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Anti-LGBT Bill Leads SalesForce to Reduce Investments in Indiana
I have family in Indiana and visit there two or three times a year. I'll be very interested to see if the "no gays" signs start going up. Admittedly, Cummins is a big deal where my family lives and I cannot believe that they're going to be cool with the recruitment problems they'd have if things got out of hand. And I mean, when they say frog, local people jump - without Cummins, a huge chunk of the state economy will dry up and blow away.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2015

Reactions to 'The L Word' Ten Years On
I'm sorry, but only LA lesbians remotely resemble L word types. To the rest of us, they look like Sex & the City with bright pastels, and those are the men.

This was what was so confusing to me, and has in general been confusing to me about queer women characters on television - none of them ever, ever seem even like Super Hot Actress versions of actual queer women I see in life. In a way, I find it more depressing than before -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:49 PM on March 25, 2015
No, no - the original Amazon was located just off Loring Park on the edge of downtown. It did look like Madwimmin, and that part of town - eighties real estate contraction-era into the early nineties - was Pretty Queer. Ballet of the Dolls is still there, I believe.

Amazon moved to 38th and Chicago after they won their lawsuit and lost their lease. But the world had changed and frankly 38th and Chicago wasn't that good a location for them. I think they were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:30 PM on March 25, 2015
What I was trying to get at with the "kick-ass" characterization thing was that in some ways I almost preferred it when there weren't queer characters rather than having shitty, depressing, reified, palatable-to-straight-and-male-audiences queer characters. That's not actually a position I would defend, because it's probably better for kids to see the mere fact of being queer as normal and acceptable, but it feels that way sometimes.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:26 AM on March 26, 2015

I would prefer not to.
This is a fascinating article, especially the bit about the different pace of office work in its early days.

However, this has got to be a typo:
One exemplary office, of a New York commission house that sold western and southern produce, was only twenty-five square feet in size but managed to house four partners and six clerical workers, all men. One was an office manager; two clerks handled the major accounts, while a fourth handled
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:41 AM on March 25, 2015
I always thought - possibly because I first encountered Bartleby as a figure for passive worker resistance - that Bartleby would "prefer not" not because there was anything wrong with Bartleby but because the work itself and the work environment were personality-decaying and world-eroding; that the mystery wasn't why Bartleby would rather not but why everyone else would rather. That there was some grain of resistance in Bartleby so that he would… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:27 PM on March 25, 2015

Hot Town, Summer in the City
This is another reason why I get pissed off when I get included as Gen-X. Born in the late 70s and I never saw any of those scary we're-all-gonna-die-in-a-nuclear-holocaust movies or shows that everyone and Douglas Coupland says shaped the generation. Kids like me at that point had Red Dawn and Rocky IV; not sure why you're gonna show them Threads or The Day After when they're 6 or 7 years old. The whole nuclear war thing didn't make any sense to me at all, even as a child. The worst it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:33 PM on March 25, 2015

Burmese slaves in the global fish trade
What happens is that slavery (and near-slavery - it sounds as though the other men on the trawlers are as close to slaves as makes no difference, if they get locked up for saying that they want to leave) is used in the periphery to keep prices down in the metropole. That is, food prices have to be low in the center so that voters (and other "legitimate" political actors, and political actors with any kind of power) have less incentive to change the system and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:57 AM on March 25, 2015
It's not a "conspiracy" in the sense that evil cabals meet; it's a "conspiracy" in that it's a function of capitalism that works consistently in certain ways. Prices have to be affordable at the center because people at the center can vote for the powers at the center, or, failing that, riot. Capitalism isn't a conspiracy, but it works like a conspiracy.

Although I bet - given the various food riots elsewhere in recent years -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:24 AM on March 25, 2015
(Consider food stamps, actually - food stamps are a politically acceptable way to feed people "cheaply" (although getting more and more contentious as the right gets stronger) and we certainly don't have food stamps because the government is full of nice, caring people who just want grandma to eat something besides cat food; we have food stamps because a society where the working class is starving is an unstable society.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on March 25, 2015

I almost entirely removed the words "no" and "don't" from my vocabulary.
Another way to give feedback is to phrase things in terms of questions. This is a good form of feedback if you aren't sure what the correct course of action is and you want to spark a discussion. Be careful not to hide unspoken expectations behind questions, however. Questions leave space for people to misunderstand expectations or feel condescended to.

Yes, I think it's really tricky to ask good questions when giving feedback. Not only do I find it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:34 AM on March 23, 2015
I do know that when I'm teaching, I get a lot better results with positive feedback than with negative feedback.

