It makes me angry that the City and the City is even on the list. It's a happy, pat ending, an oversimple and not very well thought out attempt at world building, and mildly insulting to Eastern European cities in much the same way mystery authors writing about smalltown New England without actually having ever been to a small town in New England. On the back of the mindblowing genius of Perdido Street Station and Embassytown, it simply needs to be forgotten as a failed attempt to reign... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:11 AM on August 4, 2011
I didn't actually finish Dhalgren, but it's still one of my favorite books of all time.
Me too! Every couple of years I read parts of it, skipping around. I'm not sure I ever want to finish it - there's part of my brain that says "no matter how boring things get, you still have the mysterious unexplored parts of Dhalgren waiting for you". Also, to me it contains some of the best and sharpest writing about a certain kind of life in a big... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:21 AM on August 4, 2011
More about Bridge of Birds - all the women are prostitutes, peasants or dragon ladies (with some peasant prostitutes and some dragon lady prostitutes for variety!), which is precisely what writers like Maxine Hong Kingston complain about in depictions of asian women. Also, it's kind of a sexist book, not so much in the women-prostitutes bit but in the Henpecked Ho part and the glee with which the evil fiancee gets murdered. And the neverending "let's rescue the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:33 AM on August 4, 2011
And since this is obviously The Thread Where We List Our Favorite Science Fiction, I will list mine, in no particular order:
Always Coming Home, Ursula Le Guin
Marq'ssan series, L Timmel Du Champ Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, Delany Extraordinary People, Joanna Russ
Lilith's Brood series, Octavia Butler Inversions, Iain Banks... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:42 AM on August 4, 2011
Oh, wait, Lovecraft in Brooklyn suggests the Viriconium books. Those are the tenth (since they finish before Harrison slides off into icky gender essentialism and "the secret of the plot is that the sexy young woman was sexually abused!!"-ism) posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:46 AM on August 4, 2011
During riot grrrl, I always felt like a fat, ugly failure because the whole punk feminist narrative seemed to be about these pretty, femmey girls in mini-skirts talking together about how men harassed them while wearing clothes I could never hope to fit into (and this was when I was thin - I'm muscley and wide-shouldered). Honestly, when I moved to the city and a couple of times guys propositioned me thinking I was a prostitute, I was secretly proud and happy because it meant that I wasn't a... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:41 PM on July 31, 2011
I don't think the article is discussing a straight-up envy - "I wish I got harassed!!" It's describing something much more complicated and queasy, about our programming and sometimes our complicity in sexism.
And then there's the fact that many of us who don't get catcalling-harassed (like, I get harassed all the time but it's homophobic harassment, "what the fuck are you?",... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:26 PM on July 31, 2011
I mean, seriously, we get that sexual harassment isn't awesome. It's that so many [feminist] conversations among women rely on a set of common women's experiences with sexual harassment and treat those experiences as normal, so that if you're already feeling weird and inadequate, it just seems like one more way that you're an outsider.
Seriously, my experiences as a gender-non-conforming woman have revolved around being told I am ugly, ugly, ugly.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:35 PM on July 31, 2011
Yeah, this was much worse than it needed to be because of poverty and police corruption/incompetence. I've heard from quite a few people since about the mid-nineties that they miss the Soviet Union, because while it was awful and repressive and people disappeared, at least you got medical care and decent schooling, and the repressive forces of the state were actually at least capable of a little bit of regular policing. This way, it's like subtracting the benefits while also keeping the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 9:35 AM on July 29, 2011
I'm fond of Gaia theory, the notion that the planet can be considered as a single organism. That theory's flaw is that we have not seen the earth reproduce. I like to think that we are the planet's gonads, intended to terraform other planets into earth-like copies, in a process similar to bacterial conjugation.
There is a particularly sad James Tiptree story A Momentary Taste of Being, which is sort of on this theme. Admittedly, I'm not sure there's... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:13 AM on July 29, 2011
When someone who's had a set of awful experiences writes about them, I am always surprised by how much hostility this provokes, how much denial. Here's something I have learned:
You do not have to identify with the oppressor. All you need to do is say "hey, person of color! hey, trans person! hey, queer person! hey, woman who's been treated badly! I hear what you're saying and it shouldn't have happened to you. If I acted that way in the past, I'll try to act... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:06 AM on July 28, 2011
Okay, queer woman here. I want to like this - and god knows I hate the fundies - but isn't this blackmail? I had a local right-winger attempt something less sexual but similar on me because of my support for a Palestinian state and it creeped me the hell out. Rick Santorum is a public figure with a lot more resources than I have, but I'd rather not get into the whole "do what I say or I'll mess up your internet presence" thing as a tactic. It's true that it's something the left can... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:53 PM on July 27, 2011
It's a joke. Jesus.
