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A hipster schoolhouse started by a pair of underemployed polymaths

Parts of Minneapolis are overrun with hipsters. Though I don't think EXCO is.


EXCO has its hipsters and its punks and its radicals and its polymaths and its moonlighting faculty. It's also free...sometimes you can even get a grant to buy materials for a class. But there's no permanent space like the Brainery seems to have, and classes seem to be a bit more hit-and-miss. (I've both taught and taken EXCO classes.)... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on April 5, 2012

Once upon a time, consumption meant you were thin and sick
A side note: when you hear people say that you should consume more soy instead of XYZ because it's healthy, keep in mind that soy is in great many things that you consume. Perhaps far more than what is good for you.

Vis-a-vis soy: IIRC, unless you look at the form the soy takes, you get some contradictory health results. Ie, it appears based on population studies from Asia that tofu, steamed soybeans, soymilk* and so on are... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:45 AM on April 4, 2012

"My greatest regret is that I'm not a sociopath."
Something I noticed but have no theory about since I tend to read about rather than watch television and mainstream movies (yes, special snowflake, blah blah) - these sociopaths are almost always men, right? All the ones Kotsko name-checks are. I suppose there's a few women sociopaths (the villain in The Devil Wears Prada?) but they are cast as villains, not as enviable.

In terms of what Kotsko says about the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:44 AM on April 4, 2012
Huh. Not my reading of the Miranda Priestly character at all.

That was totally a rando guess based on reading about the movie, on the theory that there had to be some....so discount as needed.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on April 4, 2012

How to be a fan of problematic things.
When I read pieces like this, I find myself thinking about questions of audience - that is, they all seem aimed at the people whose experience is centered and valued by the problematic text rather than at the people who are marginalized/hurt/shamed by it.

So this article seems to be "how to think about racism in fantasy if you are white" and "how to think about sexism in fantasy if you are male" and "how to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:38 AM on April 3, 2012
You just wait a few centuries, until mentions of pet-owning, exercise, childbirth, and toilet paper are all "problematical," and everyone who has ever written about them is clearly a bad person.

See, this is again where questions of audience come into play.

People who are centered by problem texts tend to understand the problems in a very abstract way as "broken rules" or "in poor taste". So... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on April 3, 2012

Where does it hurt?
So this woman had a DVT. In any competent, non-racist hospital, a sprained ankle and persistent pain like that should have suggested a DVT, and she should have been sent for an ultrasound - not a perfect diagnostic tool, but it very likely would have caught the clot. Doing that has nothing to do with handing out pain-killers (and handing out pain-killers is fine by me). It's mere racist incompetence that she was not diagnosed correctly... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2012

Mean streets
I hope the above will be taken for what it is: a lightly poeticised account of the mental state of an average young woman negotiating her way through the urban environment

There is a certain type of man...often he writes for Adbusters, but not always. He is generally white, generally straight, and not quite as much of a chick-magnet as he feels he ought to be, although he does not admit that to himself. He is generally of the left, but only the part... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2012
Maybe I missed something, but I didn't get this from the article at all. Self's long had a thing about psychogeography (he had a column of that title in The Independent for years) and along with people like Iain Sinclair (who is, to be honest, a much better writer than Self on this topic), has written extensively about the intersection of public space, private property and the experience of, and rights surrounding, walking in and around both.

The tone... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:11 PM on March 30, 2012
See, fun's fun and all, but as a female-type person I get really tired of left-wing dudes (Self, Tim Wise, Derek Jensen...to name a few) whose automatic way of symbolizing what is wrong with the world is to point to a weirdly sexualized image of a stupid young woman. It's alienating. It's distracting. You (o men of metafilter) might imagine that you're reading an article about something you'd like to believe in and it lays into you - not for your gender, since just as anti-white sentiment is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:59 PM on March 30, 2012

Brine, Baby, Brine!
You don't have to eat the fondant. It's really pretty, but if you don't want a mouthful of pure sugar, peel it off.

Duff Goldman
Ace of Cakes


See, here is the thing: I do not understand this vogue for extremely pretty, extremely decorated cakes (and many of them are very clever a la Sunday Sweets) that are just cake covered with inedible (or at least not-very-tasty) fondant. What is the point of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:22 AM on March 30, 2012

Ritualized vomiting was simply part of brotherly life.
I am curiously reminded of how Brooks Brothers got its real start - scamming the Union government during the Civil War. All these elite places and aristocratic traditions - if you look even a bit under the surface, they're always foul, rotten and sociopathic, straight up Less Than Zero territory.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:41 PM on March 29, 2012

It's not paranoia if they ARE out to get you
I hope that Trayvon Martin's death is the thing that finally brings racist abuse into "official" "public" speech.

