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Who Speaks for the Subaltern?
It would be interesting to have more of the critiques available - I don't think it's fair to Spivak to link Proyect and a partial view of her essay, and it doesn't seem to get at much criticism of Chibber.

Some things occur to me:

1. This is a conflict between high-ranking and powerful people (in academia, anyway), a number of whom are from high-ranking backgrounds in India. Just as we conveniently forget that Zizek is from some kind of highly… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:19 AM on December 30, 2014
(But also thanks for posting this - I enjoyed reading it.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:26 AM on December 30, 2014
A long interview with the founder of Jacobin in the New Left Review? That astonishes me....

This also reminds me that I want to read Provincializing Europe; it's haaaaaaaaaarrdd and so it kind of fell off my list.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:50 AM on December 30, 2014
That interview is something else, all right. Especially the parts where the interviewer asks him about contributor demographics. It's very important to note that they're graduate students and most people are under 35; it's not at all important to talk, for example, about how many are women.

I mean, seriously, a marxist social formation that could attract large numbers of women who actually talked to and prioritized each other would be one I'd have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:06 AM on December 30, 2014

Privilege doesn't mean you don't suffer
I left high school a popular kid, all without changing my interests or hobbies or most of my day-to-day. I never had to learn how to shoot a basketball or anything - all I had to do was not be a fucking child, like Aaronson.

Yeah, I am a little uneasy with the whole "the only reason the other kids pick on you is because you are a little shit who needs to grow up" framework, not least because that's how a lot of adults frame some pretty… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:53 PM on December 29, 2014
My observation of academia suggests that it is full not of absent-minded professors who just can't remember where we keep the toner or how to check their voice mail but of very bright people who do not want to know how to do what it is inconvenient or unpleasant for them to do and who use the "but I caaaaaaaaan't do this basic thing that everyone else figures out easily" business to get out of doing what they don't want to do without being called on it. There may… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:17 PM on December 29, 2014
I'm not entirely happy with saying that because Aaronson is uncomfortable with certain aspects of masculinity he has a lot in common with trans people. He seems uncomfortable with masculinity because he can't succeed at it - he's denied what he sees as the sweet fruits of being a dude, the ready access to sex and romance, the unquestioning comfort with himself in the world. If he were getting all the attention, social comfort, etc, that he feels he should have, he would not be questioning… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:03 AM on December 30, 2014

Kim Kardashian doesn't visit Versailles. She is Versailles.
That article was pretty clever, I thought - especially the part about how when everything else is becoming more specialized/bubbled-off/etc, Kim Kardashian creates herself as a subject about which we can all talk. Which is nicely illustrated here, since no one is talking about the article and everyone is talking about KK.

It seems like one could assume both that someone works pretty hard and is relatively clever… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:12 AM on December 29, 2014
Or what about thinking of it like in James Tiptree's "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" - absent KK, the wheels of production would cease to turn, or at least turn less, demand would decline, jobs would decline, GNP would decline. KK is sort of a goddess figure, right? An organizing persona whose image provides a way to organize impulses, ritual and production?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on December 29, 2014
Several gay people I know think he's gay, and the rumours are based around

I think that's kind of where the linked essay breaks down - it seems to suggest that there is this utopian now, where there's perfect transparency, that KK is famous for being KK, that she has a charmed life full of magical objects and that is what gives her fame, and that this is what she wants...and the essay seems to me to suggest that this really is a possibly utopian way of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:48 AM on December 29, 2014
On the misogyny front: I think a lot of people are really bothered that a woman can be sexually attractive and basically in control of her image. Partly because women are not supposed to do that - women are supposed to be either naively sexy or evilly sexy, but they definitely are not supposed to leverage their sexuality in a sort of "here I am, this is how I look, now I am on a magazine cover" way. And partly because, I think, a lot of men resent women who are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on December 29, 2014
On the whiteness thing: It seems most useful to consider how whiteness operates, how it operates on people, rather than trying to hash something out about Armenians or skin color.

I surmise that KK is socially positioned as not-white - at least, when I see how she is described in the media, how her image is used, what sectors of popular culture she's associated with, the overall gestalt would not be the same if she were positioned as white. If she… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:09 PM on December 29, 2014
(I am aware that Paris Hilton has a sex tape, etc - it's that the pictures of Paris Hilton are shot/narrated/distributed differently from KK's pictures, not that they are Not Naked People Pictures.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:10 PM on December 29, 2014
Interestingly, in Samuel Delany's novel Triton, there is a brilliant guitar-player named Charo. She performs - in the far future - songs from Bruce Cockburn's album Night Vision.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:21 PM on December 29, 2014
I knew about the Delany long before I knew about Charo the actual person, and was amazed that there was a real guitarist also named Charo.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:21 PM on December 29, 2014
The Magnetic Fields are immortal to me.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:40 PM on December 29, 2014

Urge Overkill “Stalker” discusses her antics
I remember this - I read a zine interview with them.

Seriously, the whole thing is so nineties, back when scenes and bands both mattered and also had the potential to be huge. No one would care now if some big small band stole from people, etc; it would just be seen as either irrelevant to the music or what people do.

I love those girls because they were not afraid to be mean and abrasive - against men, popular men even! - and never soft pedal or apologize.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:18 AM on December 29, 2014
(I add that people did do similar stuff to women in bands - all the riot grrrl bands for example - but it wasn't about aesthetics or ethics, it was "show us your tits" and "you deserve to be raped". Show me a non-misogynist man who could do something like this w/out being rapey and misogynist but be purely an anti-fa.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:22 AM on December 29, 2014
So putting nails under cars and physically fighting women in bands is okay as long as it's not ""show us your tits" and "you deserve to be raped"."?

There's a tradition of, like, aggro aesthetic critique that I find interesting and funny - it's not something unique to these women. Lots of artists have brawled over art. (And it's not as though UO were known as being sensitive, poetic, peaceful types - they too were pretty… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on December 29, 2014
(I mean for pete's sake, remember all the early punk scene stuff? Remember the woman from the Rezillos smashing a cream pie in someone's face? People really got into that stuff over music and its associated politics, and it wasn't all that political. The sainted Clash used to fight people.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:34 AM on December 29, 2014
As noted above, Saturation is a masterpiece. I would put it among the top 5 albums of the 90s, easily. For those of you who contend that Urge Overkill sucks or that you had to look up who they even were, what were you listening to in the 90s that you thought was so much better? Smashing Pumpkins? Guns 'n' Roses? The Lemonheads? The Gin Blossoms? Spin Doctors? I mean come on.

Please. No one who was likely to listen to UO was also… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:30 AM on December 29, 2014
Oh, and Husker Du and Arcwelder and anything on Touch and Go.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:31 AM on December 29, 2014
I still really like Sebadoh's Weed Forestin' - or at least, I know all the songs pretty much by heart. I never got super into anything of theirs after that. It was definitely the soundtrack to a very, very unhappy six months, and I still think of "Mr. Genius Eyes" whenever I encounter a certain variety of male academic.

UO and all those bands (and including many of the ones my friends liked at the time - Mudhoney and some of that whole… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:16 AM on December 29, 2014
You know, just the other day I was saying in the "Not Hating On Marvel Movies" thread that one should not issue blanket condemnations (absent some particularly compelling reason) because one never knows why a particular work is meaningful to someone and one's standpoint is always limited, hating on something (for banal reasons) usually suggests ignorance rather than analysis, etc. And yet here I am!

I retract my comment about Smashing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:38 AM on December 29, 2014

It's a White Industry

With Britain's history of colonies in both Africa and the Caribbean, it would be interesting if Elba's Bond was given a backstory that included some kind of ruling/elite parentage, so that he would have both an ingrained sense duty and belonging to "the Establishment", but also the burden of historic colonialism on his shoulders. I think the insider/outsider conflict is one that fits well with the bond character.


That's the thing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:11 PM on December 26, 2014
One of the things you could do with a black Bond (if you didn't want, as schroedinger suggests, just to have the "this is a fantasy world where racism does not impact Bond" framing) would be to have Bond do his schtick in settings where being a suave black espionage agent would be a plus - what if he's espioning amongst the elite of Kenya amongst recent social upheaval, for instance? What if he really, really needs to get over with third culture elites at glittering global thingummies… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:09 PM on December 27, 2014

The Hobbit: How the 'clomping foot of nerdism' destroyed Tolkien's dream
Honestly, though, I would question the idea that Sam is Frodo's "servant."

I just wanted to pop back in - Sam is very clearly Frodo's servant. This is spelled out at the beginning of the first book, IIRC in a conversation at a tavern and one between Sam and his father. Sam hears Gandalf talking to Frodo because Sam is, nominally anyway, doing yard work under the window. Sam does the cooking while they're traveling, and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:35 AM on December 23, 2014
But....and this has to do with what is recognized as trauma....Sam is responsible for Frodo, Sam has to chivvy him along through Mordor when Frodo is virtually dying, Sam has to make all these decisions about how to deal with the ring. Sam has to be the one who is Gollum's guard/captor. Sam has to be this super-caretaker (and has to kill Shelob) and go from being a servant who follows orders to making all these decisions on his own. Frodo's trials are "greater"… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on December 23, 2014

Warren G and Nate Dogg, 'Regulate': Oral History
"I still remember Regulate and Warren G...could that have been back in the sweet summer of nineteen ninety three?"

I mean, nostalgia for Regulate dates back to at least 2005, people.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:40 AM on December 23, 2014

Not everyone needs a hug.
In what is surely a sea-change in British mores, people in the UK, according to new research, now average 13 hugs per day, which last an average of 9.5 seconds each. Now on a monthly basis, the formerly reserved inhabitants of that scepter'd isle spend a full hour hugging.

My goodness. Who are they hugging? To average thirteen hugs a day, I would have to hug co-workers even if I also hugged all housemates, stray friends and romantic partners every… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2014
Oh, and the situations where all the obviously-women-people get hugs, the obviously-men-people don't, and the hugger just sort of dithers in front of me. That always makes me feel awesome.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:01 PM on December 19, 2014
Ok, so those of you who don't want hugs - how do you signal this when a hugger approaches? I always have a hard time figuring out whether or not certain friends/family want hugs.

Many people in my social circle - valuing good consent as they do - ask. I find it better to ask "do you do hugs" or some similar formulation rather than "may I hug you" because it's a lot easier to say that no, I do not "do" hugs than to say… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on December 19, 2014
ugh do not hug me, anyone, ever. Just thinking about all this hugging is creeping me out.

I suppose that I could accept a hug from a medical professional who I'd never see again, just like when I'm sick I want everyone I know to leave me alone but have no trouble being a model patient. I suppose if I ever feel that I need a hug, I'll have to hire a trained hugger.

I mean, I don't pretend that this hatred… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:35 PM on December 19, 2014

This kind of thing could take up your whole day.
Okay, from that Slate Star Codex post:

Race relations are at historic lows not because white people and black people disagree on very much, but because the media absolutely worked its tuchus off to find the single issue that white people and black people disagreed over the most and ensure that it was the only issue anybody would talk about.

I....am not certain that this is actually accurate.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:45 AM on December 18, 2014
However, I would like to ring in 2015 with some way to feel less outrage. One thing I liked in the Slate piece was the little rage/outrage etymology. I think I'm about outraged out, and I need to find ways to interact with the news and online information generally that push me toward rage/action/commitment/ethics rather than toward outrage/sputtering/line-drawing/all-the-feels.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on December 18, 2014

I'm already tired of the outrage about outrage. Slate and Scott Alexander have beaten this drum over and over.


I mean, I am tired of the whole "oh no the feminists are tearing each other apart!!!" and "when you call me a misogynist you are just dividing us and preventing real social change and unity!!!!" and so on.

At the same time, I look back on the stuff I've spent a lot… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:02 AM on December 18, 2014

2015: Flashpoints Abound
I will be interested to see whether "anti-Euro opposition leader" Alexis Tsipras, who seems to be a perfectly decent moderate Greek leftist with a pretty solid political background can...dun dun dun....bring down the eurozone. He would be delighted and astonished to know he had that much power, I bet. It's a sign of how far right nearly everyone in the media is that SYRIZA is written about in terms that would better suit the KPD in its Spartacist Uprising days.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on December 17, 2014

Inside Beijing's Airpocalypse
I lived in Beijing in 2001 - 2002 and the air quality was...well, I'm sure it wasn't great, but honestly, it beat the hell out of Shanghai in 1996 -97, and the winter winds absolutely scoured the skies. My dominant impression of Beijing in the late nineties/early 2000s was one of blueness...the blue hills outside the city, the dizzyingly bright blue sky and the cold wind, blue ice on the ornamental lakes. That was right before they dramatically loosened controls on cars in the city, so traffic… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2014
And Beijing was such a beautiful city in so many of its aspects, too, well located and well laid out on the points of the compass, easy to navigate, temples and ancient stuff that survived the Cultural Revolution (unlike in Shanghai, where there's very little), the hutong district, the parks....I just can't get my head around what it must be like now.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:07 AM on December 17, 2014

U.S. and Cuba to Start Talks on Normalizing Relations
Is it *really* the right thing? I suppose it's the "right thing" to some degree, but I worry about the implications for Cubans being subject to US Imperial interests now. That said I do think it's the right move, I guess I just distrust US motives in general for everything these days.

That was my first thought, actually - watch out, Cubans, your healthcare system will be marketized inside five years. I know how horribly harmful the embargo… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2014
In an unfreezing of relations between the US and Cuba, you distrust the US? Funny.

Why yes, out of two dubious states, I do distrust the greater power more, funnily enough, particularly in the wake of NAFTA. If Obama is doing this because of morality rather than because there's some incredibly dodgy benefit for the US, I will eat my hat - the itchy wool one, too.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:31 AM on December 17, 2014
What a strange framing, as though they are mutually exclusive.

Of course they're not necessarily mutually exclusive, but historically, when the US has made "morality-based" interventions in small-state situations, it's almost always been in the service of fucking things up in US interests. (Various interventions in the Phillipines for ever, Central America (in the service of el pulpo!), Haiti, Panama,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2014
This is a very good point and actually why the US does not have diplomatic relations with Canada -- if we were to do so, Canada would be crushed under the ideological might of our ramshackle health insurance system and in two years they would have privatized everything.

Okay, and after this I'll stop: Canada is large. Canada is wealthy. US strategic interests in Canada are very different, historically speaking,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on December 17, 2014

Sealioning Explained by The Last Psychiatrist and Louie
There's a sense that blacks are violently unpredictable, that's what TV told me, anyway. You know that white kid in the Louie clip isn't going to murder you with the same certainty that you know this black kid might murder you.

My problem with TLP isn't his ideas, per se - what he's trying to say here is "let's be real, [the vast majority of] middle class white people hold [this stereotype] and I will use my tone and phrasing to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:01 AM on December 17, 2014
Isn't this just a version of Freud's repression hypothesis?

Yes, it is - but TLP is a Freudian, as far as I can tell. Who reads Freud now, though? (I mean, I have, up to a point. At least TLP isn't asserting that women invented weaving because of penis envy.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:11 AM on December 17, 2014
It's not harmful to state what POC already know unless they've never heard it put straightforwardly or wanted to pretend these prejudices don't exist.

See, this isn't what I've heard from friends of color, which is what's shaped my experience. What folks have said to me is that hearing the same old "oh yes of course, I a white person am going to describe white racism in a satiric way" feels really self-satisfied and repulsive, like a way of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:14 AM on December 17, 2014

"Walking around a city will never be the same"
And now we (some of the collective 'we' anyway) are becoming able to pay with our phones at the store, and get discounts on things that non-smartphone owners can't get. With health apps we'll be able to optimize our activities. We'll increasingly be able to navigate through cities and buildings with assistance and advantages that were previously impossible.

Yes, I can't wait to get a smartphone and get my additional… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on December 17, 2014

Running empires requires lots of meetings
(My ambition is to write a fantasy novel about an accountant, and accounting. I actually have a vague, nebulous plot idea around which to organize this, having to do with the folk tale about the sorcerer whose heart is inside a casket inside a duck on a lake full of monsters on the mountain at the end of the world, etc etc, and the ways in which one would manage a full inventory of hearts in caskets, the risks associated therewith and potential irregularities in fairyland cost allotment.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on December 15, 2014
"Small people, big world"? You want Melissa Scott's Point of Hopes and its sequels....The queen is very old and must name her heir before the stars change and cast the kingdom into upheaval. The children of Astreint are vanishing under mysterious circumstances. Various swashes are being buckled, city-wide. Will Nicolas Rathe, who is something almost but not entirely unlike a cop, be able to solve the mystery of the missing children through shoeleather work? The… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:30 AM on December 16, 2014

Highway to the danger zone.

A lot of people seem to consider food poisoning to mean anything more serious than mild indigestion. Like, if your food poisoning lasted three hours and then you made a complete recovery, it probably wasn't.


I had food poisoning that lasted...well, I was definitely on the mend three hours in. But jesus, what a three hours they were. There was a point where I was feeling pretty ill, walked toward my room and decided that I would just have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:22 PM on December 15, 2014

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