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You know, when I lived in China, my students were all "you should totally get a qipao". They thought it was hiLARious to see my in my padded jacket, and would no doubt have split their sides laughing if I'd worn any form of traditional costume. This is because when I was in China they were the majority, not white people, and the majority discourse was basically "LOLforeigners". And also, I was not "dressing up as a chinese person" or taking... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:33 AM on October 26, 2011
So if, for example, I bought a Peruvian hat while traveling are you saying I can not wear my Peruvian hat this winter because I am white?

See, this is where people have to use their judgement and also act in good faith. Personally, I would not wear a hat that was some sort of ultra-identifiable South American mountain peasant hat (like with bobbles or something) because [I would feel like some kind of clueless new age white lady]... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:48 AM on October 26, 2011

Next, rubber gloves at the supermarket checkout
I was thinking about this - along with prison guard jobs and similar police-state employment - and realized that they're basically jobs programs for the right. We can't create real jobs programs because that would be communist or something, so we'll create shitty gulag-monitoring jobs (and these jobs seem to be pretty awful) and pay for the employment of mostly white, mostly-right-wing-working-class people that way, conveniently cementing their loyalty to the Republicans who... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on October 23, 2011

Rick Genest covers his full body tattoo.
Just the other day, I had a little girl tell me that I should get a tattoo because "all your kind of white people have them". Which was 1. flattering, because I am a bit older than the "all my kind of white people" to which she was referring and 2. pretty cute.

Unless industrial society totally collapses, when this dude is 70 there will be lots and lots of other 70-year-olds with tattoos and everything will be fine.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:49 AM on October 23, 2011

Is That Cupcake Vegan or Just Butter- and Egg-Free?
(I try to eschew honey not because of the toil of the bees but because of all the extra bees that die in industrial honey production. I am not a jerk about it because I recognize that almonds and blueberries, which I eat, are fertilized by mobile bee-keeping operations which also kill a lot of animals. As I've written elsewhere, some vegans feel that animal autonomy is the important thing - no pets, no use of directly-animal-created stuff - while others... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:24 PM on October 20, 2011
(And you can actually make delicious vegan lasagna - but it's vital that you do not imitate cheese. Think about things like squash-filled ravioli for a starting point. And you can make very good white sauce using an almond milk base, bay, olive oil, nutmeg and a few other seasonings. You top it with white sauce and a sort of deluxe gratin.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:26 PM on October 20, 2011
I make a lot of vegan gluten-free desserts for various events around town (in case anyone is interested) and seriously, I've never baked a successful gluten-free cake. I know it's possible, but it isn't easy with current baking knowledge and materials. I recommend coconut-based puddings, poached fruit in syrup, and various kinds of nut brittle/coconut brittle, all of which have proved very popular.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:30 PM on October 20, 2011
Also, I admit that I do love proseletyzing about the deliciousness of many vegan dishes. I will not impugn your pork-eating ways, no, but I will talk your ear off about vegan turnovers.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:33 PM on October 20, 2011
also you know what the best and also sometimes the worst is, is vegan cheesecake.

You know, I actually had some vegan cheesecake once and it was good. Though I'm a vegan, vegan cheesecake goes against everything I believe about the possibilities inherent in vegan food, so I was very surprised. No idea how they made it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:42 PM on October 20, 2011
I think one thing I'd love to see is more vegan stuff that isn't junk food.

Honestly, I think that there's so much publicity about vegan junk food for two reasons: First, there is still a perception that food without meat or dairy is necessarily joyless and puritanical; and second, because most vegans (at least all the ones I've ever known) eat really soberly and healthily on a day to day basis. I'm a little bit of a junk-food vegan when I get... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:59 PM on October 20, 2011
Well, I will just continue this even though I'm a bit late.

1. I think there is a fad for gluten-free stuff, at least in my circles - there is a perception among a small percentage of hippie/punk/lefty types that gluten itself is bad for you, so cutting it out is good even if you're not actually sensitive to it. I surmise that this stems - perversely enough - from the paleo / green anarchist critique of agriculture/the agricultural diet. Also, there's... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:58 AM on October 21, 2011

Throwing that NPR weight around
Note here that the reporter points out how conservative reporters work for NPR yet appear on Fox, etc:

"This sudden concern with my political activities is also surprising in light of the fact that Mara Liaason reports on politics for NPR yet appears as a commentator on FoxTV, Scott Simon hosts an NPR news show yet writes political op-eds for national newspapers, Cokie Roberts reports on politics for NPR yet accepts large speaking fees from businesses.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:04 PM on October 20, 2011
(And also, why the fuck should it matter if she speaks at an Occupy when she's an opera reporter? It's hardly as though her awesome authority on Madame Butterfly is going to sway the crowd to riot.

