if you like, but if you're that underwhelmed and disinterested, it would be nice if you would explain why, especially since I'm assuming that if you showed up to say "meh" you want to participate in the discussion somehow. I like "meh" for some applications, but on its own it's just a way of saying "I'm too cool be interested in this, but I want you to know that I'm here. I want your attention, but I'm not going to put any thought or effort into getting it." Damn, why not just say :o| if you're just going to contribute three characters?


"LOL" is anathema and its users should be shunned. It barely replaces emoticons which are also reprehensible, but at least serve the purpose of articulating something that isn't being adequately conveyed non-verbally.


The problem I have with "LOL" is that I imagine the person typing it laughing out loud every time it's used. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who put LOL at the end of every sentence. I then imagine them laughing out loud after every sentence, and that makes them seem pathologically nervous and creepy.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:48 PM on March 2, 2009 [16 favorites]


i am amazed this thread hasn't burned itself out yet...

i could care less (ICCL) about the (meh + fail)s.

i just want a moratorium on ftfy.

now that is some annoying and overused shit (ntisaaos).
posted by artof.mulata at 3:49 PM on March 2, 2009


Dammit, Sys Rq, get out of my brain.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:56 PM on March 2, 2009


Hey Hodgman and Baio, you're overthinking things.
posted by mrnutty at 3:59 PM on March 2, 2009


Missing tag.
posted by peacay at 4:01 PM on March 2, 2009


Getting mehtaphysical!

*hurm*
posted by Ron Thanagar at 4:07 PM on March 2, 2009


"Meh" is great. It's been around for a lot longer than the Simpsons. When someone asks you how you feel about something, or asks you to make a choice between two fairly equal things, you think about it for a second (verbally going "mmm...") then indicate your indifference (by making the sound "eh").

Typing it is a little crass, but only a little. Saying it is perfect, and has lots of uses. I saw a great definition by some poster somewhere: "Meh says, 'I understand your enthusiasm for the subject you are talking about, but it's not really anything I care about.'"
posted by Aquaman at 4:11 PM on March 2, 2009


TS:DR
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:13 PM on March 2, 2009


This internet is pretty serious isn't it?
posted by Sailormom at 4:16 PM on March 2, 2009


"Meh says, 'I understand your enthusiasm for the subject you are talking about, but it's not really anything I care about.'"

Which is precisely what makes its use in a web forum so massively pathetic . In an email where one's personal opinion was solicited and some response is expected it makes sense. But in a forum? The user doesn't find the subject interesting enough to comment on, but he does find his own lack of interest interesting enough to comment on. That's getting into desperately sad territory.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:18 PM on March 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


Afroblanco: "Linking to twitter posts? Really?"

WCityMike : SLYT? SLOE? GYOB? etc. etc. etc. etc.


I mean, it's not just that I hate twitter. It's that I just can't see the point in linking to a twitter post. That's like me making a post and linking every word to a dictionary entry. Except that the twitter link is even more useless than that, because it doesn't even give any context. Couldn't you just have easily posted, '"blah blah blah blah blah," said Hodgman on Twitter?" Or MAYBE, just MAYBE if you did that, the FPP would be robbed of its gimmick, and instead would be a single link to a rather anemic blog post?

I mean, at least a SLYT is a link to SOMETHING, not just the same exact words only appearing somewhere else.

But all of that aside, my hate for twitter continues to grow.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:24 PM on March 2, 2009


Why bother typing a response at all, if you can barely muster enough interest to poke out three letters? You can "meh" if you like, but if you're that underwhelmed and disinterested, it would be nice if you would explain why, especially since I'm assuming that if you showed up to say "meh" you want to participate in the discussion somehow.

Amen. You have the temerity to criticize without offering any real criticism, as though the thing you hold in contempt is too bland to even be worth more than a one-word dismissal? If it is that lowly, why bother to say anything at all.

People who say "meh" and nothing else could collectively vanish from the earth, and the earth would likewise respond with a one-syllable, disinterested adieu.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:28 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


isn't John Hodgman at 14:59 yet? His STINT at BoingBoing irritated ME to NO end. Meh, indeed...

