Activity from Frowner

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"Ugliness, Empathy, and Octavia Butler"
Bloodchild is also a kind of draft of the ideas in Dawn.

The more science fiction I read, the more I realize that Butler is one of the biggest influences on...well, let's say post-1990 science fiction. (Not that no one was reading her before that - one the contrary! - but I really feel like her ideas sort of built up a critical mass and became very influential at that point.

It's interesting, too, that she's suddenly become... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:25 AM on July 10, 2014

“Does he identify as Slytherin? That changes things.”
This type of internet humor depresses me so much.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on July 9, 2014
It's actually making me tired of complaining about straight white cismen, in fact. Because it seems to eviscerate the critique.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:50 AM on July 9, 2014

Dumbledore's Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final

I know JKR joked about no one wanting to read about Harry Potter and the Midlife Crisis

...but there are hundreds of thousands of words of fanfiction suggesting that everyone wants to read precisely that.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:31 PM on July 8, 2014

Social Justice and Language
It makes me laugh that Jack Halberstam is a director of feminist anything - you have only to read his cultural criticism to see what a pass he gives to sexist crap as long as it validates his ideas about trans male identity. (Note, in particular, his essay on Fantastic Mr. Fox, a film I actually showed at a radical movie night, sight unseen, on the strength of that fucking essay...only to be absolutely horrified by what a 1980s-esque misogynist shit-show it is. More fool me,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on July 8, 2014
The thing about "the left eats its own, why can't we focus on [whatever, usually class but sometimes race]" is that it's precisely what has always been trotted out by whoever is on top of the movement heap at the moment.

Communists post-1917? Check! All the women who want birth control after Stalin decides he wants a jump in population, all the queer folks who don't want to view their sexual identity as bourgeois pathology, all the Jews... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2014

Hollywood Magic: impossibly young mothers, ageism against women
The whole "no actresses in major roles over thirtyish" thing really spoils movies for me, because I'll be watching something where a character is supposed to be a brilliant scientist, or an accomplished career soldier or just a really smart and together person with a well-established career, and they'll be, like, twenty-five. And honestly, although there are some prodigies out there, it's really unlikely to have, like, a PhD and an established career with a lab and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on July 8, 2014
Honestly, I occasionally watch an imperfect movie because friends want to see it or there's some other reason to watch it (so I saw an X-men movie a couple of weeks ago because a friend who teaches junior high promised his students he'd watch it). Movies and TV are pervasive - I don't even have a TV and I almost never go to the movies, but I've seen a little bit of a lot of stuff.

Sometimes I just want a superhero movie that isn't,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:22 AM on July 8, 2014
People watch movies for a sense of escape and fantasy, and what is more "fantastic" that an older man screwing a much younger woman?

I am only one data point, but "escapist fantasy" for me pretty much requires things that are minimally racist, sexist, misogynist, etc. It's not "escapist" if I am yanked back into reality by thinking "jesus, that was a racist depiction of an Asian dude" or "once again, I am... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on July 8, 2014
Again, gender comes into play - for me, "escapist" means "escaping from all the routine sexist shit I encounter daily, while also enjoying a lighthearted plot", while for straight dudes, I guess, it's "thinking about women I will never get to bang in life and imagining someone my age banging them".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:17 AM on July 8, 2014

loaded questions
I actually dislike "what keeps you busy" and "how do you spend your time" because they seem to me to be transparent workarounds for "what is your job", and they [mostly] elicit the same type of information, since in most instances, the people with jobs to boast about boast about their jobs and the rest of us talk about something, anything else. I notice this particularly because I have a lot of degrees and a secretarial gig - people routinely expect me to have a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:19 PM on July 7, 2014
And some people are simply trying to make conversation. If you have just met, they need to find some place to start. It's only nefarious if, beneath the civil exterior, they are really, deeply assholes.

I have a really, really different experience - again, mostly because my job and demeanor are at odds. I look and sound like...oh, a mid-career nonprofit administrator, or possibly someone with a stable community college teaching gig, or a late-start... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:26 PM on July 7, 2014
When I was younger, and hadn't learned about etiquette, I was still trying to please everybody. Someone told me they hated it when someone said "excuse me" because it was just a polite way of saying "get out of my way". And that's true, "excuse me" is just a polite way of saying "get out of my way", but the point is, it's a polite way of saying it. But, people-pleaser that I was, I resolved never to be so bossy and presumptuous again, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:19 AM on July 8, 2014

Okay, hold up, what about this from the Racialicious article:

