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How to talk Minnesota Nice
Minnesotans couldn't imagine moving away from family/support networks to live somewhere new.

See, I actually moved to Minnesota and stayed - voluntarily! - and the "Minnesota" that gets described in these articles is never recognizable to me. Granted, I've only lived in a college town and Minneapolis, but it's at least worth noting that the blanket descriptors aren't that useful everywhere.

1.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:02 PM on January 13, 2013
It includes MPR. It's like 'real' Minnesotans are descended from Swedes (which I think isn't even true of the majority of Minnesotans descended from that wave of immigrants) and everyone else is a unicorn, regardless of how long their family has lived in Minnesota.

See, that's precisely why I wanted to comment - there's this particular kind of liberal discourse about Minnesota which whitens the state - "oh, how cute all the Swedes are with their... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:24 PM on January 13, 2013
"Do you really mean that I can take my time on this project, or do you really mean that you need it right now?"

I thought that clarifying this was pretty standard office behavior - at least, I frequently see work advice columns that advise people to clarify deadlines, so I assume that unclear statements about deadlines are pretty common unless everyone who writes to the columnist is from Minnesota.

I will admit that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on January 14, 2013
Minnesota liberalism was, I think, always pretty much skin deep. What finally tore away the facade? I think it was 9/11, more than racism. (Minnesota has been racist for a very long time; many Minneapolitans once proudly considered the city to be the center of antisemitism in the US, and the mass execution of Dakota people 150 years ago is part of that history, too.) Reactions to 9/11 were based in racism, too, but I don't think racism was the primary, proximal cause.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:02 PM on January 14, 2013
Well, yes, but on the other hand Minnesota is something like 87% white. When you're almost 90% white it's not a big surprise when the popular view of your area is that it is lily-white. 'Cause it mostly is.

I think you misunderstand me. The issue is not "oh, people say that Minnesota is all white and they are incorrect, someone is wrong on the internet, someone has insulted my home state, I must clutch my pearls"; the point is that to write... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:53 PM on January 14, 2013
It is true that when I came here for school several people asked me if I was from New York - now, I grew up in an inner ring Chicago suburb and at the time had a very, very faint trace of a Chicago accent with the sort of flat "a" and that was enough to signal "East Coast". I add that I've actually gotten a little bit of voice recording work based on my "neutral" pronunciation, so I'm pretty sure that whatever Chicago vowels I had at the time were pretty minor.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:12 AM on January 15, 2013
I think you've just given yourself away as living in Minneapolis. I don't think Chicago suburbs have rings.

Yes they do! What do you call Oak Park then? (Which is not where I grew up.) "Inner ring suburbs" are the first couple of stops on the Metra or the last couple on the el, mostly older ones built on a walking plan around the train station and an actual downtown, mostly well-off, mostly more cultured and with better schools than the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:33 PM on January 15, 2013

Facebook's Graph Search
The Wired article (after talking about how Graph search leverages one's "relationship with brands", god why are people such suckers on the internet, you do not have relationships with brands) talks about how this can be used in "job searches", which I find depressing as I have no intention of using Facebook and this leads me to wonder how it will impact my work possibilities. (And also makes me wonder by what mechanism we are essentially making... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:21 PM on January 15, 2013

An Incredible Transition
What I hear, anyway, is that it's best to do all this stuff while you're young (but have finished growing) - you're more resilient and heal better.

I know everyone means to be complimentary to this girl, but I wish the conversation didn't keep reverting to "these other women [implicitly old and vain] who have plastic surgery and do it wrong and look like total freaks". I think we're all a lot better off if we train... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:52 AM on January 15, 2013
It's interesting too just how many physical cues there are. It's not just "tits/no-tits" or "beard/no-beard." It's really subtle stuff like the distribution of fat on a person's face and neck, or the structure of their jaw and cheekbones, a lot of which we're not even consciously aware of most of the time. All that stuff — even the bone structure stuff — changes in response to hormones over the whole course of a person's life, but the more changes have built up, the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:33 AM on January 15, 2013

Chuck Lorre is breaking our glasses
And, this is why the Cuban community didn't watch Lucy, and those in the south never watched The Andy Griffith Show, and bus drivers didn't watch the Honeymooners...... Oh, wait, they DID watch, they just weren't so thin skinned about the humor (and nobody had blogs back then)!

