Activity from Frowner

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This Look Has Always Fascinated Me
O lol. And his awful house, too, with the faux-tiques and the cheap para-antiques. He would have been better off with good, honest modern styles in decent materials rather than the bits and bobs he has. And the occasional posts about going antiquing and bringing home some godawful bit of late 19th century kitsch. It makes me sad to see someone put so much time and money into such a misguidedly ugly environment, when it would have been so easy to have something pleasant… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:57 PM on May 31, 2013
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

"the whole rational creation formed a single dancing chorus"
I was kidding about the horse, and I am good with Nightingale (i do have a problem with the ECLA and the episcopals canonizing MLK jr, but that's another point), but this is so ahistorical: Bacchus wasn't gay for one example; Herschel and Frank as xian saints is not that different than the politically convient christianizing of Edith Stein, for another; though Black Elk is a mystic, he is not a mystic in the episciopal tradition, which digs the genocidial element of we just respect… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on May 31, 2013

The more you ignore me, the closer I get
Oh god that was creepy. It grew creepier as it went along.

Perhaps I have not read enough of This Kind Of Thing for its effect to wear off. But yes, that was creepy! I kept picturing it written by a monstrous crocodile with opposable thumbs.

Thanks for posting, I think.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on May 29, 2013

The Unexotic Underclass
The veterans thing is pretty tragic though, because that's supposed to be the government, free of the constraints of the market (no no don't laugh) and there's no reason for those applications to be stacked somewhere waiting to be gone through by hand, while the veterans who sent them in languish and die. Except that our government's (and by extension, voters') priorities seem to be more on the "create new veterans" side of things. Sigh.

No,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:58 AM on May 29, 2013

I don't like Wired's original title: weird framing
I'm a bit curious about the politics [or the zeitgeistyness, if you'd rather] of all this, although I don't have any theory.

1. I've noticed a lot of "autistics, they are smarter than the rest of us" stuff kicking around the internet. It seems to be replacing some of the "Asperger's means you're really smart but awkward" stuff I was seeing. In both cases, the narrative was this sort of hero narrative about tech people - programmers as autistics or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:37 AM on May 27, 2013

But where are you REALLY from?
This is totally why I have become very, very careful to ask everyone "where did you go to school?" or "did you grow up in [city where thing is taking place]?" because even "where did you grow up?" can sound like you're exoticizing someone.

Actually, one thing that I've realized about my social milieu - it's generally considered in poor taste to ask most sorts of questions about people's past until you know them fairly well, regardless of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:53 AM on May 26, 2013
Why is it such a burden to talk about your ethnic heritage?

Based on my experience as a sort of all purpose queer - trans - gender-non-conforming person who often has to Explain It All For You, I bet a lot of it is just that it gets tiring. Dealing with someone who is well-meaning and friendly and who has totally incorrect ideas about a large important aspect of your life - well hey, if it's only once you just want to set them… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:22 PM on May 26, 2013

Richard Simmons Found in a Freeway in Pound Cake and Fudge
I've never thought he looked fit. Kinda flabby, shapeless limbs dressed in ridiculous tank tops and short-shorts? Zero apparent muscle definition? He almost looks like the epitome of the new trendy term, "skinny fat."

And this is actually because we have a really, really misleading idea of what "fit" looks like. We think that "fit" looks like "gym bunny" (is that still a term?), jock, bodybuilder, pro athlete,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:30 AM on May 25, 2013

"...he doesn't even pay road tax! #Bloodycyclists."
Treat bicyclists like any other operator of a vehicle - licenses, inspections, registration plates, vehicle taxes, fines, insurance, etc.

I know we've had this conversation before, but the more you put in the way of bicycling - the more you increase the cost, the regulatory angle and the contact with police - the fewer people bicycle, especially poor people, kids and people of color (who have particular reason to suspect that the cops will hassle them).… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:24 AM on May 22, 2013
I'm going to echo schmod and throw out my theory (as both a cyclist and a driver- some of us do both!) that many instances of cyclists behaving badly are as much the result of infrastructural design flaws as 'asshat' cyclists. Bikes aren't built like cars, and they don't work in the same way, thus bike-friendly infrastructure needs to take this into account. The red light/stop sign issue is a classic one that some municipalities have figured out how to deal with, but there's also the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:39 AM on May 22, 2013
You know why? Because I've timed my speed to allow you to go. I know it's your right of way. There's no car behind you and when you take your right of way, I can then proceed through the stop. However, you don't. You sit there and wait for me to stop so that you can then go and then I lose all my momentum. PLEASE, take your fucking right of way. It's what a good cyclist wants you to do. It's already yours. There's no need for you to wait for my confirmation or for me to give it to you.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:17 AM on May 22, 2013

This. Whenever I come to a complete stop at 4-way stops it seems to make car drivers crazy. They'll either try to go right after the car in front of them for whom I had waited, making me wait far longer than I should have to, or they'll start into the intersection just as I'm starting as well, and maybe screech to a halt when it's clear that otherwise we'll collide.

