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Still smells like teen spirit
Oh my god, I am so old. I remember being on the campus shuttle and two girls behind me were talking about the death.

Nirvana (and all that radio grunge stuff) was a bit of a joke in our [punk rock] circles, although I think we as a group felt some connection to the whole thing because Courtney Love had lived in Minneapolis (that is, was a local, sort of) and was still sort of a figure in riot grrrl and fanzine culture.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:18 AM on April 6, 2011
I always figured that success was what basically went wrong for both Cobain and Love--they were born to be well-known local rockers, the kind of people who still get pointed out at the bar when they're 45 and still play the occasional benefit show at the best bar venue in town when they're in their fifties, the kind of people who are sort of fucked-up drunks but who have enough local people around them to keep them sane and functioning. I sometimes imagine an alternative Courtney, living in... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:26 AM on April 6, 2011
After Nevermind? Before long, there was a whole section in those stores stocking this kind of stuff. Also, Cobain was a namedropping goldmine - I'd read an interview with him, write down the names of every band he referenced, and then go on a shopping spree next time I was in Toronto. That's how I discovered Fugazi, the Meat Puppets, the Vaselines, L7, the Pixies. Basically uncovered the trail that would, by '93, lead me to quit a business degree and do something I actually gave a shit... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:41 AM on April 6, 2011
I mean, the voice of what generation? Who?

People I knew who listened really seriously to Nirvana:

1. White alterna-suburbanites for whom Nirvana was the first non-radio-pop they could really access. (How I first heard Nevermind, in fact.)

2. Younger white kids to whom Nirvana really spoke.

Nirvana always seemed like this really middle/lower-middle class white suburban... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:51 AM on April 6, 2011
I forget which documentary about Kurt that had recordings he made, more honest than the interviews, and talked to friends of his. Basically it came down to the fact that he kept going on about how he didn't want the fame, success, money, mansion, etc. and he kept going on about how stupid and pathetic heroin users are, when he was a huge one too.

I dunno, it's really hard to avoid selling out. I say this as one who has sold out by getting a regular... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:07 AM on April 6, 2011

Medicine: Back to the Middle Ages
Ultimately, we may simply have to accept that antibiotics should no longer be cheap. Rather, they would become premium-priced products along the lines of targeted cancer therapies, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year for each patient. It would be a radical change, and price out many in the developing world, but a high price would, at least, have the advantage of deterring over-use and helping to fund research, particularly in more narrowly targeted drugs.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:53 PM on April 1, 2011

You know, if one paints someone's portrait, one should not know him if possible.
Otto Dix is one of my favorite painters. Certainly my favorite Weimar artist.

I really, really like this one, Self Portrait With Carnation. I like his self-portraits best, that intense, bad-tempered stare that is an intensification of what the photos show.

Looking at some of these, I feel like he influenced some of the later and less well known surrealists, maybe? Some of his twenties work suggests Leonor Fini or Remedios Varos to me a bit.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:44 AM on April 1, 2011
Oh, it would be great to live in Weimar Berlin...for a few years, as a wealthy foreigner with, oh let's see, maybe Swiss citizenship. Sign me up for that piece of time travel...
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on April 1, 2011

The Psychopathology of Extreme Heroism
But both linked articles cite large groups of people doing something heroic and risky--the firefighters during 9/11 and the Fukushima nuclear workers. Now, it's easy to argue that people with a peculiar genetic make-up choose that kind of risk-taking work, except that you also find group heroism in war, militant strikes, resistance movements and street demonstrations--and those are much more random groups of people. If... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on April 1, 2011

Words Do Hurt
I've never understood why some people can't get past it. I don't mean to be insensitive, I just don't get it.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Their bullying was worse than what you experienced.

2. Their bullying was physical as well, and frightening.

3. They had less support at home--not just clueless parents.

4. Adults participated so that there was no... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:46 PM on March 30, 2011
If it can't be eradicated, encouraging people to dwell on it only makes more people more damaged. If my daughter is bullied, I will remind her that high school is a temporary condition that doesn't matter one shit the moment you leave it, and the Living Well is the Best Revenge.

Or perhaps you could tell her that she's not really experiencing bullying! Or that it's not really too bad and that people elsewhere have it much much worse! If she starts... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:18 PM on March 30, 2011
If it can't be eradicated, encouraging people to dwell on it only makes more people more damaged. If my daughter is bullied, I will remind her that high school is a temporary condition that doesn't matter one shit the moment you leave it, and the Living Well is the Best Revenge.

You know, the more I think about it the more I'm puzzled by what I'll call Bullying Deniers--people who say "it's not really that bad" and "you should tell kids... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:28 PM on March 30, 2011
Oh my gosh, exactly. I'm always skeptical when I hear people say they were bullied for being smart.

I mean, in a sense I was bullied for being smart, but that's not how I'd describe it. You could break it out this way:

1. I come from a family where everyone really can do above-average academic work, most of us well above average. We read a lot, we write a lot, we tend to be librarians, artists, etc etc.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:51 PM on March 30, 2011
It's been 27 years since I was that 10 year old. I'm still dealing with it. I still have major issues with hypervigilance and "self-security". I still have issues with dealing with the anger of others, or confrontation. Not just physical confrontation, but also the everyday confrontations that are necessary to compete and strive in life.

Oh, this.

Mayor Curley, when you talk about getting over it,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:01 PM on March 30, 2011
I was bullied in 6th grade by someone who peed their pants in 7th grade. That person carried a urine title with him till the senior year of high school. Who is the victim there? Everyone is. If everyone is a victim, then nobody is a victim.

Look, you know there's degrees to this kind of thing.

I was bullied from third through fifth grade by a clique of five older boys on my block and bullied at school by a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:14 PM on March 30, 2011
Bullying isn't motivated by jealousy. Your gifts don't make you a target.

Well, I'd say that jealousy isn't sufficient motivation for substantial bullying...but I've definitely seen girls get bullied, for example, for being low-status but still attracting male attention for their looks.

And consider what phunniemee said--that it was the teacher saying "oh look how much smarter phunniemee is!" that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:44 PM on March 30, 2011
As much as it's futile to say "so maybe we can all agree that THING..." on the internet, perhaps we can all agree that there are different experiences of bullying--more and less severe--and in particular different kinds of bullies. Some bullies are themselves victims; some bullies have wealth, looks, brains and a supportive family. (And I did know several of those.) Some bullies have something wrong with them--some sociopathic thing wrong.

Your ability to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:49 PM on March 30, 2011
And kids bully to fit in, right? Once a kid is marked, the new kids and the kids who want to preserve their own status know what to do, probably at an unconscious level. Crowd norms are very strong--kids who describe the bullied kid as "annoying" probably really do find him annoying because that is the narrative of that classroom.


There was a book which came out around 2000 which argued that classrooms in the US tended to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:59 PM on March 30, 2011
What I notice about the "bullied for being smart" piece is that most people don't seem to describe being "bullied for being smart alone". There's an awful lot of description here about how the teacher starts it off--reading off grades by name, praising some students by name or shaming some students by name, resenting smart/weird children.


But here's the thing: now I ( have) work(ed) with ( SOME, not ALL)... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:48 AM on March 31, 2011
Okay, so what does "getting over it" look like?

One reason I'm resistant to "getting over it" (and I think that at an unconscious level "I need to defend myself at all times and I can't get really close to anyone" is a core part of my character) is that the rhetoric of "get over it" seems to minimize what happened to me, or to suggest that "getting over it" will lead to being normal.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 AM on March 31, 2011

"No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library." ~Samuel Johnson
I think there's a lot going on here, some good and some bad.

1. Physically having books is a different experience from having potential books (online, downloadable). Being able to stroll among books, looking at them and easily laying out a bunch of them on the table (for example) makes certain types of scholarship, inspiration and comparison easier. Physically browsing the stacks allows more randomness more easily than searching an archive--ie, I can easily look at a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:42 AM on March 31, 2011

Artificial Leaf
This reminds me of Ursula Le Guin's short story The New Atlantis, wherein a group of renegade physicists discover a super solar cell and are promptly jailed by the government because truly cheap, off the grid power is too threatening.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:38 PM on March 29, 2011

Pauline Baynes
My goodness, between her and Diana Wynne-Jones...what a sad week. I absolutely loved her Narnia illustrations when I was little. The Voyage of the Dawntreader and The Magician's Nephew in particular were the absolute epitome of beauty at the time. Even now they hold up awfully well. As a child I missed how witty many of them are.

I also remember my surprise to see her illustrations in
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:34 AM on March 28, 2011
Oooh, distress made me forget to close my tags.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:34 AM on March 28, 2011

Venezuelean hunger strike ends
As hippybear points out, the sewn mouths article is from two years ago. And oh by-the-way, a couple of the political prisoners that those students were protesting for were Lázaro Forero and Iván Simonovis. The guys that kidnapped Chavez and tried to stage a coup. What do you think would happen if a couple of disgruntled Secret Service agents kidnapped Obama? I can guarantee you'd have FOX news protesting their "inhuman" confinement and posturing about these poor... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:14 PM on March 25, 2011

Everyone Once in Berlin
I assume that all of this was basically because of the horrible economic times in Germany after the first world war. All this with the boots sounds so amusing, but probably wasn't especially thrilling for many of the women involved (since it seems likely to me that the number of women who enjoyed prostitution was probably much smaller than the number involved, given the many many women involved.) And the little girl prostitutes!

If I recall my Weimar seminar correctly,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:22 PM on March 24, 2011

An Apology of Sorts...
Big famous beloved punk dudes shouldn't punch their fans or the venue staff no matter how they behave. Jeez, that whole Lookout Records/Gilman/California scene just went to shit since I stopped following it, I guess. Larry Livermore would have had a giant giant conniption fit.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:56 AM on March 24, 2011
But I feel uncomfortable claiming this as a rallying point for feminism. Anyone have a convincing argument for that?

I don't think this is a "rallying point for feminism" so much as a moment that suggests that the feminism/anti-violence/kindness stuff that was if not hegemonic at least strong in the mid/late nineties when I was following pop punk and that whole California scene has pretty much faded away. I've thought this for a while and was... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2011

Dumb men commercials
"Stupid man" commercials are deeply, deeply sexist and gross. (I'm a woman, a feminist, etc etc). They rely on the pre-feminist trope of "the sexes are so different! and they are at war!!!! It doesn't matter whether it's men who are stupid and women smart or the other way round, men who are dangerously lustful (today) or women (late middle ages); this trope forecloses the possibility of a loving, equal relationship between a man and a woman. It also either... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on March 23, 2011

A crash course in nuclear wessels.
In the matter of personnel at Chernobyl, the documentary The Battle of Chernobyl was linked far, far upthread and is well worth watching. It has interviews with Gorbachev, various Soviet scientists and military personnel, medical staff, surviving workers and the Soviet journalist who covered the whole thing (taking huge doses of radiation himself). After the initial disaster, many people apparently knew the risks they ran (as much as anyone knew them at the time) and went ahead anyway. The... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:42 AM on March 16, 2011

Kid Zangeif
Okay, so there's a huge pile of anecdata that says first, that you often can stop being bullied by punching the bully or in some other way hitting back; and second, that the bullied are still marked, years later, by what happened to them. Then it seems like there's a lot of statements that violence is not the answer and that today's victim is tomorrow's bully, we don't know the whole story, etc.

Is there a comparable amount of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:23 AM on March 15, 2011
No one helped me. That was the thing that I look back on in astonishment. No one helped me, and several of my teachers actually joined the bullies in making fun of me. My parents told me that they too had been bullied; it was just our lot as working-class intellectuals, I'd grow up and move away and everything would be better. Of course, college is a long way away when you're twelve.

I wish I had hit back, actually. That's what I regret, years... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 AM on March 15, 2011
And I'll say this: everyone who says "I did this – I fought back – and it worked for me" is, I think, either forgetting this fact or being disingenuous. They're forgetting the price of rising to the violence. It may have been the only thing that made the victimization stop; but it came at a price. You had to become a bully. Is that a price that's worth paying? Is it worth it to ask children to become bullies themselves to avoid being bullied?... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on March 15, 2011
Dude, when I've stood up to people (on the couple of occasions that I stood up physically) I felt great. Shaken, but great. And I've gotten in front of neo-nazis, I've grabbed someone back from the cops [in a protest situation when she hadn't done anything], I've body-checked some big guy on the sidewalk who was getting into my space. When I've done those things, I've felt powerful. I have never, ever regretted taking my space. What I have regretted... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:13 AM on March 15, 2011

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