To return to an earlier point in the thread: a difference between now and I Love Lucy is not that people are so "thin skinned"... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:54 AM on January 9, 2013

The man on the ledge is named Dylan Yount.
Something I experienced that was not about suicide: I was in DC for work (I travel once a year for an event) and going for a little walk before getting the metro to the airport. Up ahead of me a block away I could see that someone was stretched on the sidewalk. At first I thought it must be someone who was a sidewalk artist, as they appeared to be stretched out in a funny way. This was on a crowded street in DC, near a big convention center and a couple of museums.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:29 PM on January 5, 2013

Dark Ecology

"Every morning when I awake I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam."


Oh, hiLARious. No, Derrick Jensen does not have anger management issues - what he has is a pretty cushy position as a white, straight, finger-shaking male Important Intellectual who sells plenty of books. Dude is never going to blow up a dam - in fact, later in either that essay or another one, I forget, he says that his work as an... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 PM on January 1, 2013

"One can tell if one is happy by listening to the wind. This latter reminds the unhappy of the fragility of their house and pursues them in fitful sleep and violent dreams. To the happy, it sings the song of their safety and security: its raging whistle registers the fact that it no longer has any power over them."
postmodernism is a scam to funnel money from the productive classes to the parasitical academy

Adorno isn't a postmodernist. He would have been appalled - appalled! - by the suggestion, just as he was appalled by the swinging sixties students who trashed his office and called him bourgeois. Adorno is a modernist - all about the marxism and the truth-claims and the life in a great 20th century metropolis and psychoanalysis and the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:04 AM on December 28, 2012
I mean, really they weren't "swinging sixties" - they were student radicals. But they were pretty swinging compared to dear, dear Teddy.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:07 AM on December 28, 2012

I came in here to say a lot of what Frowner already said, so I'll say something else.


Although actually I look at what I wrote and wish I had not been so bitey, partly because I once made a joke in ignorance about Nietzsche (as who has not, really?) and was smacked down pretty hard and unnecessarily. Incredible as it may seem, this did not lead to me reading Nietzsche -who I think I would totally have enjoyed even with no other... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on December 28, 2012

Is Culture the Key to College Success?
See, this whole business is the result of a chronic inability to address the truths of capitalism. It's just like how the United States absolutely will not endorse a living wage or meaningful worker protections, so we sneak in social welfare measures as food stamps. Workers don't get a living wage because that would mean that we as a society were limiting or critiquing the free market, but the "free market" would collapse into workers starving unless their food was... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:41 AM on December 26, 2012
(I add that I am the child of two very, very bright people - one of whom was admitted to a grad program at Harvard - and test extremely well. I've always been at the top of every class, graduate and non-. I've always known I'd be going to college. And yet, because my family is fundamentally lower middle class, when I finally got to college I didn't know about anything - I thought you only talked to your advisor if you were failing, I thought you only... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:46 AM on December 26, 2012
I'm a highschool dropout. After bumming around my hometown for a few years, I got my GED and went off to college. My parents didn't have any money, and even if they had, they wouldn't have given it to me. So I chose a state school and a practical degree (compute science) and borrowed my way through school. Through student loans and Pell grants, I was able to cover tuition and living expenses, and only had to get a job during vacations. Graduated with about $48K in debt, which I wasn't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:26 AM on December 26, 2012

It's not a bag, it's a coat
This is actually how it worked in the early days of flight. Then the airlines realized that they'd get more customers if they didn't force people to confront their weight every time they flew.

