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"The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed"
Dear anyone upset about the idea of being photographed through the window of your home: close your blinds.

Where does this stop, though? Do I need to close my curtains during the day (I don't have blinds per se) because someone with a telephoto lens and the right equipment could photograph me when I'm far from the window? So I need to live without daylight in order not to be photographed inside my home?

Get some kind of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:06 AM on May 17, 2013

Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20
it's a dangerous world out there, filled with terrorism, outsourcing, unemployment, student debt, and for God's sake don't get sick. It's a winner-take-all game, and dissent will not be tolerated, unless it's in the sandbox of identity politics, so you'd better CUT THAT HAIR, TAKE YOUR MEDS, AND GET WITH THE PROGRAM*.

This, precisely! And if you don't/can't, it is your fault - especially if you were trying to do something else… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:26 AM on May 17, 2013

Men will never...clean without being asked “because it sucks"
Women are brought up to clean. Women - and I was brought up as a woman - tend to be taught more about how to clean things, and we see our mothers and grandmothers doing much of the work, being expected to do much of the work, and articulating most of the values around cleaning. Men do not. It's no wonder that many men don't really notice or care about certain kinds of dirt, or know how to clean it effectively if they do see it, or feel intuitively that it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:38 PM on May 16, 2013
It's certainly possible to be a more organized guy or a less organized girl, but if you are traditionally femme (regardless of your gender identity or orientation) then you will find there are more tools out there that seem to empathize with your plight. It's easy to get the mental picture of the guy with the nearly OCD need to sanitize everything, but harder to picture the guy (or less-femme girl) who just routinely washes the dishes after every meal even when alone, say.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:45 PM on May 16, 2013
So here is a thing: I would not be able to afford a cleaner even if I wanted one, but aren't many, many cleaners just undercompensated, socially vulnerable working class women, often women of color and often immigrants? I do know a guy who works as a cleaner, but he does fancy rich-people cleaning with organic products and is hired pretty much exclusively by well-off progressives. If all the mefites who recommend hiring cleaners are in fact pro-actively paying a genuine living wage (one where… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:32 PM on May 16, 2013

Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform
I don't have a passport, because I don't have a chunk of money to spend on getting it renewed and it is vanishingly unlikely that I will have enough money to travel outside the US in the next five or ten years, if ever.

This whole "oh, USians are so parochial and never go abroad like the Europeans do" routine - well hell, put me in a social democracy where I live a couple of hours by train from "abroad" and I'll be happy to travel internationally as much as you like.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:17 PM on May 15, 2013
To return to the passport thing: Australians get a minimum of four weeks of vacation per year, plus public holidays. The last time I had a week off work was 2008. My "vacation"? Well, I am fortunate enough to be allowed to take two days off at a time twice a year, so that I can have two four day weekends during which I can fly to visit my parents, my mother being in poor health and thus no longer, realistically, able to visit me. Fly? Why yes, when I have money to spend on flying,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 PM on May 15, 2013
I may be wrong, but I would expect an even more angry response from the average American to the idea "Americans don't get passports because their country is so fucked they can't even afford to leave" than I would for the current "Americans don't get passports because they don't want to leave".

Well, I'm not angry that people make this observation - nor would I expect most mefites to be, since it's so patently,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on May 16, 2013

Enough With The Hipster Stuff, Alright?!?
They try really, really hard not to do anything ironically, they actually fetishise earnestness in a sort of sad, longing-for-innocence kind of way

Note to people younger than about 35: Back in the day - by which I mean my day, the early/mid nineties - all the young punks were horribly earnest. Riot grrrl? Earnest to the max! Grunge was earnest! It wasn't ironic. Kurt Cobain (who my set all despised with sincere fury, but who… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:19 AM on May 13, 2013
A hipster is a single or partnered white person with disposable income who came from a lower middle class or greater familial circumstance, who is not in immediate survival mode and has no belief or fear of ever having to be in survival mode.

I'd love to be someone who had no fear of being in survival mode. That would be fucking awesome.

But again, we're returning to this whole "subcultures have nothing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:56 AM on May 13, 2013
TL;DR: The Hipster is not an identity; it's a problematic value judgment arising from the expectation that intellectual class and race should equate to economic class.

See, this whole thing almost has it - but basically, it seems like you're saying that the problem is that We As A Society need to accept that some people will have shitty jobs and precarious lives, but we also need to accept that this shouldn't be based on race.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:09 AM on May 13, 2013
You know, I had this funny thought.

