Activity from Frowner

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"This is a totem we erected to protect us from Courtney Love."
I don't mind talking it up a little bit, so if people want to click through to my profile and look that's okay.

Your old city? All the fashionable punks and radicals from here moved there circa 2000. Then they moved to your current city starting in about 2007. Official hipster punk rock opinion is that your city is played out, man.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2012

You just don’t know you know them...
The only drawback here seems to be that it's hard to be both closeted and serious about a third/poly relationship if you live openly as if you're a monogamous couple. Like, you can't cuddle with the third at the movies, or take them as a date to an event, or introduce them to your family/old friends because then people will think you're cheating. It sounds like a bad deal for the third person as a long-term big deal thing, though not in the short term.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:23 AM on January 6, 2012
"Clearly, I am far more evolved than the rest of the plebeians who are stuck in monogamous relationships based solely on insecurity"

Don't you think that the smugness is (counterproductive) overcompensation for insecurity and social vulnerability? I mean, there really isn't anything but a small fraction of the US population who really, truly believes that it is possible and desirable to have long-term, stable non-mongamous relationships.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:26 AM on January 6, 2012

I don't know-- I'm not disputing your claim outright, Frowner, because I really don't know! But I would be interested in seeing data on this. I think you're right that it depends on age, but I'm betting a larger subset of the population than we think has been carefully, intentionally doing this for a very long time.

It's true that we don't know, but we do know that no one feels socially safe saying... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:39 AM on January 6, 2012
And yes, if you're poly, how do you explain your relationship to the mainstream world? I can't imagine trying to explain it to my mother, for instance, and even for people who have no issues with non-straight sexuality and probably wouldn't freak out about something non-heteronormative, it would make me feel a bit uncomfortable or hesitant to put across.

This is what I think about, because I'm really not up for FWB-like arrangements. I would want to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:52 AM on January 6, 2012

Yes. Even here. Especially with gay relationship questions. I've seen my own and others' gay relationship questions be greeted with "How about an open relationship?" when it should be clear from the question that is not something the asker is up for.

The thing I notice on the internets (and in my life, too) is that we people-who-aren't-gay-men-but-aren't-big-old-homophobes-either have a lot of bad information about gay men.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on January 6, 2012
The thing about GGG is that it does not take existing social structures into account. That's why IM-anecdote-not-data-E I've run into a number of young women who feel pressured to do stuff they really don't want to do and cite "GGG" as why. Also why there's some research about, er, "hook-up culture" that suggests (can't google for it at work) that straight people hook-ups basically focus on the dude's sexual gratification and contain minimal female... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:13 AM on January 6, 2012

Also, the idea that being repulsed by women's genitals should require you to seek therapy is silly. Sometimes things are just gross. If Savage wanted to have sex with women and also thought their bits were bad, then he might need to talk to someone. But he doesn't.

But he feels obliged to reiterate his disgust - and it is disgust - in an extremely public and fairly influential forum, and he tends to frame... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on January 6, 2012

Women and men are different!
Hm, this post dovetails nicely with the other one on the blue today about how results of research often get "less true" over time.

Like the fellow in "Diary of a Madman", sometimes I stay up late into the night reading certain Important Documents - though in my case these documents assert that Men Are Very Different From Women and Are Violent, Ambitious, Less Neurotic, Less Loving and Need More Young Sexual Partners Or They Will Die. And like the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:58 PM on January 5, 2012
I was thinking about this article linked yesterday on the "decline effect" - the article talks about the fact that certain important studies can't be replicated very well, and that the replicability decreases over time, apparently even in cases where the experiments are re-run by the same people who did them initially.

