Activity from Frowner

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Strangers Among Us
What it feels like to me is just that the Cold War was too convenient to give up. That's what has struck me again and again about US and Soviet politics since the nineties. During the nineties, all was flux, but then everyone figured out that while full-on neoliberalism was great, you needed an official enemy to justify state power. So we get the War on Terror and they get this stuff. We're richer and the state is more entrenched, so it doesn't have to be as extreme;… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:25 AM on April 13, 2014

The Rooster Sauce and the People Who Love It
Wow, 100 grams of sambal oelek contains about 48 fucking percent of one's recommended maximum daily sodium intake.

On the other hand, your average sambal oelek jar contains 221 grams - and while I'm sure some enthusiasts could consume half a jar in a single sitting, mostly I just use a couple of teaspoons in an entire recipe.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:34 PM on April 11, 2014
Because I am hipper-than-hip, I have known about sriracha since late 1993. I still remember the very day I first tried it - someone I was then dating used to make these stir fries which were basically perfectly good vegetables absolutely coated in sriracha. It is testimony to my increased ability to eat hot things that this sounds good to me now, even though it was fiery inedible misery at the time. Since then I think I've always had a bottle around just to add a little… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:50 PM on April 11, 2014

Font designer "supercouple" prepares to do battle in the courts
On another note: perhaps I'm just feeling my age, but it's weird to look at this article (these dudes are only about four years older than me), see the photo from 1996, think "yes, that's just how everyone looked, I think I even had that roll-neck sweater" and then look again at the photo at the top of the page and realize that I too have aged out of nineties minimalism into sub-fusc prep and that the zeitgeist has me, will I or never so.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:24 PM on April 11, 2014

Tamiflu, Roche and the Cochrane Collaboration
Yeah, 'cause governments have consistently proven themselves much more trustworthy than corporations throughout history. And they have guns.

The thing is, government-funded research works differently than corporate research - the incentives for researchers are really different, as are the publication standards. There's certainly some incentive to produce interesting/dramatic results, and there's certainly… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2014

Should've played more Risk on the Subway.
The percentage of Americans who have a valid passport, according to the most recent statistics issued by the State Department in January of 2014, is about 46%...

I think we've had this argument on mefi before, but international travel is expensive and time-consuming. Many, many Americans can't afford it. Maybe some people don't travel abroad because they are just a bunch of lazy hicks who spend lavishly on dumb American junk or whatever, but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:41 AM on April 8, 2014
(I add that if I wanted to go to Scotland with a partner - so that it wasn't just me alone - that would be, like, a $5000 minimum, otherwise known as several months' gross wages. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's a pretty frivolous expense.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:42 AM on April 8, 2014
In Western Australia, Bali has been the traditional bogan holiday as long as I can remember. Considering this is a city with only 1.6 million people in it those passenger numbers are god damn astounding. Perth to Bali is in the region of US$160 return which is cheaper than any domestic destination from Perth. You can have a decent holiday for under a grand.

Well, I guess the ones I knew were rich late career professionals and I assumed that was why… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:49 AM on April 8, 2014
I could take Frowner's Scotland trip for half her quoted price. And I probably wouldn't choose Scotland as a destination, when a flight to Central America is half the price. But Frowner doesn't have to travel the way I travel.

How? I mean, I don't personally look for fancy travel - I just looked up the airfares, which seemed to range from $1800 to $2000 if I booked within the next three months, and the last time I looked at hostels it looked like I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:03 PM on April 8, 2014
You interest me strangely, Sara C.

Trip insurance on a five day trip to a safe anglophone country is for chumps, and booking six months out is ridiculous. If I were desperate to go to Scotland, I'd start planning this in early October for a late November trip. Go over Thanksgiving weekend and take two personal days, and then even time off isn't really a factor.

The trip insurance would be in case work was all "oh, sorry,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:06 PM on April 8, 2014
Leaving all conversations aside, I spent perhaps on hour playing with these world map quizzes and I feel like it really sorted out some geographical confusion for me. Am I totally sure exactly which is Lithuania, which is Latvia and which is Estonia on an unlabeled map? Maybe not, but I am no longer in danger of putting them south of Belarus. Also, I have a much better sense of the layout of Africa, even if I can't quite sort out all the countries. I don't expect to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:29 AM on April 9, 2014

"...said to be the messianic leader of an apocalyptic Islamic sex cult."
I love William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, but I wish they didn't have to be so goddamn right all the time, the future is here and it's scary and weird.

