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OQueerCupid
Unless you're into a sort of Samuel Delany-novel-esque radically-different-intelligences thing, like, how does that "sapiosexual" business not just trigger your own anxieties way too much? What if you're all "well I am sapiosexual so I am attracted to smart people" in your profile and then the smart people are all, "lol, you, intelligent?" I mean, people generally use to to suggest "I am attracted to people with whom I can be smart",… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2014
The "new" identities are fantastic as descriptions of preferences and practices. I am a little bit uneasy with them as descriptions of deep or foundational stuff (whether you call that an "orientation" or something else), not least because as far as I can tell* the vast majority of demisexual and asexual people are women or AFAB people, and this leads me to wonder whether these identities are at least in part a product of the pressures and foreclosures on women's and AFAB… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:25 AM on November 18, 2014
(Although mainly what this thread has done for me is to get a particularly earwormy version of Pete Shelley's "Homosapien" stuck in my head.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:30 AM on November 18, 2014
I think one reason I'm uneasy with value-judgment-osexualities is that when you add "osexual" to something, you're using language to suggest that it is in some way more inherent/hard-wired than cultural. You're attempting to give it some weight that is greater than just "I am really only attracted to people who [watch Sherlock/have great spatial skills/etc]".

Admittedly, every sexuality is fuzzy-edged, and every sexuality is also… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:36 AM on November 19, 2014

Mexico on the brink
It's not just corruption - if the problem were just that Americans were buying Mexican drugs, it would be a much smaller problem. It is the active support of the US government for the Mexican state as long as the Mexican state goes along with NAFTA and lets the US do as it pleases to migrant workers. It's a more hands-off but ideologically similar thing to US support for Central American military regimes in the 80s. The US wants a right-wing Mexican… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:24 PM on November 17, 2014

Bunker mentality
I am always astonished by the number of people who want to survive the apocalypse. It sounds even worse than the apocalypse itself; better to one of the ones to go first before you've had to spend months fighting zombies or whatever with 2 bottles of water and a Twix and then get killed.

Precisely. As if I'd want to live on for a few months after many of the people I love had died (as they would have, even if I were part of your movie-scenario small… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2014

Insight: "A major cause of being poor is not having enough money..."
It also costs a fair amount to keep all the assorted fifedoms running because they're staffed by white-collar government workers (who have healthcare and pensions).

One thing I always worry about, though: everyone assumes that efficiency is about getting rid of government workers instead of - for example - retraining and moving them so that more and better services can be provided. And then I start to think, whoa, we're talking… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:21 AM on November 17, 2014
(I add that while I was helping a friend with some benefits stuff, about half the case workers we encountered were just awful and one was overtly racist; but the rest were either okay or actually good - like the woman who tipped us off to a bunch of stuff that was de facto policy but no one normally told you about. She was Native, and most of the better caseworkers were people of color - not to say that there aren't bad caseworkers who are POC, but I did definitely notice.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:24 AM on November 17, 2014
This is the key, though: qualifying for a lot of the best paid government jobs generally requires a graduate degree. So this is financial policy that makes the upper-middle class richer and more secure, by inefficiently paying them (okay, us) a lot of money to perform services for the poor.

I think we must be talking about very different government jobs, because believe me, the ladies down at the DMV don't have graduate degrees, and I very much doubt… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:48 AM on November 17, 2014
Wages, in fact, are a way of giving people money.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:49 AM on November 17, 2014

‘Do I die by starvation, or do I die by poisoning?’
And the tar sands exist because the corporate-political complex is able to use money and force to externalize cost.

In accounting, a big debate is "how do you determine the cost of a product?" and the rubric is "all the costs that it takes to get the product, ready for use, in the hands of the purchaser". But even when you can trace all the costs, the whole thing becomes political, because companies and politicians are always pushing to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on November 14, 2014
Ie, it's never about consumer "choice"; it's always about producer power - who has the power to allocate what costs.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:09 PM on November 14, 2014

Christmas is for Marketing
I can't be having with this. I suppose in a hundred years we'll have a touching commercial about Auschwitz or the Killing Fields so that we'll buy whatever the ruins of humanity are still buying at that point.

