Activity from Frowner

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Redder and redder, and prettier and prettier.
The thing about bad tomatoes is that you can roast them or bake them or make them into a sauce. Red Delicious don't even make a good pie.

I remember when I was little, every once in a while you'd get a good Red Delicious and all the other ones would be so terrible.

I don't think they're very pretty. They're clumsy-looking and disproportionate and the skin looks plasticky. The Arkansas Black apple, that's a pretty apple.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:26 AM on September 10, 2014
I have avoided the SweeTango because it's called the SweeTango. I can deal with buying something called "Honeycrisp" but SweeTango is just embarrassing. Although the apple before the SweeTango was the "Zestar", which sounds like futuristic laundry detergent, so I suppose it's an improvement.

But seriously, why on earth would you think that people who are likely to care which apples they buy would be at all moved to purchase... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:13 AM on September 10, 2014
I also really like Fireside apples, introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1943.

I have University of Minnesota headcannon where we are a stalwart, sincere, uptight and resolutely non-commercial land-grant institution dedicated to things like better apples and regional literature scholarship because it's the right thing to do. In my UMN fanfic, we never introduced the Zestar, much less the SweeTango.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:27 AM on September 10, 2014
Basically, I'm well into UMN AU by now.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on September 10, 2014

The Sexual Outlaw At 83
That's a fantastic interview. Thank you for another great post!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:07 AM on September 10, 2014

The Click Clique
If anything, the pernicious part is the mass idolization of extreme wealth and luxury.

I used to look at Sea of Shoes, years ago, because they used to show some interesting vintage clothes and I looked at a lot more blogs then. The whole story of that blog is "very, very wealthy divorcee and very, very wealthy daughter travel the world buying extremely expensive things, redecorating their apartments, going to debutante events... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:25 AM on September 10, 2014
She embodies a tremendous amount of privilege, and as a young, cute white girl, all she had to do was get noticed by the Fame Fairy to be whisked away to a life of even more intense privilege. Of course she's acting now. Of course she is. It's the natural next step on the fame treadmill. Tune in in a few years when she's back on the blogging circuit, peddling life advice a la Gwyneth Paltrow.

The funny thing about Tavi is that back when she started,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:35 AM on September 10, 2014

The effects of untreated PTSD in inner-city communities
What is really frustrating to me is the fact that our society has to spend umpteen squillion federal dollars running surveys and studies to establish that yes, people are traumatized when they see extreme violence even if they are black and poor and live in cities. Those scarce federal dollars could either be rerouted to medical research or spent on programs for actual victims.

It just kills me that the way things seem to work is that if you're middle... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:12 PM on September 8, 2014

I realize that you mean it's particularly galling that you can get paid to study poverty, but not to, like, do anything about it, and I understand (but disagree with) the claim that getting paid to study it doesn't directly help improve the lives of the impoverished. Consider, though, that very, very few people ever get paid to do that, that those people are basically the only ones not involved in direct action who dedicate their careers to asking the right questions, and
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:23 PM on September 8, 2014

What she prefers to be called is “Martine.”
That...is a story so strange that I actually googled Martine Rothblatt to be sure she exists.

"A powerful trans" is not the happiest phrase to use.

On another note: I suppose all these rich people want to live forever because they are sure that their lives can only improve and become more fun and special. Me, I have pretty much been on a "well, I'll probably die relatively soon so at least I don't have to worry about [terrible... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:21 AM on September 8, 2014
(Just as a clarification - what makes the story strange to me is the robot head of Martine's wife and its sad weird interview straight out of New Wave SF, the transhumanism, Martine's apparent miraculous agelessness, the "transhumanism is for lovers" angle, the daughter's illness and treatment...at first I thought this was just going to be some kind of "wow, how strange yet uplifting it is that a trans woman can be CEO of some fancy corporation" and my gut... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on September 8, 2014

United Sweets of America
Sugar Cream Pie SUCKS; it's a dessert where the only ingredient is basically sugar, for Christ sakes. The proper Indiana dessert should be persimmon pudding, which is awesome, flavorful, and made from a little known but native fruit.

Persimmon pudding is the best. My family makes it twice a year - they stock up on locally grown frozen persimmon pulp so they can have it once out of season. (And this is a particular US variant of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:12 AM on September 8, 2014
Also, I have just realized that you can get gooey butter cake at A Baker's Wife in Minneapolis, but....they call it "Mankato Bars". I am a little bit shocked by this revelation - not just pirating and renaming the cake itself, but calling it a bar! Insult to injury!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on September 8, 2014
Rhubarb was the official dessert of the Frowner family when I grew up in Illinois - stringy and stewed, or bitter and embedded in cake. I had no idea that it was a Minnesota thing. Maybe it's just a Swede thing.

