Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


We Join Together to Battle Velvet
November 12, 2010 4:28 AM   Subscribe

"I came to this beautiful hall in a soiled subway car, but I might as well have travelled in a grand carriage. As I walked down the street I drew sidelong glances. 'Who is this man,' they seemed to say. 'A man at home where-ever he travels. A man of refinement. A man of elegance. A man of corduroy.'" An address to the Corduroy Appreciation Club (previously) by MeFi's youngamerican Jesse Thorn.
posted by l33tpolicywonk (59 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
When we need to sneak through the tunnels after Mutant Alien Zombie Apocalypse, the people in corduroy will be the first ones eaten.

zip-zop-zip-zop-zip-zop......ohshitazombialienmutant!...zipzopzipzopzipzopzipzop!
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:16 AM on November 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Corduroy is a level of itchy hell reserved for fat kids.
posted by The Whelk at 5:46 AM on November 12, 2010


Cord du Roy.
posted by flippant at 5:49 AM on November 12, 2010


Corduroy is a level of itchy hell reserved for fat kids.
posted by ColdChef at 6:03 AM on November 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


What?

I'm a fat kid.
posted by The Whelk at 6:06 AM on November 12, 2010


"Bad"-era Michael Jackson wore corduroy pants.
posted by iviken at 6:18 AM on November 12, 2010


Can I ask a question?

Why do this? Why go through all the effort to create a "corduroy appreciation society" then invite people who have to write a speech to commemorate it? What's the point?

It isn't funny in the sense that it makes anyone laugh. It is barely Prairie Home Companion-level funny. Maybe people smile, but this is a tremendous amount of effort for such a low humor yield.

My only explanation is that there are some members of the under 35 crowd who perceive irony to be like a 19th century steam engine. They have to keep feeding it with the trivia of their youth or it dies out. And if they've defined themselves solely as an arbiters not of culture but of irony, if the irony engine dies, their identity collapses with it.

Does any member of Generation X feel any sort of obligation to be serious about anything? Everyone wants to be a comedianhumorist, all the while ignoring the fact that one of their idols, Jon Stewart, is most effective when he isn't trying to be funny.

I get that he's an entertainer. I suppose my objection is: is there anyone who isn't?
posted by Pastabagel at 6:34 AM on November 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Some people really like corduroy.

While I can accept corduroy jackets into my life, the memory of my middle school cord pants, the itchy fuzzy thighs rubbing together and generating enough static electricity to power a Vespa, is enough to make reflective wince at the sight of cords.

It didn't help that these pants were way too tight on me, so my chubby little legs looked like brown grooved sausages about to burst form whatever disgusting casing held them.
posted by The Whelk at 6:42 AM on November 12, 2010


I was moved. It's tongue-in-cheek and hyperbolic, but it's a curiously liberal conservatism, isn't it? A lot of work went into something frivolous, but in itself that exhibits a dedication to the pleasures of a job well done that corduroy is set up to represent in this essay.

In summary: it's merely droll, but that's funny as shit.
posted by putzface_dickman at 6:54 AM on November 12, 2010


+1 on the low humour yield.
posted by the cuban at 6:55 AM on November 12, 2010


Well, at least I enjoyed this.
posted by Dmenet at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2010


Why do this? Why go through all the effort to create a "corduroy appreciation society" then invite people who have to write a speech to commemorate it? What's the point?

You're missing the obvious point: Jesse like corduroy. He does. He's a snappy dresser and he cares about clothes and clothing history. He's not being flip. He's sincere.

Hell, he's all about "New Sincerity". Or, to put it another way: In a September 2009 interview, Thorn commented that "'new sincerity'" had begun as "a silly, philosophical movement that me and some friends made up in college" and that "everything that we said was a joke, but at the same time it wasn’t all a joke in the sense that we weren’t being arch or we weren’t being campy. While we were talking about ridiculous, funny things we were sincere about them."

