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there is some weird cultural stuff floating around the idea of Buying It For Life or all the Shop Class as Soulcraft
Ya, you betcha. It's especially hilarious because while some people who buy all this stuff will keep it forever, a lot of people will give it away, sell it, or stick it in the basement til it gets mildewed as soon as the next big thing comes along. (Assuming capitalism and the planet survive long enough for there to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:55 PM on April 10, 2012
And they get similarly self-righteous towards people who change their habits towards durable "for life" goods that address their personal needs.
No, they don't. They just think it's funny when people justify buying a pair of $500 Aldens this year by saying that they are shoes "for life" and then mothball them when the next big trend comes along. Which people do. I've been, as we say, to this particular fashion show before.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:26 PM on April 10, 2012
That does not look like a happy kitty to me. Admittedly, perhaps when it's at home in a familiar environment it enjoys swimming, but the whole "has to be dropped into the pool" thing does not look promising. I do not approve of making pets do things that they clearly do not enjoy when there's no real benefit to the animal or the household - pictures of miserable pets in funny costumes always get me down.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:24 AM on April 10, 2012
"Perhaps in American cinema, women have typically been reduced to types like mom, girlfriend, or victim. But in the Y.A. books of our youth, they are far more complex, and more thoroughly drawn."
Little House on the Prairie is a strange choice for this list - it's memoir (albeit lightly fictionalized).
I also wish that when folks name check it they would note that the whole story plays out against the really grotesque and miserable dispossession of the Indians. The books are a strange document of that - Laura's puzzlement over her encounters with native people and the extremely odd passage (in the third one, maybe?) where Ma or Pa tells her… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:11 PM on April 9, 2012
The World's Most Unlikely Party Town
Such a pity. Actually, hanging out in a beautiful place for a month eating banana pancakes and Laotian food and swimming and tubing sounds deliriously nice. Relaxing with the occasional drink or lightweight substance would also be nice. But apparently no one can do that kind of thing in moderation, with courtesy and paying a fair rate, so I will never get to because all the places are full of drunken imperialist assholes.
One has to wonder, too, how much sexual assault… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:37 PM on April 8, 2012
The thing is, travel is like gentrification: first come the people who travel lightly, eat local food, think they're not being jackasses (or who buy and repair the crumbling Victorian, or whatever); then come the slightly more jackass people who are concerned with acquiring an "authentic experience" and prices start going up; then come the boatloads of loud, racist tourists (or the yuppie wine bars) and the village or neighborhood is irretrievably changed, usually by making things… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on April 9, 2012
Reckless Cyclist May Face Charges for Fatal Accident
Bikes need to be regulated like cars. We tried the alternative and it's not working. If you're planning on taking a vehicle on our city streets you should have to go to the DMV, take a test, inspect your equipment regularly for safety, register it with the local government, and have the potential to lose the privilege (and cops need to start writing tickets). It's not that I don't trust cyclists; I don't trust anyone.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on April 8, 2012
Crooked Timber on David Graeber
This turned into a total bunfight (I am a fan of Graeber's work and read CT, so I saw it in real time).
What I felt was going on under the surface was really a clash of two world views - the technocratic liberal CT house position and Graeber's anthropologist anarchism. As I read, it seemed like the fury of the clash was really an expression of the threat that Graeber's ideas pose to CT-ism.
I've been reading CT for years and (although I feel… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:11 PM on April 7, 2012
The Talk: Nonblack Version
A blog associated with the Miami New Times (which looks like a Village Voice affiliate) says that armed neo-Nazis are patrolling in Sanford. Now, the NSM has never been a viable political force in the US, but that's pretty scary even if it's just, like, 10 losers with guns...purely because it says that it's safe to bring that kind of violent racism out into the open.
People need to get it into our heads that times are changing for the worse right now. The things that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:48 AM on April 7, 2012
As I was thinking about this, I realized that if we want to shut this stuff down, we have to operate both at the small and the large level. My neighborhood association, for example, has this one solidly racist dude in it, and he's always trying to get support for crypto-racist stuff, and using crypto-racist framing. Because the neighborhood association does not have the know-how or the resources to be a truly open organization, it is majority white in an overwhelmingly POC neighborhood. And… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:17 AM on April 7, 2012
Upthread where you link the Tulsa shootings of random black men apparently by a white man....Tulsa is the city that had one of the US's worst race riots in 1921 and the whole thing was pretty much hushed up until a few years ago. As usual, it was a trumped up case where a black young man was accused of sassing a young white woman based on rumor - but that was only the proximate cause. The underlying issue was the wealth and success of the black community of Tulsa, the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:55 AM on April 7, 2012
Maybe it wasn't hushed up at the more local level - but it was a big news story at the national level a few years ago, and it certainly wasn't mentioned in any of the things I had read about pre-civil-rights/1920s history, something I made an effort to read up on in high school. The Tulsa riot wasn't in the widely available stuff that was floating around in an affluent library system outside Chicago in the 1990s, which given the gravity of the event is pretty surprising.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on April 7, 2012
That said, it wasn't some Patrick Bateman type doing the shootings driving between his banker job and the Stormfront meetup. It was probably some poor white who's never heard of John Derbyshire thinking he's doing right by his twisted beliefs.