So you think Dan Savage won't actually make any attempt to redefine "Rick"? I think he will; I think it won't be super-successful; and I think it's unwise to introduce this whole "say what I want you to say or I'll humiliate you personally on the internet to the extent of my powers" line. The more I think about it, the more I think that this is something where the left will lose down the road - the right is... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:57 PM on July 27, 2011
I like Tom Bombadil because he represents an outside - the same outside that is represented by the Ents, sort of - an outside to the moral logic of the story, an outside to human/elvish history, something that does not, that cannot, respond to the moral logic of the story. I think that's crucial to the way the story depicts human history and social change. A world that's wonderful has to have something that is in excess of people/people-ish creatures. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:27 PM on July 27, 2011
Why couldn't you just fly to the volcano on the fucking giant eagles to begin with?
Air battles with the Nazgul! That would be a totally different movie! posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:28 PM on July 27, 2011
Funnily enough, I've never been at all interested in the Silmarillion or the other secondary books. I know that technically they "explain" a lot of theology and so on in LOTR but those "explanations" seem very dry and formal and fussy - interesting to Tolkien and to people who enjoy systems for their own sake, sure, but they don't really seem to carry any of the ethical or social punch of the books. Sort of an authorial intent question - we can establish who Tolkien... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:35 PM on July 27, 2011
This doesn't astonish me at all, because I've been hearing stories like it from activists since 9/11. There are two things going on - the US is substantially closing its borders for ideological reasons and there's an increase in US opposition to left movements in South and Latin America (because those movements show some signs of life. Which should not be read as an apology for Shining Path; this stuff isn't really aimed at Shining Path, it's aimed at Lula, Chavez and their like.) I imagine... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:33 AM on July 27, 2011
If any of your FB friends can supply me with a reliable map to Gay Liberalsocialistan, I am so out of here. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:11 PM on July 26, 2011
(Upthread, there have been various comments about how "cheap" $20 is, or $135 (for a passport) is, and how most "poor" people can afford this. For comparison, here in Minnesota when medical assistance programs add a one dollar co-pay to people's medications they see a huge drop in medication use. If you are truly poor - and there are plenty of truly poor people, but they're not visible because they work nights, stay home, are homeless,... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:20 AM on July 27, 2011
I've got to say, this thread surprises me. It's the first metafilter thread I've read that's a general "organizing against sexual assault" thread (I'm sorta-kinda new here) and yet we're discussing whether women should "take responsibility" for being raped if they were wearing the "wrong" clothes. Huh. That's not as sophisticated an approach as I'd grown accustomed to on other threads.
My takeaway would be that people... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:13 AM on July 27, 2011
Oh, you know - I remember one night years ago where I walked home at about 4am through a "bad" (my) neighborhood wearing a skirt and these really absurd extremely high mid-nineties fetish heels with a platform under the toe, and probably also fishnets. I was walking home because the buses had stopped running, and I was out really late because I'd fallen asleep at a friend's but had to get up for work the next morning. I couldn't have run twenty feet in those heels. They weren't... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:22 AM on July 27, 2011
You know, I once got in a car with a strange man. Didn't know him from adam. I was 26, he might have been 40 - older, anyway. Of course, my car had run off the highway in the snow, and I didn't have a cell phone and I really needed to get to a place where I could call a tow truck. Didn't have a lot of choices due to the highway, the foot of snow and the ice storm that was sending cars off the road all over and slamming police response.
As I biked to work today, I... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:43 AM on July 27, 2011
(About that terrorist cell - weren't the guys of "mixed origins" all non-ethnically-Norwegian? An Iraqi guy and a Uighur guy and someone else? So that doesn't mean anything in terms of a white Scandinavian suspect.
I assume that you can be "Norwegian" without being white, though - I notice that "Norwegian" is being used as a stand-in for "white" a lot.) posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:51 PM on July 22, 2011
I don't know about you, but as a woman-type-person I get really, really tired of the endless lulz to be found in suggesting that I am an abusive, hormone-driven shrew who is always out to ruin her partner's boyish good times. I am equally tired of being cast as the boring-yet-prudent bearer of good manners who corrects "her" man when he gets childish and makes sure that he bathes/takes... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:07 AM on July 22, 2011
It's hardly as though Murdoch has some kind of unblemished record. He's personally been involved in union-busting, for example. And his organization is highly ideological; it's not just WidgetCo which happens to have labor violations because there's a culture of cheap-vendor-seeking.