So, I think your answer is that the man like cords.
posted by ColdChef at 7:36 AM on November 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want to know what beer most resembles cords and then I want to drink it.
posted by The Whelk at 7:37 AM on November 12, 2010


Does any member of Generation X feel any sort of obligation to be serious about anything? Everyone wants to be a comedianhumorist, all the while ignoring the fact that one of their idols, Jon Stewart, is most effective when he isn't trying to be funny.
I'm in Generation Y and I like corduroy and I do not find Jon Stewart to be All That. It see
ms as sincere as Stationery Club, a Twitter society some friends set up because they really, really like stationery.

I think most of the hipster hate comes from a lack of sincerity - of taking the crap and venerating it because it's funny, when it rarely really is, it's just ill-fitting and ugly. Liking things - genuinely enjoying and appreciating things for what they are - is going out of vogue, and we need to celebrate awesome things more, because the part of me who got picked on for being a nerd at school for having passions really wants a world where that happens.
posted by mippy at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I miss my Pop cords. They were exactly the right length for me when worn off the hips. Start making your pants in a 38" again, you bastards, for the chubby men and tall girls amongst us.
posted by mippy at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2010


Does the Stationery Club accept international members? *pleasepleaseplease*
posted by ColdChef at 8:08 AM on November 12, 2010


Hear hear.

(though, although my purple corduroy jacket is my favorite article of clothing -- this despite it being passed on by an ex-girlfriend who caused me no small amount of suffering and despair, I can't get behind his hate for velvet. I have two velvet sports coats that I would wear except they're too small, really. Or maybe I'm too huge).
posted by bumpkin at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2010


To all the people complaining that this isn't funny enough: I really don't think it's meant to be funny. What's wrong with liking something and having a club about it? Just because they're aware that it's kind of a silly club doesn't mean it's a joke. Jeez. Life devoid of small whimsies must be miserable.
posted by millipede at 8:46 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


good post , finally something i like a lot
posted by flx89 at 8:47 AM on November 12, 2010


If the humor of the future is unadulterated whimsy then I shall be a GOD
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM on November 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


To all the people complaining that this isn't funny enough: I really don't think it's meant to be funny. What's wrong with liking something and having a club about it? Just because they're aware that it's kind of a silly club doesn't mean it's a joke. Jeez. Life devoid of small whimsies must be miserable.

Did you read the address? It is a parody of an elevated, heroic style. (That is, in fact, all it is.) "We join together to battle velvet." It's a joke, of a particular cozy, (and, yes) not very funny style. I think it's worth asking why this is appealing. Saying "get off my back!" is not productive; saying "well obviously they just like corduroy" is dense or dishonest.

Surely this is a harmless little diversion, but the defense claiming that it is not like a million other "ironic" half-jokes rings incredibly false.

To engage Coldchef's Wikipedia link, you cannot "celebrate[] outsized celebration of joy" and simultaneously "reject[] irony," because when your joyful pose is outsized it is ironic. Look at my celebration that is disproportionate to the object I celebrate! Look at how I combine the language of epic with nostalgia for the pants I wore in elementary school.

It is, simply, a simple irony. It is irony with a smiling face, divorced from sarcasm, which is nice. But it's not (somehow) not irony, and it's not anything more, either.

(I thought the bits about velvet were funny -- but can you read them and tell me that the whole thing is not a joke?)
posted by grobstein at 9:45 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


bumpkin: "my purple corduroy jacket is my favorite article of clothing"

I'm wearing purple cords RIGHT NOW. Maybe we should combine forces and make a really awesome suit.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:49 AM on November 12, 2010


Surely this is a harmless little diversion, but the defense claiming that it is not like a million other "ironic" half-jokes rings incredibly false.

If I make jokes about the things I love, it's not dishonest. A Trekkie can make fun of Star Trek and the extreme levels of fandom that exist and still be non-ironic. Even though they are somewhat ridiculous. I take Jesse at his word.
posted by ColdChef at 10:07 AM on November 12, 2010


Did you read the address? It is a parody of an elevated, heroic style. (That is, in fact, all it is.) "We join together to battle velvet."