Of course it's not. The elites generally don't do this stuff - look at the paramilitaries in Weimar (or in Chile, for that matter). It's just that racist violence by poor or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:20 PM on April 7, 2012
Pretending that racists/racism don’t still exist doesn’t really solve much of anything and kind of discounts that racism is pretty much baked into the history of the United States from its inception.
I guess the thing that concerns me about this line of reasoning is that it flattens history - there have always been racists in the US, there has always been institutional racism, and racism is basically the foundation of the US itself, that's very true.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:50 PM on April 7, 2012
Share the road.
Seriously, does a person on a bike look and act more like a pedestrian or more like a car? We (US, UK, etc) have got this one wrong.
No no no no no. Even a very slow cyclist like me goes much faster than someone walking. If I have to bike on the sidewalk as a regular thing, I have to slow down to walking speeds and the point of bicycling disappears. I do actually have part of my route where I bike across a college campus around a lot of pedestrians… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on April 6, 2012
A hipster schoolhouse started by a pair of underemployed polymaths
Parts of Minneapolis are overrun with hipsters. Though I don't think EXCO is.
EXCO has its hipsters and its punks and its radicals and its polymaths and its moonlighting faculty. It's also free...sometimes you can even get a grant to buy materials for a class. But there's no permanent space like the Brainery seems to have, and classes seem to be a bit more hit-and-miss. (I've both taught and taken EXCO classes.)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on April 5, 2012
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Most employed people take public transportation, which means they have unlimited-ride MetroCards. The Brooklyn Brainery is equidistant from three train lines (five or six on the weekends, depending on construction.) It's also located in close proximity (a handful of train stops) to Queens and Manhattan. So unless you're in SI or the Bronx, they have a very accessible location.
I mean that New York is a lot bigger… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:15 AM on April 6, 2012
Once upon a time, consumption meant you were thin and sick
A side note: when you hear people say that you should consume more soy instead of XYZ because it's healthy, keep in mind that soy is in great many things that you consume. Perhaps far more than what is good for you.
Vis-a-vis soy: IIRC, unless you look at the form the soy takes, you get some contradictory health results. Ie, it appears based on population studies from Asia that tofu, steamed soybeans, soymilk* and so on are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:45 AM on April 4, 2012
So wait, with this quinoa business - as I understood it, first world demand for quinoa was making it unaffordable to the Bolivian peasants who actually depend on the stuff and thus helping to shift them onto a crappy grainy diet. Won't declaring a "year of quinoa" just make things worse for everyone by raising prices more? I've actually just recently decided to give up quinoa because when I buy it I'm taking it out of the mouths of indigenous people in Bolivia, and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on April 6, 2012
Yes, I *Do* Feel Something Rising
Bob Larson has apparently performed more than 10,000 exorcisms in the past 30 years, which works out to nearly an exorcism a day. I find this unlikely. There are a lot of suckers in the world, but surely not more than 10,000 who have all requested an exorcism from this dude. Plus an exorcism a day is a lot. If you assume any kind of weekends or holidays, he's having to do two a day fairly regularly.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:15 PM on April 5, 2012
"My greatest regret is that I'm not a sociopath."
Something I noticed but have no theory about since I tend to read about rather than watch television and mainstream movies (yes, special snowflake, blah blah) - these sociopaths are almost always men, right? All the ones Kotsko name-checks are. I suppose there's a few women sociopaths (the villain in The Devil Wears Prada?) but they are cast as villains, not as enviable.
In terms of what Kotsko says about the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:44 AM on April 4, 2012
How to be a fan of problematic things.
When I read pieces like this, I find myself thinking about questions of audience - that is, they all seem aimed at the people whose experience is centered and valued by the problematic text rather than at the people who are marginalized/hurt/shamed by it.
So this article seems to be "how to think about racism in fantasy if you are white" and "how to think about sexism in fantasy if you are male" and "how to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:38 AM on April 3, 2012
You just wait a few centuries, until mentions of pet-owning, exercise, childbirth, and toilet paper are all "problematical," and everyone who has ever written about them is clearly a bad person.
See, this is again where questions of audience come into play.
People who are centered by problem texts tend to understand the problems in a very abstract way as "broken rules" or "in poor taste". So… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on April 3, 2012
Where does it hurt?
