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America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle
I think, unfortunately, part of the issue is that many (most?) transgendered people do not wish to identify was transgendered -- at least not longterm. The goal for a transgendered woman is not be a transgendered woman, but to be a woman.

Why is this an issue? Well, at least some transgendered people remove themselves from the fight once they've fully and successfully made the transition.

I certainly am not trying to blame the victims
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:45 AM on June 29, 2011

I'd love to see a study on this, but it would probably never happen. People are so good at recognizing subtle gender cues that I think it's more likely that people are just being polite.


"People" do not include me, then. I know I'm just going to provide more anecdata, here,but I was thinking about this the other night - I was at a benefit dinner and I saw this cute, slightly nerdy-looking girl. "Hey, she's cute!" I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on June 29, 2011
I mean, personally I don't really even fully understand what the word implies (is a "trans man" someone who is a man now? Who used to be a man? Either? Something else?) and I'm hardly the kind of crazy homophobe who beats people to death for entering the wring bathroom.

I fully admit that it's a culture that I am not particularly familiar with and do not understand.


And yet there are so many resources - on the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:21 AM on June 29, 2011
(So I apologize for being bitey, which I am being.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:24 AM on June 29, 2011
You do care if I know about your gender identity issues, though.

Not my gender identity issues, however. The issues of people I care about a lot.

Please read this in a sincere tone of voice - I am really, truly not trying to be a jerk here.

I apologize for being sarcastic in my previous comment. That wasn't very polite or helpful to you.

I do sincerely... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on June 29, 2011
(I actually like the "google it" norm - I've found that it helps me to ask more sophisticated questions because I become more aware of what google can't tell me, what requires some expertise, etc etc.)

That doesn't make it any clearer. Trans-aware people are used to referring to someone who's transitioned to male as a "man", where non-trans-aware people aren't sure what term they're supposed to use. Your definition assumes that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:02 PM on June 29, 2011

Skiiinerrrr!!
Wish I was running a gourmet cupcake shop.

The stuff on the third page where Kerlina says that there aren't more white students at the school because rich parents send their kids to private school, there's a competitor school across the way and some parents are just racist - this seems to me to highlight the sheer stupidity of trying to conceptualize schools like businesses, with an endless round of "competition" for students.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:39 AM on June 29, 2011
Also, this mid-thirties person is delighted when a 39-year-old is described as "young" and "baby-faced". I know that's principal years, but still.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:40 AM on June 29, 2011

No pets for you!
Who exactly has proposed this? The articles are all "San Francisco has this nutty idea just like they always do, crazy hippies!" but there's a big difference between a tiny advocacy group getting a proposal submitted and a widely-supported movement for something. We get poorly-thought-out proposals here in Minneapolis, too, but we're pretty much stereotyped as stolid, provincial Midwesterners so no one makes a big deal out of it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:08 AM on June 29, 2011

The Loading Dock Manifesto
Not many blue collar people I have met could also write decent prose. But his life, sadly, is tedious, and though it might be romantic to identify with The Working Man, it seems that those who actually make things (see Studs Terkel on Working) are happy with their work and lives, no matter what they do.

Many people who do blue collar work are reasonably happy with the work they do (but then, many people who do blue collar work didn't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:56 AM on June 28, 2011
I resented the people I served, whom I had been brought up to believe I belonged among. I eventually found my way into more cerebral roles, but there were definitely times when I missed being alone in the early morning hours with a hundred pounds or more of cheese. And I never found better friends on the job nor laughed as much at work than I did in those days.

Look, let me tell you something - blue collar (and pink collar) workers often resent their... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:52 AM on June 28, 2011

Robot love
The most unsettling part, for me, is the way men seem to be drooling over these (possibly underage? definitely underage in "Aitakkata") young women, who are, you may notice, never seen anywhere near any kind of male presence so that old Japanese men can dream that, whenever they gush about wanting to be with you forever and ever, they're singing about you, yes you!!

IIRC, in CS Lewis's (otherwise misogynist and reprehensible) That... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:26 AM on June 28, 2011

Saving our way to prosperity?
I tend to believe that the cleverest politicians (Henry Kissinger-level clever and evil, but by no means all republicans) basically want this to happen so that they have a pliable and fearful constituency, with everyone desperate for work. It's also a justification for more restrictions on social spending - with so little to go 'round, of course it makes sense for the state to restrict WIC food even more, for example.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:25 AM on June 28, 2011

In and Out
That’s about the size
Where you put your eyes
That’s about the size of it


That - and scrolling the thing from the OP - make me feel sad somehow, watching the people and the beach balls and the ants and the buildings get further away and disappear.