Before the Catholic Church abuse scandal broke, everyone I knew was aware that many priests abused children and were protected by the church. It was a common source of gallows humor. It wasn't in doubt. But somehow it wasn't in "official" speech. Oh, you could say it in public all you wanted, and plenty of people would believe... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:23 AM on March 27, 2012
(Oh, I should add that "official" "public" speech - actionable speech - is always "what [majority] white people believe to be true". Which is a function of white supremacy.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:34 AM on March 27, 2012
I would say excessive exposure to the Internet is the opposite of helpful, especially when it's taken seriously as a tool of enlightenment. It's an insulated environment.

See, the funny thing is that the internet has been really helpful for me as a white person, not least because it disabused me of some of the really stupid notions that I had grown up with. ("Reverse racism", anyone?) Also because it did provide a sheer... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on March 27, 2012

A Day In The Life
Those interested in Mr. Lagerfeld might enjoy The Beautiful Fall, a book focused on the late sixties through early eighties but also containing material about Lagerfeld's childhood and his various renarrations of it.

He actually does seem to have had a rather sad life - at least as sad as a life can be when cushioned with so much money and fame.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:38 PM on March 25, 2012

Aisle seat, please.
Also, move your feet! If you're of average height, you should be able to wriggle your ankles and flex your calves without moving too much otherwise. When I fly, I try to do this every 20 minutes or so when I'm awake, and I get up in the middle of the flight regardless of my seat mates. Not to put too fine a point on it, but their absolute freedom from standing up is not more important than my freedom from DVT. Also, it really isn't that awful to have to stand up a couple of times during a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on March 25, 2012

The White Savior Industrial Complex
Another important quote that gives some policy details:

Success for Kony 2012 would mean increased militarization of the anti-democratic Yoweri Museveni government, which has been in power in Uganda since 1986 and has played a major role in the world's deadliest ongoing conflict, the war in the Congo. But those whom privilege allows to deny constellational thinking would enjoy ignoring this fact. There are other troubling connections, not least of them being... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:43 AM on March 21, 2012

Trayvon Martin, shot by George Zimmerman
Before I have read any of the comments:

I was reading the Racialicious round-up of coverage on this case and they posted a tweet that said basically "When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut, white women invoked the language of 'family' and 'daughter' in coming to her defense; if she can be figured as your daughter, shouldn't Trayvon Martin be your son?"

I just can't get over how these kids - Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant - were... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:30 AM on March 20, 2012
I know that, hippybear, but le morte de bea arthur upthread asserted that it wasn't necessarily a racist impulse that prompted the murder, it could have been a classist one.

Racism is so tied up with classism that they're really hard to separate - one of the things that racism does is provide a class advantage to white people. If you're a white boss, you know there's a reserve labor army of poor folks of color who will work for low... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:57 AM on March 20, 2012
I believe Zimmerman viewed Trayvon as a "threat" most likely because of the color of his skin and the way he was dressed, but I also believe if he saw a too skinny white guy with a shaved head and punk piercings, he probably would have reacted much the same, and the situation would have ended the same.

You know what? I was once a white punk (not the skinny kind, though) and I certainly knew many, many skinny white guys who were all punked... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:32 AM on March 20, 2012
A neighbor of George Zimmerman and fellow neighborhood watch captain in their Florida gated community came to his defense Tuesday, saying Zimmerman shot Miami teenager Trayvon Martin after numerous burglaries at The Retreat at Twin Lakes.
Frank Taaffe pointed out the circumstances that he believes led his 28-year-old neighbor to react the way he did on the night of Feb. 26: Eight burglaries within 15 months, most done by young black males, he said.
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:47 AM on March 21, 2012

Slavery's Last Stronghold
It's astonishing how slavery persists and reestablishes itself in new forms.

There is a very interesting book, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, which is once again available after being out of print forever, which talks about how long slavery persisted in Western Europe - pretty much up through the French Revolution (which is sort of what you'd expect).

I think it's important not to say that Mauritania is the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:33 AM on March 19, 2012

Lucky Act 13
One thing I noticed with interest - the article quoted three people saying, essentially , "we Americans have a right not to live like [Nigerians or indigenous people who get so badly exploited]." Of course no one means "it's completely okay for Nigerians to be at the mercy of Shell because they are from Africa", but it's a weird little rhetorical device.

I guess it's smart to remember that what a corporation will do to a Nigerian is what they'll do... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:18 AM on March 15, 2012

It's a Dirty Job
I would expect that if you could steal any kind of soap you could sell it or trade it - lots of folks are on foodstamps and you can't buy soap and stuff with those.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:03 PM on March 13, 2012

The Sugar Daddy Recession
Also, I know from friends (some who made bad choices out of need, one who I dissuaded) that it's easy for young women (and young queer folks) to get into situations that they don't know how to handle. If you're young and too good-hearted, it's easy to believe a dude when he says that it will just be sex, or you can leave any time, or you don't have to do [sex act or unsafe thing]. Or you can lack the social skills and self confidence to negotiate good terms and/or leave, plus if you're in that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:31 PM on March 13, 2012

Crash the Justice System

Pushing the moral burden of action upon those who would likely suffer the most and are already among the most marginalized and victimized among us isn't a solution.