Yes! Now, if the way things shake out is "the new normal is that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:25 AM on May 22, 2013
I don't know what you think you're doing, but it is not possible to "stop fully" without a total loss of momentum.

This is why it is helpful for folks to cycle a bit. I used to drive every day for years, so I have a fair idea of what various kinds of stops feel like in a car, etc, and I know that bicycles can be hard to see and that it feels like you're really close to one even when you're four feet away… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:34 AM on May 22, 2013
What we cyclists are referring to is coming to a full stop, briefly, but maintaining the potential energy by not putting our foot down. Keeping both feet on the pedals maintains that potential energy and makes starting and accelerating much faster. There is a complete loss of momentum, but not a complete loss of potential energy.

Precisely. It would be nice if folks would take the whole "I am trying sincerely and truthfully to explain something… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2013
I am, however, perfectly happy to moan about people on Nice Ride bikes (our Boris bikes). Granted, those things are so heavy that I don't think they can be anything but a nuisance, no matter who's riding them.

I actually like the Nice Ride bikes. I mean, they're fifty kinds of hideous, of course, but I do see a truly surprising number of people riding them and having quite clearly a good time, and I can't help but think that this is a good thing. I'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:23 AM on May 23, 2013

New York's Hottest Club Is
I'd love to be invited, but I'd hate to go . . . kinda sums up my life actually.

One of the happiest moments of my life was when I realized that I had a standing invite to [Something Really Rather Exciting And Outre] and instead of going to spend an evening in a smoky room full of status anxiety [and, it has to be said, also full of amazing costumes, good music and very fine radical drag performances, but the status anxiety really tips me over into… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2013
I mean, I have a super-exclusive invitation-only club in my apartment, but the only drink available is 2% milk and the entertainment is cats.

Get some tap water in addition to the 2% and I will be totally up for an evening of being entertained by cats.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:03 AM on May 23, 2013

Woolwich Attack
Police misconduct boards around here (Minneapolis) are very weak - they have very few powers to get information from the police, their work is heavily political and they have no meaningful power to sanction. Ours was actually dissolved for a while, IIRC, and there was a big national to-do about how corrupt it had become. I would say that this is typical of the US. You all have the occasional de Menzies tragedy under stressful circumstances; we have enough police killings of black men [and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:45 PM on May 22, 2013

Commence whey puns... NOW!
(Okay, I will just jump in here with some greek yogurt observations, based on briefly falling off the vegan wagon [bump! ouch!] and buying some greek yogurt at an inner city grocery store after reading up on it in Cook's Illustrated.

First: CI did a comparison test and recommended the brand distributed as Greek Gods, which is available in both the inner city chain groceries I shop at. It tastes different IME from Danon and the other "greek"… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:01 PM on May 22, 2013
Wait, what issue was that? Because I'm not seeing the Greek Gods yogurt winning in any category on their website. While that brand tastes perfectly fine and is available full-fat, it's got a remarkably low protein content. I'd take it over no/low-fat yogurt, but not over pretty much any other full-fat yogurt.

Did I totally hallucinate this? It was a paper issue, but I will pre-emptively admit that I did not have it in hand at the grocery store, have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2013
What is weird to me about this: I feel like I pretty much stopped eating yogurt back when there was nonfat yogurt but it was still a specialized diet food, not universal, and when I had my brief retour de dairy products it was bizarre to see that all yogurt was fat-free. I mean, fat-free yogurt isn't even good. I remember it well from my teen borderline-eating-disordered years.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2013

Greek Gods yogurt is not actually Greek yogurt. It's regular yogurt with pectin to thicken it. Pertinent Chow thread here.

And all along I was fooled!

Well, perhaps it is time to admit that as a vegan I should not be commenting on dairy....Tsk, boo me.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2013

Watson tv tonight
I also love that we are not pretending that dabbling with drug addiction is fun and that we are acknowledging that recovering from addiction is hard work. I love that Ms. Hudson is trans* and no one gives a fuck. I love that Watson calls Sherlock on his shit, using words like misogyny and privilege on national television (words that I will note are frequently controversial right here on this webpage). I love even more that Sherlock listens to Watson and actually admits when he has… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:07 PM on May 21, 2013

In reality, the headband antenna was a sham
Clear and patient explanations never have any success, because then you're accused of being patronizing and condescending, or you're just ignored by people who think they know better no matter what, or you're dismissed simply due to the fact that you're an advocate of science. How do you react to that, when you can't explain scientific evidence to someone because science is the signal that triggers the mind to close? I think bitterly sneering is a completely understandable reaction when… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on May 21, 2013
And I don't like Smart Meters because I think when someone is turning off the electricity in the winter for a family with 3 young children, they should have to do it to the family's face instead of from a cozy office hundreds of miles away.

