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The Angry, Outspoken, Activist Larry Kramer
But HIV infection rates have gone back up among younger gay men (and men and women of color!). Isn't that the Scandal of Larry Kramer, that he says this over and over in public and that he says that certain types of casual sex are unsafe and foolish? I mean, a LOT of people really hate him because he's (rumor has it) very difficult and a bit controlling AND because he's seen as "sex negative".

In my sadder moments, I feel like all that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:28 AM on May 19, 2011
"Yes for one brief moment in time we got angry. Correction, a few of us got angry. Of all our many many millions of gay people in this country, about 10,000 of us or so got angry enough to accomplish something. We got drugs. We got aids care. We got enough so we could continue fucking again. That in the end is what it amounted to. As soon as we got the drugs, you went right back to what got us into such trouble in the first place."

I read... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:36 AM on May 19, 2011
That might be one thing that hasn't changed -- that gay men in the 1970s didn't want to hear that, and people today still don't want to hear it.

I collect old activist/queer/movement books and magazines, so I have this small press anthology of gay men's writing from San Francisco that was published in 1978 and most of the pieces revolve around "pushing your sexual boundaries is a radical political act by which you constitute a radical... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:18 AM on May 19, 2011
Look, I am very much not a fan of hedge fund managers, gay or straight, but the whole radical community/radical sexual practice thing... again, tens of thousands of men, old and young, died. THAT is the problem. Not that there are just too many damn gay capitalists.

But there is this narrative (that I think is Kramer's underlying narrative and which is certainly the subtext of And The Band Played On) which goes "promiscuity... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:41 AM on May 19, 2011
Holleran and Shilts (and to a lesser degree Kramer) and others make, I think, a pretty compelling case that it was horrible to begin with. The case for "everyone really was having fun and making an awesome new community" just doesn't strike me as very strong. I mean, Christ, the vagueness of it! Maybe my problem is that I'm approaching all this from a literature standpoint, and you're approaching it from a political standpoint. Good literature can't be vague, because it's a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:24 AM on May 19, 2011
I think it's really interesting that your vision is to replace all that yucky bourgeois stuff with something you say you'd "hate." I just don't get that at all. Why not advocate replacing it with something that you actually care about and like?

I think we're miscommunicating slightly - I'm not so interested in what I'd like, because even in future-casual-sex-utopia I'm going to be home with a book. I'm interested in... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:00 AM on May 19, 2011
It's very odd to me to approach, heck, Human Society from a perspective of "it doesn't matter what I've found to be true from my own personal experience of the world."

1. I feel differently when a choice has to be made - my experience can be ignored if no possible outcome is negative for me. If I like Thai food and pizza but you can't eat dairy, you get to pick the restaurant.

2. I don't really trust any individual... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on May 19, 2011
IIRC, Larry Kramer was there screaming about closing the bath houses (where we could hand out condoms and try to educate people, once we found out how it was spread) and calling for outrage

Wasn't there a lot of pushback from bathhouse owners against doing education and making condoms available? Like, either direct refusal or total marginalization of the efforts?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:33 AM on May 19, 2011
(the stories are great.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:41 AM on May 19, 2011

The Stockholm Syndrome Theory of Long Novels
I read The Tale of Genji in college for a tutorial - weeks of immersion in the extremely alien world of the Heian court. I would surface from reading the novel and my actual life would seem like a dream.

It's difficult to read long novels because of the immersion - I don't want to pull myself out of 19th century Russia or future dystopian America to deal with my regular life, and all I can think of is the world of the novel so sometimes that's all I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:02 AM on May 19, 2011

Chester Brown Pays For It
I don't know why it is that I have no problem with people doing sex work, have friends who have done sex work, absolutely believe it should be legalized and sex workers protected...and yet every time I read some dude's work about being a client, I am totally, totally skeeved out and want to cry.

Of course, maybe a better industry would generate better clients.

I have a couple of old Chester Brown books and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:59 AM on May 16, 2011

Lara Logan's tale
Either way, this isn't about conscious thoughts being perverted into something else, it's about conditioning someone from a very young age so that their sexuality remains off-limits to them in every way except those sanctioned by their society.

See, I just don't think that many types of sexual assault are "about" sex at all. They're about proving masculinity, men showing off for men or proving something to the Big Other about their power.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:48 PM on May 8, 2011

We're different from classic feminists.
I live in San Francisco, where situations that involve both nudity and protesting result in seeing people that you would never want to see naked in a million years. These ladies look great. More power to them.