This is one of those ideas that appeals to a certain horrible "common sense" mentality..but consider this:

1. How would people pre-buy tickets? I can say that I weigh 95 pounds and will be flying with nothing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:02 PM on December 19, 2012

The Brutality of Experience
Although I know absolutely zip about European modernist churches, I do know that if you're passing near Columbus IN it's worthwhile to check out North Christian Church. You might need to take the architecture tour (which is worth it) to get to go in. Call first and make sure the tour you're taking goes inside - different ones have slightly different itineraries.

It's a really beautiful church with an odd sort of full immersion baptismal tub with stairs...but sort of a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on December 13, 2012

Epigenetics possibly responsible for homosexuality
I will be interested to see how all this stuff works into the popular culture discourse of "women are naturally sexually fluid and men are naturally not, so basically straight chicks can totally get into making out with each other or having girl-girl-guy threesomes but non-gay-guys would rather gnaw off their own forearms than do anything like that!"

As a queer person with many years' experience reading "what can possibly explain the gays" news... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on December 12, 2012

I Remember Cold Steel Bars & an Inch of Hard Rubber Below As A Kid
It strikes me that none of these are as physically challenging as the playgrounds I grew up with - really tall climbing structures, lots of monkey bars, lots of balancing structures, geodesic domes with the top higher than the reach of the tallest adult, swings on which you could swing really high. These all look really nice, but they don't look like they support really active play like the ones I grew up on did. (And I say this as a former sluggish, fat little kid who nonetheless climbed and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:51 AM on December 7, 2012

Not Great Men, Great Gamelan
That is so cool. I wish I could ask them why they decided to pick this song. It sort of reminds me of the Raincoats in that it has a sweet yet eerie quality. I mean, who are these women? What other songs do they play?

In a reverse way, it reminds me of 23 Skiddoo's Urban Gamelan where it's Asian-British guys writing industrial/dance tracks many of which involve gamelan, a really good sort of reverse-colonialist musical approach in both cases.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:45 AM on December 6, 2012

privilege-checking and call-out culture
I think one thing that tends to happen is that individual corners of the internet tend to develop highly specialized analysis and vocabulary - often very good analysis and vocabulary, I consider that I've learned a lot from the much-demonized 'SJ' side of tumblr - but because of the echo chamber effect of the internet, people tend to forget both how long it took them to evolve their analysis and that they're a fairly small group. It feels like The Absolute... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:44 AM on December 2, 2012

Also regarding Tumblr (and with apologies for multiposting), see these three excellent comments from Frowner.


Thanks, er, oops, er...those comments said pretty much everything I said in the comment I actually made in this thread...except for being a little more negative about tumblr than I am feeling this morning.

It is worth noting that Ira Grey, linked in the OP, actually is pretty much off the internet since he... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:56 AM on December 2, 2012
I mean, at least two of the "bullies" clearly used sexist words themselves. "white fairy vagina" (wtf?) and "transphobic cunt" (really?) That sure as fuck doesn't sound like language of an "ally"... Meh.

I think that commenter with the death threat probably was a troll, but more based on the overall structure of the comment than the specific language. The things you quote are pretty standard... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:02 AM on December 2, 2012
Some people like to engineer psychodramas to reenact certain situations that are important to them. There are parts that have to be cast. The bully who creates your victim status (and who is, if you're choosing the cast, not going to be somebody who would actually pursue and bully you, because that involves far too much risk to yourself). The Wrong person you can angelically educate and save (and who will garner great resentment if they won't conform to that role, even if what you're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:35 PM on December 2, 2012
In that headspace, maybe we can react with compassion and a sort of emotional "reaching out" rather than with anxiety, fear, or a sense of existential threat when there are dramaz on the internets. I think for a lot of us - at least a lot of people like me! - we've experienced enough actual bullying, violence or other bad stuff that any challenge to our regular behavior (especially stuff we haven't thought about, stuff that is completely unintentional) feels like such a big... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:49 PM on December 2, 2012
There exists an environment in which the concerns of many minorities are constantly misrepresented and said minorities patronised and the rage that comes out of that is, in my opinion, not only understandable but so insignificant I'm automatically disappointed in any cis or white or straight or able-bodied person who expresses frustration and concern with the level of vitriol directed at them for having placed their foot in their mouth.