And I also notice that group discussions go better when we steer away from the "this is bad because" line - what invariably happens when we're looking at a text and someone leads with "this is bad because [of political or aesthetic or whatever-by-fiat] reasons", we almost inevitably (and this is a group of fairly intelligent, sophisticated… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:16 AM on March 23, 2015

The Mid Century Menu, as seen in cookbooks and brochures
The thing is, everyone is all always "lol fifties food", but several things occur to me:

1. Food distribution was insanely different in the fifties. The whole "almost everyone in any kind of semi-urban area has access to a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, sauces and other ingredients" thing is a nineties thing. Even when I was growing up in the eighties in a middle class suburb, you bought garlic bulbs in a little box, for… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:59 AM on March 17, 2015
(Also, pre-packaged foods were a Thing far before I had originally realized - pimento cheese, for example, dates back to the late 19th century and is the result of improved canning and distribution of pimentos. But there's lots of twenties and thirties food that is just as dressed-up-convenience as the fifties - it just appeared before color photography was the norm in magazines and isn't as entertaining to reproduce.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:02 AM on March 17, 2015
Actually, I think aspics were a high-culture thing that became a low-culture thing - I don't have my books handy but if memory serves, you get a LOT of fancy aspics and moulded dishes in the 18th and 19th centuries on the tables of the great. Riz a l'imperatrice, for instance, which I'd really like to try.

I can't find the blog with a cursory google, but there were all these receipes in the 19th century where you would make a jelly and put it inside an aspic, or you'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:36 AM on March 17, 2015
Vis-a-vis wine jello: it just so happens that at the bottom of this page are recipes for claret jello and rum punch jello. I mean, they're Victorian so they're called "jellies", but they're jello. IIRC my Victorian novels correctly, claret jelly was something strengthening that you'd send to an invalid.

Actually, I bet you could serve the Devonshire junket at the very bottom to great acclaim at any fancy hipster party - and I may try just that, substituting… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2015

Life as a ghost
But the ones who blatantly flouted the system, like that engineer dude who was full aware of what was going to happen and was given multiple chances to change his mind before his resignation was accepted without penalty -- nope, that's your own fault. Seriously, are you even kidding? Look after the wife and kid you've already got.

Besides, the punishment is so harsh. Honestly, when I was in China I did not realize how harsh. Let's just assume that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on March 17, 2015

"fabrics and furnitures and experiences to which I will never belong"
Ha ha man just when I think I'm ready to ease up on the rage bucket class warrior thing I am reminded, no, this is my eternal duty, fuck that chair, fuck that launch party, burn it all

Can I think this while also still liking my own personal chairs, several of which are no-name midcentury modern via the thrift store back in the late nineties when you could still find good chairs at the thrift store? Could we burn the social systems… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:17 PM on March 11, 2015
Okay, that's good. If I can't [sit comfortably on my large secondhand originally custom-built-somewhere-in-Wisconsin sofa] to it, it's not my revolution.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:43 PM on March 11, 2015

but like holy shit we are nowhere close to that world as reality and god what I wouldn't do for like a chair that doesn't fuck with my lower back issues, won't fall apart in three years, and doesn't cost more than $50 new


And I mean in theory wasn't this what a lot of the mid-century stuff was supposed to do? Not the, like, Mies chairs with the leather upholstery, but all those Eames-ish bent plywood chairs and so on?… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:46 AM on March 12, 2015

How Finding a Fat YA Heroine Changed My Life
The thing about The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack is that the fat girl is pathologized primarily for her fat; the books revolve around her being fat. I remember reading The Cat Ate My Gymsuit when I was twelve or thirteen and while I liked that the fat girl got to be the hero, it also just basically reinforced the idea that what was most important about her was how she came to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:38 AM on March 12, 2015

How Silicon Valley (WANTS to) Shape(s) Our Future
It all ties in with an underestimated undercurrent that shapes the Silicon Valley more than anything else: the counter-culture of the 1960s and the deeply anchored roots of San Francisco's hippie movement.

A-ha-ha-ha, Der Spiegel, you are so cute when you're naive.

Why yes, the hippie movements of the sixties would have been totally down with undemocratic corporate control of virtually… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:19 AM on March 11, 2015
(Every time anyone gets all techno-utopian on me, I start talking about Google's military robots and asking people just how they think those are likely to be used and on who. It cuts that "don't be evil" and "but but smartphones" shit right out.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2015
You should probably read this book before you go around accusing other people of being naive

Yes, but - when "hippies" and "counterculture" are invoked in the popular press, they're not literally talking about the connections between various early cybernetics people. They're invoking hippies-peace-freedom images in order to appeal to what is popularly believed about hippies, San Francisco, etc.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on March 11, 2015
(Although I agree that breaking out what we mean by "hippies" is politically essential.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:48 AM on March 11, 2015
(You know what - and now I will bow out of the thread - on mature reflection, I think that my first couple of comments at the start of the thread were not helpful. I stand by their content in a "what I think about the world" way, but as "how can we productively talk about this linked material" comments, they were quite poor, and I really should have realized that I was ranting and not done it. It would have been much more interesting and useful to discuss… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:03 AM on March 11, 2015
To Google's credit, they stopped taking DARPA money shortly after being bought. So I don't think it would be fair to say Google has "military robots". Heck, even with military funding, I don't think Boston Dynamics ever put a weapon on anything.