When I was little I used to love that animation from Sesame Street but at the same time be thrown into a profound melancholy by it - it has a kind of elegiac... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:22 AM on June 28, 2011

Does the chart mean no one actually likes PBR unironically?
I am delighted to learn from the diagram given that books, all of them, are highbrow. I won't bother shelving my ratty old YA paperbacks and cheesy Daw press seventies science fiction in the crappy bookcase anymore.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:05 PM on June 27, 2011
The middle class is not fueled by greed or desire or power, but by complete and utter self-loathing.

The middle class is fueled by precarity. That's the whole point; the working class doesn't have much too lose; the aristocracy always, as a whole, falls upstairs. Only the middle class really needs to worry about status and money and so on.

If the middle class had power, there wouldn't be... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 PM on June 27, 2011
"to lose" as some folks say
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 PM on June 27, 2011
Now that I've read the top fifty (and holy mackerel, what a lot of ads to sit through)...well, this is basically you-liberal-pansies-are-all-middlebrow. There's some obvious political intent involved. You can't really take any list on which organ donation is "middlebrow" as anything but a weird, sloppy, vaguely right-wing attack on social values.

Ah, GQ, didn't you used to run good fashion editorials in, like, the seventies?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:23 PM on June 27, 2011

Distant Reading, or, the "Science" of Literature
I don't have the time to write a lot about this right now, but - I have read a lot of Franco Moretti in my time, and his work is almost always misdescribed and misexplained in popular media, such that no matter what he is doing everyone who reads about his work is always like that's just the dumbest thing ever, understandably enough given how he gets written about.

As far as Moretti seeking attention "beyond the ivory... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:11 PM on June 26, 2011

How to Land your Kid in Therapy
You know, it's interesting that there's a spate of "kids are overindulged, parents care too much, kids need to learn to fail" articles right now, during this godawful economic crisis. I don't know very many kids who are overindulged at the moment, myself. In fact, most of the kids I know could use more security, not more knocks.

And these articles are all "how will these children ever succeed in jobs if they are so indulged?" Let... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:15 PM on June 26, 2011

Can extreme low-calorie diet cure diabetes?
Quick google search turned up this study from 2005. 500 calories, and all the subjects were non-diabetic.

No, actually the study lists a 500-calorie deficit, that is, a diet 500 calories below what average "appropriate" intake would be. I read the whole thing because I was pretty darn eating-disordered for a couple of years in my teens and the few weeks where I managed to stay at or below 600 calories a day were horrible,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:01 AM on June 24, 2011

Healthy Credit?
But what about as needed meds? And jeezum crow, I am not allowed by my insurance company to refill my prescription until 28 days have passed; I now need to schedule my prescription pick up on day 28 or my credit takes a hit? Christ, I hate this country. "Go back to the USSR, commie!" my sociopathic little suburban grade school peers used to shout at me back in the Reagan era. If I could go back to the USSR circa maybe 1970, I probably would at... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:06 PM on June 23, 2011

The Invisible Army
The extensive outsourcing of wartime logistics—first put to the test during the Clinton Administration, in Somalia and the Balkans—was designed to reduce costs while allowing military personnel to focus on combat. In practice, though, military privatization has produced convoluted chains of foreign subcontracts that often lead to cost overruns and fraud.

Possibly because the "purpose" of this program was never really to reduce costs... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:09 PM on June 22, 2011

The Long Finger of the Law
Assuming that there's no lurking reason for this to be, you know, serious - the student involved hasn't complained, there's no "she's telling people it was unwanted but won't talk to the authorities" rumor, etc - then this type of thing does a huge amount of harm to women. Because this is precisely the kind of case that convinces people that rape charges are a joke, and that statutory rape is never also regular-sexual-assault rape. Plus, of course, since this was a widely... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:16 AM on June 22, 2011


Because this is precisely the kind of case that convinces people that [...] statutory rape is never also regular-sexual-assault rape.


