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Stars in His Pocket Like Grains of Sand
Dhalgren is so difficult - emotionally and in terms of form - that I think you really need to want to read it specifically, rather than just wanting to read Delany or to read an important SF novel. I've read most of it by skipping around. There's an event at the early mid-point of the novel (elevators, if that helps those who have read it) that I just can't read through. Maybe someday I will, but right now it is just so horrifying that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on July 31, 2015
Imperialist nostalgia is precisely the nostalgia of the imperialists for the thing they destroyed. There's a book of the same title by a left-wing anthropologist, Reynardo Rosaldo. I read it a long, long time ago so I only remember snippets, but they've been useful snippets. "Oh, old New York, back when it was seedy and authentic before my condo was even built on the rubble of this affordable housing, let's make a movie about it", that kind of thing.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on July 31, 2015

Greenpeace vs. Shell Oil: the Portland edition
Delays really seem to impact Arctic drilling, though - it's tricky, the weather's rough, a lot of stuff can go wrong. "Maybe we can delay this boat for a while and it won't arrive in time to start by the last possible date, and that will buy us another year to organize" isn't a totally ridiculous premise. I'm not generally much on blockades because I've seen them get cleared away too often, but a short term one with a simple goal doesn't sound like the world's worst idea.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:27 PM on July 30, 2015
I don't think we need to start making analogies with the civil rights movement to argue that blockades are legit. Indigenous people, in particular, have used blockades (as here) to push back against resource extraction, dumping and land theft.

I think that when folks talk about how blocking access is inappropriate, they're misunderstanding inequality of power. (And, IYAM, misunderstanding the violence and threat of violence that actually underpin… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on July 31, 2015

"4. Thou shalt not refrigerate fresh mozzarella"
So, when I have eaten refrigerated fresh mozzarella and thought "this is very tasty and fresh-tasting and has a wonderful texture", I'm just being a rube, right?

Purely on a selfish level, I would enjoy this type of article more if it were framed as "get moar enjoyment out of [cheese/shellfish/fancy vegan ingredients by doing these things" instead of containing the idea that I can "sin" against a piece of food that I bought at the store.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:02 AM on July 31, 2015

Will the endgame pairing be Jo/Laurie, Jo/writing, or Jo/Cyborg Bhaer?
I wonder about the "while trying not to kill each other" bit - isn't one of the major points of Little Women that there's immense sisterly affection between the girls? There's some disagreements, true, but there isn't even a ghost of the contemporary TV "ha ha siblings always hate each other amirite" thing.

I could certainly see a dystopian fusion - Amy goes to school and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on July 30, 2015
Remember for example the scene where Jo gets so mad at Amy that Amy almost dies in an ice-skating accident. The moral of the episode is that Jo needs to watch her temper, but the anger was definitely there.

Yeah, but that's seen as a moral problem, not a sustained and normal state of intra-sibling frustration and "trying not to kill each other".

Part of the problem in adapting Little… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on July 30, 2015
But how socially conservative is their worldview? Conservative by contemporary standards, yeah, but Alcott wasn't precisely conservative for her own time. (Once you get to Little Men and the other one, and the woman doctor, or if you read some of her other books, I think this becomes more apparent.) It's difficult to imagine Alcott in the world of Jim Baker, etc, but I don't think the more transhistorical virtues that Alcott espouses - rejection of gaudy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:28 AM on July 30, 2015
Granted, it's understood that the standard they're intuitively tapping into is a more or less absolute one, and external guidance—Marmee, Pilgrim's Progress—can help them with navigation.

That was what I was trying to get at - by "external" I was trying to say "a standard that isn't just about finding your authentic self or learning to be happy; a standard that's based on something more than the idea that your truth is your truth and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2015

Books about women don't win big awards: some data
I read an interview with Pat Barker (author of several of my favorite novels, including The Century's Daughter, which is mostly about women and which also has a viewpoint gay character who is complexly depicted) where she said that she started out writing about women and no one paid attention so she switched to writing about men. And sure enough, it's her WWI trilogy which got all the awards. (They're excellent books, don't get me wrong; but one can write excellent books… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:34 PM on July 29, 2015
I say this because I was trying to think of recent reads where men wrote women well, and two of the most recent I read were David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress and Paul Auster's In The Country of Last Things, both very Pomo-y post-apocalyptically staged metafictions with female protagonists.

It just show to go ya - I thought the woman protagonist of In the Country of Last Things was a total porno straight male fantasy, not… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 PM on July 29, 2015
She was always thinking about how sexy she is? Really? I don't remember that at all, but I'll take your word for it, and I must say I definitely didn't react to anything in the book with arousal or even pick up on that I was supposed to. Still, as to plausibility, which is a separate thing, is the guy building tiny ships-in-bottles out of mouse bones "plausible"?