Peterson was frustrated that the school didn’t investigate her anonymous attackers, even after another scary incident in the winter, when someone sent an email to the freshman class containing photos of Peterson half naked in her room. Peterson had no idea where the sender had gotten those photos, she said, and the administration, while sympathetic, didn’t either — or didn’t tell her if they did.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on July 7, 2014
"nastiness toward Sikh student" = determined to be faked tweets, not anything she did. (See the Racialicious article.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on July 7, 2014
Personally, if I were a black kid hearing white people using the term "Trayvons", hearing from my fellow students of color about the shit they had to deal with, saw fucking Confederate flags hanging on campus, and had already had a whisper/smear/sexual harassment campaign against me, I would be inclined to strike back any way I could.

Seriously. Why didn't the school shut the "Trayvon" business right down? It sounds like it was... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:15 AM on July 7, 2014

men as feminist allies
It still seems strange to me, because I have zero interest in the first thing and think of the second one (caring for each other) as the basis of any relationship, but maybe I already have non-traditional relationships.

Oh god the emotional work when living with "feminist" men. Who are perfectly nice and who, as a broad generality, are people I like and consider friends.

Here's the thing about our house: nothing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:42 PM on July 3, 2014

If you build it, they will come

Anybody that lived in Atlanta through the 90s could have told you this. They doubled the size of I-75. It was congested within a week.

The thing is, induced demand has been a commonplace of urban geography courses since the nineties, if not before - I remember reading a case study on Atlanta in 1998 or so, and I'd already encountered the idea somewhere else before, IIRC.

It's one of those... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:54 AM on July 3, 2014

Summer Is for Skinny People
I feel like recommending therapy to the guy - it's not that people aren't assholes and there isn't any body-shaming or that it's all in his head, but getting some help to get you to the "I get to wear a swimsuit if I want, assholes" place can be really good. And he just sounds so horribly distressed. I have lots and lots and lots of body issues, I had them when I was thinner, I had them when I was fatter, I'll probably have them til they put me in the ground - and god knows I've been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:18 AM on July 2, 2014
Also, he should make some fat friends. I have friends who are much fatter than me who go to the beach all the time, and this year I think they may actually have persuaded me - fully equipped with rashguard and baggy men's swimtrunks, admittedly, but that's gender performance as much as anything else - to join them.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:22 AM on July 2, 2014
This guy needs some sort of therapy, self-administered or otherwise. I can relate to a lot of what he writes, but there is not a single thing in that entire piece about taking steps to mitigate his issue. He does however spend a whole lot of effort maintaining it.

I spent my twenties and early thirties in the grip of really crippling physical self-hatred, and this piece really resonates with me. For some of that time, I was actually delusional about... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:52 PM on July 2, 2014

How can you do justice to all? You can't.
As a secretary, I found the "you too can work late and assist in parenting the boss's daughter" section particularly amusing. Secretaries, of course, never have children, so we're happy to be "trained" to support the boss's family - it fills the gaping emotional void at the core of working class life, you know.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:32 AM on July 2, 2014
And the servants and the secretaries are being paid so this woman can focus more time on work. Today, I paid for childcare and a housekeeper so that both my husband and I could work, albeit paid waaaaaay less than the CEO of Pepsi.

Yes, and they're paid enough less that they can't afford help themselves. If you're a working class woman, you too work long hours (if you have kids) - just not very well paid long hours. You too miss 9am... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:59 AM on July 2, 2014
More, actually, people think that's it's emotionally fulfilling and appropriate for you to spend your energy on the boss's daughter.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:00 AM on July 2, 2014

There are very very few secretaries that spend half the year traveling for corporate meetings, working full-time weekends, and working from 9pm-midnight once they get home. And if they do, it's by choice, since that's an atypical secretary job.

The point is that we have so arranged society that if you are rich, your kids can have the "seamless parenting" experience, and if you are not... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:49 AM on July 2, 2014

Penny in Your Pants
Actually, I think the clip garter one would be pretty useful (not the penny one as much, for fabric-damage reasons). Back when I wore skirts and biked in them, I pretty much chose skirts based on being a fairly structured a-line that was just above the knee, or else a relatively heavy fabric which hit at or just below the knee if a full skirt - anything else was either too flippy or too constricting.

The thing is, even if your skirts fit well and don't ride up, your... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:55 PM on July 1, 2014
Since when has dressing modestly prevented street harassment?

