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It's like that scene from Amazon Women on The Moon...but less funny
At first I thought this was really creepy - and I still think it's kind of horrible in a broader neoliberalisation-of-everything way! - but then it occurred to me that this is sort of an UMC, we-have-to-move-for-work-every-couple-of-years-and-work-sixty-hour-weeks thing where these young women actually don't have, like, a volunteer network or a political network or any way to meet dudes except OkCupid. And that sort of makes sense - if you have... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:11 AM on November 21, 2013

I am not talking about love on a roof in Brooklyn
How interesting it is that if a friend were to recount the fairly ordinary break-up conversation of some random strangers to you in great and spiteful detail, you'd think your friend was mean-spirited and change the subject, and it would quickly get boring anyway ("and then he said "but I don't like labels" and she said....") but of course if it's tweeted to an audience of hundreds of thousands it becomes entertaining. To some people, anyway.

Human... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:40 AM on November 20, 2013
The only thing that's "new" in this is its instantaneity. The New Yorker has been doing "overheard in..." columns for decades and you could find similar kinds of things in Punch in the nineteenth century. It's interesting, though, how the instantaneous nature of the reporting does, in fact, increase the sense of a violation of privacy.

But an awful lot of the ones in the New Yorker and Punch... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:48 AM on November 20, 2013

Martha Stewart's horrible food tweets.
Honestly, food looks gross. Pretty much all cooked food looks gross. That's the real of food.

I had a truly delicious lunch of fenugreek-chickpea dumplings with coconut chutney and an onion-whole-spice relish thing I'd made, and it smelled divine but looked like it came from a plasticky future dystopia. Or consider congee! Congee topped with delicious things like sauteed peanuts and enoki mushrooms and greens looks like nothing on earth. And yet it is so good.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on November 19, 2013
I add that delicious European foods also look gross, just to clarify. Oxtail stew, my childhood favorite! And Tuscan baked beans - a squishy pallid landscape like something from fifties Soviet SF!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:12 PM on November 19, 2013

"So yesterday, we saved him the trouble."
I really do not like reading this kind of thing, although I always read them, because I have come to realize that I have started worrying every day about how I am going to handle it when our little cat dies, even though she is only four and the vet seems to think she's doing all right, and I don't want to spend the next X years [at least ten! please! fifteen or sixteen for preference!] thinking every day about how sad I'll be when she's gone.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:37 PM on November 18, 2013

Hana Williams' Story: How a rescue adoption lead to a preventable death
The fucking Pearls again. How the hell has a book which advocates outright child abuse and torture of babies become the parenting touchstone for some "devout fundamentalist" Christians? Have these parents no sense? Have they no empathy for the children they are trying to raise? Have they no fucking sense of decency towards other human beings and especially towards children, who rely on them utterly for protection, care and love?

See, I always... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2013
It also just seems weird to me - most of the really hard-core evangelical white people I've encountered have also been really racist. So I am sketched out when I hear of lots of white evangelicals adopting kids from Africa. I don't mean that everyone is racist, or that everyone is sketchy, but it's enough of a pattern that it seems odd to me.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on November 15, 2013

Are you implying that you cannot be racist and the adoptive parent of an African child? Because that's simply not true. There are reports and blogs all the time of Evangelical parents calling their adoptive children "savages" and similarly horrible things.


No, quite the opposite. I'm implying that I am 100% sketched out by racist people who adopt African children and am surprised that this is not remarked on... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:38 AM on November 15, 2013
Ie, I think people who are racist may be adopting kids precisely so that they can exert racist control and violence over them (even if this is not at the conscious level) and I find it incredibly colonialist, systemic and not coincidental.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on November 15, 2013
" At the same time, leaving aside cartoonishly ridiculous racists like the klan, all of the most racist people with actual power that I've met have all been deeply liberal and secular.

To return to this earlier point: the racism [that I have noticed] within evangelical Christianity does not rule out racism among liberal or secular people. (If only it did!) I would argue that the kind of racism that liberal, nominally anti-racist people practice... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:53 PM on November 15, 2013
What I was trying to express is that if a child is about to die, or will pretty inevitably live a terrible life, then one shouldn't necessarily let own's own self examination get in the way of trying to help that child. In other words, potential hardship faced as the result of adoption should always be weighed against the actual hardship of the child if they are not adopted. And that when a child is in truely bad circumstances, the potential hardships will almost always be quite... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:58 PM on November 15, 2013

Spray Me

no "I ate too much last night so now this doesn't fit…"


And of course, no more "my body does not meet social norms of thinness/youth/"correct" breast shape/etc so I will wear clothes that minimize this so I don't get looked down on or harassed. Every body its own corset!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:17 AM on November 14, 2013

Rest is a luxury for the rich
$45 a month (what she says she spends on cigarettes) is very little - $1.50 a day. She could get...a candybar? A very cheap coffee? A couple of donuts? I don't think $45 even gets you very much weed, right?