I really liked the setting of that book, but it was spoiled for me by these… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on July 30, 2015
I guess what I'm saying is that a character can be sort of pro-actively unrealistic - building ship models out of mouse bones, for instance - but if that character contradicts what we actually know of people, the author needs to do a lot more work to make that work.

It's like the joke about how if someone tells you that they saw the ghost of Gladstone talking to the ghost of Queen Victoria, you can be agnostic… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on July 30, 2015
Also, the part where Anna doesn't appear to worry about getting pregnant and has lots of unprotected sex in the midst of the apocalypse - that seems a bit more realistic, because people do fool things all the time, but it was difficult for me to believe that she wasn't terrified when she was pregnant. "I will be giving birth in the midst of the apocalypse" would give most women pause. If that were the only not-that-real thing,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:34 AM on July 30, 2015

the spirit is willing, but the flesh is so so tasty
The truth is that I think of myself as a vegan but am actually a reducitarian, given that I fall off the vegan wagon with startling regularity.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:13 AM on July 28, 2015
crawl back on the wagon homie

we have nooch and avocados


Oh god, how often have I crawled back on the wagon! But then there's free pizza from the good pizza place and I didn't have time to pack a lunch and...crash.

I'm pretty resigned to being mostly-vegan at this point. And I mean, I have nooch and avodados even as we speak, although I tend not to use them together.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on July 28, 2015

veggie side dishes for veggies


When I make veggie side dishes for veggies, it's usually because I have a heavy or starchy main dish - beans, curry, fried polenta cakes, braised tofu, etc. And then I have maybe some salad greens or some sauteed spinach or something - very quick and a pretty simple flavor profile.

When I'm cooking for myself, it's usually "here is a giant plate of cauliflower rice with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:24 AM on July 30, 2015

What we wanted was to adjust the car to the city
Yes. You can see the line, really, it's basically the Mississippi River. The last Eastern Cities that were really built were Chicago and St. Louis, and St. Louis proper stayed really small for reason I'll elide here, but search on the "divorce" of the city and county of St. Louis if you want details. Maybe Minneapolis St. Paul.

Minneapolis/St Paul has an old style core - an awful lot of our sprawl and development didn't really happen until… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:43 AM on July 29, 2015

also, Frowner, I don't think Swedes or Danes or Germans are strangers to any level of snow or cold or rain


No, actually, Minnesota has much more extreme weather than Germany or the Scandinavian countries - we're a LOT hotter in the summer, we get an average of 54 inches of snow per year in Minneapolis, which is more than the total annual average precipitation in Germany, our average winter temperature is 16 and the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:36 AM on July 29, 2015
In the dead of winter, I ride a five mile round trip. I'm unusually cold-tolerant and bike on any day where the high is expected to break ten degrees F. My biggest challenge - I have glasses and it's difficult to cover my face (which is absolutely vital when it's 0F when you're leaving for work) without also steaming up my glasses. A balaclava routes my breath right into my glasses and ski goggles steam up. So I usually just wrap my face in a scarf, which means that I have frozen scarf over… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:48 AM on July 29, 2015
Local climates don't exert much influence on biking and walking.

Okay, this does not make sense to me unless it's not broken out by season, because I bike in the city year round, and LOTS of people stop riding in the winter. Right now, I see tons of fellow commuters and the bike racks at work are full. In December, I see very few people and have my choice of bike parking. Right now, the bike rack at the grocery store is always mostly full; in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on July 29, 2015

I run a university. I’m also an Uber driver.
I'm getting to a point where it's really hard to justify a near two-hour bus journey home from the Mission versus a $7 UberPool, though, and I think I've finally pinpointed the real reason for my reluctance to Uber: As a middle-class(ish) person, I feel almost a duty to keep taking public transit, to not join the white flight or whatever you want to call it to Uber and other ridesharing services and leave public transit to SF's poorest, most vulnerable residents. I know this is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:19 AM on July 29, 2015

It has become death, destroyer of worlds

The best-case scenario might be significantly better than a military built entirely on human-operated weapons, though. Autonomous drones (as opposed to those with human operators) do not get PTSD. They carry no grudges. They carry no ethnic hatreds into battle. A soldier facing an angry mob might panic, but an autonomous weapon programmed not to fire unless fired upon will face the prospect of annihilation with perfect equanimity.


Or,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2015

“Where’s My Cut?”: On Unpaid Emotional Labor
it seemed fine at first, until next time we were fooling around he suddenly tried doing anal stuff. Like, "secretly," as if I wouldn't notice.