So this woman had a DVT. In any competent, non-racist hospital, a sprained ankle and persistent pain like that should have suggested a DVT, and she should have been sent for an ultrasound - not a perfect diagnostic tool, but it very likely would have caught the clot. Doing that has nothing to do with handing out pain-killers (and handing out pain-killers is fine by me). It's mere racist incompetence that she was not diagnosed correctly… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2012
I hope the above will be taken for what it is: a lightly poeticised account of the mental state of an average young woman negotiating her way through the urban environment
There is a certain type of man...often he writes for Adbusters, but not always. He is generally white, generally straight, and not quite as much of a chick-magnet as he feels he ought to be, although he does not admit that to himself. He is generally of the left, but only the part… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2012
Maybe I missed something, but I didn't get this from the article at all. Self's long had a thing about psychogeography (he had a column of that title in The Independent for years) and along with people like Iain Sinclair (who is, to be honest, a much better writer than Self on this topic), has written extensively about the intersection of public space, private property and the experience of, and rights surrounding, walking in and around both.
The tone… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:11 PM on March 30, 2012
See, fun's fun and all, but as a female-type person I get really tired of left-wing dudes (Self, Tim Wise, Derek Jensen...to name a few) whose automatic way of symbolizing what is wrong with the world is to point to a weirdly sexualized image of a stupid young woman. It's alienating. It's distracting. You (o men of metafilter) might imagine that you're reading an article about something you'd like to believe in and it lays into you - not for your gender, since just as anti-white sentiment is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:59 PM on March 30, 2012
Brine, Baby, Brine!
You don't have to eat the fondant. It's really pretty, but if you don't want a mouthful of pure sugar, peel it off.
Ace of Cakes
See, here is the thing: I do not understand this vogue for extremely pretty, extremely decorated cakes (and many of them are very clever a la Sunday Sweets) that are just cake covered with inedible (or at least not-very-tasty) fondant. What is the point of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:22 AM on March 30, 2012
Ritualized vomiting was simply part of brotherly life.
I am curiously reminded of how Brooks Brothers got its real start - scamming the Union government during the Civil War. All these elite places and aristocratic traditions - if you look even a bit under the surface, they're always foul, rotten and sociopathic, straight up Less Than Zero territory.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:41 PM on March 29, 2012
It's not paranoia if they ARE out to get you
I hope that Trayvon Martin's death is the thing that finally brings racist abuse into "official" "public" speech.
Before the Catholic Church abuse scandal broke, everyone I knew was aware that many priests abused children and were protected by the church. It was a common source of gallows humor. It wasn't in doubt. But somehow it wasn't in "official" speech. Oh, you could say it in public all you wanted, and plenty of people would believe… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:23 AM on March 27, 2012
(Oh, I should add that "official" "public" speech - actionable speech - is always "what [majority] white people believe to be true". Which is a function of white supremacy.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:34 AM on March 27, 2012
I would say excessive exposure to the Internet is the opposite of helpful, especially when it's taken seriously as a tool of enlightenment. It's an insulated environment.
See, the funny thing is that the internet has been really helpful for me as a white person, not least because it disabused me of some of the really stupid notions that I had grown up with. ("Reverse racism", anyone?) Also because it did provide a sheer… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on March 27, 2012
A Day In The Life
Those interested in Mr. Lagerfeld might enjoy The Beautiful Fall, a book focused on the late sixties through early eighties but also containing material about Lagerfeld's childhood and his various renarrations of it.
He actually does seem to have had a rather sad life - at least as sad as a life can be when cushioned with so much money and fame.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:38 PM on March 25, 2012
Aisle seat, please.
Also, move your feet! If you're of average height, you should be able to wriggle your ankles and flex your calves without moving too much otherwise. When I fly, I try to do this every 20 minutes or so when I'm awake, and I get up in the middle of the flight regardless of my seat mates. Not to put too fine a point on it, but their absolute freedom from standing up is not more important than my freedom from DVT. Also, it really isn't that awful to have to stand up a couple of times during a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on March 25, 2012
The White Savior Industrial Complex
Another important quote that gives some policy details:
Success for Kony 2012 would mean increased militarization of the anti-democratic Yoweri Museveni government, which has been in power in Uganda since 1986 and has played a major role in the world's deadliest ongoing conflict, the war in the Congo. But those whom privilege allows to deny constellational thinking would enjoy ignoring this fact. There are other troubling connections, not least of them being… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:43 AM on March 21, 2012
Trayvon Martin, shot by George Zimmerman
Before I have read any of the comments:
I was reading the Racialicious round-up of coverage on this case and they posted a tweet that said basically "When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut, white women invoked the language of 'family' and 'daughter' in coming to her defense; if she can be figured as your daughter, shouldn't Trayvon Martin be your son?"
I just can't get over how these kids - Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant - were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:30 AM on March 20, 2012
I know that, hippybear, but le morte de bea arthur upthread asserted that it wasn't necessarily a racist impulse that prompted the murder, it could have been a classist one.
Racism is so tied up with classism that they're really hard to separate - one of the things that racism does is provide a class advantage to white people. If you're a white boss, you know there's a reserve labor army of poor folks of color who will work for low… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:57 AM on March 20, 2012
I believe Zimmerman viewed Trayvon as a "threat" most likely because of the color of his skin and the way he was dressed, but I also believe if he saw a too skinny white guy with a shaved head and punk piercings, he probably would have reacted much the same, and the situation would have ended the same.
You know what? I was once a white punk (not the skinny kind, though) and I certainly knew many, many skinny white guys who were all punked… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:32 AM on March 20, 2012
A neighbor of George Zimmerman and fellow neighborhood watch captain in their Florida gated community came to his defense Tuesday, saying Zimmerman shot Miami teenager Trayvon Martin after numerous burglaries at The Retreat at Twin Lakes.
Frank Taaffe pointed out the circumstances that he believes led his 28-year-old neighbor to react the way he did on the night of Feb. 26: Eight burglaries within 15 months, most done by young black males, he said.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:47 AM on March 21, 2012
Slavery's Last Stronghold
It's astonishing how slavery persists and reestablishes itself in new forms.
There is a very interesting book, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, which is once again available after being out of print forever, which talks about how long slavery persisted in Western Europe - pretty much up through the French Revolution (which is sort of what you'd expect).
I think it's important not to say that Mauritania is the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:33 AM on March 19, 2012
Lucky Act 13
One thing I noticed with interest - the article quoted three people saying, essentially , "we Americans have a right not to live like [Nigerians or indigenous people who get so badly exploited]." Of course no one means "it's completely okay for Nigerians to be at the mercy of Shell because they are from Africa", but it's a weird little rhetorical device.
I guess it's smart to remember that what a corporation will do to a Nigerian is what they'll do… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:18 AM on March 15, 2012
It's a Dirty Job
The Sugar Daddy Recession
Also, I know from friends (some who made bad choices out of need, one who I dissuaded) that it's easy for young women (and young queer folks) to get into situations that they don't know how to handle. If you're young and too good-hearted, it's easy to believe a dude when he says that it will just be sex, or you can leave any time, or you don't have to do [sex act or unsafe thing]. Or you can lack the social skills and self confidence to negotiate good terms and/or leave, plus if you're in that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:31 PM on March 13, 2012
Crash the Justice System
Pushing the moral burden of action upon those who would likely suffer the most and are already among the most marginalized and victimized among us isn't a solution.
I think y'all are missing a point about organizing. One of the best ways to achieve powerful, effective social change is by organizing the people affected by the problem. The rest of us - the best we can do is...almost like charity work. We don't live the problem. We don't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:45 PM on March 11, 2012
Homeless on purpose
I don't think it's really appropriate to trash on this kid, for pete's sake. He's doing what he needs to do to achieve his ends, hurting no one, making no larger program.
If anything, to me he's a symbol of how much more students ought to get - there's no reason there couldn't be enough assistance to provide an SRO-level single room for a kid for a few years.
I'm far more worried about the ways homelessness or precariousness can get… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:56 AM on March 9, 2012
Also, it's very easy to turn this into 'divide and be ruled'. There's no reason we can't demand a society in which everyone has housing, regardless of whether they are students, mentally ill, a little bit lazy, chronically ill, etc. Everyone should be housed. It doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time as a society breaking people down into "the deserving poor" and the lazy wastrels, or whatever. The only people benefited by that strategy are the elites who are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:00 AM on March 9, 2012
What if this same kid spent ten hours a week volunteering to help families get fresh produce and meats and cook good food? Is he more ethical because he is contributing, or still unethical because he is not EARNING?
Indeed. Folks definitely collapse "getting paid" with "being moral". Which is radically individualistic (in, like, a bad way) because it's basically rooted in 'you need to be totally self-sufficient in order to be a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on March 9, 2012
As far as I can tell, it shouldn't generally be possible for adults to live anywhere without a job. Housing ain't free.
I'm looking forward to the house-to-house paper checks, the rousting of homeless folks, the expulsions of squatters and all the various mechanisms of state repression that will come into being to make this work. I'm also looking forward to the forced labor part, because if we can't let people break the law by being homeless,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on March 9, 2012
It's called the workhouse, and to be honest it's better to have them working and contributing to society than sitting on welfare/charity doing nothing.
LOL! Have you actually read the history of workhouses? Or any statistics about how a semi-slave army of labor actually depresses wages for everyone else? Or any reporting on how people actually are able to transition off welfare, when they are?… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:31 AM on March 10, 2012