The whole thing leans on forgetting the war - I read a great essay (whose name, ironically, I can't remember) which argued that certain kinds of enforced memorialization are really about forgetting*. We "remember" the Christmas truce so that we can… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:41 AM on November 14, 2014
Here is an account by one of the leaders of the German soldiers' revolt which ended the war and established the Weimar Republic. It's on marxists.org, but I found the introduction to be pretty reliable and the stuff I've read on there generally to be quite decent. The guy was a sailor in the navy from a working class background and was one of many working class socialists/communists (but actually more of an anarchist in the end) in Germany before the war. He was one of the organizers of the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:56 AM on November 14, 2014
I wonder, did Sassoon write this before or after the end of the war? It's dated 1918:


THE boys came back. Bands played and flags were flying,
And Yellow-Pressmen thronged the sunlit street
To cheer the soldiers who’d refrained from dying,
And hear the music of returning feet.
‘Of all the thrills and ardours War has brought,
This moment is the finest.’ (So they thought.
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:59 AM on November 14, 2014
(To clarify a thing: the production of a right-wing working class is both about widespread ideology (so that everyone assumes that the working class is right wing) and producing actual right wing-ness in working class people through jailing and silencing working class radicals, through strategic buy-offs of certain parts of the working class (as when white workers got rights that were denied to black workers), etc. So that it's not that there are no working class radicals, it's that cultural… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:13 AM on November 14, 2014

Ripping up the SFF-Scene Requires Hate
Responding to the apologies by generating a giant list of paranoid charts and passive-aggressive self-righteousness about "healing" is just shit-stirring.

I don't know - I'm not sure I would have believed any of this without some documentation. This is precisely the kind of fandom thing where it can easily get swept under the rug or various lies told about it without someone actually pulling stuff together. I personally would probably have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:03 PM on November 7, 2014
Because it's really interesting to see a bit of confirmation of some often-informally-made claims about this kind of pseudoprogressive shit-slinging — like that it more often targets women than men, even while at the same time declaring itself feminist. This is really an interesting case study in the evolution of the troll.

The more I think about it, the more I think it is super important to document this stuff, for the reasons… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:23 PM on November 7, 2014
I just realized something else - I actually read the terrific On A Red Station, Drifting (by Aliette De Bodard) because it was reviewed positively on Requires Only That You Hate - so there's one example, I guess, of RH reviewing an Asian-French woman writer positively. De Bodard also seems to like RH's new book.

I don't know - I would really like to read RH's book. Just because she's a terrible person doesn't mean she's a terrible writer, and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:54 AM on November 13, 2014

Dunkin’ and the Doughnut King
I had some terrific donuts in San Francisco one time. Really good. I thought the shop was Vietnamese but perhaps that was my ignorance and it was run by Cambodians. There was a buttermilk donut, I wish I had such a buttermilk donut right now.

You can't get meaningful donuts in Minneapolis. There's artisanal hipster donuts around town, and our local tiny-cake-donuts-with-cinnamon-sugar, but the hipster donuts are too heavy and usually have weird ingredients plus the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:07 AM on November 13, 2014

Are Democrats elitist?
Unlike Howard Dean, who transparently does "understand the American people" - whatever that means. Which people? What is meant by "understand"? If you "understand" a group of people who have terrible beliefs, are you then obligated to act in their interests out of populism? What if you "understand" a variety of groups, all of which have contradictory beliefs?

And of course, given that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:43 AM on November 12, 2014
(I always wonder - as a queer and gender-non-conforming person with a pink collar union gig - just how successful I would be in a "working class" bar....since "working class" here never means, like, "class mixed queer bar" or "bar that is secure for people who are not men". I mean, no, I would not personally go in and belly up to the bar at my local authentic working class bar...not least because it just now occurs to me that the most… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on November 12, 2014

"Is this a 50-year or a 500-year moment?"
One of the most fascinating things about the internet is that stuff like "the enclosure acts happened" and "wage labor is a historical phenomenon" and "famines are political more than natural phenomena", or even "the US backed military juntas in Latin America through the eighties in the interests of US corporations"....those things were secrets and you had to work like mad to convince people of even the most basic ones. (I remember… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:36 PM on November 11, 2014
What happens when there aren't enough people left making enough money to buy all the products being produced? I guess that's when all the superbillionaires blast off on their spaceship made of gold to conquer new planets.

There was a Dianna Wynne Jones novel in which the evil kajillionaires were tricked into a spaceship...I mean, there was also time travel and magic and in theory the space ship wasn't just, like, aimed into the heart of the sun or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:09 PM on November 11, 2014
And then, of course, imagine the services that will be needed to sustain the army of laborers who work for the tech bros - we'll all be dishing up cheap garbage slop that we cook in a burnt out oil drum in the alley, or hand-washing their UberWashio uniforms in the greywater overflow that runs out back, or figuring out ways to break into OrganInc's dumpsters to salvage the remains of the chickienobs, etc.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:12 PM on November 11, 2014

“I have not had one meal that was not just perfect”
Wouldn't you get sick eating two meals a day at Olive Garden? Leaving all else aside, I feel sick if I have to have two [vegan, relatively wholesome but not, like, miso and massaged kale] restaurant meals in a day, and I can't imagine eating that much Olive Garden over that long a period.