See, I hear... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:01 PM on December 2, 2012

this is the gayest of all the possible things: going to a meshell ndegeocello concert, with a goddamned lesbian, that is being held in a motherfucking FOLK MUSIC SCHOOL.
“I'm trying to visualize how much hate I would be subjected to if I said anything like this as a straight male...”

You know, it's true that if a straight male friend said something like "how do lesbians know they're on a date or if they're just two hot chicks hanging out", which is probably how the only type of person who would say such a thing would phrase it, I would loose most of my respect for that person, because: 1. men who get all... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:27 AM on November 30, 2012
Men who get obsessed with Real Lesbians are grosser.

But IME rarer! And much more likely to keep quiet about it. (Unless you mean "men who stalk women they know who are lesbians" which, yes, is worse - but I feel like it falls under the heading of "men who stalk women they know", and men who do that tend to be creeps to all the women they know.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:44 AM on November 30, 2012

Point of View, Depth of Focus
SEK is great!

I add that I like his writing style, although de gustibus and so on.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:58 AM on November 29, 2012

A small step for inclusivity
I think the trouble with tumblr is that it combines the worst aspects of the echo chamber and the generic-newspaper-comments-section - everyone can see all the cruel and offensive sludge that everyone else posts while also each developing their own cheering section and vocabulary. It's a platform that has really generated some of the most racist, stalky, misogynist crap I've ever seen while also generating the most classically left wing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:34 PM on November 19, 2012
Is it just that people have a problem with criticism / analysis from the social justice POV full stop, or... what? Genuine question. I just thought they were interesting reads.

See, this is why I think tumblr is a bad system rather than an aggregate of bad ideologies, and I think it's something that isn't immediately obvious if you don't spend time on tumblr.

For the purposes of this argument, I'm going to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on November 20, 2012

Man, it is hard to say this without sounding like I'm crying 'Political correctness gone maaaaaad!!!' But I think that we respond to art most perceptively when we have more than a checklist, and some of this criticism feels like it doesn't have a lot more.


One of the reasons I'm trying to trend away from tumblr is precisely that most activists/radicals/sj types/whatever are smart, subtle and compassionate people in... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on November 20, 2012
As a general issue, I tend to care more about fiction being good than it being inclusive, and can see over-anxious inclusiveness as something that can mar quality (not that I'm calling QC over-anxious)

I do think that seeing yourself in media is really, really important for marginalized people - if only because that's had a transformative effect for me (via tumblr, honestly).

I think the hardest things to write as a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:12 PM on November 20, 2012
Just so you know, the concept of triggers and being triggered and the like is something that is far beyond tumblr, and for someone who actually has PTSD, comes off as a bit demeaning.

Oh, no - totally the opposite! Actually I was trying to say that people on tumblr talk about being triggered by reading and watching things and that's a real thing, even though in non-tumblr world people often use different language to describe it. ( I feel like I know... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:47 PM on November 20, 2012
It did make me wonder what you'd think of Requires only that You Hate, the most visible and loudest blog criticising nerd culture/literature for its inclusiveness and lack thereof.

I actually adore Requires Only That You Hate. I think it gets a needlessly bad rap (or at least, I only ever seem to hear it held up as a bad example) and I've really enjoyed acrackedmoon's book recommendations when she recs. (She's a really subtle and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:09 PM on November 21, 2012

I think I mentioned we also saw an actual knife fight in this same alley! With big giant meat cleavers!
Is this real? I mean, he didn't make it up? We could have swapped - he could have spent a year at my house in the US and bankrolled me to spend a year in China and we both would have been happier, I guess. Wish I was walking between Nanjing Lu and Hainan Lu.

