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
Ok, I must confess: I purchase my apples over the internet.

You...get your apples by mail? Do you get weekly deliveries? I cannot even imagine, since I eat about ten apples a week all on my lonesome and would eat more but apples already take up about 1/3 of my food bill. But then I live in the apple paradise that is Minnesota. Do you just eat a lot of other kinds of fruit instead? Next thing you'll be saying is that they don't have baby carrots... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:20 PM on September 10, 2014
Yeah, there were Honeycrisps in the store this weekend for four dollars a pound. And this in Minnesota, although I'm assuming the price will fall as the season progresses.

I got some nice-looking Braeburns instead and they are quite good.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2014

The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over
I really, really want to like Will Self, partly because as far as I can tell he looks almost exactly like Magneto, my very favorite mutant, and partly because his most recent novel really looks awfully interesting, and partly because going through life named "Will Self" seems like a burden of its own and partly because since he was named "Will Self" for years I thought he had something to do with Henry Rollins, and then I got him confused with Nick Hornby... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:37 AM on September 15, 2014
I don't quite understand about these tiny New Statesman columns - they're clickbait and all, but it would be so easy to make a good rather than polemical and sure-to-be-ignored argument here. I can't imagine that Self hasn't read all those old Baffler articles from the mid-nineties, or Thomas Frank's embookified dissertation, The Conquest of Cool, all of which trace an actual history of changes in cultural projection which would make this... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on September 15, 2014

It's really pushing it to be fifty-something and say you're Gen-X. Usually I see Gen-X as defined as born 1965ish to 1980ish. I had always thought that the defining factor was coming of age in some form during the 1980s. If you were born in 1960, you really came of age more in the 70s.


But Self talks about going nightclubbing and using substances during the mid-nineties, when he would have been in his mid-thirties - I think he probably... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:56 AM on September 15, 2014


Also, many commenters in this thread seem not to know that as a writer Will Self is a well known provocateur and satirist. I've never cared that much for his books, honestly, but I would never take his writing at sort of naive face value.


But it's such low-grade provocateur-ing! "I know, I'll insult George Orwell, that will really be an incisive critique that will....er...do... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:40 PM on September 15, 2014

"massive quantities of barely edible fried items" (p. 200)
I only really have experience with Red Lobsters - it's been many years since I've eaten at an Olive Garden - but I have several relatives who live in places where Red Lobster is the only non-fast-food restaurant option, and they like to go out to eat when I visit. IME, the quality of the food actually does vary by how well-run the place is - is your broccoli mushy or crisp? was it obviously past its prime when cooked? are things overbaked or overfried? does the deep-frying oil get changed... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:27 PM on September 15, 2014

"How can I make the person eating this lose his goddamn mind?"
Well, the balloon sounds like an ill-conceived thing, it's true - but isn't the problem with these things the way they represent inequality rather than the things themselves? They're all wonderfully silly, of course, but they also have this sort of 1960s techno-socialist-utopia feel to them, as if of course we're all going to get to the point where we "work" one hour a day, Iain Banksian AIs take care of all of our needs and we spend our time... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on September 15, 2014
(The thing is, as the middle class declines, being able to save up for a $500-$1000 "treat" twice a year becomes a rarer and rarer thing. Spur-of-the-moment international getaways? All that stuff? The only people I know who can really do that have two very solid incomes, relatively little education debt and maybe one child - I'm talking a household income north of $70,000 if no kid, north of $100,000 if kid. I'm not saying that people on this thread can't do it, or that you're some... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on September 15, 2014

I'm only into Jean-Georges's early stuff.
I think that this guy may have the wrong kinds of friends.

I once was young and now am not so old, as the fellow says, and I can testify that it's perfectly possible to run around in snob bohemian circles while still doing things you authentically enjoy and can afford - so possible, in fact, that I have never really encountered all this "pressure" to collect all the things and go all the places. I did have a couple of record snob guy friends in my twenties,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:02 AM on September 15, 2014
So the cultural kingdom is, once again, Brooklyn. Huh. I'll be sure to mention that next time it comes up.

Admittedly, it would have had a lot of chuckle value in 1960, and will no doubt have some incredulity value in 2035.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:07 AM on September 15, 2014
Do people gather in very large groups at restaurants, then? Except when I lived in the maybe 175-square-foot place, I don't think I've lived anywhere where I couldn't entertain three or four friends.

Going to a restaurant does mean that you don't have to do any dishes, though.

I know very few people who have the kind of discretionary income where you can afford fun meals out regularly, though, so inviting people to meet you at... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on September 15, 2014

Sex slavery in America
What struck me - other than how incredibly resilient she is, and the fear that not everyone is as resilient - is her point about how much money people have to have to buy girls this way. You always think that the movie villain/SF-dystopia evil rich dude who abuses people is just this sort of...cartoon figure. But actually there must be plenty of them out there, making big money and buying young people to abuse just because they can get away with it - one of the side effects... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:34 PM on September 14, 2014

A Post About Buzzfeed and Tinder? Just, Ew, No. Moving On
Does anybody use Tinder and think "why swipe 'yes' on someone who is way better looking than me"? If I were still dating dudes, I would absolutely have swiped yes for poor old Junior, on the theory that as a fat guy who likes fancy events, he might be someone fun who would also go out with me.

My whole rationale looking at most of those people was "these people are all way better-looking than me and even if I assume that the women are all queer, they're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:06 PM on September 12, 2014
I mean, show me a muslimah who isn't as beautiful as a model and who maybe has glasses and likes to read and for some reason wants to date an atheist raised Lutheran, and I'm absolutely there.

I feel like this article tries to compress too many variables.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on September 12, 2014

Just do it already
Perhaps someone in this thread will know the answer to this:

About seven or eight years ago, I read an essay by a gay historian in which he theorized that Conan Doyle actually wrote Holmes with a lot of textual cues that readers were accustomed to interpret as gay. That is, all the stuff that we think of as canonical Holmes - being all etiolated, the drugs, the weird aesthetic sensibility, the protean physicality - would actually have been read by... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:25 AM on September 11, 2014

The same study I found actually did that. And one woman's response was quoted, and was something like, "okay, imagine a guy is a scoop of ice cream. One scoop is good....but two is better." Sometimes it's purely about two hot guys being better than just one.


I would find this so much, much more plausible if there weren't such a vast amount of romantic slash fic, and if it didn't so, so often fall into the whole... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 AM on September 11, 2014
Or, perhaps, what that says about how women/straight relationships are portrayed by mass media, and why many women don't find those portrayals relatable or compelling.

Well, yes, but we're not talking about femme slash or straight romantic fic or genderswap - we're talking about women responding to a show by saying "I am dissatisfied with the women characters so I will write romantic porn about two men".

I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:04 AM on September 11, 2014
You're over thinking this. Women who are attracted to me enjoy gay erotica for the same reason that men attracted to women enjoy lesbian porn: it's two hot people getting it on. If you're exclusively straight, you might prefer this to opposite sex erotica/porn, as then you're potentially attracted to both people.

Just to clarify - if we were talking about porn, I would find this a relatively convincing argument. I think that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:08 AM on September 11, 2014
What I'd like to know is, are there many bisexual or gay men who feel that a Sherlock/Watson relationship will validate them? If this is about the representation of bisexual women, why doesn't Mary Moran come out as bisexual and hook up with one of the women characters? (I'm sure there's fic, etc etc) If it's about just how awesome Sherlock is, why isn't everyone writing genderswap?

I feel like a big takeaway from being involved in GLBTQ stuff has been, for me, that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:05 AM on September 11, 2014
Though there is something quite scary about a guy who can not only perform against orientation, but so well as to be regarded by the other as not only a great bang but an insatiable one,

But one could easily say that Sherlock is bisexual, right? So he's skillfully and enthusiastically faking with a woman, but could easily skillfully and enthusiastically fake with a man. (Which is where the "bisexual erasure" thing comes in - once we're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:20 PM on September 11, 2014
If you're assuming that all characters on a show like Star Trek are straight because none of them are shown to be queer (let's assume shows with quite large casts that obviously aspire to represent wide swathes of humanity) then you're almost forced to assume that the Star Trek future has bred out homosexuality, right? Based on simple percentages, you'd expect a certain number of ST characters to be non-straight.

I'd argue that in a human world... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:05 AM on September 12, 2014

The ancient art of baijiu
Oh my god, baijiu. I don't want it to have a western equivalent, because then I might once again face social pressure to drink it, and that stuff will knock you back. As much as I've often, often wished I was in a position to go back to work in China, one small relief is that I will never again have to drink baijiu just to be polite.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:36 AM on September 11, 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."
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

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