/ignore John\ Hodgman
posted by kuppajava at 4:31 PM on March 2, 2009


M is for the Many ways I do not give a shit
E is for the Ennui that I feel
H is for the special Hell reserved by holy writ
For all the things that do not much appeal

posted by Sparx at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2007 [16 favorites -] [!]

posted by jfuller at 4:31 PM on March 2, 2009 [8 favorites]


I am not going to read though 100+ comment just to see if anyone else makes this connection (and in so doing I condemn myself to a meta-irony), but I find it kind of ironic that Twitter, that ADHD on crack to the internet, is the vehicle used to rail against the use of 'meh' as a means of communicating something metasyntatic in a non verbal medium.
posted by edgeways at 4:32 PM on March 2, 2009


People who say "meh" and nothing else could collectively vanish from the earth, and the earth would likewise respond with a one-syllable, disinterested adieu.

That, uh, seems a little heavy. Maybe you should switch to decaf there, champ.

And if you don't like shorthand expressions of contempt, what the hell are you doing on metafilter?
posted by lumpenprole at 4:37 PM on March 2, 2009


I don't really have an opinion on "Meh" or "Fail," but I will never really understand the appeal of Twitter. Of course, I'm still pretty hopeless at text messaging so, this may be an age thing or something.
posted by thivaia at 4:38 PM on March 2, 2009


Whatever.
posted by Foosnark at 4:39 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is part of a really old debate. I don't know how old -- probably ancient, since it deals with some archetypal human traits: idealism/vulnerability/poetic-dreamers vs. ironic/aloof/boorish-doers. It's a major theme in "Streetcar Named Desire" and "The Three Sisters." Those plays are often skewed, in production, to make the "poetic" characters heroes and the boors villains (and, to be honest, I think there's some of the same bias in the writing), but both plays at least partly send up (or critique) the idealistic characters too.

When taken to extremes, both types are annoying: there's the special snowflake who cries if you say you dislike his favorite color; there's the crude asshole who farts during at weddings.

Having admitted that I find fault on both sides, I'm more comfortable around vulnerable, naive people than too-cool-for-school ironists. (Do you like Norm McDonald? If so, you have the opposite sensibility from me. I prefer "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," though that film was filled with ironists to make the openness-pill go down easier.)

As someone who is naturally vulnerable, I have no defense against sarcasm or aloofness. One "whatever, dude" and my only retort is to say, "That hurts my feelings," which makes me look more foolish than ever. Given that fact, it's no wonder so many people choose irony over wearing their hearts on their sleeves. I make the other (less wise?) choice, simply because I find bare emotion attractive and mirrored shades a turn off.

I suspect many people don't wear the mirrored shades for nefarious reasons. As unattractive as I find them, others find them hot! They grew up in a world full of college-wit humor. The late 20th Century is a den of irony. (I find that people younger than me are especially tuned to it.) The main exception was 60s counter-culture -- parts of it anyway. The parts about ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, LOVE, LOVE -- Paul instead of John. I was born in '65, and I grew up in that stew.

I love Hodegman's rant -- not because I think it's "right." Because it lays bare the way I feel.
posted by grumblebee at 4:44 PM on March 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


I like the adjectival "meh" as a pithy encapsulation of ineffably beige, bland, samey mediocrity:

"Good Man" is a surprisingly decent song by the usually meh Josh Ritter.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:48 PM on March 2, 2009


Hodgman is a Cylon. That is all.
posted by homunculus at 4:48 PM on March 2, 2009


FLAIL!
posted by wendell at 4:49 PM on March 2, 2009


The name "Hodgman" sounds vaguely familiar, but I don't really know who either of these people are. However I think the crux of both quotes is in this:

I know many people who make stuff for the web, all of them very passionate about what they do. And every time I see a 'FAIL' assigned to their work, it makes me sad.