One of the examples was about symmetry and mating - a bunch of studies in different fields showed - for a while - that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:40 AM on January 6, 2012

Hungarian Democracy Under Threat
Dude. You can't have austerity without authoritarianism, because you have to police your people to keep them from striking, protesting and rioting, and you have to provide some kind of torchlight parades to keep them (or at least the military and the police) loyal. This whole business of Hilary Clinton and the German government and various austerity-mongering supporters of the IMF pearl-clutching about authoritarianism....well, if you don't want the whirlwind, don't sow the goddamn wind in the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:29 PM on January 3, 2012

Self-seeking greed and avarice
I think, oddly enough, that "psychopath" is becoming a sort of trendy diagnosis. Bankers are psychopaths, "setting the tone" at investment banks. There's nothing wrong with capitalism, it's just all those crazy people running the system, etc etc. Banker culture isn't systemic; society at large isn't implicated; bankers are just soulless evil monsters.

I would like to say that bankers are... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:18 AM on January 3, 2012
Frowner says, There's nothing wrong with capitalism, it's just all those crazy people running the system, etc etc.

(Just a tiny clarification: this is the logic of "bankers are psychopaths", not a view held by me personally.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:00 PM on January 3, 2012

How Can We Fix College Sports?
So let me get this straight - in addition to free school, free health care and a bunch of adulation plus participating in a really fucked-up university athletic culture, college athletes should get to be rich, too, merely because university administrators have built up this stupid, abuse-generating PR machine around college sports? Nope, sorry. (We won't even talk about the various creepy illicit paper-writing and pandering services that seem so prevalent in big college... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:05 PM on January 2, 2012

Time keeps on slippin'
I'd say that, though youthful beauty is nice, he really visibly grows into his face and he looks a lot more likeable at the end than the beginning. By the end, he looks like a nice, doofy person you might actually like; at the beginning, he has kind of a jackass face. Also, longer hair is better than shorter in this instance. And the late eighties really didn't do anyone any favors.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:18 PM on December 31, 2011

star light star bright meow
Okay, what I have heard is that when one breeds the glow-in-the-dark kittens, one then euthanizes them and centrifuges their cells (which itself isn't unusually bad, but what an image). That is, the lab isn't full of adorable tiny glowing kittens playing with the postdocs; it's full of kittens in cages with short life spans. Is this dreadful thing true? It seems like the whole point of breeding the glowing kittens would be to chop them up and study them, much as I'd rather this weren't true.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:13 AM on December 30, 2011

Fat: The Gift that Keeps On Giving
I have a lot of discomfort with the "health at any size" movement, because it seems pretty obvious to me that some sizes are inherently less healthy. But I have come to the realization (in part through reading these threads on MeFi) that there is a core of insight there, because the path to health is not shaming and is not a focus on weight loss, but rather simply a focus on health.

A quick note that I can't really support: my... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on December 29, 2011

The special duty of a Jewish Christmas baby
Maybe this is against the rules for the blue? I have a question...

It's already hard enough getting people to accept that not only don't I celebrate or care that it's Christmas, but that Hanukkah really isn't that big of a deal, holiday-wise. So when you say "Happy Holidays," you're still really just wishing me a merry Christmas.

Now, I very seldom wish people "Happy Holidays" or "Merry... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:37 AM on December 25, 2011
Christmas is boring, and there's a sense in which it's compulsory. I was expected to make food for two potluck "holiday" parties at work, for instance. It's not a big deal, but I'm not going to apologize for finding the whole thing annoying sometimes.

This gives me a lot of pause, since I (have been forced to) run the (large, splendid, fairly popular I think) winter potluck at work. If you happen to work in dental research in a large... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:00 PM on December 25, 2011

male/female/more than that
Okay, I am feeling fiercely crabby this morning.

But I will never, ever, not in a million years, be able to accept the singular "they."

So this means that when you meet someone who refers to themself using they/them pronouns, you're going to do what, exactly? Tell them that you are sorry to ignore their gender identification, but you'll be calling them "he" or "she" depending on how you want to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:21 AM on December 23, 2011
> So this means that when you meet someone who refers to themself using they/them pronouns,

To themself? Not "we"?