I was actually just thinking that I loathe Neil Stephenson with a red-hot fiery passion, but that between the London-property-speculation-leading-to-houseboat-slums and this, we are definitely living in the improbable, fascist, tacky world of Snowcrash.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:29 PM on April 6, 2014

Decaying London properties of the rich, and otherwise.
London sounds like a hell pit. It's the weirdest thing, since I'll be reading some novel - old Margaret Drabble, say, something set in London sometime before or at the very least during Thatcher, and it's very startling to realize that now it's all CCTV and ASBOs and slums and punishing the unemployed if they have a spare room. I remember reading V for Vendetta years ago and thinking how silly it was to set such a thing in the UK, because of course the UK… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:08 PM on April 6, 2014

Bring the house down
I'd be interested to hear from anyone in the know about where/whether people were rehoused and whether the privatization of the flats (in 2002 - well before they were knocked down) affected anything. In the US, at least, when social housing is destroyed it is pretty much never rebuilt and people are just pushed out to scratch for themselves. Everyone is always "ooh, it's just a slum in the sky, let's knock it down" and then they're astonished when all those people can't magically… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:12 AM on April 3, 2014

Spanish for "The Niño"
(People - including me - say "I don't care, I'll be dead by the time climate change is really terrible" because we're fairly sure that there is nothing on god's green earth we can do to prevent it and almost nothing we can do to protect ourselves. It's a form of whistling in the dark.

For the past 25 years, I've watched debates about climate change happen. I used to do environmentalist activism of one kind and another, and I still pitch in with local… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:23 PM on April 2, 2014

It is the first self-taught and the longest-course I have ever taken
I'm confident that this guy will do well - and it certainly looks like his interests and focus merit Ivy admission - but that essay doesn't strike me as particularly well-written or insightful. Mostly it says to me "here is someone who - outside this essay! - is a smart person with a lot of self-discipline and the ability to develop and pursue independent interests". That is, it's not so much the essay as the person....
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:35 AM on April 2, 2014
(I am pretty confident that my admissions essays were better - I have looked back. But I'm no musician and didn't have a teenage art/hobby which required nearly as much focus or skill.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:37 AM on April 2, 2014

"They don't look grungy...I mean, they could cut their hair..."

And it weirds me out so hard that "kids today" are looking back to that era as a vanguard era of authenticity. I don't wanna crush nobody's dreams, but while there was some truly great great great music being made and publicized, I remember being paranoically suspicious of the whole damn thing even at 16 and I can't have been the only one. I mean, it all turned pretty crass pretty quickly, right?

But what is so great is that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:02 PM on March 25, 2014
I just had another listen to "Tubthumper" and it occurred to me, first, that it is basically "Timebomb" (which is off their last "non-sell-out" album) recast in a more melancholy mode - "Timebomb" is about proletarian resilience and becoming; "Tubthumper" is about proletarian resilience but mostly as endurance and memory. The two songs are very similar musically and both videos use some of the same techniques, but "Timebomb" is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:36 PM on March 26, 2014

Why are Christians so concerned about sex?
Before I read through all the comments and the interesting pdf, I just wanted to say that this is really, really interesting and thanks a million for posting it!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:49 PM on March 26, 2014

The SHSAT is a diagnostic, the canary in the coal mine.
OK, I'm a little confused here. The author of the kveller blogs states that unless you go to a private school or have outside tutoring, you cannot be prepared for these tests, and then, goes on to say that "the SHSAT is completely objective." Which, you know, is true until you figure that tons of students taking this test have no or very little exposure to the subjects of which the SHSAT attempts to objectively quiz you on.

But that's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on March 26, 2014

Perfect Pussy and the Corporate Media
One thing I noticed about that website: they don't seem to write much about women. I counted one woman musician (in a duo with a dude) in the first two full pages of articles, except for the woman in Perfect Pussy.

I think Marcuse's "affirmative culture" is a really great concept, and I think that the part of the essay that is all "contemporary 'art' rock is depoliticized and gestures toward a kind of affirmative culture as a way of concealing this,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:10 PM on March 25, 2014

Dressing queer in the corporate world
Could we not turn this into a referendum on the reality of this woman's experience or a diatribe about how awful clothes are? For preference, I would rather not talk about how the company's dress code is illegal - butch women (or people like me who basically get read as butch women) have to negotiate "women's" dress all the time, regardless of whether it's an "illegal" matter.

For many people the only time they ‘see’ a butch… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:54 PM on March 24, 2014
Also, this woman is some brave. I don't know what I'd do if I were hired into an organization with bifurcated dress code like that, but I doubt I'd be as hard core as she is.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:58 PM on March 24, 2014
Just for information's sake: ways that I, a white person who is frequently read as a butch woman, am invisible/hypervisible:

People sometimes just plain old look away. I am sometimes in situations where people are embarrassed by me or for me.

