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Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out
Lambert vehemently disputes suggestions that he is motivated by sexism (or racism, as the case may be). He cites principles of Wikipedia categorization: arguing, for example, that huge categories should be broken up and “diffused” because they become useless for navigation. “This whole hullabaloo is really missing the point,” he told me. “The people who are making a big deal about this are not being up-front about what happens if we do not diffuse categories.” Others argued that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 30, 2013

BBC: How to Eat Healthily on £1 a day
Here's a thing: I have a friend with a baby daughter. She's on food stamps. She can't afford childcare and does, basically, odd jobs while living with her [awful] parents because even with the odd jobs she can't make rent. She's out of food stamp money until the 8th. She has enough to eat until then, sort of. And I have lived with her and the baby - she is a meticulous cook who makes everything from scratch, no junk ever, not least because she has a lot of health... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on April 30, 2013

A generous barrage of narcissism
She's the one with the gross Evelyn-Evelyn fake conjoined twins thing, right? And the vaguly "sex workers are gross and risible" song titles? And the snarking on fat people via Twitter?

I mean, I've never heard a good thing about her politics, ever, just a sort of fake feminism where being "empowered" to make money and get famous equals feminism because she's, like, a woman and stuff and talks about sex while being cute, young, white and well off.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:39 PM on April 29, 2013
Obviously there's a lot in play, though, and I expect that some of it is misogyny - woman judged harder and expected to be nicer; woman married to heartthrob [heartthrob to some, at least in my circles anyway] Neil Gaiman must be run down as "not good enough"; woman who is arrogant and entitled seen as much worse than man who is the same; male artists who create insanely twee women characters (as NG does) seen as quirky and charming, women who act twee seen as... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:49 PM on April 29, 2013

CO2 to hit 400 parts per million next month, highest since the Pliocene
I had the most depressing conversation with my father recently. My dad has always been sort of a climate optimist - "oh, global warming is happening, but I lived through predictions of Soylent-Green style overpopulation and followed by predictions of nuclear winter, so I tend not to believe in apocalyptic scenarios, plus there must be some kind of planetary homeostasis effect or we will figure out the technology" - but when we last talked, he said he felt like... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 PM on April 25, 2013

H7N9
In the second week of May, (while I popped massive doses of aspirin to hopefully keep my temperature from rising again)

I know everyone makes choices in the moment that make sense to them - and that good choices made in the moment with full on-the-ground knowledge of the situation may not make sense to the uninformed - so please read the next paragraph in a sympathetic, friendly tone rather than a hostile one.

Did you ever... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:16 AM on April 25, 2013

"Oh my God, it's orcas attacking sperm whales."
I was kind of hoping that he jumped in on the side of the sperm whales. Not as some kind of neutral observer of nature's murderers attacking the gentle, hippie giants of the seas. Tsk.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:09 AM on April 25, 2013
Sperm whales are hardly "gentle, hippie giants of the sea." We are talking about the world's largest predator, an animal with teeth the size of your hand that dives thousands of feet into the inky depths to do battle with giant squid, its primary food source. That they are outmaneuvered in this case does not mean they are some kind of benevolent, mild-mannered sea beastie.

Ah, you see, I was being silly. Although I do tend to like the big... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:19 AM on April 25, 2013

Jocasta Innes, 78, influential writer on decor, cooking
Oh my goodness, I have several of her books! Faux bois and other surface treatments like that actually have a long and honorable history and can look pretty cool.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:13 PM on April 24, 2013

We've got a kotton krown, gonna keep it underground
I find it incredibly depressing that the split turns out to be the result of the male half of the couple having an affair. (One assumes with a younger woman.) I had hoped that it was just, you know, a divorce, not a "famous dude can't keep it in his pants or stay true to his amazing partner" divorce.

Seriously, straight people of metafilter, I would love not to feel this way: but this really makes me glad that my... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on April 23, 2013
Blaming one half of the party based on the other half's intentionally vague story doesn't solve anything.

It's not even blame, though. It's that it always happens - it's as though I have only to admire a male intellectual or artist to discover that he has cheated on his talented, age-appropriate partner as soon as she is, like him, out of her first youth. I mean, I've gotten to the point where I assume it's a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:52 AM on April 23, 2013
I add that, as a broad generality, the "famous person cheats on partner and leaves them for someone younger" thing is not something that women generally do. I view this as more a function of patriarchy than anything else, but lord is it depressing.

Don't imagine me cackling and rubbing my feminist hands over male perfidy; imagine me getting depressed that the world sucks.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on April 23, 2013
Is this kind of idiocy really your best response to this kind of situation?

OmniWise, I've just realized that I tend to view "people in a less privileged position getting kind of depressed about that situation and speaking with some hyperbole in the moment" as a bit emotionally different from "person hostility directed at one individual", and that I assume we feel differently about that.

