I was once at a labor event back when all this Syria stuff started and a derailing debate broke out about whether US intervention ever does more good than harm. Someone raised their hand and asked us whether our debate would actually make any difference in what would happen in Syria, whether we had any meaningful way to influence US policy on this point. And that pretty much killed that particular debate.
Now, I'm not saying that folks should be... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 9:12 AM on August 27, 2013
Except people's at lives are at stake in Syria, and no one dies when Cyrus twerks.
Except that - as far as I can tell - there isn't a fucking thing we can do about Syria. You might as well have an opinion about twerking instead, since that could conceivably affect something in your life. If we did/do have some actual way to influence events, that's more important, of course - but if all that's in... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 9:19 AM on August 27, 2013
You mean the white minstrelry of Cyrus' act? Yeah, I'm with you.
Yes, exactly - that having an opinion about that is a political thing, and it's not inconsequential, and the idea that it's embarrassing or trivial or boring is just the usual line. ("Goodbye Politics, hello politics!" as Joanna Russ wrote of the feminist movement.)
Note that I am not saying that... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 9:22 AM on August 27, 2013
(And let's not forget that US intervention has been fucked up, destructive and self-interested pretty much always, and that at least since Haiti, it's been conducted under the guise of liberal humanism but that hasn't stopped it being fucked up and destructive. If the choice turns out to be "lots of people die horribly" or "lots of people die horribly, many now and many later, in the service of US foreign policy interests", I'm going with option one. Both... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 9:28 AM on August 27, 2013
If I recall my eighties and early nineties correctly, Madonna's sex photo book was hugely controversial both amongst feminists and [much more so] in the broader culture. And has everyone forgotten the whole late eighties/nineties culture war thing with the National Endowment for the Arts and the giant moral panic about sexually explicit music ranging from "I Want Your Sex" and its ilk through various rap songs? Good Lord, back in the eighties people couldn't even deal with "She... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:38 PM on August 27, 2013
What kind of definitive proof is there at all that this isn't a cleverly constructed media persona by someone whose been raised since birth with the toolset to game the system and get lots of media attention? She's literally getting completely top to bottom media and social network coverage to the freaking extent something like the president dying would just for shaking her ass on camera.
That's why I was trying to emphasize the difference between... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:18 PM on August 27, 2013
The thing about the kid, Brogan, is that he was brought into the crimes by suddenly seeing the older guy shoot the first victim - imagine seeing your father or some other father-equivalent commit some horrible crime right out of the blue in front of you. How would you process that? Particularly if you were young and had a traumatic upbringing. Could you see yourself getting drawn into covering it up?
I also wonder about how this group of people customarily relate to... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:21 PM on August 27, 2013
(I've had so many, many bikes stolen, ranging from fairly decent to thrift shop. I had a bike that had two flat tires and destroyed wheels and was a really, really cheap bike to begin withstolen off my glassed in front porch. (Admittedly, it wasn't locked because I was going to junk most of it, but the thief had to actually walk up on my porch to see if there was anything worth stealing up there, as it wasn't visible from the sidewalk. We routinely find signs that people have been on our... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:35 PM on August 26, 2013
Unless "there's nothing anti-human about technology" was supposed to be just restating the tautology that things made by humans are human things, with all the positives and negatives.
I think the idea here is to respond to, rather than make, a particular argument about technology - that's why he namechecks Donna Harroway. He's not saying "look, it's really profound to observe that technology is made... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:42 AM on August 26, 2013
I mean, seriously, to write (metaphorically) to the wife, "he didn't break up with me because he loves you, he broke up with me because he didn't want to hurt me [so suck it, you deluded b****]". And then, after that, to be all crushed because "he loves us both". I mean, the only possible non-horrible outcome is that the dude loves/loved both of you, because otherwise... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:14 AM on August 24, 2013
I mean, of course people have affairs, and relationships are troubled and children cause stress, and I imagine that if we all knew the truth we'd realize that there was a lot more cheating going on than we thought. And of course monogamy is difficult and there are alternatives to it, even though they are also a lot of effort (funny how there's just no way to sustain sexual and emotional intimacy alongside raising a family without sometimes making sacrifices and not getting... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:01 AM on August 24, 2013
(How does one go about choosing their name once they have decided to live as the gender that they identify as? What kind of factors go into a choice like that? I've seen a few different models (the opposite-gendered version of their birth name, the completely new name, and others) and was curious if there were some commonalities or trends, as much as there are commonalties and trends within a very personal choice such as ones name.
On the other hand, this probably means I can afford to replace all my old Love and Rockets that my parents threw away. (In fairness, this was the result of a miscommunication while I was getting settled into a new place, not malfeasance.) posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:09 AM on August 23, 2013
So I went to a Taylor Swift concert and was transformed.