Frankly, I have never been the type to turn down the occasional plate of really fatty, salty, carby restaurant food, but jeez....this guy should see if he can get into competitive eating somehow.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:45 AM on November 11, 2014
I'm pretty sure that was satire.

Nope. But you learn something new every day - I really, truly had no idea that there are people for whom two restaurant meals* in a day is completely digesible. I'm not a thin person and I'm no moderate eater when faced with home-cooked food, but even in my young day, one US restaurant meal per day was about all I could handle. (Strangely, when I worked in Shanghai, two restaurant meals was fine - but I think that's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:37 AM on November 11, 2014
(I just want to add - given the way that the conversation has gone - that I have no personal objection to Olive Garden or big restaurant meals full of fat and grease, and indeed, I like a big restaurant meal full of fat and grease now and again. I just literally did not think that an average person could eat a bunch of them in a row and not feel sick.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:40 AM on November 11, 2014

The most perfidious thing about Dungeons and Dragons is ...
My parents actually refused to let me play D&D in the late eighties because it might lead me down "dark paths" and then said something about it eroding your ability to tell reality from fantasy. Knowing my parents, I am dead sure that they remembered this case and that's what they were thinking about - they never forget stuff like that. In my own situation, it was pretty dismaying because D&D was one social milieu where I might have found some friends at an otherwise… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:24 AM on November 11, 2014

Breaking: The Mayor of Minneapolis is not in a gang
If you are a local, you might want to get involved with the Coalition for Critical Change, a Twin Cities area group which started in the wake of Mike Brown's death to work against police brutality.

Their Facebook page has a number of useful links, including this Think Progress article about the criminalization of black youth in Minneapolis.

The Facebook page links this article from the Smoke and Mirrors series from TruthOut (and I know that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:04 PM on November 7, 2014
I live here, I'm a minority, and I disagree.

Obviously I'm not a minority, so my actual personal experience isn't relevant at all. My feelings have been based on many conversations with friends and acquaintances of color about how racist they find it here (and also on some statistics about how awful policing is here given that we are a mid-sized city) but I know this varies hugely by person and all kinds of factors. I've just had a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:32 PM on November 7, 2014

Second Wave feminist SF
Oh wow, this is super! Thanks very much for posting.

If anyone is interested, the Khatru Symposium has been republished. I have not read it and cannot vouch for it, but it was important.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on November 7, 2014

On race, feminism and allegations concerning Lena Dunham
I don't like Lena Dunham. I think she's racist, I find her writing annoying, I think she benefits hugely from race and class privilege. That said, I'm not entirely comfortable with several things about this most recent business:

1. The implicit assumption that her sister is either lying or suffering from false consciousness. While obviously, there are plenty of situations where survivors are abused in such a way that they stand by their abusers, I think there needs… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:11 PM on November 5, 2014
To my mind, the reason Grace Dunham gets the final word is precisely because there's just not much available, narrative-wise, except what she and Lena Dunham say. If there were CPS reports or narratives from neighbors or other accusations against Lena Dunham or even a public pattern of behavior on Grace Dunham's part that suggested trauma, then it seems like there would be more of an open question. But the most reliable, most worthy narrative in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:56 PM on November 6, 2014
But the thing of this is that there is no way to have a big media debate about all of this while somehow avoiding making Grace Dunham deal with it, which is why I'm uncomfortable with a lot of the strong statements on this. Saying "despite how you feel about your experience, I find what your sister did creepy and inappropriate" is one thing, and pretty much the consequence of having any kind of media presence; saying "despite how you feel about your experience, I think you were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:20 PM on November 6, 2014
(That is, I don't think very many people are disagreeing that the whole situation seems disturbing and inappropriate; I feel that the debate seems to be about who gets to name what happened and whether what happened should result in Lena Dunham herself being in some degree morally culpable for her actions as a child. When it comes down to who gets to name things and who is culpable, I am just at a loss as to how to evaluate that without at least thinking about whether anyone has been harmed.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:26 PM on November 6, 2014

"Didn't Lady Gaga just donate a million dollars to you guys?"
(And I add that we don't seem to be getting fabulous results with MBAs hired externally, because they bring MBA values with them...so I find myself wondering if there is a way to, perhaps, get people the kinds of training and experience they need in order to run an organization without insisting that they go through the MBA/corporate mill to get there.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:49 AM on October 29, 2014
She likely works very long hours and travels a great deal, which means that she'll need to be able to afford to hire help to do things like clean her house or take care of her kids (if she has any).

Again, this is the kind of thing we only say for upper middle class jobs. Sara Mae who works thirty hours at the Dunkin' Donuts and all the hours she can get in the next town over at Walmart? Well, no one is talking about how… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:55 AM on October 29, 2014
If you think that people aren't talking about the problem of low wages, then you're not paying attention. the paper of record is talking about it, the president is talking about it, the internet is talking about it, et cetera. Seems like every few weeks there's another moving expose on how impossible it is to live on minimum wage, that really "puts a face" on the discourse.