Okay, I am a terrible person because I said I would not comment and now I am. It's true, I misspoke about Boston Dynamics - they are not literally developing military technology for the Pentagon or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:44 PM on March 11, 2015

Media consumption habits of liberals and conservatives in US
There is now in this country in my lifetime a pro torture constituency.

Well, really, the only reason we remember a time when this basically wasn't true is because The Evil Commie Empire tortured people and we used to define ourselves in opposition to the Evil Commie Empire, which meant that official national ideology had to occasionally unequivocally endorse free speech, just trials, lack of torture, etc. Now that we're defining ourselves in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 AM on March 11, 2015
I am not claiming it didn't happen anyway, then or since, but at least defining itself as anti torture goes back in US history to well before the Cold War.

Maybe a formulation would be that the acceptability of torture as part of US practice is something that has been uneven and contested, because certainly police torture and torture by private security was acceptable in the 20th century up through the sixties. (I mean, it's de… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:59 AM on March 11, 2015
Maybe we're talking slightly at cross-purposes here.

I think - and probably did not say clearly - that what is interesting is when there's some kind of broad national opposition to torture that is clearly articulated versus when there is a clearly articulated support of torture, particularly in terms of "we define ourselves as a nation by [feeling this way about torture]". Obviously there's no point at which every single person and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:25 PM on March 11, 2015

Pink Slimer for girls, blue Slimer for boys...
What I'd like to know - will we ever be able to have a Ghostbusters film with two black Ghostbusters? (Or, for that matter, Ghostbusters played by other actors of color?

That is what seems so freaky-deaky to me in all this. Even when I was nine and saw the first movie, it struck me as sort of weird that good old Winston Zeddemore didn't seem to have as much schtick or as much to do as the other three.

It's not that there's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:42 PM on March 10, 2015

The Lauren Bacall Collection
That's so interesting - a lot of it looks like much fancier and more expensive versions of photos from late sixties/early seventies decorating books in terms of color and the older wooden furniture. I don't know enough about furniture to really say what is in this apartment, but the decorating books all have what seems like an odd mixture (to contemporary eyes) of early American, provencal and early Spanish/California, either reproduction or actual antiques, plus some vaguely Ming touches...and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on March 10, 2015
Of course all pianos are basically photo storage. Or at least, you have the grand for the photos and an upright elsewhere for daily use. And the photos should all be in sterling frames, but simple, not the fussy plate ones you see sometimes now.

Back before the Depression, one side of my family was proper rich - not rich like the one percent now of course - my great-grandfather worked and had to work -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:30 AM on March 10, 2015

Hell on earth.
About the "necessity" to bomb Japan in order to save lives: Japan was trying to surrender. See this from Jacobin:

The most damning evidence against the firebombing can be traced to August 19, 1945, when Walter Trohan of the Chicago Tribune finally published a piece gracefully titled “Roosevelt Ignored M’Arthur Report on Nip Proposals” that he had been sitting on for seven months.

Trohan
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:31 AM on March 9, 2015

New scrutiny on re-homing of adopted kids
Also, families who adopt a high-needs child naturally don't have much support from anywhere else because we don't have a meaningful social safety net, and as a society we disapprove so much of parents who struggle to parent. So I imagine that it just gets worse and worse, people don't want to talk about their struggles and their judgement erodes. One strategy for all this would be providing more resources and more relief care - after all, kids need homes, and while screening parents is a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on March 9, 2015
The idea that there should be no oversight except by amateurs is ridiculous.

People are doing a complicated thing that is hugely important, they're doing it under pressure and in bad circumstances. And they only do it once - it's not as though a family trying to rehome a child has a lot of experience assessing the potential new homes. Plus, they don't have access to all the databases that the state does, and they probably don't have enough savvy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:52 AM on March 9, 2015

"Everyone will land, but some people fly first class"
Yes, but - okay, look, Justine Sacco gets shamed all over the internet for her racist tweet, and loses her job, and that's good, and all who participated should be proud of themselves. Cheryl Abbate gets shamed for her handling of a reactionary student in class - and certainly suffers more than Sacco - and that's bad, and John McAddams should be fired. Many people believe both these things, and I would argue that they are only incompatible if we try to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:32 AM on March 4, 2015
Why yes, a mob of goodies chasing some baddies is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than a mob of baddies chasing some goodies!