So I went to a One Direction concert and was transformed.
So I went to a Phish concert and was transformed.
So I went to an Insane Clown Posse concert and was transformed.
So I went to a thing that isn't for me, or so I thought, and then I learned to stop hating on things that weren't for me and found in the process they could be for me and then I was transformed.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:35 PM on August 22, 2013
Dudes with longhair? Why? There are plenty of ways to say to the world "I'm a kick ass bro and do not care for your societal conventions" without being uncomfortable the whole time. Holy shit, I cannot think a single way to voluntarily make your life worse/more inconvenient/uncomfortable than the male pony tail. Oh, and we are all kinda laughing at you behind your back. If not actually laughing slightly sniggering.
Oh my God, the Sass Bun is completely wrong for that one dude's face shape! His updo is stacked right on top of his head, elongating his oval face and drawing attention to his forehead, when he should be emphasizing his beautiful eyes and cheekbones. He'd look so much better with the Junior Prom, which features a flattering side part and much less height. Don't these dudes know anything? Gahhhd.
The "Sass Bun" [grah do not want to type... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:25 PM on August 21, 2013
Seems like the emerging consensus is "Bald men are hot. Young non-bald men with long hair are at least a topic where reasonable people can disagree. Balding men with long hair are pathetic try-hards no matter what they do or how nicely they cut and style it."
Well, I am alone in thinking that some balding dudes with long hair look just fine. It depends a lot on the face shape, extent of baldness and nature of the hair... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:08 PM on August 21, 2013
So it appears that people get most of their information from vague media stereotypes, right? Minnesota is the nicest, our accent is weird and...that's about it, because people have listened to an episode of Lake Wobegon Days and that's all they know about Minnesota (when actually we're kind of mean). Similarly, everyone knows that California girls are hot, New Yorkers are rude, and it's fun to vacation in the mountains. Also, California, New York and Texas have substantial symbolic political... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 9:19 AM on August 20, 2013
When I worked in China and friends taught me home-style cooking, we'd always use MSG.
I've often wondered why, if MSG is in fact such a dietary trigger, we don't see tons and tons of MSG syndrome in Asia.
I find all this cook tough-talk hilarious - the "and people would eat the shit out of it" quote in particular was spectacularly infelicitous in reference to food. It's as though there's some pressure to prove that cooking is in... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:27 AM on August 19, 2013
There's a huge blowup on twitter again about Hugo, mostly under the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen, complaining about how a lot of the sympathy for Hugo ignores the history of harm he has caused to women of colour (and his students, and other women), and secondarily how "oh, he couldn't help himself, he has [whatever]" stigmatizes people with mental health issues.
For me, I have had some trouble finding the set of interactions with women... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:01 PM on August 12, 2013
Those BFP posts are really very, very damning.
I don't know how I missed all of this, because I know I was reading her blog for a while before 2008 (and I think she's great, and did not know she had a current blog since she had taken a break after her past one and I'm really excited about this) , and I remember how terrible the Amanda Marcotte/Seal Press thing was, but I don't remember the Hugo Schwyzer piece of it. I think I hadn't read him at all then because I think... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:14 AM on August 13, 2013
Hugo Schwyzer? I think of him like this. Let's say that being a fairly good feminist ally, hoorary, is called "Being At Ten". Let's say that your average straight white dude who has not considered any feminist things at all is "At Zero". Hugo Schwyer, IMO, started out "At Minus Ten", what with the various personal struggles, and has worked pretty hard to get to zero. I think he's sincere. I also think he's pretty fucked up. He shouldn't be any... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:23 AM on August 13, 2013
It just goes to show that I was, frankly, completely fooled. I read the occasional short piece by HS (and I still think that some of them are actually pretty insightful), but it seems pretty clear to me that if I'd been reading him regularly his creepiness would have been much more apparent, and I should have realized right away when this broke that a chorus of "he is creepy, no really, he is creepy" from tons of people could not be dismissed.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:20 AM on August 16, 2013
I think Orwell gets read too broadly. He was writing in response to specific trends he saw (inaccurately, to my mind - he had a real paranoia about the Rest Of The Left, and really needed to see himself as the only real socialist in Britain) as threatening the post-war social democratic/English-style-socialist project. He was always complaining about how everyone else was a bunch of Stalinists, or pansies, or vegetarians, or how no one had yet pointed out that virtually all feminists are ugly,... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:01 PM on August 15, 2013
I think he was justified, for reasons I outlined above. The Soviet bloc didn't just happen because the Russians occupied eastern Europe. Take a look at the history of Hungary after the war, for example, to see how those bastards rolled. Why risk something similar happening in Britain?