The "ha ha that one case was so dumb, I bet all the others are just as dumb!" way. The "oh well, he was 17 and she was 15 so that means that there wasn't actually rape, just kids enjoying themselves - after all there was that one dumb case where they prosecuted the two kids on a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:46 AM on June 22, 2011

The Official Gay Card
Okay, seriously people - this whole "black and brown don't go together" thing is always framed totally wrong. Most blacks and browns don't go together, and most brown leather things look godawful with black, but a really deep sort of chocolate blue-brown goes with black just fine. And there are lots of traditional print fabrics in African and Asian countries which incorporate black and brown. And I tend to feel that certain para-brown colors go with black -... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:26 PM on June 21, 2011


Yeah... Delaney's The Mad Man... was actually kind of world-changing for me in a lot of ways. It's one of those books I'm really glad I read, and am not sure I want to read again, although I just might one of these days just to see.


I love The Mad Man. It's definitely in my favorite few Delaney books - probably Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, The Mad Man and the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 PM on June 21, 2011
*sigh* And yes... Perfect Erotic Object.

The perfect erotic object is wonderful to me though because 1. Rat Korga! and 2. none of the characters are really described so that you can pigeonhole them as "this one is the sexy blond!" and "this one is an attractive muscular man" and "this one is the pudgy but nice character who pines a lot". There's so much physical description of the characters that you feel like you could... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:35 PM on June 21, 2011
Never even heard of it, but it's on my list now....weird, I felt like I had a pretty good collection of older queer SF. Published right pre-AIDS, too...I wonder, there must be some literary theory about how AIDS affected science fiction writing (I mean, other than literal novels-about-AIDS).
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:35 PM on June 21, 2011

Camden Joy: Fiction as Criticism
Oh, I wish I hadn't read that. The real, true part about "have sex with the fattest girl you can find as a joke while on tour" (which band guy admits to) - I don't care which of the guy's bands did that, it's put me off Camper Van Beethoven for ever now, and I really did like that album with "Take The Skinheads Bowling". Yuck.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:16 AM on June 21, 2011

Finally! Validation for wearing a leopard-print top with brown oxfords!
What it demonstrates is...tahdah!..that people who follow trends and who are photographed by style bloggers who follow the same trends will all wear similar clothes at similar moments. You could, of course, through in some fat girl chic from Definatalie or someone queer fashion from Bevan Brandlingham and mess the whole thing up. Not that I'd turn down a luxurious and subfusc fashionable wardrobe should anyone have one going begging.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:32 PM on June 20, 2011
or "throw in" as some people like to say.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:32 PM on June 20, 2011

Big Bird Evolution
I liked the scruffy Big Bird (who looked like he just crawled out of a Dumpster) the best, but then I also liked the entire set-up and ethos of the older "Sesame Street" (and "Electric Company"!) better -- dirty, polluted, scummy, with tenements as backdrops, aimless brats sitting on stoops thinking up games to play in the boring summer heat, all the adults looking like shifty drug dealers on the make, everything unscrubbed and unvarnished, half the time you're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:09 AM on June 20, 2011
(Tangent alert: you've reminded me of a story my grandfather (who lived on Cape Cod) told about trying to buy greeting cards while visiting Texas. As far as he was concerned, though, he was only poking fun at the Texas guy's accent, but I was hearing his accent as well, and it was doubly funny because it was a conversation between one guy asking for "cahds" and another guy realizing he meant "currds".

"Frowner, can I borrow a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:05 PM on June 20, 2011

Mumbai Train Safety
As much as I'm glad that there's a method for reducing deaths, the bigger issue seems to be that there are vast slums and no way for the poor folks in the slums to cross the tracks easily. In a sense this is about people being reckless, but it's also a disaster of capitalism. I wish that societies would put a little less effort into massaging the effects of inequality and more into ending it. (Around here, for example, they could cut out those crap "hey men of color... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:37 AM on June 20, 2011

The Victims
I still don't understand the concept of a "sexual identity." Is that like if I'm polyamorous but want to be in a monogamous relationship? Or if I'm into BDSM but my wife is vanilla? Or does it only apply to religious gay folks?

I always figure that "sexual identity" is a concept of the now - it doesn't have some kind of truth status, it's not eternal, but used lightly it's a very, very helpful way to negotiate the world in which we... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on June 17, 2011
So what is the difference between identity and orientation?

The thing is, these terms are convention, not science.

"Orientation" is a political term - to my mind - which makes the argument that you're "turned towards"/attracted to men or women naturally and unchangably. I kind of provisionally believe this in the short term - you can't up and decide that today you're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:15 AM on June 17, 2011
Of course. What do the therapists in the second article mean by "straight identity?" By my interpretation, they mean "in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex." Am I interpreting it correctly?

I'm sorry we're talking at cross purposes - I feel like maybe I'm accidentally belaboring things that you already know just fine and maybe sounding like a jerk about it.

I had interpreted that more as... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:31 AM on June 17, 2011
Except I was thinking of the first article, so I was wrong! Oops, sorry about that. I read them in reverse order to the post.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:33 AM on June 17, 2011

What is Ferran Adria up to next?
I don't know, I think that molecular gastronomy is kind of neat - like something out of mid-period Samuel Delany, Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand or something. Setting aside the financial issues involved, what's wrong with spending time creating this kind of thing? (Unless we're going to argue that this fellow should be out staffing the soup kitchen instead of being a professional chef, etc.)

I am intrigued by the mention of his rivalry with... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:41 AM on June 16, 2011

William T. Hornaday's "The Extermination of the American Bison"
Isn't there a lot of research which suggests that the thundering herds were an artifact of specific environmental and hunting practices by native people? Changes in the Land and 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus both talk about this, IIRC.

Not that this justifies virtually exterminating the buffalo at all, much less as part of war against indigenous people - it's just fascinating to me that many of the things we assume are... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on June 15, 2011

The Failure of American Schools
So this dude is all "fire teachers!" "continue to test a lot every year!" and, amazingly, "let great math professors develop software to teach math, so we don't need so many teachers". Basically, bigger class sizes, more precarity and less face time with students.

It's funny - everyone had a terrible teacher, and everyone assumes that teacher was shielded by a corrupt union, and everyone would like that teacher to be... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on June 15, 2011

"In nonfiction, you have that limitation, that constraint, of telling the truth."
I wouldn't even begin to know how to make a list like this. (Except that Tony Judt would never, never be on it.) Also, surely there is more great non-fiction that is not in English/by ancient Greeks?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2011
Come to that, why would you even make a list like this? To what purpose? I could read all of these that I haven't read already, and they would not provide me with a coherent understanding or history of anything. You might conceivably make a plausible list of, say, the 100 greatest books about modern English history, or travels through Asia in the 19th century, etc....even a list of the 100 greatest English-language novels makes more sense.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:46 PM on June 14, 2011
I like the list and I very much look forward to reading what's on it that I've not read. It doesn't have to be much more complicated than that.

But you're not learning anything. A "non-fiction" book read in a vacuum is pretty much the equivalent to a novel - you don't have the means to judge whether it's at all accurate or not, what it's responding to...jeez, I love Goodbye To All That, but it 1.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on June 14, 2011
But you're not learning anything.

Sorry, that came across as extremely snotty. I don't mean that you personally can't get anything out of the books or shouldn't read them.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:43 PM on June 14, 2011

Criminals are dumb.
(that's what the cyclists like to call us, right? cagers?)

Me neither, and I ride in the occasional critical mass, etc etc. We do usually refer to you as "cars" rather than "drivers"....or rather, I don't especially because I bum rides off friends as needed, so tend not to slag on drivers.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:44 AM on June 14, 2011

I like you. I think we can get along very nicely.
Having grown up on the beach, and spending bazillions of hours in the ocean, I can say this without hesitation: the sharks are always there. Fly over a beach and you'll see lots of sharks in and around swimmers and surfers.

Oh god, this isn't literally true, is it? The sharks aren't actually there amongst the swimmers in the shallow waters, lurking unseen - they're out in the deeper water, right? I am having a truly horrible mental image of a beach... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:51 PM on June 9, 2011
(I guess they are.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:51 PM on June 9, 2011

Daddy Issues
The family is not a good metaphor for the state. The way legal decisions work is not parallel to the way family decisions work. The way interests must be considered among state actors is not the same as the way interests are considered among family members. The feelings we have about family members are not the same as the feelings we have about fellow citizens. The president does not stand in the role of father to the nation; neither does Congress.

On preview, yay, rusty.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:23 AM on June 9, 2011

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