Men. Jesus god. If it's not the straight ones who get all aggro and hostile because I am "trying to be a man" (and I'm talking about suit-wearing, well-off guys more often than not), it's the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on March 24, 2014
but I'm curious about why the second topic should be verboten

Because it moves the discussion from how a particular group of queer people become visible through clothing choices to a general "if only we didn't have gendered clothes" conversation. In my experience, people who yearn for completely unmarked clothing are often people who are coming to this from a position of social comfort - not always a position of privilege, but never a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:14 PM on March 24, 2014
This stuff is weird for me, a lifelong gender nonconforming girl now woman. I had a hard time even reading the article although it has smart things to say. I find gender presentation so fucking boring when I think about the stuff people are going through in this world: the first thing I inevitably think when I hear a masculine gendered woman talking about personal identity is like, "People are starving, who cares what your gender is?" but I know this is some kind of self… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:44 PM on March 24, 2014
I mean, I'm not actually "a masculine gendered woman"; what I am mostly is a fat person who has trouble being touched, that's a far more accurate and important statement about my embodiment than anything specific to gender. I'm usually read as a masculine-gendered woman, even though I don't actually identify that way.

Being able to dress as I do and to parse stuff about my gender presentation as I've been able to - that's made a huge difference in what was… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:21 PM on March 24, 2014
I, personally, have a very complicated relationship with my masculinity, and I personally, find it problematic to focus on my own masculinity in light of living in world with enormous suffering that is more enormous for the great majority of people around me than it is for me personally. I, personally, feel bored by thinking about gender presentation but I recognize and hear it is problematic for me to verbalize that to you and others in the world. On the other hand, I get to have an… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:31 AM on March 25, 2014
Latkes - actually I was thinking about this and it might be nice to have a post on the blue with some good links about some of the whole "gender presentation/masculinity/misogyny/privilege" business. There's so much there - how to talk about one's own experience without blithely trampling on others or falling over into the whole "I am privileged, nothing I feel can change that and any conversation about my experience de facto oppresses others"* business, for instance. Or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:47 AM on March 25, 2014

Doña Quixote
Believe me, it's horrible. My mother has a rare form of early onset dementia. We've been very fortunate in terms of my family's ability to care for her, she has suffered far less than many people do - and it's still unbearably bad.

Whenever anything scary has happened to me lately - someone breaking in when I was home, other scary stuff - I remind myself that if I die right now I die in my right mind and without burdening my family. I've decided that if I get cancer,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:27 PM on March 23, 2014

"It took more time than it should have for them to be put in isolation"
I surmise that the vast majority of small children I know socially are not vaccinated - my circles have far more than their fair share of anti-vaxxers, which depresses me. But I've gotten into so many arguments where I am the lone person saying "food cooked in the microwave is safe" and so on and everyone looks at me like I'm either a dupe or history's greatest monster that I just don't want to touch anything which can be framed as "Frowner wants us to subject… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:29 PM on March 20, 2014
I know, as I say, lots of anti-vaxxers. Nice people, engaged in the community, smart, creative. Generally people who have had a lot of bad run-ins with the medical establishment or the law or both - people who have been treated very unfairly by large bureaucracies, who have had difficulty accessing quality medical care so they associate doctors with people who patronize you, ignore your symptoms and either misdiagnose you or withhold things like pain pills because the poors… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:43 PM on March 20, 2014
I think that the state should do the minimum of forced medical treatment, and that forced vaccination sounds like a real slippery-slope situation. I think that the more forced medical treatment becomes normalized, the more likely it is to be used against vulnerable populations - it's not as though medical treatment hasn't been used abusively in the past. Also, even threatening that kind of law would lead to a lot of ugliness (and expense) in the courts.

Instead, I'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:54 PM on March 20, 2014

Locking up your treasures

No, It wasn't too bad having the gravel picked out from under the skin on my legs and knees; the doctor was able to get me in the next day, and only one knee got seriously infected. The scars were gone by the following Spring.

Ha, yes. "Round pebbles"? That might have been nice. We had pointy gravel. This did not stop us from playing "jump off the swings" from the really terrific giant swingset that had, like, ten… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on March 20, 2014
Oh, Baby_Balrog, I wish I had previewed - I would have held back on my comment. I'm so sorry that such a sad thing happened.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on March 20, 2014

Freegans Frustrated
It's tricky to negotiate this kind of thing. Doing it out of a private house really isn't a great idea. I know from my social circles that you can run the occasional (perhaps monthly or even biweekly) free meal for ~30 out of a private house without any real problems, but once you start getting substantially larger numbers or substantially more frequent meals, you end up drawing unwanted attention.

I wonder if he contacted organizations that do this… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:49 AM on March 18, 2014
Also I think it's kind of a curse to have a particular kind of youthful charisma - you get too much positive feedback from easily-impressed peers (because you have a lot of ideas and enthusiasm) and this makes it much harder for you to doubt yourself or seek mentoring from older folks.