Really, it's important not to identify with the powerful here; there's an intellectual tendency to project the self into these situations, as "If I were running a... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:19 PM on July 21, 2011
Ooooh, I regret the brain cells lost to that article.
I feel like a lot of internet content is "random list as an excuse to insult things". In this case, there's no notion given about what "worst dressed" means or what "best dressed" means...rich people are tacky, hipsters are tacky, bohemians are tacky, trads are tacky...what remains?
Given that, the random anti-PC thuggery slur is about what you'd expect. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:59 PM on July 20, 2011
"People are vegan!" is what we always say at my house. There are all kinds of logistical reasons why a trade in human flesh (for example) would be a bad idea, but I don't think human genes in yeast would be specifically not vegan. A bad idea, probably.
I'm not vegan and not remotely conversant with the philosophy, but wouldn't that imply that it's okay to eat dairy or unfertilized eggs
*And, also it isn't like animals aren't harmed during other industrial/agricultural process that do not necessarily include animal products as an output. I've heard several convincing arguments (as a non-vegetarian/vegan) that flour is not, and can never be considered a vegan product, simply because there is no way to effectively harvest wheat without killing large numbers of rodents, even though it does not inherently (ahem. intentionally) contain any meat products.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:17 AM on July 18, 2011
I'll make a prediction - if anyone in the criminal justice system takes the article/line of reasoning seriously, what we'll see is forced medication, pre-emptive medication and possibly forced brain implants or surgeries, most of which will mysteriously turn out to be needed by low-income people, people of color, women with inconvenient/hysterical symptoms and sexual "deviants", probably including low-income queer folks and sex workers. We've been here before, as that non-neurologist... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:40 PM on July 15, 2011
Variation gives rise to lushly diverse societies—but it serves as a source of trouble for the legal system, which is largely built on the premise that humans are all equal before the law. This myth of human equality suggests that people are equally capable of controlling impulses, making decisions, and comprehending consequences. While admirable in spirit, the notion of neural equality is simply not true.
As brain science improves, we will better understand that... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:47 PM on July 15, 2011
And the moral of this story - don't take your classes on Freud in the Comp Lit/Cultural Studies department!
By which I mean that I've read a lot of Freud but obviously don't know enough about his research background. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:47 PM on July 15, 2011
My friend was just telling me about how at a recent softball game a nerdy looking guy was completely drenched in sweat, and that his butt was completely soaked
I would like to point out that in the midwest in the middle of the summer, when it's extremely humid and extremely hot, one can end up...um...quite sweaty on all parts of the body after walking a couple of miles or a little light bicycling, even if one is... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:49 AM on July 15, 2011
I'm agnostic on the whole fiction-as-therapy thing, but I'm definitely against the "writers and critics police how others - figured as ignorant, bad, self-indulgent readers - read a text". Oh, the terrible, awful middle class novel, middle-classily depicting a region or a subculture! Oh, the readers who read books and naively identify with the characters! (I always wonder why Henry James and Toni Morrison don't count as middle-class-novel writers.) Nope, that's... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:50 PM on July 14, 2011
Oh, I miss the dangerous playgrounds of my youth - the really tall climbing structures, the merry-go-rounds, the giant geodesic dome made out of pipe, the really big swings that went up high....Oddly, I don't remember too many kids getting seriously hurt. We all fell from time to time - and my friends and I jumped off the swings onto the gravel, which was really fun - but in general we were relatively risk-aware. Also, these playgrounds tended to have adults or older kids around.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:47 AM on July 13, 2011
1. It treats a large, disparate group of women as a monolith. There are certainly norms and trends about sex, but they're very different among classes, religious denominations (conservative Lutherans versus Unitarians, etc), immigrant groups from different places, etc etc etc etc. It would be interesting to say something confined like "college-educated women of color tend to think [THING] now while they... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:45 AM on July 11, 2011
Not around here. A bundle of spinach cooks down to very little and it's $2; tomatoes are a once-a-week treat and berries or grapes once a month. I ate mustard greens until I couldn't face them anymore because they're $1.50 a bunch. If you're trying to minimize carbs and you don't eat animal products, well, you eat a lot of peanut butter and tofu, and you're always wishing you could afford more vegetable... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 4:56 PM on July 7, 2011
Cheap fresh good produce. I really miss being able to afford the co-op. Even if I could swing it, half the vegetables at the store aren't worth buying. Next year I'm going to start gardening, if only so that for once I can have as much spinach as I want. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:01 PM on July 7, 2011
Wake me when one house in the Hamptons has been burned by a mob, or a banker thrown out the window by his own employees. Or, in fact, when anything happens at all aside from some nice stencil work on the sidewalk, maybe a newspaper box set on fire, or a couple of slogan stickers placed on a vacant storefront. Days of rage my ass.
