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Further Materials Toward a Theory of the Man-Child
Deep down inside, the Young-Girl has the personality of a tampon: she exemplifies all of the appropriate indifference, all of the necessary coldness demanded by the conditions of metropolitan life.

The "theory of the Young-Girl" as I understood it (read it, it put me off Tiqqun, honestly - a surprising number of European anarchists are really fucking misogynist, from the rape-apologists in Greece to these dudes) names and describes the figure… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:25 AM on July 9, 2013
Apparently anyone who decides not to reproduce is a man-child, according to her definition. I know a lot of (dumb) people who share this view, but somehow I don't think the author is as forward looking as she proclaims.

I would be astonished if that's what she actually meant - I think it's just clumsy writing. I think what she's trying to say is that to 'grow up' involves making choices about how you want to live, one of which is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2013
Now, I say this lovingly, and I say it as a person who regularly struggles with the same feeling, but: it is very easy to assume that 'difficult' or 'uses specialized language' is the same as 'bad'. Texts are for different audiences, serve different purposes, attempt to use language differently. Writers are different from each other. Some people have brilliant ideas and struggle to articulate them; some people write like angels (to borrow from Margery Allingham) but have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:43 AM on July 9, 2013

but instead it kind of seemed like the authors went full-circle past meta-irony and into sincerity and forgetting that the whole "man-child" construct was meta-ironic, and rediscovered popular front communism or mussolini or something

That's a good point! She really does go from that whole 'Man Child as-if-Young-Girl' thing to "this is how men-children really are". You don't suppose she's doing it in order to reproduce… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:47 AM on July 9, 2013
What a depressing thread. Do I really need to point out that if you refer to the author as "she," inadvertently revealing that you haven't even read the byline (or this FPP!) carefully enough to realize that the article was written by two people, not one, then it's fairly doubtful you put in enough effort to determine whether an article about French theory was insightful or not?

We're not - or shouldn't be - aiming to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:51 AM on July 9, 2013

"..isn't a huge amount of money compared to what you save in welfare.."
Yet, Kimberly Jeffrey says she was pressured by a doctor while sedated and strapped to a surgical table for a C-section in 2010, during a stint at Valley State for a parole violation. Jeffrey, 43, was horrified, she said, and resisted.

“He said, ‘So we’re going to be doing this tubal ligation, right?’ ” Jeffrey said. “I’m like, ‘Tubal ligation? What are you talking about? I don’t want any procedure. I just want to have my baby.’ I went into a straight panic.
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:57 PM on July 7, 2013

"He then looked up, and saw . . . former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal."
At the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, police conducted peremptory raids on the homes of protesters before the convention had even started. Police broke into the homes of people known to be activist rabble-rousers before they had any evidence of any actual crime. Journalists who inquired about the legitimacy of the raids and arrests made during the convention were also arrested. In all, 672 people were put in handcuffs. The arrest of Democracy Now journalist Amy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on July 7, 2013

It's My Day
I have observed that most moral panics involve things-centered-around-women, things-centered-around-"femininity" or things-centered-around-poor-people. Although in this case, the poor get married in insufficient numbers, so that's not relevant - unless you're writing an article about poor folks recklessly spending a lot of money on a wedding.

No, really, there's a story - and it's a story about consumption in general, but here it's the old familiar story about… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:06 AM on July 5, 2013
(I organize an annual two hour catered cocktail event for about 100 people at which everyone gets precisely one drink, canapes are tasty but the board does not groan, we have some floral arrangements and send most of the invitations by email....and that event typically costs in the neighborhood of $6500. It's not unreasonable to say "I'm getting married and it is expected that I will invite all my relatives and my partner's relatives and my friends and my partner's friends and provide them… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on July 5, 2013

Running with the jackalopes
I'd of course prefer to think he was pulling the wool over the reporters eyes but I don't think it's the simplest scenario.

See, back when I was fifteen, I knew some kids who fibbed to stupid reporters who had showed up at our high school looking for a story about [cue eighties panic]....satanism!!!! Were there local satanists? Oh, of course there were!!! Lots and lots. Worshipping the devil in the abandoned Ovaltine factory down the street. Etc, etc.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on July 4, 2013
Journalists are not expected to have encyclopedic knowledge, that's why they interview people.