I am not rich, but I don't have kids and my parents are financially stable (god willing). Frankly, I haven't even been able to quit the fucking diet soda, and I'm not under the pressures she is under. I think that folks should consider our... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:22 AM on November 13, 2013
(I wasn't suggesting that she get a donut instead, just to clarify - but that's a good point, that it is socially legitimate to "need" a cigarette in a lot of situations where "I need (coffee/donut/to wash my face/a quick walk around the hallway" would not be acceptable)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:28 AM on November 13, 2013
$45 a month (what she says she spends on cigarettes) is very little - $1.50 a day. She could get...a candybar? A very cheap coffee? A couple of donuts?

Yes, I was responding to a sequence of comments that were all "why doesn't she get something healthier" and my point was that $45 is so little on a daily basis that all you could afford anyway was a candy bar or a couple of cheap donuts. I wasn't suggesting that she actually buy donuts,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:27 PM on November 13, 2013

The Strange Case Of Vahid Brown
I sometimes feel like people don't grasp that anarchism means something, radical politics means something. This Vahid character (and I think I've been hearing bits of this through informal channels for a while) actually did train FBI agents. No matter what his intent was, it's a fairly standard anarchist and all-purpose-radical premise that we don't do the cops' work for them, even if doing so means that we'd get to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on November 12, 2013
I add that everyone is totally free to support trying to reform the FBI. That's not where I'd put my precious hours, but whatever, maybe it will pay off, a world revolution will quietly happen and I'll have to recant my anarchism in the face of y'alls overwhelming success. I'm just saying that you and I can't pretend that there isn't a big, important difference in belief between us.

It sucks when you hit this... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:47 PM on November 12, 2013
You don't do the cops' work for them? Oh, so you don't avail yourself of the resources of the state when it comes to sexual assault? You wouldn't support giving police officers more cultural competency training for dealing with rape victims? Or to pull more directly from my experience, you wouldn't talk to prison guards about safeguarding the civil rights of LGBT people, and training them to know that a transgender person is different from a person who is gay, etc.? Not even if it could... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:33 PM on November 12, 2013
I have worked for 2 separate defense contractors, a fortune 50 energy company, and a Goliath semiconductor company. I've generally found that people who think that I'm a bad person, just for where I used to work, are probably not worth knowing.

Yeah, probably not. I mean, it's disappointing - maybe we share a taste for feminist science fiction or ice skating - but yes, if we have substantially different values, we're probably not going to be best... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:44 PM on November 12, 2013
I add that I am cool with people not wanting to be my friend because they don't agree with my political choices. Honestly, I'm pretty sure there are people in town who find my politics really compromised and wishy-washy, and I know for a fact that there are people who find my politics on [particular local issue where the question isn't "wishy-washy versus hard core" but rather "specific strategic choices that don't map that way"] to be totally unacceptable,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:58 PM on November 12, 2013
I'm pretty sure that we wouldn't be friends IRL, and that's fine. when my choice of employer gets in the way of being on the same team regarding a social issue that we both care about. I'm not fine with that.

But it would depend on the social issue and the tactics, right?

For instance, some anarchists with whom I am associated organized people to vote against a voter suppression measure in the last election, despite the fact... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:38 PM on November 12, 2013


I think some of the things you believe are dumb and counterproductive, but I've said nothing about you.

That's slicing and dicing pretty fine, isn't it? I believe things that are dumb and counterproductive but they're just sort of aesthetic, not part of who I am?

As you say, there are lots of varieties of anarchism; very few of them involve doing workshops for... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:52 PM on November 12, 2013
You know what I find irritating about (m)anarchist discussions? What about non-cisgender folks who are hetero? Does that make you not queer? Who gets to decide who's queer and who's not?

Well, except for the fact that I'm not a man, was not assigned male gender at birth, and I'm not cis. I am white, and I am an anarchist.

I think that the term "queer" has a particular political history and serves particular... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:56 PM on November 12, 2013

You know what I find irritating about (m)anarchist discussions? They invariably end up devolving into whatever white cis men have to say on a given topic. Which, of course, is why misogynists make great informants.


I'm also not totally enamored of the suggestion that I'm more likely to be an informant because you're saying that I'm a misogynist because I disagree with you over how queer is defined. That's doubly frustrating to me because I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:58 PM on November 12, 2013
But really, aren't you trying to have it both ways here? If your radical politics "means something," you're the one imposing that purity test, and then resenting being judged for it.