See, this type of thing is precisely what I mean about not getting it. Look, I promise you that someone who calls themself "them" has put plenty of thought into gender identity and has faced a lot of homophobic/transphobic/misogynist abuse for their... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:28 AM on December 23, 2011

Zaire Paige Not Only Played a Movie Killer, He Became One in Real Life.
A thousand pities. It's funny - when I read that story, I think about what it must do to a kid to see his friends die in front of him, to see the bodies after violent death, as happened to this boy. I think about the men I've known who've grown up in rough circumstances, and how the need to seem "tough" can cause them to hide their real feelings and to speak cruelly out of fear - how there's a realistic fear of being seen as weak, as a victim. How there's so much false performance... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:13 PM on December 21, 2011

“Sometimes my uncle wears black nail polish.” The students took a moment to think about this.
I think this is a great thing. But I also wonder how much "out of gender box" behavior is based on attention seeking. By encouraging acceptance, a good thing, people who get attention because they don't follow traditional stereotypes might seek new means for attention.

This has not been my lived experience, nor does it well describe the gender-nonconforming children I know. I would find it pretty awful if - for example - one little kid's... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:24 AM on December 21, 2011

a hipster by any other name
I don't think "hipster is about appropriation" is sufficient - while there are certainly people wearing "Indian" costumes to house parties while drinking Pabst, there are plenty of culturally-appropriating groups (New Age folks with dreamcatchers, frat bros appropriating what they think is "black" culture, etc etc).

And there's plenty of snobbism and misogyny in non-hipster subcultures too - bike assholes, for instance, are a cultural... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:46 AM on December 19, 2011
Oh, and the rhetoric of the hipster also contains some bad ideas about class, and some bad ideas about the ethical life:

1. Bad ideas about class: working class identity is stable over time; back before hipsters, a bar would start out as a working class bar and stay that way forever and ever; working class people are never bohemians and do not create culture except what is obviously proletarian. There are no working class hipsters/artists/radicals, and there can never be.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:59 AM on December 19, 2011
I find it pretty difficult to talk about this aspect of hipsterdom--which is pretty trivial and doesn't matter much to, well, anyone when it comes down to it--without talking about the sister crime which comes along with it, namely gentrification of older working class neighborhoods, often historically neighborhoods where immigrants or people of color have lived, which escalates eventually to the point where the established populations can often no longer afford to live there.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:19 AM on December 19, 2011
Right--but many of the gentrifying populations very solidly don't care a whit for protecting displaced populations. This is a case where appropriation--in this case, of a place, and the cheap rents typically enjoyed by those living there--has a much stronger impact on the people whose culture is being appropriated than normal, and I find it troubling. That's not to say that you're right--real estate forces and natural neighborhood cycles have something to do with it. But the behavior of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:39 AM on December 19, 2011
(I mean, there's certainly a lot of self-justification by white folks in artistic subcultures about racism, appropriation and exploitation - I think what happens sometimes is this becomes an intra-artists-and-writers conversation, where writers, artists and intellectuals of color are justifiably pissed off about their white opposite numbers, and that gets taken as if it were the whole conversation on the topic. Just like when activists criticize activist behavior and non-activists use this to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:48 AM on December 19, 2011
If we're almost entirely a population of well-educated young people, often thanks to the efforts of, say, our parents who lived a more conventional lifestyle to get us there--but we refuse to buy into the same system and instead propose to live to them what looks like a long bohemian adolescence, is it any wonder that people are resentful? That we receive the force of their ire and a lot of eye-rolling?

Bohemia is different in each generation, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:31 PM on December 19, 2011
And I add, Serious Living Under Capitalism changes you - you get emotionally involved with your work in middle management at Dreary Industries, Life Insurance Division, and you find yourself yelling at subordinates because their body piercings go against the dress code or their kid got sick at the last minute, and you really believe that they are being 'unprofessional' and need to shape up. You really believe it, because the places you live and the people you spend time with... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:38 PM on December 19, 2011

If you want to hold the cops accountable, find a way to make more money and send it to Glenn Greenwald. He's a professional holding-cop-accountable person and he's better at it than you are. And so on and so forth. Every valuable cause, including causes as abstract as creating great art, would rather have your dollar than your time, unless you're really good at something the cause needs, in which case, knock yourself out.