Strangely, I really like rhubarb now. But oh, those bitter days of childhood when you'd think you were getting dessert for once and it would just be nasty rhubarb from the garden.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:41 AM on September 8, 2014

He should live and sleep in front of a mirror.
The thing is, you can be a dandy and not dress like a robber baron or a Jeeves LARPer. I see many dandyish young fellows on my very street, in fact, who have obviously spent quite a lot of time and effort on their clothes - but they're not rich, and their clothes aren't rich people clothes.

Imperialist nostalgia is not an essential tool in the dandy kit.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:22 AM on September 5, 2014

But I have nothing to read no longer an excuse
So what's the difference? Following on vapidave's point, great SF gives me a quirky idea that I can roll around in my thoughts for a few days. Literature like Slaughterhouse shakes me up and sometimes I can't read anything for days.

While I am absolutely a descriptivist ("science fiction is whatever we point at when we say science fiction"...although that gets readily out of hand, I guess) and of course you're free to consider anything you... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:38 AM on September 4, 2014
(As far as the "what is science fiction" question:

That's one of my favorite questions! And it's not as simple to resolve as you think. I'd argue that many people have an unconsidered definition of science fiction as "set in the future, involves technology, not psychologically realistic, not concerned with form or experimental use of language, possibly concerned with ethics in a crude way, a purely commercial entertainment genre". But that's a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:08 AM on September 4, 2014
No, Melville settled that question when he intentionally left the chapter about Moby Dick being a post-human artificial intelligence from an alternate future where whales had wiped out humanity out of his original manuscript.

If I were going to argue that Moby Dick were science fiction, I'd make some kind of argument about the whale being basically an SFnal monster and I'd probably make some argument about how the various foreign places and cultures in... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:47 AM on September 4, 2014
Another factor in terms of the list's race and gender make-up: with some exceptions (Butler, Delany) work by women and people of color has been small press and small run, with few reprints. Until very recently, for instance, most of Joanna Russ's work was out of print. Delany got some big reprints starting in the nineties, but even though he's a HUGE name in the field, it could be hard to find copies of even some of his better known works before about 1998. Butler never... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:16 PM on September 4, 2014

Although given the number of feministy SF reading people I know it now strikes me as astounding that it is not.


The thing is, most of what I have from the Women's Press (and similar stuff) is very different from the feminist SF published by SF-specific presses, particularly from the mid-nineties on. It seems to me like a weird little offshoot, of huge scholarly and historical interest but not likely to grab people right now. (Partly... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:12 AM on September 5, 2014

Three Pie Charts That Prove You Shouldn't Slack Off in College
It's worth noting that the writer appears to consider people "adrift" if they are not making more than $40,000 a year within two years of graduation. I broke $40,000 about twelve years after graduation and - with the various wage freezes since at work - don't make much more than that now, several years on. I consider myself incredibly lucky, since I make more than almost all my peers - who all have degrees, some advanced. I have more degrees than you can shake a stick at, myself.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:10 PM on September 3, 2014

Publish or PERISH!!!
Oh, so cute! Their tiny plastic grant budget problems!!!

When the lego adminstrators set comes out, they can have one where the Lego administrators eyeball the lecture nibbles and consider the number of attendees at the start of of the lecture to determine whether enough will be left over for the Lego administrators' lunch. And they can have the lego administrators go to a meeting where they try to convince the lego academics that they really do have to fill out the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:50 PM on September 1, 2014
Perhaps we need to two lego administrators sets - one contains secretaries, accountants and the person who makes sure that your equipment line is backed out of the indirect costs (there aren't quite enough of those sets to go round, which is why the lego academics have to make their own copies) and the other comes individually boxed and costs as much as several tiny plastic flow cytometers.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:20 PM on September 1, 2014

Has science fiction lost the plot?
Actually, one thing I notice about a lot of post-collapse dystopias - they are really utopias because the Big Intractable Bad (global capitalism, the surveillance state) has broken down. Small groups of local heroes can overthrow the local bad, but don't have a prayer against global capitalism. We're living in a world that - despite the deeps of the sea and the depths of space - is mapped and known in incredible detail. We're living in a world where global capitalism... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:06 AM on September 1, 2014

SPOOOOON!
Oh my god, the animated part where the Tick says to Arthur while they are dangling from a rope and need to build momentum, "Swing with me, Arthur, swing!" - and then swing music starts playing, OMG, that alone almost makes me feel that there's some worth to humans.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:40 PM on August 31, 2014

"The English," GK Chesterton wrote, "love a talented mediocrity."
I wonder if he's read Orwell's smaller work - the As I Please columns and so on. I actually like those a lot better - and return to them much more often - than his bigger work and certainly his novels and most of the "big" essays.

For me the main thing about Orwell is that you get such a strong sense of him as a person from his minor work - judgy, an immense jerk about a lot of stuff, kind of sexist, kind of homophobic, kind of racist, and yet for the most... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 AM on August 31, 2014
The thing is, of course, that Orwell is the old original born with a purpose. He's writing to do things - his big essays are intended as interventions that will achieve something, like his letters to Partisan Review are intended to sway American opinion, and his essays about Englishness are intended to help create a post-war socialist consensus, and his BBC broadcasts are intended both to create some ground for Indian independence and to keep India "on the side" of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:55 AM on August 31, 2014
Along with the race hatred, there’s another obvious feature of this intro: the way it dramatizes Orwell himself, a sensitive young white man alone in a crowd of evil aliens. That habit of dramatizing himself never changes. It’s a constant in Orwell’s work; the only difference is that the scene shifts from Burma to Europe, and the hostile crowd consists of fellow intellectuals trying to lure him into one of the orthodoxies they have cravenly embraced.

I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:01 AM on August 31, 2014

“It’s okay, because someday they’ll all be dead.”
A red clip meant “leave me alone.” A green clip, and you’d soon be making friends.

This is so brilliant. I wish I could wear such kind of clips for everyday interactions.

The whole "old fans versus new" thing really gets me down, because I would love to go to a boring convention that is all about books and academic panels and doesn't involve television, superhero movies or... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2014
(I would be shocked - like, really, worldview-upendingly shocked - if the Sherlock showrunners build in an overt romantic relationship. Partly because I am An Old, relatively speaking, and partly because I think that they can make a lot of money by including some fanservice stuff but nothing overt and thus keeping both the fangirl audience and the...er...nonfangirl audience.

You know what I'd really like to see? I'd like to see a version of Sherlock... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:07 PM on August 29, 2014

"The problem is I'm black. That's the problem."
At some point in the aftermath, did a reporter ever go back to the clerk who called the cops and ask him why he was being a racist jagoff? It's a minor footnote, but all (justified) cop-blaming here is letting someone else off the hook.

I sure would like someone to follow up with the store clerk, because I'd like to be sure that it was a store clerk, and not the police just lying. I once was present for the whole of an incident... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:16 PM on August 29, 2014
(To clarify my anecdote: the study area was in a location where no one could have seen who was making noise if they were making noise, so the noise complaint itself could not have been motivated by race, and we knew there wasn't any noise; also the security guard told us (sotto voce, since we were white) that he just wanted the guys to move along - even though they were students and it was basically public space.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:18 PM on August 29, 2014
I don't think so. If he'd been wearing an immaculate suit and perfectly groomed, they'd have behaved just the same. Just ask the legions of well-dressed black men who have gotten the same treatment.

Oh, I'm not saying that the cops only single out black men who don't look conservative/formally dressed - it's just been my experience (I've done a little bit of activism about police brutality) that when cops are looking to hassle a black man, they do... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on August 29, 2014
Rarely do I pass up an opportunity to stick my nose into the cops' business. If I see a police officer violating some minor law (something that would get a normal person in trouble, like blowing through a stop sign or turning right on red in a no right on red zone or fucking littering in my neighborhood, you fucking asshats) I absolutely call them out on it. If I see them ticketing a car that doesn't appear to have any violations, I will stop angrily ask them why. If I see them... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:42 PM on August 29, 2014
Until about six months later when I was on my way to work and opened the front door to find my yard full of police, some squatted down behind shrubs, some at the edge of the house, and it turned out there were a bunch of them in the back yard and side yards too - all obviously on alert, hands on guns, etc. I was a bit stunned and then one of the two officers on the sidewalk in front of me told me that they'd received a call about an emergency at my house ...... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:47 PM on August 29, 2014

objectification and its effects on women
(The thing is, if your relationship is such that "if you loved me you would have sex with me right now regardless of what you want or how you feel" is primary way of getting sex, you have a bad relationship. There are all kinds of ways to have reasonable amounts of sex in a relationship, from directly negotiating to being in tune enough with each other that you both tend to want to have sex a reasonable amount of the time and are both happy. Believing that you should be able to pull... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on August 28, 2014
Maybe the heterosexual dynamics are different. But in my experience with men, it's more than possible to stare at one's partner and be blown away by how beautiful they are without said action being dehumanizing or leading to sexual coercion. I mean, if you're with someone and you love them, part of that love is physical, no?

