I just want to belong.
November 24, 2006 12:51 PM   Subscribe

People are strange when you're a stranger.
posted by Robot Johnny (60 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Uh... uh... huh.
posted by GuyZero at 12:57 PM on November 24, 2006

Let me be the first to admit that I don't understand this post.
posted by interrobang at 12:59 PM on November 24, 2006

While the first to admit, you are, in fact, the second to not understand it. Well, I understand the post, just not the linked page.
posted by GuyZero at 1:00 PM on November 24, 2006

The concept of the page is stranger than the contents. People posing as part of a group activity. Uh... so?
posted by Jupiter Jones at 1:04 PM on November 24, 2006

I get what the page is going for. The first picture doesn't quite fit in, but the rest provided a slight nod, hardly a revelation. Bad implementation of a pretty boring idea. I did, however, like the old lady who didn't raise the correct finger to flip off the camera.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:06 PM on November 24, 2006

Well, I'm gonna fave this.
posted by Bravocharlie at 1:06 PM on November 24, 2006

I was going to add it as a favorite, until I found myself in one of the photos.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:08 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that was worth it just to see a pic of the Bay City Rollers.
posted by sharpener at 1:09 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

Somebody thought this was interesting? I, um, don't get it, not even in the least. Sorry! No soup for you.
posted by newfers at 1:10 PM on November 24, 2006

Other people's group photos, like other people's dreams, are not interesting unless you are in them.
posted by arcticwoman at 1:16 PM on November 24, 2006

strangeleftydoublethink - really? I bet you're a bear....
posted by altolinguistic at 1:19 PM on November 24, 2006

Any bit of explanation would have been helpful. As it stands right now, my brain feels like it's dying a bit.
posted by piratebowling at 1:22 PM on November 24, 2006

Oh, I was gonna say it was strangeleftydoublethink in the first one, but then I thought there'd been oregon pines in the back.
posted by Bravocharlie at 1:23 PM on November 24, 2006

I don't know. I enjoyed this collection. It was the perfect amount of strangeness to counteract having to come to work the day after Thanksgiving (with a turkey hangover).
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:25 PM on November 24, 2006

Is there something I'm missing, or could any photo of people anywhere go onto this page?
posted by Bookhouse at 1:31 PM on November 24, 2006

I bet photo #3 has the highest number of mefi members. Am I right, strangeleftydoublethink?
posted by kimota at 1:41 PM on November 24, 2006

faces are ugly when you're alone
posted by evilelvis at 1:52 PM on November 24, 2006

I’d be happy to explain. You see, humans are highly interactive with other members of their species. They are often spotted and even photographed in groups. Groupings of humans are the theme of the photographs on the linked site. The first photo is an ungrouped human, raising the inevitable and age-old question: WTF?
posted by found missing at 1:55 PM on November 24, 2006

women seem wicked when you're unwanted
posted by porpoise at 1:58 PM on November 24, 2006

Reminds me of Rock and Roll Confidential's Hall of Douchebags.

Also... kawaii!
posted by knave at 1:58 PM on November 24, 2006

The first picture doesn't quite fit in, ... and the last one, and some of the ones in between. Yes, I'd say that counts as bizarre.
posted by sfenders at 1:59 PM on November 24, 2006

A cursory inspection reveals cosplayers, transvestites, '80s rockers and Wookiees.

::bursts into song:: These are a few of my favorite things!
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:04 PM on November 24, 2006

Very moving collection. I shed a tear.
posted by jack_mo at 2:08 PM on November 24, 2006

This is an awesome post.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:10 PM on November 24, 2006

The point seems to be highlight conformity of dress/grooming/appearance/ornamentation in groups of people.

To be honest, I did find the illustrations to be a bit striking. They're probably just selected for effect, but it does make me wonder.... am I just filtering this out because (a) the conventions of my own group are blend into "ordinary" so well for me that I don't recognize them and/or (b) the diversity of (unconnected) people that I see outside of that context makes me perceive much more diversity amongst groups than there is?
posted by namespan at 2:11 PM on November 24, 2006

"Stranger always rhymes with danger."
posted by hank_14 at 2:14 PM on November 24, 2006

Excellent post. Four stars, and you're on to the next round.
posted by turducken at 2:36 PM on November 24, 2006

Don't forget those guys.
posted by dhammond at 2:39 PM on November 24, 2006

I agree. This post proves people are strange.
posted by The Deej at 2:51 PM on November 24, 2006

Good post...!

Condolences to those that didn't get it.
posted by HuronBob at 2:53 PM on November 24, 2006

posted by peewinkle at 2:54 PM on November 24, 2006

Ummm MetaFilter meet-up pics belong in MeTa, kay?
posted by hermitosis at 3:09 PM on November 24, 2006

My read of the post is that you can tell a lot about a group of people by looking at the similarities between it's individual members.

Though while that theory seems sound when applied to most of the photos here, there are a few that seem to violate that convention.

To put it another way; I haven't a clue.
posted by quin at 3:15 PM on November 24, 2006

Don't forget those guys.