I mean honestly,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on April 23, 2013
But anyway! In retrospect, I recognize that I should not have turned this in the direction it's going! I will personally stop going this direction! And hope others will too, except it would of course be fair for OmniWise to reply.

On that note, boy, Goo was virtually the first really nineties-esque alternative album that was available in the regular record stores near me, and it sure was a revelation even though it's one of their lesser works. I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:06 AM on April 23, 2013
As far as being an "aging hipster" (or an aging punk) - I think that a problem with certain kinds of hipster / punk /arts cultures (probably compounded by being famous) is that it is very difficult to figure out how to get old. I assume that when everyone around you is invested in telling you that you are basically not getting old, you still have it, you're still the same - and when you want to hear that, because you're in a subculture with no model for being old,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:46 PM on April 23, 2013

"Coffee ... is still just roasted beans and water"
All these people go to the expensive espresso bar with a hipster, rockstar barista. That’s not what we do. We want people to relearn what was lost.” Martijn and his friends thought the first step in this reeducation was breaking down walls. Particularly, the one between the front and back of the counter. Koffie Leute doesn’t hand customers coffee, it hands them the beans. The customer then pours the beans into a hand-powered burr grinder, closes its hatch, and gives the thing a good... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on April 16, 2013
I might conceivably pay good money to have a Fancy Thing (probably not coffee, as I'm not really fussy about coffee) made by someone at a Fancy Hipster Shop provided that there didn't have to be a lot of ideology associated with it. Like, what about "Fancy Thing is tasty! Many people enjoy it because Reasons!" rather than "Fancy Thing is made in the artisanal tradition of The Peasants Before They Were Corrupted By Capitalism and we should all be harking back to peasant ways -... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:12 AM on April 16, 2013
I mean, all this is really the capitalist sublime, right? The assumption being that once we learn to consume correctly, to make an artistic performance out of consumption itself, our problems will fall away and we will be perfectly well adjusted to capitalist society, we will effortlessly be fashionable, well-dressed and healthy, we will have upper middle class incomes, etc. The problem is that we don't understand how to consume right.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:14 AM on April 16, 2013

We Found Hope in a Mega Millions Ticket
Perhaps. I didn't get that from it though. It read to me like a microcosm of what life in the United States has become for so, so many people. Shitty jobs in service industries with little or no opportunity for advancement or wage increases, for instance, just the other day we saw right here that vast swaths of major metro areas are toiling away in dead end service jobs.

Exactly. I'm just so baffled by the incredible inequality I see every day. I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:05 PM on April 12, 2013

Smaller Wallets, Larger Households?
"Unrelated adults" clauses have historically also been used to discriminate against regular poor people, immigrants (people who arrive without their families and who share housing) and GLBTQ people who have been unable to achieve state-sanctioned familyhood.

I had to have a lovely but elderly and dying tree chopped down; I am currently trying to figure out how on earth we'll pay to have the other elderly and dying tree, which is larger, chopped down and taken... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:52 AM on April 12, 2013

"The Real Truth About Blacks and Unemployment…"
That's not how it works. It's not a zero-sum game. You should be ripshit because this racism crap is taking money out of your pocket - if people were given truly equal opportunities, more people would be producing at their best potential, which puts more money into the system all around. By forcing people into a lower-class economic situation unjustly, it's robbing from everyone.

Actually, what racism does is it creates a "reserve labor... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on April 11, 2013
And I add that when majority-white unions are complicit in racism, we are totally screwing ourselves over.

White people don't need Louis CK's [kind of rape-y and homophobic] ideas about what "they" will do to "us" in revenge; we're screwing ourselves.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on April 11, 2013

Your dog did not eat your homework
Hey remember that excruciating scene in Snow Crash

That was actually the first thing I thought of.

Is it just me, or has the dystopianization of These United States sped up recently?

****

I add that the assumption behind this software is that no one enjoys learning, and no one likes or dislikes some material more than other material; and that all material demands the same degree... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:56 AM on April 11, 2013

“Shopping is so ritualised that we walk around like zombies,”
All my supermarket check-outs are "guilt-free", because feeling guilty about food is not helpful. Some days I think "hey, it was entirely nutritionally appropriate to buy what I bought, including that chocolate bar" and some days I think "how can I plan my shopping and cooking better", but I don't spend a lot of time feeling "guilty" over how I interact with dodgy capitalists.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:00 PM on April 10, 2013

Who Needs Society? (Except to Steal From)

Not a survivalist, but I think if I was going to be the cold woods that long I would've dug into the earth, like those folks in KC.