See, I have done some journalism - not at a very high level, it's true - but I virtually always researched my topic in the course of writing my story and expected to go into interviews with some knowledge of both the interview subject and the topic. But I expect that the journalist in this case is poorly paid, under the gun and being… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:12 AM on July 4, 2013
(I used to do a similar thing back in the early days of BMX where I would explain Canada to American kids in Northern Michigan. Stuff like how we have winter tires for our bikes with nails and that our dad's stood guard while we BMXed to protect against polar bears. The best part was that we all lived much further south than the guys we were talking to.

Actually, I once convinced someone that we had grizzly bears (whose habitat is often described as… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:17 AM on July 4, 2013

Reporting Harassment at a Convention: A First-Person How To
Also, what the fuck is it in these conversations that it always comes around to "but maybe he was just socially awkward?"

A good mental trick for me in other contexts has been reminding myself to stop identifying with the oppressor - by analogy, many white folks read about a white person doing something really egregious that we ourselves would be unlikely to do on purpose and we get in the habit of thinking "but if it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2013
"All told, it sounds like the guy's probably a sleaze. But I'm afraid I'm never going to be comfortable with identifying a person as a sex offender on the basis of an unproven allegation rather than a conviction in a court of law. I'm just kinda old-fashioned about justice that way."

Okay, so how would this work?

Let's assume that "propositioning someone or groping them at a con" should… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:20 PM on July 3, 2013

I want to be totally confident that I’m offending the right people
Don’t say “bad”. “Bad” comes from the Old English “bæddel/bædling” which was a slur against effeminate men. Really. I’m not joking.

It seems like, while baeddel was a slur, it's not entirely clear that it is the root for "bad". And yet, this whole thing points to some interesting tensions in the current state of social justice thinking.

If "bad" does derive from a medieval slur, should we stop saying… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:17 PM on July 1, 2013
*Actually, I was told 'moron' was racist, not ableist, but this was just a couple of people on Tumblr and absolutely nobody else has ever got on my case about it or showed any sign of it traumatising them, so I still use that word.

Interesting! I'd encountered this on tumblr too, and it's a really interesting folk etymology: the idea is that "moron" was originally pronounced "maroon" and was an insult because it referred to the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:20 AM on July 3, 2013

new to New York City and friendless

Of course not, but it definitely drives the conversation one way or the other. I have very few friends who are parents who spend a lot of time talking about things other than their children, at least at first.

See, the thing is, I don't even like kids that much. I mean, I like specific kids, but as a generality I can take or leave them. But I've found that interesting people can be pretty interesting about their kids -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2013

"Ahh, Cat Juggling. The sport of kings. Crazy, crazy kings."
This is just like when I was five years old and my mother explained that the cat lady down the street was just a lady that liked cats.

Some years ago, I worked in a large office building whose office culture was such that people would dress up at Halloween. One Halloween as I was returning to my grey little cube, I passed a young women with curly dark hair wearing fairly realistic cat ears whose attachment points were hidden by her hair and relatively… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:05 PM on June 27, 2013

Professional Cuddlers

A girl spontaneously talked to me at a bar the other day. She walked up to myself and a friend and said we should both be dancing (we had been) and that we shouldn't be afraid to get down (I'm really not), told me I'm not bad looking for a white guy but I should try to act a little more black (I am quite white. So was she.), put her hand my stomach and said I should hit the gym (I, uh, do, and I could stand to lose another 5-10 pound but damn are you just not used to the
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:31 PM on June 25, 2013

Goodbye, Miami [?]
Just because no one is tracking every single person displaced by the increased frequency of extreme weather; doesn't mean they are not out there.

There's a guy down my block who was a Katrina refugee.

I think a mental block on this is simply that refugees don't look like what middle class USians expect. We've received so much media imaging that says that "refugees" are draggled people in camps somewhere who have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:56 AM on June 25, 2013
Buyouts?! WTF?

It isn't really a "buyout" if the government gives you money for something worthless, is it?