It just goes to show you that a crime is an action by a marginalized person but the same thing by a powerful person is just SOP.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2011

Generation X hasn't had a real voice since Axl got fat.
I'm GenX. We should be at our local Occupy mentoring our younger brothers and sisters and fighting alongside of them, not treating them the same shitty way the Boomers treated us by calling us all a bunch of apathetic slackers. Which we were, to some degree. I'm damn proud of the Occupy kid


I mean, all this "generation" crap is nonsense anyway, an artifact of capitalist modernity designed to break us into... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 AM on October 19, 2011

How Zombies and Superheroes Conquered Highbrow Fiction
Oh my goodness, this is a hugely inaccurate article...not so much that there is no shift in form but the history of that shift and its precursors are so totally, totally wrong.

1. Magic realism - a big, big thing in the eighties and nineties, whether in South American/Latin American fiction or in various Euro- and Canadian novels. And also in a bunch of novels by US writers of color - Maxine Hong Kingston, a really great series by an African American... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on October 18, 2011

The Co-op Wars
Nah, this wasn't agents provocateurs, it was radical infighting. I know people who were around during this period.

The co-ops themselves started as radical projects, something that gets really, really lost now because of Whole Foods and so on. The idea was that you would get together with people and make contacts with farmers and small distributors and then divide up the food without the extra costs of the middle man - and also build and deepen relationships among... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:29 AM on October 17, 2011
(Oh, maybe hippies will actually kill me, I see from Xurando's comment...)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:31 AM on October 17, 2011
This is important, not so much for the Maoists, though I'm not a fan, but for how things get poisoned. I'm not much of an activist, but I can be moved to action just like anyone else. But without fail when I go to protests or think about joining a movement, the yo-yo's come out of the woodwork, and that just turns me off so much.

I've been thinking about this a lot. Here's the challenge:

1. If you have a large, heterogenous... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:04 AM on October 17, 2011
It's kind of depressing that people on the left seem to be more interested in process than actually getting stuff done. Obviously things aren't desperate enough for a real change, because people are willing to blow something like this off because you don't like someone's attitude.

Look, understand that "people on the left" are mostly doing all the things that regular Americans do - working, taking care of their kids, getting groceries,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on October 17, 2011

It Was A Pleasure To Burn
What isn't getting adequately explained here is that the philosophy of libraries has changed. (Child of librarians, sibling of another one here.) Libraries are more and more about providing internet access and access to DVDs, plus social space to use those things. This bugs me less, actually, than the change in shelving philosophy. When I was a kid, the shelves at the library were full, so you could browse. Then along came the idea that people would get more out of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:23 PM on October 11, 2011
Then along came the idea that people would get more out of choosing from fewer books...

The fuck?

No, really, it's that whole "paradox of choice" thing, plus the idea that since most people don't want to read, for example, Lloyd Alexander's Time Cat, the shelf is better if it holds just the books that most people want to read. Shelf looks neater, it's easier to track the data, people can see the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:28 PM on October 11, 2011
Stacks are nearly always open to the public in the US (not so in Europe and other areas) and thus putting books in stacks would in fact be putting them in front of patrons.

At least around here - and maybe I was confusing - there are the regular shelves that are right out there in the main body of the library and the "stacks" (maybe this is just folks' colloquialism) that are in the basement and/or require special permission to get to, or... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 PM on October 11, 2011
Or rather, half full of best sellers
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:37 PM on October 11, 2011
(And while I'm complaining about libraries today - would it be so hard to have a quiet room? I basically accept that providing internet access is valid, since so many low-income and homeless folks really need to use the web at the library, and thus the main body of the library gets noisy. But could we possibly have a room, just a room, where people can go to read and not to talk?)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 PM on October 11, 2011

I could not stand it any longer
Eventually, we'll all be required by employers to stand at our desks all day, except if we provide a doctor's note. And the ones with the notes will be culled in the next layoff. (I have a really old hip injury that sometimes kicks up, making standing for long periods painful.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 AM on October 11, 2011

Driving a car can be pretty bad for your financial health
In other news, someone applies "common sense" individual solutions to deep structural problems, then is astonished - astonished! - when people don't take their advice!