I think y'all are missing a point about organizing. One of the best ways to achieve powerful, effective social change is by organizing the people affected by the problem. The rest of us - the best we can do is...almost like charity work. We don't live the problem. We don't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:45 PM on March 11, 2012

Homeless on purpose
why do I have strains of Pulp going through my head? "you could call your dad and he'd stop it all"

I don't know, since this dude doesn't seem to have contact with his family.

Admittedly, a young, handsome white guy without mental health problems gets a lot of slack cut for him.

Here's a thing: I've been reading a lot of radical stuff lately that goes something like this:... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 AM on March 9, 2012
I don't think it's really appropriate to trash on this kid, for pete's sake. He's doing what he needs to do to achieve his ends, hurting no one, making no larger program.

If anything, to me he's a symbol of how much more students ought to get - there's no reason there couldn't be enough assistance to provide an SRO-level single room for a kid for a few years.

I'm far more worried about the ways homelessness or precariousness can get... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:56 AM on March 9, 2012
Also, it's very easy to turn this into 'divide and be ruled'. There's no reason we can't demand a society in which everyone has housing, regardless of whether they are students, mentally ill, a little bit lazy, chronically ill, etc. Everyone should be housed. It doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time as a society breaking people down into "the deserving poor" and the lazy wastrels, or whatever. The only people benefited by that strategy are the elites who are... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:00 AM on March 9, 2012
What if this same kid spent ten hours a week volunteering to help families get fresh produce and meats and cook good food? Is he more ethical because he is contributing, or still unethical because he is not EARNING?

Indeed. Folks definitely collapse "getting paid" with "being moral". Which is radically individualistic (in, like, a bad way) because it's basically rooted in 'you need to be totally self-sufficient in order to be a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on March 9, 2012
As far as I can tell, it shouldn't generally be possible for adults to live anywhere without a job. Housing ain't free.

I'm looking forward to the house-to-house paper checks, the rousting of homeless folks, the expulsions of squatters and all the various mechanisms of state repression that will come into being to make this work. I'm also looking forward to the forced labor part, because if we can't let people break the law by being homeless,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on March 9, 2012
It's called the workhouse, and to be honest it's better to have them working and contributing to society than sitting on welfare/charity doing nothing.

LOL! Have you actually read the history of workhouses? Or any statistics about how a semi-slave army of labor actually depresses wages for everyone else? Or any reporting on how people actually are able to transition off welfare, when they are?... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:31 AM on March 10, 2012

Long-awaited Olive Garden receives warm welcome
I loved Olive Garden as a child. I had my first-ever slice of cheesecake there, for one thing. Plus there were various pasta dishes that my parents never served - manicotti, that sort of thing. And if you're under the illusion that back in my family's days of working class poverty in a remote suburb my parents could conceivably have found the time to prepare authentic Italian after miraculously buying the authentic ingredients at Aldi's....well, you have another think coming. Olive Garden... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:42 AM on March 8, 2012
Now, it has been a long time since I went to an Olive Garden, and I've certainly eaten quite a lot of fancier food since then. However, I was recently at Lou Malnati's, considered by many amongst my Chicago acquaintance to be a local institution which provides a high-quality tasty kind of Chicago-ish pizza/pasta/calamari food, and it reminded me a lot of Olive Garden. Perhaps Olive Garden used to be better than it now is, of course. But I do know people who eat fancy... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:57 PM on March 8, 2012
And when I lived in China I ate at either McDonald's or KFC about once a week.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:59 PM on March 8, 2012
Now, if you want horrible foreign cuisine in a state where there's probably few to no natives of that cuisine around to cook it, try eating Chinese food in Montana. No, seriously, try it. That will make your Olive Garden whining look like nothing.

Oh my god, the worst Chinese food I've ever had in my entire life was in Butte back in the nineties, in what must be one of the country's oldest continuously-run Chinese restaurants. It appeared to be... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:02 AM on March 9, 2012

LulzSec
[An unemployed computer programmer, welfare recipient and legal guardian of two young children, Monsegur did not go to college and is a self-taught hacker. Although his skills and intellect could command a lucrative salary in the private sector, those who know him say he is lazy, an underachiever complacent with his lifestyle.
...
It was his anti-government, anti-capitalist ideologies that caused Monsegur to gravitate toward hacking, according to those who
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:17 AM on March 6, 2012

NYC High Schoolers Release 10-Point Educational Policy Plan
Weird how much hostility this list seems to be generating - I feel like there's a lot of "I didn't have nice things, so kids today who want them must be spoiled and lazy". Well, I had a kind of lousy, miserable school experience, and a a nominally "good" school too, and I wish I'd had these things.

