Activity from Frowner

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Laquan McDonald
I would like this to be a turning point. But how many turning points have we seen? Remember when Tamir Rice was shot, right? How could it be okay to shoot a child in cold blood like that? What about Rekia Boyd, also a Chicago murder? How could it be okay for an off-duty cop to fire into a group like that?

If it is a turning point, I will celebrate it as a miracle as surely as if someone brought tablets down from the mountain. But I am more afraid… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:34 AM on November 25, 2015
My understanding is that police who are basically decent people are pressured into silence by their peers. There have been many cases of discrimination against black and female officers, for example, and it's very easy for police administration to really fuck with someone who makes trouble. I mean, consider Frank Serpico if you want a famous case - and that was just over drugs, not white supremacy. I imagine that there are some decent cops but that they are socialized into cop culture and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:12 AM on November 25, 2015
“It’s not a question of what his constitutional rights are,” Kelly said. “It’s a question of what’s appropriate.”

Now that is racism that they would have understood back in 1850 - that it's insolent to look at your superiors as if you were their equals, and that the mere accusation of "insolence" justifies punishment.

I know this all should come as no surprise, and if I weren't white I guess it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:50 AM on November 25, 2015
If you're following the BLM Minneapolis thing, according to the Twitter police fired a bunch of marker rounds at random last night, and there was either a gunshot or fireworks down the block. There were shots the night before last night, and the night before that was the actual shooting.

I have to say, this all scares the hell out of me, even though I've been going down there from time to time. It seems like the cops really want a mass shooting on site, and I'm afraid… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on November 26, 2015

and you thought the US elections were intense
On the one hand, one likes to be like "ha, fandom lol", and things certainly do get pretty lol-y. On the other, given that in general people are doing this work totally unpaid and making it up as they go along, I tend to have a lot of patience for foolery, as long as everyone is committed to fixing it when it comes to light.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:28 AM on November 25, 2015

The Hatemonger
Okay, well, there's going to come points in all our lives, then, where we have to stand up for what's right at some personal risk. I would argue that many of those moments are now, but I think they're going to become more numerous and obvious as time progresses.

What are we doing now to support the good side? Who is with Black Lives Matter? Who is working on immigrants' rights? Who is calling and writing city council members and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on November 23, 2015
I think we may be underestimating how pervasive these violently white supremacist/Christian supremacist attitudes are, and how bad it is that they are being rendered highly visible and respectable. Here in Minneapolis, I'm relatively insulated from all this, because I live in a place that is basically liberal as long as you're white. But you don't need a party if what's happening is more and more of the city council and more and more of the police and more and more of the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:50 AM on November 23, 2015
The reason it doesn't matter whether the 9/11 thing is true or not is that large numbers of voters want it to be true. They're not interested in whether Trump is lying or the actual facts; they're interested in the warm emotional buzz they get from believing this kind of thing. People believe this shit because it makes them feel special and righteous and powerful, but also embattled and victimized and deserving of pity.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:58 AM on November 23, 2015
If you look at the Black Lives Matter MPLS twitter it seems clear that not only was emergency response dilatory but that the cops were refusing to take witness accounts and steering people away from investigation.

I cannot process this. I was just up there for the labor rally on Saturday and was putting together plans to go drop off supplies tonight. I can't process this.

Also, what I was reading on the twitter suggested that some of this may… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:58 AM on November 24, 2015
Also, so far the news coverage seems to be shit, avoiding saying that it was white men or that the protests had been threatened by overt white supremacists. I feel like they're trying imply that it was BLM who did the shooting, or at least to leave that impression on people who don't read more than the headlines.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:12 AM on November 24, 2015
And also - upthread folks were talking about how Trump didn't have paramilitaries, therefore not fascism, etc. These aren't Trump's paramilitaries in any formal sense, but a group of white men with bulletproof vests just shot up a peaceful community protest. That's not in the same league with, say, Chile under Pinochet or the freikorps, but it's definitely well down that road.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:15 AM on November 24, 2015
From a Minneapolis perspective, what I keep thinking is that I did not expect that this could happen here. I actually thought about this when the protests started and there were white supremacists hanging around - I literally thought, these people will not dare to attack a large group. In Minneapolis, we have - or had - a history of running these people out of town, often at the punchy end of a fist. If neo-nazis showed up at a demo, or wanted to protest… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:23 AM on November 24, 2015
Or worst of all, maybe they were cops disguised as vigilantes. Which would further explain how a group of armed assailants were able to gun people down in cold blood outside of a police precinct teeming with cops, and get away without apparent fuss.

That's actually what I'm wondering about. I doubt it will ever be possible to know. I would hate for it to be true, because I still do keep a corner of my mind open to the hope that the cops at… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on November 24, 2015

The BLM Minneapolis protests deserve an FPP of their own. I'm avoiding reading most local news coverage of it because the flat-out racism in this town is incredibly upsetting.

It really does. I feel like I'm not the best person to put one together myself - although I'd be willing to do it maybe tonight or tomorrow - because I am both white and very peripheral to the whole thing and I think there are mefites who are closer and/or mefites… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:51 AM on November 24, 2015
From the story about Mercutio Southall Jr:

and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me

That line belongs in 1984, or maybe a Shirley Jackson story. If there were an actual American horror story, I mean a story that focused on the horror of the American identity, that would be in it. "All lives matter," the crowd shouted, while they brutally… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on November 24, 2015
Emails from the shooters. They're exactly who you'd expect and the emails are exactly what you'd expect.

I am at least glad that they weren't cops, and that one of them has been arrested.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:31 AM on November 24, 2015
Yeah, that whole "if you have this lecture, we will kill people" business - why exactly did that not trigger an intensive federal investigation?

There's all this handwringing when students are like "actually, let's NOT invite racist or anti-trans speakers onto campus and pay them large speaker fees", but the whole Gamergate-mass-shooting-at-a-popular-event lecture threat thing sank without a trace.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on November 24, 2015
I went to the BLM march this afternoon but had to leave early due to a friend's emergency. It was very large, and another probably 150 people stayed behind at the encampment. A lot of people dropped everything, canceled classes, walked out of school, etc to attend. It was definitely one of the largest marches I've been on (other than the big ones before the Iraq war) and I was sorry I could not stay longer.

If you can't go to a protest, you can write your city council… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:59 PM on November 24, 2015

How would you find out where they were? Or if there even was one?

Your profile says that you're in Pittsburgh - there's a group called What's Up Pittsburgn which seems to be white people doing white-directed anti-white supremacy organizing. Their website is active. You could probably email them for information about community stuff.

It looks like the Black Lives Matter-related organization of Pittsburgh isn't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:18 AM on November 25, 2015

Tweeting from a protest subjects you to enrollment in a police database
I've been assuming that this was basically the case since I started seeing Twitter used at protests, because why wouldn't the state do this? Power does because it can. But it's nothing to cheer about - I've had friends put through years of hell because, although they didn't commit any crimes, they organized large protests or were believed to have organized large protests, or were friends and allies of people who had organized protests.

I should remember this more often… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:59 AM on November 22, 2015
Or, alternatively, they are tech-savvy privacy-killing monsters when it suits them, and oblivious how-you-Tweet-ers when that suits them, ie, when women are being harassed and threatened. The police are, in general, right wing. They have every interest in quashing dissent and little interest in preventing feminist writers from getting death threats.

Or, as is more likely, different police departments and bureaus have different levels of expertise,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:52 PM on November 23, 2015

"Ardent fans of a meaningful idiocy." Dancepop with a passionate point.
I've got to say, "January" does it for me.

Thanks for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:53 PM on November 21, 2015

Punk Crock
Interesting, and at the same time mostly unrecognizable.

For every Patti Smith or Debbie Harry, there were dozens more strippers and groupies whose value was bound up in the accessibility of their ladyparts and their willingness to spend their tips on intoxicants and crash pads for the boys onstage.

Actually, plenty of the "strippers and groupies" became musicians and artists, or already were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:17 AM on November 20, 2015
Also, on the "nerding out about CBGBs" level: what one hears is that early punk scenes in different cities were really different in terms of the level of political engagement, the level of interest in art-in-general, the tolerance for/validation of violence and the treatment of women. LA, by all accounts, sounds spectacularly shitty, and I think the San Fran/Berkeley scenes were kind of in response to that - all that Larry Livermore kill 'em with kindness stuff and,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:20 AM on November 20, 2015
(I read the old Baffler because one of my co-punks lent me a copy. The Baffler was a must-read in our circles and could be purchased at several local punk rock spots.)

Punk does a lot of things. Trying to say whether something is "punk" or not is a bit like trying to say whether something is "rock and roll" or not. For my particular milieu, punk was definitely contoured by the fact that almost all of us were lower middle class… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on November 20, 2015
Actually, I think the way one narrates punk has a lot to do with personality - does one default to the "and you're all just a bunch of childish hypocrites, let's move on" or does one actually try to explain what the experience was and why it was important or moving? Honestly, I get a little tired of the "I used to really care about punk rock but now I see that it was just stupid because we thought we were opposed to the squares but we really… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:49 PM on November 20, 2015
Or maybe the it's a matter of what your experience with punk was - I mean, I'm sorry that your experience with punk was, like, buying Green Day CDs and arguing about Fugazi set lists, but that doesn't sum up everyone's experience by any means.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:00 PM on November 20, 2015

The one who gives birth to herself.
I don't know - I notice that the actual selfies used to illustrate this piece are almost all of young, conventionally good-looking people. The discourse about selfies always seems to assume that the self-takers are beautiful and desirable, or at least able to work themselves into a state of beautiful desirability, and that the question of selfies is a question of getting to control your own already-present desirability. (There's always an aside about how it's powerful that the fat and the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:41 AM on November 19, 2015
If there's one thing that selfies aren't it's narcissistic, since they're obviously about participating in this complicated economy of images. Maybe it's narcissistic if you are the one woman in the whole world who has always gotten positive attention and adulation, especially for your appearance, and you're only doing it because you expect more of the same as your automatic right.

The whole misogynist critique of selfies is based in the idea that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:28 PM on November 19, 2015

In Paris, something terrible is happening
I just do not understand what such people hope to gain by this. It does not terrorize so much as it solidifies a country's and people's resolve against the perpetrators and their ideals.

The people who do these things - whoever they are, across political spectra - hope that hatred will be roused against their own community/belief/group so that those people will be pushed into supporting the cause. They're hoping… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:52 PM on November 13, 2015
Everyone wants an excuse to shut out people in need, and this provides one.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2015
That's a whole other level of cold-blooded cynical manipulation.. Plan an attack, and profit from the hate backlash by further victimizing the population later on, grooming future terrorist recruits in the environment created by their own chaos.

I always think that one of the purposes of this type of attack is to show - or to galvanize - the moral bankruptcy of the regime and the society. To show that when it is provoked it will… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:55 PM on November 13, 2015
Overnight I was thinking - attacks like this take place in a climate of violence against civilians in the Middle East by western states. Is this worse than unchecked drone attacks, bombing a wedding party, bombing a place and then bombing it again when people rush in to look for survivors? There's probably violence against civilians that isn't even making it into the anglophone internet - things we don't even know about. My point isn't "this is fine,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:45 AM on November 14, 2015
Short form about ISIS: No doubt people in ISIS believe their beliefs, but there wouldn't be room for ISIS as a movement if large parts of the Middle East weren't a mess and a disaster. You don't get large, successful fascist projects springing up in healthy, whole societies, or even basically stable societies; you only get tiny factions of nasty violent cranks. Saying "ISIS wouldn't exist if it weren't for imperialism" has nothing to do with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:22 AM on November 14, 2015
I've been around the block a few times at this point, and any time someone starts saying that a group's ideology makes them "barely human", that they [collectively, all of them] kill people and laugh, we can't win unless we kill the civilians too, etc etc, I know I'm in the presence of a lot of propaganda. I've been hearing that exact same thing about various enemies of the state all my life, starting with the Soviets when I was a mere slip of a girl, and it has never once been true.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:00 PM on November 15, 2015
Because naturally if you were a terrorist who was going to, like, blow up a plane, and you were trying to do this in a climate of heightened security, you would of course be watching an Islamic State video on your laptop immediately before springing into action.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:14 AM on November 17, 2015
I turned up the Quran I was listening to and tried to hold back the tears as I heard a child ask his mom somewhere behind me, why we were fighting and the mom replied "because her people are responsible for killing many innocent people dear". "But why is she upset mom?", asked the little boy, maybe around 7 years old, like my baby sister. The moms reply: " I don't know, it doesn't matter sweetheart."

God, what a fucking… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:24 AM on November 18, 2015
House Republicans, along with a sizable number of Democrats, passed a bill Thursday afternoon to halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the country until key federal agencies can certify that they have been properly vetted.

And if you could get these people to speak the truth, not one of them would actually believe that Americans are in significant personal danger from Syrian refugees. They're just playing politics… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:13 PM on November 19, 2015

a very real punk news site that you should not question
Old Guy Looking Out Of Place At Show Apparently Local Legend!!!!

That really resonates with me - sadly only because I am old and not because I am a local legend.