Yes, but they were people like Paul Robeson and Charlie Chaplin, who were not threats to Britain. And he kept a little list of people who should be watched... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:33 PM on August 15, 2013
And I add that if you stood in London in 1946 and thought for one minute that the UK was going to go the way of Hungary after the war, then you were fucking delusional. You might as well have said that the US was going to go over to Stalin. Orwell himself wrote in, I think, 1943, that he could already see the old status quo being restablished and the elites returning to power, which at the time he thought was a bad thing.
Even in France, for example,... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:40 PM on August 15, 2013
I read most of his Collected Letters about 10 years ago, but I don't think I got to this part of his life. I will have to check them out.
I don't think these are in the collected letters (or at least not the old four volume set, with As I Please and so on). I read them online a few years ago when that Hitchens book came out. It was all pretty short stuff just basically attributing people's dodginess to their race or religion.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:44 PM on August 15, 2013
One of the things that occurs to me: there are things that would strike us today as insanely paternalistic or far-right that even a lot of anti-fascist people in the forties would have been at home with - the arrest of homosexuals, for instance, and all kinds of things about sexual behavior. And an awful lot of people at the time thought that it was just fine for a man to hit his wife (see Orwell's essay on beach postcards for a glancing and uncritical reference to this).... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:09 PM on August 15, 2013
I found the “No lazy, crazy or selfish people are allowed,” line pretty hilarious, because the only reason I can think of to give away my leftovers, especially if I'm cooking with fancy expensive ingredients (which seem to be required here) is to give them to a friend who is broke and hungry. And I strongly suspect that my broke, working class, ill and messed up friends - the ones who actually might need a goddamn meal - would read as... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:11 AM on August 14, 2013
The article points to some interesting stuff. I think, though, that painting these movies as a response to an entitled generation is pretty silly (and the essay does skew towards blaming a bunch of little kids).
If anything, I notice that as real possibilities for good jobs, financial security and general fulfillment decline, we're getting these movies that assure us that anyone who wants enough can be,... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:05 AM on August 13, 2013
Shit, I am a USian and this statement seems ridiculous to me too. Saying that nothing that happened before 1750 "mattered" rules out not only the founding of all the worlds' major religions, but also nearly all the scientific achievement up through the Renaissance, the writing of much of the "Western Canon" of literature...
What it suggests to me is that we are supposed to believe that life was de facto miserable... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 8:07 AM on August 12, 2013
It's tempting, but there was plenty of misery to go around. Wars in China (Ming, Qing, Taiping rebellion) were brutal, as were the Mongol conquests or the conquest of the Americas. Lack of food and medicine could be disastrous.
Well, yes, of course. The point I wish I'd articulated (but the migraine meds - hooray modern technology! - were making me foggy) was that the ability to live a decent life varies hugely over time and... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:11 PM on August 12, 2013
So they give away a free pair in the developing world for every pair sold? Isn't that just driving what local opticians exist out of business and creating a weird, creepy, foreign-aid dominated model, as Toms is critcized for doing? If they want to help people so much, why not found some eye clinics and train some opticians and create some jobs in poor places, instead of just airlifting in glasses? I mean, why be the Toms of glasses when you could help create the SAWA or Oliberte of glasses?... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:10 AM on August 12, 2013
My last dozen pairs have all cost me less than $30, lenses included. The focus on Warby has also struck me as strange, since it's not the first with the business model and not even close to the cheapest. Just goes to show what a little PR can do for a company.
Your last dozen pairs? I think this points to a big shift in how glasses are perceived. When I was little and my vision changed constantly, I got new glasses once a year, but... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:29 AM on August 12, 2013
This is leaving aside those of us, however, who can't afford to buy a pair for $300 all at once, have no vision plan, and if those break, we can't drive or carry out basic daily functioning. I buy several pairs at once from Zenni and have the peace of mind that I have spares, I have prescription sunglasses (!!!), and being able to have different styles is just bonus.
Yeah, sort of. And yet I feel the rhetoric around "but what about... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:47 AM on August 12, 2013
If I could get pairs at the local shop for less than $600/each lens ($1200 a pair!)
We must have evil mirror universe prescriptions - yours is too expensive to buy local and mine is too weird to buy online. (Although mine run in the ~$500 range, mercifully.) posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 11:49 AM on August 12, 2013
It reminds me of a hilarious misinterpretation that some friends and I made when we were working in Shanghai and none of us had much mandarin. We all arrived via Hongqiao airport, of course, and one of us (armed with a mandarin dictionary, a very dangerous tool in the hands of the novice) looked up "hong" and "qiao" separately, and somehow decided that the name of the airport was "Red [which is correct for this particular... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:11 AM on August 12, 2013
Yeah, they'll make a fortune on those boots, I bet. They're probably all union-made, US-made and they're a style that's super fashionable right now.