See now, it's been a while since I've lived in mainland China, but a lot of those things he mentions happened to me too - confusion about shipping stuff home, snot on the floor, various forms of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:17 AM on November 21, 2012
I mean, I add that there were days when I felt what I even then knew to be irrationally angry - trying to negotiate a complicated bureaucracy when your Mandarin breaks down at "Which one is cheaper? I would like that one please!" and "I am very interested in Chinese literature!" can make you feel just insane with rage. Or trying to get your bike repaired in a remote part of the city when everyone is like "lol, look at the foreigner who can't even... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on November 21, 2012
Seriously, some of this is fascinating, but I get the sense the author is writing like an asshole just to troll the readers.

I'm sure some of it is "trollery" (I don't see how you could have spent a year in China without having at least some 'and then I ate the most delicious food I have ever had in my life and had a really hilarious conversation with the waiter, who suggested that we go to this little park the next day where we saw the best... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2012
Fan looks really happy. We grab all the beer available and sit down and then one of our friends basically just reaches into the middle of the table, picks up the cake, and basically just fucking smashes it into Fan’s face in front of all his friends!

How did I miss seeing that paragraph? I think I was skimming a little because there was so much cringe-inducing stuff involved.

I am full of hatred now, except for the part of me that feels kind of like crying.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:15 AM on November 21, 2012
I think it's super interesting that the enlightened souls on metafilter are so quick to call a guy racist that's reporting on his experiences in rural China where he's a *victim* of racism..one of four or five westerners in a city of four or five million who is regularly pushed, slapped, cursed, overcharged, and generally mistreated. And when he expresses his befuddlement that people do things like shit in the street and hack live dogs to pieces it's not that he's living in a backwards... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:22 PM on November 21, 2012

social impact bonds
Hasn't some of this happened with the NHS? I thought I'd read an article talking about public/private partnerships with health services in the UK (or maybe it was "internal markets"?) that had raised prices and just generally screwed things up.

See, the commies talk about the "falling rate of profit", how there's less profits to go around so the rich have to keep screwing more and more out of the poor to live the lifestyles to which they've become... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:36 PM on November 20, 2012

Classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy, the literature of Reactionism
I think trying to put a really perfect, symmetrical symbolic reading onto most books is a mistake. Obviously, the orcs are in some ways the proletariat of the dark satanic mills and the trolls are coarse and uncultured lower-class ruffians. That doesn't mean that they aren't anything else, nor does it mean that you can't put a sort of 19th-century-class-nostalgia reading onto the Shire. If Tolkien had wanted to write nothing more than "how I think social classes should... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:22 AM on November 20, 2012

High school ends at 9:30pm
Recently I read a comment by a Korean-American girl (on a tumblr, no idea where it was from) talking about how she felt that the trauma of the war was still present in S. Korea, and the trauma of the sundering of the country, and that these things were often ignored when people talked about how "sick" and competitive Korean culture is. I don't have any more thoughts on that at all, but it was a new and plausible perspective to me.

Sometimes I also think that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:19 AM on November 19, 2012
Can you explain what you recall about this perspective? I'm not seeing the connection between the war and Korean ideas about beauty and "success" as measured via competition, both of which are much older than the war.

I would if I could, but I can't! It was just a tumblr comment that I read reblogged from somewhere else.

I don't think it was framed as "no one in Korea was competitive or cared about looks until... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:46 PM on November 19, 2012

Confronting Irony
I have an old zine somewhere (possibly it was Bunnyhop) in which Lisa Suckdog wrote a much more sincere and engaged version of this article wherein she basically talked about how she felt like she'd surrounded herself with hideous thriftstore art and done her hair in ways she hated and spent time in places she didn't like purely to prove some kind of point about ugliness and immiseration and she was going to stop doing that now, thank you. I think that was probably published... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on November 19, 2012
Honestly, I think all of this "I hate the ironic hipsters" business is motivated by fear - fear that someone might "see through" your own pretenses; fear that someone is having a better time than you; fear that you have invested your feelings (your sincerity!) into something that someone, somewhere might view as rather small and pathetic.

The thing is, a lot of people are all cathected onto this hipster thing - it isn't just "eh, people... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on November 19, 2012

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