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Lou Reed was a monster
Lou Reed hit women, and not just in that "ha ha everyone in the sixties kind of thought a slap was okay" [not that that was ever okay, but you see it in, eg, Margaret Drabble novels as neutral ]way either, as the article makes plain. He also turned on his former girlfriend, who was trans, and said a lot of gross stuff about her and about trans women in the press when it was no longer fashionable to be gender/sexuality-ambiguous in the eighties. And seriously, have you ever… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 PM on October 10, 2015
I think that one of the ways we create cultural consensus is to say "No, Lou Reed may have been a genius but the fact that he beat women forever taints how we think of him". I don't think that the fact that there are lots of men who hit women who are not called monsters changes this. For one thing, when there's a man in my personal life, known to me, who beats his partners, I think he's a monster - there may be millions of abusive men out unknown to me, but that doesn't mean that I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:28 AM on October 11, 2015

The Millennial Pledge
I really thought this had to be parody - I was waiting for it to be funny, then it wasn't.

Dear millenials,

Almost everyone who is not a millenial doesn't actually care. Many of us, indeed, have a vague sense that you are "somewhere around 28, is that the millenial age range" or "wow, he's thirty-two, god I'm old" and that's the extent of our awareness of your age. We may not like it if you come in late all the time or text… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:02 PM on October 10, 2015

#15Girls: 15yr old girls seeking to take control and change their fate
These people get turned down a lot for asylum in the US, too.

Of course, the death squads in El Salvador during the war were backed by the US, like most of the other right-wing regimes in Central and South America. No regime too bloody, no crime too foul, as long as it kept, say, a legally elected moderate reform socialist like Salvador Allende out of power.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:55 AM on October 10, 2015

"This is the guy you’ve been talking about in all those pages."
I think that there's a niche for a romance novel about a guy who is a romance novel cover model. For whatever reason he can't find love, various hijinks ensue, chandelier heroism, some larger plot arc, etc. Perhaps he finds himself encountering the same woman cover model every few shoots - he's forced to embrace her but she doesn't like him because of [misunderstanding] and she has troubles of her own. But the hijinks bond them, love ensues, etc.

Or, or....okay, he's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:42 AM on October 9, 2015
I have a friend who is both an English major and super into romance novels. I've been hearing a lot about Lord of Scoundrels, which she says is quite good. I was flipping through it while hanging out one time and while the prose was serviceable more than memorable, I thought it was nicely observed and pretty darn engaging.

i thought that horse one was going to go in a very different direction and i thank you most sincerely for choosing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on October 9, 2015
Maybe I should try writing a romance novel. Genre fiction generally interests me anyway and some of the lighter SF and fantasy that I read definitely has romance novel qualities (Cecelia and the Enchanted Chocolate Pot, those Melissa Scott swashbuckling-magician-detectives ones).

One of the nice things about genre - just like with fanfic, actually - is that the quality range is all over the place. You can feel confident that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:54 AM on October 9, 2015
That last interview is really interesting because quite a lot of it is him talking about how he can't eat what he wants, how that's difficult and how if he could do anything he'd retire to Oregon, go fishing and eat chocolate. It's interesting because somehow it has this offstageness to it, like he may play the kind of physically imposing guy who never gives a thought to his appearance and is just, like, all ruggedly sexy and stuff, but we all know that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:16 AM on October 9, 2015
Although generally I am not drawn to dudes, I would totally go out with a tiny foppish anxious man who wore heels, assuming any kind of social compatibility. We could....ride bikes at 3 in the morning! I frequently like people's mothers!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:44 AM on October 9, 2015

I've read maybe a hundred romance novels -- basically all the ones my girlfriends and partners left lying around plus more from the wire racks at the library after I developed a taste for them -- and they seem to be so much better written in general than science fiction that gets taken so much more seriously, and it continues to amaze me how much more affection the protagonists feel for their love interests than the cis-het protagonists of male detective and science fiction
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:11 PM on October 9, 2015
Now watch, sales on the tiny-foppish-guy romance novel are spiking even as we type! It has a cute cover.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:12 PM on October 9, 2015
Romance novels are the pornography for women. Strong, handsome guy dominates young attractive woman and she conquers and tames him through marriage. In Jane Eyre, the poor dude even gets blinded before being blindsided through love and now the woman, in charge, leads her Sampson about like a pup on a leash.

This suggests an inattentive reading of Bronte, and it also suggests wrongly that all romance novels have the same concerns as Jane… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:45 PM on October 9, 2015
(I mean, as much as there are a lot of things I love about Jane Eyre, it's very much a book about being the whitest white woman and it gets pretty racist - contrast Jane with Blanche Whosis the evil temptress, for one thing - it's not just about poor Bertha, it's a whole continuum of whiteness.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:47 PM on October 9, 2015
(A side note to tiny men everywhere: I have met many taller women of all body types (I am not myself tall - just strong-thewed! - but I've had this conversation with others lots of times) who have felt interest in tiny men of all body types but have hesitated to make their intentions plain since they feel sure that they'll be rejected for being too tall and looming. If you are a tiny man who has never attempted to date taller women, I think there may be an untapped market out there, so to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:56 PM on October 9, 2015
One might more usefully speculate about what is the "romance for men", come to that.

Of course, once you start thinking about that you realize that it's either a really stupid framework (because men, like women, enjoy many types of escapist fiction!) or super-interesting and complex - what kinds of things do readers seek out in romance novels? What kinds of things do women specifically seek out? What kinds of fiction other than romance novels do men read… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:58 PM on October 9, 2015
really though any book like a tom clancy novel or whoever wrote jason bourne, that's men's romance novels, the same way that scene from commando yt where arnold is strapping all the weapons to himself with satisfying SHHHCK noises is men's non-naked banging porn.

See, I don't know about that. I think you could say "a certain type of woman reads romance in the way that a certain type of man reads novels with guns", but I think people read… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:26 PM on October 9, 2015
I feel that quite a lot of science fiction stands in for thrillers-with-guns, with the advantage of having some women protagonists. I mean, there's guns.

Breq? In Ancillary Justice? I mean technically she isn't actually a woman, but lots of guns. Lots of buckling of swashes. Lots of stiff upper lips.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:37 PM on October 9, 2015
In my next career I plan to be a peer of the realm who is conflicted about my wealth, estates, privilege, etc. I plan to have an angsty romance with a tiny, dapper, working class detective with whom I will have endless conflict over various things and who will grumble but ultimately accept the various lavish gifts, etc, with which I will shower him. We will go to socialist meetings together and there will be lots of good-humored joshing. I will retain a substantial chunk of my wealth - only… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on October 9, 2015
Also, when I am a peer of the realm who is conflicted about my privilege, I plan to have some pecs. Presumably from lifting the Bentley.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:48 PM on October 9, 2015
I am all agog to read the Joan Aiken ones - I love almost all aspects of her Dido Twite books (except the frankly rather dubious racial politics in several of them; I mean, it's clear that she means it innocently enough, but there no indication that she thinks of colonialism as an especially serious concern.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:32 PM on October 9, 2015
Me, this morning: "Hm, what will happen today? Surely it's improbable that I will start reading romance novels, since after all I've never done more than flip through one or two in my entire life!"

Me, now: "Tiny foppish lovestory plot!!!! When can book arrive?"
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:49 PM on October 9, 2015

Problem: "the American public has become more consistent and polarized"
Gridlock means new laws can't be passed. But the old laws keep chugging along, and the government keeps governing, and life goes on, basically. I'm not sure the current ideological deadlock is impacting the average voter enough to even pay much attention.

This stuff is sure impacting anyone who is not solidly in, let's say, the top 20% economically. People are getting poorer, services are getting shittier, our infrastructure is getting worse, and the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:48 PM on October 8, 2015
My dad says that society collapsed in 1992 and no one has noticed. I mean, he's serious. I think what he's getting at is that economic changes radically remade the world to the point where many of the things that he values (stable, strong unions, for example! not having drones! welfare for the vulnerable! ) are pretty well gone to the point where people have trouble even imagining what it was like to take them for granted.

I think the world keeps ending. It's not that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:44 AM on October 9, 2015

A vision perpetually deferred
Guy Zero, are you my housemate? If so, could I remind you about mopping the stairs? Also, sorry about your ice cream.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:12 PM on October 8, 2015

"Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them."
Nicki Minaj is so smart and funny, and she really seems to be good at saying what she really thinks as part of her public persona - I don't quite know how to express that, but she seems to be really good at being tough and direct and saying difficult things while still in celebrity mode. Also, I enjoy how she changes up her look - she seems to get a lot more complaints about that than white pop musicians do, though, like she's supposed to be the same forever.

I've got… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:44 AM on October 8, 2015
"What are your thoughts when people speculate that you thrive on the drama of this situation?"

Or even, "You've often spoken about the challenges faced by women pop stars. Do you think gender plays into it when some people speculate that you thrive on the drama of this situation?"

Interviewing is difficult; I've done it and I don't do it often because I'm no good at it. But it seems like one could research Nicki Minaj's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:01 AM on October 8, 2015
I mean, some pop music just isn't very smart, and some pop musicians tend to go all stupid or formulaic in interviews. But the least little google reveals that Nicki Minaj not only has some interesting ideas but is perfectly willing to share them online. Why not interview her like any other serious creative person? (I mean, I know, because she's a Black woman pop musician who talks about sex, ergo she must be treated like she's kind of stupid and bad and like she relates… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on October 8, 2015

Twenty Hours and Ten Minutes of Therapy
This was really excellent. It brought up a lot of feelings for me, too! Thanks for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on October 8, 2015

Cake is one of the major food groups
I have made a plan - I am going to save up and go to England and Scotland. (Not to slight Wales, Cornwall, etc, but I don't think I'll have the cash or the vacation time.) I'm really going to do it. No frivoling about with the savings this time. I'm going to go to the Tate and all the left wing bookstores and the People's Palace and about a million botanic gardens and everything else arts-and-books-wise I can squeeze into ten days split between two countries.

My goal:… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on October 6, 2015
stop by in Manchester and we can have an Eccles cake vs Chorley cake masterclass

I'd like that - not least because I made some Eccles cakes and they turned out distinctly unsatisfactory, possibly because of bad ingredient quantity conversion, and I want to see what they're like when made properly. (I have made sad, or desolate cakes many times, but they're very easy.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:46 AM on October 6, 2015
Okay, if there's no window screens I'm definitely traveling when things are proper cold out and the windows will be closed. (No window screens!! - Old-fashioned is one thing, but bats in the house is quite another.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:59 AM on October 6, 2015
somehow I don't think that an entire nation besieged by bats in its homes would say, "if only we had some way to prevent this," and then shrug its collective shoulders and go back to shooing bats

My housemate - a data set of one - who is American, no less, and who removed his window screen for reasons known only to himself, seemed to be happy enough shooing bats. If him, why not an entire nation? His great-great-grandparents appear to have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:09 AM on October 6, 2015
Okay, English people, what do you do about rabies, huh? I just checked this so-called "National Health Service" of yours (sounds a bit Red If you ask me) website and they say that your bats, like ours, harbor rabies. If your houses are full of bats, and your cats are full of bats, how come you're not full of rabies? When we had bats get in while we were sleeping, here in the great state of Minnesota, we got rabies prophylaxis and our cat had to have a rabies booster each time.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:42 AM on October 6, 2015
Maybe the pigeons that come into the kitchen overnight kill the bats? Or maybe you're just supposed to make pigeon-bat stew, and this is ze famous English cuisine, no?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:40 AM on October 6, 2015
Our houses are not full of bats, but even if they were: we don't have rabies here, we eradicated it.

I should clarify that I don't actually think there are bats in houses except perhaps as an isolated event. Even in my bat-prone American house (attic, eaves, permeable, wooden, old, under-maintained) we get bats only every couple of years. And when everyone was so blase, I remembered that the UK had eradicated rabies and assumed that bats weren't of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:05 AM on October 6, 2015
Oh, and a raccoon. Let's not forget the raccoon.

I also saw a fox in the backyard once, and we've had lots of visits from turkeys. Not in the house yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:08 AM on October 6, 2015
With the screens and the lights - I wonder if this is a feature of a cooler climate. In the summer, we here have to have the windows open all night, because that cools the house (and then we close up in the daytime. While it's true that I could turn off all the house lights and then open all the windows to cool the house, that would be kind of a nuisance. (And in our house, with people with overnight work, it wouldn't do at all.) Plus, lots of night-flying bugs.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:35 AM on October 6, 2015
Okay, is the UK just so tiny that it is scoured by refreshing sea breezes and hence has comparatively little flying insect problem? If so - what with the cake, the temperate climate, the shoemaking tradition, the vestiges of the NHS, etc - I will be willing to marry a lonely and/or poorly organized fellow mefite of any gender for citizenship.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:47 AM on October 6, 2015
Dear God, sometimes Metafilter comments feel like a dog worrying at a bone. But but WINDOW SCREENS won't somebody think of the WINDOW SCREENS why don't you English people have WINDOW SCREENS you must be DROWNING IN INSECTS. WINDOW SCREENS.

Since I started this - sorry! - I actually thought of it as a bit funny, because it's such a trivial and obviously situational issue. Sort of a "well, I would love to go to the UK so I could visit the Tate… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:01 PM on October 6, 2015
From an outsider's perspective: I actually got a couple of cookbooks by Elizabeth David after reading both MFK Fisher and Doris Lessing's comments on how she helped change British food post-war. They make rather interesting reading.

Honestly, if you read MFK Fisher you realize that while British food may not have been all that hot prior to the late sixties or so, American food wasn't that compelling either. The US had a bit of an edge because of a stronger economy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on October 6, 2015

The Smartest Building in the World
I am an admin. Due to staffing issues, I was virtually hot-desking this summer, moving among multiple desks and trying to work at each one. I lost so much time moving my stuff, getting settled, packing up, etc. Certain conditions of my low-tech-ish work - like, I use paper - made this extra difficult, but I was surprised by how everyone I worked with thought that because lots of our systems are online, I ought easily to be able to work from anywhere, and it oughtn't to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:33 AM on October 6, 2015
As to women and combi-offices: I wonder if they are worse for women because people feel a lot freer to interrupt women, so when there's no door to close, women get even less time to concentrate.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:38 AM on October 6, 2015

Sick of Comcast? Five Bucks, and It's Gone
Is this something where you provide your data to a random company and they hire someone at piecework rates to make your calls for you? Because if it's that, I know several unemployed people I'd rather pay directly to do my concierge work.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:57 AM on October 6, 2015

“The only way to survive is by taking care of one another”
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:33 AM on October 5, 2015

"We need to value women’s work and put our money where our mouths are."
I have a friend who just started working at a no-tips place (and they make a big thing about it), and she really doesn't like it - she's making less than she did at her tipped gig. It would be great to pay more for your meals and not tip, but I definitely want to see a strategy for making sure that workers make the same rate they do with tips. For instance, with tips, someone might average an already not that great $10/hour, but at the without tips place, the hourly wage is $8.25. If we are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:52 AM on October 4, 2015
And this still holds taking the back of the house into consideration. What I'd expect no-tips owners to do is to set a wage for everyone that - perhaps - is a marginal improvement on back of the house wages but well below what people made with tips, because that's what it seems like is happening at the place I'm familiar with. Basically, because the public will be all "ooooh, $8.50 an hour is MUCH more than $2.30, you are so generous!" they won't realize that for front of the house… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:04 PM on October 4, 2015
I don't think you're positing that restaurant owners don't use the current regulations -- or flat-out ignore them, as in this very case -- to screw over vulnerable workers, but it sure sounds like it.

Well, you're correct that I wasn't - look, I have no problem at all with doing away with tipping, or with paying more for meals. What I worry about is a badly crafted "reform" that ends up with front of the house staff making less per hour -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:58 PM on October 4, 2015

Facebook is just going to do whatever the f— it wants to me. And to you.
Every time anyone has presented plausible real-world security concerns about real-name policy to Facebook, they've just gone all la-la-I-can't-hear-you. I suspect it's ideological and yes-man based, just because it's so in line with what big tech entrepreneurs usually do - the whole "we know better than you because we're rich and in tech" business. But it's no different from what those Peeple women are doing, really, the idea being that no one is entitled to keep anything about… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on October 4, 2015

The race
I've been to some Black Lives Matter and Black Liberation Project protests (I'm white, just ftr). I'm not at all intimately involved in it - I've met a couple of the more involved people, like, once in passing. What miyabo points out about public space is so true - it sometimes feels really weird because you'll be on this march and the space around you will be virtually empty, it's like marching to nowhere for nothing.

This is especially true… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:24 AM on October 3, 2015
It's just, it should not be that hard to work out police protocol for taking down someone in the grip of a mental illness who is armed only with a rock or a screwdriver or nothing at all without killing them. The cops here have had at least twenty years to work something out - that's how long I can remember this stuff happening, virtually always to people of color. Even if you for some reason decide to start the clock when I started going to anti police brutality protests, they have had… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:41 AM on October 3, 2015

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