I say this, by the way, as someone who gave up her car as soon as she passed probation at her current job. You know what? I live in dread of losing my current job and needing to fork over money from savings to get a car to work a shitty job in the suburbs, since most of the jobs for which I am... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:07 AM on October 11, 2011

Man Up!
I found these a bit annoying, actually. Because the subtext I got was "this is satiric because it's funny to think of women wanting to look at pictures of men performing sexual allure!" It's like the critique is supposed to go "men are normal; when men perform erotic poses they look ridiculous; therefore, pin-ups of women are ridiculous and sexist".

Seriously, I'm not even into cis dudes and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:15 AM on October 6, 2011
I think your view of how you think "straight people" see erotic performance is needlessly reductive, especially with regard to this project, and because of that, you're missing the point of these images in what they say about the specific mode of erotic performance, rather than erotic performance as a whole. Give us a little bit of credit, please.

But there are lots of posed/contrived/super-duper performative things - poses no one would... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:27 AM on October 6, 2011
(Oh, by "straight" I did not mean "all straight people feel this way [because they are WRONG! Or naive! Or it's just a problem with being straight!]....I meant "straightness is constructed in a particular way, just as "the idea of whiteness", which is distinct from "individual white people, is propped up by some harmful ideas about race and about people of color".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:32 AM on October 6, 2011
(Also, I am horrified that I just wrote a defense of burlesque. Another person ruined by tumblr images.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:38 AM on October 6, 2011

Phil Collins' solo efforts seem to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying in a narrower way, especially No Jacket Required and songs like "In the Air Tonight" and "Against All Odds"
It's interesting to read this in tandem with the post about why US authors don't win Nobels. (Which I thought was a bit specious and kind of implied that neither Toni Morrison nor Doris Lessing deserved the award but instead got special girl treatment.) Bret Easton Ellis always seems very much in that US dude writer vein of "my life as a male white guy with money is not just about me; it's an important statement about everyone. I mean, whatever,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:26 AM on October 5, 2011
The longer the book goes on (pardon me, everyone, if I'm stressing the obvious here), the more Bateman's evil acts become just part of life, part of that world. Which is the actual satirical point of the novel - not the smallish notion that We Are All Shallow Consumerists, nor the common knowledge that Wall Street Sucks, but rather the ongoing (readerly) experience of living with the awful shit that fills Bateman's world.

But you see, this is really... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:18 AM on October 5, 2011
And yet, and yet, and yet - everyone has such faith in themselves as readers. Like we can all read books (and heck, watch movies) about horrible, horrible violence against women (or about how women are horrible chthonic sexual things) and read and watch things that devote loving amounts of time to describing brands and rich-people stuff - and we're so confident that what we take away from those books is critique, and analysis, and a sophisticated understanding of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:38 PM on October 5, 2011

Let's just go back to lionizing DFW, would that make you all happy? We will ignore the end of Infinite Jest where people are ya know, tortured, and maybe ignore the fight at the halfway house where someone gets stabbed in the eye with a high heeled shoe.

I personally don't like Wallace very much - he's extremely sentimental and has all these non-problematized ideas about "sincerity" and culture and community and so on.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2011

The Communards

Ooh, the Communards! I am more of an Associates type myself.

Owing to pre-Internet lack of musical information, I had no independent confirmation that Andy Bell was gay, but my gaydar was absolutely aces when I was trapped alone in the suburbs, and I knew.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on October 5, 2011

"They Shall Not Pass - No Pasaran!"
Abandoning the attempt at enlightenment, I walked up to Gardiner's Corner where I saw Fenner Brockway looking very excited. Later I learned he telephoned the Home Secretary to warn him of possible bloodshed, and the Home Secretary contacted the police and they called the Mosley march off and they went back. No way would the Mosleyites have proceeded without their police guard. The CP version has passed into myth, but that was how Fenner Brockway stopped the police marching through the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:33 AM on October 4, 2011

Al Qaeda to Iran: Stop Spreading Conspiracy Theories about 9/11
Guess they hate our country, but love our desktop publishing software.

I often hate our country, but my love for Indesign burns brightly.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:43 PM on September 28, 2011

The Growing American Fertility Divide
We have this myth that if poor people just stopped having babies, they'd stop being poor and become successful white collar middle-class workers. Many of the poor themselves don't really buy into this idea, perhaps because they have a slightly better grasp of the obstacles arrayed against them.