Why do people who persist in building on flood plains or other areas deserve any buyouts? In particular, this is a group of people who, demographically, has generally been against "government handouts" in any form - who, statistically, have mocked us for our claims of "climate change coming".
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on June 25, 2013

As if baking wasn't complicated enough already
Okay, here is what I don't understand: why would you spend all this time printing out paper bits and pieces (as with the cupcakes) and assembling all this stuff and buying special paper and so on and then use nasty box cake and brownie mix? I get it, predictability of results, but I don't understand why someone wants to make something that will look so cute (if you're into that kind of thing - wouldn't be a great thing for my dad, for instance) and yet… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 PM on June 22, 2013

truths about gay relationships on the road to marriage equality

Two thirds of men have affairs? Am I that weird?

I always ask myself "who with?" since the statistics seem to come back that far more men have affairs than women. Are these mostly bisexual guys? Are women lying? Are men lying? Perhaps the cheating women are all having multiple affairs and evening things up that way, but I find myself doubting it purely from a logistics standpoint. I mean, I am in an open relationship and I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on June 20, 2013
Well, theoretically the men could be sleeping with unpartnered women...

Technically, but then either those women are dating (but not married to and thus not formally counted as "partnered") one guy plus having the affair, or they are dating no one except the married dude, which is too depressing to contemplate (since in my social circle at least that tends to boil down to years of 'and when he leaves his wife...' followed by nothing.). And… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:45 AM on June 20, 2013

The EDL almost felt ignored.
This article is about a specific UK situation, right?

Here is a thing that I think folks outside of long-term radical activist circles don't tend to realize (and, because I tend to hang around with cultural anarchists and do much more ad hoc stuff, I didn't realize either initially): folks who see themselves as long-term anti-racist or anti-imperialist organizers (or really any kind of long term organizer) tend to think both strategically and ideologically.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:29 AM on June 18, 2013

The Silence of Animals
It's worth noting that Gray is the child of a dockworker and went to Oxford - as far as I can tell due to the massive "progressive" post-war reforms in the UK education system. I doubt very much that a dockworker's child, no matter how intelligent, would have gotten into Oxford and then climbed the academic ladder absent those reforms.

How to interpret that? I don't know. Does Gray feel that he's experienced liberal humanism and it wasn't worth it and he'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:02 PM on June 13, 2013

A vision of post-apocalypse Britain?
Is this what Daily Fail readers see in their heads all the time? Only you know, caused by the gays/the immigrants/the "immoral" pop stars?

I was thinking of it more as a yearning for ruins - a yearning for apocalypse. It's as though no one can see any end to the crisis [or to neoliberal capitalism] except through pandemic and catastrophe, and so the only way to get beyond our present untenable situation is to imagine a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:29 AM on June 12, 2013
Hmmm. I think one needs to be cautious about reading the appeal of images like this as being all that specifically tied to a particular moment of "crisis" or a particular phase of late capitalism or what have you. After all, there was a huge vogue for these kinds of images in the C18th (London in ruins, Paris in ruins etc. etc.).

No, no - what you're suggesting is that we must have either no broader cultural explanation for… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on June 13, 2013
How you get that from "I think one needs to be cautious" about facile historicizing arguments I truly cannot imagine.

Because "be cautious" is polite-academic for "you're doing it wrong, and probably foolishly".

I don't know - I have always figured that comments on non-academic websites that I phrase as "I was thinking of it more as...." are pretty informal and tossing-ideas-around, but next time I'll be sure to add a disclaimer.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:18 AM on June 13, 2013

"There is no single way to sum up what it means to be a trans man."
One thing I wonder, as someone who is some-sorta-transmasculine, is why we have to refract all this stuff through the lens of sexual desirability, and what that means for trans guys who don't/can't/don't want to meet these particular standards.