Holy. Shit.
posted by bob sarabia at 3:20 PM on November 24, 2006

Well? Anyone? Oh all right, streets are uneven when you're down.
posted by jfuller at 3:32 PM on November 24, 2006

Google search for "group photo".
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:33 PM on November 24, 2006

Don't forget those guys.

Haha... great! I searched for that photo but I came up short.
posted by knave at 3:42 PM on November 24, 2006

Anyway, the post is absolutely BOTW just for the bunch of Japanese honeys in maid suits.
posted by jfuller at 3:46 PM on November 24, 2006

Hey knave! I'm in the hall of douchebags!

I'm the douchebag on the left, sucking in my gut.
posted by ericost at 4:02 PM on November 24, 2006

stripped of context, the pictures draw our attention to the purely formal commonality expressed in their arrangement, and in so doing expose the formal aspect of social behavior, which is typically sublimated by familiarity and meaning. the effect is uncanny and absurd (and of course, funny) -- in the same way that repeating a word over and over empties it of its meaning and focuses our attention on the artifice of sound itself.

furthermore, by virtue of posing and the medium of photography, in many of these pictures, the viewer is positioned as the other, against which the group defines itself -- in other words, lacking a context, it is my gaze, as voyeur / stranger, which makes the group possible, and, dialectically, it is the gaze of the group which engenders self-consciousness in me. consequently, these pictures are loaded with tension, if not outright hostility.

the pictures could have been more carefully selected, though.
posted by limon at 4:45 PM on November 24, 2006 [5 favorites]

Okay Limon, no way you can be serious, so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and high-fiving your comment.

I also love this post. Yes, I know people like to take group photos, that's nothing new, and this collection doesn't seem particularly special, but that's the very charm. It's fascinating and mesmerizing in its banality, and I'll have forgotten all about it in five minutes: the perfect MeFi post!
posted by jtajta at 5:07 PM on November 24, 2006

At first, I thought the post was crap... then, I looked at the photos closely and realized that there really is a message inside somewhere about people and the feeling of belonging.

Nice post.
posted by squidfartz at 5:28 PM on November 24, 2006

How did they get that picture from my auntie Beehive's rehearsal? I'll never live it down, will I? Nor shall she...left-at-the-altar old-maid who can't keep her horrid pictures off the intert00bes...thankless old bitch!1!
posted by taosbat at 5:53 PM on November 24, 2006

It's humans acting like humans do. Which can be odd at times.

Interesting. :P I won't be coming back to it, but I didn't mind seeing it the once. :)
posted by Vamier at 6:32 PM on November 24, 2006

Bears--->Wookiees: Funny.
Wookiees--->Asian maids: Jarring.
posted by Zendogg at 6:53 PM on November 24, 2006

Wookiees--->Asian maids: Improvement.
posted by danb at 7:14 PM on November 24, 2006

limon: I see that arts degree is working hard for you.
posted by Jilder at 7:16 PM on November 24, 2006

This was the best post in many, many days. Thanks.
posted by caddis at 8:06 PM on November 24, 2006

Reading the comments to this post I'm reminded of the scene from Smoke where Harvey Keitel is showing William Hurt his photos, one snapshot taken each day at the same NY street corner at the same time of the morning. The Hurt character protests that he doesn't "get it" though he can tell Keitel thinks there's something profound in these photos. Keitel insists that Hurt should keep looking, really look, and he will see.
posted by iconjack at 8:31 PM on November 24, 2006

It kind of creeped me out. Not the picture, but my reaction to them. I felt almost like a voyeur. There's no way I could have quit scrolling down to look at the next picture...
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:53 PM on November 24, 2006

MetaFilter: Wookiees--->Asian maids.
posted by melixxa600 at 10:45 PM on November 24, 2006

This link from the top of the page was ummmm, interesting.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 11:43 PM on November 24, 2006

I once had an idea of collecting all the people that I think look similar and taking their photos and catagorizing them. At first I thought this was going to be like that.

Then it got wwwwweird. The sorority girls with psycho boy in the background had me giggling like a nut, though.
posted by stray at 12:27 AM on November 25, 2006

Yes, alltomorrowsparties, I was thrilled about that too. Made me realize that sometimes group shots of weird people are less disconcerting than single shots. 'Specially when you just know the pictures were taken with self-timer. The most lonely form of self-release!
posted by Bravocharlie at 2:16 AM on November 25, 2006

part 1
part 2

damn you to hell, disabled img tag.
posted by cytherea at 11:39 AM on November 25, 2006

It's not a tumor!
posted by carsonb at 2:39 PM on November 25, 2006

My favorite was the one a little more than halfway down of a group of girls taking a picture with an (at least) half naked man leaping into them.
posted by KingoftheWhales at 7:13 PM on November 25, 2006

This image (about 2/3rds) of the way down the page is a link to this very metafilter post. Anyone else notice that?

A bunch of the pictures are links.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 8:53 PM on November 26, 2006

Some of the links seem to be the blogs or pages the image was taken from. I don't quite understand the MetaFilter one, though I've often imagined every single person on MetaFilter to look like a drunken underage spikey-haired fratboy.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 8:56 PM on November 26, 2006

posted by Jimbob at 6:28 PM on December 15, 2006

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