The timeless call of the hacky stand-up turning on the audience because they didn't laugh enough at his "airline food" bit. When you create and put it in the public domain, you're open to criticism. Some of it is fair, some of it isn't. Want less criticism? Make the work better. Works every time. The "but they're my friends and they're NICE and they TRY HARD" whine is weak, and any creative professional should know better.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:51 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


As I recall, the Hive Mind was pretty meh about JoHo's post.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:53 PM on March 2, 2009


Twitter is so meh. FAIL.
posted by zekinskia at 5:05 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


MehFail: community weblog? really?

(Alt. spelling: mehFAIL.)

Suggested usage: "This post has me just interested to complain about it: mehFAIL."
posted by grobstein at 5:09 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I see wendell's FLAIL!, and raise him an Epic Flail.
posted by quin at 5:09 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


it's cuz it looks / sounds like MeFi GUYS
posted by grobstein at 5:10 PM on March 2, 2009


MehtaFAILter
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:15 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


SpiffyRob:
Here I sit, legs a-kilter
Paid five bucks for MetaFilter.
Try to post; JRUNs prevail
Matt & pb - EPIC FAIL!

That said, both are perfectly cromulent words for use when the suckitude or disasterousness of the object in question is so outrageously screamingly obvious that no further commentary is necessary. A sort of linguistic shorthand, if you like.

The type of people that object to their use are usually the ones desperately trying to engage you in an irrelevant &/or uninteresting subject, or trying to convert you to an objectively wrong PoV against your interest/will.
posted by Pinback at 5:38 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Metafilter's own John Hodgman - I am sorely disappointed in you, sir. "Meh" is a perfectly cromulent word, suitable for displaying a vast range of emotion ranging from "I am somewhat disinterested in this subject" to "I hope you die horribly in a train accident".
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 5:44 PM on March 2, 2009


Obviously, you have the three possible layers:

Unless you're Al Pacino, who also has "over-fuckin'-whelmed."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:44 PM on March 2, 2009


May
posted by spiderwire at 5:47 PM on March 2, 2009


OK, I concur that in a forum, without explication, there's no reason to post "meh". But as a solicited personal response, it's invaluable for many situations, and I predict it ain't goin' nowheres.

I guess let's just try to keep the distinction in mind.
posted by Aquaman at 5:48 PM on March 2, 2009


Hodgman is a Cylon. That is all.
This shall not stand. Pistols at dawn.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:55 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I gave it a go but Twitter is loathsome. It reduces people I like (Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman) from fascinating raconteurs to people I claw at my headphones to escape on the bus. I subscribed to Gaiman's feed and unsubscribed 6 hours later after 20 tweets that read like the minutes to a city council meeting, albeit with a few more references to Norse mythology and exciting names casually dropped. And people I think are tiresome and inexplicable? There are no words. Or rather, there are hundreds, thousands, millions of words, arranged into little sentences like paper cuts for the eyes. Twitter is what the opposite of joy looks like, not a tiny lukewarm word like meh.
posted by melissa may at 6:00 PM on March 2, 2009 [16 favorites]


'meh' is not so much a criticism as a way of publicizing one's position with the maximum reflexivity and economy of effort. Like all reflexes it is immediate and unconsidered, and like all public positioning the chief concern is that people notice you saying 'meh'. It is insufficient to feel an emotional distance from something: one must advertise one's distance.

'FAIL' however has always worked for me on some level of funny. The blunt, inappellate, and above all clear nature of the sentiment appeals to me. It's not quite the same as saying 'FAILURE' - that would be a harsh and sweeping assessment of the subject. 'FAIL' has always had a slight overtone of compassion - the recognition that
posted by Ritchie at 6:05 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


It is insufficient to feel an emotional distance from something: one must advertise one's distance.

But on a messageboard/forum/metaFilter nothing exists unless it is "advertised". Advertizo egro sum or something.

I say "meh" (in theory) to indicate that a topic is unworthy of discussion as opposed to me simply being asleep and having missed the thread. I'll agree that it's pretty much neutral-to-negative value and, as such, should be avoided. But it's not perfectly synonymous with silence.
posted by GuyZero at 6:16 PM on March 2, 2009


"Part of the problem is that 'FAIL' implies objective truth, when it's just your personal opinion."