It's not a very well done parody of an elevated, heroic style, though, is it? It takes more than using "don" as a verb and misspelling "ineffectual" to write something plausible even as a parody of grandiloquence.

The address attempts (parodic) grandeur in its content (corduroy is ennobling! battle the not-to-be-named foe!) but the style is utterly prosaic.

It's not funny in part because it's just badly done.
posted by kenko at 10:25 AM on November 12, 2010


If I make jokes about the things I love, it's not dishonest. A Trekkie can make fun of Star Trek and the extreme levels of fandom that exist and still be non-ironic. Even though they are somewhat ridiculous. I take Jesse at his word.

At his word that he likes corduroy, you mean? Sure, I believe that.
posted by grobstein at 10:46 AM on November 12, 2010


Cc: Wes Anderson
posted by daniel_ at 10:52 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cc: J.D. Salinger
Cc: Woody Allen
posted by grobstein at 10:56 AM on November 12, 2010


Corduroy is the comfort food of pants. I was wearing my beloved brown ones before I sat down and read this thing. Which I did like. And no mention of corduroy should omit Corduroy.
posted by emhutchinson at 10:58 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hell, he's all about "New Sincerity". Or, to put it another way:

I am so glad you brought this up, because Jesse Thorn's Evel Knievel analogy sums up the very thing about New Sincerity that is terribly wrong.

Evel Knievel is stupid. I mean this in the truest intellectual sense. He's pure spectacle, there is nothing of substance there. If there were no television, there would be no Evel Knievel. It is an attraction without meaning. It is the freakshow.

"There's no way to appreciate Evel Knievel literally. Evel is the kind of man who defies even fiction, because the reality is too over the top. Here is a man in a red-white-and-blue leather jumpsuit, driving some kind of rocket car." - Jesse Thorn

Literally, he embodies the same thing as tribal tattoos on bodybuilders, the rise of MMA, pro-qrestling, Extreme-everything, etc. If you want to be modernist, it is kinetic, pornographic. If you want to be pomo, it's pure Freudian death drive. It's only "awesome" in the sense that it's a show that moves children and people who have developed the maturity to realize that what you see and hear and think is what defines you, and that you have to make choices about this that are often difficult.

So why the hell should I care about Knievel? Why do I even know about him. He isn't "more awesome", he's idiotic. Evel Knievel is for 9 yr old boys, not 30 yr old men. Is jumping over flaming bullshit in a motorcycle more awesome than someone who wrote a book?

"Jesse like corduroy. He does. He's a snappy dresser and he cares about clothes and clothing history. He's not being flip. He's sincere."

And why do you care what Jesse thinks (no offense to Jesse, I don't know him personally)? Because Jesse is on the radio, just like Knievel is on TV.

What New Sincerity does is operate on the most trivial post-modern mode. Where the post-modernist says, "This formerly great thing when deconstructed is no better than this trivial thing," Jesse Thorn responds with "I know, isn't that trivial thing awesome!"

No, the trivial thing is trivial. Awesome is the Iliad, and awesome is a postmodernist deconstruction of it. Both are applications of the mind to extremely difficult and challenging questions that need to be asked and investigated. That is awesome.

The purpose of whatever "comes after" postmodernism, whether it's post-irony, digimodernism, remodernism, new sincerity, earnestness is to restore the appreciation of the meaning/purity/truth-seeking within things that formerly were given a post-modern gutting. It's not to argue that post-modernism is wrong, it's to say "so what?" to every critique or deconstruction.

I understand full well that I am arguing against the prevailing trend in pop culture. I appreciate that the notion of "I really like cake" is enough to get not one but two shows put on television that about decorating cakes. I know that I am absolutely not ever supposed to judge things. But I'm doing it anyway. A show about decorating cake is stupid. That doesn't mean you shouldn't watch it. By all means, watch it. I like junk TV as much as the next person. But I know it's junk. But don't try to elevate it, because doing so degrades everything that actually should be elevated.

