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Picture This
That last interval is 5 years?! Looks like the fellas hit a bit of a rough patch ... yikes. I am not looking forward to 50...

Well, the light in the last photo is falling really differently and casts a lot more shadows/deepens lines. Obviously, one does age between 45 and 50, but the light is a definite factor.

The unkindest thought I have is that straight male haircuts are generally not very flattering - it's like "grow… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:36 PM on July 26, 2012
The unkindest thought I have is that straight male haircuts are generally not very flattering

Yes, but they look better on us. I mean, consider a man with a nice head of hair and a ponytail - he generally looks more distinguished than a woman with her hair in a ponytail, even if her hair is as nice as his. Haircuts are a social phenomenon.

Ie, men with buzzcuts never catch my eye; women with buzzcuts always do.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:30 PM on July 26, 2012

I'm not sure "man," "ponytail," and "distinguished" belong in the same sentence unless you're talking about the winner of this year's Roadie Awards.

And yet you live in New York with all the hipsters and such! Pony tails are coming back, as is longer hair for men generally. I've seen a number of hip young things with longish hair and several with ponytails...and once longish hair becomes… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:15 PM on July 27, 2012

Trouble in the tragic kingdom

The Anaheim city government has been surprisingly responsive to the people here. Rather than circling the wagons and undertaking an "internal investigation", the mayor has reached out to the FBI and US Attorney's office to launch an independent external investigation. I think there's the real potential for the guilty parties in the police force to be brought to justice here.

It's funny, I was just having a conversation with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:53 PM on July 25, 2012

Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States So High and Why Does It Matter?
By the same token, you could say that destitute young women are currently economically "coerced" into having children, because of income assistance available to mothers. It's counterintuitive, but if we paid young women as much to not be mothers as we currently pay them to become mothers, that might be parity rather than coercion.

I really, really wish that people who talk about how much "we" pay young women in welfare and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:33 PM on July 24, 2012

I'm With The Band
Now there is an article that could jinx a life - talking about how you're in love with some famous musician fellow and what it's like being with the band, that's practically a guarantee that the guy is seeing some European music journalist on the sly and will dump you inside six months. Dating people in bands requires a strong sense of self and a recognition that most people who are capable of being in famous and comparatively successful bands are not the kind of people who… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:20 PM on July 24, 2012

It really weirds people out

She's still breastfeeding her 3 year-old.

I know someone who breastfed her kid until he was, uh, I dunno, three-ish? Older than three? I know a lot of people who do all that new age parenting stuff. The lesson for me has been that something that is OMG-so-bizarre-she's-going-to-mess-up-her-kid when it's a stranger on the internet is just one of those things when it's someone you actually know and you actually see the full complexity of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:40 PM on July 22, 2012
I kinda chuckle to myself when I see chicks on the subway with huge tattoos of birds on their arms, really hairy legs/armpits, and a short cropped haircut, buzzed in the back and heavily styled in the front. Oh yeah.. the legs and armpits really say something.

Yes, I have a good chuckle at young queer women myself. Don't they understand that no man will want them if they look that way? My goodness, how ridiculous the fashions of subcultures other than mine are!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:29 PM on July 22, 2012
I'm not really sure how picking the normal, socially-rewarded option - the option that does not get you hostility and mockery and make every job interview an even more vexed situation (even if you're wearing pants, ankle slippage is always a possibility, and then there's the whole "I don't shave my legs regularly so when I do shave for an interview I'm usually trickling blood" angle), make doctor visits extra fun (nothing like feeling extra judged!)....anyway, I'm not entirely sure how… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on July 23, 2012
See, I'm not a choice feminist. I don't care, god knows, what other women do with their bodies. (And there's a whole other queer/femme women thing which really isn't being addressed here.)

I think we might be addressing different parts of the argument and getting hung up on semantics.

I don't think it's "not feminist" to shave your legs. I don't think it's feminist, either. This is because I don't think that the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:40 AM on July 23, 2012
Also, Frowner, just because women see making their own decisions about hygiene, dress, and gender presentation without taking into account anyone else's opinions, wishes, or feelings, as being feminist (because how dare a woman just do what she feels like without making sure everyone else is happy first???) nobody is saying "their lives are exactly equal to yours." Where are you getting that from?

The whole logic of "I make my choice,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:51 AM on July 23, 2012
(Also, "rage"? Really? We're disagreeing on the internet and that's rage. If we want to unpack how women are expected to behave, I find it interesting that it seems natural to be told not to express anything that even hints at anger.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:53 AM on July 23, 2012
(Also, "rage"? Really? We're disagreeing on the internet and that's rage. If we want to unpack how women are expected to behave, I find it interesting that it seems natural to be told not to express anything that even hints at anger.)

Although, to be honest, I yearn to de-escalate, because I hate fighting on the internet, whether that's a gender thing or not.

