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Sex Columnist Dan Savage asks Rick Santorum to tone it down (NSFW)
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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 6:57 PM on July 27, 2011

His feet are faster
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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2011

The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann's District
I want to be a gay barbarian. Can I wear a fur bikini and talk like Conan?

Yes, yes you can.

Horde of Barbarians Demand To Be Disciplined At Bachmann's Pray Away The Gay Clinic

There has been some talk of a "barbarian bloc" at various protests.

And it does suck. I hate what this state has become.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:18 AM on July 27, 2011

Working for your safety or something.
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 Frowner at 8:33 AM on July 27, 2011

Voting in Wisconsin Just Became A Lot More Difficult
Gay Liberalsocialiststan

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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 8:20 AM on July 27, 2011

"getting attention is easy, being a feminist is hard"
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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 7:43 AM on July 27, 2011

Explosion in downtown Oslo
(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 Frowner at 2:51 PM on July 22, 2011

Got PMS? Get Milk.
Treating essentially benign topics as sacrosanct

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 Frowner at 8:07 AM on July 22, 2011

Could Murdoch really not have known about phone-hacking? One journalist says yes
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 Frowner at 1:19 PM on July 21, 2011

Remembering Hermione
I would gladly read Hermione Granger: Witch Detective.

So would I. Especially if Rowling could have some characters of color who were actually not just tokens with walk-ons.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:32 PM on July 20, 2011

GQ Magazine Goes Down
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" 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 Frowner at 12:59 PM on July 20, 2011

What's an 'ethical source' for gelatin?
"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

Different... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:11 AM on July 18, 2011
*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 Frowner at 10:17 AM on July 18, 2011

The Brain on Trial.
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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 12:47 PM on July 15, 2011

And now, a very special public service announcement from Captain Tight Pants...
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 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 Frowner at 8:49 AM on July 15, 2011

Reading as Therapy
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 Frowner at 8:50 PM on July 14, 2011

Central Park, adventure playgrounds and Katamari Damacy
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 Frowner at 7:47 AM on July 13, 2011

Is Sex Passe?
This sort of article is terrible.

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 Frowner at 8:45 AM on July 11, 2011

"We've built inactivity into our lifestyles. We've designed communities around cars,"
Aren't veggies pretty much already dirt cheap?

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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 5:01 PM on July 7, 2011

"Neither political party offered genuine solutions."
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 Frowner at 1:59 PM on July 7, 2011

Obama goes to China
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 Frowner at 11:44 AM on July 7, 2011

In Defense of Prudes
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 Frowner at 11:27 AM on July 7, 2011

Mao's Great Famine
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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 10:19 AM on July 7, 2011

IRA Vs Al Qaeda
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 Frowner at 8:35 AM on July 7, 2011

"You can't think your way out of a paper bag. You've got to act your way out."
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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 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 Frowner at 1:10 PM on July 6, 2011

Accent and diction? How will that lead to a career?
I always wonder about this "bighearted Americans" trope. Not that I haven't met generous Americans...but 1. generosity everywhere is situational; 2. we do not actually have one of those peasanty, being-a-host-is-an-ethical-responsibility cultures, we have a "hard work and virtue will get you ahead; if you're poor it's because you're lazy" culture; and 3. we have one of the most punitive and unequal legal systems possible in the developed world, plus no social safety net. If... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:10 AM on July 6, 2011

Huey Lewis and the News: You are hanging from monkey bars in two or more successive class pictures
Chumbawamba: You talk about the Miners' Strike a lot even though you are neither British nor a miner, and in fact were not even old enough to get a work permit in 1984.

Dead Kennedys: You kettle people at parties and ask them if they ever dreamed about nuclear war.

Or I do, anyway.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:52 PM on July 5, 2011

Girl questions.
Having worked with programmers, I wouldn't blame women for not wanting to. It's definitely a macho boys club. What few women I saw working as programmers were regularly pigeonholed and treated like secretaries. And the constant sexist banter and jokes between the boys would be, I think, pretty toxic to have to listen to day-after-day.

It's absolutely hi-LAR-ious to me that there's this field, see, where you have to have tons and tons of uninterrupted... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on July 5, 2011

Explore Minnesota... some other time
If anything, they probably see it as a form of tough love. They're weaning your sickly body off the teat of government. Any pain you experience will be short term and in the end, for your own good.

I'm Minnesotan, and I don't believe this for a minute. That's the line for the proles in the suburbs who can be persuaded to vote against their class interests. Every politician, banker and corporate asshole in this state has their hand out to the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:20 AM on July 1, 2011
Agree, but is there any reason why this wouldn't create a mass exodus of capital, investment, and jobs to other overseas locations? It seems the race to the bottom is unavoidable either way.

Because not everything is immediately outsource-able. Minnesota has a fantastic medical research corridor (or's getting trashed) with a great deal of state, corporate, federal and foundation investment; researchers from all over the world who worked... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:44 AM on July 1, 2011
Effective tax rates for State and Local Taxes - Minnesota:

All Households: 11.4%
Bottom 10% incomes - 22.1%
Top 5% incomes - 9.7%
Top 1% incomes - 8.8%

Decile 2011 (est.)
First ($11,201 & Under) 22.1%
Second ($11,202 - $18,454) 11.2%
Third ($18,455 - $26,461)11.1%
Fourth ($26,462 - $35,169) 11.7%
Fifth ($35,170 -
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:38 AM on July 1, 2011
but just killing some diabetics who can't afford their care any more plus shortening the lives of any number of people who skip routine one will even notice.

Just in case that's sarcasm - I have a friend who is a type 1 diabetic and who is on some kind of medical assistance that's been under steady threat for the past couple of years - he's a younger single guy and those are the folks whose benefits are politically the easiest to axe. He... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:16 AM on July 1, 2011
That means that citizens have just been shutting their eyes for years, getting accustomed to the state of things, so there's no will nor structure to do anything.

I am a diabetic. I have been paying attention

I was thinking more that people have been focusing on individual solutions - belt-tightening, second jobs, etc - because if you're slowly losing ground it's easy to think "oh, I'll pick up an extra shift" and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:22 AM on July 1, 2011

Married, With Infidelities
(This is all leading me to wonder how Terry Miller feels about his relationship. That seems to be rather important if we're going to talk about how awful DS is being. There's a substantial possibility that Miller could be all "Oh, Dan suggested that I was being old-fashioned and then we did thing and it was fine" and maybe it just isn't that big a deal for him....even though it would be a big deal for some folks. That would mean that DS wasn't actually asking for anything crazy out... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:10 PM on June 30, 2011
IME, some partners are people you can do non-monogamy with and some aren't. Unless your relationship is totally, totally casual, you need some trust between you that you like each other, that the relationship is important, that neither of you is just out there playing the field and hoping to trade up. For me, I never even considered a non-monogamous relationship prior to the one I'm in, because I never clicked with anyone this way. I know - as well as I know anything - that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 PM on June 30, 2011
(Oh, I don't mean that there is no trust in monogamous relationships - more that different relationships work different ways - different kinds of trust, different atmosphere, etc.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 PM on June 30, 2011

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