I'm late to the party, but from far upthread - this is precisely the wrong attitude to have, because it's basically "you can show your body for artistic or political purposes if and only if it's a body I want to see; other bodies disgust me... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:39 PM on May 7, 2011

The Long Con
More than just abused and intimidated. They create a climate of distrust, where people who are doing anything which may go against what The System wants find themselves questioning the loyalties of any new face who comes within their midst. It's a form of instilling guilt-by-association only coming from the other way around the issue. If enough of these kinds of operations are mounted, soon those who may be working against the wishes of the powers that be (whether they are doing so... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:25 AM on May 6, 2011
Let me tell you something that happened to a friend of mine during the RNC protests. Oh, that will be after I tell you about my other friend who had a gun held to her head during an anti-road protest, with the cop saying he'd kill her and get away with it.

So I have this friend from activist stuff, see, a nice kid - really a kid, a young guy, very slight in build. During the 2008 RNC protests, he was arrested and beaten hard. Then while he was cuffed the cops slammed... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:41 AM on May 6, 2011
About to go read the article--I'll bet this is mentioned in there, but I don't see it in the discussion. Seattle was the site of a very serious act of eco-terrorism in 2001, when the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture was torched by what turned out the be the ELF

I think folks outside of the arts and activist scenes really, basically don't know how this stuff works. "ELF" is basically anyone who wants... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:29 AM on May 6, 2011

"We have no idea what to do next."
The collective decision has already been made (like 30+ years ago): we are going to keep relying on and using fossil fuels until we run out it becomes uneconomical to do so despite the consequences.

But a collective decision hasn't been made; there is no "collective" mechanism for major decisions about society. There is an ineffective, corrupt mechanism for decisions about small, immediate but nebulous issues - should we... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on May 5, 2011

"He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it."
This stuff happens all the time - it baffles me why there is actually more room for dissent about Israeli policy in Israel than in the US. For example, one of the essays in The Revolution Will Not Be Funded describes how a women of color organization (the Incite Collective itself? I don't have the book handy) had a grant for a media project yanked because of their unrelated support for Palestine.

I can only surmise that because average Americans know... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:38 AM on May 4, 2011

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel
Wow, it took reading several posts to get my head around the part where this isn't Don Cherry the genius musician. I'm kind of disappointed, actually, because Don Cherry, jazz great, was a pretty sharp dresser, at least in my opinion. I wouldn't mind a blog about the fashion choices of the great free jazz musicians.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 AM on May 4, 2011

RIP Joanna Russ
No no no no no. This absolutely cannot be true. This is awful.

Oh god, now I know that the grave gapes for me too, as one by one all the heroes of my youth pass on.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 AM on April 29, 2011
Well since I was 1 month old at the time and thus my recollection of events is somewhat murky, I will bow to the memories of old more experienced readers and assume this is one of those books whose recognition grows over time. Because Russ, Wilhelm, and Tiptree and basically the equivalents of Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke for feminist SF. But in a lot of ways that says even more about a novel's power than when a book is met with wdespread praise right out of the gate.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:04 PM on April 29, 2011
Now I will never write her a fan letter! Now she will never by some miracle speak at WisCon during a year I can attend! Now I can never imagine meeting her by some happy coincidence! Now when I reread her books and hear that wry, clever voice which has become so familiar...now I have to remember that she is gone.

Ah, it's a hell of a thing. It's so hard to think of her being dead when I can instantly conjure up so many images from her work, sharp and clear.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:04 PM on April 29, 2011
Ah. SM Stirling used to be able to tell a good story (he appears to have forgotten) but he's... well, he's SM Stirling. It's like pointing to something John Ringo or John C. Wright said; shooting fish in a barrel.

But you see, he was posting on a feminist SF listserv - the feminist SF listserv, in fact - where he was taken surprisingly seriously. Feminist SF has gotten a lot stroppier since then.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:50 PM on April 29, 2011

Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.
At least in the 90s, you could see capybara at the Shanghai zoo, pent up in a rather horrible concrete enclosure with a sort of moat. I had never seen any before and had no idea what they were; as we approached they all jumped into the water and swam up to the railings of the enclosure. In retrospect, I realize that this is because they hoped we would feed them snacks; at the time, I honestly thought it was because they were some kind of swarming animal and were hoping to get over the barrier... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:58 AM on April 27, 2011

Support for democracy is the province of ideologists and propagandists.
but it is difficult to see why he finds America's policies of oppression and exploitation less preferable to the evil evilness of other nations and ideologies. He doesn't demonstrate the moral superiority of other states.

Perhaps this is because Chomsky is, in a sort of Fabianism-for-anarchists way, an ?

When I was a little girl back during the Cold War and fell afoul of my classmates, they called me a communist and told me... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:50 AM on April 26, 2011
Ooh, sorry about the tags. Chomsky would be an anarchist, not a question mark.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:50 AM on April 26, 2011

Oh Cancer, Up Yours
I was just listening to Germfree Adolescents this weekend and thinking what an amazing album it was and how amazing she was, and thinking about what a tough life she'd had. Oh, this is sad. Too, too soon.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:35 AM on April 26, 2011

Iraq Vet Who Advocated For Others Kills Himself
This is just so depressing. I really, really hate the military. It takes people who want some fairly reasonable things - a job, stability, real skills, a sense of purpose, shared labor with people who care about something - and turns them sick, miserable, broken, right-wing, racist, violent....the only people I've met who came out of the military as healthy as when they went in were people who were posted in places like Germany in the sixties. I mean, in general I like the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on April 22, 2011

The battle of Stokes Croft
The Beeb headline is "eight officers injured". Now, having been in a number of rough-and-tumble protests, I would bet dollars to donuts that there's a lot of protesters injured, but that doesn't make the paper because the dirty hippies were asking for it, etc etc.

And the way the British cops have been lately, with the Alfie Meadows beatdown at the student protests, and hitting that Muslim girl in the head and so on, I personally tend to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:56 AM on April 22, 2011

Kiki Kannibal
I'd say that this isn't an internet problem; it's a regular family/school problem magnified into an apocalypse by the internet.

That poor kid. I can't imagine why anyone would think a 13-year-old girl could do anything to "deserve" this whole business.

I know from experiences of friends that unusually pretty young women who don't hide their looks/sexuality are treated as fair game by everyone, from men who are attracted to them to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:01 PM on April 21, 2011
The thing is, there will always be places with little or no moderation where stuff like this can happen, because places like that are profitable and attract a lot of eyeballs, and that a lot of people think is harmless and fun, including a lot of people with the money and skills to run sites. In this respect it's different from classroom/workplace bullying, which is only fun for a small set of people most of the time, and which is uncomfortable for a lot of people a lot of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:10 PM on April 21, 2011
But from the day she started sixth grade at Sawgrass, Kiki had a hard time fitting in, especially with the Hispanic and black girls who dominated her classroom. "I was bullied constantly," Kiki recalls. "They would call me a white ho and a white bitch." Her parents complained to the school but were disappointed by what they saw as a lack of response.

Have you never encountered this scenario? Racism by white... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:38 PM on April 21, 2011

Big Steve is Watching You?
I immediately think of this as a way to gather/log political information without needing an informant - who attended a meeting? Where are meetings routinely held? Where are protesters likely to gather? Ultimately, this is the sort of thing that I expect could be acquired by a really clever and unscrupulous police officer, union-busting firm (it would be super-useful for that--you could identify and target employees attending union meetings)...And of course, it means that if... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:42 AM on April 20, 2011

So basically, you’re our fault
Skygazer, I suspect that what you want is the Dehner tank boot--scroll down past the suede one. I had forgotten how sweet these look.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:51 PM on April 18, 2011

"The drug war is war on the underclass now. That’s all it is."
This whole interview really bugs me.

Look, I live in a crummy neighborhood--used to live on a corner which was written up in the paper as the city's worst, although I felt that was race-baiting and a bit silly.

"Those people" are not isolated in the ghetto. A lot lot lot of them work really shitty jobs in health care, home care, cleaning, the black market. Those jobs are the underpinning of the rest of the economy--when you can't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:08 AM on April 18, 2011

Square pizza slices have a permanent place in my heart
I'm surprised that so many people think this is a good idea, even assuming that the school lunch isn't gross. (The only consistently non-gross cafeteria food I ever experienced was when I worked in the cafeteria of a very posh private college and got free meals.)

It seems like there's a lot of suspicion of poor parents and parents of color in this initiative - the school sounds like it's low income with a number of Latin@ students. Would this same thing fly in an UMC... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:46 AM on April 13, 2011

You Can Call Me Al.
Graceland has surpassed form and virtuosity to become a touchstone, a thing we go to when we need to be reminded of who we are, where we come from, what we’re about, the things we have in common. In the title song, the place of Graceland is never reached.

This almost makes me dislike the album, because gag.

It's a good album. My father loves it, and used "You Can Call Me Al" to teach his students... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:53 PM on April 12, 2011
"Colonial" is a criticism I hear often, but I am not clear on what people mean by it. It's a pretty harsh criticism, especially when applied to the arts, when borrowing influences from many divergent sources is the norm. I could understand the complaint had Paul Simon actually stolen songs from African musicians and passed them off as his own but, Los Lobos accusations aside, he seems to have been fairly scrupulous in crediting -- and paying -- his collaborators, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:42 PM on April 12, 2011
You know what annoys me? That Simon is pilloried as "colonial," but Vampire Weekend is "innovative," even though they're pretty much doing the exact same thing Simon did (only without the Los Lobos debacle).

It smacks to me of "your favorite musician is old, and also, sucks."


They are all colonialist. I don't know anyone who complains about the one but not the other, although I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:00 PM on April 12, 2011
The songs are often structurally colonialist, in that Simon's voice covers the voices of the African musicians, Simon's role in the song eclipses theirs.

I understand some of the colonalism accusations, but what was he supposed to do, sing backup vocals instead of lead?


Well, supposed....he's not supposed to be resource-extracting among African musicians; he's supposed to be collaborating.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:49 PM on April 12, 2011

The State of White America

What's precious is how easily some white people are able to just forget that slavery ever happened.

Oh, I don't think he's forgotten slavery. I think he's jonesing for slavery. Probably under another name, yeah, but

What a picture I am painting. A new lower class whose members are increasingly unsuited for citizenry in a free society.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:06 PM on April 12, 2011

"I don't know if I should be photographing that or not"
How can we be expected to feel empathy for people WITHOUT mediation of their experiences, such as is produced by journalists?

Um, listening to their own accounts, perhaps?


This is all a lot trickier than it sounds--I'm actually part of a media project whose goal is to enable people to produce their own accounts, and even when it's not about guns and bombs and violent death, it's tricky. Very often, people... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on April 11, 2011

The Military's Secret Shame
The thing that struck me right away by the article is the assertion that the men who are perpetrating these assaults are predominately "heterosexual men." I understand that sexual assault is generally regarded to be a crime motivated by a desire for power over a desire for sex, however I can't help but feel that sexual repression and closeting is a major factor in these same-sex assaults. Power-be-damned, I can't imagine a truly straight guy thinking it's a good time to shove... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on April 8, 2011

50 Books Every Eleven-Year-Old Should Read
Oh, I remember being elevenish and reading all summer--I was still short enough to lie comfortably on the porch swing of the porch which was somewhat inexplicably built onto our garage, and I'd go out there after breakfast with a couple of books and read until lunch...those were happy times.

I read a lot of Madeline L'Engle one of those summers--I'd read the Swiftly Tilting Planet ones before, but I read The Moon By Night and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on April 8, 2011

Still smells like teen spirit
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
nothing but bad things to say about cleaning up after band parties (including IIRC early Nirvana) in the dorms

Well, yeah. I've met almost no bands for whom a band party wasn't a horrible mess except for some sincerity-core political bands.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:06 AM on April 6, 2011
I don't know what your criteria for "overground cultural impact" are, but The Fall were often cited by rockers and critics alike for their influence.

Well, the criteria aren't that! Seriously, as entertaining as about 20% of The Fall's output is, well, first they aren't "indie" and second, no--teenagers in general have never listened to The Fall, no one can recognize Mark E. Smith on the street except a select few, no one covers... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:13 PM on April 6, 2011
Plenty of people cover The Fall. Pavement used to get slagged as a Fall cover band.

Well, I think we can safely say that far more people cover Nirvana--rank amateurs playing in awful dives cover Nirvana, and while I'd certainly pay to hear a rank amateur cover of "Repetition" even in an awful dive, there just aren't as many of them.

This should not be interpreted as a criticism of The Fall...I mean,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:28 PM on April 6, 2011

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