Does every guy do this? Seriously, I have had to have several Talks With Men - back when I dated them - about how, you know, not only do I have, like, actual nerve endings so I can tell what you're doing, but it really, really, really Does Not Work Like That. It reminds me, now… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on July 23, 2015
Eh, you need to have access to the right reading materials and you need to know if the source is accurate. I mean, to use an extreme example, Cosmo is known for giving out some of the worst sex advice.

Back in the early nineties I acquired information about sex - including anal - by reading Dan Savage and Tristan Taormino in our free weekly arts paper and by acquiring the more fun sort of sex book (Susie Bright-ish stuff, mostly). This was when I was… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:48 AM on July 23, 2015
All I said was that if you're starting from scratch then it's hard to know what are good, accurate sources for sex education. I think you guys are reading too much into my comment.

The point is that women (or people living as women who do not identify as women) frequently do all this start-from-scratch stuff and men frequently don't, even when the men are smart, educated and have both time and money. We're not talking about people… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:11 PM on July 23, 2015

I don't think you can put that on porn, as others say above. Porn may portray anal as not needing prodigious lube and prep and universally appealing to everyone, but the one thing most of it portrays is enthusiastic consent. I'm sure there's stuff out there appealing to those who want to see unhappy women but most everything else shows everyone happy and aware about what's going on.


My thoughts about the porn were much… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:27 PM on July 23, 2015
Because I tend to apologize for everything, it's very difficult for me to sort out situations where I do need to apologize/feel bad and then apologize/feel bad appropriately. My default setting is "I did this and I am a bad person and it's my fault and there are NO mitigating circumstances and no matter how much you may have misunderstood something it's still my fault and I am a bad person", so my apologize all tend to be "oh my god, I am so… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:32 AM on July 27, 2015

What if Spider-Man's Uncle Ben was shot by police rather than a burglar?
I'd certainly read that comic. I would also like to see a black superhero who didn't have to have their origin story be about racism, because I think that's the kind of thing that's needed too - I know when I think about queer heroes, I appreciate both the bash-back kind and the "while I was hiking I was bitten by a radioactive gopher just at random" kind, and I feel like they complement each other, acknowledging that there's oppression but that it doesn't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 AM on July 27, 2015

Former Chilean military charged in 1973 murder of singer Víctor Jara
Salvador Allende was a good man. He wasn't far left and he was from the elite, but he was still a sincere and honest person - so much so that he didn't arm his supporters even when they begged him to do so because they could see the coup coming. He was a moderate leftist and a reformer, and even that could not be allowed by the elites or by D.C. Disgusting, shitty people. If you want to talk about Thatcher, one reason I hate her more than many other right wing politicians… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:30 PM on July 26, 2015

"chromed-out robo-sexual stew"
I could actually spare a few minutes for "chromed-out robo-sexual", maybe. But then I'd start to worry about all the robots flailing around in the stew, getting chunks of carrot and bits of pot-roast in their diodes, etc, and the whole experience would just be too anxiety-provoking.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on July 23, 2015

Why Don't You....
why don't you ... create a small go-bag of essential books, in case of emergency or natural disaster?

What if you already have this as part of your actual go-bag, along with several favorite cashmere scarves and your grandmother's jewelry?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on July 23, 2015
I definitely have a fantasy life wherein I order things from Hermes of Paris and at the same time this has no implications for global inequality, etc. (And also, it's pre-hyper-branding Hermes.) In my fantasy life, I somehow lead the life of Nancy Cunard without there being any colonialism, imperialism or class inequality involved; also somehow I lead the life of Nancy Cunard but don't need any servants because it's really no fun to imagine having people around… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2015

"My wedding was perfect -- and I was fat as hell the whole time."
But most fat women in media didn’t even get that far – most were lovelorn, vulgar comic relief, their sexuality spun as either a menace or a joke. (To be honest, not much has changed.)

Oh, dude, precisely.

Speaking as a queer person of indeterminate gender, let me tell you, this happens to queer women/queer AFAB people/queer people read as women too.

I had the most fucked up… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:03 PM on July 22, 2015


Even if it's possible, through charm, looks, and force of personality, to "get" a conventional (read: thin) husband, the radical rejection of such a husband in favor of a fat partner is a prerequisite to maintaining consistency in the arguments that the author convincingly poses.


So what you're saying is that in order to be politically legit, a fat woman must seek a fat partner? How does this… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:12 PM on July 22, 2015
About "fat people should only marry fat people or else they are hypocrites who secretly hate fat people" thing:

1. How does this work with other marginalizations? Or are they less important than being fat? So if someone is a fat disabled woman, she should only marry a fat disabled man, or else she hates disabled people? If someone is fat, disabled and an immigrant, she can only marry a fat disabled immigrant? Etc.

