I think Orwell gets read too broadly. He was writing in response to specific trends he saw (inaccurately, to my mind - he had a real paranoia about the Rest Of The Left, and really needed to see himself as the only real socialist in Britain) as threatening the post-war social democratic/English-style-socialist project. He was always complaining about how everyone else was a bunch of Stalinists, or pansies, or vegetarians, or how no one had yet pointed out that virtually all feminists are ugly,... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:01 PM on August 15, 2013
I think he was justified, for reasons I outlined above. The Soviet bloc didn't just happen because the Russians occupied eastern Europe. Take a look at the history of Hungary after the war, for example, to see how those bastards rolled. Why risk something similar happening in Britain?
Yes, but they were people like Paul Robeson and Charlie Chaplin, who were not threats to Britain. And he kept a little list of people who should be watched... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:33 PM on August 15, 2013
And I add that if you stood in London in 1946 and thought for one minute that the UK was going to go the way of Hungary after the war, then you were fucking delusional. You might as well have said that the US was going to go over to Stalin. Orwell himself wrote in, I think, 1943, that he could already see the old status quo being restablished and the elites returning to power, which at the time he thought was a bad thing.
Even in France, for example,... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:40 PM on August 15, 2013
I found the “No lazy, crazy or selfish people are allowed,” line pretty hilarious, because the only reason I can think of to give away my leftovers, especially if I'm cooking with fancy expensive ingredients (which seem to be required here) is to give them to a friend who is broke and hungry. And I strongly suspect that my broke, working class, ill and messed up friends - the ones who actually might need a goddamn meal - would read as... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:11 AM on August 14, 2013
Would a woman who tried to kill her ex-girlfriend ever be so publicly and passionately lauded as a valiant defender of womens' rights because hey, look, she's totally great and trustworthy aside from that whole pesky "attempted murder" thing? Or are we meant to sweep unsuccessful attempts at murder-suicide under the rug when they're committed by people -- which is to say, men -- who struggle with drug addiction or mental health issues? This is explicitly gendered... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 3:57 PM on August 1, 2013
The lovemaking was as desperately hot as it was desperately heartbreaking. We were both so thin, so battered, so covered in both fresh and aging scars. “We look so beautiful,” Keri said, catching a glimpse of our bodies in the mirror as she rode me. “So sweet,” she whispered as she came, “so sweet, so sweet.”
Did he write this down in his journal? I mean, this was 1998 - I'd say that I remember certain elements of important... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:09 PM on August 2, 2013
There's a huge blowup on twitter again about Hugo, mostly under the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen, complaining about how a lot of the sympathy for Hugo ignores the history of harm he has caused to women of colour (and his students, and other women), and secondarily how "oh, he couldn't help himself, he has [whatever]" stigmatizes people with mental health issues.
For me, I have had some trouble finding the set of interactions with women... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:01 PM on August 12, 2013
Those BFP posts are really very, very damning.
I don't know how I missed all of this, because I know I was reading her blog for a while before 2008 (and I think she's great, and did not know she had a current blog since she had taken a break after her past one and I'm really excited about this) , and I remember how terrible the Amanda Marcotte/Seal Press thing was, but I don't remember the Hugo Schwyzer piece of it. I think I hadn't read him at all then because I think... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:14 AM on August 13, 2013
Hugo Schwyzer? I think of him like this. Let's say that being a fairly good feminist ally, hoorary, is called "Being At Ten". Let's say that your average straight white dude who has not considered any feminist things at all is "At Zero". Hugo Schwyer, IMO, started out "At Minus Ten", what with the various personal struggles, and has worked pretty hard to get to zero. I think he's sincere. I also think he's pretty fucked up. He shouldn't be any... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:23 AM on August 13, 2013
The article points to some interesting stuff. I think, though, that painting these movies as a response to an entitled generation is pretty silly (and the essay does skew towards blaming a bunch of little kids).
If anything, I notice that as real possibilities for good jobs, financial security and general fulfillment decline, we're getting these movies that assure us that anyone who wants enough can be,... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:05 AM on August 13, 2013
Shit, I am a USian and this statement seems ridiculous to me too. Saying that nothing that happened before 1750 "mattered" rules out not only the founding of all the worlds' major religions, but also nearly all the scientific achievement up through the Renaissance, the writing of much of the "Western Canon" of literature...
What it suggests to me is that we are supposed to believe that life was de facto miserable... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:07 AM on August 12, 2013
It's tempting, but there was plenty of misery to go around. Wars in China (Ming, Qing, Taiping rebellion) were brutal, as were the Mongol conquests or the conquest of the Americas. Lack of food and medicine could be disastrous.