Also, um, everybody can't be rich - everybody can't even be middle class. Poor folks could all abstain from having kids and bootstrap their... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:52 AM on September 27, 2011
Everyone can, and should, be middle-class. An economy, even a capitalist one, is not a zero-sum game. The problem is woefully inadequate labor organization and income distribution, which can be fixed with stronger unions and stricter taxation - so yes, the solution is always more education.

No, people can be less immiserated - ie, you can have healthcare and a television and retirement while still working at the gas station if... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:52 AM on September 27, 2011

Quis custodiet ipsos custOWWW DON'T TAZE ME BRO
It is so weird that this story has traction. I'm glad, of course, but I've been in a ridiculous number of situations where peaceful protesters were beaten and pepper-sprayed and so on with absolutely no repercussions to the police and sometimes with substantial attempts at legal penalties for the protesters. I don't even consider pepper spray that bad, because it's so bog-standard. Of course, people should consider it... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:29 AM on September 27, 2011
(I mean, I've been pepper-sprayed several times...I've also seen a cop walk straight up to a legal observer who was standing on the sidewalk and wearing one of those naff legal observer hats and then pepper spray him straight in the eyes. Although frankly this is low on my list of "police malfeasance that I have personally witnessed from start to finish".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:30 AM on September 27, 2011
And police are "that bad" - it's absolutely standard on metafilter to remind each other that HR, for example, is never on your side unless you're senior management, it's there to protect the company. If you're important and powerful, you'll see the smiley side of HR; if you're white and middle class and above all not making any kind of trouble, you'll see the smiley side of the police, who are there to protect the state.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2011
(And after this I will knock it off - the problem with the police is structural, not individual. Even a "good cop" is under tremendous pressure to act like the "bad cops", and the problems with police immunity are a tremendous incentive to bad behavior. Just here in Minneapolis, it's been a godawful struggle to get and keep even the weakest, feeblest civilian review board - the city and the police union are all against it, and that's a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:39 AM on September 27, 2011

The cost of healthy food
Several narrative issues that I often see in this conversation:

1. The desire to narrate a linear past - ie, "the working poor have always eaten well until [THING] went wrong", whether [THING] is positioned as large corporations or moral collapse. Poor folks' diets have varied tremendously across region and history - prior to the Enclosure Acts, for example, but after the Middle Ages, the English working poor ate pretty well. After the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:36 AM on September 23, 2011
In many poor areas supermarkets do have vegetables but the displays are truly disgusting. Stale, wilted, rotten vegetables and fruits, sometimes flies are hovering above them, often you can find mold on strawberries or blueberries. The really cool thing about WF and TJs is that they keep an eye on things like that.

I just wanted to add that this weekend I - "shabby genteel" is how I'd describe my class position - went to the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:04 AM on September 26, 2011

"this man has paid enough"
I wonder what happened to James Hickman afterward - a casual google does not show anything.

I also wonder if this case could have been won if Coleman was white - I bet not.

Also, the SWP drum-beating in the linked article is a little frustrating.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:14 PM on September 22, 2011

"Okay smarty, you've had your party but never again.""
Not 30 years...He published We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy in 1993.

I think the logic was that Jack and Guy is a reworking of previously-existing rhymes, not an original text - although it's so strange and such a complete narrative that I think it's a silly distinction.

I love We Are All In The Dumps With Jack and Guy. It's easily my favorite of his books and in a weird way one of my favorite... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:11 PM on September 20, 2011

Butch Sightings
provide upon request

Consider this a request! I mean, I look at some of the fuckyeahTHING tumblrs (although I am so over the "fuck yeah" formulation. Can we just go back to "hellaTHING" instead?) but it's not as though one sees all of them.


I am fond of the nod. Getting all this coming-out business sorted still feels recent enough to me that being recognized, being seen is still a thrill.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:48 AM on September 16, 2011
I bet you could do some really interesting survey stuff about responses to this blog with questions about where the viewers live, what their community is like, how old they are, where they grew up, probably how much attention they pay to fashion, what their politics are around the terms objectification and consent....

Reading everyone's responses, it seems so clear that my feelings about the blog are strongly modulated by living in a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:58 AM on September 16, 2011
It seems similar to many straight men's assumption that women are open and available to be engaged on a very personal level, a way they would never engage another man

Interactions among queer folks aren't simply the queer version of interactions among straight folks. Obviously, some queer folks are going to find this blogger a bit intrusive, but for those of us who don't, my thoughts are:

1. Blogger's approach is probably a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:42 PM on September 16, 2011

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