I noticed a sharp drop-off in street harassment when I stopped wearing dresses, skirts and heels - quite seriously, I got hassled on the regular when I was wearing perfectly modest dresses and skirts and rather ordinary nineties platform heels, and then ~boom ~ it dropped right off when I stopped. I notice that my friend who wears very tight, very short shorts and crop tops gets a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on July 1, 2014

Also, Frowner, I guess I don't get your point. No one invites street harassment, I get you are saying that. but you're also saying that a change in dress can change the amount of harassment, your mileage may vary. Ok? Not really information anyone can use, just a data point, I suppose?

I was, initially, commenting on the post - saying that I had not been particularly worried, when wearing skirts on my bike, about anyone seeing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on July 2, 2014

The basics are the same - meat sliced off a rotating vertical spit, wrapped in pita. But donairs (Halifax-style aka the right way) are seasoned ground 'meat' (no idea what kind - lamb? beef?) with a sweet sauce (sweetened condensed milk and vinegar) topped with raw onions and raw tomatoes.

You poor things.

I used to live in a house with people who hosted Canadian anarchists every year, and I noticed that they were... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 AM on July 1, 2014

The Thomas Kinkade of high fantasy
I kind of want to reread these now. I loved them when I remember leaving one in my desk over the weekend by mistake, realizing this at Girl Scouts and being absolutely gutted since I'd been looking forward so much to finishing it on the I must have been nine, because I was only in Girl Scouts that one year.

The funny thing is that my dad - who hated those Shannara books, he'd read me... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:12 AM on June 30, 2014

'Fashionable bigotry' creeps into Twin Cities theatre scene
Also, I don't know, yoink -- does the play have a stage full of white people dressed up in cartoonish "Indian" costumes? I don't really see how any description of that could be tone-deaf -- who cares about tone, that shit just isn't okay.

The thing is, I'm sure that the play is intended as a left-leaning satire - that's the only reading that makes sense of the sections I've read. But you can't use other... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on June 28, 2014
I feel like an ass for asking this, but I need some context for this. Is anti-Native bigotry a bigger issue in the Twin Cities than it is elsewhere? Boston has a reputation for being a very liberal city (as does NYC, where the show premiered), but the productions of BBAJ staged here haven't gotten protested.

There's a lot more native people here, right in Minneapolis, than in other cities. We have Little Earth here, mere blocks from my house. AIM... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:22 PM on June 28, 2014

"Everybody gets it. This is a singular voice."
I am really looking forward to reading this book - about fifty million great new things came out this past year (two new Hal Duncans, Sarah Tolmie's Stone Boatmen, A Stranger In Olondria and on and on) so I haven't had a chance to get it yet. But I'd be totally stoked if it won lots of awards - I love books that do stuff with pronouns. Also, it's exciting to see someone start strong later in life - it's interesting to get a first novel written by someone with life experience, having had kids,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:28 AM on June 28, 2014
The Hal Duncans are a highly-praised book of SF theory/criticism and a book of short stories, Scruffians. I've just blown all my book allowance on used books at the Goodwill, so I don't think I'll be getting either this month, but they're on my long, long list alongside Ancillary Justice. Stranger in Olondria and Stone Boatmen I've read, and both are dazzling and wonderful and assuredly classics.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:07 AM on June 28, 2014

Sometimes We Wobble, Sometimes We're Strong
I had a Shriekback album on cassette, but I don't remember which one. I think it was the one with "My Spine Is the Bassline". I didn't like it at the time, but that doesn't prove much - almost the only survivals from my College Listening Experience are Mekons, the Clash, the Rezillos and Nothing Painted Blue, everything else I actually liked was pretty forgettable and I only liked it because I was a frosty little snob.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:39 AM on June 26, 2014

The animals that attract crowds pay dearly for our affection.
Would any of these justifications be acceptable for keeping humans in zoos? I mean, we've had human zoos, and you could trot out the same rationales - conservation dollars, city dwellers seeing "nature", the thrill experienced by children when they see "real" people of [X group]. Now, I'm not saying that an otter is the same as a person (although I don't want to keep the otters either) but dolphins and elephants and gorillas (and probably parrots and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:29 AM on June 25, 2014
Wow, Frowner, that analogy is so ridiculous that I'm out. Enjoy the discussion everyone.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that.

