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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

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
Well hey, I'll weigh in on this as a....hm....I guess sometimes I describe myself as butch, sometimes as genderqueer. Back before I got it all sorted out, I used to refer to myself as a butch straight woman. Funnily, in my twenties when I was seeing men, I looked far more classically butch than I do now - combed my hair back, for example. But yeah, I've got that whole fifties-glasses, short back and sides, tucked-in-shirt thing going on.

1. It would be weird if... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:46 AM on September 16, 2011
This is more about labeling others' sexuality than appreciating their fashion sense without assuming their sexuality.

Maybe the blog could be fine-tuned a bit either in terms of how photos are taken or how they're labeled - I mean, if you're out at a heavily queer event, it's not going to be awful to ask someone if they identify as butch (or at least I think it wouldn't) while it might seem weird on the street at random. Or perhaps frame it as... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:02 AM on September 16, 2011
what a strange sort of sexism. and visual stereotyping. and profiling, maybe?

Okay, let's lay this out: this is a queer thing (...um, early nineties reference: "and you wouldn't understand")

There's a whole complicated long tradition about being butch/masculine/a bulldagger/aggro/etc within queer women's communities. It isn't something that was put on us by straight people - insults, yes; turning it into a slur,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:07 AM on September 16, 2011
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

Neuroscience: removing free will since 6th century BC
So my question about free will - absent the concept of free will, do we have any traction for social justice? Politicians act like greedy assholes, but not because they "choose" to do so, for example, and we can't even "choose" whether to respond to this. What does the absence of free will mean for consciousness? If I work in a sweatshop and get a horrible lung disease, is my suffering an illusion? Is consciousness itself an artifact, and if it is,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:28 AM on September 15, 2011
(On the free will/individuality front - it seems to me that there's a big difference between saying "the decisions I make are contoured by my upbringing, my experiences, my class background, my physical health, etc" and saying "I don't actually consciously make decisions at all, even to choose between a small and limited set of options". In one instance, I might say that kids who grow up assuming that they're bad at math probably won't choose to do math-related stuff in... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:39 AM on September 15, 2011
I'm coming right back to a kind of Pascal's wager here:

If I can't consciously make any decisions (to join the union, to help the guy who fell of his bike), then...whether I worry about free will or not is absolutely outside of my control and whatever happens - whether I'm happy or miserable, whether I die at forty because I have no health insurance or live to ninety-five - all those things are just what was going to happen anyway, even my worry about... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on September 15, 2011
(I mean, when we talk about how we still "hold people accountable" for decisions that they make absent free will - well, we're in that system too. The decision to "hold someone accountable" is just as much an illusion as their "decision" to take the action for which they're held accountable.

I just don't see how you have any kind of consciousness - as opposed to the illusion of consciousness - if there isn't some kind... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on September 15, 2011

Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be
Once again it is so weird to me that we've got two things at the same time: many, many black women saying that they do not feel represented in popular culture, that they would like to be represented as frequently/normally as white folks are, and that this lack of representation is a buzzkill and a lot of white (I can only assume) folks flipping out and basically saying "you don't feel what you say you feel, your feelings are invalid, your desire for... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:20 PM on September 14, 2011
Surely those of us who are...um...not awkward black girls could remember back to times when we felt represented, known, recognized - and how that felt.

And those of us who are often represented might try to imagine how the world would look if our only literary heroes were Jane Austen characters and chick lit, for example, and if we were children trying to find ways to understand our experience pretty much without stories of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on September 14, 2011

That’s when I lost my country
Ugh. Did you notice how he leads with a bunch of random slut-shaming about Princess Diana (yes, the whole "oh it's so tragic" thing was stupid; no, it isn't okay to be all "and she was a slut") and then goes all "and crying is for girls" and then goes all "I only regret the dead when they are high quality warriors!" I had kind of thought that this would be, you know, actual war nerderie about the fine points of this... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 AM on September 14, 2011

"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free: On Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes And The Help"
Aragorn was black. Tolkien just forgot to mention it.

You know, I wish this were true.

Everyone has read The Last Ringbearer, right?

(My thought is that, honestly, if you are a straight white dude or you're a happily-accepted member of straight white dude circles, your experience reading high fantasy is likely to be very, very different from that of someone who is....not a straight... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:41 AM on September 13, 2011
This whole business of "but everyone was racist in the past, why are you picking on [PERSON]"...well, actually, not everyone was racist in the past. There were, um, people of color who were anti-racist in the past, for one thing. And there were perfectly good anti-racist white people in the past - maybe not flawless ones, maybe ones who fucked up a lot, but people who didn't buy into Tolkien-like narratives about the West. Just because Tolkien... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:54 PM on September 13, 2011

"This country is at a critical crossroads"
Isn't it interesting that in these same battleground states, the GOP has been making it harder and harder to register, you know, black voters - to the point where some voter registration groups have given up.

