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that’s like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors.
I'm not rich and I'm never going to be rich. If I could be assured of decent health care and enough money to live on, sure I'd want to live past 75. But as it is, I'm pretty sure that I'll be left miserably alone and disabled in a warming world, or possibly agonized and demented in some charity home where I'll get bedsores full of maggots. All I'm hoping for anymore is some kind of bloody revolution before I die so that at least a few of those one percenters get what's coming to them, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:12 AM on September 18, 2014
Aging isn't the same as disability, even though there are overlaps in experience. I know younger people with disabilities and, for the most part, their conditions are relatively stable and fairly predictable - a decent and well-run society could easily make their lives more convenient, secure and comfortable. With aging, it's the fact that you know there's going to be a big crisis but you don't know when it will happen or what it will be, or how much control you'll be left... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:26 AM on September 18, 2014
That's not aging, except in the sense that we're all aging. My brother's 30-something friend got hit by a truck crossing the street and had a devastating head injury, which she was in no way economically or otherwise equipped to deal with. My mom's cousin just had a stroke in her 50s. There is no magical switch that gets flicked at 75 that makes one suddenly susceptible to random medical issues.

Yes, but the odds change so much as you age. That's the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2014
(And again, that's where personality and access to care come in - I don't like avoidable risk, personally, and I don't trust this society to do right by me when I'm vulnerable. As un avoidable risk starts to climb, there comes a point where it seems better to get out while the getting is still good. Some folks are very sanguine in the face of risk and/or are confident that they'll have family or state care, so it's not an issue for them.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:54 AM on September 18, 2014

Dumpster thriving
This would be pretty cool in a sort of 1960s science fiction utopia setting - think of it, a future earth dotted with arcologies, interesting farming initiatives and artists, hermits and vacationers in their little dumpster houses. It is concerning when a young rich white guy with a community platform (and with tenure, I assume based on his position) starts his sustainability moralizing with "we can all live with a little less". Many, many people... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:17 AM on September 17, 2014
When I was younger, I actually got a kick out of going to the laundromat - I could carry a week's worth of clothes and towels using a big backpack and a bag, and I would just bike over. I'd spend 1.5 hours reading and idly people-watching and then head home. Neither my job nor my classes required fancy clothes, so as long as I folded everything and then unpacked it right away, I didn't even have to iron. It was pretty sweet. And that was because I wasn't short of cash, didn't have a family and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:00 AM on September 17, 2014

"the first service layer on the shared economy"
Just like how in Victorian households they wouldn't want to learn the maids' names, or maybe the maids would have lower class names or ethnic names, so they'd just call them all "Jane", etc.

One thing I like about the one percent - they seem utterly devoid of anything resembling a sense of irony, which is just as well since a ruling caste which itself had some "humanizing features" would be even harder to take.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:23 AM on September 16, 2014
That linked "Homejoy" story is quite something.

Walker sits at 13 out of D.C.’s 42 cleaners with a 4.6; almost all 5s, except for a woman who complained that he hadn’t gotten the mildew entirely out of her shower grout.

Yes, indeed, the less they pay you, the more they think they own you, and that's because low wages are themselves a sign that you are less human - if you weren't an ownable commodity,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on September 16, 2014
There is however a lot of innovation in tech for government, like Code for America, that Govtech Fund thing, etc. It'll help enormously if we can "disrupt" government bureaucracies, meaning employ fewer people administering them.

Yes, because it's not like people employed by the government spend money or anything. Paying people doesn't do any good, unless they're tech entrepreneurs. We should totally do our best to get as much work as... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:33 AM on September 16, 2014

The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over
I really, really want to like Will Self, partly because as far as I can tell he looks almost exactly like Magneto, my very favorite mutant, and partly because his most recent novel really looks awfully interesting, and partly because going through life named "Will Self" seems like a burden of its own and partly because since he was named "Will Self" for years I thought he had something to do with Henry Rollins, and then I got him confused with Nick Hornby... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:37 AM on September 15, 2014
I don't quite understand about these tiny New Statesman columns - they're clickbait and all, but it would be so easy to make a good rather than polemical and sure-to-be-ignored argument here. I can't imagine that Self hasn't read all those old Baffler articles from the mid-nineties, or Thomas Frank's embookified dissertation, The Conquest of Cool, all of which trace an actual history of changes in cultural projection which would make this... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on September 15, 2014

It's really pushing it to be fifty-something and say you're Gen-X. Usually I see Gen-X as defined as born 1965ish to 1980ish. I had always thought that the defining factor was coming of age in some form during the 1980s. If you were born in 1960, you really came of age more in the 70s.