These are so great. Although definitely testimony to how punk has changed over time. Like, even in my young day, punks were not so....normal, I guess? Being the "normal one" was sort of an aesthetic/political statement - there'd always be one guy at the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:47 AM on November 19, 2015

"She's not funny."
What about the opposite: Do women not like serious, earnest, or solemn men?

Do men like serious, earnest or solemn women? Nope. "Sweetness" is all. Do women like sweet-natured men? Yes, although I would argue that being a sweet-natured man is a more expansive role than being a sweet-natured woman.

There are a small number of people I just completely crack up while barely trying - people who think my least little… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:20 AM on November 19, 2015

The story behind Everclear’s Sparkle and Fade
Certain aspects of the mid-nineties sure that, weren't they? These big dumb post-grunge bands with their sort of mall punk hair. And the terrible sweaters, god, there were just these terrible sort of sixties-seventies-mod sweaters in the mid nineties. The contemporary nineties revival hasn't revived the terrible things, that's something to be thankful for. Doctor Martens and floral dresses and long hair and flannels were the good part.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:01 AM on November 18, 2015
I... um, really? That's a thing? This may be the first time that I'm actually happy to be old and out of touch.

Indeed. Here you go. All the most fashion-conscious college-age girls around the arts scene I frequent have been looking vaguely 1994 for the past few years - I think I remember it coming in at least three years ago, and that's Minneapolis - dark lipstick, rolled jeans shorts over tights, ankle boots with tights, floral dresses, dyed hair,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:47 AM on November 19, 2015

No litter, no dander, less emotional indifference
I hope that, should I live to be old rather than dying of a treatable illness in a ditch somewhere, the robot cats available to me will be plausible enough that I can lie to myself about them effectively. I would really like to go home and hang out with my actual cat now, though. This has a been a pretty shit week so far and all this stuff about cats is doing is making me lonely.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on November 18, 2015

“I just don’t think surgery turns a man into a woman.”
This works as a meta-debate - a large chunk of society is saying "anti-trans sentiment is the same kind of idea as anti-semitism, arguing for eugenics, etc - it is not a sentiment that we as a society are willing to accept from serious adults in public positions". Some part of society is saying "no, even if I don't agree with it, it's still up for debate in some way, and a serious intellectual can believe in 'un-men' and still be a respectable person".… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:41 AM on November 18, 2015

Hardy Boys Covers
I'm going for The Forest Where Gravity Didn't Affect Cats. I mean, as long as the cats weren't rocketing away into space or anything, that could be pretty cute. Although it would make hiding the cat treats more of a problem.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:05 AM on November 17, 2015
Although really It Just Had To Be The Dragon is clearly some kind of slash fiction AU that crosses a Regency setting (balloonists!) with Pern and some real-person-fic chess thing - maybe a Prince Regent/Bobby Fisher kind of story; or maybe it's an X-men chess-playing thing but with dragons and a balloon? Maybe the dragon is also a mutant? And they're whirled back through time to 1810?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:13 AM on November 17, 2015

Suffer the Children
Seriously. Can we please stop giving it time of day here? It's rare enough to be noteworthy. "False accusations omg" is a classic MRA/professional misogynist talking point. Just, no.

There is just one thing I do want to add, based on having the proven-false accusation thing in my extended family, where the accusing parent did in fact admit that they made it up to try to gain full custody: I think that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:26 AM on November 16, 2015

"Richard Has A Christmas Village..."
That was a horror story. I mean, I guess it's all "let's use Sedaris-esque satire to interrogate bourgeois notions of selfhood, family, etc" but I'm starting to think that this approach has a limited utility.

Also, I was a little troubled by the fact that this story probably wouldn't be salable if it were by a woman, because part of the kick of the story is gender/sexuality discomfort - the "it's almost like he'!!!! Or at least...effeminate… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:59 AM on November 15, 2015
that says we are awfully judgmental about people who are trying to tell us something important about themselves, and it's strange how quickly we put ourselves into the shoes of the poor victims in their families, rather than in those of the narrators themselves.

But we're also reading this in a world where, for real, people are encouraged to tolerate and/or deny really awful stuff going on in their families, especially stuff perpetrated by men. I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:17 AM on November 15, 2015

“Keep Willowside Safe & Quiet: No to Guy Fieri.”
Can we stop conflating bad taste with being lower middle class?

Just in case that's a response to my comment upthread, I should clarify: what I was trying to say was that people have a stereotype in which "bad taste" is lower middle class, and to my mind people who are class snobs are snobs about Fieri because they want to distance themselves from what is, to their perception, a lower class person. (Albeit an inexplicably… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:34 PM on November 14, 2015

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