Well, yes, of course. The point I wish I'd articulated (but the migraine meds - hooray modern technology! - were making me foggy) was that the ability to live a decent life varies hugely over time and... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:11 PM on August 12, 2013
So they give away a free pair in the developing world for every pair sold? Isn't that just driving what local opticians exist out of business and creating a weird, creepy, foreign-aid dominated model, as Toms is critcized for doing? If they want to help people so much, why not found some eye clinics and train some opticians and create some jobs in poor places, instead of just airlifting in glasses? I mean, why be the Toms of glasses when you could help create the SAWA or Oliberte of glasses?... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:10 AM on August 12, 2013
My last dozen pairs have all cost me less than $30, lenses included. The focus on Warby has also struck me as strange, since it's not the first with the business model and not even close to the cheapest. Just goes to show what a little PR can do for a company.
Your last dozen pairs? I think this points to a big shift in how glasses are perceived. When I was little and my vision changed constantly, I got new glasses once a year, but... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:29 AM on August 12, 2013
This is leaving aside those of us, however, who can't afford to buy a pair for $300 all at once, have no vision plan, and if those break, we can't drive or carry out basic daily functioning. I buy several pairs at once from Zenni and have the peace of mind that I have spares, I have prescription sunglasses (!!!), and being able to have different styles is just bonus.
Yeah, sort of. And yet I feel the rhetoric around "but what about... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:47 AM on August 12, 2013
If I could get pairs at the local shop for less than $600/each lens ($1200 a pair!)
We must have evil mirror universe prescriptions - yours is too expensive to buy local and mine is too weird to buy online. (Although mine run in the ~$500 range, mercifully.) posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:49 AM on August 12, 2013
It reminds me of a hilarious misinterpretation that some friends and I made when we were working in Shanghai and none of us had much mandarin. We all arrived via Hongqiao airport, of course, and one of us (armed with a mandarin dictionary, a very dangerous tool in the hands of the novice) looked up "hong" and "qiao" separately, and somehow decided that the name of the airport was "Red [which is correct for this particular... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:11 AM on August 12, 2013
Yeah, they'll make a fortune on those boots, I bet. They're probably all union-made, US-made and they're a style that's super fashionable right now.
I don't know - I wouldn't buy shoes that old. Everyone is all "oh, good shoes last for a really long time", but those shoes have been getting dried out and dusty. I bought a pair of early nineties benchmade English shoes that had been sitting in a disused storage space - dead stock from a high-end shop that... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:46 AM on August 10, 2013
See, I have Saphir renovateur. I have renovateur-ed a variety of items. And I still wouldn't buy fifty year old shoes without handling them first, no matter how goodyear welted they were - especially fifty year old shoes that hadn't been worn or cared for in that time. Show me a pair of Peals from 1955 that have been kept up even if they've also been worn, and I'll think about it.
I used to have some vintage women's army shoes -... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:18 AM on August 10, 2013
I'm always reminded of what Doris Lessing wrote about her observations of the Second World War: that everyone was having a great time. The down side was that you could be killed, if you were an actual soldier, RAF pilot, etc - but outside of the actual combat situations, the officers, the women associated with the war effort, even the enlisted men were having a high old time. She talks about having people describe it later as wonderful, exciting, meaningful.
I think it would be really neat to have a thoughtful and nuanced discussion of cultural appropriation (I have a longer thing to post about this topic!) which did not get derailed by the very simple "why can't white people wear sexy kimonos on Halloween" level questions, especially "can't I use any thing from any other culture ever?", which is either misunderstanding at best or a straw question at worst. (The question of "japonism"/"chinoiserie" is a... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:17 PM on August 8, 2013
And here is my longer comment!
1. There's what you might call "vulgar cultural appropriationism" which isn't thought out very well - that's where, for instance, you get people on tumblr asking in all seriousness if it is culturally appropriative to wear flowers in their hair, because they are only familiar with Polynesian traditions about this and think that white people are ripping off Polynesians instead of recognizing that pretty much every human society... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:54 PM on August 8, 2013
Tell that to a medieval woman who couldn't get a dowry. Socioeconomically, in the West's history some women certainly were forced to join monastic orders. And during many of our own various inquisitions and witch hunts, women certainly were killed for dressing immodestly. But this is getting off-topic. I cede the point, trivially, but it is absolutely true that the historical roots of the burqa and the habit are closely bound up together.
Also, history never goes away. "It happened 600 years ago" does not mean that "it" has stopped echoing in the world. If only!!! History, a slaughtering bench, etc.