What Spicynuts said. I applaud these guys for trying, but if most students took ownership of their education in the first place, then most of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:45 PM on March 5, 2012
To go further: having a reasonable population of teachers of color, working class teachers and immigrant teachers would have helped in these situations:

1. Dealing with immigrant kids who were refugees - family needs, cultural issues, potential trauma, kids who were refugees from opposite sides in a civil war. I saw two classrooms where this was of concern, and the immigrant teacher had far more tools to reach kids, even though they were from different countries.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:58 PM on March 5, 2012
"Facilitation" I think can be a lot less labor-intensive than the traditional model where the teacher is on stage singing and dancing for 50 minutes out of every hour.

I actually had a 'facilitated' class like this in junior high. It was awesome for me because I was motivated but it didn't work too well for the other students, substantially because one teacher could not realistically do active check-ins on anywhere from... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on March 5, 2012

Were single mothers better off in the 19th Century?
But weren't the charity benefits provided prior to the 19th century extremely uneven and ideologically contingent? In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, IIRC, many were administered through guilds, which meant that the "masterless men", displaced peasants, etc, were left out. And what about all the elderly farm workers and laborers in the countryside that you read about dying in truly abject and shocking poverty? Then there's the ideological dimension - you only need a cursory reading... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:26 AM on March 5, 2012

Omni Consumer Products
It's really scary watching the UK sink into actual fascism. Normally I'd bracket that with some big disclaimer about how the US is always worse, except I don't think the US is worse any more. In fact, whenever I see news about the UK, I find myself hoping we can stave off what's happening to you - the constant surveillance, the crazy use of ASBOs, the insane brutality during protests (Alfie Meadows, that girl in the hijab, etc - and I know people who were seriously... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:24 AM on March 3, 2012

Emotional Elegance in the AAA Space
Sandman: A Game of You by Neil Gaiman?

That particular comic makes me so angry, because it's really, really clear that Gaiman thinks he's being super progressive in his treatment of the trans and lesbian characters. But really the trans character is just there as a prop for the straight woman to show how caring and accepting she is, with a little bit of "lol she doesn't pass" thrown in. The whole... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:44 AM on March 2, 2012

80. 80. 80. The whole time.
The problem is that a good recipe just isn't good enough for CI. It has to be the absolute BEST recipe in the entire WORLD, even if, for most people, the cost, time, and effort required for such a recipe makes them just not want to cook. As far as I'm concerned, it's part of a trend whereas cooking just becomes a specialist hobby and not something everyone does. I do love reading CI and I love fancy food, but I'm very glad to have learned basic everyday cooking.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:06 AM on March 1, 2012
“Ah, deep fried lamb testicles with noodles. Who doesn’t remember the silky sauce, the firm noodles, the savory lamb testicles with their savory batter coating. But the reality today is that even if you can find deep fried lamb testicles with noodles at your local Lamb Testicle Hut, the noodles are limp, the sauce is curdled, and the deep fried lamb testicles are small, tough, and the batter is bland and insipid. WE SET OUT TO IMPROVE YOUR DEEP FRIED LAMB TESTICLES WITH NOODLES... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:34 AM on March 1, 2012

London is full of ghosts
"See, what we need is a couple of really big, scary, near-invincible flying narcotic cyborg wildebeest. Then the whole city will come together - black, white, man, woman, sentient orchids, severed demon ninja feet, badger paralegals - against this terrible threat. Unity! Social cohesion!"

This actually isn't at all the premise of any of his novels. Consider The Scar (which actually has quite a good plot).... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on March 1, 2012

I am Winnie the Pooh
TL;DR: It's about immigration and xenophobia.

Yes, and it's also about the way in which the idea of a fixed, unitary, easily-comprehensible identity is used as a weapon. We are all a lot of things, have a lot of identities, are always more than what can be seen at one time by one person. But politically, there is this attempt to name and define one identity for certain people as a way to act against them.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:01 AM on February 27, 2012

The Freedom, and Perils, of Living Alone
Okay, there is something I don't understand here: why does living with people (other than children for whom you are responsible) mean that you can't eat what you like? Surely you aren't living with housemates who get really judgey about what you eat? And these would be grown-ups? Plus, I have three housemates and I barely even see them because we all have slightly different schedules.

Seriously, I've found that establishing firm boundaries with... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:33 AM on February 26, 2012

Google glasses coming soon.
Having Internet and notes and data all present all the time

Also, it's going to be pretty sweet when your boss expects you to be on call every waking moment...just "for emergencies", of course, but it will be like checking your email when you're out sick - you'd better treat everything as an emergency or you're not a team player.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on February 24, 2012

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