I think we're talking past each other. I wrote that because I found it funny that you seemed to be trying not to judge "me", as if what I believed were separable from who I am.

However, since I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:16 PM on November 12, 2013
(Also, could this thread please not become a referendum on anarchy itself, or of any particular person's views on LGBT* issues?)

And on that note, I'll only comment more in this thread if I have anything to say that is directly about its topic.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:19 PM on November 12, 2013

Meet the Somalis
I wonder why the artist chose to make everyone white?

Do you mean "I wonder why the artist chose to make everyone's skin unshaded"? Maybe because it would print or appear more clearly onscreen. Maybe because the artist's style doesn't ever include shading because that's her aesthetic choice. Maybe because the artist isn't good at shading.

But skin color/race gets indicated in different ways in... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:30 AM on November 12, 2013
Alison Bechdel, who I thought did shading, actually doesn't! My memory had tricked me - she actually just draws all her characters with outlines, but her style is so immersive that I had imagined it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:32 AM on November 12, 2013

the majority of the themes in this comic are based on real experiences
How are Femen taking away women's agency? They don't have any physical power over them.

I didn't see anywhere in this comic where the writer said "I am drawing an exact equivalency between oppressive state regimes and the actions of specific Western protesters and my whole argument hinges on this." I don't think it's even implied.

If you're involved in feminism, FEMEN is a big deal because they... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2013
Wow. I have totally the opposite read. To me, they're turning leering back on itself and using it as a messaging tool. It's kind of like "this is what you want, while pretending you don't, right? So look, but guess what, we're not going to follow the script and play it coy and shy and vulnerable and sexy -- you're going to have to listen as well." The burden of modesty is placed on women and they get the blame for being objectified. I'm pretty impressed with what they're doing,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:19 AM on November 11, 2013
I add that when members of FEMEN are speaking about their personal experience as women oppressed because of how their youth and good looks are treated, that's much more legit - if the way they want to do that is to go topless, sure, fine. But if they're talking about women in general and claiming that their bodies have some foundational relevance - that being naked thin white pretty young women has some universal... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on November 11, 2013

Why AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Fired An Employee In Front Of 1,000 Coworkers
So many people are so awful, just awful. Seriously, the older I get the more a life of some kind of atheist "religious" contemplation appeals to me, because human beings are just no fucking good. I guess that's the paradox of capitalism - it's such an unattractive, banal system that only the shittiest people like it enough to rise high. I mean, what a clown! And the journalist who wrote this, what a clown! And the whole "oh, now he is feeling the pain of tough decisions"... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:24 AM on November 8, 2013

Before They Pass Away
The logic of this seems really weird, although I think a "please let me photograph you in your [daily dress] [special regalia] because it is beautiful" approach would be okay.

I mean, the Maori aren't "fading away", for one thing. There's lots of Maori and lots of active Maori cultural stuff.

Also, you notice that some of the people further down the page are carrying guns - so I assume that they're trading with other... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:57 PM on November 7, 2013

We are a nation of immigrants and Mr. Prime is one of them.
Miss Botswana, however, gets an honorable mentionfor bringing it classy-style.

It really seems like there's four styles of clothes here - Miss Botswana is wearing a dress that looks nice and that you might conceivably wear offstage, as are several other women; there are dresses that were clearly put together by someone with serious theater costuming skills that read as coherent and well-defined; there are dresses that are basically just... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:20 AM on November 7, 2013

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
Defeated by Dahlgren.

I've read most of Dhalgren by skipping around. But this summer, a friend and I were totally both planning to read it straight though and we charged along well enough until one day, when we each confessed that we'd stopped at the [really depressing and horrible part in the apartment building with the family and the violence] and just couldn't bring ourselves to go on.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:19 PM on November 5, 2013
The other thing I worry about is that what if, when I'm sitting around in a group with people and basically either having a good time or having my loneliness assuaged at least, they are all quivering in existential agony that they are bravely concealing, and the normal state of humanity is 100% more miserable than I am and I just don't communicate with others well enough to realize it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:21 PM on November 5, 2013
What does it mean that a book is "difficult" anyway?

Honestly, Dhalgren isn't "difficult" the way my accounting book is difficult - I can sit down and read any section of it easily, get a lot of pleasure from many sequences...if anything, it is so rich a textual experience that I don't gallop through it the way I might something else. It's your classic "single square of Vosges dark chocolate versus Cadbury... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2013
After going through the flimsy female 'characters' in Shadow & Claw I'll be damned if I read another 1000 pages for Severian to reach his realisation. Ars longa, vita brevis and all that.