I say these things because we are not living in the 1990's anymore. If the US has 10% unemployment, it literally cannot afford simply declaring small things "as awesome" and leaving it at that. We are not in an age where a million little things need re-discovering or critiquing. We are in an age were a few things need massive overhaul, and where everyone need to work extremely hard for a lot less than they expected so that the next generation find a better country than the one we found.

And let's dispense with the idea that this "sincerity" is anything new. Earnestness has been around at least as long as the book about how important it was to be earnest. And this attitude is very much a part of the fabric of the northeast US. One of the most earnest guys on television is Norm Abrams, the master carpenter from This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop. So why not use him as an example? Because he isn't funny. He just is. See, new sincerity doesn't dispense with the bullshit postmodernist neurosis over authenticity. It just creates a new category of "authentically sincere" for people to construct an identity around through consumption and self-promotion.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:38 AM on November 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


Sometimes the beanplating around here is just downright depressing.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:54 AM on November 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Earnestness has been around at least as long as the book about how important it was to be earnest.

You mean the Oscar Wilde thing? You know the title is a joke, right?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:21 PM on November 12, 2010


You mean the Oscar Wilde thing? You know the title is a joke, right?
posted by shakespeherian at 3:21 PM on November 12


Yes, I know that. You know the title only works as a joke if people took that kind of advice seriously before the book was written?
posted by Pastabagel at 12:45 PM on November 12, 2010


If there were no television, there would be no Evel Knievel. It is an attraction without meaning. It is the freakshow.

Barnstorming

Blondin

Gladiator

Entertaining people with spectacle is not a new phenomenon.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:47 PM on November 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nothing makes me sing "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" louder than winding up at yet another dead end in my decades-long quest to find a pair of rust-colored wide wale corduroy trousers that fit me comfortably and somehow flatter my somewhat tidal physique.

Hell, if I could just find a pair of rust-colored wide wale corduroy trousers that sort of fit me comfortably, I could whip out my lovely Singer 534 and my fancy German sewing scissors that have never even had so much as a brief nightmare about a chance meeting with a piece of paper, then spend a few happy hours tailoring to the tune of the 4th Brandenburg, as played by Wendy Carlos, and remake them into something that makes my ass look like meaty heaven in linear velvet, but no.

I'm built like a six foot midget, with laughable short legs, my inseam and waist size rarely meet in the same garment, and when it's desperately difficult to find wide wale corduroy and harder yet to find anything in a tone that might be described as rust-colored, the probability of all these aggregate unlikelihoods converging below my belt becomes something barely worthy of an unfashionable fever dream.

One day, though, I will yet prevail.

posted by sonascope at 1:31 PM on November 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


And worse, my italics never seem to close in the right places, like after my sarcastic "but no."

No wonder corduroy rejects me.
posted by sonascope at 1:32 PM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is jumping over flaming bullshit in a motorcycle more awesome than someone who wrote a book?

Depends on the book. And what sort of bullshit is flaming. And how much of it.

If the US has 10% unemployment, it literally cannot afford simply declaring small things "as awesome" and leaving it at that. We are not in an age where a million little things need re-discovering or critiquing. We are in an age were a few things need massive overhaul, and where everyone need to work extremely hard for a lot less than they expected so that the next generation find a better country than the one we found.

What's wrong with 10% unemployment? All we need is a decent welfare system. Full-time work is killing our planet.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:23 PM on November 12, 2010


Did you read the address? It is a parody of an elevated, heroic style.

Something done in the style of something else is not necessarily a parody of it.

It is, simply, a simple irony.

Did you read a definition of irony? Because this doesn't really fit.
posted by millipede at 6:22 PM on November 12, 2010


New Sincerity is just a nonsense phrase masquerading as an alternative to postmodernism. In reality, I think, it is as postmodern as things get: an entire "movement" and "philosophy" that mocks and satirizes the entire idea of committing intellectually to a movement or philosophy.