Believe me, I'd flee this stupid, selfish, proudly ignorant, self-righteous country if I could possibly get citizenship anywhere else given my qualifications and lack of wealth. Rural Canada would be okay at this point.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:30 PM on September 13, 2011

Kicking Ass for the Working Class?
And also, I have ZERO understanding of US (or really, ANY, but US seems the most pertinent here) union/labour laws... If a company finds that a union is completely unwilling/unable to meet their demands, is the company required by law to keep negotiating with the union? Is it illegal for them to just dump the union entirely and bring in a bunch non-union workers?

We dumped my union here at Large Entity because Large Entity absolutely required that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:47 PM on September 8, 2011
Also, longshoremen are, like, the pin-ups of the radical labor movement. What surfers were to Arthur Russell, so longshoremen are to them/us.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:49 PM on September 8, 2011

Keep Your Enemies Closer
I'm from Minneapolis and know a lot of folks who organized the anti-RNC protest, plus a bunch of folks who worked with Darby. I attended the protests and was peripherally involved in activist institutional support for them.

As far as I can tell based on personal accounts from folks in the scene, the kids who got set up by Darby were just what you'd expect - young guys peripheral to activism who were easily manipulated by a real asshole who pulled a lot of "you're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:35 AM on September 8, 2011
(It's funny, only now do I realize that I'm actually over all that stuff that went down. I no longer get the sick feeling inside that I used to when I was thinking about it. The trials are over, we won a bunch of suits against the city, after three years much of the property (such as computers) seized by the cops during their bogus searches has been returned, I no longer really expect my friends to get grabbed off the street for political reasons...Of course, there's been an... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:38 AM on September 8, 2011
Also important to remember that it wasn't just firebombs that these kids were making. They were also preparing for open, violent conflict with police by making their own riot shields.

This is quite possibly a misunderstanding. You make riot shields - often enough - to keep from being pushed back by or beaten by police. I've been on completely legal marches where folks had - and needed - riot shields to keep from being batoned. I remember vividly... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on September 8, 2011
Let's be honest: you make a riot shield to help you win a street battle with police. That's what these guys were planning, and whatever the ultimate value of said shield, having a bunch of them on hand says a lot about one's intent.

Okay, we're sort of at an impasse. I can only assert that this is not my experience unless you want to say that no one has the right to protest. I have absolutely been on 100% legal protests behaving... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on September 8, 2011
(I would be, in general, much happier if the police would bust people for actually breaking the law rather than pre-emptively arresting them or inciting the more isolated and naive among them to commit crimes. Bust me for locking down in the street? Sure, whatever, I am after all locked down in the street. Break into a legally rented office where people are doing perfectly legal media stuff and arrest a bunch of folks? No way.

This is one of the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:08 AM on September 8, 2011

I think you and I would disagree, however, on the legitimacy of protestors shutting down streets in order to interrupt the US democratic process. Bringing riot gear to the party makes the job of the police that much more difficult and, ironically, makes violent conflict more probable.


Many of us feel that the US democratic process is absolutely shot to shit at this point, and that protests within the confines of the "democratic"... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on September 8, 2011
(Oh, hey - one thing that entrapping these kids did was substantially discredit the protests. Even on this thread - with people who are fairly well informed, three years later - there's quite a strong subtext of "folks at the protest would have endorsed throwing molotov cocktails because hey, they're defending the kids who were entrapped". This is absolutely not the case. Molotov-cocktail throwing would have been dangerous and a complete disaster for the movement; no one but the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on September 8, 2011
(And there's a world of difference between a punch-up and firebombing something. Someone who is willing to block the street - seriously block it, push back against the cops, etc, go to jail if it comes to that, etc - is almost certainly NOT someone who is willing to blow things up and cause fires that might spread.

Amongst the folks I know, it seems perfectly rational to say "we want to inconvenience these awful people as much as possible without doing permanent... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:32 AM on September 8, 2011
(I'm dropping out of this thread to focus on my paid work...just so that you know I'm not dropping out in a fit of pique or something.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:40 AM on September 8, 2011

"I don't have time for Laertes. He must know I didn't mean to kill his father," Hamlet said.
Certainly his portrayals of male/male relationships I've read are far more interesting and touching than his straight ones. And combined with the above, my conclusion is "So far in the closet he can see Narnia." And my understanding of his arguments (such as they are) against gay marriage boil down to "you can't do that or everything I've suffered will have been for naught."