I don't know - I wouldn't buy shoes that old. Everyone is all "oh, good shoes last for a really long time", but those shoes have been getting dried out and dusty. I bought a pair of early nineties benchmade English shoes that had been sitting in a disused storage space - dead stock from a high-end shop that... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 7:46 AM on August 10, 2013
See, I have Saphir renovateur. I have renovateur-ed a variety of items. And I still wouldn't buy fifty year old shoes without handling them first, no matter how goodyear welted they were - especially fifty year old shoes that hadn't been worn or cared for in that time. Show me a pair of Peals from 1955 that have been kept up even if they've also been worn, and I'll think about it.
I used to have some vintage women's army shoes -... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 10:18 AM on August 10, 2013
I'm always reminded of what Doris Lessing wrote about her observations of the Second World War: that everyone was having a great time. The down side was that you could be killed, if you were an actual soldier, RAF pilot, etc - but outside of the actual combat situations, the officers, the women associated with the war effort, even the enlisted men were having a high old time. She talks about having people describe it later as wonderful, exciting, meaningful.
I think it would be really neat to have a thoughtful and nuanced discussion of cultural appropriation (I have a longer thing to post about this topic!) which did not get derailed by the very simple "why can't white people wear sexy kimonos on Halloween" level questions, especially "can't I use any thing from any other culture ever?", which is either misunderstanding at best or a straw question at worst. (The question of "japonism"/"chinoiserie" is a... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:17 PM on August 8, 2013
And here is my longer comment!
1. There's what you might call "vulgar cultural appropriationism" which isn't thought out very well - that's where, for instance, you get people on tumblr asking in all seriousness if it is culturally appropriative to wear flowers in their hair, because they are only familiar with Polynesian traditions about this and think that white people are ripping off Polynesians instead of recognizing that pretty much every human society... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 12:54 PM on August 8, 2013
Tell that to a medieval woman who couldn't get a dowry. Socioeconomically, in the West's history some women certainly were forced to join monastic orders. And during many of our own various inquisitions and witch hunts, women certainly were killed for dressing immodestly. But this is getting off-topic. I cede the point, trivially, but it is absolutely true that the historical roots of the burqa and the habit are closely bound up together.
Also, history never goes away. "It happened 600 years ago" does not mean that "it" has stopped echoing in the world. If only!!! History, a slaughtering bench, etc.
Again, much more comfortable to talk about this at the level of the aesthetic/fashion rather than at the level of power and violence. posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:42 PM on August 8, 2013
I think it would be great if we could have discussions about this stuff where the conversation wasn't derailed when people who bother to ask questions and seek discussion are passive-aggressively told they're too stupid to participate and that only the people who know everything already deserve to speak.
Well, I think that the internet's greatest gift to me was to get me in the habit of doing a little bit of googling... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:58 PM on August 8, 2013
Doesn't this echo back to LogicalDash post, Cultural appropriation is what you call the reuse of other cultures' symbols when you disapprove of it.
No, it means that I am queer and I work a union gig which I am fucking lucky to have - and that I deal with homophobia far more regularly than I would like and I hear a shit-ton of union-bashing and deal with the perpetual attempts of the right to loot the pension fund and slash our insurance. Whereas I am... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 1:59 PM on August 8, 2013
Given that Otzi the Iceman, a European from ~3,300 BC has tattoos, I'd say tumblr is a bit off on that one.
The thing is, tattooing as a modern Western practice by white people is pretty clearly traceable to maritime contact with Polynesian peoples - some positive and friendly, some brutal and genocidal. It's like dreadlocks - white people with dreads are not wearing them as an unbroken tradition from the druids of yore, but because of reggae or the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 2:05 PM on August 8, 2013
My, isn't this a friendly thread to be a Dane in. I'll just fuck off now.
My partner is a Dane. I have been to Danish cultural events. "Filthy Danes" is a quote, in fact, from a Danish TV show - said by the Swedish villain, which is why it's funny. I don't want to trample on anyone's experiences, but as someone who did in fact grow up in a family where Swedish culture was alive and well, went to a heavily Norwegian school and has lived in... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 5:44 PM on August 8, 2013
You've never heard "dumb Swede" jokes? I mean, sure, there's not real, ongoing prejudice against Swedes or Norwegians now, but a lot of them settled the Midwest, and I can't help but wonder if the stereotypes of the strong, taciturn men unintereted in city dwelling -and not very bright - that we seem to hold about that area have anything to do with stereotypes of the Swedes and Norwegians.
Actually, if I can post an email from My Partner The Culturally Danish Danish-American:
Okay, here are some other things:
1. When we look critically at the relative social position of people of Scandinavian descent, it's important to recognize that Scandinavians have occupied a privileged position right from the start. In contrast to almost every other immigrant group, with the possible exception of English people, Scandinavians were never legally... [more] posted to MetaFilter by Frownerat 6:07 AM on August 9, 2013