New Sincerity is to Postmodernism as Moulin Rouge is to film musicals; it uses the trappings and motifs of these great films, mixes in a round teaspoon of 21st century faux-sincere nonsense, and creates a parody of something that is in fact a great and notable example of that something. See also: NBCs Community as a dialogue about sitcoms, Kingdom of Loathing as parody of fantasy rpg tropes, Tenacious D as a send-up of self-important rockers, and even The Sound of Young America as an antidote to stodgy public radio interview shows. These are notworthy cultural artifacts, not only as satire, but on the same terms as the artifacts they are satirizing.

There's nothing wrong with this. Just because something is called New Sincerity, and it's neither of those things, doesn't mean its nonsense. It just means it's poorly named. Monty Python's Flying Circus is not about a circus. Duran Duran is neither a Duran or a Duran.

Discuss.
posted by LiteOpera at 8:24 PM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't agree but I love that line about Duran Duran.
posted by grobstein at 10:51 PM on November 12, 2010


I listen to the JJgo podcast. When Jesse first mentioned the Corduroy Appreciation Club (also mentioned.. meeting on 11/11, since it's the date that most resembles corduroy), his co-host Jordan asked if it was a real thing. Jesse confirmed it was a real thing, brushing off the question as if he was surprised anyone could think it wasn't.

Jesse retweeted this: " Why doesnt Jesse Thorn @youngamerican disclose membership in exclusive Corduroy Club to PRI? & why does he HATE velvet? http://bit.ly/a1h2fW "

Really..? Yeah, it's just a funny joke, but this can't be anything but ironic. Pastabagel hit this squarely on the mark.
posted by reishus at 11:41 PM on November 12, 2010


I don't agree but I love that line about Duran Duran.

I do agree, but I didn't like the Duran Duran line.

Duran is a name. Duran Duran is another name. Durand Durand is a third.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:25 AM on November 15, 2010


Aw geez... I can't believe I'm about to do this again.

A) I very genuinely and sincerely love corduroy. Here, for example, is a photograph of me and my pal (and a MeFite, iirc) John Hodgman. Note the fabric of my suit. John has a corduroy suit of his own, by the way, and iirc it's a three-piece.

The other people at the event loved corduroy as well. There are a lot of laughs, because everyone is aware that the meeting is silly, but there is a reason that corduroy was chosen. It represents a wonderful blend of intellectualism and can-do spirit that is rare, I think. It's also very soft and comfortable.

B) Which brings me to: itchy? What? Corduroy is like the least itchy fabric on earth.

C) This is the text of a speech, which was written to be performed. It got plenty of laughs when I performed it, but I have a hard time imagining much more than smiles when read. That said, while it's certainly an affectionate parody of grandiose Churchillian political speeches, it was really written to celebrate corduroy in the spirit of the event, and not just to get laughs. If my goal was the latter, it would have had more jokes.

D) To the negative Nellies, I work as hard as anyone I know at making things that I hope are great. I host a radio show, a television show, two podcasts and a web video series and maintain two popular blogs. Please do not denigrate me by suggesting that I don't care about making great things. Maybe you should look in a mirror, and think about what you make.

Finally...
Why do this? Why go through all the effort to create a "corduroy appreciation society" then invite people who have to write a speech to commemorate it? What's the point?

Fun? Fellowship?

Frankly, though, with an attitude like that, I can't imagine you value those things particularly highly.
posted by YoungAmerican at 6:43 PM on November 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


One additional point: funniness is great.
posted by YoungAmerican at 6:48 PM on November 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


If there's one thing I hate above all else on the internet it's when people shit on something other people love and say they can't love it or that their love is ironic or that it's somehow invalid.

Be happy for people when they find something they dig. Maybe they'll be happy for you when you find something you like, too.

Ad astra!
posted by inturnaround at 6:55 PM on November 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


The speech reads like a riff on a certain George Wallace speech.

And anyway, velvet has had a Revolution. Corduroy has had a song on a lousy Pearl Jam album.
posted by dw at 7:21 PM on November 15, 2010


I love my black velvet jacket. Haters gonna hate.
posted by sarahw at 10:55 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm not a big Pearl Jam fan, but I love Corduroy, especially if it's rocking.