Just a week or two ago, someone posted that essay about the woman who took part in the dolphin experiment (and I can't seem to find the link), spent all her time with the dolphin, built a really strong bond with it...and the experiment got defunded and then the dolphin got shipped somewhere else and, as far as... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:40 AM on June 25, 2014
. Captive breeding has saved a not-insignificant number of species from extinction. Given a choice between "zoos" and "vast wildlife sanctuaries where the animals roam free, unmolested by humans" yeah, it's a no-brainer, no matter how much I might like city kids (or even city adults) to get to experience the animals. But that's not the choice; for most of these animals, the choice is literally life in a zoo, or death. That's not so easy. If you posit that an animal... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:31 AM on June 25, 2014

Risky Business
Actually, what I remember of the peak oil conversations I was hearing was basically "really bad things like fracking will become economically reasonable, there will be giant awful pipelines and lots more pollution", not "we will suddenly have no oil". I know there was a sector of the peak oil conversation that was focused on the "we will have no oil and very soon" thing, but there was quite a lot of talk about all the really awful, polluting things that were going... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:33 PM on June 24, 2014

Celery: from silver vases and glass bowls, to tonics, malts and soda
We used to have celery sticks with peanut butter in them, as a snack.

People don't do this any more? It was Most Depressing Snack at our house in the eighties. (Most depressing dessert? Butterscotch brownies.)

Celery is gross because the strings get caught in your teeth. It's good in pot roast when it's cooked soft.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:30 PM on June 24, 2014
BTW, you can peel celery to get rid of the strings.

But then you have to peel the celery. I can't even bring myself to bother peeling carrots, and carrots are good.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:05 PM on June 24, 2014

everyone was aware of the fact that tuesday was the deadline
Harrowing and extremely brave. I hope I never get Alzheimer's, but if I do, I hope I can go like she did.

A close relative is in the grip of a rare early-onset condition related to Alzheimer's, although not, mercifully, as cruel. My family's health history on that side is extremely weird and there really isn't a good way to tell whether we're looking at a coincidental collection of sporadic illnesses or some kind of underlying issue - so I'm not sure... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:18 AM on June 24, 2014
What I think about is ruining my partner's life by destroying their career (since we couldn't afford full time care so they'd have to quit and try to live on disability and savings, and the condition that my near relative has requires full time care - and it's early-onset, so many of the retirement-age options aren't available) and draining their savings (such as we have) so that I could be supported in a state of increasing confusion, depression and fear. I certainly fear... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:05 AM on June 24, 2014
I wonder if high-achieving people deal with Alzheimer's differently than others? Like if they can't be their usual brilliant selves they don't want to be at all? I have very mixed feelings about assisted suicide.

The issue with dementing illness isn't that you're "not your usual brilliant self" - it's that you're depressed, afraid, confused, sometimes subject to fits of rage, wonder why your [dead for many years] parents aren't coming to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on June 24, 2014
The thing is, my relative has good days, and good hours. She chose to live out this illness, and we were unbelievably fortunate to be able to care for her. But this isn't even one of the really brutal dementias - this is an Alzheimer's-related dementia, molecularly-speaking, which spares a lot more of the memory and personality a lot longer than pretty much any other. But what about the fronto-temoral-lobe... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:56 AM on June 24, 2014

I don’t remember the last time I messaged someone to say that I was thinking about them, or the last time that I received a message of that nature, but I think about people all day. Nice thoughts. From now on, I’ll just Yo them.

I don't even know how

It's okay to think about people without telling them about it. Even nice thoughts.

When they said that generation Z would... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:58 PM on June 23, 2014
And you could just text someone "yo". I believe I have received this very text, and knew it to indicate that, like, my friend had arrived and was waiting for me to unlock the door since our doorbell was broken.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:59 PM on June 23, 2014

Service with a Swipe
What I wonder about is what happens when the underclass can no longer afford to consume. Right now we're in a sort of sweet spot, where there are still working class jobs that pay enough for people to buy non-essentials, even if they're shitty Target/McDonalds/etc non-essentials, and even if they're pretty limited. But what happens when that stops? The 1% will want more robots than servants, rich people can only consume so much sex work and massage and wages on that stuff will drop anyway,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:34 AM on June 21, 2014
esp. if they're low wage cooks who are basically imperfect food robots rather than actual chefs with cooking skills.

And this is why we will never have nice things - unless you're some kind of google-ista, you're just an imperfect robot and we, the almighty consumers (who are never considered as workers, just in our status as petty tyrants with credit cards) are just waiting for you to be replaced so that we can have an "optimal" experience.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:43 AM on June 21, 2014

Are you a fascist?
In fact, you could have a pretty good time trying to imagine what modern fascist-symp questions would be.

I suspect "marginalized people are all whiners who need to shut up and grow a pair" would be one of them. Things like that.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2014

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