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Oniongate
I don't get it... why would you cook the onions that long? A few minutes in oil with garlic before the meat goes in the pan seems perfectly fine to me.

Carmelized onions are very sweet, often a bit sticky and don't taste much like onions in their original state. The carmelized versus sweated-a-bit debate that so often develops always reminds me of the hippie-pizza-versus-authentic-pizza debate, in that there is no reason that you cannot enjoy both.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 AM on May 7, 2012

MK Occupy Minnesota
As far as the Occupy piece goes - I know some of the folks who made it. One of them is very reliable, politically. I've learned to pay a lot of attention to him because he has a really good eye. He's an excitable fellow who can rant a bit and wave his hands around, but I have known him for years and he's broken a number of meaningful local stories. I have no independent way to judge the accuracy of the video, but it's coming from someone I've seen to be honest.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:52 AM on May 3, 2012
(I mean, there's nothing wrong with the others - I just know the one guy pretty well.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:53 AM on May 3, 2012

"If you call a cop, you should get a cop"
You really think backroom dealing by well-placed public schoolers and other Torries is more rampant in the UK now as opposed to, say, 100 years ago?

The thing is, backroom dealing by the Tories is more rampant than it was between, say, 1920 and 1995. I know I always say this in these threads, but it truly breaks my heart to see the UK go this way. I used to want to emigrate, what with the culture and being more liberal than the US and the NHS and so... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:48 AM on May 3, 2012
(Oh, and I don't want to compare the current awful political situation to every other awful time in human history and then go "eh, at least we aren't being put to the sword"!! There was a better time, there have been better times, and that's what we should be aiming for.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on May 3, 2012
Because guys like Billy Gladstone (you know the guy that signed the Public Schools Act granting independence to his alma mater) were self-made men educated on the streets?

An awful lot of important political figures and writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries actually were self-made [mostly] men. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes makes this clear. Honestly, I'd have to have the book in front of me to cite names and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:09 AM on May 3, 2012

Five Arrested in Ohio FBI Sting
Look, I'm an anarchist. I live in Minneapolis and am pretty familiar with various kinds of "terrorist" prosecutions, from the 100% fake (RNC protest organizers; kids dressed up as zombies) to the coached kind. (Brandon Darby and those kids with the molotovs). Let me lay this out for you:

1. Some "terrorist" prosecutions are the result of cops seeking drama - like the zombie protesters who recently won $165,000 from Minneapolis.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on May 2, 2012
This is the same line of reasoning that leads people to say "the black bloc guys are agent provocateurs", which is a pretty tired shtick at this point, and a great example of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

See, I would feel really differently about this except that I know people who have dealt personally with informants and provacateurs. I know people who tried to be kind to an informant, actually, because he... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:09 AM on May 2, 2012
But wait a second. What else does anyone who pulls one of these stunts ever think but, essentially, "Step A: blow shit up; Step B...; Step C: the revolution will happen!" Timothy McVeigh, Anders Breivik, the Unabomber etc. etc. etc. None of them had anything like a coherent plan about how they'd move from blowing shit up to effecting the kind of political and social change that they envisaged. I'm strongly getting the impression from this thread that if the FBI or their... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:18 AM on May 2, 2012

Failing to succeed
Doesn't this kind of depend on what you want to do? I've been part of a bunch of projects where we've had to learn a radically new skill in a new context...and there are times when you want or have the time to reinvent the wheel, even if the whole reinvention process gives you more perspective and bigger skills. If you have to have something up and running by next week and you're responsible to a bunch of other people to get it right, flailing, failing and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:32 AM on May 1, 2012
er...don't want to reinvent the wheel.

The unconscious is a funny thing, eh?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:33 AM on May 1, 2012

Our “white people problems” problem
Some of the Girls nitpickers seem to be funneling their issues with other aspects of the show—the depiction of privilege, the emphasis on women, the youth of its creator—into the race question, where their objections will seem less reactionary and more righteous.

This is actually very astute. As someone who is critical of virtually everything virtually all the time, it's helpful for me to reflect on whether I'm ever concealing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on April 25, 2012
That is a very common usage of "white people problems" and similar terms that the article is discussing. In my experience, it is more commonly used by white people in a slightly ironic way, or as a way of saying that they're "edgy" because they prefer "ethnic" things, than by people who aren't white.

Precisely - when white folks are "edgy" because they prefer "ethnic" things, they're just one step away... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:56 AM on April 25, 2012

Crisis Contrived
Doesn't there have to be an attack on undocumented immigration? If we just let immigrants in to the US, then they'd be protected by US labor law (such as it is) and covered by minimum wage rules, which would cut profit margins and/or raise prices on the products they produce.