Okay, after this I'll knock it off. My point was specific to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on October 29, 2014
I'm not a person who thinks "reverse racism " is a thing, but I will say that comment as a whole - basically just judging how this woman looks - doesn't quite sit right when all the real things she screwed up stand on their own.

I'll just pop back in since I made that comment, which I admit wasn't the fairest comment in the world. What motivated it was seeing the picture of the CEO standing at the microphone alongside other people - I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:42 AM on October 30, 2014
(And, I mean, that isn't fair - it's not like even the best human being in the world could, like, give back a lifetime of medical care, etc...I'm not saying it was a fair remark. I plead emotional upset based on being in too many rooms with wealthy white people who get to make decisions for poorer people and who - like this woman - fuck it up.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:54 AM on October 30, 2014
(I feel like I've said my piece here, but I think there's pretty good historical traction for the whole "I don't want to be part of an organization which treats people unequally in the name of the greater good" line of reasoning. I've been part of and observed from the outside plenty of nonprofits that do exactly this, and not only do I find it deeply morally unappealing (especially since nonprofits are all about beating the morality drum) , but I think it tends to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:58 PM on November 6, 2014

"Do We Need a Law Against Catcalling?"
It depresses me that as soon as there is a high-visibility "proof" of widespread, casual misogyny, that gets captured by a discourse about laws and prisons. "Shitty people will stop being shitty if we arrest some of them on petty charges"...when has that ever worked?

In particular, when has it ever worked to defend women? Can you picture the absolute fucking nightmare that will occur when Johnny Meathead gets hauled down to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:36 AM on November 3, 2014
I actually went through and read that Jacobin piece on carceral feminism. My only quibble with it was that all its solutions were basically "well, women should rely on each other to [create a business so they can afford to run a privately-funded shelter; accompany each other to events to protect victims of abuse; call out men in public; etc] rather than relying on the prison system and the police to end domestic violence."

Which seems to be weirdly missing a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:09 AM on November 4, 2014

2014 midterm elections: keeping "Will Hillary Run?" off the front pages
Okay, this is something I don't understand even though it's probably obvious - you have to impeach someone for something, right? Something that is some kind of malfeasance, not just "politics I think are really, really bad"? And even though the whole Monica Lewinsky thing had to be twisted around to make it seem like a potentially impeachable offense, there was some vague nebulous "Clinton lied" accusation that could be made. What does one impeach Obama for?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:20 AM on November 2, 2014

Success is the thing that kills bands. We haven't had any success.
I love The Quality of Mercy is Not Strnen - it was the first CD I ever bought, and I had to special order it and it took forever. I used to get my then-boyfriend to drive me down to the local (semi-local, a couple of towns over) alternative record shop (later shut down as it was also the semi-local place to score coke) and then I'd leaf through this giant book of things they could special order and look for bands I wanted to hear (since there was no internet and there was… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:42 PM on October 30, 2014

If one has no vanity in this life of ours, there is no sufficient reason
Are you actually claiming that it is an axiomatic truth that Tolstoy is "not worth reading"? Really?

I had read ennui.bz as saying "in our current cultural situation, we are not allowed to say that an author is misogynist and has pathological hatred of women, because to say that is considered the equivalent of saying that he is not worth reading - therefore, even authors who do have a pathological hatred of women can't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on October 30, 2014

If we're "not allowed to say this" about Tolstoy in our "current cultural situation", it's odd that so many people seem to be perfectly well aware of it--and that it is, in fact, something that has been endlessly and openly rehashed in discussions of Tolstoy since, well, the nineteenth century.


I feel like there's things that "everybody knows" that are none the less not seen as legitimate to bring… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:00 AM on October 30, 2014

Tim Cook - I'm Proud to be Gay
If you are a straight person and you've never attended a Pride event, I suggest you do so. You really can't understand the depth of joy for people to simply be able to walk down the street and be allowed to be comfortable in who they are.

Seriously, if you are not from a marginalized identity, don't get into the whole "I don't think anyone should be proud of [marginalized identity], when will the colorblind world arrive, I don't see sexuality, et… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:50 AM on October 30, 2014
And what I want to emphasize is that this business with the book pulled up a lot of other bad feelings of shame, weirdness and isolation, and it made me tired, and it was just one more little "I am under pressure to prevaricate in order to avoid reminding people of my We-Tolerate-You-Because-We-Are-Liberal-But-You-Are-Still-An-Outsider identity". I mean, it made me feel bad out of all proportion to what you would think if you just equate it to that time when you had to hide your copy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:53 AM on October 30, 2014

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