Okay, I was reading some Samuel Delany short stories from the sixties - "Time Considered As A Helix of Semi-Precious Stones" and "Corona" in particular. I had also been looking at a couple of his pieces of memoir/criticism from The Jewel-Hinged Jaw about his experiences as a young writer/traveler/musician in the sixties. (I'm preparing for a little class/discussion group I'm hoping to lead.)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 AM on May 14, 2013

A life in letters
I know of Bess of Hardwick only from a short story by Susanna Clarke, "Antickes and Frets", in The Ladies of Grace Adieu. So this is really exciting! Thanks for posting it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on May 13, 2013

Disney Isn't "Brave" Enough To Leave Princess Merida As Is

fwiw, a lot of the princesses have been getting makeovers (this tumblr post I just found has before and after lineups) and updated costumes that are generally not for the better


Is it just my/my computer or did every princess who was not already luminously white get her skin lightened a shade in the makeover? It really looks like that on my screen.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:14 PM on May 10, 2013

Star Wars Kid breaks 10-year silence
Okay, the key part here is not the initial cruelty, it's the trajectory, the way it always works. What happens? Some kid (some kid I probably would have liked, some kid where as an utterly, literally friendless nerd child I would have climbed mountains and gnawed off a forearm to have one such friend) does something mockable, they get epically mocked to whatever extent technology… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:31 AM on May 10, 2013

"Let Wisconsin be the test case. Let us lead the way."
It is all about pushing back because of the massive increases in SNAP since 2008

Yep. What they want is a large body of people who are very, very poor - barely able to feed themselves - and they also want these people to have as little access to any form of state benefit as possible. Emotionally, it's because it's fun and reassuring to hate and punish the poor; strategically, it's about producing a beaten-down, disenfranchised lumpenproletariat who… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:18 PM on May 8, 2013
And they want the poor to be subject to as much social discipline as possible - as many things should be illegal as possible, as this provides a mechanism for interfering with any poor person at any time, plus feeds people into the prisons and gets them kicked off of such benefits as there are. These are people who make the capitalists of the gilded age look like mere amateurs, because they have all the resources of a modern state at their disposal.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:20 PM on May 8, 2013
Honestly, I'm about as liberal as a person can get, but when I see items being purchased like this with funds that are meant to be feeding people who actually need assistance, it boils my blood a little.

As if poor folks - and how many of us will be/have been poor at some point? - should not get to celebrate anything, because god forbid you should live like a normal human being when you're poor. Yes, we should use the figure of the "deserving… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:24 PM on May 8, 2013
Every dollar of SNAP results in $1.70 of economic activity.

I would favorite this a million times if I could.

Of course, "economic activity" and "trickle up" aren't important if your main interest is creating a large reserve labor army of the desperate and immiserated. This obviously isn't the intent of average conservative voters, and probably isn't even the intent of the hicks in the state legislature,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:29 PM on May 8, 2013
I never received government assistance or asked for it.

I want to point out that it would not exactly have been the world's greatest tragedy if you'd gotten some food stamps and bought some groceries here, nor would this have turned you into history's greatest proletarian monster. If you don't want foodstamps, fine, but that doesn't give you a special moral perspective.

If I choose to be cold all night… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on May 8, 2013
I'm a little surprised by the hostility expressed over my opinion.

People are hostile because you sound like a right-wing talking point, and because the monstrous poor person who doesn't use their food stamps right is a propaganda stereotype for the right.

Remember welfare queens? The women who were allegedly popping out babies so they could use their lavish welfare benefits to ride around in cadillacs? It's the same thing -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:47 PM on May 8, 2013
And this is what happens when people make assumptions about other people. I'm about as far from right-wing as you can get. I'm a leftist, gay man in my 40s. I was bringing up a talking point, but something that I witnessed with my own eyes. I didn't manufacture some scenario to prove my righteous indignation, nor do I HAVE righteous indignation about this issue. In my original comment I referenced people that NEED assistance. I don't begrudge anyone the benefit of government assistance.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:20 PM on May 8, 2013
Alfred Doolittle says that in Pygmalion. Written by George Bernard Shaw, a dedicated socialist. They made a toothless musical version of which you may have heard but the play is really worth reading for the critique of class structure.

I had forgotten that I read that play - and a bunch of other Shaw - when I was in my early teens. I loved that play! (And strangely, it was something we read initially for school in junior high, that was what turned me… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on May 9, 2013

On Misogyny in Industrial Music
"Isn't that pretty much what happened to the Seattle grunge scene when Nirvana hit it big in the 1990s as well?"

But it's not just a matter of "and then the jocks showed up en masse" (and it is en masse; everyone from any kind of art scene knows that you always get a few jock-types who are okay and turn up as individuals just like anyone else would in the early days).

It's the fact that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:38 AM on May 9, 2013

“THERE ARE NO WINDOWS. the room has great lighting. it’s beautiful.”
So these rooms, are they all you get? Like, you literally pay $1200 for one room with no windows? Or is there a lurking kitchen attached?