Massey characterizes US policy on immigration as "schizophrenic" (which I assume he does only as a rhetorical strategy, because he seems pretty smart). It's not;... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 25, 2012

Competitive Ecology
There's something about the call for a better-educated workforce that's always bugged me. It's odd, because education is good, right? But A) it's always seemed to me that there's a tinge of victim-blaming, because those workers wouldn't be out of a job if they weren't uneducated, right? And, more importantly, B) it all seems very supply-side: it all seems to rest on the idea that if we create more educated workers then somehow there will be a job to go with every newly-minted diploma.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:58 PM on April 24, 2012
(Also, I suggest that "precariat" be the plural modifier thingy for adjuncts and other temporary workers...."a precariat of temps gathered round the doors at OfficeTeam"; "a precariat of adjunts decided they couldn't afford MLA this year".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:00 PM on April 24, 2012

The Siege of Savile Row
I tend to see all this retro-menswear business as a sign of economic polarization. Almost none of the people who advocate it ever address the fact that suits and proper shoes are out of the economic reach of most men. They'll do a little hand-waving about how you can get a J Crew suit for $250 if you wait for the sale and luck out, and you can get a very nice pair of gently used shoes for $100 on Ebay or whatever, but they never address the fact that for most men in the United States (and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:10 AM on April 24, 2012
Then just get a pair and stop whingeing about it. You're only mentioning it to signal your good taste, and the idea that you're too noble to allow yourself a pair until the entire proletariat has had its consciousness raised is just wank.

Even as we type, I am wearing benchmade shoes. Admittedly, they're lightly used via Ebay, but lord, they weren't cheap. I have no intention of waiting on the revolution for comfortable, durable footwear. Can't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:58 AM on April 24, 2012

When have people anywhere ever been 'roughly equal'? You're going to have economic or political power disparities anyway as the natural by-products of age and ability. They may be greater or lesser than the average, but they're not going away any time soon.The point of mentioning Maoism was that officially the economic hierarchy had been abolished; in practice it had just been replaced by a political one.


To my mind, Finland (I have a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:43 AM on April 24, 2012

Red Snappers Are Red Rated
Guess what? Let's talk gleefully about a bunch of small fishermen, working in an unpleasant and precarious industry, getting pushed to the wall! Let's forget just how ruthless a country we live in, so that if your profession and your livelihood tank, you're pretty much screwed.

As a vegan and someone who, you know, reads the internet, I am dubious about the sustainability of any non-farmed fish at all, but that doesn't mean I'm going to sneer at someone who is dismayed... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:51 PM on April 22, 2012

Pain cake
One thing that I haven't seen in discussion about this - that it's a bit weird that the major discussants of something that happens to and is generally perpetrated by African women living in African should be Swedes living in Sweden, most of whom are white. In a way it recollected the Kony thing for me - that everyone discussing the situation does so without requesting the thoughts of those directly involved and affected. That's as true of the artist as the women at the event. Ie, you can... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:27 AM on April 19, 2012
I've noticed that when an act of oppression/clusterfuck happens there is a tendency to find a person to blame - someone to put all the shame onto*. (Or a small group, or an ideology, but usually one person.)

When really an oppressive act is about the system itself - the system that pushes the culture minister and the various attendees into acting the fool, in this case. No one person is to blame; it's the ways in which everyone interacts, the unacknowledged social... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:51 AM on April 19, 2012

Bang, Bang, it's a free country
If rising up against the government ever comes to pass, their little gun collection won't stand a chance.

Drones are really making this true, whereas before, honestly, there was always at least a plausible case for a guerilla war in the hills, or at least making things very difficult for the state via street fighting.

Actually, though, I suspect people aren't thinking of overthrowing the government as such; they're thinking... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:55 PM on April 17, 2012
*Snort* as if Americans have 1/2 the fortitude and determination of the Viet Cong. Hell, take away the internal combustion engine, cable tv and cheap larger and you'd cripple 90% of any American "resistance".

The Viet Cong were fighting against a colonial power - and not even the original colonial power, with whom some Vietnamese at least might be expected to feel a little kinship. They were fighting against an external power that had shown... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:03 PM on April 17, 2012

Leggete Nanni Balestrini
It is my experience that attempts to talk Autonomia or about radical social movements often get dislocated in this manner - dismiss a turn of phrase as barbaric or ignorant and by implication dismiss the topic of the post, preferably without having to do the heavy lifting of arguing history. This is especially important if you want to avoid talking about the lived experience of people in social movements as if it had any validity.

The book looks fantastic; I've just... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:22 AM on April 17, 2012

My only country is six feet tall
I would be very interested to see how an independent Scotland would fare. Isn't one of the issues differences over austerity? I thought Scotland had stuck to a less austere approach and was seeing better results and less popular despair/anger?