I had totally never heard this. Now I'm sad, and I don't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 AM on September 8, 2011
Guys, Orson's a jerk and all, but he wrote Ender's Game so he'd have a character to seek redemption in Speaker for the Dead. It's in the afterword and everything.

If this is humor, sorry for misunderstanding - you know that he wrote Ender's Game as a short story first, long before any of the other stuff was even thought of? People ret-con stuff in their afterwords all the time, and make all kinds of claims about work - that whole JK... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on September 8, 2011
Funny, I got the impression that it was a desperate cry for help from someone who was a bad day away from shooting up his high school.

It might be useful to ask the people who liked Ender's Game why they liked it...I mean, some of us are not introspective and some of us will lie, but it still might be useful.

I liked Ender's Game quite a lot in my late... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:58 AM on September 8, 2011

Are jobs obsolete?
The toilet question surprises me. I mean, how do you figure out who cleans the toilet in your home? If you spent your time doing a job you enjoyed, is it really that weird to think that the toilet in the location of your job would be cleaned by the many people who work there, who take pride in their place of play/employment and don't want it to look disgusting? And if it doesn't matter to those people . . . well, then it doesn't matter.

I have been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:42 AM on September 7, 2011

Evolution of Rioting
“For some reason some kind of force filled me,” testified one of the rioters during his trial. “Until this day, I do not understand how I got into this. What kind of devil was it that asked me to go and forced me to enter into the police department?”

This is precisely what I'd say if on trial in the USSR for rioting against the state, in the faint faint hope that they wouldn't send me away to the gulag. Not sure that this quote means what the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2011
Surely there are mefites besides me who have been in large protests? I mean, I haven't been in a riot, but I've certainly been in large demonstrations full of milling people being tear-gassed, during which windows got broken and dumpsters got dragged into the street.

It's just silly to say that the madness of crowds explains everything.

1. Plenty of people in any large crowd have ideas about what they want... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2011
(Oh, just idly - I always assume that when people take the "madness of crowds/we riot because we're monkeys" angle, they're trying to imply that riots (the form of political expression for the disenfranchised) actually are not political, that rioters (who tend to be disenfranchised) are just acting in animalistic, mindless ways. I don't really see this type of thing (and in Scientific American, which skews right) as arguing "you're not culpable for smashing shit... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on September 6, 2011

Guitar Makers Singing the Blues

Just because a problem affects only a small number of people doesn't mean it's not a problem.


I always figure they go after fairly small producers because the big criminals are good pals with the government. Seriously, which is worse for the environment, palm production or Gibson's potentially sorta-kinda dubious wood-buying? Who is a bigger offender, the mining companies dumping chemicals and slurry into rivers, clearcutting the in the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:21 AM on September 4, 2011

He's a Magic Man, Mama...
I figured out why I hate the "I heart Nerds" branding

Just yesterday, but before I even read the article, I realized why I hate the this - it's because when I was a pint-sized nerd, being into Dr. Who, or robots, or science fiction, etc etc, was a proxy for being smart - annoying, maybe, but interested in figuring things out. And while there was plenty of misogyny and racism within... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:03 AM on August 30, 2011
was totally okay with him being a magic player, except that he spent the entire date talking about himself and how smart he was.

But she didn't exactly say this, did she? Who here would be especially het-up if she'd written "and I thought the M:tG thing was a little bit weird, but I had no idea that we'd talk about nothing else except his tournament games all night. I know more about his favorite Magic cards... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 AM on August 30, 2011
nadawi: I totally agree there are women whom date geeks out there. I fell in love with one of them and we were together for over a year, until unrelated problems involving physical distance ended it. We still talk daily though. The problem is the perception of no one being willing to date geeks. Because you know, why bother to go out and look and get rejected if no one will date us anyway? I could just spend the time at home, posting on MeFi instead. The gender balance is improving, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on August 30, 2011
er, "nerds and geeks"
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on August 30, 2011
yes, Frowner! exactly! "why does popular girl only date jerks?!" - well, doofus, she's a jerk. that redhead dude i lap grinded on? he spent any time he wasn't talking about gaming talking about the girl who would never, ever notice him. i was fun to hang out with, but not nearly beautiful enough for his rejection fantasy.

"Why does Person date Patently Bad-Idea Person?" Status or self-punishment, that's about it. I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:23 AM on August 30, 2011
Your comments could just as easily be coming from someone who into a band "before they were cool" or any other situation where something becomes popular.

Just idly, since this thread is long and rambly - I'm old, or at least I'm old enough to have been punk in the early nineties. I'm old enough to have seen a lot of music, movies, comics and various political scenes come and go. And you know what? Things really do... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:04 AM on August 30, 2011

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