Now this is interesting. I had not actually been following the Smart Meter thing - is it that it makes it super easy to cut off people's power? I would definitely disapprove of them, actually, since that seems… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:41 AM on May 21, 2013

Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform
I don't have a passport, because I don't have a chunk of money to spend on getting it renewed and it is vanishingly unlikely that I will have enough money to travel outside the US in the next five or ten years, if ever.

This whole "oh, USians are so parochial and never go abroad like the Europeans do" routine - well hell, put me in a social democracy where I live a couple of hours by train from "abroad" and I'll be happy to travel internationally as much as you like.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:17 PM on May 15, 2013
To return to the passport thing: Australians get a minimum of four weeks of vacation per year, plus public holidays. The last time I had a week off work was 2008. My "vacation"? Well, I am fortunate enough to be allowed to take two days off at a time twice a year, so that I can have two four day weekends during which I can fly to visit my parents, my mother being in poor health and thus no longer, realistically, able to visit me. Fly? Why yes, when I have money to spend on flying,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 PM on May 15, 2013
I may be wrong, but I would expect an even more angry response from the average American to the idea "Americans don't get passports because their country is so fucked they can't even afford to leave" than I would for the current "Americans don't get passports because they don't want to leave".

Well, I'm not angry that people make this observation - nor would I expect most mefites to be, since it's so patently,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on May 16, 2013
Do a lot of Australians travel abroad for work? I've met tons and tons of Australians working in Asia, and it seemed like a much more casual thing than it was for me (I too was working in Asia.) Like, on one job, I met a number of Australians who popped over to Shanghai several times a year to give multi-week trainings. In 1996, it was a huge production to come to Shanghai from the US; regular middle class people did not just casually fly over to Shanghai for work.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:45 AM on May 20, 2013

Men will never...clean without being asked “because it sucks"
Women are brought up to clean. Women - and I was brought up as a woman - tend to be taught more about how to clean things, and we see our mothers and grandmothers doing much of the work, being expected to do much of the work, and articulating most of the values around cleaning. Men do not. It's no wonder that many men don't really notice or care about certain kinds of dirt, or know how to clean it effectively if they do see it, or feel intuitively that it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:38 PM on May 16, 2013
It's certainly possible to be a more organized guy or a less organized girl, but if you are traditionally femme (regardless of your gender identity or orientation) then you will find there are more tools out there that seem to empathize with your plight. It's easy to get the mental picture of the guy with the nearly OCD need to sanitize everything, but harder to picture the guy (or less-femme girl) who just routinely washes the dishes after every meal even when alone, say.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:45 PM on May 16, 2013
So here is a thing: I would not be able to afford a cleaner even if I wanted one, but aren't many, many cleaners just undercompensated, socially vulnerable working class women, often women of color and often immigrants? I do know a guy who works as a cleaner, but he does fancy rich-people cleaning with organic products and is hired pretty much exclusively by well-off progressives. If all the mefites who recommend hiring cleaners are in fact pro-actively paying a genuine living wage (one where… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:32 PM on May 16, 2013
While there are problematic aspects to hiring a socially vulnerable working-class woman to clean, if it's any consolation, you're probably participating in worse institutions pretty much any time you buy clothes, electronics, or food, for three.

Yes, but I don't need a cleaner the way I need food or clothes or certain electronics (I can do without lots of electronics but I would not be able to hold down a job or do most basic life… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:15 PM on May 17, 2013

"The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed"
Dear anyone upset about the idea of being photographed through the window of your home: close your blinds.

Where does this stop, though? Do I need to close my curtains during the day (I don't have blinds per se) because someone with a telephoto lens and the right equipment could photograph me when I'm far from the window? So I need to live without daylight in order not to be photographed inside my home?

Get some kind of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:06 AM on May 17, 2013
And hey, if I have no expectation of privacy in my home, that means that someone with a telephoto lens could lurk around and wait until he spotted me, like, trying on a pair of pants or getting out of the shower or something and publish it, right? My bathroom window is opaque glass, but I occasionally open it a few inches at the bottom - is someone entitled to use a telephoto lens and take pictures of me in the shower?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:09 AM on May 17, 2013
And where does it stop? My bathroom window is on the second floor and out of obvious lines of sight - but what if my neighbor decided to put up a ladder in the middle of his backyard and sit on it with a telephoto lens? Could he then publish the theoretical naked-Frowner pictures because I have no expectation of privacy if someone can put up a ladder, use a weird angle and a fancy lens and see into my shower?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:10 AM on May 17, 2013
Would we all feel differently if these didn't have the excuse of being "art" and were instead straight up YouTube joke videos being all like "look at the old guy with back fat!!! gross!!!!" or "haha that girl needs to wax more completely"? I mean, why not do that? Get some kind of fancy camera, spy on people until you find someone doing something shameful, get the internet to meme-ify them and then say that they have no expectation of privacy because, well, they… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:30 AM on May 17, 2013
Right, but for some of us, we've had to deal with intrusive and unwanted behavior all our lives, so this isn't really groundbreaking, thought-provoking art so much as it is just another entitled asshole.