Really, that's just idiotic. Does every opinion need to be couched in layers of qualifications and apologies? It's pretty obvious, when some peanut gallerist on Youtube posts "FAIL!! OMG LOOSER!!!1" that it's an opinion, and anyone who confuses that with objective fact is bringing her own problems to the table.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:36 PM on March 2, 2009


I say "meh" (in theory) to indicate that a topic is unworthy of discussion as opposed to me simply being asleep and having missed the thread. I'll agree that it's pretty much neutral-to-negative value and, as such, should be avoided. But it's not perfectly synonymous with silence.

Lack of comment - the actual or effective absence from the forum - indicates indifference to the subject better than any words can. What you are describing is the need to say 'I'm here', but concealing this announcement behind a glyph that pretends to be something else, something deemed more necessary.

So yes, not synonymous with silence - conveying something entirely difference altogether.
posted by Ritchie at 6:39 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I came here to say, "meh."
posted by Drasher at 6:45 PM on March 2, 2009


I'M IN UR FORUM BEIN INDIFFERENT
posted by Ritchie at 6:54 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oy, vey. This thread is a trainwreck. Look, in my entry, I was never, ever talking about FAILblog-style comic follies. FAIL is great when used for teh funny. I was talking about FAIL used as a genuine form of criticism, when it can actually hurt.

A dog isn't going to be ashamed of an Internet commenter saying he failed to jump through a hoop on YouTube. But every day, someone spends the time to create something new and puts it out into the world, only to have someone call FAIL. It's not criticism, it's just a quick kick in the shin on your way out the door.

It happens to people I know all the time, and it makes me sad. I can't believe this is a controversial view.
posted by waxpancake at 6:59 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Can I interest you in a TeaL DeeR?
posted by pxe2000 at 7:09 PM on March 2, 2009


I was talking about FAIL used as a genuine form of criticism, when it can actually hurt.

I tend to look at those usages as something akin to an emoticon. Once again, the objective is not to say that someone is a loser or a failure or whatever, it's more of a little grizzle of frustration - the equivalent of 'D'oh!' or /facepalm. Open to misinterpretation, sure. But probably best dealt with by training oneself not to take these things personally.
posted by Ritchie at 7:10 PM on March 2, 2009


This shall not stand. Pistols at dawn.

Will there be cake? I'm not getting up at dawn if there's no cake.
posted by homunculus at 7:12 PM on March 2, 2009


So this guy complains about things that don't matter? Huh... there are worse schticks.
posted by !Jim at 7:44 PM on March 2, 2009


If he can bitch about the word 'meh', can I bitch about someone who sells me a book with seven hundred hobo names in it?
posted by digsrus at 7:50 PM on March 2, 2009


Awwwwww lil' Hodgie can't take rejection!
posted by blue ruin at 8:21 PM on March 2, 2009


The first person I remember saying 'meh' regularly was mathowie. I remember being disappointed in him, and now I feel vindicated. Yay vindication!
posted by gtr at 8:35 PM on March 2, 2009


And if you don't like shorthand expressions of contempt, what the hell are you doing on metafilter?

Try popping into a few threads early on with one word expressions of contempt for the links the OP had assembled and see how that goes over for you here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:01 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Look at all the places on the web where these memes are most popular, the shining beacons of humanity that they are.
posted by whiteroses at 9:21 PM on March 2, 2009


Or: it's not about the words or even the memes themselves. It's when they're used for dismissiveness and contempt. I can't see them used that way without thinking of the writer as a four-year-old being offered food or entertainment he or she doesn't approve of. It's the same sense of entitlement, and about as much consideration for other people's feelings.
posted by whiteroses at 9:41 PM on March 2, 2009


An article dissing meh? Feh!
posted by furtive at 9:46 PM on March 2, 2009


waxpancake: "A dog isn't going to be ashamed of an Internet commenter saying he failed to jump through a hoop on YouTube. But every day, someone spends the time to create something new and puts it out into the world, only to have someone call FAIL. It's not criticism, it's just a quick kick in the shin on your way out the door."