But Self talks about going nightclubbing and using substances during the mid-nineties, when he would have been in his mid-thirties - I think he probably... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:56 AM on September 15, 2014


Also, many commenters in this thread seem not to know that as a writer Will Self is a well known provocateur and satirist. I've never cared that much for his books, honestly, but I would never take his writing at sort of naive face value.


But it's such low-grade provocateur-ing! "I know, I'll insult George Orwell, that will really be an incisive critique that will....er...do... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:40 PM on September 15, 2014
Much as I dislike his work, I've still gotta give the guy props for getting fired from The Observer for shooting heroin on the Prime Minister's private jet.

I would find that much more appealing if I hadn't had to deal with junkies shooting up in the bathroom of the bookstore where I used to volunteer - that is, it's a delightfully funny story (bold as brass! shooting up when the PM was right there! fuck you, authority, I am living an authentic life of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:43 PM on September 15, 2014

I'm only into Jean-Georges's early stuff.
I think that this guy may have the wrong kinds of friends.

I once was young and now am not so old, as the fellow says, and I can testify that it's perfectly possible to run around in snob bohemian circles while still doing things you authentically enjoy and can afford - so possible, in fact, that I have never really encountered all this "pressure" to collect all the things and go all the places. I did have a couple of record snob guy friends in my twenties,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:02 AM on September 15, 2014
So the cultural kingdom is, once again, Brooklyn. Huh. I'll be sure to mention that next time it comes up.

Admittedly, it would have had a lot of chuckle value in 1960, and will no doubt have some incredulity value in 2035.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:07 AM on September 15, 2014
Do people gather in very large groups at restaurants, then? Except when I lived in the maybe 175-square-foot place, I don't think I've lived anywhere where I couldn't entertain three or four friends.

Going to a restaurant does mean that you don't have to do any dishes, though.

I know very few people who have the kind of discretionary income where you can afford fun meals out regularly, though, so inviting people to meet you at... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on September 15, 2014
I could totally throw a $200 dinner party without having it look particularly costly - good ingredients from the co-op, enough reasonable wine for a mid-sized group, good coffee for afters. I can remember spending north of $100 on a dinner party for five in richer days. (Admittedly, the last time I had a big group over for dinner we made radically inauthentic yet tasty tamales and the total cost was probably under fifteen dollars.)

The thing is, I hate being at... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:43 PM on September 15, 2014

Redder and redder, and prettier and prettier.
The thing about bad tomatoes is that you can roast them or bake them or make them into a sauce. Red Delicious don't even make a good pie.

I remember when I was little, every once in a while you'd get a good Red Delicious and all the other ones would be so terrible.

I don't think they're very pretty. They're clumsy-looking and disproportionate and the skin looks plasticky. The Arkansas Black apple, that's a pretty apple.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:26 AM on September 10, 2014
I have avoided the SweeTango because it's called the SweeTango. I can deal with buying something called "Honeycrisp" but SweeTango is just embarrassing. Although the apple before the SweeTango was the "Zestar", which sounds like futuristic laundry detergent, so I suppose it's an improvement.

But seriously, why on earth would you think that people who are likely to care which apples they buy would be at all moved to purchase... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:13 AM on September 10, 2014
I also really like Fireside apples, introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1943.

I have University of Minnesota headcannon where we are a stalwart, sincere, uptight and resolutely non-commercial land-grant institution dedicated to things like better apples and regional literature scholarship because it's the right thing to do. In my UMN fanfic, we never introduced the Zestar, much less the SweeTango.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:27 AM on September 10, 2014
Basically, I'm well into UMN AU by now.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on September 10, 2014
Ok, I must confess: I purchase my apples over the internet.

You...get your apples by mail? Do you get weekly deliveries? I cannot even imagine, since I eat about ten apples a week all on my lonesome and would eat more but apples already take up about 1/3 of my food bill. But then I live in the apple paradise that is Minnesota. Do you just eat a lot of other kinds of fruit instead? Next thing you'll be saying is that they don't have baby carrots... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:20 PM on September 10, 2014
Yeah, there were Honeycrisps in the store this weekend for four dollars a pound. And this in Minnesota, although I'm assuming the price will fall as the season progresses.

