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California is burning. What the hell are you going to do about it?
Vote for sane politicians who will have the willingness and ability to raise taxes, particularly on the wealthy, so that there can be real preventive programs and no fear that we won't have, e.g., lifeguards at the lake because all the money went on fires?

It's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, of course, and it's also easier to imagine a revolution than politicians who will raise taxes.

I mean, you can sign me up… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:20 AM on August 7, 2015

As much as the pushback on the ad is stupid and horrible, I really wish that it was possible to show women in tech without having to start with the most conventionally beautiful engineer possible, or at least start by using a regular photo of the most conventionally beautiful one possible instead of an advertisement-style one. I've always found a lot of the "dress like an IT person" and "I am a [woman] STEM person" ads really alienating, because they… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on August 6, 2015
It was a transparent attempt to sex up the tech world, some said… Except, you know, she was actually just an engineer wearing her own face.

And this is the damned if you do, damned if you don't - if they'd used a photo of an average woman (a woman of non-standard beauty!) that would be used to "prove" that women in tech are ugly/unfeminine/etc, because you couldn't put, like, a chubby girl in a fascinator next to tophat dude. You couldn't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:00 AM on August 6, 2015
It's not sexed up, it's not more glammed up than those with her male co-workers, and if the implication is they should have picked some other, less pretty female engineer who works for them because Isis Anchalee is too pretty, that's insane and horrible.

But the thing is, they didn't draw her picture out of a hat (as far as we know; I think that information would have been included if it were the case). They picked her. They didn't pick a fat butch… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:13 AM on August 6, 2015
I don't mean to gainsay you, as you have a very valid point. However, it's important for society to be informed that heteronormatively attractive women can also be smart & do things with their brains. They are sides of the same coin, part of the same struggle.

I think that this is where the problem with single representations comes in. We here would (hopefully) not be having this conversation if there were three pictures of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:23 AM on August 6, 2015
They have a certain number of real-life actual employees and she's one of them, and if you think they could have done "better," I'd like you to provide some kind of meaningful proof that they chose her over somebody else and shouldn't have done so.

And yet, it's ever thus. It's always the state of exception - "oh, we could only choose [whatever category, as this applies for advertising in general] this time because of hard limits...and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:54 AM on August 6, 2015
I add that "despite what you've heard, you don't have to be an ugly fatso to be a woman in STEM - look, you can be really pretty" is a pretty screwed up message to send, and I feel like that's where a lot of these go.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:56 AM on August 6, 2015
You know what? I really regret my first comment in this thread, because it totally derailed everything. This was the wrong place to comment as I did, regardless of what I think, and I see that I drove the thread off what could have been a much better discussion. I'm going to stop commenting on this one now and I hope that I haven't totally sunk it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:09 PM on August 6, 2015

#ciswashing #whitewashing #Stonewall
I just wanted to jump in and say, for Chocolate Pickle or anyone else following along at home: you can be both trans and gay/queer/lesbian/bi. It only makes sense - gender and sexual orientation are different; there are a lot of, for instance, trans men and naturally some of those trans men are going to be attracted to men both pre- and post-coming out/gender alignment/transition.

There is a popular, homophobic and transphobic (though frequently held in ignorance)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:33 AM on August 6, 2015
The Jenkins boys were drumming softly on their congas to the hot breezy mood of the night air. Directly under the street lamp was an old beat-up folding card table where the Fletchers and the Andersons, lifelong friends and neighbors, were shouting over a game of bid whist.

The sight of Dupree galloping up the block toward us abruptly interrupted the calm of the first hour of Saturday 28 June. Dupree stopped in front of the gaming table and yelled out: ‘The pigs
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:38 AM on August 6, 2015
Yup! I dated a trans guy briefly and he told me it was super weird realigning from straight boys to queer boys, it was a whole new universe for him. Ditto a BAMF of a trans woman I knew out west who was lesbian, she said it took a lot to wrap her head around lesbian culture. (Not to mention major issues with acceptance from them, sigh.)

The majority of my trans women friends/acquaintances are primarily attracted to women, actually. For a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:06 AM on August 6, 2015
I think that the idea that you can make a fictional white cis straight guy the hero and that's going to be very helpful is the cis gay guy idea. I think it's perfectly possible for someone to think sincerely that "Middle America" will learn to love the gays if we can just show that the gays are like them, but what happens then is that:

1. The vast parts of "Middle America" that aren't white, for instance, are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on August 6, 2015

Why Straight Men Have Sex With Each Other
do, in the end of the book, suggest that, if straight people want in on queer life, that’s about something more than homosexual sex. That’s about queer subculture, which is anchored to a long tradition of anti-normative political practices and anti-normative sex practices and appreciation for a much broader array of bodies and kinds of relationships and so forth, and so I think most straight people don’t actually want to be part of it. I think straight people who engage in homosexual… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:29 AM on August 5, 2015
Also I like how she explains the whole "when we talk about straight men of color who have sex with men, we always talk about this in context of race but no one ever talks about white men as white because white is assumed to be normal and standard" bit.

Yeah, that was NOT an era when it was homophobic to insist that you had to have been born gay. Because WHO THE FUCK WOULD CHOOSE THAT???

For me the reason I've always… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2015

That's just how her face looks.

Try being fat and having RBF. It's like having an Invisibility Cloak. I don't really see this as a bad thing, though...

RBF and visibly queer/gender-non-conforming? Also invisibility cloak! I've realized recently that people are usually a lot nicer to [what I think of as] the normals than they are to me in terms of casual conversation and minor social stuff. My nice-enough calibration was basically set in high school… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:17 AM on August 5, 2015
The other thing is that I have a comparatively small mouth and, given the shape of my face, smiling to show my teeth is more of a terrible gurning grimace than anything else. I really have to consciously peel my lips back from my teeth and strain my cheeks - perhaps you might usefully think of a smaller, fatter Magneto fantasizing about killing Sebastian Shaw. Even as a small child, I was puzzled by how catalog models smiled with all the teeth showing.

One of my early… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:33 AM on August 5, 2015
On a note slightly different from the gender angle - I've often thought that there should be a simple good-manners course available online or preferably in grade school which taught certain basic principles like "don't comment on people's appearance, especially things they obviously can't easily help, but also All The Things".

Only a couple of years ago I accidentally told a friend that she looked tired and asked if she was feeling all right, and it turned out… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:37 AM on August 5, 2015
I mean, we all know, sort of, not to comment on stuff. But it makes a difference to put it clearly in words as a principle to abide by.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 AM on August 5, 2015

It's like, how much more black could this chicken be?
That's a black chicken, but it's not vantablack black.

I believe you mean fuligin, the color that is darker than black. I personally wouldn't want a chicken that was like peering into the void - much less a chicken sandwich - but YMMV.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:48 PM on August 4, 2015
This all reminds me - soon it will be time for the state fair, and there are always adorable black rabbits and ducks and geese to visit, as well as usually some black chickens. Visiting the state fair always firms up my vegan resolve, because I immediately see all the animals as cute little pets.

I did eat black chicken foot soup when I worked in China - a very wealthy family had invited my co-teacher (and then, incidentally, me) for a few days at their country place… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:07 AM on August 5, 2015

Love is Dead.
And frankly I've thought for a while -- this is the extra-textual comment -- that the Kermit-Piggy relationship was so unhealthy and rooted in gross gender assumptions that it was in sharp contrast to the otherwise generally-pretty-progressive stuff that I think the Muppets are about.

I was watching some old Muppets episodes a few weeks ago - and man, not only is Kermit a terrible, terrible person but that whole show is horribly sexist and gross.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:34 PM on August 4, 2015
And "groping"?? Can you point me to any examples? I certainly can't recall any.

I actually was just watching random episodes from the first couple of seasons and the guests were all revue stars with whose oeuvre I was not familiar, so I can't point to a particular episode, but there definitely were some pretty creepy puppet-touching moments, some structured as part of song-and-dance numbers.

You know, I don't really… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:04 PM on August 4, 2015

Stax of Wax
Vinyl is probably like books are going to be but more so - some people just like the format and don't find its inconveniences inconveniencing, and some other people like to own the occasional item as an artifact. I can't imagine going back to vinyl (I have a bunch of records - mostly from the nineties but a few rarities from the 2000s) because frankly I'm a butterfingers and it's a pain. But I also know that I will probably always prefer paper books to kindle and similar, even though paper… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:48 AM on August 4, 2015

Training Officers to Shoot First, and He Will Answer Questions Later

I'd be interested to read a report correlating the ratio of officer shootings which end up being unjustified in the aftermath, versus, say the deaths related to some surgeries.

Leaving all else aside, the underlying issue is that a disproportionate number of the unarmed and/or totally innocent people getting shot by cops are Black. And then there's the fact that no matter how strong the evidence of police incompetence… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on August 3, 2015

A “highly curated community of like-minded individuals.”
Wow, I wonder how much discrimination goes on in these places - even leaving out the "discrimination" aspect of the whole $4000/month luxury package, masseuse, etc. I wonder if they let, for example, fat people into the house. What about someone with a visible disability? Are there any Black people in any of these? Trans people?

Although actually, a "curated" group living situation wouldn't be such a bad idea if it were affordable and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:44 PM on July 31, 2015
or a house where everyone was a musician

haha no

Oh, the point is to sequester the musicians so the rest of us don't have to live with them.

I once lived with a fellow who played both the accordion and bagpipes (though not at the same time). I've learned that even if one plays the accordion in the basement at the opposite end of the house, it is quite clearly audible on the second floor.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:07 PM on July 31, 2015

Stars in His Pocket Like Grains of Sand
Dhalgren is so difficult - emotionally and in terms of form - that I think you really need to want to read it specifically, rather than just wanting to read Delany or to read an important SF novel. I've read most of it by skipping around. There's an event at the early mid-point of the novel (elevators, if that helps those who have read it) that I just can't read through. Maybe someday I will, but right now it is just so horrifying that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on July 31, 2015
Imperialist nostalgia is precisely the nostalgia of the imperialists for the thing they destroyed. There's a book of the same title by a left-wing anthropologist, Reynardo Rosaldo. I read it a long, long time ago so I only remember snippets, but they've been useful snippets. "Oh, old New York, back when it was seedy and authentic before my condo was even built on the rubble of this affordable housing, let's make a movie about it", that kind of thing.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on July 31, 2015

Greenpeace vs. Shell Oil: the Portland edition
Delays really seem to impact Arctic drilling, though - it's tricky, the weather's rough, a lot of stuff can go wrong. "Maybe we can delay this boat for a while and it won't arrive in time to start by the last possible date, and that will buy us another year to organize" isn't a totally ridiculous premise. I'm not generally much on blockades because I've seen them get cleared away too often, but a short term one with a simple goal doesn't sound like the world's worst idea.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:27 PM on July 30, 2015
I don't think we need to start making analogies with the civil rights movement to argue that blockades are legit. Indigenous people, in particular, have used blockades (as here) to push back against resource extraction, dumping and land theft.

I think that when folks talk about how blocking access is inappropriate, they're misunderstanding inequality of power. (And, IYAM, misunderstanding the violence and threat of violence that actually underpin… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on July 31, 2015

"4. Thou shalt not refrigerate fresh mozzarella"
So, when I have eaten refrigerated fresh mozzarella and thought "this is very tasty and fresh-tasting and has a wonderful texture", I'm just being a rube, right?

Purely on a selfish level, I would enjoy this type of article more if it were framed as "get moar enjoyment out of [cheese/shellfish/fancy vegan ingredients by doing these things" instead of containing the idea that I can "sin" against a piece of food that I bought at the store.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:02 AM on July 31, 2015

Will the endgame pairing be Jo/Laurie, Jo/writing, or Jo/Cyborg Bhaer?
I wonder about the "while trying not to kill each other" bit - isn't one of the major points of Little Women that there's immense sisterly affection between the girls? There's some disagreements, true, but there isn't even a ghost of the contemporary TV "ha ha siblings always hate each other amirite" thing.

I could certainly see a dystopian fusion - Amy goes to school and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on July 30, 2015
Remember for example the scene where Jo gets so mad at Amy that Amy almost dies in an ice-skating accident. The moral of the episode is that Jo needs to watch her temper, but the anger was definitely there.

Yeah, but that's seen as a moral problem, not a sustained and normal state of intra-sibling frustration and "trying not to kill each other".

Part of the problem in adapting Little… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on July 30, 2015
But how socially conservative is their worldview? Conservative by contemporary standards, yeah, but Alcott wasn't precisely conservative for her own time. (Once you get to Little Men and the other one, and the woman doctor, or if you read some of her other books, I think this becomes more apparent.) It's difficult to imagine Alcott in the world of Jim Baker, etc, but I don't think the more transhistorical virtues that Alcott espouses - rejection of gaudy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:28 AM on July 30, 2015
Granted, it's understood that the standard they're intuitively tapping into is a more or less absolute one, and external guidance—Marmee, Pilgrim's Progress—can help them with navigation.

That was what I was trying to get at - by "external" I was trying to say "a standard that isn't just about finding your authentic self or learning to be happy; a standard that's based on something more than the idea that your truth is your truth and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2015

Books about women don't win big awards: some data
I read an interview with Pat Barker (author of several of my favorite novels, including The Century's Daughter, which is mostly about women and which also has a viewpoint gay character who is complexly depicted) where she said that she started out writing about women and no one paid attention so she switched to writing about men. And sure enough, it's her WWI trilogy which got all the awards. (They're excellent books, don't get me wrong; but one can write excellent books… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:34 PM on July 29, 2015
I say this because I was trying to think of recent reads where men wrote women well, and two of the most recent I read were David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress and Paul Auster's In The Country of Last Things, both very Pomo-y post-apocalyptically staged metafictions with female protagonists.

It just show to go ya - I thought the woman protagonist of In the Country of Last Things was a total porno straight male fantasy, not… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 PM on July 29, 2015
She was always thinking about how sexy she is? Really? I don't remember that at all, but I'll take your word for it, and I must say I definitely didn't react to anything in the book with arousal or even pick up on that I was supposed to. Still, as to plausibility, which is a separate thing, is the guy building tiny ships-in-bottles out of mouse bones "plausible"?

I really liked the setting of that book, but it was spoiled for me by these… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 AM on July 30, 2015
I guess what I'm saying is that a character can be sort of pro-actively unrealistic - building ship models out of mouse bones, for instance - but if that character contradicts what we actually know of people, the author needs to do a lot more work to make that work.

It's like the joke about how if someone tells you that they saw the ghost of Gladstone talking to the ghost of Queen Victoria, you can be agnostic… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on July 30, 2015
Also, the part where Anna doesn't appear to worry about getting pregnant and has lots of unprotected sex in the midst of the apocalypse - that seems a bit more realistic, because people do fool things all the time, but it was difficult for me to believe that she wasn't terrified when she was pregnant. "I will be giving birth in the midst of the apocalypse" would give most women pause. If that were the only not-that-real thing,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:34 AM on July 30, 2015

the spirit is willing, but the flesh is so so tasty
The truth is that I think of myself as a vegan but am actually a reducitarian, given that I fall off the vegan wagon with startling regularity.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:13 AM on July 28, 2015
crawl back on the wagon homie

we have nooch and avocados

Oh god, how often have I crawled back on the wagon! But then there's free pizza from the good pizza place and I didn't have time to pack a lunch and...crash.

I'm pretty resigned to being mostly-vegan at this point. And I mean, I have nooch and avodados even as we speak, although I tend not to use them together.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on July 28, 2015

veggie side dishes for veggies

When I make veggie side dishes for veggies, it's usually because I have a heavy or starchy main dish - beans, curry, fried polenta cakes, braised tofu, etc. And then I have maybe some salad greens or some sauteed spinach or something - very quick and a pretty simple flavor profile.

When I'm cooking for myself, it's usually "here is a giant plate of cauliflower rice with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:24 AM on July 30, 2015

What we wanted was to adjust the car to the city
Yes. You can see the line, really, it's basically the Mississippi River. The last Eastern Cities that were really built were Chicago and St. Louis, and St. Louis proper stayed really small for reason I'll elide here, but search on the "divorce" of the city and county of St. Louis if you want details. Maybe Minneapolis St. Paul.

Minneapolis/St Paul has an old style core - an awful lot of our sprawl and development didn't really happen until… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:43 AM on July 29, 2015

also, Frowner, I don't think Swedes or Danes or Germans are strangers to any level of snow or cold or rain

No, actually, Minnesota has much more extreme weather than Germany or the Scandinavian countries - we're a LOT hotter in the summer, we get an average of 54 inches of snow per year in Minneapolis, which is more than the total annual average precipitation in Germany, our average winter temperature is 16 and the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:36 AM on July 29, 2015
In the dead of winter, I ride a five mile round trip. I'm unusually cold-tolerant and bike on any day where the high is expected to break ten degrees F. My biggest challenge - I have glasses and it's difficult to cover my face (which is absolutely vital when it's 0F when you're leaving for work) without also steaming up my glasses. A balaclava routes my breath right into my glasses and ski goggles steam up. So I usually just wrap my face in a scarf, which means that I have frozen scarf over… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:48 AM on July 29, 2015
Local climates don't exert much influence on biking and walking.

Okay, this does not make sense to me unless it's not broken out by season, because I bike in the city year round, and LOTS of people stop riding in the winter. Right now, I see tons of fellow commuters and the bike racks at work are full. In December, I see very few people and have my choice of bike parking. Right now, the bike rack at the grocery store is always mostly full; in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on July 29, 2015

I run a university. I’m also an Uber driver.
I'm getting to a point where it's really hard to justify a near two-hour bus journey home from the Mission versus a $7 UberPool, though, and I think I've finally pinpointed the real reason for my reluctance to Uber: As a middle-class(ish) person, I feel almost a duty to keep taking public transit, to not join the white flight or whatever you want to call it to Uber and other ridesharing services and leave public transit to SF's poorest, most vulnerable residents. I know this is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:19 AM on July 29, 2015

It has become death, destroyer of worlds

The best-case scenario might be significantly better than a military built entirely on human-operated weapons, though. Autonomous drones (as opposed to those with human operators) do not get PTSD. They carry no grudges. They carry no ethnic hatreds into battle. A soldier facing an angry mob might panic, but an autonomous weapon programmed not to fire unless fired upon will face the prospect of annihilation with perfect equanimity.

Or,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2015

“Where’s My Cut?”: On Unpaid Emotional Labor
Because I tend to apologize for everything, it's very difficult for me to sort out situations where I do need to apologize/feel bad and then apologize/feel bad appropriately. My default setting is "I did this and I am a bad person and it's my fault and there are NO mitigating circumstances and no matter how much you may have misunderstood something it's still my fault and I am a bad person", so my apologize all tend to be "oh my god, I am so… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:32 AM on July 27, 2015

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