Partly, it's not as reciprocal between men and women. Women aren't encouraged to evaluate men physically in the same way or to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2014
I was thinking about how I've been "objectified" all my life - even though I have never been sexually attractive to very many men, and now am basically sexually invisible as a butch person of indeterminate gender. But the reason I say that I've been "objectified" is that my worthlessness as a person - to most men - is pretty much all about the fact that I am unfuckable. Most men don't treat other men as worthless/boring/etc because they don't want to fuck... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:24 PM on August 28, 2014
What I was really thinking was "what is objectification", and it occurred to me that "objectifying" is usually framed as "using something as an object of desire" and that's where the confusion comes in, because it's sometimes fun to be desired. So I was thinking about being made into an object, and how that happens to women/non-men-people in all kinds of ways, and that [sexual objectification] is a subset of objectification in general, and can be... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2014
IIRC, Freudians were very big on female narcissism, right?

Of course, there's a very simple explanation for female sexual "narcissism" - if you grow up being taught that being desired is the measure of your worth, and you receive almost no models for being actively desiring, and you receive almost no information about actual pleasure in being touched as part of sex, and you receive lots of messages about how most women... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:16 AM on August 29, 2014
And it's worth considering that in the US, at least, straight dudes are not expected to be the objects of desire. The straight male body is very often framed as disgusting, something that women put up with - the official narrative that straight men are hairy and smelly, etc etc., men's legs look gross in shorts, male genitals are smelly and of no interest. And of course, the fact that straight men are virtually always discouraged from any kind of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:35 AM on August 29, 2014
And one last thought that I meant to include in my previous comment, and then I'll knock it off - there's something really perverse in the "men are so gross" narrative, because it teaches men that women should have to have sex with men who are assumed to be gross and hairy and coarse and incapable of any form of bodily or sexual refinement (because men are "just like that" etc). It's basically saying "sex is categorically not fun for women, because... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:01 AM on August 29, 2014

SRLP and Laverne Cox
Oh my god, that poor little girl in the Connecticut case. I bet there are a hundred queer youth organizations who would work with her to organize housing, therapy and education if she could just be gotten out of state custody. I mean hell, she can come sleep on my sofa.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:00 AM on August 27, 2014
I recently learned that someone I respected a lot as a an anti-prison-pipeline activist had declined to make a statement about Cece MacDonald when the support committee (here in MPLS) had asked her to. I was really disappointed.

At the same time, I want to recognize that Laverne Cox is under a huge, ridiculous amount of pressure to be "the face" for trans women, especially trans women of color, and I could see how that would push someone to bad decisions -... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:40 AM on August 27, 2014
But the thing about CeCe McDonald is that it is possible to say "here is a nice college girl who was in the process of triumphing over adversity when she got jumped by a bunch of white trash racist nazi-sympathizers", and even the TERFs and anti-crime liberals have to deal with that narrative. While I was actually around - and did a very, very teeny-tiny bit of work for - CeCe's support committee and I recognize how incredibly difficult it was to deal with media bias, it's a different... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:11 AM on August 27, 2014
The link that ArmyOfKittens posted provides a lot more thoughtful analysis and brought home for me the ways in which Synthia was almost certainly victimized.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2014

Parenting in the Internet Age: The Problem of Porn
So far, I feel like we're talking like "kids" is "boys". (And of course, the linked piece is about a son.)

I surmise that it's going to be a lot more likely that girls will be looking at really standard, male-centric straight (or fake lesbian) porn than that they'll be stumbling across woman-centered porn (even finding, like, yaoi or whatever is a bit of a different process).

Now, this is certainly no... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:17 AM on August 26, 2014
(In the commercial porn that I have seen - which I'd say is a reasonable and representative sample circa maybe five years ago, plus another reasonable and representative sample when I was in my late teens/early twenties - I'd say that my take-away was very much that it is fun for women because they enjoy being objectified and performing female sexuality, whereas it is fun for men because doing whatever sexual act itself is pleasurable. That was what really messed me up, because it took me a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:06 AM on August 27, 2014
Would it be too chatty to ask what the allure is in the choking/vomiting/blowjob porn? And is one expected to believe that the vomiting is fun for the performer, or is it framed as explicitly not fun? Certain of these extreme things seem like they could be framed as "la la by happy coincidence I am just another woman who enjoys submitting to really aggressive sex that crosses over into choking and weird bodily distortion"* but very few people... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2014

"And I’m going to keep doing it, unless you pay me to stop."
There's a public health aspect to this - the more cramped the seating, the more difficult it is for passengers to move enough to prevent blood clots, which are a risk of sitting or lying in a very cramped position for extended periods. To me, this is the strongest argument against "I will recline unless you pay me" - what you're really saying is "unless you are very short, I can recline so that it's difficult for you to move your legs or even get out of your seat, putting you at... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on August 27, 2014

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