I find it absolutely fucking hiLARious that the cops in that story are all like "we had to clear this area out...but this will prompt the homeless to seek better shelter!" I mean, I am actually friends with someone who is homeless - like real, street-living homeless although pretty high-functioning... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:49 PM on April 10, 2013

First They Came For The Cunning Hats...
So did I totally misread the linked story or did Facebook take down somebody's comments complaining about Fox? That, to me, is actually creepier than the business with the hats.

Just now, I was walking back to work from a work-related errand and noticing some new benches that Large Land Grant has put in, every one of which has a poky metal doohickey every fifteen inches to insure that homeless people will not lie down on them, because while we are... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on April 10, 2013

Pounce!
One of those turns out to be 'slow motion visit to an extremely nice upper middle class home with a really beautiful persian rug".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:31 AM on April 8, 2013

The Iron Lady has rusted away
She is someone where, if I thought it would do any good, I'd be dancing and singing that she is dead. All I can think is that she lived a long, rich, easy, honored life - with a comparatively flattering propaganda movie about her just recently - off of destroying so many people's lives. Just a monster, right up there with Reagan and Kissinger. If she'd died in, say, 1983 I'd have shouted it from the house tops but what's the point now?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:16 AM on April 8, 2013
To respond to far upthread: if you haven't read about the miners' strike that was basically Thatcher's defining moment, it's simply unbelievable. Troops, police infiltration, people getting shot - it's like the 1968 Democratic convention, or one of the landmark US strikes in the late 19th/early 20th century where they called in the Pinkertons and fired on women and children and so on. All the more unbelievable, too, in a country not accustomed to the same police violence against regular... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:06 AM on April 8, 2013
She was a woman ahead of her time. There's nothing she did that political leaders around the world aren't doing today; they're just doing it in a more stealthy and underhanded manner. At least she was open about it.

It's not just that - it was her actions that in part enabled them to do it.

This is something that I think a lot of us who have lived less than forty or fifty years maybe do not get (and it is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:20 AM on April 8, 2013
Yeah - I think the "Thatcher Destroyed Industry" narrative misses where the UK was in 1979. Rampants strikes, blackouts, demarcation, inflation up at 30%. The Labour party was in freefall, and industry was on its knees.

But the thing is, you can have, like, a recession or a depression or a shift in the global economy without being like "hey, it's time for disaster capitalism! let's use this moment to break the unions and attack the weak!... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on April 8, 2013
"Grantham, hugely petty / riding on her crocodile / 'cross teeming London bridge / paved with blood and gold..."

I had always wondered about that line - how obvious it seems in retrospect.

There's also Stand Down Margaret. And that was before everyone was sure how bad she'd be.

And of course, people used to sing Maggie's Farm.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:44 AM on April 8, 2013

In every dream home a heartache
But people did grow up in those houses, I assume?

I'd always thought that the floating-stairs/scary-water-feature ones were mostly either architects' houses or second homes for rich people - that's the impression I get from my stacks of vintage books about decor and architecture. I only ever see pictures of them where they are labeled, like, "Roger Cork-Nethersole, president of International Chemistry Modern Incorporated, wanted a second home in... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2013

The remote odds of becoming a professor in humanities...
Most people I know on the market aspire to an upper middle class life. They're after a secure gig that allows them to own property and have kids. And if that's what you want, then getting a PhD in the humanities is indeed a big gamble (for most people, at most institutions, etc.). So I know a lot of people who are freaking out right now.

You do understand that this logic cedes "having kids" and "buying a house, however modest" to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 AM on April 5, 2013
Oh, and I want to add that having kids and buying a house have not always been some kind of kee-razy, spoiled upper class dream; in many more egalitarian parts of the world, raising a child in some kind of comfort and having stable long-term housing (owned or rented/state-regulated) are perfectly ordinary features of adulthood.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:00 PM on April 5, 2013

If only I had a tiger mom or started a fake charity.
This individual girl sounds awful, it's true - but I'd like to point out that back in the early nineties I was accepted everywhere I applied (and I applied to pretty good schools - Carleton rather than Harvard, so not absolutely the tippety top, etc) based on high SATS (obtained with zero SAT prep classes) and one extracurricular. Admittedly, I had a lot of opinions about that extra-curricular (it was our school's then-novel environmental activism group, mostly concerned... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:11 AM on April 5, 2013
I'm a high school dropout who never intended to go to a "real" college, with a single mom that never pushed me to do anything academic, and even *I* knew that you needed extra-curriculars, leadership roles, and damned lies IN ADDITION to a stellar GPA and test scores for a successful college application.

See, I really hate this stuff. If everyone needs a "leadership role" who are they leading? The poor dumb proletariat who won't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 5, 2013
The rest stayed in their cabin and played Bananagrams. I guarantee you they all came back claiming their minds had broadened.