But it kind of is, right? I mean, it's a bit different if one is, say, executing Mussolini or if one is killing "heretics" outside of Munster in 1535. Because otherwise all we're saying is that not only are "good" and "bad" utterly matters of opinion (which is, in a way, what I believe) but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:05 AM on March 4, 2015
Well, speak for yourself. Having watched a few internet shaming campaigns, I incline toward the view that they are generally ineffective whenever they might be ethical and somewhat less than ethical whenever they are effective. It's hard to shame the powerful and easy to shame the helpless.

I don't know what I think. (I don't really know what "I" am as an identity, anyway, except limited.) On one hand, I don't care for… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:14 AM on March 4, 2015

Keep Korma and Curry On
As far as how one might have gotten through thirty years without any Indian food whatsoever - another factor is the revolution in food distribution of the last fifteen years or so, probably coupled with there simply being an increasing number of Indian-American and/or Indian people in the US.

When I was in college - not yet twenty years ago! - to get ramen required a trip into the big city. Oh, you could get Cup O'Noodle, and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:19 PM on March 3, 2015
I think something that's understated when it comes to commercial Indian food is the vast amount of fat and salt in it. Indian can be very healthy indeed, but I think if most people realised how much ghee and salt (and oft-times cream as well) went into the Indian they get in restaurants, they would be genuinely staggered.

This would be a more persuasive argument if home-made Indian food were not also delicious, though. Oftentimes even more delicious, given someone who is a pretty decent cook.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:06 PM on March 3, 2015

nya nya nya nya
My goodness, they could come film at my house, a corner of Minneapolis where One Cat Holds Sway Over All. Various cat witches (known locally as "food apes") periodically issue forth to cast various kinds of fish and fish-related food into the maw of the Great Old Cat One.

(Actually, yesterday we found out that the cat will deign to accept small bits of pate de campagne even though it's not fish. That was pretty exciting.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:58 AM on March 3, 2015

Go together like peanut butter and babies.
I only hand wash my dishes with natural, sustainably harvested sea sponges, because I just care a little more about my kids than most people

Yes, and guess which gender of parent will be doing most of the hand-washing going forward? I bet we'll discover that washing clothes, sheets and diapers in the washing machine is also too sanitary.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:42 AM on February 25, 2015
(Just to provide a counter-argument to the "oh, hand-washing dishes isn't so bad" business) : I actually hand wash all my dishes and I sure would like a dishwasher. My family got one when I was about fourteen and I remember quite well how much easier everything got, even with having to scrub a couple of pans every night - this is particularly true because I was the one with primary dish responsibility, and I know for a fact that it was a lot less work after the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on February 25, 2015
Benadryl does exactly nada if you're going into anaphylaxis though.

I was actually told by an EMT friend (who might have been totally wrong!) that in an emergency situation with no better options nearby crushed up benadryl (or with the capsules broken open) was a way to attempt to keep someone able to breath until better help could arrive. Maybe this isn't the case, but I always carry some benadryl anyway because I worry. ( For… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:46 AM on February 26, 2015

“Do you have a Christmas album by Aryan Neville?”
Teenage girl asks for classic rock gift suggestions for her dad.
Clerk: “How about Alice Cooper?”
Girl: “Oh no, he hates female singers”


Well, that one really isn't especially fair. But the others are fair.

I was very fortunate in that, during my prime record-buying years, Oarfolk Records (of sacred Minneapolis memory) employed a very nice girl with blue hair and engineer boots and the overall… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on February 26, 2015
It's interesting how differently it's possible to read these. I read them very much as "I am the type of person who also expects librarians to tell me what a book is based on the fact that the cover was red, and then I get all huffy about public servants when they can't"....people who feel that anyone in retail (or any kind of public-facing) job has to be a mind-reader and they, the public, have zero responsibility for thinking their request through. (ie, "why won't you sell… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2015
The VK page admin was quite professional and answered only with a, "I need a little more detail to help you identify it, please!"

I mean, I think that if the linked article indicated that all these guys gave just mean, crushing responses to the various silly questions, then I would dislike it. I think it's okay to laugh a little bit at someone's silly question (every time I've been in a public-facing retail or volunteer… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:18 AM on February 26, 2015

But Blue she said women not just white women
I really, really wish people would read some history and then work with, like, an intelligent publicist before coming out with this stuff. When someone "obviously means" one thing but their unconscious biases lead them to actually say quite another, it is disturbing and makes it difficult to trust the whole message. Someone who actually routinely thinks that, like, black women and queer women and queer black women all… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:46 AM on February 23, 2015
And of course, PA wasn't just, like, chatting on metafilter and making an off-the-cuff, oversimplified statement - the bar is way lower for those, IMO. She planned this, I assume pretty carefully. And that means hey, treat it like any big serious speech and have enough people vet it to make sure that you say precisely what you mean to convey when you are being your best and most thoughtful self.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on February 23, 2015

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