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2014 midterm elections: keeping "Will Hillary Run?" off the front pages
Okay, this is something I don't understand even though it's probably obvious - you have to impeach someone for something, right? Something that is some kind of malfeasance, not just "politics I think are really, really bad"? And even though the whole Monica Lewinsky thing had to be twisted around to make it seem like a potentially impeachable offense, there was some vague nebulous "Clinton lied" accusation that could be made. What does one impeach Obama for?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:20 AM on November 2, 2014

Success is the thing that kills bands. We haven't had any success.
I love The Quality of Mercy is Not Strnen - it was the first CD I ever bought, and I had to special order it and it took forever. I used to get my then-boyfriend to drive me down to the local (semi-local, a couple of towns over) alternative record shop (later shut down as it was also the semi-local place to score coke) and then I'd leaf through this giant book of things they could special order and look for bands I wanted to hear (since there was no internet and there was… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:42 PM on October 30, 2014

If one has no vanity in this life of ours, there is no sufficient reason
Are you actually claiming that it is an axiomatic truth that Tolstoy is "not worth reading"? Really?

I had read ennui.bz as saying "in our current cultural situation, we are not allowed to say that an author is misogynist and has pathological hatred of women, because to say that is considered the equivalent of saying that he is not worth reading - therefore, even authors who do have a pathological hatred of women can't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on October 30, 2014

If we're "not allowed to say this" about Tolstoy in our "current cultural situation", it's odd that so many people seem to be perfectly well aware of it--and that it is, in fact, something that has been endlessly and openly rehashed in discussions of Tolstoy since, well, the nineteenth century.


I feel like there's things that "everybody knows" that are none the less not seen as legitimate to bring… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:00 AM on October 30, 2014

Tim Cook - I'm Proud to be Gay
If you are a straight person and you've never attended a Pride event, I suggest you do so. You really can't understand the depth of joy for people to simply be able to walk down the street and be allowed to be comfortable in who they are.

Seriously, if you are not from a marginalized identity, don't get into the whole "I don't think anyone should be proud of [marginalized identity], when will the colorblind world arrive, I don't see sexuality, et… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:50 AM on October 30, 2014
And what I want to emphasize is that this business with the book pulled up a lot of other bad feelings of shame, weirdness and isolation, and it made me tired, and it was just one more little "I am under pressure to prevaricate in order to avoid reminding people of my We-Tolerate-You-Because-We-Are-Liberal-But-You-Are-Still-An-Outsider identity". I mean, it made me feel bad out of all proportion to what you would think if you just equate it to that time when you had to hide your copy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:53 AM on October 30, 2014

"Didn't Lady Gaga just donate a million dollars to you guys?"
I remember at the time reading things by people in Occupy Sandy and just being completely shocked - I mean, also proud - that a constellation of Occupy folks could get stuff done when the Red Cross was just failing. It was really scary to read about how little help was given to very vulnerable people. Of course, any time there's big money, you get a bunch of [...Frowner spits] upper middle class professional non-profit managers who are spoiled and greedy and attention hogs and have never done… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:47 AM on October 29, 2014
The more I think about it, the more I wonder....every change in the world is an opportunity to make money, right? Every big change is a new frontier, disaster capitalism, etc.

Now obviously, no one seeks to rise in the ranks of a disaster relief charity thinking "aha, I will get rich off the various disasters that are sure to happen with global warming and rising global inequality"...For one thing, you don't get that rich. (But rich… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:18 AM on October 29, 2014
In FY12 they paid out $1,772,593,711 in "salaries, employee benefits, and other compensation" to 28,973 employees.

Well, if that meant that everyone from the lowliest regional administrative assistant to the office grants manager up to the senior people was making....oh, let's say between $35,000 and $75,000 with good benefits (which should about add up to that), we wouldn't need to be concerned, right? But of course big chunks are lumped up at the top.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:31 AM on October 29, 2014
However, in this case, you've got a major national organization with a multi-billion dollar budget and 30,000 employees. You're never going to get leaders who can manage that scope on a professor's salary.

I always wonder about this. I know many capable, educated people with broad-based nonprofit experience who would be thrilled and delighted to manage on a "professor's salary" of $75,000 a year and benefits. Could any of them, tomorrow,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:27 AM on October 29, 2014
(I have personal (indirect) experience with how the Red Cross steps in when there is a house fire and helps provide shelter and clothing and food. This is not a service based on income, it's a service based on sudden disaster striking. They didn't provide long-term support for any of those I've known who had their houses burn down, but they did provide the necessary bridge to help those people get from "I've lost everything" to "I'm starting to rebuild".… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:42 AM on October 29, 2014
Frowner, I do totally agree with you, but my personal experience with mission based NPOs has been that the "rank and file" often don't rise in the ranks not because the NPO felt compelled to bring in "someone from the outside" but because the lower level employees are almost always specialized professionals who do certain things (in my personal experience things like "teach kids with autism" or "write grants" or "connect with homeless… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:46 AM on October 29, 2014
(And I add that we don't seem to be getting fabulous results with MBAs hired externally, because they bring MBA values with them...so I find myself wondering if there is a way to, perhaps, get people the kinds of training and experience they need in order to run an organization without insisting that they go through the MBA/corporate mill to get there.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:49 AM on October 29, 2014
She likely works very long hours and travels a great deal, which means that she'll need to be able to afford to hire help to do things like clean her house or take care of her kids (if she has any).

Again, this is the kind of thing we only say for upper middle class jobs. Sara Mae who works thirty hours at the Dunkin' Donuts and all the hours she can get in the next town over at Walmart? Well, no one is talking about how… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:55 AM on October 29, 2014
If you think that people aren't talking about the problem of low wages, then you're not paying attention. the paper of record is talking about it, the president is talking about it, the internet is talking about it, et cetera. Seems like every few weeks there's another moving expose on how impossible it is to live on minimum wage, that really "puts a face" on the discourse.

Okay, after this I'll knock it off. My point was specific to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on October 29, 2014
I'm not a person who thinks "reverse racism " is a thing, but I will say that comment as a whole - basically just judging how this woman looks - doesn't quite sit right when all the real things she screwed up stand on their own.

I'll just pop back in since I made that comment, which I admit wasn't the fairest comment in the world. What motivated it was seeing the picture of the CEO standing at the microphone alongside other people - I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:42 AM on October 30, 2014
(And, I mean, that isn't fair - it's not like even the best human being in the world could, like, give back a lifetime of medical care, etc...I'm not saying it was a fair remark. I plead emotional upset based on being in too many rooms with wealthy white people who get to make decisions for poorer people and who - like this woman - fuck it up.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:54 AM on October 30, 2014

Verdingkinder
Actually, when I was reading this all I could think was "this will give Cameron some ideas, won't it"....The contemporary US has a prison system and a school-to-prison pipeline for dealing with the children of the poor, but this sort of thing seems very much in line with UK benefits "reform", making people give up their spare bedrooms, moralizing about scroungers and chavs, etc.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on October 29, 2014

The internal threats of Stephen King's books
(The idea that you have to make teenaged girls jump, shriek, and then giggle every 180 seconds

I really, really wish we were not socialized to imagine the "bad consumer" as a teenage girl all the time. Who is responsible for music being bad? Teenage girls! Who is responsible for all the horror movies being stupid? Teenage girls? Who is ideologically a tampon, per radical project Tikkun? Teenage girls! Who is materialistic and gross yet… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:35 AM on October 28, 2014
(Sorry, just going by what I see with my own eyes at the cinema. If it was middle-aged Latino Catholic priests with pencil-thin mustaches I witnessed reacting the same way, I'd have said, "The idea that you have to make middle-aged Latino Catholic priests with pencil-thin mustaches jump, shriek, and then giggle every 180 seconds."

But you're saying that the movie producers are making bad movies so that the girls will jump and giggle - that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:44 AM on October 28, 2014

The Naysayers
(As far as I know, Benjamin committed suicide on the very plausible belief that he was going to be turned back at the Spanish border by the Franco government. Adorno died of heart failure mere days after he was heckled and abused by a bunch of generation '68 student radicals in his own classroom (one of these student radicals, although he apparently hung back a bit, being Gunter Grass). The fascists got one, and a particularly mean-spirited chunk of the student left got the other.)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:48 PM on October 27, 2014
I always think that if there's anything that Frankfurt School critique is useless, sounding and bombastic in terms of, it's sort of "and Our Culture Is Blah Blah Thing, just like Adorno warned us". Look how silly and partial Adorno was when he tried to apply some ideas about mass culture to a whole large various genre, jazz, which is experienced in many ways by many people.

I feel like I get the most out of Adorno (and again, this is as a very… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:01 PM on October 27, 2014
Bringing PoMo Back!

It's an interesting artifact of the culture wars of the nineties that any form of cultural writing later than Freud which relies on a specialized vocabulary is assumed to be postmodernism. I mean seriously, if the student left hadn't given Adorno heart failure, being lumped in with, like, Lyotard and Derrida probably would. Adorno was the modernist par excellence.

I suppose it's a testament to how… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:18 AM on October 28, 2014

The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise
The one thing that puzzles me a little bit in this article is the way that it conflates pre-existing ethical/philosophical beliefs with other "mistaken" approaches. It seems like he is saying that having any set of pre-existing beliefs that structure how you interact with the rest of the world is a priori a form of ignorance/over-confidence. Let's say, to choose something less likely to push anyone's buttons, that you are a Quaker, and therefore when you consider… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:27 AM on October 28, 2014

Begun, the Wallet Wars, have.

The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.


So that's creepy.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2014

The Secret Life of Nuns
This whole "oh yeah it's so appealing because you don't have to think" line...well, that does not match up at all well with the nuns I have met. Nothing but thinking, those nuns - you seem to have quite a lot of time to think and to act on it when you don't have to raise children, manage a large amount of personal property, fuss around with hair and make-up and fashion, etc. Admittedly, I've met far more of the social justice nuns - and you don't want to cross them!… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:59 PM on October 26, 2014

100 Scifi-Themed Songs, best or not
Destination Venus by the Rezillos is the best SF-themed pop song ever, sorry.

Surely we also count much of OMD's Dazzle Ships and The Golden Hour of the Future.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2014
And if only you were wintermute instead of wintersweet, this post would also be eponhysterical.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:10 AM on October 24, 2014

The Secret State and the Historians
In the context of the Cold War, and both being self-professed Communists, it sounds to me like MI5 were just doing their job. If one of them had turned out to be a Soviet spy (as Sir Ivor Montagu, the inventor of table tennis, did), it would have been embarrassing to say the least.

I think this stuff always seems like a better idea in the past, so to speak.

I mean, couldn't we say the same thing about prominent dissidents in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:09 AM on October 24, 2014

Well, the most expensive and disruptive actions that the Soviet Union could have done are launch a full on attack on Western Europe with the largest armies in the world and/or launch a full on nuclear attack on the West with thousands of warheads. It could be said that our own actions contributed mightily to that circumstance, but its a far, far cry from Occupy Wall Street.


Yes, but the point is that you have to have some… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:03 AM on October 24, 2014

Michaelangelo: You’re not a quitter, dude. Finish what you started.
Why wouldn't you put kalamata olives on pizza? That's what I'd like to know.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on October 23, 2014

Abomination
Not that I don't dislike thoughtless, selfish people, but it might be worth considering whether tossing someone into the awful American prison system is really an especially good idea. There are loads of people who do things that are worse and require worse morals who I would not want to see jailed, and there are people who do things that are lots and lots and lots worse - like Henry Kissinger - who will never see the inside of a jail cell.

More than anything this just… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:22 AM on October 23, 2014
Ummmm, screw that affluenza shit. Someone who messes up national parks like this is at least as deserving of jail time as a large percentage of people who are currently being jailed.

Yes, and actually the very point of my comment was precisely that many people who currently are jailed don't deserve to be, and many who do are not, and that therefore baying for our - shitty, violent, destructive - prison system to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:32 AM on October 23, 2014

the lifeblood of our business
For instance, today our customer experience team works a regular eight-hour shift, not 12. We supply our employees with laptops, they don't use their own. And we don't ask prospective employees to work a trial day before they are hired. Was it always this way? No. And when Amanda says she applied nearly a year and a half ago, our company was newer, smaller and still figuring out best practices. In short, things are different today than they were then.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2014

“Can I do anything to help?” - “Trade kids with me.”
Of course it's not justifiable to murder your [autistic] kid. I feel like there's always a missing term here, though - what does it do to a person to be under incredible stress and in fear of violence for years and to have no hope of it ending ever, since your child will never be able to live on her own and will virtually certainly outlive you? What does it do when it is controversial to say that you hate getting hit… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2014
I have an autistic, sometimes abusive child. He's 12, and the mind-breaking stress doesn't really let up. He's almost as tall as I am and strong enough to hurt me if he wants. If I felt that I were at a breaking point where it was starting to seem like a good idea to commit murder to get out of this situation, I would call 911 on myself as the person who's the danger to herself and others. Even if they decided I was an unfit parent and took him away, that would be better than him being… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:32 AM on October 21, 2014
It seems to me as if what autistic people and advocates for autism are worried about in these conversations might have to do with the pre-existing lack of "normalizing"/positive/complex portrayals of autistic people in our culture, so that it's easy for there to be slippage between "I can see what a terrible situation this is for a caregiver and how someone might make a terrible decision when they're experiencing basically PTSD" and "autistic people… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on October 22, 2014

Unique taste — and the capacity to avoid the basic — is a privilege.
Oh God. And the speed with which this is happening is amazing. I am so sick of hearing soccer moms and Dockers-wearing dads say "that's how I roll." Jesus Christ, would those people fuck off.

The thing is, I think that kind appropriation actually hinges on both memory and racism - people maintain this vague, nebulous knowledge that it's some kind of "rap" or "hippety hop" slang or whatever, and there's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on October 21, 2014

When you meet a stranger, look at his shoes.
IMO, it's difficult to compare US-made shoes like Aldens and AE and Walkover and Rancourt to English-made shoes. English lasts and sizing are different, for one thing - you can take a brogue boot from Alden and it will be...um...blobbier and more loosely constructed than an English brogue boot, and no matter what they tell you, an English shoe is not exactly 1/2 a size smaller than its US size equivalent. I prefer English shoes because I wear a UK 7.5,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2014
(For the sake of clarification - all my fancy shoes are second (if not third) hand. I still spend too much on shoes, yes, but not that much too much.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:46 PM on October 20, 2014
So... say I'm in London for another week and I wear a US women's size 7.5 and love queer/gentlemanly shoes in my size that hold up forever. Do these brands make stuff that small? The folks selling Aldens laughed at me when I asked in Michigan, sigh.

Crockett Jones and Trickers have women's lines - call the shops, I mean the Jermyn street shops.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:17 AM on October 21, 2014
If I am spending £200-300 on a pair of shoes I expect them to be made to measure. Is that a reasonable expectation, or would I have to pay more for that?

That's not quite possible how you mean it. Truly made-to-measure shoes require the creation of a last that mimics the actual shape of your individual foot, and then the shoe is sewn to fit. Think of all the work, even if you could use some kind of scanning process to create the last! In general,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:52 AM on October 21, 2014

Streaming Music Has Left Me Adrift
If you haven’t heard them, statistics suggest that you will enjoy their cover of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and nothing else.

Indeed. (I mean, I like "Shoplifting" and "New Town" a lot.)

I have lost my ability to find cool new music on a regular basis, because finding cool new music stopped being about going to the record shop or reading articles and became about setting up a pandora or spotify or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:23 AM on October 20, 2014
(I mean, I just can't hear new music the way people who are tuned in hear it - there's obviously a lot of there there, but I can't access it.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:25 AM on October 20, 2014
Actually, there is this shock that I can't get over - that people who are not otherwise intellectually serious or left-wing have good taste in music. That really was not true in my social circles when I was growing up. I preemptively distrust most widely accessible writing about music because....I mean, when I was growing up there were intellectually serious and left wing people who didn't have good taste in music but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:35 AM on October 20, 2014

I kind of think this is how people who were 40 in 1996 felt about 25-year-old me's love of Belle and Sebastian; like "you LIKE this? This stuff with strings tenderness that sounds like the worst of the 70s easy-listening music we developed punk and new wave to overthrow?"

This is actually what a friend (and age-peer) says to me about Belle and Sebastian all the time today. But now the kids today don't find… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:29 AM on October 20, 2014
Everyone is just astounded when they and their friends get old.

For me it was that my parents had this whole narrative of "Frowner you are so old, you are Too Old for [trick-or-treating at 12; going back to school at 24; behavior that would not be suitable to a middle-aged woman in 1960 at all ages]" that for a long time I thought I was already old. I've been thinking that I was "too old" and apologizing for doing various things… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on October 20, 2014
Part of the grim surprise is the way that the age of your music collection creeps up on you.

No, the trick is to have been collecting old music from the very beginning. Then your music collection has always been old. Although when I first bought a copy of Sandinista! it was only ten years old and now it is 34, old enough to have had little babies in the shape of The Sandinista Project, etc.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2014
I'm not sure if you mean "cool new music" as in "just released" or as in "new to you" here but the most fun I have in record stores these days is hunting through old stuff I've never heard of before.

In this instance "music that is actually new". I have no trouble a-tall finding music that is new to me but not actually new - that's where the music-splosion of the now comes in so handy.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:44 PM on October 20, 2014

Buy now, pay forever
I wonder if in bigger cities people could do a furniture co-op of some kind and buy from the manufacturers and sell at cost-plus-renting-a-distribution-space.

As far as this ""$1500 sofa" business goes - part of what frosts me about these businesses is that I don't think they're selling $1500 sofas for $4500 - you can get a couple of Design Within Reach (which is ultra-pricey) models for the low $2000s, and Design Within Reach (lol,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:47 AM on October 18, 2014

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