Perhaps we could just say that as a baseline we both… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:00 AM on July 23, 2012
I thought the part about how you "resent" us for things that I didn't see anyone saying here, and the things that we "bang on about" that nobody said here either, were meant to convey rage, but I apologize if I misread that.

See, I think that this type of conversation is very tempting on the internet, but often goes spectacularly badly. I think there's a lot of slippage between "I have experienced this" and "you… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:22 AM on July 23, 2012

Le Sexisme Ordinaire
Leaving aside all other aspects of the matter, that's a lovely dress. It would certainly be nice if such kind of dresses became acceptable replacements for suits in the workplace, since they're more comfortable, more washable and come in a greater variety of fits. (I mean, I don't wear dresses ever and wouldn't even under a theoretical new dispensation, but they're still pretty.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:15 AM on July 20, 2012
This is both feminine and elegant. And this number on Mademoiselle Perry is vraiment chic.

Leaving aside the fact that neither of those is a work dress for most values of work...

Really? Really? A ruffled polyester shirt dress that I would have worn in my late-seventies-vintage days and a body-con-esque dress with mesh-lace sleeves? I mean, they're both pretty enough within their vernacular, but they're only going to flatter… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:56 AM on July 20, 2012

Silk washes just fine. I have a silk shirt that I've washed several times. I'm sure I can wash it a few more before it's unusable.

I know we're arguing about clothing technics in a politics thread, but although some silks wash quite well (I have some eighties parachute silk shirts that have probably been washed a hundred times since they were new), if that linked dress is silk then it won't wash - it's lined, for one thing, and it's a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:53 PM on July 20, 2012

Shooting at Batman Premiere outside Denver
When we've been talking about race, shooters and violence, here's what I've been thinking:

1. That this is a horrific, tragic thing, first and foremost - and that whatever the survivors, their families and the families of the dead need should be forthcoming without grandstanding or judgement or immediate attempts to make political capital from it.

2. As I understand it, mass killings in the US are mostly committed by white men. The examples… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:56 AM on July 20, 2012

Sexless Males Screw Society
It seems as though one could solve a lot of the problems around marriage by increasing the social status of women such that women were equal to men both economically and psychically. In an equal society, rich dudes can only "hoard" all the women if the women want to be hoarded, and the incentive to be hoarded by a rich dude goes way down if you have the ability to support yourself in reasonable comfort. More, if there were a "shortage" of women but no… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:38 PM on July 19, 2012

Body Integrity Identity Disorder
I would have somewhat more confidence in this article if it didn't try to draw an analogy between this condition and "autogynephilia", that old canard about how trans women who are attracted to women want to transition as a sexual fantasy and that therefore their desire to transition is a fetish and not, like, an autonomous thing. The scholarship on this harmful idea has been discredited - it's a framework that has routinely been used to deny trans people medical care and has been… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:54 AM on July 19, 2012

Or, the ethics of popular culture
Fans and creatives have a duty to remain accessible and relevant to future generations because they are not the owners of the ideas and institutions that they employ. Fannish and creative endeavours only have value in so far as they contribute to the advancement of a field and force its forms and institutions to remain relevant to the problems of the day.

There's a lot of....undercurrents in this piece. The one I notice particularly - as someone about… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on July 18, 2012
Priceless, Frowner.

Sadly, not my funny - Biggest Dreamer for the win.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:58 AM on July 18, 2012
The title should have been "Old Man's War Story".

But the thing is, bad ideas afflict every generation. Science fiction written by young, cutting-edge people is full of terrible ideas. Cory Doctorow, for example, routinely writes stories that purport to be feminist but have truly terrible, coercive, cruel ideas about how women should live. But perhaps because they seem "natural" to people of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:23 AM on July 18, 2012

Since you pull it into the open, Frowner (checks, yes, Frowner), That's another sort of oversight from the original article that I was less inclined to pull out: the extent to which he avoids the basic question of generational conflict going on: How many 50-year-old Heinlein fans are going to accept a 16-year-old as an equal participant? How many Twilight fans want one of those 50-year-old Heinlein fans hanging around? You want to play a tabletop RPG with someone 3 times
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:10 AM on July 18, 2012
Frowner, would you care to expand on, "Cory Doctorow, for example, routinely writes stories that purport to be feminist but have truly terrible, coercive, cruel ideas about how women should live" at all, please? I haven't read any of his books, but I never read anybody's books and I'm curious.