I don't want to hear from those who know
They can buy, but can't put on my clothes


I also like corduroy, for what it's worth. I enjoy both corduroy jackets and corduroy pants, yet, perhaps interestingly, not corduroy shirts. I intensely dislike corduroy shirts.

That brings to mind an important question. If a blue-jean jacket with blue jeans is a "Canadian Tuxedo," is a corduroy jacket with corduroy pants an "Emo Tuxedo?" Or something ... even funnier?!?! ("The National"?)

Corollary: does an Emo Tuxedo (or funnier) require a corduroy shirt?

Lastly, I'm not totally convinced this whole supposed "corduroy conference" actually occurred. Couldn't this whole thing be a manufactured culture jam by Cotton, Inc. to pre-emptively ward off negative reactions to dramatically rising prices?

I'm sure it's sheer coincidence that the corduroy suit is fucking hot, hot, hot right now (yes, hot enough to make your nipples pop, ladies). HAMBURGER.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:30 AM on November 16, 2010


Re: That thing you like a lot and about which you talked enthusiastically on one occasion.

I do not like that thing. I find your enthusiasm to be simultaneously both insufficiently humorous and evidence that your generation is never anything but humorous. Rather than enthusiastically liking things and having fun with others who share your interests, you should be dour and critical, like me. Just don't expect me to tell you about my favorite band. Indeed, I think my favorite band sucks - and I'm not joking when I say that. I would never joke about something so serious. For I am a creator of great things, none of which are amusing or fun in any way.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to affix suede patches on the elbows of my tweed jacket. Yes, yes, I know that tweed is very itchy and not as comfortable as corduroy. But it matches my 1989 Range Rover, which I drive without irony.
posted by The World Famous at 11:09 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


WE DISAGREE --> YOU HATE FUN
posted by grobstein at 11:32 AM on November 16, 2010


It's true. I do hate fun. The only time I have fun is when I'm not having fun.
posted by The World Famous at 12:28 PM on November 16, 2010


D) To the negative Nellies, I work as hard as anyone I know at making things that I hope are great. I host a radio show, a television show, two podcasts and a web video series and maintain two popular blogs. Please do not denigrate me by suggesting that I don't care about making great things. Maybe you should look in a mirror, and think about what you make.

First, I never suggested anything about what you care about, or that you don't care about doing what you do well. Obviously you do. What I said was that it wasn't serious. And it isn't. The Today Show isn't serious either. You commitment to it may be very serious, but it is not a serious thing. Which you basically admitted. It's entertainment, right? Fine. America already makes plenty of that, hell we are the world leader in the production of entertainment, amusements, diversions and distractions. We can't afford to pave our roads or educate our children, but at least we are doing our damnedest to make sure the spectacle survives the death of network television.

Second, really, you are calling me out on what I make because I don't have a blog or a TV show? I don't have a facebook account either, so as far as you are concerned, I don't even exist.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:14 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm calling you out on what you make because it is apparent from your responses that you don't make anything.

Furthermore, your implication that anything that isn't, by your weird metric, "serious" is equivalent to The Today Show and means taking food out of the mouths of children is ridiculous.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the children who starved while you were complaining about my work.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2010


I'm calling you out on what you make because it is apparent from your responses that you don't make anything.

Whether this is true or not is completely irrelevant to the argument I was making. I'm not going to tell you what I do for a living. Maybe I make things, or write things, or create things. Or maybe it doesn't actually matter. My profile page here isn't blank by accident.

Furthermore, it's a silly point to bring up. Doctors, lawyers, plumbers, architects, professors, teachers, philosophers, and senators don't make anything either. You might as well ask what degrees I have.

And in any case, what are you trying to accomplish by questioning what I make? Is this part of that "meet the new sincerity, same as the old irony" philosophy? Do you think someone who makes a chair is somehow more sincere than an accountant who balances someone's books? I can assure you there are no accountants, lawyers, or doctors who took their jobs ironically.