I'm not sure the real problem in that situation is people saying "FAIL," it's people being dicks. They're misusing a perfectly good (and even occasionally humorous) joke in order to say "this sucks," but it's not the wording that's hurtful — it's the content: the dismissiveness, the out-of-hand contempt, the schoolyard mocking.

Sure, when used that way "FAIL" is pretty rude, but so is "u suck" or "lame." The problem isn't with anything particular to "FAIL," it's an issue with Internet culture (and provided you're talking about the English-speaking Internet, that's just shorthand for mostly American culture) in general.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:29 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


A dog isn't going to be ashamed of an Internet commenter saying he failed to jump through a hoop on YouTube.

You don't know that.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:32 PM on March 2, 2009


Meh was pretty big in seventh grade when I was really hitting the internet hard and heavy (let's say 2001), but my IRL friend who used it the most barely had any web presence that I could tell.

I think it's very well suited for typical teenage apathy, but it's not even part of my speaking(or typing) vocabulary anymore. I kinda cringe when I see older people using it.

As for FAIL, well, it fails. Seriously, just losing the caps and conjugating makes it so much more personable while still heeding the original meme. (wait, is that oxymoron?)

Memes are so volatile. Do you know that Wal*Mart has been selling Chuck Norris fact posters for some time now? How many impulse buyers would've bought that if it had been three years ago?
posted by rubah at 10:42 PM on March 2, 2009


A dog isn't going to be ashamed of an Internet commenter saying he failed to jump through a hoop on YouTube. But every day, someone spends the time to create something new and puts it out into the world, only to have someone call FAIL.

On the Internet, everyone thinks you're a dog. This is now more true than ever.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:47 PM on March 2, 2009


I don't think that the prevalence of "meh" is related to a lack of joy - I think it's a reaction to the endless hype. The 3rd SuperHeroMan sequel often has more marketing tie-ins than the first, but is unlikely to be half as good. There's a new website promising all the info you need plus a social networking tool that'll take over from Facebook, but it turns out to be a blog full of press releases with a button to send your friends a spammy link.

I'm tired of relentless marketing, and I've often got my defensive shields up when I'm reading the net. I *want* to get excited and joyful about stuff, and I will evangelise if I find the perfect little webtool. But dammit, a lot of it is just crap.
posted by harriet vane at 1:39 AM on March 3, 2009


"@Afroblanco I say let's make mefi more like twiter. it would sure make things more concise. I find messages on twitter can be elegant and ve
posted by ALongDecember at 2:22 PM on March 2"


First actual LOL of the day, so thanks.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:00 AM on March 3, 2009


It's a major theme in "Streetcar Named Desire" and "The Three Sisters."

I remember that wonderful scene in A Streetcar Named Desire where Stanley explodes and says:
"You come in here and you sprinkle the place with powder and you spray perfume and you stick a paper lantern over the light bulb - and, lo and behold, the place has turned to Egypt and you are the Queen of the Nile, sitting on your throne, swilling down my liquor. And do you know what I say? Meh! Meh! Do you hear me? FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!"
posted by octobersurprise at 5:52 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


[this is navalgazy]
posted by Jeremy at 7:26 AM on March 3, 2009


i hate 'meh' used in real life. It's just lazy, and sounds rubbish. Not as bad as 'my bad', though. What does that even mean? It just sounds ridiculous, especially in an English accent. I had a colleague who used it all the time and it sent me a bit killy.
posted by mippy at 7:51 AM on March 3, 2009


I'm not sure the real problem in that situation is people saying "FAIL," it's people being dicks. They're misusing a perfectly good (and even occasionally humorous) joke in order to say "this sucks," but it's not the wording that's hurtful — it's the content: the dismissiveness, the out-of-hand contempt, the schoolyard mocking.

