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"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free: On Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes And The Help"
Aragorn was black. Tolkien just forgot to mention it.

You know, I wish this were true.

Everyone has read The Last Ringbearer, right?

(My thought is that, honestly, if you are a straight white dude or you're a happily-accepted member of straight white dude circles, your experience reading high fantasy is likely to be very, very different from that of someone who is....not a straight... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:41 AM on September 13, 2011

Kicking Ass for the Working Class?
And also, I have ZERO understanding of US (or really, ANY, but US seems the most pertinent here) union/labour laws... If a company finds that a union is completely unwilling/unable to meet their demands, is the company required by law to keep negotiating with the union? Is it illegal for them to just dump the union entirely and bring in a bunch non-union workers?

We dumped my union here at Large Entity because Large Entity absolutely required that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:47 PM on September 8, 2011
Also, longshoremen are, like, the pin-ups of the radical labor movement. What surfers were to Arthur Russell, so longshoremen are to them/us.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:49 PM on September 8, 2011

Keep Your Enemies Closer
I'm from Minneapolis and know a lot of folks who organized the anti-RNC protest, plus a bunch of folks who worked with Darby. I attended the protests and was peripherally involved in activist institutional support for them.

As far as I can tell based on personal accounts from folks in the scene, the kids who got set up by Darby were just what you'd expect - young guys peripheral to activism who were easily manipulated by a real asshole who pulled a lot of "you're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:35 AM on September 8, 2011
(It's funny, only now do I realize that I'm actually over all that stuff that went down. I no longer get the sick feeling inside that I used to when I was thinking about it. The trials are over, we won a bunch of suits against the city, after three years much of the property (such as computers) seized by the cops during their bogus searches has been returned, I no longer really expect my friends to get grabbed off the street for political reasons...Of course, there's been an... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:38 AM on September 8, 2011
Also important to remember that it wasn't just firebombs that these kids were making. They were also preparing for open, violent conflict with police by making their own riot shields.

This is quite possibly a misunderstanding. You make riot shields - often enough - to keep from being pushed back by or beaten by police. I've been on completely legal marches where folks had - and needed - riot shields to keep from being batoned. I remember vividly... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on September 8, 2011
Let's be honest: you make a riot shield to help you win a street battle with police. That's what these guys were planning, and whatever the ultimate value of said shield, having a bunch of them on hand says a lot about one's intent.

Okay, we're sort of at an impasse. I can only assert that this is not my experience unless you want to say that no one has the right to protest. I have absolutely been on 100% legal protests behaving... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on September 8, 2011
(I would be, in general, much happier if the police would bust people for actually breaking the law rather than pre-emptively arresting them or inciting the more isolated and naive among them to commit crimes. Bust me for locking down in the street? Sure, whatever, I am after all locked down in the street. Break into a legally rented office where people are doing perfectly legal media stuff and arrest a bunch of folks? No way.

This is one of the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:08 AM on September 8, 2011

I think you and I would disagree, however, on the legitimacy of protestors shutting down streets in order to interrupt the US democratic process. Bringing riot gear to the party makes the job of the police that much more difficult and, ironically, makes violent conflict more probable.


Many of us feel that the US democratic process is absolutely shot to shit at this point, and that protests within the confines of the "democratic"... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on September 8, 2011
(Oh, hey - one thing that entrapping these kids did was substantially discredit the protests. Even on this thread - with people who are fairly well informed, three years later - there's quite a strong subtext of "folks at the protest would have endorsed throwing molotov cocktails because hey, they're defending the kids who were entrapped". This is absolutely not the case. Molotov-cocktail throwing would have been dangerous and a complete disaster for the movement; no one but the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on September 8, 2011
(And there's a world of difference between a punch-up and firebombing something. Someone who is willing to block the street - seriously block it, push back against the cops, etc, go to jail if it comes to that, etc - is almost certainly NOT someone who is willing to blow things up and cause fires that might spread.

Amongst the folks I know, it seems perfectly rational to say "we want to inconvenience these awful people as much as possible without doing permanent... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:32 AM on September 8, 2011
(I'm dropping out of this thread to focus on my paid work...just so that you know I'm not dropping out in a fit of pique or something.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:40 AM on September 8, 2011

"I don't have time for Laertes. He must know I didn't mean to kill his father," Hamlet said.
Certainly his portrayals of male/male relationships I've read are far more interesting and touching than his straight ones. And combined with the above, my conclusion is "So far in the closet he can see Narnia." And my understanding of his arguments (such as they are) against gay marriage boil down to "you can't do that or everything I've suffered will have been for naught."

I had totally never heard this. Now I'm sad, and I don't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 AM on September 8, 2011
Guys, Orson's a jerk and all, but he wrote Ender's Game so he'd have a character to seek redemption in Speaker for the Dead. It's in the afterword and everything.

If this is humor, sorry for misunderstanding - you know that he wrote Ender's Game as a short story first, long before any of the other stuff was even thought of? People ret-con stuff in their afterwords all the time, and make all kinds of claims about work - that whole JK... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on September 8, 2011
Funny, I got the impression that it was a desperate cry for help from someone who was a bad day away from shooting up his high school.

It might be useful to ask the people who liked Ender's Game why they liked it...I mean, some of us are not introspective and some of us will lie, but it still might be useful.

I liked Ender's Game quite a lot in my late... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:58 AM on September 8, 2011

Are jobs obsolete?
The toilet question surprises me. I mean, how do you figure out who cleans the toilet in your home? If you spent your time doing a job you enjoyed, is it really that weird to think that the toilet in the location of your job would be cleaned by the many people who work there, who take pride in their place of play/employment and don't want it to look disgusting? And if it doesn't matter to those people . . . well, then it doesn't matter.

I have been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:42 AM on September 7, 2011

Evolution of Rioting
“For some reason some kind of force filled me,” testified one of the rioters during his trial. “Until this day, I do not understand how I got into this. What kind of devil was it that asked me to go and forced me to enter into the police department?”

This is precisely what I'd say if on trial in the USSR for rioting against the state, in the faint faint hope that they wouldn't send me away to the gulag. Not sure that this quote means what the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2011
Surely there are mefites besides me who have been in large protests? I mean, I haven't been in a riot, but I've certainly been in large demonstrations full of milling people being tear-gassed, during which windows got broken and dumpsters got dragged into the street.

It's just silly to say that the madness of crowds explains everything.

1. Plenty of people in any large crowd have ideas about what they want... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2011
(Oh, just idly - I always assume that when people take the "madness of crowds/we riot because we're monkeys" angle, they're trying to imply that riots (the form of political expression for the disenfranchised) actually are not political, that rioters (who tend to be disenfranchised) are just acting in animalistic, mindless ways. I don't really see this type of thing (and in Scientific American, which skews right) as arguing "you're not culpable for smashing shit... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on September 6, 2011

Guitar Makers Singing the Blues

Just because a problem affects only a small number of people doesn't mean it's not a problem.


I always figure they go after fairly small producers because the big criminals are good pals with the government. Seriously, which is worse for the environment, palm production or Gibson's potentially sorta-kinda dubious wood-buying? Who is a bigger offender, the mining companies dumping chemicals and slurry into rivers, clearcutting the in the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:21 AM on September 4, 2011

He's a Magic Man, Mama...
Do many people think like this? I kinda got in the habit of hiding my nerdiness.

Many people are shallow, yes. I mean, he also went for someone much younger and...er...blonder than, um, him. (No, really, he's about my age; she's got to be ten years younger. Dudes who want to date a lot younger have, in my experience, to deal with a lot more shallowness.) And she unsurprisingly turned out to be kind of creepy.

Someday I will... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 PM on August 29, 2011
I figured out why I hate the "I heart Nerds" branding

Just yesterday, but before I even read the article, I realized why I hate the this - it's because when I was a pint-sized nerd, being into Dr. Who, or robots, or science fiction, etc etc, was a proxy for being smart - annoying, maybe, but interested in figuring things out. And while there was plenty of misogyny and racism within... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:03 AM on August 30, 2011
was totally okay with him being a magic player, except that he spent the entire date talking about himself and how smart he was.

But she didn't exactly say this, did she? Who here would be especially het-up if she'd written "and I thought the M:tG thing was a little bit weird, but I had no idea that we'd talk about nothing else except his tournament games all night. I know more about his favorite Magic cards... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 AM on August 30, 2011
nadawi: I totally agree there are women whom date geeks out there. I fell in love with one of them and we were together for over a year, until unrelated problems involving physical distance ended it. We still talk daily though. The problem is the perception of no one being willing to date geeks. Because you know, why bother to go out and look and get rejected if no one will date us anyway? I could just spend the time at home, posting on MeFi instead. The gender balance is improving, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on August 30, 2011
er, "nerds and geeks"
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on August 30, 2011
yes, Frowner! exactly! "why does popular girl only date jerks?!" - well, doofus, she's a jerk. that redhead dude i lap grinded on? he spent any time he wasn't talking about gaming talking about the girl who would never, ever notice him. i was fun to hang out with, but not nearly beautiful enough for his rejection fantasy.

"Why does Person date Patently Bad-Idea Person?" Status or self-punishment, that's about it. I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:23 AM on August 30, 2011
Your comments could just as easily be coming from someone who into a band "before they were cool" or any other situation where something becomes popular.

Just idly, since this thread is long and rambly - I'm old, or at least I'm old enough to have been punk in the early nineties. I'm old enough to have seen a lot of music, movies, comics and various political scenes come and go. And you know what? Things really do... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:04 AM on August 30, 2011

Fur Will Fly


PETA's motto is "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY", and for that I respect them.


Dude, if PETA's motto really were "by any means necessary" I would totally respect them. But their motto is really "we get off on being racist, transpeople-mocking misogynists and pretending it's for animal rights".

Seriously, who really believes that you achieve animal rights by targeting all your... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:59 AM on August 25, 2011
For all that I (as a white dude-bro, I guess) enjoy the slightly titillating nature of their naked protests, I've always wondered about that. Surely there are as many or more people who find the highly bro-ness of it offputting, relative to the people whose attentions are captured by the nakedness?

I always figure that "white dude-bro" is defined not by whiteness alone nor by identifying as male but by thinking that white men's perspectives... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:53 AM on August 25, 2011
It's not targeted at white dude-bros. It's targeted at offending hypocritical liberal-moralists. Their denunciations are what drives the campaign, and pushes it out into the smaller niches where it finds people who are willing to think about the message. It's way smarter than almost anyone gives them credit for.

And this campaign is working how?

On another level, I know quite a lot about Britney Spears, but I have never... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:02 AM on August 25, 2011
(In short, the sugar boycott failed because it was shallow and media-driven rather than a sign of anyone's lived commitment.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:03 AM on August 25, 2011
It's not targeted at white dude-bros. It's targeted at offending hypocritical liberal-moralists. Their denunciations are what drives the campaign, and pushes it out into the smaller niches where it finds people who are willing to think about the message. It's way smarter than almost anyone gives them credit for.

And it's also aimed at demoralizing and embarrassing actually-existing vegans? I reiterate that I have never met a vegan... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:11 AM on August 25, 2011
Why, you're welcome. Have fun with your toys at home!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on August 25, 2011

Some studies can go either way on the subject

There was an FPP a while back about " obvious science " and the point was made you have to study boring clearly obvious things cause testing What Everyone Knows is the day to day work of science.


None the less, it's still pretty tiring to find that you can have quite literally centuries of historical anecdote and self-reporting by, you know, bisexual men and their partners...and still have all that dismissed as... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:48 AM on August 23, 2011
It's more like 'Anecdoes are not data.'

Besides, we also have literally centuries of historical anecdote about how bisexual men, gay men, transgender folks, and a number of other kinds of people are miserable, unhealthy, disease-ridden, and often molest children. I mean, duh, that's common knowledge!


(To respond late)...Except on these lines we can't establish any kind of cultural history, ever, because we're saying that we... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on August 23, 2011
(or rather "It doesn't mean "all the diaries and novels and reporting and medical records of the past should be treated as total lies".

I will go on to add that there's this entire discipline which publishes sometimes very popular books based on argument and evidence about what people did in the past - a discipline with various theories of methodology, and in which you can even get a Ph.D! What's more, although some... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:05 PM on August 23, 2011

Because what do the poor need money for?
So this year I have 1. a big increase in property taxes; 2. a HUGE increase in insurance premiums because my work is screwing us over; 3. a significant increase in phone/internet; an increase in my taxes (because after all the other increases I need the cash I get) and 5. year four of a wage freeze at work. (Oh, at work? The managers and administration have NEVER had a wage freeze; just the rest of us.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:02 AM on August 22, 2011

The Mismeasure of Morals
The story referenced above is The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas [PDF!!!!] by Ursula Le Guin.
SPOILER - the idea is that when you're a teen they show you this room where a child is imprisoned in solitude and pain, and if you accept it you just go on living in utopia, and some people...um...walk away.

I couldn't put my finger on why this story bugged me, and then I realized that it should be called "The Ones Who Got Together, Shared Their Disgust and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:25 AM on August 20, 2011

When two readers love each other very much, they raise a smaller reader
This, by the way, is the book that the young woman's guardians (not her parents...two roving great aunts, perhaps?) protected her from.

Now, my parents forbade a great number and variety of books, from Bleak House to Red Harvest, but I cannot imagine that they'd have forbidden a rather ordinary (though nice) looking grown-up novel from NPR's recommended summer reads when I was thirteen.

And for serious,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:54 PM on August 19, 2011
Their responsibility as guardians, whether they were aunts or family friends or much older sisters, is to watch out for the young person in their charge.

I just cannot get my head around the idea that ordinary, non-Joy of Sex level books are so dangerous that each one must be scrutinized before a young teen can read it. I had the entire run of the adult library from the time I was eleven or so, with the understanding that my parents... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on August 19, 2011
I don't know; when I was a kid there were a number of books I read that kind of upset me

I certainly read books that upset me (even to this day, I read books that upset me - but that's not the same thing, I admit). And I certainly read books where I was not ready for any 'teachable moment' - but my parents weren't especially invested in teachable moments. They tended - for good and for bad - to let books speak for themselves. Of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:37 PM on August 19, 2011

Wayside School Is Not Funny In Real Life
I student-taught in our local sixties fortress high school - and the experience put me off teaching permanently. I have no idea whether you get technically better outcomes from more humane architecture - maybe grades and learning are too complex to be influenced that way. But I don't believe that anyone should have to spend 8 hours a day for four years in a lightless concrete bunker that's damp in winter and to which access is tightly, tightly restricted. The honors classes were in rooms... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:18 AM on August 18, 2011
Also, these fortress schools weren't built -as the linked article misleadingly says - to protect students from riots; they were built to control students and keep them from rioting, so students were figured as potential rioters first and citizens second. It's no coincidence that most of these prison schools got built in low income areas and communities of color.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:25 AM on August 18, 2011
It is not required to back up your personal opinion with any sort of evidence. But it helps.

Huh. Well, although I'm an adult now, I don't think I have an actually lower tolerance for lousy working conditions than I did when I was in high school. And I had a job in a small windowless office for four years - in many respects a very good job. Same job got moved to a room with a large window and a nice view. Suddenly, I'm much more... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:48 PM on August 18, 2011

The L*** H*** of D***ness
(I find the whole "why can't you be creative with your cursing like they were in the good old days/on television" thing extremely horrible. I would rather hear many hundreds of regular curse words than have to listen to one of those people who thinks they're clever by saying things like "I think 'fuck' is so boring; I would much rather call people 'degenerate sons of diseased octopi who are covered in dung'" or other pretentiousness. Fake "old-timey" swearing is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on August 18, 2011

Note to self: invest in a deadbolt.
I know a family for whom this would actually be hilarious - they take funny (really, actually fairly funny) pictures for their annual Christmas card, which is sent far and wide. And they're all close even with the grown-up kids, though a bit eccentric. So I'm choosing to assume that this is a funny prank and that Brandon gets his room back exactly as he left it - part of the humor seems to be in the elaborate surface illusion that the room has been changed, like the way that the family has... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:56 AM on August 16, 2011

Shepard Fairey beat up in Copenhagen
Okay, as an anarchist I officially do not endorse beating people up in cold blood.

However, this whole business of "who hates peace?" is a bit silly. Seriously, "peace" is what rich first world centrist people point to when they don't want to be assholes but don't want to give up any meaningful power either. That's the reason that "no one" hates peace - Robert Redford, Bill Clinton, various rich white socialites -... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:15 PM on August 15, 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 4
And Botton thinks he's dealt with this by saying, "With no evident awareness of the contradiction they may, in the same breath, gruffly dismiss a belief in angels while sincerely trusting that the combined powers of the IMF, the medical research establishment, Silicon Valley and democratic politics will together cure the ills of mankind." But what does he propose in their stead? Nothing but an attitude that welcomes misery. He's like a boxing coach who never bothers teaching... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:20 AM on August 15, 2011

The Pianist
As I understand it, women classical musicians are policed for being insufficiently feminine/"attractive" and then they're policed again if they're too feminine. (And didn't the number of women hired for orchestras go right up in orchestras that conducted auditions with the player behind a screen?)

The darn thing here is that it's still lose-lose - all that will happen is that the bar for female attractiveness will just go up and up... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:25 AM on August 15, 2011

A Dark Day for Independent Music and Film
And:

When you have problems at the population level, the solutions are at the population level. It's like public health - you do more good with large-scale, organized solutions (clean water! accessible medical care!) than you do with any amount of individual hectoring of people who don't get check-ups or disinfect their scratches. And the purpose of public health isn't to 100% guarantee that no one ever skips a check-up and that no one ever gets an infected cut; it's... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 AM on August 10, 2011

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