Do you want me to say your show is serious or important? Okay, it's serious and important. So now I'll ask you, what show isn't serious or important? What criteria are you using to make that judgment?
posted by Pastabagel at 12:30 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I enter this debate at my peril, but.

I went to the maxfun website, and the first three outside names there are: Judd Apatow, Paul F. Tompkins, and Johnathan Coulton.

I think where this argument (between pastabagel and YoungAmerican) went wrong is that Pastabagel is using this thread not to criticize Maximumfun or corduroy but to make a larger point about America, which YoungAmerican took personally as an insult to him. However, pastabagel's point is very important and independent of YoungAmerican, and it is this:

I say these things because we are not living in the 1990's anymore. If the US has 10% unemployment, it literally cannot afford simply declaring small things "as awesome" and leaving it at that. We are not in an age where a million little things need re-discovering or critiquing. We are in an age were a few things need massive overhaul, and where everyone need to work extremely hard for a lot less than they expected SO THAT THE NEXT GENERATION find a better country than the one we found.

emphasis mine, and probably his.

There's nothing wrong with Jesse doing his thing and god knows it seems to have provided him/his family with something, and others enjoy it, but the rest of us need to rethink what we want from our lives. But it is being sustained on the back of an economy that can't actually sustain it. Maximum fun, or even a lot of fun, is no longer on the agenda.

I was also immensely surprised that the CEO of Metafiler thought pastabagel's comments needed an apology on twitter:

@youngamerican sometimes I'm embarrassed by the actions of my own site. It was a great speech, by the way.

Wow, is what he said so terrible? Isn't this the same site that quashed a thread about muslim honor killings?
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 3:09 PM on November 17, 2010


I was also immensely surprised that the CEO of Metafiler thought pastabagel's comments needed an apology on twitter:

@youngamerican sometimes I'm embarrassed by the actions of my own site. It was a great speech, by the way.

Wow, is what he said so terrible? Isn't this the same site that quashed a thread about muslim honor killings?


That's just clubbiness among high-tier Internet people who attend each other's events in real life. The merits have nothing to do with it. (Want to join the club?)
posted by grobstein at 4:57 PM on November 17, 2010


. . . . The point being, don't take it as like an official ex cathedra apology.
posted by grobstein at 5:13 PM on November 17, 2010


Maximum fun, or even a lot of fun, is no longer on the agenda.

absolute and utter bullshit.

the day we can't have maximum fun is the day we need to pull the plug on the planet.

fun is the whole point. we just need to learn how to make it sustainable.

Isn't this the same site that quashed a thread about muslim honor killings?

oh. well that explains things. i've read your site and if you're scolding YoungAmerican on how he spends his time, well, that seems like the pot calling the kettle black. I don't see how your site is any different than Jesse's. It's ALL ephemera ... supported by advertising.

Those arguing otherwise conflate aesthetics with morality.

If the US has 10% unemployment, it literally cannot afford simply declaring small things "as awesome" and leaving it at that.

I am curious, Patsabagel: At what percentage unemployment are we allowed to declare small things as awesome? Cuz Dalton Ghetti's pencil sculptures are darn awesome.

I was also immensely surprised that the CEO of Metafiler thought pastabagel's comments needed an apology on twitter:

@youngamerican sometimes I'm embarrassed by the actions of my own site. It was a great speech, by the way.


I dunno. Where I come from, that's not an apology. Also, the CEO of Metafiler is a person just like you and me. He gets to have his own opinion and share it too.

I didn't look it up, but I would bet dollars to donuts that comment was on his own personal Twitter account that has no connection to MetaFilter.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:39 AM on November 18, 2010


I've never met Mathowie. But I bet he doesn't like it much when people on MetaFilter act like dicks. And I bet he likes it even less when people on MetaFilter are dicks to people who he actually knows and respects IRL.
posted by The World Famous at 10:47 AM on November 18, 2010


Mathowie is an A1 class act.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:02 PM on November 18, 2010


« Older Matt Taibbi strikes again. Having gone after the i...  |  Remember Worms? Well, Funky Pe... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments