Activity from Frowner

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Doctor.
No one who ever died of anything lived to tell what it was like (with a few debatable exceptions). That doesn't mean it's either wrong, cruel or illegitimate to hold opinions about which of the many possible deaths we may face we would prefer and which we might choose to avoid if at all possible. People should talk far more often and more openly about end-of-life choices than they do and those choices can only be informed by the opinions of the living.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:12 PM on June 18, 2014
How can one offer opinions about which is better without offering opinions about which is worse? How can one make informed decisi ons about, say, whether or not one should opt for heroic measures in an end-of-life scenario unless you listen to opinions about whether dying at home surrounded by loved ones is "better" or "worse" than dying in a hospital bed drugged out of your mind and hooked up to a bunch of machines?

Precisely... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:00 PM on June 18, 2014

Its prison, dude. There’s nothing to cheer about.
(Just on the reductio "if you don't like that OitNB is about prison, that must mean that you don't want there to be art about bad things ever": To me, the tricky bit is that prison isn't just a bad thing like a typhoon (or an alien invasion, etc); it's totally human-created, violent, unjust and destructive, and it's only gotten more so since the eighties. What's more, with any work of art there's all kinds of questions about viewpoint and audience - who makes the show, who makes... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on June 18, 2014

Have you watched this show yet at all since you were hilariously misinformed about it in the first season's thread?


I was driven to watch it from very shame, actually, although I only got midway through season one. I'm just not into it, but mostly I've been kind of creeped out by a lot of comments from white progressives on tumblr about it.

The intellectually honest thing for me to do would probably be to watch... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:52 PM on June 18, 2014

The Great Old Ones, Petrarch and Diderot
This is great, thanks for posting - it matches up nicely with that comics post from yesterday.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on June 18, 2014

About That Hate Crime I Committed at University of Chicago
You know, if I were Dan Savage and I were well-intentioned, I would just let the whole thing fucking go, not write about it, mention it only if asked, etc. It's really difficult to know how this actually went down without having been there, because with all this stuff, there's so much in the air: What is the campus environment like? What are the GLBTQ student organizations like? What is the particular social circle of activists like? What tone of voice... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:26 AM on June 12, 2014
Actually, also, I think "it" pronouns are pretty neat.

I find it annoying that Dan Savage sort of relies on "this person is such a weirdo that they use this pronoun, therefore their arguments are invalid".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:32 AM on June 12, 2014
I think that it's useful to consider this stuff from the point of view of outcomes. You don't have to agree with someone to not be a jerk - Savage can think whatever he likes about language. But if you know that something inconsequential to you is going to upset a bunch of people and derail from your main point, why wouldn't you skip the inconsequential thing? I think it's possible for honest people to disagree over how language gets... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on June 12, 2014
I don't at all. I don't think I even have it in me to refer to a person as "it". It seems very dehumanizing to me--I mean, that's how Buffalo Bill talked to his victims in Silence of the Lambs FFS. I really hope "it" doesn't become the standard; I know it's not up to me but I just can't do it.

But you find it dehumanizing because of your particular ideas about what constitutes "human". It's really worth putting pressure... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:05 AM on June 12, 2014
I'm not really sure where this is coming from, perhaps the fact that he doesn't tend to do a big recant but just changes the way he talks about things. The way he talks about, in particular, bisexuals and trans people, is massively different now to the way it was a few years ago, although none of that was exactly announced. I'm pretty sure he's quietly changing his tune on asexuality as well. I think his views on cheating are actually changing for the worse, but that isn't generally... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:11 AM on June 12, 2014
Inevitably, when someone starts talking about issues that affect "everyone", they mean "issues that affect people who are privileged and secure enough already that they are not affected by, for example, sexual assault, transphobic harassment and violence, police brutality, the prison pipeline, etc. "Everyone" should work on those issues, not on the issues that only affect "some" people, like women, trans folks generally, etc. "Some" people can... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:28 PM on June 12, 2014
Following this harassment of being singled out in the crowd and hurled slurs at, Cox took over. She told my sibling that she “[felt] sexuality is a lot deeper than gender because you can’t tell a person’s sexuality from just looking at them.” (These quotation marks do not symbolise an exact quote from Cox, but a quote from my sibling, paraphrasing what it had been told in the crowd that Thursday.) My sibling told me on the phone that it tried to explain to Cox you cannot tell someone’s... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:52 PM on June 16, 2014
In the cases of Dan Savage and RuPaul, I see a combined five or six decades of improving our lot being thrown entirely out of the window. That merits some questioning and soul-searching.

But the thing is, folks are not writing a biography of Dan Savage, we're responding to a specific and rather unpleasant recent incident. If we were writing a serious biography, I don't see how we couldn't grapple with the question of who has... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on June 17, 2014

“I played with them, I fought with them, I shared their locker rooms”
There's a reason that DeLillo hasn't put this book back into print, and that's because, honestly, it's embarrassing & misogynist. It's hard to get around that.

I remember seeing a copy of this kicking around and it did have that gross, post-sexual-revolution funny-funny misogynist tone...hard to describe, but certainly puts one right off. This whole business of "I am going to write a woman character who is really, really sexual and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:18 PM on June 17, 2014

On quitting superhero comics
And an utterly unremarkable one at that.

Well, it's obviously a big deal to his particular community, and presumably his reasons stand out to those people - just like quitting being an election judge, or buying white flour, or leaving the IWW.

Actually, I wish he'd explained why he gave up superhero comics. Clearly, this is obvious to people who follow him or are a part of a particular aesthetic community - I could write a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2014
That American Captain that narain references upthread, that is so great, or at least, like, the first five or six of them are. It also looks (and kind of feels) like old Doonesbury crossed with old Peanuts. I have only the most nebulous idea who any of these people are (I mean, I know who Captain America is generally, and I read a satirical Iron Man fanfic once) so I am also enjoying guessing the backstory.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:54 AM on June 17, 2014

The Skunk - A Riot Control Hover-Drone

This seems fake or just some silly prototype without real-world application. Shooting paintballs (or other compressed air projectiles) at rioters from a drone is idiotic and couldn't reasonably be expected to disperse a crowd of enraged miners. Also, umbrellas. Whatever kind of pepper spray it can do can already be done much easier by a person launching a canister. Maybe this thing makes sense as "eyes in the sky" but I'll believe the crowd-dispersing capability
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:45 AM on June 16, 2014
(No government can survive pyrrhic victories like that. Ultimately, no government rules without consent. Even the North Korean government depends on the effectiveness of its mass brainwashing. Similarly, there's a reason why the Chinese government brought troops in from the far side of the country for the Tienanmen Massacre; there comes a tipping point in peaceful mass protests where the soldiers turn their tanks around, and the Chinese democracy protests had passed the point where... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:41 PM on June 16, 2014

Give it 30 years and the overstuffed chair becomes hip and high brow...
I've seen this chart before - I believe it's from a book called The Tastemakers and it was in the context of trying to figure out how "taste" itself came to be a big deal in US culture and how this intersected with class. It's not a radical book, but it's a bit more sophisticated and interesting than the mere republication of the chart makes it out to be. Sadly, my vintage copy totally fell apart a couple of years ago, so I don't have it to hand.

I think... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:02 AM on June 14, 2014
(To wit, saying "highbrow people tend to like these things and claim that's Natural and Right" is a way of taking apart the notion that "what's actually highbrow is not giving a damn what other people think because you know you're better than they are, possibly because of something your ancestors did. Actually caring about charts like this is about the least highbrow thing you can do" is actually how people think. Everyone's all about the cultural capital - gaining,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:06 AM on June 14, 2014
And to triple post: you wipe the salad bowl (which is a hard wood like olive) completely after eating the salad. If you're just using vinegar and oil, it doesn't seem to go rancid, or at least ours did not. If you start adding dairy to the salad dressing, then you have more of a problem. I was shocked - shocked! - to meet people who washed their wooden salad bowls. (Which then absorb soap and get all raggedy!) I now make my salad in a glass bowl. My parents switched to using a little bit... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:09 AM on June 14, 2014
The thing about the unwashed salad bowl - you're using a vinegar and oil dressing, and vinegar kills bacteria. You're also using (if you're doing the "classy" salad as described in the high brow section) only vegetables, salt, pepper and dressing - you're not covering it with cheese or Green Goddess or whatever. (Remember, too, that bottled and extremely rich salad dressings were not common until at least the eighties, by which point although my family was still using the wooden salad... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:45 PM on June 14, 2014
What? Bottled/pourable salad dressings (as opposed to things like Miracle Whip, which used to be explicitly labeled as a salad dressing) are solidly mid-century middlebrow. By the '80s they'd been around long enough for some previously-common flavors, like Kraft Casino, to have fallen out of fashion.


They sure weren't where I was growing up. They may have been available, but they weren't an everyday thing by any means.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:58 PM on June 14, 2014

It was great to have the energy ... without actually having to be punk.
I had not one but two Close Lobsters cassettes around 1989, both bought at a mall record store in the midwestern US - I think that contra the article, quite a few of those bands had some success.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:47 PM on June 14, 2014

I am the eye in the sky, looking at you, I can read your mind
I mean seriously, people, this stuff is getting more and more powerful and pervasive. Each change is relatively small - just a faster, more precise way to access what was previously sorta-kinda accessible with effort - but there are a lot of them. Right now, Google is just a creepy corporation with too much power and no morals, but what I find myself wondering is if, in ten or fifteen years, it won't be easier for them just to bring government in-house, as it were, by... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:53 PM on June 12, 2014

Take it easy babe
Most people just don't have the ability to hear lyrics when they're focusing on something else. They just automatically tune the words out. Some small percentage of us are cursed with the inability not to hear them, just as we're cursed with the inability not to read text that's right in front of us. I've had a number of conversations with people where I was all "oh my god, that song they were playing was so [racist/gross/creepy]" and my... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:21 AM on June 10, 2014
On the other hand "uh, I don't have time, we play racist and sexist stuff all the time so chill out, I can't do anything about it" and "no one else has complained" are really, really crap answers from a customer service standpoint. I've worked plenty of shitty jobs where I had to cover for stuff I did not control, and there are all kinds of ways to handle that better.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:27 AM on June 10, 2014
"Colored" can be used in a racist way, but is there racism in the song because of it?

I have heard many, many unfavorable remarks about this song from women of color. I'm not saying that every person of color on the planet is going to be bothered by it, but I've definitely heard from enough people who find it racist that I do not feel good at all about listening to it.

On a personal level, I think... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2014
I don't know, the first person the author talked to doesn't sound very deft, but is actually significantly more honest than I think might be hoped for from a customer service person. "It’s just like the radio in your car. There are all kinds of songs playing on different stations" would be weaselly coming from someone with the power to change things, but as a description, it seems pretty accurate to me. He admits honestly that some of the songs are "racist, sexist, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:39 AM on June 10, 2014
You know, when I am in an environment where I have to hear a lot of misogynist pop culture stuff just to do some ordinary thing, you could envision my experience as a cartoon panel where I am walking through a space and all the open area is written over with "remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:23 PM on June 10, 2014
Ok, so what is the suggestion then? Do we form a government body to determine what songs are deemed unacceptable for public consumption? And then decide what businesses are not allowed to play those songs? Should this be the law for hold music, music in commercials, music on public radio stations? Should only music without lyrics be played in supermarkets? What about atonal music, which historically has offended lots of people. Should that also be banned? Should only music which follows... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:49 PM on June 10, 2014
Can you expand on this because it sounds accidental.

Well, in the sense of "I did not plan to play something racist", it was accidental. But in a larger cultural sense it wasn't - I was not in the habit of thinking "huh, this song contains actual lyrics about how this guy is white, and yet he is singing in patois, that's kind of gross". I also wasn't attuned enough to the fact that my audience isn't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:02 PM on June 10, 2014
For the same reason that most reasonable people don't consider Senatorial crusades against violent video games or violent movies or whatever to be appropriate or productive responses to real-life violence. Because such efforts simplify away and ultimately attempt to censor (notwithstanding the hugely disingenuous objection that people like the author are "only providing feedback!") art on the basis of subjective (and usually really lame) preferences and interpretations, when... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2014
Can I go back to this derail for a second? Snow grew up in a low-income, Jamaican neighborhood in Toronto, and worked with a Jamaican-born DJ to record a lot of dancehall songs, including some that became hits in Jamaica. He's a lot closer to Eminem than Vanilla Ice, and MC Shan guests on the track (and had a long working relationship with Snow). Further, describing the lyrics about "how this guy is white" is kind of disingenuous — he says that when people see him, they want... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:34 PM on June 11, 2014
(One other quick response - I actually think it's important for white women (and people like me, who are white and not-cis-men) to remember racism when we're complaining about misogyny. Feminism has a long history of positioning itself as The Biggest Oppression Of All, and I've experienced a lot of conversations both online and in real life where - not because anyone is terrible - there is a tone as if white women are always and only the marginalized and never the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:54 PM on June 11, 2014
(I just want to point out that actual people of color got upset enough to walk out of an event when I played "Informer". We can debate all day long about the finer points of cultural appropriation, just as we could talk about how normal violent misogyny was in the sixties*....but the fact is that when a white person plays a song wherein another white person sings in patois, that is experienced as racist and clueless by some significant percentage of people of color.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:23 AM on June 12, 2014

Trigger warning: Child Abuse

I wonder if the behavior existed before the achievements that put her on a pedestal. I know that large amounts of money can turn otherwise cool people into selfish assholes, but does it naturally follow that the adulation associated with having a 'fan club' turns 95% of people into hedonistic assholes?


MSB was never an appealing personality. I don't have my copy of The Secret Feminist Cabal to hand for the details, but... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:36 AM on June 11, 2014
I just have to say that the harassment thing at Wiscon seems very, very shocking to me.

It's really disappointing how often this stuff boils down to whose ox is gored - your friend is a harasser; my friend is just misunderstood.

I think it's really, really important for people to scaffold these things in advance - what do you plan to do if someone you know and like is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2014
That's totally not what the reviewers at the time made that book out to be about. They presented it as just sort of dull nihilism. Now I need to go find it.

Hm, I suspect they presented it as a sort of dull nihilism because it didn't seem plausible to them that a woman could possibly, possibly have reasons for not wanting to be treated quite literally as a brood sow on a random planet with no medical care in the company of about eight other people,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:40 PM on June 11, 2014
Frowner, I skimmed the wikipedia entry on it just now and that reminded me that one review I remember clearly was by Spider Robinson. I don't remember him mentioning the breeding aspects at all -- he just presented it as an anti-social decision, with the sex of the narrator being incidental. Having learned more about Russ since then, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that mainstream characters would find her ideas a bit challenging. A lot of folks in SF are very heavily invested in the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:58 PM on June 11, 2014
Do you remember the name of this story? I've always been interested in Joanna Russ's work and I didn't know We Who Are About To... was a direct response to another work, particularly not a MZB work.

I don't, off the top of my head - she talks about it in one of the reviews or essays in The Country You Have Never Seen. If I have the chance, I'll look it up tonight.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:13 PM on June 11, 2014
I would assume that's the novel Darkover Landfall, which describes the first years of colonization, including the obligation of all the women to breed.

It is, now that you mention it. And now that I remember that, I think there's some stuff about Russ's comments on it in The Secret Feminist Cabal.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:23 PM on June 11, 2014

“Got any of dem Zoh’s?”
I wonder how much chronic pain could be prevented by better working conditions, earlier and better access to medical care, better access to mental health care and better pay which could provide better food, gym memberships, etc. All the younger-than-sixties people I know with chronic pain basically got there either from bad working conditions and no downtime or a spiral of depression/poverty/poor life choices/untreated injury/weight gain/inability to exercise/more injury. Now, obviously there... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:57 AM on June 11, 2014

40 Maps about food in America
(On the jump in obesity - it's worth noting that in 1998, the standards for overweight and obese were changed, lowered by about ten pounds each. So people who were not previously considered overweight became overweight overnight, same with people who were overweight becoming "obese". That's not to say that the obesity rate hasn't risen, but if you're not correcting for the redefinition in 1998, you're getting a much greater rise than is really born out by actual change in weight/size.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on June 10, 2014

First they came for your raw milk, then your Parmigiano Reggiano
So wait, there will be no more imported aged cheese? No more real parmesan? No more aged gouda? This is awful. I mean, I'm vegan about 95% of the time, but when I fall off the wagon, I want to fall into the parmesan, so to speak. And not the rubbery fake kind, either.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 AM on June 10, 2014
Okay, today after work I am going to the cheese store. Time to stock up.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:40 AM on June 10, 2014
The whole "craft cheese is too small a threat for Big Cheese to bother" - I don't think that this is how government tends to operate. I have not noticed, for example, that tiny useless hippie groups get left alone because they are "too small a threat" - speaking as someone who has been a member of many tiny useless hippie groups, I've been repeatedly startled by the amount of effort the state has put into busting things up, harassing people, etc, when my impression has been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:00 AM on June 10, 2014
This utterly profound change came from exactly the focus that is turning out to be inconvenient for people who like stinky cheese, the obsessive adherence to evidence based hygenic practices like Clean-In-Place technology and rigorous microbiological standards that at least have a hard time working well with undefined cultures or food contact surfaces left alone for years at a time.

See, as a broad generality I agree with all the "it's not about... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:02 AM on June 10, 2014

What Happens When Low Wage Workers Suddenly Get a Living Wage?
I worked at a movie theater in high school. Cashiers had a union. No one else did. So you had more than one tier of worker in the same business, and only some of them were unionized.

And I point this out just to clarify - that is generally not the union's choice. Tiers of workers in one shop create a bad situation for unions - bad feeling, wage pressure, incentive to shift duties to the non-union people, incentive... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on June 6, 2014
In this case, I have no idea. I worked there two years and was never approached by anyone interested in unionizing the ushers. Except for the ticket booths, all workers' tasks were segregated by job category.

I know I'm posting a lot, and I'll slow it down after this one.

The thing is, union campaigns are really difficult and labor intensive. And they generally do not happen by someone who is from the union but not an employee... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:56 PM on June 6, 2014

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