Activity from Frowner

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PUT AWAY YOUR FEET YOU HEATHEN
Wear whatever you like, but know that I will be judging you according to idiosyncratic preferences derived from childhood experience, random ideas picked up from books, my own deep fears about fitting in/being different and some fuzzy, largely inaccurate ideas about an idealized sartorial past! Plus some notions derived from received ideas about whiteness and masculinity! Know too that I will never turn my gaze on myself to wonder why I spend all this effort judging and so little effort… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2015
Hooves and paws are filthy messes too, much of the time.

Ahem, my cat has beautiful paws, thank you.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2015
Wait, surely no one actually believes that cut off jeans are a blight on humanity? I would personally suggest some kind of desensitization therapy if that's the case - I mean, that must be like believing that t-shirts are a blight on humanity, or knit hats are.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:09 PM on May 24, 2015

"So, what do you do?"
"Have you ever heard of books about imaginary stories? They're a little bit like TV shows like Mad Men or Stargate Atlantis - things that never happened!"

[Checks for understanding, does not attempt to see if listener has any background in field]

"Those books are called fiction, and there's all different kinds! I teach a class about one kind!"

[Gently correct misapprehensions about… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:45 PM on May 23, 2015

Ouch. Nope, that isn't it at all, in my experience.


I mean, I should say that I know a number of professional, grant-holding scientists, and they generally seem quite well-socialized and perfectly able to give the elevator version of what they do. You would think it would just be the Significance portion of your average proposal, though.

I did get the tiniest taste of the difficulty of balancing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:57 PM on May 24, 2015

Unreal Food For The Real World
The driving force with this article isn't as much that she's a historian (notice how dodgily she employs historical example, even if her other work is better) but that she's writing for Jacobin and clearly swings marxist in some way. The key political aspect of the article is right at the end - she's basically saying "we need industrial food production to keep food prices low for the proletariat and we need to organize the proletariat who themselves… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:50 AM on May 23, 2015

"Has anyone ever told you that you look like someone famous?"
Some people think Sandra Bernhard is beautiful, for starters.

Most of the "Sandra Bernhard, despite being thin and having a conventionally attractive body, good skin, good hair and a wide, full-lipped mouth is actually ugly" business is about homophobia and fucked up racial double-binds around how we as a society read/rate large mouths - which are something highly desirable on some women some of the time, but which are then put down on other women at other… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2015
Okay, Whelk, the only celebrity I even vaguely resemble is a fat James McAvoy. (I have an irrational fondness for James McAvoy for this reason, despite being virtually entirely unfamiliar with his work.) Now the question is, is this a transitive property? Can I safely visit New York, or is it the sort of place that can only handle one fat James McAvoy per metropolis?

I mean, my sense is that Based On Photos I Have Seen Of The Whelk, that whole "fat" bit may… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2015

“There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking it-self is dangerous.”
Something occurs to me - when I was coming up in the nineties, Arendt was the Unacceptable Frankfurt Scholar because she was too centrist. Now it seems like she is the Unacceptable Frankfurt Scholar for entirely other reasons...I suppose it really boils down to the fact that she is both the best-known one and a woman.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:18 AM on May 21, 2015
As a non-Jewish person who has read Eichmann In Jerusalem (but who might not be familiar with any anti-Semitic undertones that would have been obvious when it was written) I did not find the widely criticized passages on the Jewish leadership in various countries to suggest anything negative that was particular to Jews. What I took away was very much "this is what happens in communities under terrible stress, and these are some bad decisions that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on May 21, 2015
I guess what also strikes me is how deep victim-blaming runs and how deep guilt and shame must run, since it's obvious that for a lot of people, even talking about those Jewish leaders who made bad or self-serving decisions is pretty much the same as saying "people deserved what they got" or inviting other people to say it. Which, I suppose, is a sign of my situation as a non-Jew, because I don't have to worry that people are going to say that my… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:30 PM on May 21, 2015
I feel like when people say "could Naziism happen here" they are usually asking two different questions -

The first one is a moral question - ie, could something of comparable moral horror happen in the US? Which, obviously, it could, did and does. That seems like an ethics-plus-history question.

The second is "could the same kind of social violence with the same intensity, visibility and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:55 AM on May 22, 2015

I’m never seeing my Astoria friends again!
Do you New Yorkers ever...meet each other at points equidistant from each others' homes? Here in flyover country, that's how I often see friends.

This whole thing is actually deeply reassuring - everyone I know in New York can't seem to get a date to save their lives and it used to make me feel inadequate by proxy, and I never understood that it's because y'all don't date outside a ten block radius.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:45 PM on May 21, 2015
WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT, Frowner lives in FLYOVER country? I just assumed San Francisco.