2. Your line of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:17 AM on July 23, 2015
Maybe I'm being unreasonably charitable but I read the point as applying to myself as well. I imagine it could apply to an environmentalist marrying a petroleum engineer or a campaigner against institutional racism in policing marrying a cop.

Yabbut those are ideologies. A body isn't an ideology. A body isn't about morality. You don't say "what political position would I be adopting if I chose to be fat"? People… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2015
And of course, you have to be a Very Serious Fattie, but thin people get to be just average humans with no additional moral responsibility, because after all it's virtually insulting if a thin person pursues, fucks or marries a fat person so thin people can just ignore the whole issue.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 AM on July 23, 2015

"So how are we going to stop sweatshops now?"
The Brazil examples he gives - I assume that the improvements he cites happened because Brazil elected Lula, since Lula was elected in 2006 and "not long ago" per the article is 2004. It's not just that we need regulatory institutions; we need popular movements that are strong enough to elect Lulas and then keep them accountable. Which, of course, will be easy-peasy.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:56 AM on July 22, 2015
Actually, he was elected in 2003 and reelected in 2006. And yes, in 2003 a "dirty list" was created, listing companies that used slave labor. Sadly, a lot of social gains by the country are slowly being undone, mostly by conservative politicians linked to corporate power. By the end of 2014 for example, the list was suspended. With one of the most conservative Congress since 1964 (when the military regime started), this is not a great moment for the Brazilian left,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:54 AM on July 22, 2015

Stop calling it "ethnic food"
This all reminds me that one of my worthless housemates half-inched my special fancy imported paprika in the pretty tin and I need to buy more at the special fancy imports shop.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:12 AM on July 21, 2015

It's a matter of palate, not xenophobia.

Not sure why these would be mutually exclusive.


But "adventureousness" is extremely class- and generation-bound*. My parents are pretty sophisticated and adventurous eaters for their backgrounds and generation - lots of French, Italian and Greek cooking in our house when I was little, back when that wasn't common for midwesterners of German and Scandinavian… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:17 AM on July 21, 2015
Also, this whole "oh, people who don't eat spicy food regularly and then don't enjoy it, that's because they are unsophisticated [read "bad/hick"]...when I was 20 I had never had anything significantly spicy. Sriracha hurt my mouth. I remember choking down a meal that my boyfriend had cooked to be polite - it seemed like it was doused in Sriracha, I couldn't even taste any of the ingredients except the hot sauce, it was just blech. I used… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:27 AM on July 21, 2015
But I sure hear this sort of blanket distrust about the spice level of Indian and Mexican and Ethiopian food on a regular basis.

I think obviously there's racism in play.

Of people who are not emotionally invested in racist narratives about food*: I think that most people's first introduction to Italian food is not spicy and that's where the expectation is set. I grew up outside Chicago in a family who ate the most… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:23 PM on July 21, 2015
(When I was growing up outside Chicago, "ethnic" meant Italian, Polish, Hungarian, maybe Spanish - basically Eastern and Southern Europe. Oddly, even though I'd say it was a pretty racist and unsophisticated place, people said they were getting Chinese food if they were getting Chinese food, or Mexican food if they were getting Mexican food.

I think that saying "ethnic" was in part a seventies thing, sort of a white/white-ish… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:29 PM on July 21, 2015

What I'm getting from this is that America will probably never get a real Sichuan or Chongqing hotpot restaurant.


You can dry your tears. Or at least start crying because you don't live here instead.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:10 PM on July 21, 2015
I didn't grow up eating beans and I remember a lot of popular culture stuff about how difficult they were to digest. When I actually did start eating beans, I kept waiting for all the horrible gastro effects to kick in, and getting confused when they did not. (Some folks have difficulty with high fiber stuff for health reasons, I know; but the narrative I absorbed from pop culture was definitely "healthy people will find beans really difficult to digest".)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:14 PM on July 21, 2015

But now I am crying because I can't get to Little Sze (or Tea House for that matter) for at least a couple of weeks.


I went to Tea House last night. Have you seen their new, fancier menu? Ah, Tea House. I would be so much richer if I did not know you.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2015
Are you talking about this? Because I am suffering right now from having drooled into my keyboard.

Every bit as good as they look. Make a lot of them, freeze them and bake them in batches through the party. Also you can use leftover pastry to make little pastry crackers - brush them with water or milk and sprinkle them with black pepper and parmesan before baking.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2015
Perhaps this is where I can share this: last night I picked up an old anthology of Elizabeth David's first three books - she basically brought Mediterranean cooking to England (and to a degree to the US) in the fifties. I was flipping through it looking for recipes to try and stumbled upon a recipe for something called [I believe] pizzicare which began with getting some unbaked bread dough and spreading it in a pan. I read further, and lo, this was pizza-before-pizza. The recipe goes on to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:22 PM on July 21, 2015

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