Honestly, I think Wolfe actually is a misogynist who can't write women - the women characters in Book of the New Sun aren't any different from the women characters in some of his other really sexist stories, like "The... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:59 PM on November 6, 2013
The thing is that his baroque use of language also often falls flat for me because many of the weirder words he uses have Greek roots.

Yeah, Wolfe isn't Joyce. I mean, no one is Joyce, but if anyone is, it's Delany.

I don't think that Book of the New Sun is "difficult" in the way that a lot of canonically difficult books are - let's say, books that require unusual mental effort from a fluent and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on November 7, 2013

In Flanders Fields
On a far less subtle note, I was revolted to see this picture today, tweeted by the Royal British Legion's official account. It's of four children holding giant plastic poppies three of them wearing t-shirts that read: Future Soldier. Unbelievable.

Back in my young day, a kid wearing a "future soldier" shirt would be doing it as an act of punk rock provocation, with the meaning being "combat fodder for the state". I don't think... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:39 PM on November 6, 2013

Spring Break Forever
The main thing that strikes me about both this review and the work of Harmony Korrine: in many situations, the world you inhabit is the world you choose. Oh, not in the sense that if you're broke and trapped in a shit job that's because you chose it, but in the sense that you always have the option of deciding that the real of the world is, like, neon and Facebook and buying expensive things and coercing people into sex and having a basic 'the nature of the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:38 AM on November 2, 2013

One Strap vs. Two Straps
So here is how I really internalize that I've gotten old: the kids have totally moved away from messenger bags - like, the thing to have was either a vaguely military bag or a bike messenger bag, a real one - and by kids I mean undergrads and mid-twenties - until a couple of years ago, and now it's all backpacks, and backpacks that I find just hideously naff, really ugly sporting jockish stuff with about a million plastic clasps and bits of netting. (The richest kids from out east have... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:00 AM on November 2, 2013

Creating the Innocent Killer
Blergh. The Ender is Hitler thing has always bothered me a bit much. Card fabricates an innocent perpetrator of genocide. That perpetrator then discover that he committed unwitting genocides and spends the rest of his life trying to atone for it.

I have encountered very few critiques of Ender's Game which point out that, like, one of the biggest emotional moments in the book is when Ender takes the alien egg so that he can - against the wishes of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:09 PM on November 1, 2013

We think about the positioning of our legs, the position of our hair...
Honestly, I think dealing with all this is a huge, heartbreaking challenge to women who are attracted to men. Back when I slept with men (I'm attracted to men as well as a range of other genders) it really messed with me. I gave up pursuing men, in fact, because I realized that in order to do so successfully, I had to heavily manage every aspect of my self-presentation in ways that felt incredibly painful and inauthentic. Everything I actually liked about myself, from my comic timing* to my... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:33 AM on October 31, 2013

But that's not confined to women is it? Picture a man in a stained t-shirt with a beer gut, BO and food between his teeth. Now picture him toned and in a nice outfit and smelling of aftershave.


I find it really hilarious (or actually, hilariously distressing) that "I don't want to have to do enormous amounts of body maintenance which have to be attended to throughout the day, and I'd prefer not to have to worry that you'll find me... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:32 PM on October 31, 2013

The Logic of Stupid Poor People
I RTFA, and the thing that jumped out at me was the passage where the writer spoke of a woman who was interviewing for a secretarial position at the salon chain she worked for, so she could move up from being a hairdresser. When she left, the recruiter turned to the writer and said, "did you see she was wearing a tank top under her jacket? You're supposed to wear a silk shell underneath that!"

I will never forget a discussion on a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:40 AM on October 30, 2013
What? No. It means shaving or Nair or maybe waxing but tbh I do not know a single woman who gets her legs waxed.

I don't know anyone socially who gets their legs waxed, but I do know that for me - a person with very dark, fast-growing and sturdy hair (great for the head! inconvenient elsewhere!) - only waxing ever gave me actual smooth skin. Shaving - I was stubbly in an hour or two. Nair - ha, my hair laughs at Nair. Luckily, I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:58 AM on October 30, 2013
My roommates who had very different views on disposable income would "tip" her in groceries because they viewed her probable low wages to mean poor and therefore hungry.

Did you have the kind of relationship with your roommates where you could tell them that cash would be more appreciated? I ask because I could envision, like, 22-year-old me doing something like this, partly because I literally didn't know better and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on October 31, 2013

oh gosh oh gosh oh gosh
I had a terrible feeling that this was going to be sad. And it was. We have a jack o'lantern at home still but luckily we carved a picture on it instead of a face, so there is no temptation to personify.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:04 AM on October 31, 2013

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