Yes, I agree. And I don't care how many navies this makes me gaze at.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT IRRITATES ME MORE THOUGH?

When people say 'First!' on webfora. NNNNGH! それが私をとてもいらだたせるので、私はもう英語を話したくはありません。
posted by mippy at 7:57 AM on March 3, 2009


I'd rather watch a sack of horseshit burn that listen to John Hodgman and his opinions or routines. That he keeps turning up on everything I watch and listen to is the best argument I've had in a while for unsubscribing, canceling, or deleting all the media I consume and starting over.

Is that clearer than "meh"?
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:57 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've always liked "Meh." There is an elegant appropriateness to use a word which takes little effort to pronounce or write in order to convey the message that one doesn't care enough about the subject to exert oneself.

Or perhaps it is just because when teenage daughter says "Meh" she does so with a je ne sais quoi-- a Gallic shrug, a moue, a provocative tilt of the head. Meh.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:07 AM on March 3, 2009


I'd rather watch a sack of horseshit burn that listen to John Hodgman and his opinions or routines.

Me too, but I like Hodgman ok. Wouldn't watching a sack of horseshit burn be really fun in a -reclaiming-your-purposeless-teenage-asshole-years sort of way? I think there should be a yearly holiday celebration that involves horseshit burning. Proselytizers! I would sign up for your religion if you made this happen.
posted by Kwine at 8:34 AM on March 3, 2009


I was talking about FAIL used as a genuine form of criticism, when it can actually hurt.

Actually, that's really interesting. I don't think that form of criticism would ever actually hurt me. Maybe I'm insensitive, but if something I love/care about/proselytize is dismissed that casually I think "oh well" and move on to someone who engages. Especially on the internets where casual dismissal is a realistic survival strategy.

I think a lot of the upset in this thread comes from not being clear about that. The occasional well-used 'meh' is actually very funny. And failblog is hilarious. If you are hurt by it's use as actual criticism you might remind yourself that it isn't actual criticism.

Of course, that's just my opinion and you have the right to define the boundaries of your outrage any way you choose. Your clarifying it makes me a lot more sympathetic to your point, even if I don't share it's premise.

And for what it's worth, because there's been a lot of negativity, I freaking love John Hodgman. His books are great, his piece on the Cuervo guy on TAL was fantastic, and his appearance on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me was top notch.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:36 AM on March 3, 2009


I am not whelmed. This does not whelm me.
posted by tehloki at 10:38 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hate when people respond to a criticism with "that's just your opinion".

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
posted by funkiwan at 11:41 AM on March 3, 2009


I've been saying this here for years. Then some dork comedian twitters it and you all post it on the front page and get in a tizzy about it.

I might as well not exist.
posted by srboisvert at 12:17 PM on March 3, 2009


Franly, we're all a little meh about your opinion, srboisvert.
posted by dersins at 12:20 PM on March 3, 2009


Especially Fran.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:50 PM on March 3, 2009


FAIL
posted by dersins at 1:13 PM on March 3, 2009


Metafilter: Even though I am open to joy, I did not find any here.
posted by CaseyB at 1:34 PM on March 3, 2009


JFuller: amazed as I am that someone should seek out my previous rubbish, I feel the second verse has some traction:

"Meh" is just a simple word, hardly a yawn's pupae
In a language even asshats understand
Time tested and time proven, you cannot take it away
Unless you prise it from my cold and lifeless hand
posted by Sparx at 3:48 PM on March 3, 2009


A criticism on the loss of adequate discourse…on twitter? Srsly?
I greatly prefer Christopher Walken on Hot Dogs.

“Not as bad as 'my bad', though. What does that even mean?”

Mea Culpa, but not as pretentious.

“Memes are so volatile. Do you know that Wal*Mart has been selling Chuck Norris fact posters for some time now?”

Totally. There was one recently about a sniper shooting people before they could finish their se
posted by Smedleyman at 4:19 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


WIFF FFS
posted by not_on_display at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2009


« Older Supreme Court Enters the YouTube Age. Previous pos...  |  The Hudson River plane landing... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments