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In a City of Hipstercrites
God, that is a terrible article. I mean, it gets at some interesting stuff, a little - the whole situation of being middle aged and how that changes your relationship to youth culture. I am very aware of this myself in my late thirties. You get used to being part of "youth culture" because you are young first, after all, and then you realize over time that the zeitgeist has changed and you have not, or that you've changed but not in sync with the zeitgeist. It's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on May 2, 2013
The NYT is always good at keeping us in touch with what the young people are up to.

Oh, yeah, I remember when that happened. I still have that issue of the Baffler, actually, although the Baffler itself shows what happens when you were once right on the money, zeitgeist-wise, and now are not but don't really realize this fact.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:16 AM on May 2, 2013
I think a lot of these questions of class and cultural appropriation are case-by-case, and this gets obscured in larger, more general pieces.

And I also think that these questions point to systemic issues of inequality - that's why they are felt so deeply.

Yes, it's pretty creepy when some obnoxious rich person is wearing a trucker cap because he thinks working class people are hiLARious and not actually really real like he is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:20 AM on May 2, 2013
I actually know lots of people who practice "ironic" fashion - I mean, the punks I grew up with sure did. "Wear the ugliest shirt you can find at the thrift store" isn't that uncommon, and the "ugliness" of the shirt is usually predicated on some kind of contempt for the shirt's "natural" owner - the shirt is the type of thing that the ironic wearer associates with a middle-aged secretary, or grandma, or someone working at a gas station, or someone who… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:16 PM on May 2, 2013
While being a lot less offensive.

In some ways yes, in some ways no. I mean, it's certainly a lot harder to pinpoint - if I show up in native regalia, it's unquestionably wrong, but if 1992-Frowner showed up in a mother-of-the-bride dress (I had one I thought was really pretty), it's rather difficult to tell to what degree I was wearing it because it seemed funny to wear a MOB dress since I was not a middle-aged woman, to what… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on May 2, 2013

the history of Taco Bell's disruptive faux cheese-dusted taco
Wait, what do you mean subsist? As a single dude, $100/week is roughly double my budget for purchasing a shitload of food and wild-raised, etc etc meat, cheese, etc. Are you saying you spend double my monthly budget eating fast-food? The mind boggles.

I assumed that Daily Alice meant "$400 for everything including some kind of ultra-cheap rent". This must have been in the nineties, right? You could back then get a whole fairly adequate… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 PM on May 1, 2013

Snitches get stitches, fool *BLEAT*
Yeah, basically this is people leveraging racism and misogyny (seriously, what possible non-misogynist rationale is there for battered-woman humor?) to make money and get more famous. Obviously, people know this stuff is racist, they know it's misogynist, and they do it because it's racist and misogynist.

I think that's what makes it the "most racist" commercial - the regular old racist ones advertising chocolate or soap or whatever with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2013

Lamar Smith Chairs House Science Committee
That's awful!

I mean, first off they want projects to be "groundbreaking" but they don't want actual scientists to peer review them, so "groundbreaking" is presumably subject to all kinds of political hackery.

Second, what the fuck with the "groundbreaking"? I work with researchers. Most of them are not doing "groundbreaking" research - just research that is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:57 AM on May 1, 2013

Posthumous Papers
If the novel was originally to be the misadventures of a "cockney sporting club", wouldn't a lot of the humor rest on their class failure? Ie, gentlemen hunting aren't especially hilarious, but proles hunting is comic gold? IIRC my Orwell correctly, in the UK hunting is not - as it was in Russia or is in the US - a sport widely accessible to working class people.

If that's the case, it renders Seymour a little less sympathetic, frankly.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:51 PM on April 30, 2013

BBC: How to Eat Healthily on £1 a day
Here's a thing: I have a friend with a baby daughter. She's on food stamps. She can't afford childcare and does, basically, odd jobs while living with her [awful] parents because even with the odd jobs she can't make rent. She's out of food stamp money until the 8th. She has enough to eat until then, sort of. And I have lived with her and the baby - she is a meticulous cook who makes everything from scratch, no junk ever, not least because she has a lot of health… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on April 30, 2013

This was a horrible idea. After a year of eating this way, I got to the point that I would start to gag if I even smelled turkey soup. I actually have a whole turkey still sitting in the freezer from those days that I haven't even bothered to cook.

See, this is why the whole "oh, just subsist on beans and rice it is so cheap and nutritious, you lazy whiny poor person, you can cook it in bulk for pennies" line of reasoning drives… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:24 AM on April 30, 2013
Gah, this is making me so angry. A la lanterne, you smug rich motherfuckers.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:25 AM on April 30, 2013

Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out
Lambert vehemently disputes suggestions that he is motivated by sexism (or racism, as the case may be). He cites principles of Wikipedia categorization: arguing, for example, that huge categories should be broken up and “diffused” because they become useless for navigation. “This whole hullabaloo is really missing the point,” he told me. “The people who are making a big deal about this are not being up-front about what happens if we do not diffuse categories.” Others argued that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 30, 2013

So you don't have a different shelf in another part of the store for African-American History, you just stick a label to the part of the shelf that has African-American History within various other history sub-topics.

Strangely, this never occurred to anyone volunteering there, even though there were some very sharp-edged conflicts over shelving. I wonder if we could have prevented a lot of conflict and problems with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:14 AM on April 30, 2013

A generous barrage of narcissism
She's the one with the gross Evelyn-Evelyn fake conjoined twins thing, right? And the vaguly "sex workers are gross and risible" song titles? And the snarking on fat people via Twitter?

I mean, I've never heard a good thing about her politics, ever, just a sort of fake feminism where being "empowered" to make money and get famous equals feminism because she's, like, a woman and stuff and talks about sex while being cute, young, white and well off.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:39 PM on April 29, 2013
Obviously there's a lot in play, though, and I expect that some of it is misogyny - woman judged harder and expected to be nicer; woman married to heartthrob [heartthrob to some, at least in my circles anyway] Neil Gaiman must be run down as "not good enough"; woman who is arrogant and entitled seen as much worse than man who is the same; male artists who create insanely twee women characters (as NG does) seen as quirky and charming, women who act twee seen as… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:49 PM on April 29, 2013

CO2 to hit 400 parts per million next month, highest since the Pliocene
I had the most depressing conversation with my father recently. My dad has always been sort of a climate optimist - "oh, global warming is happening, but I lived through predictions of Soylent-Green style overpopulation and followed by predictions of nuclear winter, so I tend not to believe in apocalyptic scenarios, plus there must be some kind of planetary homeostasis effect or we will figure out the technology" - but when we last talked, he said he felt like… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 PM on April 25, 2013

In the second week of May, (while I popped massive doses of aspirin to hopefully keep my temperature from rising again)

I know everyone makes choices in the moment that make sense to them - and that good choices made in the moment with full on-the-ground knowledge of the situation may not make sense to the uninformed - so please read the next paragraph in a sympathetic, friendly tone rather than a hostile one.

Did you ever… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:16 AM on April 25, 2013

"Oh my God, it's orcas attacking sperm whales."
I was kind of hoping that he jumped in on the side of the sperm whales. Not as some kind of neutral observer of nature's murderers attacking the gentle, hippie giants of the seas. Tsk.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:09 AM on April 25, 2013
Sperm whales are hardly "gentle, hippie giants of the sea." We are talking about the world's largest predator, an animal with teeth the size of your hand that dives thousands of feet into the inky depths to do battle with giant squid, its primary food source. That they are outmaneuvered in this case does not mean they are some kind of benevolent, mild-mannered sea beastie.

Ah, you see, I was being silly. Although I do tend to like the big… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:19 AM on April 25, 2013

Jocasta Innes, 78, influential writer on decor, cooking
Oh my goodness, I have several of her books! Faux bois and other surface treatments like that actually have a long and honorable history and can look pretty cool.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:13 PM on April 24, 2013

We've got a kotton krown, gonna keep it underground
I find it incredibly depressing that the split turns out to be the result of the male half of the couple having an affair. (One assumes with a younger woman.) I had hoped that it was just, you know, a divorce, not a "famous dude can't keep it in his pants or stay true to his amazing partner" divorce.

Seriously, straight people of metafilter, I would love not to feel this way: but this really makes me glad that my… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on April 23, 2013
Blaming one half of the party based on the other half's intentionally vague story doesn't solve anything.

It's not even blame, though. It's that it always happens - it's as though I have only to admire a male intellectual or artist to discover that he has cheated on his talented, age-appropriate partner as soon as she is, like him, out of her first youth. I mean, I've gotten to the point where I assume it's a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:52 AM on April 23, 2013
I add that, as a broad generality, the "famous person cheats on partner and leaves them for someone younger" thing is not something that women generally do. I view this as more a function of patriarchy than anything else, but lord is it depressing.

Don't imagine me cackling and rubbing my feminist hands over male perfidy; imagine me getting depressed that the world sucks.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on April 23, 2013
Is this kind of idiocy really your best response to this kind of situation?

OmniWise, I've just realized that I tend to view "people in a less privileged position getting kind of depressed about that situation and speaking with some hyperbole in the moment" as a bit emotionally different from "person hostility directed at one individual", and that I assume we feel differently about that.

I mean honestly,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on April 23, 2013
But anyway! In retrospect, I recognize that I should not have turned this in the direction it's going! I will personally stop going this direction! And hope others will too, except it would of course be fair for OmniWise to reply.

On that note, boy, Goo was virtually the first really nineties-esque alternative album that was available in the regular record stores near me, and it sure was a revelation even though it's one of their lesser works. I still know all the songs by heart.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:06 AM on April 23, 2013
As far as being an "aging hipster" (or an aging punk) - I think that a problem with certain kinds of hipster / punk /arts cultures (probably compounded by being famous) is that it is very difficult to figure out how to get old. I assume that when everyone around you is invested in telling you that you are basically not getting old, you still have it, you're still the same - and when you want to hear that, because you're in a subculture with no model for being old,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:46 PM on April 23, 2013

"Coffee ... is still just roasted beans and water"
All these people go to the expensive espresso bar with a hipster, rockstar barista. That’s not what we do. We want people to relearn what was lost.” Martijn and his friends thought the first step in this reeducation was breaking down walls. Particularly, the one between the front and back of the counter. Koffie Leute doesn’t hand customers coffee, it hands them the beans. The customer then pours the beans into a hand-powered burr grinder, closes its hatch, and gives the thing a good… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on April 16, 2013
I might conceivably pay good money to have a Fancy Thing (probably not coffee, as I'm not really fussy about coffee) made by someone at a Fancy Hipster Shop provided that there didn't have to be a lot of ideology associated with it. Like, what about "Fancy Thing is tasty! Many people enjoy it because Reasons!" rather than "Fancy Thing is made in the artisanal tradition of The Peasants Before They Were Corrupted By Capitalism and we should all be harking back to peasant ways -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:12 AM on April 16, 2013
I mean, all this is really the capitalist sublime, right? The assumption being that once we learn to consume correctly, to make an artistic performance out of consumption itself, our problems will fall away and we will be perfectly well adjusted to capitalist society, we will effortlessly be fashionable, well-dressed and healthy, we will have upper middle class incomes, etc. The problem is that we don't understand how to consume right.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:14 AM on April 16, 2013

We Found Hope in a Mega Millions Ticket
Perhaps. I didn't get that from it though. It read to me like a microcosm of what life in the United States has become for so, so many people. Shitty jobs in service industries with little or no opportunity for advancement or wage increases, for instance, just the other day we saw right here that vast swaths of major metro areas are toiling away in dead end service jobs.

Exactly. I'm just so baffled by the incredible inequality I see every day. I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:05 PM on April 12, 2013

Smaller Wallets, Larger Households?
"Unrelated adults" clauses have historically also been used to discriminate against regular poor people, immigrants (people who arrive without their families and who share housing) and GLBTQ people who have been unable to achieve state-sanctioned familyhood.

I had to have a lovely but elderly and dying tree chopped down; I am currently trying to figure out how on earth we'll pay to have the other elderly and dying tree, which is larger, chopped down and taken… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:52 AM on April 12, 2013

"The Real Truth About Blacks and Unemployment…"
That's not how it works. It's not a zero-sum game. You should be ripshit because this racism crap is taking money out of your pocket - if people were given truly equal opportunities, more people would be producing at their best potential, which puts more money into the system all around. By forcing people into a lower-class economic situation unjustly, it's robbing from everyone.

Actually, what racism does is it creates a "reserve labor… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on April 11, 2013
And I add that when majority-white unions are complicit in racism, we are totally screwing ourselves over.

White people don't need Louis CK's [kind of rape-y and homophobic] ideas about what "they" will do to "us" in revenge; we're screwing ourselves.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on April 11, 2013

Your dog did not eat your homework
Hey remember that excruciating scene in Snow Crash

That was actually the first thing I thought of.

Is it just me, or has the dystopianization of These United States sped up recently?


I add that the assumption behind this software is that no one enjoys learning, and no one likes or dislikes some material more than other material; and that all material demands the same degree… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:56 AM on April 11, 2013

“Shopping is so ritualised that we walk around like zombies,”
All my supermarket check-outs are "guilt-free", because feeling guilty about food is not helpful. Some days I think "hey, it was entirely nutritionally appropriate to buy what I bought, including that chocolate bar" and some days I think "how can I plan my shopping and cooking better", but I don't spend a lot of time feeling "guilty" over how I interact with dodgy capitalists.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:00 PM on April 10, 2013

Who Needs Society? (Except to Steal From)

Not a survivalist, but I think if I was going to be the cold woods that long I would've dug into the earth, like those folks in KC.

I find it absolutely fucking hiLARious that the cops in that story are all like "we had to clear this area out...but this will prompt the homeless to seek better shelter!" I mean, I am actually friends with someone who is homeless - like real, street-living homeless although pretty high-functioning… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:49 PM on April 10, 2013

First They Came For The Cunning Hats...
So did I totally misread the linked story or did Facebook take down somebody's comments complaining about Fox? That, to me, is actually creepier than the business with the hats.

Just now, I was walking back to work from a work-related errand and noticing some new benches that Large Land Grant has put in, every one of which has a poky metal doohickey every fifteen inches to insure that homeless people will not lie down on them, because while we are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on April 10, 2013

One of those turns out to be 'slow motion visit to an extremely nice upper middle class home with a really beautiful persian rug".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:31 AM on April 8, 2013

The Iron Lady has rusted away
She is someone where, if I thought it would do any good, I'd be dancing and singing that she is dead. All I can think is that she lived a long, rich, easy, honored life - with a comparatively flattering propaganda movie about her just recently - off of destroying so many people's lives. Just a monster, right up there with Reagan and Kissinger. If she'd died in, say, 1983 I'd have shouted it from the house tops but what's the point now?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:16 AM on April 8, 2013
To respond to far upthread: if you haven't read about the miners' strike that was basically Thatcher's defining moment, it's simply unbelievable. Troops, police infiltration, people getting shot - it's like the 1968 Democratic convention, or one of the landmark US strikes in the late 19th/early 20th century where they called in the Pinkertons and fired on women and children and so on. All the more unbelievable, too, in a country not accustomed to the same police violence against regular… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:06 AM on April 8, 2013
She was a woman ahead of her time. There's nothing she did that political leaders around the world aren't doing today; they're just doing it in a more stealthy and underhanded manner. At least she was open about it.

It's not just that - it was her actions that in part enabled them to do it.

This is something that I think a lot of us who have lived less than forty or fifty years maybe do not get (and it is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:20 AM on April 8, 2013
Yeah - I think the "Thatcher Destroyed Industry" narrative misses where the UK was in 1979. Rampants strikes, blackouts, demarcation, inflation up at 30%. The Labour party was in freefall, and industry was on its knees.

But the thing is, you can have, like, a recession or a depression or a shift in the global economy without being like "hey, it's time for disaster capitalism! let's use this moment to break the unions and attack the weak!… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on April 8, 2013
"Grantham, hugely petty / riding on her crocodile / 'cross teeming London bridge / paved with blood and gold..."

I had always wondered about that line - how obvious it seems in retrospect.

There's also Stand Down Margaret. And that was before everyone was sure how bad she'd be.

And of course, people used to sing Maggie's Farm.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:44 AM on April 8, 2013

In every dream home a heartache
But people did grow up in those houses, I assume?

I'd always thought that the floating-stairs/scary-water-feature ones were mostly either architects' houses or second homes for rich people - that's the impression I get from my stacks of vintage books about decor and architecture. I only ever see pictures of them where they are labeled, like, "Roger Cork-Nethersole, president of International Chemistry Modern Incorporated, wanted a second home in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2013

The remote odds of becoming a professor in humanities...
Most people I know on the market aspire to an upper middle class life. They're after a secure gig that allows them to own property and have kids. And if that's what you want, then getting a PhD in the humanities is indeed a big gamble (for most people, at most institutions, etc.). So I know a lot of people who are freaking out right now.

You do understand that this logic cedes "having kids" and "buying a house, however modest" to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 AM on April 5, 2013
Oh, and I want to add that having kids and buying a house have not always been some kind of kee-razy, spoiled upper class dream; in many more egalitarian parts of the world, raising a child in some kind of comfort and having stable long-term housing (owned or rented/state-regulated) are perfectly ordinary features of adulthood.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:00 PM on April 5, 2013

If only I had a tiger mom or started a fake charity.
This individual girl sounds awful, it's true - but I'd like to point out that back in the early nineties I was accepted everywhere I applied (and I applied to pretty good schools - Carleton rather than Harvard, so not absolutely the tippety top, etc) based on high SATS (obtained with zero SAT prep classes) and one extracurricular. Admittedly, I had a lot of opinions about that extra-curricular (it was our school's then-novel environmental activism group, mostly concerned… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:11 AM on April 5, 2013
I'm a high school dropout who never intended to go to a "real" college, with a single mom that never pushed me to do anything academic, and even *I* knew that you needed extra-curriculars, leadership roles, and damned lies IN ADDITION to a stellar GPA and test scores for a successful college application.

See, I really hate this stuff. If everyone needs a "leadership role" who are they leading? The poor dumb proletariat who won't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 5, 2013
The rest stayed in their cabin and played Bananagrams. I guarantee you they all came back claiming their minds had broadened.

If you'd sent me - a nerdy little social outcast - on a "work trip" with my classmates to a part of the country where I had no connections and then expected me to bond with the people I met there - and expected this "bond" to be deeply enriching, like the people I met were sort of spiritual guinea pigs -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:36 AM on April 5, 2013

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