When those things happen, liberals and progressives will be first in line to denounce them, trust me. Don't you know that... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:59 PM on July 7, 2011
How do we affect positive change when the very people who explicitly said they'd do X then turn around and do anti-X? At this point I'm pretty sure that if we somehow got Sanders, or Kucinich into the Presidency they'd start trying to destroy social security and start a few dozen wars themselves. My faith in the system was never strong, but I think Obama has managed to completely destroy what little I had.
I used to believe that there was a meaningful... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:44 AM on July 7, 2011
1. The author's experience is obviously rather particular; different social groups experience this rather differently.
2. Women are encouraged to be enforcers of "good" behavior - to say "oh you're terrible!" when somone makes a pun or an off-color remark. It's difficult for me personally to simply not react - I'm fairly modest about sexual and body stuff and prefer neither to endorse nor to censure, but I sometimes find myself... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:27 AM on July 7, 2011
So, which one of those (other than the facile Olympics thing) is incorrect? Believe it or not, the CCP has done lots of fucking evil shit. My nanny was from Anhui. Every single member of her family including her parents, her husband, and her children died in the famine. My grandparents were beaten during the Cultural Revolution, and other relatives committed suicide. I saw the Tiananmen square protests with my own eyes. Would you prefer we covered all that shit up?... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 9:04 AM on July 7, 2011
No true Scotsman alert. Sound exactly like Hitchens' arguments that Soviet and Chinese state atheism wasn't truly atheistic because of the "backwardness" of their cultures.
Okay, obviously I wasn't clear enough.
1. I'm talking about how Chinese history gets narrated in the West for a series of dubious Western purposes - Western purposes which, amusingly, cause many of the same evils for which the CCP gets denounced.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:07 AM on July 7, 2011
Oh, and I add - lots of people made choices against state authoritarianism during the Qing, Nationalist and Communist periods. But their choices are mobilized in the West as endorsements of Western-led democracy - witness the persistent bad analysis of Tiananmen Square.
It's precisely this monolithic view of history - where ideology is a puppetmaster and where the rhetoric of an authoritarian state are used as a explanations for what of ordinary... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:12 AM on July 7, 2011
And I'll triple post!!!
Imagine that I am talking about the disaster that overtook New Orleans. I could say that the Bush administration was a mere puppet of neo-liberal ideology and that this is a sufficient explanation for what happened - obviously they were all intentionally enacting neo-liberal democracy step by step, as they learned from the Trilateral Commission or Bretton Woods or whatever. Or I could unpack the things that brought the Bush administration to... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:19 AM on July 7, 2011
I have no idea about Al Qaeda's strategy, but didn't they basically win? The US is in much, much worse shape than we were in 2001; we're fighting two expensive wars which we basically can't win even if we haven't exactly lost either; our already sharply-limited international prestige is shot; we can't take care of our own soldiers when they come home; our government basically lacks legitimacy and people's confidence in the democratic process is low. Most of these things, I think, are... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:35 AM on July 7, 2011
The purposes of these articles: to blame social problems on "childish" young men; to subtly complain about how women are just achieving too much (they're putting off having kids, so men don't have to man up!); to elide class differences that make living at home, delaying marriage, etc more sensible for low-income folks; and to scold everyone for not buying into the stupid, fragmented, immiserating nuclear-family-with-house-and-two-cars-and-lots-of-debt dream. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:24 PM on July 6, 2011
One thing I always notice in these threads - the way it's so easy to identify yourself with your suffering, or to identify with your abuser/the system that abused you. This is something I have struggled with a lot myself in terms of bad-stuff-from-childhood.
What I mean is that there's always a sub-theme of "I suffered a lot, so everyone else should suffer too; a system without the suffering I endured is impossible; if other people get through... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:39 PM on July 6, 2011
On women and degrees:
(Background comment - all of this "school isn't friendly for boys because boys are inherently THING" is pretty silly - girls were "inherently" unfit for education for quite a while because their wombs interfered with the function of their brains and/or overdeveloping the brain would sap the womb, etc etc.)
One Dimensional Woman has an interesting section on the "feminization" of labor through... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:10 PM on July 6, 2011