No. This is a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:16 PM on December 19, 2011

"Furtive Movements"
I don't see them often, but whenever I notice a stop-and-frisk, especially in my neighborhood, I like to observe. Just as an impartial third party, to make sure no one's rights are violated.

Me too! Of course, I'm a white woman of fairly obvious middle-class extraction, so the cops get all flinchy when I stop to watch. I sometimes hesitate because I don't want to humiliate someone by staring at them during a difficult moment, but then there were two... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 AM on December 19, 2011
What do you do if they are?

It's truly surprising how even being seen or being photographed or recorded changes cop behavior - that's why they are so desperate to outlaw photography and video.

I mean, in theory I could complain to the City Council, write a letter to the papers, kick up a fuss. That's not really too much if the cops are determined to stand pat - and there won't be any traction if it's just... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:43 AM on December 19, 2011
I dunno, phrases like "[THING] increases the black crime rate" seem weird and instrumental somehow.

I argue that people should not be abused and degraded and threatened for no reason but the whim of unaccountable armed thugs because it seems to me that a society where that kind of thing happens is a shitty society - and it's a shitty society even if thereby we achieve freedom from "crime". Also because I don't get treated that way,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on December 19, 2011

The Phantom Time Hypothesis
This would make a fantastic premise for a science fiction story - I dibs!!!! There would be some key social or ideological premise rooted in mis-periodization (and mis-periodization would be much more plausible on a colonized planet) and you could work out all the subjectivity/ideological things that result from the realization that history is fragile and uncertain, the past is a mystery, etc. With aliens!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:06 AM on December 19, 2011

Discovering Autism
You have to wonder how much of this is about our increasingly cut-throat economy and about conformism - parents (like Dias in the first article, who talks about not wanting her son to be an outsider) getting so scared that their kids won't be "normal" or able to make it in our safety-net-less society that they will do anything it takes to game the system and get behavioral coaching. I wonder whether, if I were ten today, I would have an IEP on grounds of being bright, awkward and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:18 AM on December 18, 2011

Layaway In A Manger
This is a wonderful kindness - and something I'll look into doing myself - but I wish that we as a nation didn't lean so heavily on private charity/generous people to compensate for inequality, layoffs, poverty, injustice - there simply aren't enough generous people. And although I understand why folks prioritize kids - and I'd totally prioritize someone with kids over someone like me who is healthy, youngish, college-educated and childless - I wish that people didn't feel that they can only... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:21 PM on December 16, 2011

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! I WILL EAT YOUR SOULS! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow! I WILL EAT YOUR SOULS! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo! I WILL EAT YOUR SOULS!
I really like playful/thought-provoking counter-readings like this one. A more scholarly but also interesting one is Franco Moretti's Dialectic of Fear:

At the end of Dracula the vampire’s defeat is complete. Dracula and his lovers are destroyed, Mina Harker is saved at the last moment. Only one cloud darkens the happy ending. In killing Dracula, Quincy P. Morris, the American who has been helping his British friends to save their nation, dies too, almost by... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:52 AM on December 16, 2011

A Call to Action
I think texting while driving is incredibly stupid because it's so fiddly, and talking on the phone while driving is probably foolish because IME when one is on the phone in a car one is paying a LOT of attention to the call - whereas when chatting with a passenger one can check out of the conversation and just m-hm a bit if the driving is tricky; also, a passenger usually has the wit to shut up when they can see that the traffic has just gotten dangerous.

I'm worried... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:06 PM on December 15, 2011

How to talk to boys at parties
Now, as a genderqueer person I follow menswear blogs (the fussy, traddy, let-me-tell-you-about-benchmade-shoes ones) obsessively. But...

1. There's a LOT of racism on some of those blogs, whether in the comments or in the actual posts - mostly under the guise of "those POC are so sloppy and lazy for not dressing like the 1950s, [insert remarks about criminality and laziness]" and creepy fetishization of Asian women. Some people, like the Affordable Wardrobe guy,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:45 AM on December 14, 2011
Maybe this is a reaction to the mainstream American association of masculinity with slobby-ness and treating any sign of caring about neatness in appearance as effeminacy?