Yes, I live in a place known to all as "a cold Omaha". I don't want to blow up my spot or anything, but the rents are low, it's pretty liberal and we have a strong history of GLBTQ activism. Also it's very bike friendly.

I had this idle dream of moving to San Francisco right after the dot com crash but could never afford it now.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:09 PM on May 21, 2015

You can't outrun a bad diet
A friend started exercising and dropped close to a hundred pounds with no dietary changes. I started exercising and...dropped zero weight, slightly reconfigured my shape, gained a lot of strength, etc.

I think it's worth considering the whole "so far it seems virtually impossible for people [in the aggregate] to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off, no matter what they eat or what they do" business.....sooooooo "go forth and exercise a lot… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:08 AM on May 18, 2015
The funny thing is that I didn't actually see much "body recomposition" until I started adding 30 minutes on the elliptical to each workout. I had begun with weights and pilates - first weight machines and then dumbells (because I wasn't flexible enough for good form on barbell squats) and while I gained some strength and flexibility, it wasn't until I was pushing myself on the elliptical that I began to see real changes in body shape in terms of thinner legs and flatter stomach.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:10 PM on May 21, 2015

Tortoises Try Tiny Pancakes (as classical music plays)
Honestly, this makes me think that like so many tiny cute things up to and including cats they are not actually cute, just tiny. Seriously, look at their beaky jaws! and scaly feet! And imagine them trampling Tokyo. Not so cute now, huh?

They would probably eat us if they were big enough, not unlike cats would.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:56 PM on May 21, 2015

“Being unseen is devastating, and so is not seeing.”
I thought this was a very good piece, essentially religious in its outlook. An optimistic vision of Norway that I would prefer to be true. What he writes about the "harmlessness" of Norway is pretty much my social vision, that hierarchies should get reduced and reduced until even profound disagreements have little power to really harm. Which is strange, because I think of Knausgaard as a very conservative writer.

I remember reading about all this on… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:55 AM on May 20, 2015

Can a single conversation change minds on divisive social issues? No.
I always wonder why people do that stuff. Part of me feels sorry for the grad student, even though I understand that he made those choices every step of the way - it's not like one little decision among many was bad.

It also makes me wonder just how many other similar papers are fake - what if this guy felt empowered to fake his stuff because there's more of a culture of fakery than we know?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:56 AM on May 20, 2015

I'd just need to exercise more, and hide my shell-cordovan boots
Also hilarious - the quantification bias. Attended one protest? Well, that might have been a mistake! But two? Not two!!!! Three drinks a week? A-ok!! Four? Nope. One prescription yes, two no.

I wonder if "songs with explicit lyrics" is code for rap music.

Also, note that one resident is Stanford faculty. If I were "Mark"'s department chair, I would be deeply concerned right… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:36 AM on May 14, 2015
I mean, maybe his department chair wouldn't care deep down in his soul as long as "Mark" is innovative enough - but with something blowing up all over social media, it seems likely to prompt some sleuthing and scrutiny that would not reflect especially well on the department.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:38 AM on May 14, 2015
He's not a faculty member. The Stanford directory divides people into four groups: faculty, staff, students, and "affiliates," a sort of catch all category. He's an affiliate.

So when he's described as "faculty" in the ad, it's really just showing off? That's even better.

God why are people so terrible?

I recognize that group houses are really hard to put… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2015
(That even leaves out people who, like, had to try different meds!)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2015
Lakness is unemployed, per the article.

Oh, and they don't want anyone who has gone to protests because people who are political can be pushy. And yet, of course, they want to "save the world". Not through protest, naturally, that's pushy. Emma Goldman, Cesar Chavez, Silvia Rivera, Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners, ACT-UP, the protesters at Ferguson - all pushy, much too pushy to be housemates with.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:23 AM on May 14, 2015
Yeah, I remember that time that I lived with two girls who wore a lot of make-up. One of them also wore vintage dresses every day and the other one dressed in hard femme rocker get-up. I couldn't face the pressure that their appearances placed on me and so I said that they both had to start dressing like me and stop wearing make-up.

Also I made my other housemates stop reading books about math because it made me feel pressured to learn more math. And I made the cat… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2015
I do not think this is a hoax. There's too much that's real-googleable and it seems like one could pretty easily figure out who some of the people alleged to live there actually are - one does not want to dox someone merely for being silly, but most of them are associated with Stanford and have rather idiosyncratic professions.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:24 PM on May 14, 2015
You know, I find it much easier to take now that it seems like this is just coming from one neurotic. I do understand the stress and madness of being de facto house parent, and one could easily see a sort of stubborn youngish person believing that he could force a successful group house into existence - the social version of engineer's disease. Really, he'd probably be better off hand-picking three or four friendly acquaintances who want long-term housing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:39 AM on May 20, 2015

Generational thinking is just a benign form of bigotry
This is so nice!

Since I’m a ‘Gen-X’er born in 1977, the conventional wisdom is that I’m supposed to be adaptable, independent, productive, and to have a good work/life balance.

This is not what they were saying about us in the nineties. It's a particularly hilarious illustration of how whoever is youngest will always be defined as the bad failures - we were bad failures when we were in our twenties, now it's the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:46 AM on May 19, 2015
My mother's parents fit it precisely, with the exception that they claim to vote Democrat so I'll always have certain aspects of healthcare. I don't argue with them because I'm living on stock dividends they gave me.

I mean, my point isn't that there are no evil selfish people of that generation - it's that as a blanket descriptor it's almost useless - and, I would argue, actively harmful when it's used to attack things that benefit… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:33 AM on May 19, 2015
But there are some clear and lasting differences in generations. The American WWII generation assumed power when the war ended, and basically ran the country until Clinton. It was their show for 50 years.

But who is "they"? Working class women? The black middle class? Latina lesbians? Mill workers from the Smokies?

There are some tightly defined ways in which "generational" analysis is useful - I think it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:51 AM on May 19, 2015

Sex and gender doubleshot
I bet the reason Stars In My Pocket was not mentioned is that it's a really difficult book to get into and you don't get to the gender stuff until you've gotten through Rat Korga's story. In my experience, people who read relatively serious but popular SF and fantasy often don't read much Delany both because of the difficulty of some of his work and because of the way he is culturally positioned - it's all either pulp covers in old mass market paperbacks or those immensely… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:59 AM on May 19, 2015

Santa Monica says "Later, dude!" to AirBnB
I personally like staying at hotels, because I like the idea that at least some of my money goes to sustain working class jobs in the community; I like the idea that workers at hotels have some ability to unionize and I choose union hotels when I can; I like the idea that workers at hotels have some legal protection in terms of work standards, and I think those standards should be more aggressively enforced rather than junked entirely by privatizing lodging; and I like the idea that I have a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:22 PM on May 14, 2015

Dead Malls Make Excellent ReEducation Camps
WE DID ONLY GOOD THINGS TO SCIENCE FICTION. I WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE, EVEN IF YOU MAKE ME PLAY STUPID PHONE-BASED GAMES.

San Francisco, though - believe me, I regret it as much as you and possibly more since I remember what it once was.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:32 AM on May 14, 2015

Her legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism.
I feel like putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 would do the same thing to her story that has been done to MLK's - turn her into someone to namecheck when you don't want to look racist and eviscerate the complicated and radical nature of her actions. But that is how people and history are assimilated to the nation-building project - overwrite what they actually did and thought with a palatable narrative which supports the nation.

Honestly, all kinds… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:27 AM on May 14, 2015

"Last year a trend setter, this year a follower, next year my mom"
You could see this coming - Birkenstock clogs have been a Thing in certain men's style locations for the past couple of years, those Kork-Ease women's shoes have been a big deal and there have been various mini-fashions for some of the other cork-bed old school sandals.

Leaving all else aside, I do not lead a sandal kind of life - there's way too much grit and glass and so on on the streets of my neighborhood for it to be comfortable to wear non-closed shoes, and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on May 13, 2015
I would like the gold Opening Ceremony x Tevas please.

When I wore Doctor Martens in the early nineties, I had to special-order them from a company who advertised in the back of Spin Magazine. They were really, really good, though - much better even than the UK-made ones you'd get later when they started to be popular, and of course way better than the ones made in China after that. The leather was much nicer, mostly - more pliable and with a better/thinner finishing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 AM on May 13, 2015

What.

Literally every person I know wore Docs in the early nineties. They were everywhere.


Not in 1991 in the suburbs, they weren't.

The Doc Martens trajectory seems to have really taken off about 91-92. I first wanted a pair in 1990 because the most artsy and stylish girl in my class had them. I assume she'd gotten them in Chicago, but I wasn't allowed to roam around in the city… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:46 PM on May 13, 2015

Why Do Cats Run the Internet?
"Exploiting the interest in cats" - now that should have been my career.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:35 PM on May 12, 2015
If cats rule the internet because they remind us of babies, it's because they are babies for people who don't like babies. And for people who have enough real babies that they need a break.

I mean, I like several specific babies who are known to me personally, but as a group I am not especially drawn to them...but there's hardly a cat in the world I will not coo over.

I like cats on the internet because they are idealized forms of my cat. My… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:30 PM on May 12, 2015
My cat is so much nicer when there are strangers. Everyone thinks she is so sweet and shy, but when it's only household people she is loud and fussy, and also she has this new thing where she does not like it when I sleep late even if I have already gotten up and fed her. "Get up, food ape!!" she says. "Time's a-wastin'!!!"
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:14 PM on May 12, 2015
As though if cats ran the internet, they'd allow pictures of nasty, hateful, *OTHER* cats on it. Hah.

Yes, there are some bad cats who hang out in our yard sometimes. They will not be allowed on the cat internet ever, ever, ever.

Realistically, there will only be fish on the cat internet. At least all of it that is hosted on Frownercat's server. And maybe some bats. ("They're like mice! If a mouse had a baby with a bird!!!")
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:12 PM on May 12, 2015

Is gay passé?
See, I feel like this essay is asking two separate questions and getting them muddled up:

One is "should there exist a specific gay culture that descends from the 19th century and has this particular set of icons and practices, eg RuPaul?"

The other is "does being not-straight make you different in itself, does it give rise to different insights and different ways of being in the world in some kind of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:02 PM on May 12, 2015

Gay Skinhead Oi! Poster Boy
People weren't just beaten by skinheads at that time - there were murders. My Night Out, by the Homosexuals (appropriately enough) is about the murder of one of their Pakistani friends by skinheads. I don't believe anyone was caught - you have to wonder if Nicky Crane or his buddies were involved.

I guess I worry that figures like Nicky Crane attract much more interest and sympathy than their many, many victims. "Handsome tragic white guy who does wrong but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:33 PM on May 11, 2015
The more I think about this, the more I think that it's just...it's a blank story, it can't be recuperated to a moral. I think there's this huge cultural habit of turning stories about racism (or other isms, but most often racism) into repentance/redemption tales, because that allays anxiety and guilt. This is the story of a short, wasted life and some horrible violence. It's only a moral tale in a very large sense, in that it shows that short, wasted lives are a product of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:49 PM on May 11, 2015
What? No.

I was saying that in my opinion it's a story that can't be recuperated to a moral, despite the fact that our culture pushes itself to recuperate stories about racism to a moral. This is something I've been thinking about because in a class I teach, the group almost immediately tries to domesticate our reading material by deciding who is good, who bad, whose immoral choice doomed who, etc, and it often does a disservice to the material.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:46 AM on May 12, 2015
I add, now that I have actually woken up, that I'm sorry that my comments came across that way. It was actually a very interesting story and I have already ordered that Children of the Sun novel that is about an upper class gay guy who gets obsessed with Nicky Crane.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:13 AM on May 12, 2015

Two Sisters, Two Views of Gay Marriage
You know what? I just want to say to an audience that I am so proud of my dad, who went from being an opponent of gay marriage (on something like Elizabeth's grounds) to a guy who accepts gay marriage purely because he was argued around to it - unlike almost everyone in the whole world, he thought about an issue and then changed his mind. Also he is way more accepting of trans people than I had ever expected him to be. My dad - so much better than I believed him to be when I was a teen!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:11 PM on May 11, 2015
I find it much easier to accept that people make complicated choices in their family relationships when those are not the subject of a back-and-forth in the Atlantic - of all places! - as if somehow Elizabeth's muddled thinking about the history and purpose of marriage needs to be presented to everyone so that we can fully understand that family relationships are complex. Basically, this article presents gay marriage as if there are "two sides" that are equally legitimate, equally good… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:41 PM on May 11, 2015

7s looking for 10s but they think they’re 11s
I was just thinking this morning that I'm so lonely it hardly bears close examination - but this cheered me right up, because it's clear that other people have things so much worse. At least all the people I am Not Dating are feminist and interesting and not nouveau riche.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:46 AM on May 10, 2015

That’s the problem with humans. We have too much ambition.
I would like to believe that CrossFitters are all really annoying, except that the ones I know are not, and also I am thinking that I might give it a shot in six months or a year since I've been making steady fitness improvements. I need to find a place that is CrossFit For The Comparatively Old, though. I mean, as I understand it you just....do varied, fairly intense workouts regularly? And some people get kind of obsessed with keeping their calves warm and wear ridiculous/fetishy socks at… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:02 PM on May 8, 2015

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