On the one hand, it's exciting and validating to me to see these posts - on the other hand, I feel a little weird about it. Doubly so because while I'm certainly no slim young person, I know that I actually do… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:22 PM on June 10, 2013

Pacific Heights is just a movie, right?
I was definitely expecting something much worse by way of the terrible tenant. I mean, I've had housemates worse than that. It mostly struck me that this person - who had the means to buy in the Castro in 2004 - has super-snowball-ish expectations about how housing works. There are lots of good reasons not to be a landlord - and one of them is that even the nicest, best person will at some point in their life do or go through something that makes them a difficult tenant.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:03 AM on June 7, 2013

Business attire: birthday suit
See, this kind of thing actually depresses me. What happens if they have a chubby intern? Or an intern with a physical disability? Or, god forbid, they've hired someone who has physical flaws? Or someone with a history of abuse who doesn't want to be in naked pictures on the internet but also doesn't want to lose their position? Or is it just that "their office culture" is that if you're not ready for a publicity-worthy nude shot on the internet, they just aren't going to hire you no… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:11 AM on June 5, 2013
The real of this is that if they had a fattie (or even a saggy Old) on staff, they would not have done this promotion, because creative people are ruthless and the internet is ruthless in a different way and that would not have generated "wow this is transgressive", it would have generated cruelty and laughter. And part of this type of branding is to show that not only is the work you do good work, but you are also a certain type of person.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:00 PM on June 5, 2013

Are you a liberal baby or a conservative baby?
They contrast "minority" with liberal and well educated and just generally do a piss-poor job of everything.

What a good point! I was uncomfortable with that but could not express it so well.

Also not impressed with the bit about how "partisan politics are basically the purview of rich white people", because it's framed in such a way as to suggest everyone else just doesn't care and is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on June 5, 2013

"There was never a call for suppression. There was a call for respect."
Mike Resnick: I’d say that just about every other cover [in the romance section] shows a man’s bare torso, lean and muscular, usually with a few more abs than Nature tends to provide. The man’s head is rarely portrayed. Clearly these are erotic covers, designed to get a certain readership’s pulse pounding.

This fills me with rage. (And it's sad about Malzberg - I was just reading some of Joanna Russ's early reviews in A Country You Have Never… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:27 PM on June 4, 2013
They met a few weeks later at Boskone, the Boston science fiction convention. Isaac had been asked to present the E. E. Doc Smith Award. Somewhat maudlin, he addressed the crowd, saying, "Right now, among all my societies, it is you — and science fiction — whose good opinion I require. I want you to love me, love me, love me, or I will die." Loudly, from the back of the room, Anne [McCaffrey] yelled, "Live, Tinker Bell!" to the crowd's laughter. To even more laughter,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:15 PM on June 4, 2013
If everyone involved was happy and having fun and enjoying themselves, why should it be gross to you?

Ah, that question was precisely what I was trying to get at! Why does it seem gross? Because it does - not the sex, the anecdote and the style of telling - and I think that sort of nudge-nudge SF sex anecdote (which, as I say, recurs a lot - I think there's one or two in Judith Merrill's memoir, and she was as feminist as they come)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:22 PM on June 4, 2013

And a child in every box
Yeah, one of my friends, who's Finnish, makes her babies take naps outside in the winter. It's apparently a Finnish (or Scandinavian) thing. And it does seem to be true that the babies don't mind at all.

People at least used to do it in England - there's a scene in a Margaret Drabble novel from the late sixties/early seventies where the young mother is looking sadly at her baby through the window and wishing she could bring him inside but....… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:20 AM on June 4, 2013

This Man Is Not a Cyborg. Yet.
This is interesting, and I hope they get somewhere. Although I'm not sure they should focus primarily on the avatar part. If they manage to get mind uploading working (even imperfectly), I don't think people would necessarily want to confine their mind to a physical avatar.

But isn't mind uploading just a copy? Yes, it would be neat if copy-Frowner could explore Mars or live forever or appear to the world as a cat/eagle/human… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:54 AM on June 3, 2013
I hate to break it to you, but what was Current Frowner when you wrote that comment doesn't exist any more. There is only what used to be Future Frowner. Ah, see! The new Current Frowner just ceased to exist as well, and became Past Frowner.