Maybe this is blogging that claims to be about "men" but explicitly constructs itself to exclude queer men and non-gender-conforming men. I mean, call your blogs "The Manly-Man Queer-Haters Suit-Wearing Association" if you must, but let's at least get that out front. "Reacting" to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:26 AM on December 14, 2011
(By which I mean that you can wear a really nice men's sweater, a button-down, men's benchmade shoes and the traddiest scarf within a mile radius and be neither "masculine" nor a dude nor straight, as I know personally from today's wardrobe choices.....and I'd love a website that could talk about benchmade shoes, ties, fabric, etc without having to telegraph "we like fabric but no homo"....because over here? Homo.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:29 AM on December 14, 2011
You know, as I've been thinking about this, it occurs to me that men's style blogs are the way they are because masculinity is the way it is - ie, the idea of masculinity (not "how guys act" or "all guys think this is ideal") is basically about never showing weakness and never being openly in an equal relationship with another. Thus the fetish for dependent women (sex workers, women figured as stupid or naive, retro-dependent wives, women as trophies). Thus the other fetish... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:08 AM on December 14, 2011
This is what I neglected to mention in discussing the reliance on lists and rules. I think an important aspect of these guys is that they're self-consciously style bloggers, not fashion bloggers. Aside from a few favorites like Michael Bastian, designers don't appear very often on these sites. They're not who you go to for news on Thom Browne or Hedi Slimane; they're much more likely to be writing nerdy posts on some recently discovered trove of deadstock sweaters from the forties. The... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:07 PM on December 14, 2011
This is also why I find the comments about the 1%-ness of these blogs a little odd; once you're dealing with blogs about clothing you're more often than not seeing clothes that are an order of magnitude more expensive than the stuff shown here. These guys do features on the new Lands End catalog, for christ's sake.

Also, simply to be perpetually consuming for fashion's sake (unless you're consuming at the H&M level) takes quite a lot of money, even... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2011
Wear something your grandpa would have recognized as being in good taste and hope that civilization holds together enough that your grandchildren would likewise think so.

My grandfather would have disowned me if he'd lived long enough to see me out of the closet. My grandfather would be appalled that I am wearing men's dress boots today.

See what I did there? When objects (boots, jackets, ties, shirts) are used as rigid... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:51 PM on December 14, 2011
your ideal image is closer to a Victorian gentleman with a study of books made of oak, filled with comfortable chairs and a fireplace whom can discuss nearly any subject with some familiarity.

See, that Victorian gentleman was at best implicated in some really dodgy stuff to get to that study - I always think of the Carlyles, who were pretty socially progressive, but whose primary servant slept on the floor in the basement kitchen of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:34 PM on December 14, 2011

Live Well With Less
That under-floor storage - surely that features in many Japanese horror movies, right? Augh, under the floor. Not that it wouldn't be handy for non-corpse-ghost-trapped-victim stuff.

I lived in a really tiny apartment one year - tiny kitchen, bedroom about the size of three twin beds, average bathroom, one average closet. It was beautifully maintained and very cleverly arranged, but WAY too small. (Maybe 150 square feet?) I couldn't have anyone... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:01 AM on December 14, 2011

Led by the child who simply knew

This is a great story, but I hate that it starts with one of the most blatant cliches of gender stereotypes. I hate, hate, hate hearing that someone is "all boy." Being "all boy" is always defined as liking culturally approved boy things. Makes me feel bad for tall the half-boys, and quarter-boys out there. And God save the 1/10 boys. I'm glad the article is very supportive of Nicole, but what about all the kids who were born with boy parts, identify as
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:55 PM on December 11, 2011
(The thing is, it's stupid to try to hold up our time-bound, socially and environmentally- conditioned lives as "proof" of something eternal and essential. In a hundred years (assuming that industrial society is around in a hundred years) we will all experience gender totally differently - I bet that people's reasons for transitioning will be different, the results will be different, the people who transition will be different. Maybe people who want to transition... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:00 PM on December 11, 2011

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