This. I am gender non-conforming and have a couple of physical oddities, plus I'm no oil painting anyway. I grew up bullied in some pretty severe ways. I am always hyper-aware of my privacy and who can see me, because I have experienced some really… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:22 PM on May 17, 2013

Let me ask -- if the context of the photos were that they were taken in the street, rather than through a window, and otherwise they were identical in every single way, including the lack of consent, would they still be problematic? Would they be equally problematic? Why?

This seems to be the wrong question to ask, because the fact that one is vulnerable on the street means that being safe at home is extra important.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:34 PM on May 17, 2013

Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20
it's a dangerous world out there, filled with terrorism, outsourcing, unemployment, student debt, and for God's sake don't get sick. It's a winner-take-all game, and dissent will not be tolerated, unless it's in the sandbox of identity politics, so you'd better CUT THAT HAIR, TAKE YOUR MEDS, AND GET WITH THE PROGRAM*.

This, precisely! And if you don't/can't, it is your fault - especially if you were trying to do something else… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:26 AM on May 17, 2013

Enough With The Hipster Stuff, Alright?!?
They try really, really hard not to do anything ironically, they actually fetishise earnestness in a sort of sad, longing-for-innocence kind of way

Note to people younger than about 35: Back in the day - by which I mean my day, the early/mid nineties - all the young punks were horribly earnest. Riot grrrl? Earnest to the max! Grunge was earnest! It wasn't ironic. Kurt Cobain (who my set all despised with sincere fury, but who… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:19 AM on May 13, 2013
A hipster is a single or partnered white person with disposable income who came from a lower middle class or greater familial circumstance, who is not in immediate survival mode and has no belief or fear of ever having to be in survival mode.

I'd love to be someone who had no fear of being in survival mode. That would be fucking awesome.

But again, we're returning to this whole "subcultures have nothing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:56 AM on May 13, 2013
TL;DR: The Hipster is not an identity; it's a problematic value judgment arising from the expectation that intellectual class and race should equate to economic class.

See, this whole thing almost has it - but basically, it seems like you're saying that the problem is that We As A Society need to accept that some people will have shitty jobs and precarious lives, but we also need to accept that this shouldn't be based on race.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:09 AM on May 13, 2013
You know, I had this funny thought.

Okay, I was reading some Samuel Delany short stories from the sixties - "Time Considered As A Helix of Semi-Precious Stones" and "Corona" in particular. I had also been looking at a couple of his pieces of memoir/criticism from The Jewel-Hinged Jaw about his experiences as a young writer/traveler/musician in the sixties. (I'm preparing for a little class/discussion group I'm hoping to lead.)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 AM on May 14, 2013

A life in letters
I know of Bess of Hardwick only from a short story by Susanna Clarke, "Antickes and Frets", in The Ladies of Grace Adieu. So this is really exciting! Thanks for posting it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on May 13, 2013

Disney Isn't "Brave" Enough To Leave Princess Merida As Is

fwiw, a lot of the princesses have been getting makeovers (this tumblr post I just found has before and after lineups) and updated costumes that are generally not for the better

Is it just my/my computer or did every princess who was not already luminously white get her skin lightened a shade in the makeover? It really looks like that on my screen.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:14 PM on May 10, 2013

Star Wars Kid breaks 10-year silence
Okay, the key part here is not the initial cruelty, it's the trajectory, the way it always works. What happens? Some kid (some kid I probably would have liked, some kid where as an utterly, literally friendless nerd child I would have climbed mountains and gnawed off a forearm to have one such friend) does something mockable, they get epically mocked to whatever extent technology… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:31 AM on May 10, 2013

"Let Wisconsin be the test case. Let us lead the way."
Alfred Doolittle says that in Pygmalion. Written by George Bernard Shaw, a dedicated socialist. They made a toothless musical version of which you may have heard but the play is really worth reading for the critique of class structure.

I had forgotten that I read that play - and a bunch of other Shaw - when I was in my early teens. I loved that play! (And strangely, it was something we read initially for school in junior high, that was what turned me… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on May 9, 2013

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