As to Maximus-style dudes, I've known a variety of them - a few have ended up as merely older versions of their frustrating young selves; some have parlayed the charisma into… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on March 18, 2014
They never seemed to seek any sort of outside help from people knowledgeable about feeding large groups of people, homelessness outreach, or supply chain management (or legal advice, or health codes, or...) but I suppose that would go against the counter-culture vibe they were trying to establish.

The thing is, I know a bunch of perfectly respectable social work types who either were once young and punk rock or who for some other… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on March 18, 2014
In Minneapolis, both the North Country Food Alliance and Sisters Camelot* distribute donated food (not precisely dumpstered, but it would have gone in the dumpster if it weren't donated - it's pre-dumpstered, if you will) and serve community meals pretty regularly. Both are sometimes a bit punks-feeding-punks, IME, but not nearly as much so as you'd expect - they really do meet their mission fairly well most of the time. That is, there… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:27 AM on March 18, 2014
Dumpstering depends a lot on what you're dumpstering, so to speak. I had no concerns about the imperfect lemons, bagged bread in a heap with other bagged bread, bags of apples, sealed packages of yogurt which had expired that day and spent the evening in an autumn-cold dumpster, shrink-wrapped boxes of mushrooms, etc. I passed on things from sticky piles, virtually all dairy, things that had been sitting around for a long time in the heat and things that were bagged but among leaky sticky… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:43 AM on March 18, 2014
Have you ever seen what goes in a restaurant dumpster?

Just as a point of clarification - among folks I know, restaurant dumpsters are not a big source of food for precisely these reasons. There are particular places where they will, for instance, bag up all their old bread with absolutely nothing else in the bag and put it at the top of the dumpster, or places like the pizza place described in the Eighner article linked up thread where there's boxed… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on March 19, 2014

Play! OR ELSE.
I want to go look at my old Bafflers from the nineties and see if the writing was like this and my tastes have just changed, because it seems like an oddly empty piece to me.

I think the basic hypothesis is very Baffler/Adorno, and worth exploring - the way "play" gets recuperated as labor and labor disguised as "play", and why the intensification of both those trends is happening now. I think that's classic Baffler material, since they've always… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:39 AM on March 19, 2014
(I also think the "why are former-hipster 40-somethings playing kickball" is an uninteresting derail in the piece. First, because it's a generational lament of people just a bit older than me - folks who are not sure How To Be Old but are indubitably No Longer Young - and second because it's very difficult to parse out people's rationale for, like, playing kickball. I think it would be very possible to look at something like a NYT style section article about Kickball The Font Of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on March 19, 2014

"Stories about charming scoundrels have a built-in appeal"
This was neat - thanks for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:20 PM on March 18, 2014

“I’m just not attracted to Asian men.”
Okay, I have a suggestion - if you are "not attracted" to Asian men, seek out media in which Asian men are portrayed as attractive - for whatever "attractive" means to you, whether muscular or geeky or chivalrous or funny, etc - look at some of this media daily for a few months and revisit the topic.

I have found that my standards of "attractive" have changed dramatically (not about race, since not being attracted to [race] people has not,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:56 PM on March 18, 2014

Explaining the faux Irish pub revolution
There's a somewhat more detailed Baffler article from 1999 on the same subject.

My first Irish-pub-concept pub was this place in Shanghai that opened sometime in the early nineties, with real Irish workers all compleat. The rich UK expats ate there all the time; I had a pricey and so-so sandwich and a guiness there with my fellow teachers and an Australian guy who later turned out to be a creepy semi-rapist. A full meal there cost something like… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:46 AM on March 18, 2014

My Husband's Stupid Record Collection
But actually, I should have said all of this in a more positive "yes, and..." way when I responded to the blog. It isn't helpful to criticize something in language which seems to be saying "don't do this" when we're talking about music reviewing.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:54 AM on March 17, 2014
I just can't agree. One of the most difficult lessons for me as a white person from a the US, for instance, has been that I just shouldn't flail away naively about other people's cultural production, saying whatever I feel, rushing in to talk and write about whatever feels good. I think that's how marginalized voices get overwritten and how non-standard aspects of the past get disappeared - it's very easy for me, for instance, to write my naive narrative… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on March 17, 2014
But look, I don't want to be a pill about this - I feel like I've ended up arguing something much more strongly than I feel it - I'd say that this is something that I feel in a middling way rather than in a militant way, more of a "I'm a vegan and I think veganism is pretty good, but you go ahead and have your bacon" way than anything else.

I do think that enthusiasm is important, and it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:28 AM on March 17, 2014

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