Okay, so if an "I" dies every moment (current-consciousness Frowner dies) regardless and a totally new, disconnected "I" is formed, which new "I" is equivalent to an externally-created… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:27 AM on June 3, 2013

The Suicide Epidemic
I know in the US there are a lot of people out there living paycheck to paycheck without much social support. If anything goes wrong -- health issue, car breaks down, laid off, etc., it can be disastrous. For me personally, I don't have anyone to lean on and there aren't many shelters/support/resources for down-and-out single white males (boohoo, right?). For the most part, I feel no sense of community where I live. I drive around Chicago and see all the homeless folks, the drug… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:05 AM on June 3, 2013

But can you find it on a souvenir bicycle license plate?
Why does someone name their child 'Major'? It seems neither faux-old-school like a hipster name nor especially 'unique' nor very grandiose. (I mean, why not name your kid "General" if the goal is some kind of military status thing?) And the social circles I associate with the Madison/Jayson kind of name are mostly people who have some experience with the military somewhere in the family, so I would not expect them to use a military title as a name.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:29 AM on June 3, 2013
Here's a thing: I used to sigh and get all upset over nonstandard names. "Madyson!!! Emalay!!! Those are barbarous, non-standard spellings!! And why the fuck would you name a child Galadriel?"

And then I started spending time in social circles where many people have either weird given names, weird chosen names or names that are ordinary in various non-English-speaking countries - meaning that I always had to pay attention to people's names,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:48 AM on June 3, 2013

Heather's Lunchtime Poll: "What Is Popular Privilege?"
This blog seems like it would be an exercise of frustration. Instead of crafting a new story for herself, she is, ironically enough, simply restating the social order she suffers from: the popular kids are active actors at the center of attention, whereas she is an unpopular person who observes them from afar. Even other Tumblr people are sniping at her. She is reenacting her problems. When she checks others' popular privilege, she's sending up a signal flare that this upsets her, but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:34 AM on June 2, 2013

Nuke it from orbit: GM wheat goes rogue in Oregon
If memory serves, this very "escaped GMO product contaminates non-GMO crops, wreaks economic havoc" thing appeared in either a John Brunner novel or one of Ursula Le Guin's short stories from the 1970s. My memory is of a sort of re-enactment of a hippie commune that used to be a real commune/organic farm but there was so much cross-contamination with GMO crops everywhere that they could no longer sustain themselves and switched to amusing the tourists.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:26 PM on June 1, 2013

This Look Has Always Fascinated Me
The second pair was an eBay acquirement

How do people end up writing like this?

Vis-a-vis style blogs and racism/misogyny/general assholishness: the people I've seen consistently not be racist jerks are the guy at Affordable Wardrobe and the Put This On folks. None of them write creepy things about women, none of them disparage hip-hop or hip-hop-inflected fashion, they don't freak out if someone is ~gasp~ gay...they're not… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:03 PM on May 31, 2013
The thing is, sometimes I felt sorry for him because he'd have a few really lovely things - a nice pair of belgian shoes, I'd love a pair of belgian shoes - and he'd put everything together so badly, in such a jumble. Again, back before I saw posts with the racism, I used to look at his blog sometimes and think "here is a guy who at least has some urge toward nicely made things, appealing textures, taking pleasure in craft". And I'd feel a bit sad that he was doing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:11 PM on May 31, 2013
Oh god, you have to look at his campaign blog.

It reads like something written by a fourteen-year-old. I don't understand why he doesn't have a competent staffer who could at least put some gloss on it. And look at this piece of incredible nonsense:

We inherited from the previous majority one of the worst shortfalls in state funds since the Great Depression, which came about from decades of over taxing and spending… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:16 PM on May 31, 2013
The reason people dress like this is because of the halo effect of prepatory clothing and propriety. It's basically just a cargo cult of class and pretension and signifies that the wearer is both highly out if his league and aware of it. A craven soul that is more than willing to look bad to shamfully borrow the ornaments of power from his manly superiors.

See, I think this is half true - the zeitgeistyness of "trad" and preppy clothing is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:49 AM on June 1, 2013
Actually, I suspect that the political kicker for this guy may be his open boasting about wealth - his own ambitions toward it and the endless "when I had lunch with my kazillionaire friend" routine. While I'm sure there are plenty of snob republicans in his constituency, it can't help him that much to be seen so nakedly boasting and bragging about his proximity to the genuine upper class.

I think the toxicity of the blog is lost on a lot of people who did… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:47 AM on June 1, 2013

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