I got some nice-looking Braeburns instead and they are quite good.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2014

"massive quantities of barely edible fried items" (p. 200)
I only really have experience with Red Lobsters - it's been many years since I've eaten at an Olive Garden - but I have several relatives who live in places where Red Lobster is the only non-fast-food restaurant option, and they like to go out to eat when I visit. IME, the quality of the food actually does vary by how well-run the place is - is your broccoli mushy or crisp? was it obviously past its prime when cooked? are things overbaked or overfried? does the deep-frying oil get changed... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:27 PM on September 15, 2014

"How can I make the person eating this lose his goddamn mind?"
Well, the balloon sounds like an ill-conceived thing, it's true - but isn't the problem with these things the way they represent inequality rather than the things themselves? They're all wonderfully silly, of course, but they also have this sort of 1960s techno-socialist-utopia feel to them, as if of course we're all going to get to the point where we "work" one hour a day, Iain Banksian AIs take care of all of our needs and we spend our time... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on September 15, 2014
(The thing is, as the middle class declines, being able to save up for a $500-$1000 "treat" twice a year becomes a rarer and rarer thing. Spur-of-the-moment international getaways? All that stuff? The only people I know who can really do that have two very solid incomes, relatively little education debt and maybe one child - I'm talking a household income north of $70,000 if no kid, north of $100,000 if kid. I'm not saying that people on this thread can't do it, or that you're some... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on September 15, 2014

Sex slavery in America
What struck me - other than how incredibly resilient she is, and the fear that not everyone is as resilient - is her point about how much money people have to have to buy girls this way. You always think that the movie villain/SF-dystopia evil rich dude who abuses people is just this sort of...cartoon figure. But actually there must be plenty of them out there, making big money and buying young people to abuse just because they can get away with it - one of the side effects... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:34 PM on September 14, 2014

A Post About Buzzfeed and Tinder? Just, Ew, No. Moving On
Does anybody use Tinder and think "why swipe 'yes' on someone who is way better looking than me"? If I were still dating dudes, I would absolutely have swiped yes for poor old Junior, on the theory that as a fat guy who likes fancy events, he might be someone fun who would also go out with me.

My whole rationale looking at most of those people was "these people are all way better-looking than me and even if I assume that the women are all queer, they're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:06 PM on September 12, 2014
I mean, show me a muslimah who isn't as beautiful as a model and who maybe has glasses and likes to read and for some reason wants to date an atheist raised Lutheran, and I'm absolutely there.

I feel like this article tries to compress too many variables.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on September 12, 2014

Just do it already
Perhaps someone in this thread will know the answer to this:

About seven or eight years ago, I read an essay by a gay historian in which he theorized that Conan Doyle actually wrote Holmes with a lot of textual cues that readers were accustomed to interpret as gay. That is, all the stuff that we think of as canonical Holmes - being all etiolated, the drugs, the weird aesthetic sensibility, the protean physicality - would actually have been read by... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:25 AM on September 11, 2014

The same study I found actually did that. And one woman's response was quoted, and was something like, "okay, imagine a guy is a scoop of ice cream. One scoop is good....but two is better." Sometimes it's purely about two hot guys being better than just one.


I would find this so much, much more plausible if there weren't such a vast amount of romantic slash fic, and if it didn't so, so often fall into the whole... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 AM on September 11, 2014
Or, perhaps, what that says about how women/straight relationships are portrayed by mass media, and why many women don't find those portrayals relatable or compelling.

Well, yes, but we're not talking about femme slash or straight romantic fic or genderswap - we're talking about women responding to a show by saying "I am dissatisfied with the women characters so I will write romantic porn about two men".

I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:04 AM on September 11, 2014
You're over thinking this. Women who are attracted to me enjoy gay erotica for the same reason that men attracted to women enjoy lesbian porn: it's two hot people getting it on. If you're exclusively straight, you might prefer this to opposite sex erotica/porn, as then you're potentially attracted to both people.

Just to clarify - if we were talking about porn, I would find this a relatively convincing argument. I think that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:08 AM on September 11, 2014
What I'd like to know is, are there many bisexual or gay men who feel that a Sherlock/Watson relationship will validate them? If this is about the representation of bisexual women, why doesn't Mary Moran come out as bisexual and hook up with one of the women characters? (I'm sure there's fic, etc etc) If it's about just how awesome Sherlock is, why isn't everyone writing genderswap?

I feel like a big takeaway from being involved in GLBTQ stuff has been, for me, that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:05 AM on September 11, 2014
Though there is something quite scary about a guy who can not only perform against orientation, but so well as to be regarded by the other as not only a great bang but an insatiable one,

But one could easily say that Sherlock is bisexual, right? So he's skillfully and enthusiastically faking with a woman, but could easily skillfully and enthusiastically fake with a man. (Which is where the "bisexual erasure" thing comes in - once we're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:20 PM on September 11, 2014
If you're assuming that all characters on a show like Star Trek are straight because none of them are shown to be queer (let's assume shows with quite large casts that obviously aspire to represent wide swathes of humanity) then you're almost forced to assume that the Star Trek future has bred out homosexuality, right? Based on simple percentages, you'd expect a certain number of ST characters to be non-straight.

I'd argue that in a human world... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:05 AM on September 12, 2014

The ancient art of baijiu
Oh my god, baijiu. I don't want it to have a western equivalent, because then I might once again face social pressure to drink it, and that stuff will knock you back. As much as I've often, often wished I was in a position to go back to work in China, one small relief is that I will never again have to drink baijiu just to be polite.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:36 AM on September 11, 2014

The Sexual Outlaw At 83
That's a fantastic interview. Thank you for another great post!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:07 AM on September 10, 2014

The Click Clique
If anything, the pernicious part is the mass idolization of extreme wealth and luxury.

I used to look at Sea of Shoes, years ago, because they used to show some interesting vintage clothes and I looked at a lot more blogs then. The whole story of that blog is "very, very wealthy divorcee and very, very wealthy daughter travel the world buying extremely expensive things, redecorating their apartments, going to debutante events... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:25 AM on September 10, 2014
She embodies a tremendous amount of privilege, and as a young, cute white girl, all she had to do was get noticed by the Fame Fairy to be whisked away to a life of even more intense privilege. Of course she's acting now. Of course she is. It's the natural next step on the fame treadmill. Tune in in a few years when she's back on the blogging circuit, peddling life advice a la Gwyneth Paltrow.

The funny thing about Tavi is that back when she started,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:35 AM on September 10, 2014

The effects of untreated PTSD in inner-city communities
What is really frustrating to me is the fact that our society has to spend umpteen squillion federal dollars running surveys and studies to establish that yes, people are traumatized when they see extreme violence even if they are black and poor and live in cities. Those scarce federal dollars could either be rerouted to medical research or spent on programs for actual victims.

It just kills me that the way things seem to work is that if you're middle... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:12 PM on September 8, 2014

I realize that you mean it's particularly galling that you can get paid to study poverty, but not to, like, do anything about it, and I understand (but disagree with) the claim that getting paid to study it doesn't directly help improve the lives of the impoverished. Consider, though, that very, very few people ever get paid to do that, that those people are basically the only ones not involved in direct action who dedicate their careers to asking the right questions, and
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:23 PM on September 8, 2014

What she prefers to be called is “Martine.”
That...is a story so strange that I actually googled Martine Rothblatt to be sure she exists.

"A powerful trans" is not the happiest phrase to use.

On another note: I suppose all these rich people want to live forever because they are sure that their lives can only improve and become more fun and special. Me, I have pretty much been on a "well, I'll probably die relatively soon so at least I don't have to worry about [terrible... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:21 AM on September 8, 2014
(Just as a clarification - what makes the story strange to me is the robot head of Martine's wife and its sad weird interview straight out of New Wave SF, the transhumanism, Martine's apparent miraculous agelessness, the "transhumanism is for lovers" angle, the daughter's illness and treatment...at first I thought this was just going to be some kind of "wow, how strange yet uplifting it is that a trans woman can be CEO of some fancy corporation" and my gut... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on September 8, 2014

United Sweets of America
Sugar Cream Pie SUCKS; it's a dessert where the only ingredient is basically sugar, for Christ sakes. The proper Indiana dessert should be persimmon pudding, which is awesome, flavorful, and made from a little known but native fruit.

Persimmon pudding is the best. My family makes it twice a year - they stock up on locally grown frozen persimmon pulp so they can have it once out of season. (And this is a particular US variant of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:12 AM on September 8, 2014
Also, I have just realized that you can get gooey butter cake at A Baker's Wife in Minneapolis, but....they call it "Mankato Bars". I am a little bit shocked by this revelation - not just pirating and renaming the cake itself, but calling it a bar! Insult to injury!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on September 8, 2014
Rhubarb was the official dessert of the Frowner family when I grew up in Illinois - stringy and stewed, or bitter and embedded in cake. I had no idea that it was a Minnesota thing. Maybe it's just a Swede thing.

Strangely, I really like rhubarb now. But oh, those bitter days of childhood when you'd think you were getting dessert for once and it would just be nasty rhubarb from the garden.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:41 AM on September 8, 2014

He should live and sleep in front of a mirror.
The thing is, you can be a dandy and not dress like a robber baron or a Jeeves LARPer. I see many dandyish young fellows on my very street, in fact, who have obviously spent quite a lot of time and effort on their clothes - but they're not rich, and their clothes aren't rich people clothes.

Imperialist nostalgia is not an essential tool in the dandy kit.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:22 AM on September 5, 2014

But I have nothing to read no longer an excuse

Although given the number of feministy SF reading people I know it now strikes me as astounding that it is not.


The thing is, most of what I have from the Women's Press (and similar stuff) is very different from the feminist SF published by SF-specific presses, particularly from the mid-nineties on. It seems to me like a weird little offshoot, of huge scholarly and historical interest but not likely to grab people right now. (Partly... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:12 AM on September 5, 2014

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