If you'd sent me - a nerdy little social outcast - on a "work trip" with my classmates to a part of the country where I had no connections and then expected me to bond with the people I met there - and expected this "bond" to be deeply enriching, like the people I met were sort of spiritual guinea pigs -... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:36 AM on April 5, 2013

Many a Maester have tried to play the Game of Weather Patterns
Perhaps some people reading this thread might enjoy Dianna Wynne Jones's Tough Guide To Fantasyland.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:21 AM on April 5, 2013

The Gleaners Kitchen
I dunno, I know lots of people who dumpster dive; I've done it myself and eaten food dumpstered by others. You must not imagine it as "gas station sandwiches past their sell-by date"; think of it more as "slightly dinged-up lemons, the onions that didn't fit in the display and some bagged bread that was on the shelf yesterday". Although I have met people bringing around some Odwallas that had sat in the dumpster on a hot day and started to swell up and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:43 AM on April 1, 2013
I don't know how bad it is in America (I'm sure it's much worse), but many supermarkets in France will even pour bleach into their dumpsters at closing time to make sure no "bad elements" (i.e. impoverished and starving people) will show up to eat perfectly good food that they have thrown away en masse.

This kind of thing does happen. Although around here it's more likely to be, as I say, locking the dumpsters and pulping the food, or mixing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on April 1, 2013
I add that one reason I stopped dumpstering is that I can afford my own food, and I didn't want to be drawing attention to dumpstering locations and taking food for myself when there were others out there who really needed it. (Although if finances get tight again I will go right back if needed.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:49 AM on April 1, 2013
Although I suppose he means well. I was a bit of a fool about a lot of stuff when I was twenty-two. I mean, I feel kind of bad for him because he's doing a project which is actually going to make it harder for broke people to get food in the long run, a project which is not led by the people he wants to help. What middle class white person among us hasn't done, participated in or advocated for some similar kind of foolery? It's such a shame that people of this general type... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:58 AM on April 1, 2013
I knew a guy in college who actually did this. He is extremely charismatic and managed to get an entire restaurant kitchen donated, and installed in the basement of his rental house. Over 100 people were involved in dumpster diving, cooking, and maintaining the kitchen. There were huge commercial refrigerators full of awesome produce. When I went there I had gnocci in a pumpkin cream sauce and homemade apple juice (they had a giant commercial juicer).... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:24 AM on April 1, 2013

Are you a giver, a matcher or a taker?
I would submit that perhaps this "giving" model works for a professor at a non-profit university. Good for him (I mean that sincerely). Sounds like a lovely guy.

I do think it's worth asking why the NYT is running a profile on a selfless giver and why there's this ideological emphasis on happiness through giving. I mean, I am a chronic activist, do a lot of stuff for free and inconvenience myself no little thereby...but...... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on March 28, 2013
I think just looking at this through the lens of your paid job is rather limiting. Plenty of people are involved in organizations outside of work that this can be applied to. Organizations that you care about are a potential source of future employment, good friends, good times and helping the community. Giving yourself generously to non-profits or just the board game night at the community center - that's rewarding and a good way to network and build relationships. I hear what people... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on March 28, 2013
Oh, and I add: what about the politically necessary work that is controversial and ruffles feathers? This academic dude is doing work that the middle class social consensus agrees is valuable. What if you're a sex worker organizing sex workers to agitate for health care? What if you're a militant black radical? What if you're disabled and working on disability projects because you need them to benefit yourself?

Everyone talks about "giving" as this... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on March 28, 2013

"somebody took the time to make a doll in your likeness"
I remember back in the nineties, Mattel had this really neat line of African-American barbies with different skin tones, hair and (as I recall, but I may be making this up) slightly different face sculpts. They struck me as being sort of 90s-multicultural/Afrocentric in aspect, more adult-looking than a lot of barbies. But they were just regular barbies intended for kids, not special collector ones. I was in college at the time but even so I was tempted to buy them since they were so nice. I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:09 AM on March 28, 2013

Ayn Contra Tau
What I remember too, when I was little, was reading "The Shabby Lands" and, later, That Hideous Strength and feeling just absolutely baffled and betrayed. I'd really, really liked the Narnia books (since I'd totally ignored the "Susan, monster of vanity who does not get to go to heaven" part) and encountering Lewis's contempt for women and belief that we were intellectual inferiors who should submit to men - I still remember the hurt and upset I felt.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:53 PM on March 27, 2013
The thing about Lewis's good female characters is that they are all young girls. As soon as they develop any kind of adult interests or sexuality, they are either evil (Fairy Harcastle, White Witch, Silver Chair witch) or godawful wise naives (the Star's Daughter in Dawn Treader; the first woman in Perelandra)

I realize now that I'd always assumed Lewis was some weird kind of gay and that his discomfort around women was about... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:03 PM on March 27, 2013

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