Again, much more comfortable to talk about this at the level of the aesthetic/fashion rather than at the level of power and violence. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:42 PM on August 8, 2013
I think it would be great if we could have discussions about this stuff where the conversation wasn't derailed when people who bother to ask questions and seek discussion are passive-aggressively told they're too stupid to participate and that only the people who know everything already deserve to speak.
Well, I think that the internet's greatest gift to me was to get me in the habit of doing a little bit of googling... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:58 PM on August 8, 2013
Doesn't this echo back to LogicalDash post, Cultural appropriation is what you call the reuse of other cultures' symbols when you disapprove of it.
No, it means that I am queer and I work a union gig which I am fucking lucky to have - and that I deal with homophobia far more regularly than I would like and I hear a shit-ton of union-bashing and deal with the perpetual attempts of the right to loot the pension fund and slash our insurance. Whereas I am... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:59 PM on August 8, 2013
Given that Otzi the Iceman, a European from ~3,300 BC has tattoos, I'd say tumblr is a bit off on that one.
The thing is, tattooing as a modern Western practice by white people is pretty clearly traceable to maritime contact with Polynesian peoples - some positive and friendly, some brutal and genocidal. It's like dreadlocks - white people with dreads are not wearing them as an unbroken tradition from the druids of yore, but because of reggae or the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:05 PM on August 8, 2013
My, isn't this a friendly thread to be a Dane in. I'll just fuck off now.
My partner is a Dane. I have been to Danish cultural events. "Filthy Danes" is a quote, in fact, from a Danish TV show - said by the Swedish villain, which is why it's funny. I don't want to trample on anyone's experiences, but as someone who did in fact grow up in a family where Swedish culture was alive and well, went to a heavily Norwegian school and has lived in... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:44 PM on August 8, 2013
You've never heard "dumb Swede" jokes? I mean, sure, there's not real, ongoing prejudice against Swedes or Norwegians now, but a lot of them settled the Midwest, and I can't help but wonder if the stereotypes of the strong, taciturn men unintereted in city dwelling -and not very bright - that we seem to hold about that area have anything to do with stereotypes of the Swedes and Norwegians.
Actually, if I can post an email from My Partner The Culturally Danish Danish-American:
Okay, here are some other things:
1. When we look critically at the relative social position of people of Scandinavian descent, it's important to recognize that Scandinavians have occupied a privileged position right from the start. In contrast to almost every other immigrant group, with the possible exception of English people, Scandinavians were never legally... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:07 AM on August 9, 2013
This is great! I've always hated those "The [Serious Person Title]'s Daughter", not least because there aren't a lot of novels where a woman gets to be the apostate or the general or the murderer or the vegan baker or whatever at all, and especially few books where a woman gets to be the apostate, general, etc without the whole book revolving around the fact that she is a woman! being an apostate! and dealing with its ramifications for her femininity and relationships...whereas all... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:14 AM on August 7, 2013
My previous understanding of the Village People was actually that they were mostly straight but had been created cynically to exploit the gay disco market. So I guess part of that was true.
I would add, though, that everyone I have ever known to dance to Village People songs (including a bunch of Lutheran college students in 1992) thought of all those songs as a bit of a giggle because they were understood to be about homosexuality. It was like... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:42 AM on August 2, 2013
(About Stonewall and this story - I actually looked up the Edmund White business, as that sounded inaccurate. He was there, but in his own memoir he notes that he thought that the rioters were taking too big a risk, making too big a deal out of things and should not have done it. (His politics changed - he writes about this in the context of closeted self-hatred.) Also, I wish this story had noted that a LOT of the rioters at Stonewall were queers of color and trans women... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:20 PM on August 2, 2013
Some things I would be interested in on this topic:
1. More specifics about whiteness, masculinity, "authenticity". I mean, I know a lot of trendy white people in their twenties, and they are mostly obsessive Big Freedia fans - this in Minneapolis! This type of article tends to assume a unified white identity (but wait, I'm not saying "not all people are like that", see point 2) when actually there are all... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:50 AM on August 1, 2013
Also, I thought that Miley Cyrus in a baggy unicorn costume (which for some reason I remembered as a rabbit costume) video to be one of the creepier white-person-cultural-appropriation videos I've seen. Like, let's take twerking - which is about both physical skill and sexuality - and de-sex it so that it's okay for a white girl to perform it; let's take something that is, aesthetically, about a particular communal experience of performance and sexuality, that is about really... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:57 AM on August 1, 2013
Don't you think when we get to this point (I mean, the author of the linked piece is a young white woman who is criticizing white people for not liking certain aspects of black popular culture while at the same time criticizing another young white woman for liking pretty much the same aspects of black popular culture) we're just kinda going out of our way to find reasons to put people in the wrong? "The way I enjoy so-and-so is cool and proves I'm open minded and a citizen of the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:05 AM on August 1, 2013
I really, really, really don't think that the answer to "you don't know a lot of people of color" should be "therefore you shouldn't go to an event that will have a lot of people of color at it". Concern about cultural appropriation is legit, but if it leads you to never engaging with other cultures at all something's seriously fucked up.