Scotland seems to me to be one of the most underrated Anglophone countries - a very strong intellectual history and history of including women in intellectual life, a comparatively liberal political culture, lots of arts stuff,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on April 13, 2012

Apple-licious
Do they actually taste good, though? It seems like you might get steamed apples inside a toughened apple skin.

(I care not at all for whether they're on Pinterest, and in fact am a bit dubious about this whole "oooh, suburban moms like it, therefore it sucks" thing - the more so because I wonder how many mefites' moms live in the suburbs. My mom lives in the suburbs and has for almost her whole life. That doesn't mean she has bad taste or... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:39 AM on April 12, 2012

Puppsy Blue

there is some weird cultural stuff floating around the idea of Buying It For Life or all the Shop Class as Soulcraft


Ya, you betcha. It's especially hilarious because while some people who buy all this stuff will keep it forever, a lot of people will give it away, sell it, or stick it in the basement til it gets mildewed as soon as the next big thing comes along. (Assuming capitalism and the planet survive long enough for there to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:55 PM on April 10, 2012
And they get similarly self-righteous towards people who change their habits towards durable "for life" goods that address their personal needs.

No, they don't. They just think it's funny when people justify buying a pair of $500 Aldens this year by saying that they are shoes "for life" and then mothball them when the next big trend comes along. Which people do. I've been, as we say, to this particular fashion show before.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:26 PM on April 10, 2012
Let me perhaps suggest that it's meant in jest and that he doesn't really intend for family squabbles to form over his leathergoods.

I just think it's a gross thing to say. It's one of those things where people haven't thought the reality through, so they think it sounds macho-internet-funny.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:22 PM on April 10, 2012
It's always the aura of the product that's the thing.

I am incredibly fussy and ridiculous about clothes, for reasons that are reasonable (work, childhood of lack, being queer and wanting to inspire terror rather than 'let's hassle that freak') and frivolous ('ooh, shoes!' 'I wish I had shoes like in that picture'). Sadly, this means that I know myself pretty well - when I eBay stalk the English brogues or the vintage bag (you thought those were just idle examples...)... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2012
(also: men have a huge advantage here-- I don't have a pair of Alden shoes, but my friend does have a few pairs of Allen Edmonds, and cap-toe Oxford shoes will always go with a suit. And nice shoes are better than cheap shoes to begin with)

I have to out myself here: I'm not a man. I just wear men's shoes ("but are they men's shoes if I'm wearing them?") If you wear a women's eight or above, you can generally buy shoes from the high-end... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:27 AM on April 11, 2012

"Seems ok."
That does not look like a happy kitty to me. Admittedly, perhaps when it's at home in a familiar environment it enjoys swimming, but the whole "has to be dropped into the pool" thing does not look promising. I do not approve of making pets do things that they clearly do not enjoy when there's no real benefit to the animal or the household - pictures of miserable pets in funny costumes always get me down.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:24 AM on April 10, 2012

"Perhaps in American cinema, women have typically been reduced to types like mom, girlfriend, or victim. But in the Y.A. books of our youth, they are far more complex, and more thoroughly drawn."
Little House on the Prairie is a strange choice for this list - it's memoir (albeit lightly fictionalized).

I also wish that when folks name check it they would note that the whole story plays out against the really grotesque and miserable dispossession of the Indians. The books are a strange document of that - Laura's puzzlement over her encounters with native people and the extremely odd passage (in the third one, maybe?) where Ma or Pa tells her... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:11 PM on April 9, 2012

The World's Most Unlikely Party Town
Such a pity. Actually, hanging out in a beautiful place for a month eating banana pancakes and Laotian food and swimming and tubing sounds deliriously nice. Relaxing with the occasional drink or lightweight substance would also be nice. But apparently no one can do that kind of thing in moderation, with courtesy and paying a fair rate, so I will never get to because all the places are full of drunken imperialist assholes.

One has to wonder, too, how much sexual assault... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:37 PM on April 8, 2012
The thing is, travel is like gentrification: first come the people who travel lightly, eat local food, think they're not being jackasses (or who buy and repair the crumbling Victorian, or whatever); then come the slightly more jackass people who are concerned with acquiring an "authentic experience" and prices start going up; then come the boatloads of loud, racist tourists (or the yuppie wine bars) and the village or neighborhood is irretrievably changed, usually by making things... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on April 9, 2012

Reckless Cyclist May Face Charges for Fatal Accident


Bikes need to be regulated like cars. We tried the alternative and it's not working. If you're planning on taking a vehicle on our city streets you should have to go to the DMV, take a test, inspect your equipment regularly for safety, register it with the local government, and have the potential to lose the privilege (and cops need to start writing tickets). It's not that I don't trust cyclists; I don't trust anyone.


The... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on April 8, 2012

Crooked Timber on David Graeber
This turned into a total bunfight (I am a fan of Graeber's work and read CT, so I saw it in real time).

What I felt was going on under the surface was really a clash of two world views - the technocratic liberal CT house position and Graeber's anthropologist anarchism. As I read, it seemed like the fury of the clash was really an expression of the threat that Graeber's ideas pose to CT-ism.

I've been reading CT for years and (although I feel... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:11 PM on April 7, 2012

The Talk: Nonblack Version
A blog associated with the Miami New Times (which looks like a Village Voice affiliate) says that armed neo-Nazis are patrolling in Sanford. Now, the NSM has never been a viable political force in the US, but that's pretty scary even if it's just, like, 10 losers with guns...purely because it says that it's safe to bring that kind of violent racism out into the open.

People need to get it into our heads that times are changing for the worse right now. The things that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:48 AM on April 7, 2012
As I was thinking about this, I realized that if we want to shut this stuff down, we have to operate both at the small and the large level. My neighborhood association, for example, has this one solidly racist dude in it, and he's always trying to get support for crypto-racist stuff, and using crypto-racist framing. Because the neighborhood association does not have the know-how or the resources to be a truly open organization, it is majority white in an overwhelmingly POC neighborhood. And... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:17 AM on April 7, 2012
Upthread where you link the Tulsa shootings of random black men apparently by a white man....Tulsa is the city that had one of the US's worst race riots in 1921 and the whole thing was pretty much hushed up until a few years ago. As usual, it was a trumped up case where a black young man was accused of sassing a young white woman based on rumor - but that was only the proximate cause. The underlying issue was the wealth and success of the black community of Tulsa, the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:55 AM on April 7, 2012
Maybe it wasn't hushed up at the more local level - but it was a big news story at the national level a few years ago, and it certainly wasn't mentioned in any of the things I had read about pre-civil-rights/1920s history, something I made an effort to read up on in high school. The Tulsa riot wasn't in the widely available stuff that was floating around in an affluent library system outside Chicago in the 1990s, which given the gravity of the event is pretty surprising.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on April 7, 2012

That said, it wasn't some Patrick Bateman type doing the shootings driving between his banker job and the Stormfront meetup. It was probably some poor white who's never heard of John Derbyshire thinking he's doing right by his twisted beliefs.


Of course it's not. The elites generally don't do this stuff - look at the paramilitaries in Weimar (or in Chile, for that matter). It's just that racist violence by poor or... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:20 PM on April 7, 2012
Pretending that racists/racism don’t still exist doesn’t really solve much of anything and kind of discounts that racism is pretty much baked into the history of the United States from its inception.

I guess the thing that concerns me about this line of reasoning is that it flattens history - there have always been racists in the US, there has always been institutional racism, and racism is basically the foundation of the US itself, that's very true.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:50 PM on April 7, 2012

Share the road.
Seriously, does a person on a bike look and act more like a pedestrian or more like a car? We (US, UK, etc) have got this one wrong.

No no no no no. Even a very slow cyclist like me goes much faster than someone walking. If I have to bike on the sidewalk as a regular thing, I have to slow down to walking speeds and the point of bicycling disappears. I do actually have part of my route where I bike across a college campus around a lot of pedestrians... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on April 6, 2012

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
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Most employed people take public transportation, which means they have unlimited-ride MetroCards. The Brooklyn Brainery is equidistant from three train lines (five or six on the weekends, depending on construction.) It's also located in close proximity (a handful of train stops) to Queens and Manhattan. So unless you're in SI or the Bronx, they have a very accessible location.

I mean that New York is a lot bigger... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:15 AM on April 6, 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
So wait, with this quinoa business - as I understood it, first world demand for quinoa was making it unaffordable to the Bolivian peasants who actually depend on the stuff and thus helping to shift them onto a crappy grainy diet. Won't declaring a "year of quinoa" just make things worse for everyone by raising prices more? I've actually just recently decided to give up quinoa because when I buy it I'm taking it out of the mouths of indigenous people in Bolivia, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on April 6, 2012

Yes, I *Do* Feel Something Rising
Bob Larson has apparently performed more than 10,000 exorcisms in the past 30 years, which works out to nearly an exorcism a day. I find this unlikely. There are a lot of suckers in the world, but surely not more than 10,000 who have all requested an exorcism from this dude. Plus an exorcism a day is a lot. If you assume any kind of weekends or holidays, he's having to do two a day fairly regularly.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:15 PM on April 5, 2012

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