You may sign me "my entire mortgage is less than that even after the huge jump in property taxes this year".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:54 AM on May 8, 2013

Why I Despise The Great Gatsby
1. I found it fascinating that the book's ubiquity stems - in part - from its distribution to servicemen during WWII. What led to that particular decision, I wonder? Classy enough not to offend, yet debauched enough to interest? Upholding standard American values but still containing sex? Or was it just short and fairly simply written?

2. There are a lot of short, simple-ish books that get given to high school students on the theory that if something is short and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:47 AM on May 7, 2013
There are a lot of short, simple-ish books that get given to high school students on the theory that if something is short and simple-ish, high school students can experience it fully (in class, no less!) and get the best out of it.

By which I was trying to say that plenty of short, simple-seeming books actually require some life and literary experience to read and really get the best out of, and they're not best approached in a high school classroom anyway.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on May 7, 2013
I actually think that this is exactly the reason that the book should be taught to every high schooler.

I don't. I mean, I remember quite clearly being in high school - I was a good kid, tell me to contemplate the futility of ambition and I would go right ahead and do it. I read all the assignments, I wrote papers that I ran by my dad the English PhD, I did my very best to like and understand the stuff we read.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:08 AM on May 7, 2013
Oh yeah, and people automatically assume that I had to read TGG in high school and they'll go off at length on how high schoolers can't appreciate classics. I read TGG because I wanted to, when I was 21.

See, I don't think it is - or at least, that it should be - a question of "high schoolers can't appreciate the classics". It's much more that, on average, certain books speak more strongly to people at certain times or when they've had… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:59 PM on May 7, 2013

the modern man
In the sense that affluent Americans love pretending to be "hard working joes" I can maybe grant they are classic. But they are also pretentious.

Wait, in what way are regular boring jeans (we're not talking some kind of ringspun selvidge denim here) pretentious? I am pretentious, and until I happened across my recent pair of consciously retro eighties/nineties floral ones, I have not even owned a pair… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:39 PM on May 5, 2013
'Round here, Carhartts are what the smelly kind of slightly older green anarchist is wearing out, since they were trendy up through a few years ago and they never really die - inasumuch as anything is trendy when worn by green anarchists. I mean, they're great pants, but I associate them with maybe the late nineties, early 2000s, wiry-skinny bearded guys who don't bathe and spend a lot of time on their bikes and in the woods, wintery-feeling punk houses where nothing is that clean but they have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:13 PM on May 5, 2013

Oh, Frowner, I am so not the right person to be wearing these jeans, then.


Well, I mean, anyone can wear them! Although if you grind enough dirt into them and yourself, you could perhaps pass as a green anarchist...Honestly, Carhartts are classic because they are cultural/subcultural in so many ways. Lots of people wear Carhartts to do actual physical work in, for instance.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 PM on May 5, 2013
It's the middle class folks that have to care about that sort of thing.

And then everyone comes down on us/them for it - "you're too conformist!" "no, wait, you think you're special, stop wearing that hairstyle, it's pretentious!" "no, actually you are conforming by pretending to be individualistic, stop that too!" Et patati et patata.

As a broad generality, people's clothes… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:48 AM on May 6, 2013

Saving the planet, one bag of Doritos at a time.
I don't know. I have some concerns about how this would really play out.

We're a carless household of single/childless people who live near several (admittedly inner city and thus high prices, bad produce) grocery stores, so we wouldn't use a delivery service if one was available anyway. I add that while I could probably do a week of shopping for a family using a bike cart, that would add a level of difficulty even for someone who bikes a lot and lives close to the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:04 AM on May 4, 2013

We will create and destroy ten art movements in ten years
Janelle Monae is pretty amazing. I feel like there's maybe also some response to Santigold in this, in terms of her costuming and some some the general aesthetic royalty/nobility stuff? Also I suppose Michael Jackson, what with the jacket and all.

She is just so sharp. And whoever her aesthetic allies are in bringing all of it together, also very sharp.

In this video and the one for Tightrope, I really love the group… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:15 AM on May 3, 2013
The music is nice and all, but could someone explain what makes her work "groundbreaking"?

Oh, dude, I'm sorry that you don't see it.

For me, her work is groundbreaking because:

1. The density of images and references and the way they are interwoven and used. I have not done a close reading of this one yet, so I can't really unpick too much, and honestly I have, like, not enough familiarity… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:31 AM on May 3, 2013
I love all y'all. I do. But can we please stop with the vaguely anti-R&B, anti-hip-hop qualifiers? Because as much as you're saying "I dig this and I wouldn't usually," that kind of statement has a tinge of "this genre is beneath me" to it.

I will say that because I personally grew up in a very white town during the "moral panic" about rap music (anyone even remember that? Mid-nineties?) and thus… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on May 3, 2013
She's really good at deflecting the queer question in interviews "I'm not gay, I'm an android."

And that's so exciting! I mean, heck, I would feel very sad if it's really "I can't come out because I will lose audience, family, etc" but at the same time, speaking as someone whose sexuality and gender are both a bit weird and hard to really explain even for a queer person, it's cool to be able to depict non-standard genders and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:49 AM on May 3, 2013
How did I miss the George Clinton post? I totally did not see it!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:42 AM on May 3, 2013
She is such a good dancer. It's like she's actually floating on, like, 3mm of air above the floor. I mean, everyone in that video is a really good dancer....It's so amazing the way she is doing different but related things with her arms/shoulders and legs/feet.

Also, someone could sell me a hell of expensive pair of those black and white shoes from the video - I would break out the credit card in a red hot minute.

Okay,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:13 PM on May 3, 2013
But inasmuch as it becomes --- "I know you don't enjoy her actual artistic output, but you should, because you'd admire and agree with her avant-garde politics!"

I think that in Janelle Monae's case it's strange to think that you can separate her aesthetic politics from her performance - I mean, you can't take someone who is working constructivism, afrofuturism, mod and about ten zillion different other things and just say "well, I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:27 PM on May 3, 2013
(I pulled a Beyonce! But it was more of a "let's talk about how I used to dismiss Beyonce because I was too ignorant to appreciate what she was doing while assuming that Janelle Monae, by virtue of her particular way of engaging with the avant garde, was all, like "smart"" - honestly, I kind of went on this tumblr-fueled "I Frowner do not value the world of black women musicians who produce dance music enough because I am ignorant" kick a couple of years ago, so I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:39 PM on May 3, 2013

I promise there's a pith helmet involved.
(I just want to pop in to say that I myself (late thirties, learned Palmer script) found the close-up script shots pretty easy to read - I was actually reading the titles of the book catalog to try to figure out what books they had in their library. Indeed, it's really interesting to me that people can't read that - it's like reading type, the physical text is so transparent that you aren't really conscious of "oh the letters look like this now here is the meaning".… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:31 PM on May 2, 2013

In a City of Hipstercrites
I actually know lots of people who practice "ironic" fashion - I mean, the punks I grew up with sure did. "Wear the ugliest shirt you can find at the thrift store" isn't that uncommon, and the "ugliness" of the shirt is usually predicated on some kind of contempt for the shirt's "natural" owner - the shirt is the type of thing that the ironic wearer associates with a middle-aged secretary, or grandma, or someone working at a gas station, or someone who… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:16 PM on May 2, 2013
While being a lot less offensive.

In some ways yes, in some ways no. I mean, it's certainly a lot harder to pinpoint - if I show up in native regalia, it's unquestionably wrong, but if 1992-Frowner showed up in a mother-of-the-bride dress (I had one I thought was really pretty), it's rather difficult to tell to what degree I was wearing it because it seemed funny to wear a MOB dress since I was not a middle-aged woman, to what… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on May 2, 2013
Obviously, if the point of dressing—how should we say it—in "working class attire" or "beneath one's economic status" is to mock the very idea of these people, then, yes, that falls somewhere on a spectrum between merely juvenile and actually hateful, but is to do so necessarily unsavory? I have a hard time believing that it is because if it is, then that suggests that "appropriate dress" isn't judged by time and place only, but by economic status also.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:16 PM on May 2, 2013
Let's unpack this a bit- I have a couple of friends who wear thrift-shop "secretary sweatshirts". The kind with kittens and sparkles and such. They wear them for two reasons: one, they usually get them at thrift shops because they have no money; two, the genuinely like kittens and sparkles and things. As far as I can tell, they have always liked kittens and sparkles and things. In fact, I think a big part of the reason they wear sweatshirts like this, is that for years they… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:34 PM on May 2, 2013
And to continue: I think it's really easy to feel that we're doing things because we're special snowflakes who make individual intelligent choices rather than because we're immersed in larger cultural currents. Every hipster is a hipster because they are "really interested" in beekeeping and beards and whatever else is fashionable; I wore fifties dresses and plastic barrettes and carried a lunch box as a handbag in 1994 because I "really" liked those things, just as now I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:48 PM on May 2, 2013
Man, white people really hate being generalized about.

And yeah, I think there is a race angle on this, in that as a group white people in the US are encouraged to imagine ourselves as deracinated individuals unconstrained by the past. Being a "hipster" is troubling only if you really, really worry about being an extremely self-regulating individual type of individual; otherwise, why worry about the mere fact that your cultural preferences… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:54 PM on May 2, 2013
The question is, who cares? What does it matter? Why is this a problem? Should I be excising any trend that enters into my consciousness like a vile cancer?

It matters because a lot of people respond to any critique or any label by saying "but it's just me!!!! I'm doing my unique individual thing because I just really like it!!!! You are insulting the empowerful choices available to me under capitalism!!… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:25 PM on May 2, 2013

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