Oh, I know! I think cultural appropriation is a weird and poorly theorized lens through which... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:11 AM on August 1, 2013
I've reread Frowner's comment several times trying to see what I missed and I can't see how Frowner is NOT saying that if a white person wants to attend a Big Freedia show they are probably racist. If you thought Frowner was joking I would draw your attention to the part that reads "I'm quite serious."
I think white people are all, in a sense, "racist". I mean, we become "white" (rather than... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:17 AM on August 1, 2013
You really go through life thinking stuff like this? And sometimes saying it out loud?
Even worse that than! I've been known to read books which make these arguments! And have conversations with friends in which they talk about their work as writers of color and the difficulty in negotiating race and audience! It's horrible. I don't know how I manage not to kill myself and end my own suffering. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:10 PM on August 1, 2013
My first apartment? Well, technically my first apartment was so very small that all the wall space was either radiator, door or bookshelf. My first posters were one of Morrissey back before I knew how racist he was and one from that Clash On Broadway compilation. In college I had soulless posters (the famous Clash one) and then dorky posters (Sandman) plus one awesome poster (Love And Rockets, vintage, nineties, have it still in... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:24 PM on July 31, 2013
I had an immense poster for Todd Haynes' "Poison". I worked for a the sort of movie theater that sold espresso, and was unbearable.
I would totally have killed for that poster.
I think I would have been unbearable if I hadn't been so dorky and awkward. The people who should have disliked me based on my actual opinions were moved to pity by my pathos and loneliness instead. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:30 PM on July 31, 2013
I think there's a lurking class and accessibility question here - like, where the hell did people get all these amazing art posters? We had a very narrow selection vended by some pothead-looking dudes, and then I later had occasional trips to the alterna-comics place in the city and that was about it.
Currently I have a Beehive Collective poster illustrating the evils that white people brought to the Americas (symbolized by a giant flying wasps' nest...as it were). posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:34 PM on July 31, 2013
This all brings back how shocked, shocked I was that my random senior year roommate in college (random because some changes in plans meant that my previous roommate arrangements fell through) had a poster of some boy band she'd never heard just because she thought they were cute. I am not sure whether I was more shocked by the musical heresy (since I was all punk rock and everything) or by the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:46 PM on July 31, 2013
-You never bathed, were always drunk. "on my" you think "how little things have changed."
Oh gosh, I had a Crass poster. I'd forgotten that. It was the blow-up doll one. My terrible secret as a punk is that I don't really like Crass that much. They were an amazing bunch of clever people and I like all the things they wrote, but it was just too screamy for me. I have all my Crass cassettes... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:21 PM on July 31, 2013
All of these with the possible exception of the absinthe ad one and maybe Nighthawks were staples of every store that sold posters, ever. I mean, I guess it depended where you went to college, geographically speaking, and when. But none of the posters mentioned are things you'd need to take trips abroad to get.
Oh dear. No, not the "amazing" art posters in the linked post, most of which I've seen in cheapo frames at, like, TJ Maxx. The... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:20 PM on July 31, 2013
The "note to redditors" is hilarious but also very sad.
What a great list! I am going to share it with an SF class I facilitate. Happy to see Aliette De Bodard on there - she is a really terrific and very unusual writer. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:23 AM on July 31, 2013
Making a "grand bargain" with a bunch of corporations is no bargain at all. We know that a "bargain" with corporations basically means "let's give you tax incentives; once you've wrung everything you can out of us, you'll split town". posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:33 PM on July 30, 2013
So the woman mentioned in the FPP would apparently rather starve than wash a soiled cloth diaper. I can't get worked up over this...
It just so happened that I lived with a friend who was using cloth diapers and was...well, let's say, Very Broke. She could use our washer and drier for free at any point, so she didn't have the "deal with the laundromat" issue. Babies go through a lot of diapers. You need a diaper pail, which... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:36 AM on July 30, 2013
As for the laundering...from my limited experience, you can do this without the washing machine. I grew up poor, had poor relatives, and am old enough that some people still used cloth because that's what they've always done. I could be remembering things incorrectly, but seemed like a lot of the people I knew used cloth. They way I remember this being done was that the diaper was emptied in the toilet. You sloshed it around until you got the big stuff off. Pop the diaper... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:14 AM on July 30, 2013
"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children."
Ah, but Brave New World was the product of a better and more innocent time - in the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:30 PM on July 26, 2013