Well, there's Anda's Game - I admit, that was the last piece of his writing that I bothered with. I read Boing Boing for a while… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:48 AM on July 18, 2012
(I guess I should clarify by saying that while Anda's Game is just obsessed with Anda's weight and getting to an "acceptable" female body shape, it really plays into a pretty standard sexist narrative of "women need to pay a lot of attention to getting it exactly right in terms of their bodies, sexuality and appearance, and all other aspects of their lives are basically window dressing". It's a story that could have had the "window dressing" be… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on July 18, 2012

I choose you today—forever and a day.
It's really interesting that the aunts in the story are all "ooh, we don't approve of homosexuality and gay marriage and OMG I hope they don't kiss in front of the children" and then turn right around and say "....and we got them [some kind of risque sex toy thing] as a present" and "well, homosexuality is a sin but so is divorce, and we're all divorced".

Now, you can put that down to hypocrisy, but I think it's adaptability. I'm not… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on July 17, 2012

Not quite Mad Max
Another thing that seems to make more and more sense as I get older is that it seems that much if not most of the Cold War was propelled entirely by the US "reactions" to threats that didn't really exist - either through bad intelligence, bad faith actions or outright cowboy jingoism like Reagan's.

"The Cold War wasn't to keep the Soviets in line, it was to keep us in line," as Sarah Schulman wrote in (I think) Rat… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:18 AM on July 17, 2012
Ooooh, that was a Freudian slip! "Naked violence by the rich against the poor", eh comrade?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:19 AM on July 17, 2012

Not like the Queen, but like John Hurt
As I understand it, a lot of the people who get it worst from the Olympics are the very people who are already disenfranchised and who are thus 1. unable to articulate what is likely to go wrong and 2. unlikely to be believed. Ie, homeless and semi-homeless people who get "moved on" by the police both during construction and during the event, poor folks who suddenly have to pay more rent or move farther from their work/spend more time and money on transit, people of color/immigrants… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:14 AM on July 16, 2012
Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including "gold", "silver" and "bronze", "summer", "sponsors" and "London".

Publicans have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:59 AM on July 16, 2012

Eh, of all the product placement BS that goes on, this seems pretty minor. Most women applying for this job are going to be expecting to be dressed and made up to a standard. Makeup is a normal part of many dress codes, as horrible as that is. If I were a presenter I would be fine wearing makeup provided by a makeup company- saves having to buy and use my own for some one-off job. It's not like anyone watching will know it's MaxFactor from their faces.
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:04 PM on July 16, 2012

The death of non-specialist retail or Kozmo 2.0?
So what happened to all the stuff about how shitty it is to work for Amazon? How exploited the workers are and how cruel the management? I've stopped ordering from Amazon - fuck 'em, is what I say. I want more for the future than a polarized world where 50% of us are working in shitty, unairconditioned warehouses shipping goods for the other 50% who can't bear to wait more than twelve hours for their sweatshop-produced shoes or whatever. All this business of "oh, it's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:28 PM on July 13, 2012

I pointed to the husbands on the side, watching their wives and wincing

I'm pretty sick of articles where women humblebrag that they're so transgressive because although babies grew in their wombs they still think about sex and have social lives and haven't taken up tatting or started wearing SAS shoes or whatever it is they're so afraid of. I mean, do what you need to do to keep on feeling like a desirable person, I guess, but the word "milf" was coined a long time ago, you don't need to prove shit to me.
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:37 AM on July 13, 2012
I don't really think that's true, the whole thing with "your momma" jokes is that people get offended when you slag off on their moms.

But people don't make "your mamma" jokes to mammas, they make them as part of a masculinity-challenge - with the insult to the mother primarily a proxy for an insult to the son, and with the suggestion that the family is a kind of property than men have to defend. This isn't the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:55 AM on July 13, 2012
I agree completely with this, but I also think the article plays into the same misogyny that creates this issue in the first place. Insisting on being categorized as a whore rather than a Madonna still validates a worthless dichotomy. The way the article seems to equate a woman's sexual availability with her interestingness to others bothers me, too. Again, I don't think the author created those patterns, but the piece isn't helping anybody rethink them, either.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:58 AM on July 13, 2012

He Said, She Said, Starring Bob Dylan and a $1 Million Guitar.
Oh, the bitterness that my father still feels about Dylan "going electric"! He also refers to Joan Baez as "Joanie Phoney". He was a little bit older than the real hippie generation and a big fan of that whole late fifties/early sixties folk revival. He also has an anecdote about his much-loathed collage dorm-mate who both sold dope to and attempted to introduce my father to the Strawberry Alarm Clock - the selling of dope and the acquaintanceship with some kind of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on July 13, 2012
(I doubt it. Even for real fans of Chumbawumba (that is, people who know them as a band worth their salt regardless of "Tubthumper"), they are still just kind of an 'also' band. Had Fugazi signed to a major you might have something iconic to gripe about in 50 years.

The truth is, I think "Tubthumper" is a pretty good song - it expresses quite a lot of the band's basic beliefs about the potential in regular people, the sort of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:06 AM on July 13, 2012

"This whole situation may well get uglier before it gets better..."
I'm really interested in the structures that support this sort of thing and the structures that could be used to disincentivize it. Mobbing is common in internet communities, regardless of the focus of the community and apparently regardless of the intelligence or political leanings of the community members - in my experience, people with a strong theory of social justice that is carefully articulated within the community mob somewhat less, somewhat less cruelly and for somewhat better reasons… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:03 AM on July 11, 2012

The Ones We've Lost: The Student Loan Debt Suicides
I am grateful that I have work, when many of my friends and family struggle to find it. I am star-crossed and truly blessed. The difference is that most of my family and friends struggling to find work don't have extreme amounts of debt to repay like the people in these articles. Let's talk about the people who commit suicide or struggle with depression because they can't afford to get their mom to a hospital or get food on the table for their kids. Maybe once we address that I can… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:55 AM on July 10, 2012

Dance before the police come
Of course it was counterproductive, but they couldn't help themselves. It took Blair and New Labour to show yuou could be down with the kids and an authoritarian bastard at the same time, which in turn gave us David "quite like the Artic Monkeys" Cameron.

And also Cameron and his attempt to glom onto "The Eton Rifles" because he is apparently too stupid to do a close reading of song lyrics.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:50 PM on July 9, 2012

'Lucky for you, I read this thing so you don’t have to.'
Yes, this whole "oooh, the fanfiction! It is so terrible! Its literary values, they are so low! I am shocked, shocked that women are not demanding higher literary values in their romantic pornography!" routine grows a little tiresome. Of course, you know that women are the keepers of the flame - Virtue, Culture, Literature, all that crap - so if some women, especially non-nubile ones 'cause that's not hot - are getting off to some tacky porn, well, can the decline of the west be… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:26 PM on July 6, 2012
But, like, Twilight is full of really fucked-up, abusive relationships. So, fer cryin' out loud, is every Orson Scott Card book, not that those are porn but they are really creepy about sexuality. In fact, I'd infinitely rather someone be a fan of trashy kitsch porn than Orson Scott Card. But there's no handwaving over the total sick grossness that is Speaker for the Dead or Lost Boys or Songmaster.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:40 PM on July 6, 2012

SF writing, like all genre writing, aims first to satisfy the conventions of the genre, second to be actually good writing. One of these conventions is having some interesting ideas. If your story has those, SF fans will excuse your bad writing, your poor dialogue, your wooden characters, your shitty helpings of sophomore philosophical bullshit (or even worse, political philosophy). The genre tends to produce crap at a greater level than regular fiction because the aim is
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:32 PM on July 6, 2012

Pull it off suddenly and presto, friend freakouts
I buzzed my hair in college and the person I was dating saw me in profile in a bus window (he was waiting for me), did not recognize me and later said, "I thought you were a Marine". It's true that I was wearing the good old birth control glasses that I always wear, but it's still perhaps the most unlikely appearance-based assumption anyone has ever made about me.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:52 AM on July 6, 2012

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and pain relief at the end of life
Such guidelines, allied to improved public knowledge of the issue and the ever-increasing drug and surgical armamentarium available to physicians, has led to effective medical control of pain and other end-of-life symptoms. For the conscious, competent patient, this may well be a boon, because there is less reason for a patient to die with pain he or she wants alleviated. But, more generally, when a suffering-less death becomes the medical summum bonum, morphine and other drugs become… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:53 AM on July 5, 2012
This notion that pain is what makes you a good person and taking pharmaceuticals to alleviate it is somehow cheating, combined with the terror of giving out the good drugs to addicts, makes just going to or being in the hospital with something that hurts terrifying.

Especially when the notion is based on a nineteenth century novel and promulgated by people who do not themselves seem to have any experience with major, chronic pain.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:04 AM on July 5, 2012
I think what actually bugs me about this essay is how it implies that there is and ought to be some particular kind of consciousness - that there is inherent virtue in reflection. It also implies that if you do it right you get something out of death. Like there's this tidy, correct ending if you can just figure out how to have the kind of consciousness you should have.

When they write: "Drugged,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:59 AM on July 5, 2012

Paths to Graceland
Okay, that is absolutely beautiful. I have some non-simple and non-snark thoughts, though:

So this is a white UK musician re-releasing for free the work of the work of South African musicians who've pretty much sunk into obscurity. This work inspired a white US musician who made a lot of money and cultural capital from it. The US musician, Paul Simon, was widely criticized both for breaking the cultural boycott of apartheid South African and for exploiting the South… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:55 PM on July 4, 2012
I remember hearing that the South African musician's union had a big debate and vote over allowing members to collaborate on the album. They voted yes. If this is true, isn't it just arrogant paternalism for American or Europeans to disregard their decision, and to view the record as some kind of collaboration with apartheid?

The ANC, however, didn't want Simon to record, and shared this sentiment with many other anti-apartheid radicals in SA. I mean,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on July 5, 2012

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